December 8, 2007
|Vietnamese confused over gameshow frenzy|
|16:51′ 07/12/2007 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese TV audiences are now sick of international gameshows and want something more domestically inclined.
8pm to 9pm is considered the “golden hour” of television and is reserved for imported gameshows. The national VTV3 channel devotes its gold hour five days a week to imported gameshows, for example Brainpower Battle on Monday, Who Wants to be a Millionaire on Tuesday, The Price is Right on Wednesday, The Last Passenger on Thursday and Music Game on Friday. Most of these games were bought from overseas television channels.
Local channels have their own gameshows. For instance, HCM City Television has over ten, Hanoi Television has three and Hai Phong Television has four. Many of these are similar, however and as so many are on each day, audiences are fed up with them.
For foreign gameshows, local TV producers have to Vietnamise them. Some gameshows are successfully localized so they are welcomed by Vietnamese viewers, for example Music Game, Guessing Words through Pictures, etc. However, some of them are unpopular because they do not correlate Vietnamese culture, i.e., The Last Passenger on VTV3.
There is a serious shortage of made-in-Vietnam gameshows. VTV and HTV, Vietnam’s two largest stations, broadcast around 40 gameshows a week but just a few of them are Vietnamese based.
VTV has exerted efforts to design local gameshows, such as Student 96, Inter-provincial Games, From Eyes to Heart, Seven Colours of the Rainbow, At Home on Sunday, Cultural Itinerary, etc., but these games have gradually disappeared and are replaced by imported gameshows.
It is the same for local TV channels, for example, Hanoi’s Joyfulness with Artists, HCM City’s Green bamboo, Binh Duong’s Vietnam – My Country, etc. The oldest locally based gameshow is At Home on Sunday with a nine year run.
(Source: Kinh Te & Do Thi)
November 6, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Just in time for Saturday’s Veterans Day holiday, WQED’s “Black Horizons” host Chris Moore revisits his past as a veteran for “In Country: A Vietnam Story” (8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, WQED-TV).
Moore, a native of Little Rock, Ark., left college to join the U.S. Army, becoming a member of the 46th Engineers, 20th Engineering brigade, responsible for building roads half a world away during the Vietnam War.
“I was a country kid,” he said. “I had been in college two-and-a-half years and I was muddling around. There was talk about getting drafted, so I joined the service to see what that was all about. To guys [over there] who were worldwise, who knew what life was like in the streets, here I was coming, going, ‘Woo hoo! Look at that!'”
As an Army private, he was taken under the wing of LeRoy Perry, the platoon sergeant, and Specialist 5th Class Andrew Boone.
“They’re five years older than me and said, ‘Come here, fool, before you get killed,’ ” Moore recalls of the old friends who joined him for the return visit to Vietnam that “In Country” documents. “They’re like my big brothers.”
Moore made the journey after urging from Tony Accamando, one of the members of the local charity Friends of Danang, which raises funds for humanitarian projects near Danang, Vietnam.
“He gently encouraged me to make that trip back with them to Vietnam as part of the healing process for all the veterans who went through that war experience. I listened to him for a couple of years politely and he continued to gently prod, and finally I thought it was a good idea,” Moore said. “But he always said, ‘Don’t go alone. Go with somebody you were there with.'”
After writing a proposal and securing underwriting for the film from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Moore made the trip with his two friends. Moore, Perry and Boone join members of Friends of Danang half-way through the hour, including Noreen Doloughty, a former Post-Gazette employee, whose father was killed in Vietnam when she was an infant.
“It’s not a travelogue, it’s a personal story, as most of my documentaries are,” Moore said. “It’s a personal essay of three men going back and confronting their past and coming to peace with it.”
The program was filmed in high-definition video by a crew of five that included producer Minette Seate and Darryl Ford-Williams, WQED’s vice president of production.
“Talk about an excellent opportunity to launch our local high definition [programming],” Ford-Williams said. “We shot in a place with the richest colors and most beautiful sights I’ve seen.”
Moore said he knows not every veteran will agree with sentiments about the futility of war — even a young, pre-Vietnam Moore was a hawkish adherent to the Domino Theory — so he keeps politics and parallels to Iraq out of the new film.
“We tried to avoid comparisons,” he said. “I think there might be one place where I say I wonder what it was worth now that America is Vietnam’s largest trading partner, but we didn’t want to make it a real political statement.”
Instead the film tracks the three men and their reaction to revisiting the past, including Moore’s own memories of his self-described racist reaction to the Vietnamese. When he realized he was doling out the same treatment he sometimes received at the hands of others back home, Moore said he knew a change in his own mind-set was in order.
“That’s when I started wondering, ‘What the hell are we doing?'” he said. “That’s when I started to question the futility of war. And I still question it today. There’s got to be a better way to solve our problems.”
(TV editor Rob Owen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2582. Ask TV questions at www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A.)
June 23, 2006
|15:48' 22/06/2006 (GMT+7)|
The life of one of Vietnam's most outstanding intelligence agents Hoang Minh Dao (1923-1969) will be portrayed in the series Con Duong Sang (Bright Way), scheduled to be shot at the end of this month.
Born in the northern province of Quang Ninh, Dao (real name Dao Phuc Loc) had a harsh childhood. He was kicked out of his home by his stepmother and his father, a drunken merchant, who was always away from home and could do nothing to help him and his sisters.
Later, after working as a revolutionary liaison Dao became head of the army intelligence office of the military committee of the resistance force against the French in 1946.
He later held important positions of the resistance force during the first and second Indochina wars, including Commissar of the Special Task Force in Sai Gon (former name of HCM City).
Dao's family could not find his tomb, located by the Vam Co Dong River in the southern province of Dong Nai, until 30 years after his death in 1969. The details of his life remain fairly sketchy, even though the country has been united for 31 years.
"Dao's life is worth praising," said war veteran Pham Dan, Dao's comrade.
The film director Pham Viet Thanh, who started to study the secret agent's life four years ago, said the more he learned about Dao the more he wanted to make a film of his life.
The ten-episode series is based on the memories of Dao's children and comrades. These sources are an advantage but also a challenge for the filmmaker.
"Some of Dao's comrades, now retired senior army officers and officials, are advisors to the film. That means I have to try my best to make the film as true to life as possible to meet the living witnesses' expectations," Thanh said.
He went further to say that the series Bright Way was a full portrait of the secret man since his childhood.
"I will not make Dao out to be a hero at birth. He had a life like many others that included happiness, sorrow, loss, and loneliness."
Young actor Xuan Bac was chosen to play Dao because apart from sharing a similar appearance the director believes Bac is a talented actor who can express the sophisticated emotions of the secret service man.
Bright Way will be completed in six months and will be televised on Hanoi Television as well as local television stations throughout the country. The film is a joint production of the Hanoi Audio Visual Company and Quang Ninh Television.
(Source: Viet Nam News)
March 15, 2006
Forget the white-bread ’80s MTV. Now MTV Chi and other outlets cater to Asian Americans.
– Jeff Chang, Special to The Chronicle
Friday, February 24, 2006
On a recent afternoon in the darkened basement conference room of the Chinatown Community Development Center, 10 San Francisco teens are gathered around a noisy little box to watch MTV’s newest incarnation, MTV Chi, a channel designed strictly for them, young Chinese Americans.
Queena Chen, a 16-year-old from Burton High School, hates “24,” loves “Malcolm in the Middle” and can tell you what happened on each of the “CSI” episodes last week. Jake Nguyen, a 17-year-old student at Washington High, keeps three Xanga blogs and a Myspace account, and watches TV online. The group’s musical tastes are intriguingly eclectic — hip-hop, R&B, alternative, K-Pop (Korean pop), J-Pop (Japanese pop), Vietnamese pop. They know where to tune in to the hottest Cantopop on local radio (and won’t hesitate to call you “vintage” for calling it Cantopop) and, like generations of Asian Americans before them, they know the names of every token Asian actor or actress on network TV.
They and their other ethnic Asian American peers have quietly become the target audience for a growing number of media outlets, including Imaginasian TV, AZN TV, American Desi and MTV. “Asian Americans are the third-largest ethnic group in the country. They happen to be the fastest-growing group in the U.S.,” says Nusrat Durrani, the 45-year-old general manager/senior vice president of MTV World. “More importantly, though, it’s a very influential audience. It’s the most educated, it’s also the most tech-savvy, and it is an underserved audience.”
To fill the gap in the market, the past two years have seen a flurry of firsts. In August 2004, Imaginasian TV became the first 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Asian American channel. Comcast soon followed, transforming its International Channel into the primarily English-language AZN TV. American Desi, aimed at South Asian Americans, premiered in December 2004 on the Dish Network. Durrani’s efforts at MTV World include MTV Desi, which launched in July, and Chi, which launched Dec. 6. MTV K, for Korean Americans, will premiere later this year, and a fourth channel is in development.
What distinguishes these startups from the average network venture is a sense of urgency. Emily Chang, a 27-year-old Imaginasian executive and the network’s main “face” as the host of “The Lounge,” says the network is about “giving a voice to Asian America.” It’s a mission she continues from her previous stint as a member of the fiery, acclaimed Pan-Asian spoken-word group I Was Born With Two Tongues.
“This is not just the next new promising market of people of high income or something,” she says. “We’ve gone through those very experiences of being Asian American and not being able to see Asian American faces on TV reflected. There is no one who is going to provide this to our kids unless we do it ourselves.”
During the ’80s, an MTV commercial showed the network’s logo as a sandwich cut in the shape of its distinctive “M,” loaded with mayo, mustard, mystery meat and tomatoes, then ketchup-squirted with its “TV.” It made sense. Back then, the network was pretty much white bread. Twenty-five years later, MTV is on the menu in 429 million homes in 169 countries on every continent. “We have made it our business to connect with young people in their language and tell their stories around the world,” says Durrani. “Look, we’re not curing cancer, but (MTV World) is a historical project.”
A native of Lucknow, India, raised on the sounds of Begum Akhtar and Osibisa, Cliff Richard and Little Richard, Durrani embodies a casual sort of progressive cool. He dresses in black-on-black high-end denim and keeps his hair in a fashionable George Harrison mop top. A poster for D.A. Pennebaker’s Dylan film “Don’t Look Back” that hangs in his office seems to have been chosen not just for what it signifies but also because its black-and-white op-art design nicely matches his outfit.
Durrani describes his first encounter with MTV in 1993 as something of an awakening. Although he had a comfortable job in marketing at Honda in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, he uprooted his family and moved to New York City in order to land a job at MTV. He started as an unpaid intern. At the end of 2004, he was named the head of MTV World.
He spent 2 1/2 years researching the Asian American channels, doing the requisite number crunching, but also convening house parties and focus groups. He refers not just to “the need” but to “the hunger” for Asian American-targeted programming. In one internal video screener he assembled for MTV Networks Chairman Judy McGrath, a young Asian American woman says, “A forum like this will really help us become unified, and then that will make it a lot easier to kind of bring a lot of what we stand for to a mainstream audience.” Says Durrani of the channels, “The emotional component is always palpable.”
MTV personality and San Francisco native Suchin Pak produces and hosts “My Life (Translated)” for MTV Chi, an intimate look at issues affecting young people of color. In a recent episode, Pak examined Asian Americans’ desire for eyelid surgery. Karen Lee, a 22-year-old Danville native, was hired straight out of New York University as MTV Chi’s first employee to produce news segments on Asian American artists and community issues. (Full disclosure: I was the subject of one of them.) In one of her short clips, one young Chinese American talks candidly about how she perceives beauty and desirability. In another, slam poet Beau Sia declares, “There are no Asian American role models.”
But clearly the channels hope to create role models, to shape how Asian Americans see themselves and, just as importantly, how others see Asian America. The hosts for MTV Chi are the picture of Chinese American diversity. There is the petite 19-year-old firebrand Angel Tang, the 20-year-old metro fashionista Xiao Wang, the 29-year-old comic from the Pacific Northwest Simon Yin and the mixed-plate Chinese/Pacific Islander 23-year-old actor from Texas, Gregory Woo. Taken together, they do not merely reflect Asian America, they represent the breadth of Asian America to non-Asian Americans.
Because of this, the channels may represent a major shift in Asian American media. Until now, “ethnic” newspapers such as the World Journal, the Rafu Shimpo and Asian Week have been the dominant media in the community. Written largely by and for Asian Americans, they were particularly powerful during the social protests of the 1980s — whether the issue was anti-Asian violence, Japanese American redress and reparations, or discrimination in college admissions.
A turning point came with the 1994 premiere of Giant Robot, a zine put together by two Los Angeles hipsters, Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong, that presented a bento box of Asian American culture. Alongside good old “yellow rage” were compartments for Hong Kong cinephilia, Japanese anime and toy fetishes, U.S. indie-rock and art-school bona fides. The magazine — which has spawned destination boutiques in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — defined a generation. “It was ‘Here’s all this cool stuff,’ not ‘Look at all of our problems,’ ” says MTV Chi’s Karen Lee. Giant Robot celebrated how fun it was to be a young Asian American. It was an open invitation. The magazine’s Web site notes that its readership is “about half Asian, half not.”
Durrani argues that Asian Americans have become powerfully influential on popular culture. It’s not hard to see his point: Take the b-boy/b-girl revival, rice-rocket car culture, even Gwen Stefani’s Orientalist turn. With Latino pop icons crossing over and African American hip-hop becoming the mainstream, the young execs believe Asian Americans’ time has come.
But building from boutiques to big business is difficult work. The upstart Imaginasian has had to carve out cable contracts city by city, and is still available in San Francisco only on Comcast Channel 28 on weekday evenings and late-night weekends. Even with MTV’s muscle, both MTV Desi and MTV Chi are sold only as part of ethnic-specific “international” packages. In a more troubling development, parent company Comcast fired most of AZN’s staff a day after MTV Chi’s launch. The network still broadcasts a trickle of new content, but many insiders worry that Comcast officials have already decided that a network-scale business model is premature.
None of this seems to matter to the young people at the Chinatown Community Development Center. They are transfixed by MTV Chi. Once the launch welcome by Zhang Ziyi is over, they lean forward in their chairs, scribble down the names of artists, excitedly talk back to the television. They believe what they are seeing is unlike anything they have yet seen in their media-saturated worlds.
They take in music from Beijing punkers Brain Failure, Southern California-raised Playboy model Kaila Yu, and Mando-rockers the Flowers. They cheer for Chinese American rapper Jin and Taiwanese heartthrob Jay Chou. They know all plot turns in Jin’s “Learn Chinese” video, and sing along with the melody of Chou’s “Qi Li Xiang.”
The Top 10 Chi Countdown — determined by online voting on the network’s Web site and not exclusive to Chinese and Chinese American artists — matches the group’s eclecticism. This show, which originally aired in December, includes New York-via-Austin indie rock from Johnny Hi-Fi, a Mandopop ballad from Jolin Tsai, sunny Singaporean pop from Stephanie Sun, and Madonna’s “Hung Up.” (Chi’s current top 10 features UC Berkeley escapees Putnam Hall, Cantopop singers Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse, Kelly Clarkson and the inescapable Jin.)
Seward Yu, a 16-year-old Lowell student, thinks Countdown host Angel Tang is hot. Chen is annoyed by Tang’s over-emphatic gesturing. “Can we tie up her hands, please?” she asks. During the “Making of MTV Chi” news segment, everyone groans when William Hung flashes onscreen.
After the lights go up, they passionately debate poet Sia’s contention that there are no Asian American role models. For her part, Betty Wong, 15, a student at Galileo High School and the youngest of the group, is nonplussed by all the identity politics. “(That segment) was boring. If I was watching and they kept showing those, I’d turn the channel,” she says.
The conversation turns to programming. Chen wishes MTV Chi would air Hong Kong personality Edison Chen’s “Punk’d”-style show, “Whatever Things,” from MTV Asia. She hates “D-Tour,” a reality show featuring five supermodels from South America and Asia on a “Road Rules”-style trip. Wong loves it.
Tammy Yan, a 16-year-old Galileo student, wants programs such as MTV’s “True Life” series that feature “regular” Asian Americans, depicting “the true us.” Her brother Calvin notes, “The only way for Chinese or Asian recognition is through pop culture. When you see a movie, you might see Jackie Chan, but there’s always another funny non-Asian guy along with the Chinese guy.
“Chris Tucker,” adds Yu.
“Yeah!” Calvin Yan says. “It would be nice if there’s only Chinese by themselves.”
“No, but like,” interrupts Queena Chen, “society isn’t up to that yet.”
“Especially America,” adds Yu.
Nguyen speaks up from the back. “Maybe this isn’t the solution. The channel is not going to provide the answer, but what it can do is provide a steppingstone to the answer.” Everyone nods in agreement.
Queena Chen then asks, “Can we see the other 4 1/2 hours you have?”
Jeff Chang’s book “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation” is out in paperback. He is working on a book on the future of American identity.
©2006 San Francisco Chronicle
AZN Television to Premiere ‘NBA Timeout’ Sunday, March 19 at 9 pm (ET)
Original AZN/NBA Entertainment Co-Production Entertains Asian American Fans With Weekly Game Highlights, Player Profiles and Special Features
AZN Television to Premiere ‘NBA Timeout’ Sunday, March 19 at 9 pm (ET)
CENTENNIAL, Colo., March 13 /PRNewswire/ — AZN Television, the cable channel featuring programming for Asian Americans, and NBA Entertainment will premiere an original co-production “NBA Timeout” on Sunday, March 19 at 9 p.m. (ET) on AZN. The weekly magazine-style show will be hosted by Angela Tsai and will highlight the diversity of the league and its fans. “NBA Timeout” will feature game highlights, player profiles and will go straight to the Asian American community to talk to fans about their passion for basketball.
The premiere episode will feature profiles on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the 2006 NBA All-Star MVP; the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan, the 2005 NBA Finals MVP; and the New Jersey Nets’ Jason Kidd, a seven-time NBA All-Star. The show will then take viewers to Chinatown in New York and introduce them to the New York Rockits, an Asian American basketball club.
A new episode will air each week on Sundays at 9 p.m. (ET) and then will be repeated on Mondays at 1 a.m. (ET) and 9:30 p.m. (ET) and Tuesdays at 12:30 a.m. (ET).
AZN and the NBA Entertainment entered into a partnership to provide NBA-related programming for Asian Americans which included the rights to air “Yao in the NBA” on AZN. Originally shown in China, the documentary series has been re-versioned in English for AZN viewers. The show chronicles events in the life of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming during his sophomore season in the league.
About AZN Television
AZN Television is the network for Asian America. A wholly-owned company of Comcast Corporation, the channel’s programming targets the fast-growing, English-speaking and multi-generational Asian American community. Genres include the most popular Asian films, dramas, documentaries and anime as well as original programming. For more information, visit azntv.com
About NBA Entertainment
NBA Entertainment (NBAE) is one of the largest suppliers of sports television and Internet programming in the world, and manages the leagues’ — NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League — television, film, Internet, publishing, photos, consumer products, marketing partnerships, media properties and event relationships domestically and internationally.
The Emmy Award-winning production and programming division produces several weekly television shows, including NBA Access with Ahmad Rashad, NBA Inside Stuff, NBA Matchup, NBA Action, WNBA Action and NBA Jam. NBAE creates exclusive content for NBA TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com, and http://www.nbadleague.com/, and packages NBA, WNBA and D-League games along with highlight and lifestyle shows for distribution to 215 countries.
Launched in 1982, NBAE is the historical archive and exclusive licenser for all NBA, WNBA and D-League game footage and the production house for all NBA, WNBA and D-League advertising, public service announcements, television programming, home videos and corporate presentations.