Filmart 2012: China’s CCTV Documentary Channel Announces Slate of Documentary Series

The channel, also known as CCTV-9, was established in January 2011 with Chinese and English versions.


HONG KONG - China’s CCTV Documentary channel announces new documentary series to be produced with its international partners the National Geographic Channel, and the BBC; as well as its solely produced projects in 2012.

The channel, also known as CCTV-9, was established in January 2011 with Chinese and English versions. The domestic version of the channel has an audience of 660 million in China; the international version is available in 60 countries and territories, making it the fastest growing channel in China, where CCTV monopolizes the market. CCTV-9 has created partnerships with the National Geographic Channel, the BBC, and U.K.’s ITV to co-produce documentaries.

A series on the space program in China, to be co-produced with the National Geographic Channel, is in the works for 2013. The series will focus on the lives of the Chinese astronauts.

The channel will co-produce with the British Museum a project titled China in the Eyes of the World to complement a China exhibition at the National Museum of China, curated by the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

It will also produce Himalayan Gold Rush with French documentary producer Kwanza, the six-part series Tea: A Leaf that Changed the World with the National Geographic Channel; and a behind the scenes look at the most-watched television program in China, titled Behind the CCTV Spring Festival Gala.

The channel is also co-producing with the BBC the three-parter Generation Earth, and the five-part series Wonders of Life.

“The documentary filmmakers in China make films about what interests only them, so the films have little appeal overseas,” CCTV Documentary Channel managing director Liu Wen told The Hollywood Reporter.

The documentary channel is unveiling its latest finished production The Forbidden City 100, a 10 million RMB production on the imperial palace in Beijing, focusing on every detail within the world heritage site in 100 episodes.

“With our collaboration with foreign television networks, we hope to make documentaries that might help viewers understand China better. The documentaries will present facts about China, and let the audience judge for themselves their own perception of China,” Liu said.