Hand Me the Remote! China Cuts Back on ‘Overly Entertaining’ TV

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The Chinese government is clearly not a fan of Jersey Shore.

In a sign of continued pressure to control the cultural space, Chinese officials have ordered broadcasters to limit the amount of reality TV and other light entertainment they show, the Associated Press reports from Beijing.

The Government’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television this week told the country’s 34 satellite stations to largely phase out vulgar “overly entertaining” programs by 2012. The equivalent of the daily fodder of U.S. cable networks is in the firing line: namely programs dealing with marital strife and matchmaking, talent and game shows, as well as talk and variety formatted TV.

(LIST: The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME)

The ruling, supposedly to “meet the public’s demand” for varied and high-quality programming, follows a party meeting last week that decided China’s social morality required strengthening. The regulations aim to promote “core socialist values” over materialism.

“Satellite channels are mainly for the broadcast of news propaganda and should expand the proportion of news, economic, cultural, science and education, children’s and documentary programming,” read the order issued Oct. 26.

The move is part of broader recent censorship by Chinese authorities, including increased vetting of hugely popular microblogs such as Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. It also follows a period of public introspection over ethics after a toddler died from a hit-and-run accident during which 18 passers-by ignored her.

MORE: Can China’s Economy Thrive With a Censored Internet?

Joe Jackson is a contributor at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @joejackson. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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