No T.V. on Tuesdays

Sunday, April 1, 2007 6:59
Posted in category The Big Picture

After 5 years in country, I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable person about things related to China. I have really enjoyed my time in China, and as I wrote on my 5th anniversary, I have done all I can to continually improve myself while here.

But it was on Thursday when I received an email from my friend entitled NO T.V. on Tuesdays, that I once again realized that I have so much to learn; that no matter long you are here, you are still a FOB….

the text of the email was (with her anonymous permission).

Ok, i need to find out how many other people did not know that there is no TV in China on Tuesdays. I’m serious.

I was at the gym the day before last in the afternoon and all the TVs were off, so i go over to the instructor’s counter and ask why the there is no TV, and young Michael says “because its Tuesday.”

I laugh, look puzzled and then ask 3 other instructors and they all say the same. No kidding, there is no TV on Tuesday afternoons in China !!! since forever.

Apparently TV stations have meetings, re-wire signals, check stuff……its just the way it is.

So there you go, you learn something everyday.

Please tell me that one of us knew this before.

What a wacky country we all live in.

Upon receiving this, I asked my staff if this was true… and with a deadpan face they replied yeah.. “you didn’t know?” It was like asking them if gravity existed…

They asked in reply whether or not our T.V. stations did the same as they thought it must be something that everyone did… cause they need a break.

If anyone out there knows the history behind this, please post it. I am open to all theories.

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7 Responses to “No T.V. on Tuesdays”

  1. Fons Tuinstra says:

    April 1st, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Ah, I would have hoped for something more confusing on April 1. Hope some people get fooled.

  2. China Law Blog says:

    April 1st, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    You had me there. I could not remember ever having watched TV on a Tuesday afternoon, not definitively anyway. In even bigger news though, and yes, I am using this comment to spread the word, we just started a new horticulture blog called China Lawn Blog. Check it out here: Our official (after the fact) announcement is here:

  3. rbrubaker says:

    April 1st, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Guys. Really.

    Tuesday afternoons, Chinese TV stations pull the plug and take a siesta. This is NOT an April fools joke.

    The screens play music and have the vertical bars.


    Fons – I cannot believe that you have not heard of this.

    Dan – Nice. But you know that even when you are allowed to walk on the grass in China you shouldn’t… especially with your shoes off.

  4. Charmaine says:

    April 2nd, 2007 at 10:41 am

    This one actually got me for about 15 seconds. At first I thought it was a tale of gullible customer enquiries 😛

  5. rbrubaker says:

    April 3rd, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    this is just the best April Fools ever because it was not intended to be. The above was actually true… at one time. However, through this post (and the events behind it), we uncovered another one of those things in China that doesn\’t make complete sense, that no one knows the full truth behind, and yet still people act the same regardless.

    The last week since I received the above email from a friend (IT WAS AN ACTUAL EMAIL BASED ON ACTUAL EVENTS), we must have asked 20-30 people as a group, and found out that everyone at one time recognized that T.V. stations would turn off the lights on Tuesday afternoons.

    In fact, a friend of mine working at SMG right now sent this email reply when asked if this was true.

    I have just confirmed with a friend at SMG (Shanghai Media Group) that on Tuesday afternoons the lights go off. in her words:

    Yeh, Tuesday afternoon is NO TV day. not sure why…it\’s been like this forever… they need a rest maybe??

    Another local Shanghaiese friend wrote:

    In my memory, TV stations used to re-signal and fix stuff starting from 2pm till 6pm…

    but the final proof came in a later email:

    just checked the program schedule for Tuesday for quiet a few channels , conclusion as:

    All 11 channels under SMG (Shanghai Media Group) and all 16 channels of CCTV have TV program on, some Beijing and Guangdong channel as well

    However, some other local TV channels- usually the smaller provincial ones, indeed take their Tuesday noon off – such as Shan(1) Dong(1) and Shan(3) Xi(1)…

    We can quiet safely conclude from all the evidence plus the memories from childhood, that it used to be a ‘tradition’ for TV station to have no show Tuesday afternoon for two purpose as I learn 1) People need a rest, and 2) Machine maintenance time…. Yet, with the high demanding viewers as us (and taking consideration of the extra advertising revenue they can get…) more and more TV station is opt for all day show!

    Alright, hope case is closed 😉 !

    In the end, this experiment was made all the more enjoyable because the gym whereby the email originated still had their TVs off yesterday believing that there was no TV on Tuesdays.

    I am not sure if there has been a more interesting adventure for so many \”old China hands\”, but this one got about 15 people wondering how they could have missed that in their time here.

  6. Matty says:

    April 4th, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    I still believe this is a April 1st joke. If you have lived in the country for 5 years, how can you belive this shit that that No TV is on Tuesdays.

    You are trying to teasing everyone, mate.

  7. China Law Blog says:

    April 15th, 2007 at 4:00 am

    BREAKING NEWS: CLB’s Steve Dickinson To Appear On CCTV International On Tuesday, April 16…

    On Tuesday, April 16, China time, China Law Blog’s own Steve Dickinson will be appearing on CCTV International’s Dialogue program to discuss China intellectual property protection. The focus of the show will be on China’s current regime for protecti…