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China Bans 'American Idol'-Style TV Programs

China has introduced new rules designed to curb the growth of "American Idol"-style television programs.

The regulation published Saturday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) forbids TV talent shows from broadcasting during prime-time or from allowing audiences to vote for contestants by mobile phone text messages, telephone or the Internet.

The rules also place restrictions on the qualifications for judges, candidates' clothing and hairstyle, and how hosts interact.

Chinese versions of the U.S. TV talent show "American Idol" have multiplied since Hunan TV introduced its successful "Super Voice Girls" in 2005.

Last month, China banned the TV talent show "The First Time I Was Ever Touched."

SARFT head Wang Taihua announced a crackdown on "vulgar" reality TV shows earlier this year as part of what he called government efforts to "clean up TV screens."

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.