Ode to Joy 3 returns with brand new cast

The drama about an unlikely friendship between five women who share a floor in a Shanghai apartment complex is back for a third season. Ode to Joy 3 will star Jiang Shuying as biologist Ye Zhenzhen and Yang Caiyu as the mysterious and elegant HR manager Zhi Heng, who each have their own apartments. The third apartment will be shared by hotel manager Zhu Ji (Zhang Jianing) and young white-collars He Minhong (Zhang Huiwen) and Yu Chuhui (Sun Qian).

I enjoyed Season 1 and raised eyebrows at Season 2, so here’s to hoping Season 3 brings something new to the table. Directed by Jian Chuanhe (Ode to Joy 2) and written by original author A’nai, the series is yet to begin filming.

Huang Xuan’s poverty-alleviation drama Minning Town releases trailer

Minning Town 山海情 is the first of a slew of government-endorsed dramas celebrating 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party. Starring Huang Xuan and Reyizha, the drama will focus on the resettlement of entire village communities from poorer areas to more developed lands.

Directed by Kong Sheng and Sun Molong and written by Wang Sanmao (If There Is No Tomorrow), the 24 episode drama is slated to air soon.

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Promo Round-up: Like A Flowing River 2

Like A Flowing River 2 will continue to focus on Song Yunhui’s (Wang Kai) climb up the corporate ladder, Lei Dongbao’s (Yang Shuo) rural reforms and Yang Xun’s (Dong Zijian) entrepreneurial journey. Yang Caiyu costars as Liang Sishen, Song Yunhui’s colleague and second wife.

The 39 episode drama airs daily on Dragon TV / Zhejiang TV beginning tonight (20th CN time).

Theme song by Zhou Shen

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Bai Yu, Song Zu’er, Mao Xiaotong play siblings in The Bond

The Bond 乔家的儿女 is an upcoming family drama that will span 30 years and stars Bai Yu as the oldest son of the Qiao family. He becomes the sole guardian of his four younger siblings after their mother’s death, and the children of the Qiao family learn to stand by each other through thick and thin.

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How Chinese TV is making its way to Sub-Saharan Africa

Liu Tao and Qiao Xin at an audience meeting of Ode to Joy in Tanzania

As Tencent is making its way to Thailand and iQiyi partners with Malaysia, another group of Chinese media firms have already settled in Africa. Since 2007, Beijing-based media company Star Times  has established itself in over 30 African countries with 26 million users. The company is also working with Chinese and African governments to provide tv access to underserved rural communities in twenty-five African countries.   The company offers two channels featuring Chinese dramas – SinoDrama and Star Times Kung Fu.  Star Times have has also held competitions to bring African acting talents to its Beijing Campus to translate and dub everything from Latin American telenovelas to Thai dramas into English, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Hausa, Zulu, Yoruba and Luganda.

Over the past month, the heads of Daylight Entertainment (Nirvana in Fire, Ode to Joy) and Linmon Entertainment (A Little Separation, Hunting) and the cast of Ode to Joy attended events in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania as a part of the Chinese-African audio-video exchange to discuss further collaboration between Chinese and African media companies.

Their visit follows the filming of the first Chinese drama made in collaboration with the Kenyan government last month, Wang Kai and Wang Ou’s upcoming crime thriller Hunting.

Hunting ‘s Kenyan special. The series is the first drama collaboration with the Kenyan government.

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Daylight Entertainment releases drama posters

Wang Kai plays Emperor Renzong of Song, an emperor known for and is trapped by his good looks benevolence, in Held in the Lonely Castle.

Daylight Entertainment released a new set of posters for three of its upcoming dramas – Wang Kai’s Held in the Lonely Castle 孤城闭 , Guo Jingfei’s If There Is No Tomorrow 我是余欢水 , and Wan Qian and Qin Hao’s We Are Young 我们正年轻 as a part of the Beijing Film Festival. Which one are you looking forward to the most?

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Daylight Entertainment web drama Yu Huanshui casts Guo Jingfei, Miao Miao as leads

Guo Jingfei (All Is Well) plays the titular lead in I Am Yu Huanshui 我是余欢水, a timid and cowardly working class divorcee who finally decides to live for himself after doctors tell him he has contracted a terminal illness.

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25th Magnolia Awards

Unlike the mess that was the 29th Golden Eagle Awards, the Magnolia Awards were more sensible and predictable, so kudos to the judges (director Gao Xixi, actress Ma Yili, screenwriter Chen Tong among others) for judging based on merit.

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