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SHANSHAI 2001 was a bumper year for TV drama in mainland China, with production figures and foreign investment up.
There were 22,231 episodes of 1,271 series made in 2000 for screening in 2001, up 21% from the previous year, according to figures just released.
Despite that, it's a market that remains relatively untapped as foreign studios scramble to get a toehold in mainland TV.
At the last Shanghai Film Festival -- held at the end of 2000 -- foreign participants included Warner Bros., Disney, Sony, National Geographic Channel and MTV. That's a far cry from the humble beginnings of local TV drama, the 1958 live broadcast of "A Mouthful of Vegetable …