But had you heard that the "Big Bang Theory" has been banned in China? It was very popular, especially with urban Chinese. Some of my adult English students, that I teach in on-line classes, really enjoy it, and one of my students chose the English name "Sheldon" in homage to the show's main character. My students watched the show via the internet, through one of China's video-streaming services. (And consider for a moment what it means to be a celebrity in China. Probably the Chinese audience is larger than the U.S. one.)
But the BBT, along with The Good Wife and several other popular American television programs, was suddenly banned last April for the vague reason that the content violated Chinese standards and norms.
The e-magazine TeaLeafNation notes: The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the government organ responsible for censorship of all sorts in China, has given no reason for singling out the four shows for removal while leaving [other shows with risque and violent content] alone.
Advertising Age magazine suggests that the state-owned television stations (CCTV), purveyors of domestic television fare, don't like competing with American shows that are highly popular with China's upwardly mobile, educated urban population. But it's also been suggested that CCTV will obtain broadcast rights for the show, after having forbidden the privately-owned companies to show them. As TeaLeafNation explains, the company that had the "exclusive rights to The Big Bang Theory.... now stands to take a large loss on licensing fees..."
If BBT is broadcast in on state television it will be severely bowdlerized. I wonder how much money it would take to reach a licensing agreement with the show's producer, who openly dissed the Chinese government when the show was yanked off the internet.
This move appears to be a clumsy attempt at cultural pushback.