Wang Ping is a superwoman.
It may be an exaggeration to some but the elegant and creative woman who directed the hits Super Girl and Super Boy singing contests over the past few years surely deserves the title.
Super Girl became one of the most successful TV shows in the country's history after it hit the airwaves in 2004.
"We delivered what people wanted," said the Hunan delegate to the 17th Party congress.
"Super Girl and Super Boy have provided opportunities for ordinary people to realize their dreams," she added.
Super Girl was launched on Hunan Satellite Television (HST) in 2004, and Super Boy in 2006. The shows attracted massive audience participation nationwide.
Wang pointed out several singing competitions were held on the channel before Super Girl, but none was as successful.
"I think it is mainly because audience tastes have changed significantly following the big improvement in living standards over the past two decades. A variety of programs is required to suit the tastes of different audiences" she said.
"Our channel has created a platform for the masses. We present shows on what they like," she added.
The middle-aged woman revealed that both her mother and daughter loved Super Girl but each fancied contestants other than the champion.
"I am very pleased to see it," she said, denying that the shows were modeled on such overseas programs as the American Idol.
"It is like playing the same piano. Different pianists make different tunes. We might learn from them, but we do have our identity," she said.
Asked if she felt pressure after the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television cancelled an audience-participation program produced by a Chongqing satellite channel last month, she responded: "It will not have a big impact on us. On the contrary, we think it is a protective measure to help purify the cultural environment on TV."
The hot shows have generated a fortune for HST, with annual revenue of over 1 billion yuan ($131 million) last year - behind only CCTV1 and CCTV 5.
"We never intended to compete with central TV stations. We fully understand our role as a province-level operation, and have different interests," she stressed.
Wang stated her next goal is to produce higher quality programs - documentaries, for instance - rather than just entertainment, and to show more concern for ordinary people's lives.
She mentioned the show Transformation as a good example, where children from urban and rural families change places for a certain period of time to gain different perspectives on life. "As long as a program strikes a chord with ordinary people, I think it will be popular," she said.
(China Daily 10/22/2007 page1)