News / Arts & Entertainment

Q&A: 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' to Stream in China

FILE - Ellen DeGeneres accepts the award for favorite daytime TV host at the 40th annual People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Jan. 8, 2014.
FILE - Ellen DeGeneres accepts the award for favorite daytime TV host at the 40th annual People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Jan. 8, 2014.
Ira Mellman
One of the most popular daytime television talk programs on U.S. television will soon be available to the people of China. As Ellen DeGeneres, of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, announced the availability of her program, she said, “This is big news. We recently became the first American talk show to air in China. It's basically the same show but it will have subtitles and will be called The Happy Lady Dance Hour. The show is streaming online on Sohu.com. This is exciting because over a billion people are in China!"
 
Voice of America Daybreak Asia's Ira Mellman spoke with one of the pioneer producers of television programs in the United States about the Chinese distribution of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In addition to being the founder of the very popular E! Entertainment television channel in the U.S., Larry Namer is now the C.E.O. of Metan Development, a company that produces television programs solely for the Chinese market.
 
NAMER:  Our company has been there for about five years now. We’ve seen what’s called an opening up of the acceptance [by China] of other countries and we think it’s just continuing the trend that we’ve been noticing.  It’s not really all that surprising for us quite honestly.
 
MELLMAN: You produce programs specifically and uniquely for the Chinese market. This is not that. What are some of the possible pitfalls? What are some of the negative and positive points of trying to do this?
 
NAMER:  There are certainly cultural differences between American culture and Chinese culture.  I wouldn’t profess myself to be an avid follower of the Ellen show, though I do watch it on occasion when I’m in the US. But a lot of her stuff seems to deal with human values and feelings and I think her stuff is pretty universal.  My gut feeling is that it will do rather well there.  I think a lot of Chinese people will be able to relate to her and what she talks about. But you know there are cultural differences; I mean an eighteen year old Chinese woman is very different than an eighteen year old woman in the U.S. And family units are quite different. In China, you have multi-generational families and the audience for TV shows is more like it used to be in the U.S. back in the 50s or 60s where families used to watch shows together. You’d never see that here. T.V. has become an individual kind of experience.  In China, it’s still a communal experience, a familial experience.
 
MELLMAN: How closely do you think that Chinese authorities examined The Ellen DeGeneres Show before they gave the OK for this?
 
NAMER: I’m almost sure they have. You know everything needs to get submitted for approvals. We have gone through the approval process and have not found it onerous.  I’m sure that the decision to do it [accept the Ellen DeGeneres Show] was not whimsical when they studied it quite a bit.
 
MELLMAN: This is being distributed on a website. It is streaming. What’s the acceptance of that in China and how would this differ from being distributed on broadcast networks and broadcast organizations?
NAMER: The use of the internet in China is quite different than that it is in the US. In China, there are quite a number of Western shows. I’ve heard a number that’s upward of over a hundred American shows that have been licensed legally to be shown on internet sites in China.
 
Money in China tends to be much younger.  People between 25 and 40 years old are typically the people with money. They’re much younger than their counterparts in the West. So, for brands, they are the important demographic to reach. They consume media on the web much more so than people here or so it seems to be moving in that direction. So people say young people under 40 are very accustomed to watching half hour shows, hour shows and movies on the web much more so than we are here in the U.S. From the numbers we’ve seen, over 500 million people are consuming video on the web in China. The amount of people is just huge and watching on their laptop and desktop is the preferred watching media experience.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”