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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

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.”