The suspension of all of Jiangsu Education Television's programming—because of content deemed vulgar and not educational enough—marked the government's latest attempt to rein in the increasingly freewheeling media sector. China also said earlier this year it would limit American-style reality TV and other light fare shown on satellite TV.
The latest ruling was prompted by the game show "Bang Bang Bang," which has games of chance for cash prizes as well as entertainment segments with attractive women. A video clip apparently filmed by an audience member features Gan Lulu, an auto show model well-known in China for racy outfits and whose career was launched by a nude video of her posted online by her publicity-seeking mother.
The six-minute clip of the not-yet-aired game show episode, still available on YouTube, shows Gan as well audience members and the model's mother shouting and swearing after one spectator asks whether Gan's risque images have undermined China's morality.
Gan's mother, Lei Bingxia, also in the audience, stands to take up the argument, using several off-color slurs.
"Can your mom make you the sexy goddess of China?" she later shouts. "Can your mom make billions of people like you? Gan's mom can!"
"I'm the best agent in China, I'm telling you! I will not only make my daughter the world's Lady Gaga, but the world's Marilyn Monroe."
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television first ordered the show canceled Wednesday and criticized the clip for showing name-calling, "wanton acts" and for "amplifying ugliness." It said the incident had a "negative influence on society."
On Thursday, the agency issued a second directive saying that Jiangsu Education Television, a regional broadcaster near Shanghai, had to suspend all programming effective Friday because it violated China broadcasting rules by identifying itself as an educational channel while offering entertainment content.
The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a faxed statement that some 30 programs were affected by the suspension, including some distance learning programs, meaning classes were canceled for as many as 150,000 students.
The "Bang Bang Bang" editor also was fired, the Jiangsu provincial government said.
The broadcasting regulator is concerned about vulgar, violent and pornographic videos being aired, and has been tightening rules to make sure that broadcasters and Internet service companies prescreen their content.
Associated Press researcher Flora Ji contributed to this report.