China Bans 4 TV Shows Including "The Big Bang Theory" And "NCIS" On Streaming Sites

China did not give a reason as to why authorities ordered streaming video websites nationwide to stop showing "The Big Bang Theory", "The Good Wife", "NCIS" and "The Practice".

Cover image via vayagif.com

Chinese Authorities Have Ordered Video Streaming Websites In The Country To Stop Showing "The Big Bang Theory", "The Practice", "The Good Wife" And "NCIS"

Tim McGee of TV show 'NCIS'.

Image via Tumblr

Chinese authorities have ordered video streaming websites in the country to stop showing four popular American TV shows, including "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife," representatives from two sites said Sunday.


A Spokeswoman For A Leading Online Video Site Said It Had Received Notification On Saturday, 26 April 2014, To Not Show The 4 U.S. Television Shows

A spokeswoman for a leading online video site, Youku, said it had received notification on Saturday not to show sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," political and legal drama "The Good Wife," crime drama "NCIS" and legal drama "The Practice." Of those, Youku showed only "The Good Wife."


NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts criminal investigations involving the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Image via NCIS

'The Good Wife' focuses on Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), whose husband Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), a former Cook County state's attorney, has been jailed following a very public sex and corruption scandal.

Image via The Good Wife

'The Big Bang Theory' is primarily centered on five characters living in Pasadena, California.

Image via BBT

'The Practice' focused on the law firm of Robert Donnell and Associates (later becoming Donnell, Young, Dole, & Frutt, and ultimately Young, Frutt, & Berluti).

Image via The Practice

The State Administration Of Press, Publication, Radio, Film And Television (SAPPRFT) Didn't Give A Reason For Its Order

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television didn't give a reason for its order, said the spokeswoman for a leading online video site, who couldn't be named because of company policy.


A Senior Manager At Another Site Said It Received The Surprise Order Last Week To "Clean Their Website"

'The Big Bang Theory' ordered off streaming sites by Chinese authorities.

Image via Ng Han Guan/AP

A senior manager at another site, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said it received the surprise order last week to "clean their website." The order, which was identical to the one sent to Youku and other companies, also listed a Chinese slapstick miniseries made by another site, Sohu, as having to be removed, said the manager.


Calls To The State Administration Of Press, Publication, Radio, Film And Television (SAPPRFT) Rang Unanswered Sunday, 27 April 2014

Calls to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television rang unanswered Sunday, and Sohu did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Online Streaming Sites Regularly Receive Orders To Take Down Chinese Or Foreign TV Programs And Movies, But Usually Because The Regulator Considers Them Too Salacious Or Violent Or Because They Infringe Copyright Laws

Sohu’s (online streaming site) most popular US shows are crime drama Nikita — episodes from the first and second seasons have been watched a combined total of 472 million times — and Masters of Sex, which weren’t included in the order.


"SAPPRFT Truly Is Currently Actively Studying A Set Of Plans To Specifically Manage Imported Shows On The Internet," Said Spenser Wang, Director Of Government Cooperation At The Streaming Site iQiyi

In recent years, American shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” and Netflix’s “House of Cards” have found avid online audiences in China, particularly among the growing middle class. With plenty of violence, superstition and scandal — all themes Chinese government censors frown upon — these shows would most likely never have made it onto Chinese television.


But through the Internet, where censorship of online videos is looser than on TV, they have gained millions of fans through video websites that legally license the shows. And the government has taken note.


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