In The Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows has written about reality TV in China. The full article is available by subscription only, but you can watch subtitled video clips of the shows here. From the article:
Right now the curse of Chinese TV, apart from its being state-controlled and de facto censored, is the proliferation of stupid low-budget “reality” shows. The oddest reality show I’ve come across while channel surfing was a “World’s Strongest Man‚Äìtype contest between teams of midgets. The cruelest, put on by the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV), pitted young families against each other in elimination events. Each family team had three members”father, mother, elementary-school-aged child”and did coordinated stunts. Three families survived each show to appear in future rounds, and three were sent home, the children inconsolable and the husbands and wives looking daggers at each other.