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‘Desperate Housewives’ to air in China

Dubbed in Mandarin, entire first season to air in one week
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Desperate Housewives” may play in Peoria and Australia but will it be a hit in China?

ABC’s suburban satire will debut Monday on China’s state-run CCTV8.

“The series’ addictive blend of dark comedy and gripping drama is sure to thrill audiences in China the same way it does in 202 other territories around the world,” said Laurie Younger, president of Buena Vista Worldwide Television, the show’s distributor.

“Desperate Housewives,” created by Marc Cherry and made by Walt Disney Co.’s Touchstone Television, tracks the spicy adventures of the residents of Wisteria Lane, including extramarital affairs and murder. A Touchstone spokeswoman could not immediately say whether the series would be edited for Chinese consumption.

Regulators in China often cite foreign culture as a source of unwholesome influences in broadcasting.

In August, the Culture Ministry announced a sweeping effort to tighten the communist government’s control over popular culture, including increased censorship of imported programming.

Last year, the government barred the use of foreign programs that promote “Western ideology and politics” and also banned prime-time programs about crime or violence to promote, it said, a “healthy environment” for children.

The entire first season of “Desperate Housewives,” dubbed in Mandarin, will air in one week, with three episodes a night.

Now in its second year on ABC, “Desperate Housewives” was an instant hit with U.S. viewers and helped turn around the network’s fortunes.

It’s also proven its appeal internationally. According to Buena Vista Worldwide, it’s scored as the top-rated series in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and Germany.

The drama stars Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria, all of whom were nominated this week for Golden Globe best-actress awards, with a best-series bid going to the show.