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TV drama adaptation fever grows

08-02-2010 09:02 BJT

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Making new TV dramas based on classic small-screen favorites from the past century has become a new trend in China.

The new version of the TV drama "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" has just completed its first round of airing. And the latest adaptation of "A Dream of Red Mansions" will soon test its popularity, and the rather controversial "Journey to the West" is still underway.

All the screenplays are based on great works of traditional Chinese literature, and the trend is creating a buzz around the country.

The per episode investment for the new "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" is 1.8 million yuan, or 260 thousand US Dollars. The amount ploughed into the 2010 "Outlaws of the Marsh" and "Journey to the West" is 1.1 million and 2 million yuan respectively.

As the earliest to be renewed among the four great works of Chinese literature, the 50-episode "A Dream of Red Mansions" has a total budget of 118 million yuan. Although, it was surrounded by negative voices from the very start, it has sold well.

Classic films and topical novels are also favorite themes for adaptation. Ancient Chinese tales, imperial anecdotes, and spy stories are also hot topics.

Yin Hong, vice director of College of News & Com., Tsinghua Univ., said, "The advantage of adaptation is that the cost of marketing is lowered. Those classic works have a good promise of popularity, so there is less risk to cover the investment or even make profit."

Filmmakers love to make sequels. Two recent examples include "Paint Skin" and "Yip Man". And the film that gave smart tips on how a career woman can get promoted, "Go, Lala Go!" has already become a phenomenon as the film and TV drama have been overwhelmingly well received. And the spy TV series "Undercover" will soon evolve into a film of the same name.

Veteran playwright Lu Tianming says it's apparent that current film and TV productions in China are lacking in excellent and authentic screenplays. While the audience's taste is also a negative drive.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CCTV.com

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