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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Drama: Empress of China

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Empress of China China Drama
Title: Empress of China
Chinese Title: 武媚娘传奇 / Wu Mei Niang Chuan Qi
Broadcast Network: Hunan TV
Broadcast Website: LeTV, Youku, iQiYi, Mango TV, Tencent, Sohu
Broadcast Period: December 21, 2014 - February 3, 2015
Air Time: Daily Primetime Drama 19:30 (two episodes every night)
Genre: Romance, Historical
Language: Mandarin
Episodes: 96
Director: Yik Chun Go
Region: China

Your Rating

Synopsis and Plot Summary

The story is about the journey of Wu ZeTian from an innocent 14 year-old to the only female monarch of Chinese history.

On the 11th year of Zhen Guan, a girl named RuYi (Fan Bing Bing) from the Wu family is chosen to be part of the imperial harem. The same day is said to be the death anniversary of Empress Zhang Sun and the whole palace is subject to commemorate it. RuYi uses her charm in dancing to wow the audience and catches the eye of the emperor, Li ShiMin (Zhang Feng Yi). That year, Wu MeiNiang was 14 years-old, Li Shimin was 39 years-old.

That night, a girl named Zheng Wan Yan (Zhang Ding Han) is murdered. All the evidences point toward RuYi. She undergoes torture and was punished to work in the cold palace where she met the governess of Li ShiMin. The governess vowed to never see the emperor again after he killed his brothers for the throne. RuYi mended the relationship between the two and after a year, she was freed from the confines of the cold palace. RuYi's wit and intelligence gains the liking of the emperor as she is promoted and given a new name, "MeiNiang." She becomes one of the most envied person in the palace as her relationship and love with the emperor grows. Sadly, she never thought that the emperor would die so suddenly.

In order to save their child, MeiNiang leaves GanYe Temple. However, on the way to the palace, she suffers a miscarriage and all evidences to this incident point to Empress Wang (Shi Shi). To avenge her child, MeiNiang approaches Li Zhi (Aarif Rahman), the new emperor, who has long admired her. On the third year of YongHui, MeiNiang is promoted to ZhaoYi. She takes her revenge on Empress Wang and Concubine Xiao (Viann Zhang) while staying beside Li Zhi. She soon realizes that she is unable to leave the home Li Zhi has given to her.

On the sixth year of YongHui, MeiNiang is promoted as the empress. She helps Li Zhi in ruling the country. Not long after, Li Zhi dies and the new emperor is not capable of ruling and the survival of the Tang dynasty falls in the hands of Wu MeiNiang. As she sits in the epitome of power, she thinks of all the memories before, the love that spawned to hate because of power.


Fun Facts

  • It is produced by Talent Film Television in collaboration with Fan Bing Bing Studio and other production companies.
  • Filming took place in Hengdian World Studios, Wu Xi and Zhuo Zhou.
  • Filming lasted around eight to nine months beginning end of 2013 and ending July 2014.
  • It became a commercial success, garnering CSM50 ratings as high as 4.234% during its run and maintaining first place against other dramas in the same time slot.
  • The ending theme song for the drama sung by Jane Zhang is about a nameless tomb.
  • Fan Bing Bing sets a record for a playing one character from the age of 14 to 82.
  • Fan Bing Bing had over 260 costumes in the drama. The costumes used by the entire crew is estimated to be around 3000.
  • Fan Bing Bing was down with a high fever twice throughout the shoot but just had IV drops on location and went back to work.
  • Despite having high fever during an evening shoot, Zhang Feng Yi persisted with filming.
  • Li Chen hit a tree and fell of a horse which left him dazed for around five minutes before recovering. He was alright after that and resumed filming.
  • Li Chen and Fan Bing Bing who got engaged after he proposed to her on her birthday on September 16, 2017 first opened up to the public that they were dating in 2015. Viann Zhang who is Li Chen's ex-girlfriend was also in the drama with them.
  • While the Empress of China was airing on Hunan TV, it was abruptly taken off the air for supposed technical reasons. The real reason was due to censorship as the costumes with low-cut necklines worn by the women showed quite a bit of cleavage. The drama eventually resumed broadcast, but was cropped to show only headshots of the ladies.
  • There is a non-censored version that aired on CTV in Taiwan.
  • The production team returns with the drama Win the World that also stars Fan Bing Bing in the role of a powerful female protagonist.

Empress of China Fan Bing Bing Fan Bing Bing as Wu Ze Tian
Empress of China Zhang Feng Yi Zhang Feng Yi as Li Shi Min
Empress of China Aarif Rahman Aarif Rahman as Li Zhi
Empress of China Janine Chang Janine Chang as Concubine Xu (Xu Xian Fei)
Empress of China Li Xie Li Xie as Li Ge
Empress of China Li Chen Li Chen as Li Mu
Empress of China Li Liren Li Liren as Li Cheng Qian

Supporting Cast
  • Qian Qiu (千秋) by Sun Nan (孙楠)
  • Gan Wei Tian Xia Xian (敢为天下先) by Jane Zhang (张靓颖)
  • Wu Zi Bei (无字碑) by Jane Zhang (张靓颖)

Episode Ratings
Hunan TV
DateEpisodeCSM50 Cities (%)CSM Nationwide (%)
RatingsAudience ShareRankingRatingsAudience ShareRanking
Average1 - 962.9037.7453.1468.722

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