Palace intrigues, backstabbing concubines and dramatic plotlines involving maids and eunuchs. China simply cannot get enough of imperial palace dramas.
Yet another period piece set in the Forbidden City during the Qing dynasty, like 2011’s Empresses In The Palace – one of the most successful dramas in the genre – has become a smash hit.
The Story Of Yanxi Palace, co-produced by China’s biggest streaming platform iQiyi and production company Huanyu Film, garnered 530 million views on Aug 12, setting a record for highest single-day online viewership, the South China Morning Post reported.
The show has racked up a cumulative 5.6 billion views since its release last month, or an average of 130 million views per episode.
China is home to the world’s largest army of netizens, with some 770 million Internet users, and dramas are pulling out all the stops to attract viewers. The Story Of Yanxi Palace alone reportedly had a budget of about RM178mil.
The show follows a young woman who enters the palace as a maid to investigate the death of her sister and eventually becomes one of Emperor Qianlong’s concubines. The cast includes big names such as Hong Kong’s Charmaine Sheh.
The drama is currently being broadcast on Hong Kong’s TVB, which has acquired the rights to screen the show in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.
The 70-epsiode drama is still streaming on iQiyi, with two episodes released daily from Tuesday to Sunday. The final episode will stream on Aug 28. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network