After premiering through a simulcast via Jiangsu and Anhui TV on April 16, White Deer Plain 白鹿原 was taken off the air without so much as a warning, surprising viewers who tuned in expecting to catch the second episode.
This is certainly not your everyday occurrence and both networks have issued the same obligatory response on weibo, “In order to achieve better broadcast results, the TV series White Deer Plains will air at another opportunity, thank you for everyone’s concern.”
White Deer Plain is an 85-episode Chinese drama based on a novel by Chen Zhong Shi that was also adapted into a movie which received critical acclaim in 2012. One would think that it would be safe but rumors point to politics as the culprit behind the abrupt change. I guess not every drama can be like In the Name of People which had the blessing of the government in spite of its political sensitivity.
April Star which is a drama initially slated for an exclusive broadcast on Jiangsu TV in June has now been commissioned as the replacement and it begins airing on Jiangsu and Anhui TV on April 18, 2017. Although a little late, efforts are being made to promote the show on social media and its lead actress Qi Wei posted on weibo, “What?… #StarApril# Airs tomorrow?… Tomorrow?… Airs?…” Yep, it’s happening alright.