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China Turned On by James Lull

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6China's New Star

Reform on prime-time television

Until River Elegy appeared on CCTV in late 1988, no television program produced in China had ever created a reaction among viewers to match the response given to the political drama, New Star (Xin Xing, pronounced 'sheen sheen'), a 12-part series that was telecast on the national network a few months prior to our arrival there in 1986. We had no knowledge of this program beforehand, but its importance became apparent to us very early during the interviewing. By the time we had talked with half a dozen families in Shanghai, our first research site, the name of the program had been mentioned spontaneously so often that we knew we had to explore the significance of the controversial show in detail. ...

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