ROAD TO BEIJING, an Olympics series


The Hollywood Reporter's rundown of what's what in the run up to China's first Olympics.

Beijing Olympics, a boom or bust for China-based producers?
By Maria Trombly and Karen Chu
April 25, 2008
SHANGHAI / HONG KONG - Whatever you think of mixing international sports with China's politics, the Beijing Olympic Games could prove a 17-day coming out party for the country's media and entertainment industry. Local production companies are furiously readying to capitalize if a boom materializes. More

Unrest means uneasy spring for China
By Steven Schwankert
March 28, 2008
BEIJING -- March this year came in like a lion in China, as some of the worst weather in a century closed roads in 13 provinces, causing chaos and stranding 600,000 at the nation's largest rail hub. Waiting outside, people died of exposure. This wasn't the modern, polished image China wanted to show the world during the run-up to the Summer Olympics. More

Digital coverage is a world-beater for the new era
By Pip Bulbeck and Kate Bulkley
Feb 22, 2008
SYDNEY / LONDON - If leading broadcasters around the world have it right, the Beijing Olympics will be ground zero for a new era in high-tech global sports coverage. Plans are afoot among some of the most competitive broadcasters in the world to make these Games the target of the most intensive new-media barrage ever seen at an international event. More

NBC Uni sharpens Olympic game
By Paul J. Gough
Feb. 22, 2008
NEW YORK - NBC Universal is planning an ambitious mix of technology to blanket the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. There will be upward of 3,600 hours of live coverage of the Games, not only on NBC and its portfolio of cable channels but also VOD, online and mobile through its platforms and through its strategic partnerships with Microsoft, AT&T and MSOs, satellite providers and telcos. More

Western broadcasters taking pains to smooth China experience
By Pip Bulbeck and Scott Roxborough
Dec 21, 2007
SYDNEY / COLOGNE - Certain horrifying prospects come to mind as the West gets ready to descend on Beijing to cover the 2008 Olympic Games. Imagine someone like "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Larry David ending up in Beijing stumbling through one social gaffe after another like he does on his home turf of Los Angeles in the award-winning series. More

Cautionary China tale for foreign journalists

By Jonathan Landreth
Dec. 21, 2007
BEIJING - On the ground in the Chinese capital, the most obvious place for visiting journalists to turn for advice is to the veteran Chinese news assistants who help foreign correspondents get stories. After a little exposure to the openness of Western media, many work with a strong desire to bridge the gap between China and their employers, who are responsible for shaping world opinion of the Middle Kingdom. More

China readies 'harmonious society' for Olympic guests

By Richard Trombly
Nov. 16, 2007
SHANGHAI - It's called hexie shehui, or "harmonious society," and these days the phrase is ringing from the hillsides as China seeks to portray itself in a kinder, gentler light in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The concept, the embodiment of the image the government hopes to present to the world, is infusing every action, right down to the name chosen for the torch relay: the "journey of harmony." More

NBC Uni prps expanded Olympics coverage

By Paul J. Gough
Oct. 19, 2007
NEW YORK -- By the time NBC Universal broadcasts the closing ceremony of next year's Summer Olympics, it will have provided more coverage from Beijing in a little more than two weeks than the total of all the Olympics since 1960. Ever since 2000, NBC Uni has used its broadcast and cable platforms to provide hours of Olympics coverage day and night. More

Cooperation, patience keys to working in China

By Steve Brennan
Sept. 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Green slime was very much top of mind for producer Tom Lynch as he sat down one early morning in Beijing for a rare meeting with the president of children's programming at Chinese broadcaster CCTV. Lynch, a Los Angeles-based creator and producer of teen shows, was in China to produce the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Honors. He was determined to get to the bottom of the slime issue one way or the other, regardless of protocol. More

Beijing sees Olympics as shot at gold

By Jonathan Landreth
August 17, 2007
BEIJING -- Will it rain on Beijing's parade? That's the big question as Chinese authorities gird themselves for the nation's most ambitious extravaganza on the world stage. With 12,000 TV professionals expected to descend on China's capital a year from now to deliver the coverage to an anticipated 4 billion viewers worldwide, a lot more is at stake than a few medals. For China, the games could prove that a decade of double-digit economic growth has brought with it progress greater than the sum of the country's booming commercial parts. More