China Abruptly Halts Broadcast of Palace Dramas

The last few years kickstarted a new era for Chinese palace dramas, but all things have to come to an end.

On January 26, all major Chinese stations stopped the broadcast of a few ongoing palace dramas, including the reruns of Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略> and Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace <如懿传>.

According to a statement by Chinese officials, the decision to halt the broadcast of palace dramas is due to the following five reasons: one, many citizens have grown obsessed with the royal lifestyle, such as using historical palace speech as everyday catchphrases; two, the scheming plots of palace dramas are starting to negatively impact society’s way of life; three, palace dramas have embellished the images of emperors and court officials, becoming the new “idols”; four, palace dramas promote luxurious lifestyles, conflicting with the Chinese values of hard work and virtue; and five, TV dramas now emphasize commercial interest above quality substance.

Dragon TV, which had been airing a rerun of Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace in the afternoon, now has another program to replace Ruyi’s time slot. Zhejiang TV has also taken Story of Yanxi Palace off air, replacing it with a new variety show.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Not surprised lol but tbh palace dramas is so overdone and cliche it may not be a bad things it’s banned. I have to say though that the Chinese entertainment industry has NO creativity whatsoever. it’s all superficial with no substance. Damn even TVB way back in the day did better work despite being the low budget. The industry need to use the money towards better writing /scripts

    1. @karina hahaha. they want the china chinese drama business to die ah? China only can success depends on palace drama with big budget, pretty face, pretty cloths only. I dont find they have good acting and theme song also not nice.

      TVB always produce drama with excellent theme song and good acting. The current I bet your pardon damn nice! hehehe

  2. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
    Very very funny article, the reasonings are so ridiculous.

    “the scheming plots of palace dramas are starting to negatively impact society’s way of life”

    It’s not only “palace dramas” now a days it is “every C-dramas”, I have not seen a single one these years that do not have women scheming plots.
    All the other reasonings apply to every C-dramas as well.

    The government might as well shuts down all C-dramas, not only the “palace” related ones.

  3. The Chinese get obsessed and addicted to everything. Maybe the govt should ban online games, QQ and Weibo as well…

  4. Yet somehow story of Ming Lan is still airing? Or Hao Lan story? Pretty sure these two are also scheming period drama???

    And I do agree that stopping ancient series will just kill cdrama industry, since their modern series is utter rubbish, worse than a lot of tvb’s current rubbish, you know why? Because they have to stretch a 20ep material to 40+ ep. at least tvb rubbish ends fast, unlike cdrama, slowly and still disgustingly bad.

    Currently the only nation with great dramas is Korea, their modern is just as good, and as original as it can be as with their ancient series. Or at least, when it’s not so original, they know how to touch the heart and that make it a lot better. But go on, China, keep banning this and banning that, and killing whatever originality the novel has! Or any creativity that a writer might come up with!

    1. @littlefish TSOML is actually not a palace drama. It has palace scenes but it does not revolve around the royals. There is scheming but the focus is different.

      I think the ban does not suggest that stopping all ancient dramas but instead filtering out cheap investments that have little quality or value that keep getting churned out in bulk. The plots are repetitive and predictable (I have watched the first 10 eps of Hao Lan, and the back story seems a lot similar to Lu Zhen. I worry about Yu Zheng dramas because he is more out to create hype rather than produce something nice. Occasionally he will make something good but most of the time, it is like watching three series in one with bad editing). I recently had the misfortune of watching the latest adaptation of A Step In the Past and it was horrible from acting, casting, costumes, hairstyles, sets, dialogue, etc..

      I think that China is just trying to control the quality of dramas being produced without it being swamped by masses of cheap projects that may or may not be related to money laundering activities. There has been a lot of IP projects but they don’t even follow the original story except for the names of characters.

      I am not against China for banning palace catfight dramas as long as they review what they ban. I doubt they would ban ancient court or battle dramas. I just hope they leave web series alone because some good creative stuff has been released online.

      1. @elizabeth
        TSOML is exactly Hao lan and Lu Zhen, except it’s happening very slowly. After you watched like what…about 20 episodes, then everything finally cumulates up to what already happened in the first episode of Hao Lan.
        Instead of fixing things by banning issues such as slow pace dramas, they are going to get rid of everything.

      2. @elizabeth the focus is different because it’s happen in the high ranking official’s household instead of being inside the palace??? To me, it’s still pretty much ancient series with schemings. Princess Wei-young is basically the same plot as Ming Lan, and to me, that series in every sense of it was all about schemings!

        Are you saying Ruyi was cheaply made? Or Yanxi was? Because I thought those two are far from the definition of cheaply made? Pretty sure everyone thinks so of Yu MaMa before Yanxi, however, Hao Lan cemented that he’s still as bad as before Yanxi. He will continue producing the rubbish he does before, and now and then you get a Yanxi lol

        My main problem with China’s governing body of drama is that while they are doing the censorship, did they not see how the audience got tricked? Start the story with 1 pair, and about 1/3 way through, derailed the whole story with second pair, it likes advertising and promoting the upcoming actors and actresses and killing the drama for the sake of promoting! Ban that!

      3. @littlefish yes, precisely. the settings are different, so TSOML can’t be considered a palace drama. also, TSOML is based on fictionalized characters. the confusion may be coming from the fact that the story does associate with some political figures in the palace, but it’s not the same. my guess is that the gov’t wants to remove any influence of historical figures (esp related to governance) from the public. ming lan is not based on historical figures, but princess wei-young was.

  5. What’s going to happen to the new palace dramas that are currently in production? That stinks for the actors/actresses involved.

    1. @coralie that’s why web drama is so popular, it’s literally the Back door to break every rules they gave out. Sure, they are tightening up the rule, but I’m sure they will find a way >_>

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