When talking about Chinese variety shows, what comes to their first mind? Their first thought may be that their variety shows are adapted from foreign variety shows. However, there has seen great diversity and New ideas in Chinese variety shows in recent years. Here we’ve rounded up some of the most popular shows in China.
Go Fighting! is an inspirational Chinese variety show and game-variety-reality show produced by Shanghai’s Oriental Satellite TV, with a starry cast including actors Huang Lei, Huang Bo, Sun Honglei and zhang Yixing, Wang xun, and Show Lo. Usually each episode will also have an over-arching theme or story.
The show has been a commercial and critical success since its inception, and the MCs have received praise for ‘breaking the rules’ of usual variety game shows and mingling with normal people going about their daily lives.
Who’s the Murderer
Who’s The Murderer is a Chinese variety program produced by Mango TV. The show features the main cast of He Jiong, Sa Beining, as well as resident guests Gui Gui (Emma Wu), Wang Ou and Bai Jingting. The show scored an 8.7 out of 10 during season 1, a 8.9 during season 2, a 9.1 during season 3 and season 4 is starting with a 9.5, making it the most popular web show of China.
Readers is a cultural Chinese TV program, sparked fresh enthusiasm for Chinese literature. The weekly talk show, produced and hosted by renowned TV personality Dong Qing, invites people from all walks of life to read aloud excerpts of poems, essays and books they like or wrote. The participants also share stories from their own life explaining why particular pieces touched their hearts or shaped their lives.
National Treasure is a 2017 Chinese cultural exploration program in China. Actor Zhang Guoli serves as the host. The nine major museums in mainland China, each presented three national treasures across the episodes. Each treasure performed by celebrities and common people, to tell the stories of national treasures with the collections, interpreting the historical mystery.
The Chinese Restaurant
The Chinese Restaurant stars famous actresses Zhao Wei, Zhou Dongyu, actor Huang Xiaoming, model and actor Zhang Liang, and TV hostess Jin Mengjia. They run a Chinese restaurant on the Thai island of Koh Chang to bring Chinese delicacies to foreign people. The ultimate goal of the show is to help spread China’s culinary culture to people overseas.
The Rap of China
The Rap of China, China’s first reality TV show on hip-hop, prompted an unprecedented wave of interest in the US-born music genre when it was broadcast.
The stylish rappers, together with four celebrity judges – Kris Wu, Wilber Pan, Chang Chen-yue and MC Hotdog – fueled the rising popularity of a largely underground culture among Chinese youth.
Where are we going, Dad?
Where are we going, Dad? was produced and aired on Hunan Satellite TV, featuring celebrity dads on camping trips with their children.
In each episode, fathers and children are taken to remote villages to experience rural lives. Through teamwork in the field, their family bonds, personalities and parenting styles are captured on camera.
Birth of Performers
As the first of its kind in China, Birth of Performers became a smash show in 2017, sparking heated discussions of acting skills. The acting competition show stars celebrities Zhang Ziyi, Liu Ye and Song Dandan as judges and coaches, examining the acting skills of participating performers.
U Can U BiBi
U Can U BiBi is the first variety show in China focused exclusively on debate with the main goal of finding the best debater in China. It features people with outstanding eloquence debating catchy topics such as, “Are wedding ceremonies necessary?” “Will you forgive your lover if he or she ran away without you in life-threatening cases?” and so on.
Informal Talks is a Chinese talk show. Informal Talks airs on Hubei Television and Heilongjiang Television. Every episode begins with a Culture Discussion followed by questions related to the discussion topic where representatives can share their opinions.
Letters Alive, a new cultural TV show invited veteran actors and actresses to read letters written by famous people from different periods of Chinese history on air, in attempt to bring their stories to life. Ever since the show’s debut in December, Letters Alive has been highly popular among netizens.
The Sound is a Chinese reality television competition aired on Hunan TV on 6 January 2018. It tests the dubbing and performing abilities of the artists. It is hosted by Wáng Kǎi.
Back to field
Back to the Field, co-produced by Hunan TV and Zhejiang Hexin Cultural Communication Company, the producers invite the celebrity contestants to live in a small house in the boonies, starring actors Huang Lei and Peng Yuchang, singer Liu Xianhua, and TV presenter He Jiong. They need to gather vegetables and fruits, cook their own food, and, each episode, treat a celebrity guest joining in on their retreat with a prepared meal.
Have you ever watched Chinese variety shows? Which entertained you most? And what kind of variety shows are you most interested in? Please leave your comments below.