Chapter 592 Do You Remember
After waiting for half an hour.
“Teacher Zhang, what exactly is this program about?”
“I’ll share it in a while.”
“Aiyah, please just tell us first.”
“Hehe, I have to wait until the station accepts my request.”
“You already have a program?”
“Of course, it’s all in my brain.”
From outside the office, many people started streaming in.
Hu Fei returned with seven or eight men and women. There were station leaders, the bosses of the relevant departments and some program approval board staff members, and others. It seemed that the station highly valued this new program. After all, this was a primetime slot program.
One of the bosses walking ahead of the rest said immediately after coming into the office, “Teacher Little Zhang, we’ve already heard from Old Hu. Actually, we still hope that you can join us back at Beijing Television Station, but if you don’t wish to come back, we will of course find it regretful. Old Hu said you have a very good proposal for the new program?”
“Yes.” Zhang Ye smiled.
A person behind said, “But for the appointment of a designated host, there has never such a precedent. Moreover, the host is a little-known rookie. Why not change your condition instead? If this program really does as well as expected and can outperform all the other singing programs, then the station will give you a bonus on top of your copyright and production fees, it will certainly be a satisfactory offer.”
Everyone sat down to discuss.
Zhang Ye shook his head and said, “That won’t do. I’ve already said I only have this one small request.”
That boss said, “That was not a small request. Besides, you should also know that the station does not have any worries about our own hosts as all of them are very outstanding. Once the new program is out, we can use our most familiar and outstanding hosts for it. Purposely headhunting for a rookie to join us…there really has been no such precedent? Why don’t you tell everyone about the program proposal and we’ll decide if the program will make it or not, then we can discuss that issue later.”
“Right, let’s hear about what the program is like.”
“That’s right, Teacher Zhang, tell us first.”
The other two people also said the same.
However, Zhang Ye flatly refused and said, “No, that won’t do.”
Just as the situation was in a stalemate, another four people suddenly entered the office. Among them walking in the middle was an old granny who was also the station head of Beijing Television Station, Xu Yuhong.
“Why are you here?”
“Station Head Xu!”
Everyone stood up.
Xu Yuhong calmly said, “I heard about the matter. I’m also very interested in Little Zhang’s suggestion, so I came over to take a look. What have you all discussed so far?”
That boss explained it once over.
Zhang Ye had quite a good impression of this old granny. On the day when he did the advertisement, he kept calling her Aunty and even ordered her around to do this and that. Even so, that old granny did not even get angry, showing that she had a very good temper.
When Xu Yuhong heard everything, she looked at Zhang Ye and said, “There has really not been a precedent of not using our own station’s hosts before. But, Little Zhang, I can promise you. Tell us first about the concept of the program. If it is feasible and not similar to the templated concepts of the singing programs of the other stations, and our professionals judge it as a marketable segment, then we might still be agreeable to your condition of hiring the rookie.”
That was as good as an agreement.
When Zhang Ye heard that, he said, “Station Head is indeed large-hearted.”
Xu Yuhong laughed and said, “Don’t praise me yet. Let’s hear about your plans. Since singing talent show programs are already being overdone, how can you be so sure that your program will work?”
Zhang Ye said, “I have to correct myself. I didn’t say that it would be a talent show.”
“Eh?” Several of the station’s staff were dumbfounded.
Hu Fei also never thought of that and said, “Not a talent show? Then how can it be called a singing program?”
One of the bosses said, “Then where is your selling point?”
The singing programs of this world had only created a stir in these past few years. These programs were more or less the same, with hardly any more creativity and had already developed into a bottleneck. As a person living in this world, they would be naturally restricted with their ideas. But Zhang Ye was different from the rest. In his previous world, although some of its variety show programs were not comparable to this world, but for singing programs, they were many years ahead in development than this world.
Zhang Ye looked at them and said, “The name of this program is: Do You Remember. We will allow all citizens to sing karaoke songs, with no entry barriers, with the aim to create a national coalition of karaoke singers. The rules are simple and there’s only one condition: Who can sing the lyrics correctly. This is not a competition of vocals nor stage performances, it is competing on who has the best memory. As long as you can sing the song correctly with the designated lyrics, you will win—this is the core of the program and its selling point.”
After he finished speaking, everyone fell silent.
They were not shocked but instead felt like they were struck by lightning!
How could this be called a f**king television program!?
Xiao Lu was shocked and said, “Surely you can’t be serious, Teacher Zhang?”
The boss said, “Little Zhang, you better not be joking.”
Hu Fei also had doubts and asked, “Remembering lyrics shouldn’t be considered a selling point, right? I can’t see anything in that which would attract an audience to such a program.”
One of the program approval board staff members who looked like he had his brain shaken by huge waves even thought to himself: “Remembering lyrics, your sister! How idiotic!”
Hou Ge laughed and said, “Teacher Zhang must be doing his crosstalk and teasing us.”
Zhang Ye said helplessly, “I’m not joking, I’m being serious here.”
Hou Ge: “…”
“Let Little Zhang finish talking,” Xu Yuhong said.
Zhang Ye laughed and said, “Actually, as long as this program is not done up, just my explanation alone will not make everyone fully understand it. I can only use a general overview to explain simply in words about why I want to design such a program. If you just listen to it, a competition-styled program that emphasizes remembering lyrics might sound terrible, alright, maybe even atrocious, but this atrociousness might just be from you personal point of view that is based on your mindset. However, if you think about it in a different way, you’d know that such a program might not have the competitiveness and tension of a reality television singing program, with not as many handsome men and pretty women and even without powerful vocals. When we compare it in this way, it would be edged out on more than a dozen avenues by those other singing programs, yet Do You Remember has something too that would beat them by a dozen avenues, and that is the fact that it is simple. In fact, it is so simple that anyone can join in!”
Hu Fei was deep in thought.
The rest were also thinking hard.
Zhang Ye said, “What you all think of as lame, simple, low class are in fact not the flaws of this program. Instead, they are the most competitive factors and advantages of Do You Remember. The other singing programs all either have handsome guys or pretty ladies who can hit high pitches with their singing voices or have good dancing skills. The audience can’t participate in them because they don’t have the qualifications to do so, but is there anyone who can’t remember lyrics? Even a three year old can memorize some songs. Anyone can join, participate, or even sing along with the lyrics in front of their televisions. Is there anything more marvelous than having all the citizens participate in an event?”
Hu Fei finally understood and said, “This really could be another way to do it!”
Dafei said, “Will…that work?”
Zhang Ye said, “All the other singing competitions are comparing who is better looking, who can sing the best, or who has a good backstory. I call that as walking the ‘path of talent’. But in this new program of mine, I want it to walk on the path of the common people. Just as I said earlier, anyone can participate in it and even register to participate in the live competition. There are no entry barriers, no complicated procedures. As long as you want to participate, anyone can have a high chance of being shown on the live broadcast on television, even if you are tone-deaf!”
Xiao Lu was shocked, “What? People who are tone-deaf can also join?”
“Of course they can. The program is about remembering lyrics. That is all that will be competed on. Even if you sing very badly, you can still participate and win.” Zhang Ye said, “Let me add something right here. I intend for some tone-deaf people to participate so that they can create a topic and have a common touch with the citizens. The audience watching at home on their televisions might laugh at or scold those tone-deaf people, thinking ‘how they could even get on TV? I’m better than him!’ This is also a selling point that would encourage audience participation and improve program ratings. All of you are industry professionals, so I don’t think I need to get into the details on how to manage it.”
Xu Yuhong said, “Are those the only selling points?”
“Of course not.” Zhang Ye looked around, then walked towards a whiteboard and picked up a marker and started to write on the board. He explained, “This program needs two hosts, a man and woman who will be responsible for the humour and help regulate the atmosphere and involve the audience in the show. The hosts do not be too experienced nor need to constantly make witty remarks. On the contrary, the more affable they are, the better it will be due to the style of this program. We will also need a lead singer as that is also one of the key factors of this program, so how do we choose the lead singer? Let me go through it all one by one…”
From the stage to the lighting.
From the lead singer to the audience selection.
And even the critical scenes to be shown on the screen were described in detail.
Finally, he said, “The template is like such because it is the most basic structure to the program. As you all had mentioned earlier, because this program is not a talent show, there might be a less receptive mood for it. So to make up for this, at every month’s end, we will implement a countrywide ‘mic-dominator’ contest, dividing the cities into north, south, east, west, and central regions and pitting them against each other. We will spread this battle fervor across the country, which will later lead to a city versus city tournament. Since the audience will naturally support their own cities, this will up the atmosphere and competitiveness naturally as it happens. In the end, there will be a final showdown where only one city would be declared the winner. As for how to select, and how to plan the PK competition, let me explain further in detail…”
They discussed for another twenty minutes.
Those people from the television station were totally stunned and could not say anything at all. They thought of bringing up some misgivings, but when Zhang Ye was explaining, they realized that he had already thought of all the problems of the entire process. Their doubts were answered by Zhang Ye even before they could bring it up. Even the concerns of how the audience would feel when the concept lost its novelty were addressed by Zhang Ye who had already thought out the necessary adjustments from the hosting style to adding new rounds to the program to maintain its program ratings.
When other program planners made a proposal, their initial ideas would just be an idea or a concept, which would then be discussed further upon. It would slowly be edited bit by bit, making changes here and there before the final proposal would be set. Then when the program was broadcast on television, the audience reaction and program ratings would be considered and changes would be made as necessary. A strategy made today could be changed again the following week, but as for Zhang Ye? He had submitted a proposal which extended six or seven years into the future. He even thought of every single detail and the physiological changes of the audience. It was really flawless!
Do You Remember – I personally prefer the US version: Don’t Forget the Lyrics!
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