The producers of Chinese TV shows were in Cannes, France for the annual MIPFormats event, held April 7 to 8, where they showcased original Chinese TV show formats to global peers.
"National Treasure," one of the nine Chinese shows, was a weekly program showing the history of 27 important cultural relics, including paintings, bronzeware, and porcelain. It features both entertainment celebrities and ordinary people in historical reenactments as emperors, officials, artists, and generals to show the story behind each artifact.
The show scored 9.3 out of 10 points on Douban, a popular rating platform in China, making it one of the most popular history programs in the country.
The show uses cultural items to tell historical stories, according to Yin Hong, a communications professor at Tsinghua University.
The show also made a splash on social media and online platforms. On Bilibili.com, one of China's most popular video-sharing platforms, the first three episodes were viewed over 5 million times in total.
Peng Kan, the co-founder of Legend Media, a consulting company in Beijing, said the program offers a complete format to overseas buyers and it is not difficult for producers from different cultures to appreciate the idea and the structure of the program.
"Readers" was another Chinese TV show presented in Cannes.
In 12 episodes of the show, 68 celebrities, including writer Wang Meng and China's first astronaut Yang Liwei, were asked to read paragraphs from their favorite books on a certain theme, such as "home," "companionship," or "tears."
The program combines interviews and readings, integrating the personal experience of the celebrities with the lessons and stories from the books, said Dong Qing, producer and host of "Readers."
Other Chinese formats on display at MIPFormats include singing contests, talent shows, and dubbing competitions.
"We came not only looking for commercial cooperation but also deeper communication and understanding among countries with different cultures," said Zheng Zhi, director of the copyright and legal affairs office at CCTV.
China has been an important consumer of TV formats in the past few years, but now it is on its way to become a global provider of original TV formats, said Laurine Garaude, director of the television division of Reed MIDEM, the host company of MIPFormats.