Abstract: Both television production practice and academic writings indicate the necessity of the localization of TV formats to fit sociocultural circumstances in different countries. This article narrows its focus to the issue of emotion display during localization. Inspired by Paul Ekman’s neurocultural theory of emotion, which describes human emotion expression in actual social situations, this article attempts to apply Ekman’s ideas about relations between culture and emotion to the field of media communication and to build a theoretical framework for the analysis of cultural influence in emotion display during the adaptation of a TV format. Applying the theoretical findings to the case of the singing competition show The Voice of China (adapted from The Voice of Holland), this article shows how the collectivist nature of Chinese culture influences the aesthetic and dramatic tools used to elicit emotion and to control emotion display in the Chinese version of the show.
Keywords: emotion; emotion display; localization; transnational television format