CCTV to Broadcast “Healthy” Version of “The Big Bang Theory”

Leonard and Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory.

Leonard and Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory.

From NetEase:

The Big Bang Theory To Be Imported by CCTV, Translations to Reject the “Three Vulgars”

The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady that premiered on the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS) on 2007 September 24. The show is produced by Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre Productions, telling the story of 4 nerd scientists, renewed for a fifth season in 2011. In 2009 August, the show won the best comedy series Television Critics Association (TCA) award, with Jim Parsons also winning the individual achievement award. At present, the show has already been renewed for a seventh season, and has already successfully broken 20 million viewers.

The Big Bang Theory became very popular after it was broadcasted on the [Chinese] internet. Viewers are primarily university students and white-collar workers, and in order to satisfy the demands of the viewing masses, China Central Television (CCTV) has decided to import the show and have the CBM Film and Television Translation Agency handle the translations. CBM Film and Television Translation Agency has responded to the call of the State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television [SARFT] to reject film and television entertainment of the “three vulgar” variety [refers to three Chinese words for “vulgar”, “庸俗、低俗、媚俗”]; conform to the goals of translating accurately, flexibly, and elegantly; and maintain the jocular humor of The Big Bang Theory carefully and as much as possible, to bring an uplifting, healthy, and green The Big Bang Theory to the viewing masses.

At present, The Big Bang Theory is undergoing ordered translation and production, and the viewing masses shall soon see it on the CCTV channel.

Comments from NetEase:

网易浙江省杭州市手机网友 ip:122.225.*.*:

Disgusting, who wants to watch your “healthy” version?

网易山东省手机网友 ip:27.208.*.*:

What the fuck! Truly shameless! You and your healthy version can fuck off. You CCAV are all motherfucking dog shit!

网易重庆市手机网友 ip:123.147.*.*:

“>Those who absolutely won’t watch CCTV’s version, ding me!

网易贵州省铜仁市手机网友 ip:119.1.*.*:

The best is still the original flavor of the original English.

呀哑吖呸 [网易上海市网友]:

How is Sheldon [The Big Bang Theory] not healthy? What’s left worth watching in a CCAV-edited version?


From Phoenix Online:

CCTV Plans to Import American TV Show The Big Bang Theory, Will Broadcast Edited/Censored Version

Beijing News — Last weekend, American TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife were one after another taken down from many video websites. The great majority of netizens were confused and had misgivings over these American shows “being banned”, especially The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom about “nerds” that is both lively and possesses a function of popularizing scientific knowledge.

Today, this Beijing News reporter has verified that CCTV is currently doing translation work related to the first season of The Big Bang Theory. According to a CCTV representative, CCTV’s “Original Soundtrack” CCTV8 channel has plans to import the first season of The Big Bang Theory, and that the subtitles for the first season have already been completed.

With regards to The Big Bang Theory being “taken down” last weekend, this representative indicated not being aware of this matter, and that the version to be broadcasted on CCTV is a censored “green version”. “We’ve cut out some things, so there won’t be any content that is inappropriate.” With regards to exactly when The Big Bang Theory will be broadcasted as well as whether or not the show being “taken down” from online video sites will affect CCTV’s broadcast plans, this representative indicated that it is unable to be certain at the moment.

Related Information

80% of American TV shows may be banned, the taking down of The Big Bang Theory wasn’t without warning

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On April 26, many netizens reported that The Big Bang Theory sitcom that is already on its seventh season has been taken down. Apart from this, other popular American TV shows such as The Good Wife, NCIS, and The Practice have also been taken off the entire internet [from their official Chinese online outlets], with the webpages they were taken down from showing: “We’re sorry, due to [government] policy reasons, we are temporarily unable to provide viewing service”. On the 27th, Huaxi Metropolis Daily reporter separately contacted the video websites that had the broadcasting rights to the American shows, and they replied: “It has been carried out in strict adherence to government regulations.”

With regards to the sudden taking down of the American TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory, media reported “this wasn’t without any warning.” As it turns out, as early as March 19th, state news published the “Notice of Strengthening the Management of Internet Shows, Microfilms, and Other Online Audio-Visual Programming” published by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television [SARFT]. The notice primarily stressed the principle of “first auditing then broadcasting”, with the text indicating: Any movie or TV show that is within the purview of SARFT but has not obtained a “Public Screening Authorization for Film” or “Distribution/Broadcasting Authorization for TV Shows” may not be broadcasted on the internet. According to the notice, the American and British TV shows purchased by websites must “first be audited, then broadcasted”, and for organizations who broadcast in violation of the regulations, SARFT will impose punishments such as warnings, injunctions, and fines in accordance with the “Regulations on Online Audio-Visual Programming Service”. Media commented that under such policies, 80% of the American TV shows currently on websites will be taken down. (Content sourced from : Huaxi Metropolis Daily)

Inappropriate content leads to Euro-American TV shows being blocked, Japanese and Korean TV shows may be boosted

In recent years, Euro-American TV shows have been warmly received by Chinese netizens, and have also become a primary area where internet websites compete for licensing/broadcasting rights. Popular shows like The Big Bang Theory, House of Cards, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have also seen strong efforts at simultaneous broadcast with American TV channels.

Ms. Zeng spoke frankly: “With The Big Bang Theory as an example, if classic popular TV shows like this are not quickly restored to being viewable, it will definitely result in loss of users. For online video streaming sites, the loss of users means the loss of advertisers, and in the end means the loss of money needed to eat [survive].” For Youku and Sohu, their plans to use American TV shows to revive/rejuvenate themselves will also be fruitless.

Analysts point out that Euro-American TV shows increasingly have a competitive advantage in terms of attracting users, but because of problems regarding [differences in] cultural norms and inappropriate content, they have consistently been under censorship and public opinion pressure. In accordance with the implementation of new policy, the pace of video websites bringing in Euro-American TV shows may slow, with some shows with inappropriate content possibly unable to pass auditing/censorship, so video websites may consider shifting to buying Japanese and Korean TV shows or even more domestic TV shows. (Content sourced from: Beijing Business Today)

Comments from Phoenix Online:

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Inappropriate content is just an excuse. It isn’t a content issue, but an ideological issue. The prohibition of broadcasting American TV shows can only reflect those the fear of those people [government censors]. They are afraid of the people becoming increasingly knowledgeable [aware, critical] of society and truth. They don’t want the people’s increasing awareness to disturb their vested interests. True American TV show fans would rather sit there staring blanking than go watch those mentally retarded Korean dramas.


I won’t watch the castrated versions. If I’m going to watch, I’m going to watch the complete versions.


Let the market determine what survives, don’t excessively interfere! If [such shows] did not make money, were not good to watch, and could not be broadcasted, those video websites would not provide them, right?! So, let go, we’re all adults!


The Big Bang Theory tells of four young scientists who due to mistakenly throwing themselves into capitalistic scientific research professions have ultimately resulted in them being unmarried at an old age, unable to afford purchasing a home, squeezed long-term into an apartment no larger than 150 square meters, surviving off junk food. There’s also the wretched image of an Indian with a speech impediment who sits long-term on the ground eating. This profoundly shows how Western society is racist, has social inequality, and the reality of their females degenerate sex lives which serves as a strong warning for the large number of blind youths in our country seeking to emigrate there.


“Three vulgars”? Talk about only allowing government officials to have relationships with multiple women and not allowing the ordinary common people to watch television.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • It’s a shame all this controversy about freedom of speech and censorship is being pegged to such a mediocre show. I wish all this publicity were being diverted to a halfway decent show like [insert your favorite U.S. show here].

    • Ale Jandro

      Breaking Bad!

  • steviewah

    I sure in the “healthy” version, there will be a random Japanese guy getting split in half by Sheldon.

    • bprichard

      I’m not sure I’d object to that. Big Bang Theory could stand to be a bit more Dadaist.

    • Zappa Frank

      i heard if you do it once a day you can live longer…really helathy. you also have to drink in while the nuts’ juice of an endangered specie, more is endangered and longer you live.

  • chandlerpatrick

    Yes, because the guys on the Big Bang Theory are heathens. Dirty, vile, filthy, loud-mouthed, slobs, with potty humor that a 14 year would cringe at.
    Sorry, I had them confused with with the table of dirty, vile, filthy, loud-mouthed, slobs sitting across from me at dinner the other day… (perhaps something more censor-worthy?)
    Give me a break. What a waste of resources. Translate the thing, and air it. Done. Do they really think that western media is going to influence people in really bad ways? Yes, they do. Are they wasting time and resources fighting a loosing battle? Yes, they are. Could they use the time and resources on more important issues? Yes, they could. Will they? You bet your ass they won’t.

  • Kevin

    My favorite episode was the one where Penny and Leonard got into an argument about the Nanjing Massacre. Stupid blonde thinks it didn’t happen! I bet she drives a Japanese car too.

    • Zappa Frank

      Leonard drive a Saab that now is chinese.. that’s healthy. Penny’s car is always broken, must be japanese.. that’s healthy too.

      • hess

        Saab is Swedish and all the new cars are made by NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden). BAIC just bought the technology to some old platforms

        • Zappa Frank

          ok seems i read something wrong, i thought the saab was now chinese. Still proud owner of a 9-3

          • moldavidian

            I’ve read that SAAB was recently bought out by a company in Qingdao but i haven’t seen anything here to suggest it’s true. Only a silver 93 and a black 9000. If it’s true, i hope they bring back the old 900s.

          • hess

            The city of Qingdao owns a part of nevs (not a majority), the company that makes SAAB these days. And it looks like theyre gonna produce electric saabs there. And in my opinion, the latest 9-3’s and 9-5’s are waay prettier than the old 900’s and 9000’s

          • moldavidian

            Too bad the streets of Qingdao are already much too crowded now… i wouldn’t mind having an electric SAAB. In my opinion, the older SAABs had more character.

          • Kai

            Definitely pretty, unfortunately FWD.

          • hess

            They’re FWD for a reason though, it’s way better in snow.

          • Kai

            True, understeer better than oversteer and all that, especially for the vast majority of people. I’m just being an RWD (and AWD I guess) snob.

          • linette lee

            Poor SAAB. IT’s owner is Chinese company. There goes your inspection.

    • Jahar

      That stupid idiot! We should kill her!

    • KStyleBlue

      Could you link the episode? Share the laughs.

      • It was a joke. That is a guess of what the content of the “healthy” version will have.

  • Rick in China

    I’m most curious to see the ‘edited out’ clips, and see what they are calling vulgar.. that’ll be the only amusing part of this whole debacle.

  • nqk123

    just like i suspected. private companies online streaming services taking too much profits from state broadcast. can’t have that happen

  • Zappa Frank

    for a healthy version i guess it means they will stop to eat so much thai food, pizza, and so on, and for once they will cook their own food. That would be healthy.

  • mr.wiener

    …..Words fail me.

    • moldavidian

      How about, “Is the Chinese government really such a joke?”

      • mr.wiener

        If it is I’m not laughing.

        • Surfeit

          I can see it now, one day they just jump out from behind a curtain, take off their Chinese face masks and we have before us Gandhi, Mandela, and… I duno, Bill Clinton. “Hey guys, it was just for kicks!” There really is no great firewall or Red Army! Hong Kong is a free state and Tibet is the new Disney World.”

          The blank, collapsed looks on our faces.
          Aww, if only.

  • tomoe723

    “The best is still the original flavor of the original English.”

    Duhhh, seriously? This “healthy version” is just an excuse to steal the rights for broadcast and let CCTV ONLY broadcast the show. I’m betting the “healthy version” is no more different than what was shown on youku, sohu, tencent/qq video. I mean, what else is there to make healthy in TBBT?

  • Surfeit

    “…and the viewing masses shall soon see it on the CCTV channel.”

    Sounds like something straight out of an Orwell novel.

  • mr.wiener

    Donscarletti was right.

    “What they did with Google worked well, just blocking it some of it some of the time, randomly drop connections to it for a minute, then let them through again.
    Three years ago Chinese loved Google and people in the technology based industries used it more than Baidu. Now, almost nobody uses it and nobody wants to either, since after using it for half an hour in China you’d swear it was a poorly engineered piece of shit”

    • IsurvivedChina

      so true of most things in china.

    • Rick in China

      Isn’t that the best strategy for breaking up with women?

      “just blocking it some of it some of the time, randomly drop connections to it for a minute, then let them through again.”

  • Kai

    I’m still pretty confused by what’s going on and wondering if different things are getting mixed up with each other. Some reports suggest the shows were taken down because of the policy previously announced but it’s not clear why these shows ran afoul of the new policy but not others that are still on the video sites. This particular report above suggests TBBT was taken down cuz CCTV wants to be the one to broadcast it but what about the three other shows?

    Granted, the CCTV rep doesn’t say CCTV’s plan to broadcast TBBT is necessarily related to it being among the shows taken down online, but there is still a lot of conjecture going on that only demonstrates that audiences and the market have no idea what’s going on, which means the government failed at communicating what’s going on despite some saying they have. If we buy the argument that the government announced its intentions last month, no one can figure out what is common between these four shows and the other shows that ostensibly should be subject to the new policy but still remain online.

  • Mahmet Tokarev

    Why was The Good Wife taken down? Did one of the characters criticize the Chinese Communist Party? Do they just hate Julianna Margulies as much as I do?

    • Surfeit

      Do you hate something specifically about Julianna Margulies? Or is it a vibe thing?

      • Mahmet Tokarev

        In 1998 Julianna Margulies dented my preowned Acura Legend in a parking lot. I looked her straight in the eye as she drove away, without leaving a note.

        • Dr Sun

          did you take her to court ?

  • Stefan

    What’s wrong with a healthy version?

    Is it a good thing to swear and say sex-related jokes?

    • Rick in China

      Comedy never involved sex-related jokes. I agree with you there!

      But…to swear? Gosh, I don’t know, honestly I’d like to see where in “The Big Bang Theory” there are lots of swear words. Are you just posting for the sake of posting or do you actually watch the show, and have empirical evidence to support the vulgarity as suggested?

      • Guang Xiang

        Don’t you know ‘bazinga’ is offensive!?

        • Rick in China

          In the last episode, I believe, he did use “the M word reserved for extreme situations that call for it”… malarkey!

          • mr.wiener

            .”Malarkey”!!….But that means your mother does the the nasty in Chinese!

      • MonkeyMouth

        “Coming up next on CCTV…the Don Knotts Film Festival!”

  • don mario

    time to riot!