Just days after witnessing huge success and winning plaudits with The Bad Kids, streaming network iQIYI has seemingly suspended the release of the rest of its mystery and suspense thriller drama series until further notice.
Part of the platform’s “Mist Theater” collection of edgy dramas, The Bad Kids was the second of six proposed shows within the series. That show blew up online, sparking conversations about the impact that parenting has on children’s development, as well as drawing attention to the burgeoning amount of TV dramas on offer from streaming platforms while cinemas remain closed in China.
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Fans of the series expected the third show, Crimson River (非常目击), to be broadcast on Tuesday June 30, in keeping with the Tuesday to Thursday publishing schedule of the previous two shows, The Kidnapping Game and The Bad Kids.
Those shows premiered two weeks apart, The Kidnapping Game on June 2 and The Bad Kids on June 16. Each of the series had 12 episodes, which were published 2 episodes at a time over the course of the three days from Tuesday to Thursday during their individual two-week runs. However, on Tuesday night, Crimson River failed to appear as expected.
iQIYI responded to questions from Sohu Technology, saying that the show’s premiere had been delayed because Crimson River had not passed inspection in time.
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The hashtag #爱奇艺回应迷雾剧场停播# (“iQIYI responds to the suspension of Mist Theater”) is currently trending on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, and has been read 130 million times. Netizens are understandably upset by the news, with many speculating that the huge success of The Bad Kids — and its themes — may be responsible for the abrupt suspension. “The Bad Kids went viral, now the other shows are receiving more attention and will be more difficult to get approved,” reads one widely-circulated post on the matter.
At present, it remains unclear whether and when the remaining four shows in the iQIYI series will be released.
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