Can you say "works for me" in Chinese? In Beijing and Shanghai, millions of "Hunter" fans are learning how, while elsewhere in the People's Republic of China, other programs are making TV an increasingly wide-open window on the world for 1 billion inhabitants.

"TV plays a very important role, because 80 percent of the population in China lives in the countryside, and they're farmers," said Xu Chuangchen, director of international relations for the country's sole network, China Central Television, or CCTV."Most of them don't read newspapers or magazines - they just follow TV programs, so TV has a very great impact on the daily life of the Chinese people."

Not all Chinese have access to television. CCTV estimates there are about 120 million televisions in the nation, each watched by an average of five viewers for a total theoretical reach of about 600 million people. On an average night, however, the estimated total audience numbers 300 million - that's 50 million more than the entire population of the United States.

So what are all these people watching? During a recent interview at CCTV's spanking-new, 22-story headquarters - a rare Beijing skyscraper that houses a work force of about 2,400 - Xu spoke at length about viewing options in China, which depend a great deal on location.

In the capital city of Beijing, for example, there are five stations: CCTV's two national channels, 2 and 8; a third CCTV channel broadcasting exclusively in the Beijing area; Beijing Television, a locally run station; and an educational channel run by the national education commission.

In remote areas, the choices are more limited. CCTV's Channel 2 is transmitted by microwave to local stations in all areas but Tibet and parts of Xinjiang.