Click to return to the home page


Seattle
Home Menu Navigation

Find cars for sale and more!
Auto Classifieds
Sell Your Car
Find Used Cars
$9.95 Internet
My Specials Direct
Dating Center

   Log In
   Register
   Account Info
Newsletters
My-Cast
Palm/PDA Info.
Water Cooler News
       Off-beat news from the NW and beyond
In China, being a couch potato could lead to payday

Viewers of new game show in Shanghai eligible for cash prizes

12/19/2002

Associated Press

SHANGHAI, China – Who wants to be a millionaire? Pretty much everyone in China, and communist leaders are urging them on. Now, the latest Chinese game show is offering treasure-seeking citizens a novel path to the riches their government is encouraging – the chance to win cash simply by watching TV.

Everyone Wins, unveiled Wednesday in the booming city of Shanghai, is billed by its creators as the first TV quiz show in the world that enriches viewers as well as contestants.

The show, which debuts on New Year's Day in Shanghai, looks familiar enough: Seven players in a studio compete for cash prizes by answering questions on everything from history to science.
*
AP
The government is trying to get Chinese excited about Everyone Wins. Viewers who can match a "lucky number" could collect up to $500.

But there's a twist, which executives at Shanghai Oriental Television say they hope will prove irresistible to viewers in this money-mad city of 17 million.

At show's end, the final digit of each player's score will be strung together to form a seven-digit "lucky number." Although producers didn't spell out details at a news conference, they said viewers who can match all or part of it with any personal number – a home phone number, an official ID, a utility bill, even a car license plate – will collect up to $500.

That's about four months' salary, even by the standards of China's wealthiest city.

"People in Shanghai are going to like this," predicted Teng Junjie, an executive director at Shanghai Oriental Television.

Shanghai, mainland China's financial capital, is an apt location for launching a show that markets the enthusiasm of greed to the masses.

The unremitting construction of shining skyscrapers and shopping malls in this former hotbed of communist radicalism attests to its single-minded focus on higher standards of living – a mind-set Chinese leaders want to spread across the land.

"To get rich is glorious," the late supreme leader Deng Xiaoping proclaimed in the 1970s when he abandoned China's experiment with communist utopianism for the profit motive. Those have been the nation's marching orders ever since.

Rising living standards have helped keep the Communist Party in power despite popular resentment over corruption and the 1989 killings of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Deng's wisdom was reaffirmed last month at the party's congress, where President Jiang Zemin – whose legacy is based on building the nation by making money – promised to lift most of China's 1.3 billion people into a low middle-class lifestyle by 2020.

And middle-class lifestyle means, among other things, more television viewers.

As China's increasingly market-driven economy put TVs into more homes, quiz shows followed. The first appeared in the 1980s, primitive productions that offered TVs and washing machines but no cash.

Nowadays, the most popular are slickly produced imitations of foreign programs. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? spawned China's Happy Dictionary, while The Weakest Link has become The Grand Testing Arena for Wealth.

Arena produced the highest prize ever taken home by a player in China – $26,000, according to the government's Xinhua News Agency.

China is far from alone in its embrace of quiz shows and their unabashed enthusiasm for avarice. Versions of The Weakest Link have appeared in more than 70 countries. But in one of the world's last communist regimes, there are those who fret about this latest foray into capitalist debauchery.

"While quiz shows give a lucky few sudden wealth, they also end up creating a television culture in which consumption and money are supreme," the official news agency Xinhua warned in an editorial two weeks ago.

Ordinary Chinese are more mellow.

"Quiz shows are the most fun programs on television because the contestants get excited and rowdy, and audiences feel a sense of participating," said Lisa Hong, a Shanghai resident shopping for television sets at a downtown mall.

Everyone Wins pushes that participation to a new level with a slick production that enlists the help of foreign experts.

The producer, Hong Kong-based Robert Chua, is a Singaporean executive who also founded China Entertainment Television, a 24-hour Chinese-language family channel. The show fits Shanghai perfectly, Mr. Chua says, because of the city's enthusiasm for new ideas – particularly those that prove enriching.

Search KING5.com


More
Calif. county debates return of famed Twain frog
Old mufflers turned into artwork
Married judges take oaths
Punch-card ballots given away
World champion liar spins steel wool tale




printer Printer Version Email to a Friend Discuss in Forums
Contact Us Terms Privacy Advertising Site Map About Us
©2003 Belo Interactive, Inc.
 Traffic | Autos
 Calendar
 Entertain. |  Music
 Food
 Home and Garden
 Lotteries
 Travel
 Video Gaming
 Evening Magazine
 HealthLink
 Newslinks/Recalls
 NW Backroads
 Garden w/Ciscoe
 Up Front
 TV Schedule
  Local News

  America at War

  Education

  Environment

  Investigators

  KING 5 Specials

  Legally Speaking

  Nat'l/World News

  NW News

  Pets/Animals

  Politics

  Water Cooler
  Business Home

  Aviation News

  Motley Fool

  Personal Tech.

  Tax Center

  Your Money
  Weather Home

  5 day Forecast

  Burn Ban

  Current Cond.

  Husky Stadium

  Live Cams

  Live Doppler

  My Cast

  Pollen

  Precipitation Map

  SAFECO Field

  Satellite

  SchoolNet

  Seahawks Stad.

  Weather Pix
  Sports Home

  College/NCAA

  Mariners/MLB

  NASCAR/Racing

  NBA

  NHL

  NW Golf | Tiger

  Seahawks/NFL

  Ski Reports

  Soccer

  Sonics/Storm

  Tennis

  Thunderbirds