I Am Really A Superstar is a web novel produced by Chang Yu.
This webnovel is currently ongoing.
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Several days later.
The SARFT received the source footage of In the Name of the People.
“They’ve finished filming?”
“And it’s even been edited already?”
“I-Isn’t this a little too fast!”
“Is this for real?”
“It’s really that anti-corruption drama that was sent over from the Central Publicity Department?”
“I’m gonna faint. How many days has it been!”
“Let’s have a look at it first.”
“Uh, the scope of involvement is really big.”
“Yeah, it involves so many issues of the political arena?”
“Can a show like that even get approved?”
“The tune was set by the higher-ups, so how can we not pa.s.s it?”
“That’s true. In that case, there’s no need to watch it anymore. Let’s just get it approved and certified.”
“Zhang Ye is too daring to film a drama like this!”
“Shouldn’t you know who Zhang Ye is by now? This fellow has always been stupidly brave, so what doesn’t he dare to do!”
Not even a day pa.s.sed.
After only a few hours, Zhang Ye received news that In the Name of the People had been pa.s.sed for broadcast. The permit for the distribution of television plays and the drama approval ID were also issued, with all the paperwork in order. This was what you called “a man leaning against a big tree can enjoy the shade it provides.” If anyone else had produced this sort of an anti-corruption drama, just the approval process alone would have taken several months to a year, with the outcome not even guaranteed. But since the Central Publicity Department had set the tune by investing in the drama, the SARFT didn’t even need to finish watching it to issue the permits. This was what you called efficiency.
The production was brought to a successful completion.
They could throw the celebratory feast now.
So Zhang Ye smilingly made a call to book a location to hold it.
Somewhere in the suburbs.
It was now spring, so the temperatures had risen a bit. The outdoor barbecue pit was set up through the efforts of Zhang Ye and several others. Then they took out their cell phones to check the news.
“I Am a Singer Season Five comes to a close!”
“The grand champion, Qu Dong, will be holding a concert tour next!”
“The countdown begins for the television series Heavens of the G.o.ds!”
“Li Shao and Chi Hao battle for a Heavenly King’s throne!”
“Xu Meilan to fall off soon from the S-list rankings?”
“Sister Lan—the only remaining Heavenly Queen from the old generation!”
The others also arrived.
Other than Dong Shanshan and several actors who had events to attend today, the rest were all here.
Ning Lan greeted from afar, “What are you guys reading? Why isn’t anyone welcoming us?”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “We’re reading the news.”
Yao Jiancai asked, “Is it about us?”
Zhang Ye shrugged. “There’s not a mention of us. It’s all news related to the young guns. Is this how the news is these days? I saw them writing about our group of people, and we were described as belonging to the ‘old generation.'”
“It’s fine once you get used to it.” Zhang Xia wasn’t bothered by it one bit.
Jiang Hanwei said indifferently, “That’s how the media is these days, or should I say, that’s how the people like it these days. Since it’s something that everyone is fond of, they would naturally report it in that way.”
Ning Lan asked, “Has it been approved?”
Zhang Ye said, “Yes, it was pa.s.sed.”
Ning Lan said, “Have you contacted the TV stations yet?”
Zhang Ye smiled. “Yes, Beijing TV.”
Shu Han said, “Beijing TV is strong at variety shows, but they’re not that good when it comes to their TV series.”
Zhang Ye said, “Beijing TV is the only station that I have a good relationship with. For the other, larger TV stations, they immediately steered clear of me the moment they knew that it was an anti-corruption drama with a political message. In any case, it’s quite good that we could get the show to broadcast on a satellite channel in a primetime slot. Oh yes, I haven’t informed you guys about this yet, but our series could be starting its broadcast during the same period as Heavens of the G.o.ds and Age of Kingdoms. Therefore, I hope that you will be mentally prepared for it, hur hur.”
Shu Han was taken aback. “The same period as them?”
Zhang Xia looked at him. “You’re that confident?”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “I guess.”
Ning Lan said, “Kid, are you trying to slap others again?”
Zhang Ye said happily, “Guess.”
Shu Han said, “If our viewership ratings can perform on par with those two hunks’ dramas, it wouldn’t just be a slap to their face, nor would it only be a slap to the industry. This is going to be us old-timers returning to the industry to slap the entire world!”
Why does it have to be on par?
Zhang Ye smiled but did not speak. There was no need to explain further since no one would believe his claims at this moment in time. Zhang Ye would either not do it at all, or he would do it to an earth-shattering effect. He had spent so much effort to gather these old friends together not because he wanted to be on par with those hot, young men, but because he wanted to tell the entire world that even after three years, five years, ten years, or twenty years, they would still not be a match for him!
“Come, come, let’s start eating.”
“Shall we give a toast?”
They barbecued the meat.
They drank beers.
Everyone was heartily enjoying the food.
Zhang Ye said, “There’s about half a month more until our drama is broadcast, so I’d like everyone to put in some effort during this time to give our show more publicity on Weibo. You can also accept interviews if approached.”
Ning Lan said, “Understood.”
Yao Jiancai said, “I’ve already accepted some interview requests.”
Jiang Hanwei said, “We know better than you regarding what needs to be done.”
Shu Han said, “But the media and people aren’t giving us any attention at all. Those two hunks’ new dramas and the latest season of I Am a Singer have stolen all the limelight. n.o.body’s focus is on us.” Taking out her cell phone and waving it around, she said, “I just had a quick look, and there’s really no news of our drama. No one outside our group even knows that we’ve already wrapped up filming, or perhaps no one cares. This makes it hard to deal with.”
Zhang Xia said, “If we want the viewership ratings to increase, then the topicality and publicity will have to increase as well.”
Zhang Ye said helplessly, “The Central Publicity Department does not have any additional funds to put into purchasing ad spots. They can’t exactly request that the media outlets report about their self-funded drama either. That isn’t how authority is used. So we can forget about depending on them for publicity. It’s all on us now, so let’s just do however much we can. Everyone, let’s give this matter a little more of our attention.”
Ning Lan shook her head. “We’re no longer popular like before. Even if we were to make an announcement right now, it’s nothing compared to a single word by the hot, young guys.”
Zhang Ye was also considering his options.
The following publicity work was indeed not going to be easy.
All of a sudden, a young actor said, “Hey, people, look at this.”
Everyone looked at him. “What is it?”
The young actor said, “There’s some activity from I Am a Singer’s program team!”
Everyone gathered around to check out what the news was about.
When Zhang Ye read it, he was stunned. “I Am a Singer is already in its final season?”
Zhang Xia nodded. “Beijing TV announced half a year ago that this will be the final season of the show. After this, the variety show will cease to exist.”
Zhang Ye knew that in the Chinese entertainment circle, all the singers that could be invited in these recent years had already all been invited. If I Am a Singer were to continue, it would keep repeating the same old formula, and there wouldn’t be any meaning to it. Instead, why not finish at the peak with all the honors? Actually, Zhang Ye had put forward two conditions when he handed over the authorizations of the shows to Beijing Television Station before he left to serve his sentence. First, Dong Shanshan had priority when considering the host candidate for the shows. Second, the shows have to be done well no matter what. From the looks of it, Beijing Television had indeed carried out their promise with Zhang Ye. In their judgment, they believed that I Am a Singer would likely head downhill by the next season, so they decided to bring forward the decision of ending this phenomenal variety show that no one could bear to abandon. To be able to make a decision like that required a very strong will.
Zhang Ye felt quite pleased about it.
It was a different era. This was now a time where the hot, young male stars dominated the industry.
Acting skills? Singing skills? These things were getting less and less important nowadays.
It was a good thing that it was coming to an end. There was indeed not much meaning in having a stage for singers to compete based on popularity.
But at this moment, what surprised Zhang Ye and everyone else was that the program team of I Am a Singer had actually announced a new plan. This was also to be the final curtain call of I Am a Singer. They had thought of organizing a battle between the former grand champions of I Am a Singer as its closing show!
What was the meaning of this?
This meant that the grand champions from season one to season five would all stand on this stage to fight it out among themselves to decide the greatest
champion of all five seasons of I Am a Singer!
In the past, it was singers versus singers!
And now, they were planning to have grand champions versus grand champions!
Zhang Xia was amused. “They’ve really upped the ante.”
Ning Lan said, “They’re really dare to try something like that?”
Yao Jiancai said, “Would anyone go?”
Shu Han said, “Yeah, being a grand champion is the highest honor that can be achieved. But now, they’re asking for all the past grand champions to return for another battle to decide the greatest champion?”
Beijing Television was very clear about it.
This was purely going to be voluntary and no one would be forced to take part. They would hold this battle of the grand champions in a fair and just manner. It would be best if the previous seasons’ winners were willing to take part. But if that didn’t work out, the first runner-up of that season could choose to partic.i.p.ate instead, and so on and so forth.
The netizens blew up.
“This is good! This is really good!”
“This is so exciting!”
“A battle of the grand champions?”
“This is going to be a contest between two different generations of singers!”
“Qu Dong has just emerged as the grand champion of season five. His popularity is at its peak, so he’ll surely have a very large advantage.”
“That might not be true. The past few seasons’ winners are not pushovers either.”
“I’m so looking forward to it!”
“What a good plan by the program team!”
“Right, this is surely the most suitable ending for I Am a Singer!”
“I wonder if those previous grand champions will partic.i.p.ate or not.”
“Everyone probably cherishes their past honors very much, so it’s unlikely that they would agree to partic.i.p.ate so easily, right?”
“Yeah. Besides, some of the grand champions have l aged and can’t sing good enough.”
“Can the past grand champions really stand together on the same stage?”
At this moment.
The Weibo of Qu Dong’s Studio gave their response.
—Qu Dong’s Studio announces that they will be taking part in the upcoming battle of the grand champions.
Ten minutes later.
Season four’s grand champion of I Am a Singer also made an official announcement.
—They would accept Beijing TV’s invitation to join the show.
The other grand champions responded in succession.
Heated discussions broke out on the Internet.
“They’ve really decided to join?”
“Oh my G.o.d!”
“How exciting! It’s gonna be really exciting!”
“Qu Dong will definitely emerge as the greatest champion!”
“Get lost, Qi Liang’s season of I Am a Singer is the best one ever!”
“Right, season four’s grand champion, Qi Liang, is definitely the singer who will give everyone a run for their money!”
In the suburbs.
Zhang Ye’s cell phone rang.
It was a call from an old friend.
Xiao Lu said: “Heehee, Teacher Zhang.”
Zhang Ye laughed and said: “Xiao Lu, what’s this that you’re planning?”
Xiao Lu said: “You saw the news already?”
Zhang Ye said: “It’s l all over the Internet.”
Xiao Lu said gleefully: “We spontaneously decided to hold the compet.i.tion. In fact, we talked about this with many of the other grand champions and discussed it as well. At that time, you hadn’t been released yet, so I couldn’t get to you in time. But it’s not too late, so how about it? Will you be interested to take part?”
Zhang Ye said: “You’re really daring, huh.”
Xiao Lu said: “I learned that from you, didn’t I?”
Zhang Ye said: “That’s a fight between the young guns. Why would I want to join in the tussle?”
Xiao Lu said: “Don’t joke around. You’re the creator of I Am a Singer, and also the first season’s grand champion, so how can we leave you out?”
Zhang Ye shook his head. “I haven’t sung in so many years.”
Xiao Lu said: “Are you scared?”
Zhang Ye let out a chuckle. “Why would I be scared?”
Xiao Lu said: “Teacher Zhang, don’t tell me that you’re admitting you’ve become old?”
“Don’t try that with me.” Zhang Ye said: “This bro is not gonna fall for it.”
The call ended.
Zhang Xia chuckled and said, “Is Beijing TV inviting you to join?”
Zhang Ye nodded. “Yes.”
Jiang Hanwei laughed and said, “That’s the best promotional platform that we can get. With the status and viewership ratings of I Am a Singer in the variety scene, there isn’t another variety show that’s a match for it. If they’re going to hold a battle of the grand champions, the viewership ratings will certainly go up a notch. This is a hard to come by opportunity.”
Zhang Ye rolled his eyes.
Ning Lan looked at him. “Don’t tell me you’re scared?”
Zhang Ye curled his lips.
Ning Lan said, “If you aren’t going, then Grandma Zhang will have to go in your stead.”
Zhang Xia waved it off. “Age has really caught up with me, I won’t be able to out-sing the other contestants.”
Shu Han said, “If you two aren’t going, then wouldn’t there be no representative for the first season of I Am a Singer? Without any representative, wouldn’t that look really bad on the partic.i.p.ants of the first season?”
Zhang Ye said, “Isn’t Old Chen still singing?”
Ning Lan said, “Chen Guang can’t win against them.”
Zhang Xia laughed. “Honestly speaking, I can’t beat them either.”
Yao Jiancai said, “So does it mean that there will only be a chance of winning if Zhang’er partic.i.p.ates?”
For a moment, everyone on the production crew looked at Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye said helplessly, “What are you all looking at me for?”
Ning Lan said, “We’re all depending on you for the publicity work.”
Shu Han grinned and said, “If Director Zhang wins this battle of the grand champions, that would be the best publicity we can get for the drama. For the sake of our production crew, and as a director, it looks like you have no choice but to stand up for us.”
Zhang Ye said with a laugh, “Are you guys throwing me under the bus?”
Jiang Hanwei said, “You’re the director, after all.”
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Alright, alright, let me think about it.”
But Zhang Xia said, “Little Zhang, I actually recommend you don’t take part.”
Zhang Ye nodded. “I know.”
Zhang Xia sighed and said, “It’s too risky.”
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