China-based online video website Sohu.com has teamed up with Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels to produce a Chinese version of the sketch comedy show.
The U.S. version of SNL is already available to Sohu viewers, but under the latest deal the SNL brand will get a Chinese counterpart, the Hollywood Reporter reports. Sohu and the company that produces SNL, Broadway Video Entertainment, will recruit Chinese comedians to star in a show that will feature live music and sketches.
Sohu has been shifting toward providing more original content to China’s 600 million Internet users as of late, inking a similar deal with BBC in late February. A Beijing-based professor at the Communication University of China, however, told Bloomberg that
But the network will need to be cautious about falling foul of the Chinese establishment with an SNL-type show, warned Wang Sixin, a Beijing-based professor at the Communication University of China in a Bloomberg interview. “What Sohu needs to be careful about, though, is finding the right balance when doing satire about social and political issues.”