Tuesday, January 16, 2018

HK television industry news: TVB’s new “cross-platform” ratings system

At the end of the last year, I recall mentioning (though can't remember if it was on my blog or in one of the discussion forums) that TVB will be adopting a new ratings system starting in 2018 (there was a general mention at the time that other stations in HK would be adopting the same system as well by default).  Well, this went into effect already and the first reports are already out.    Before we look at the actual numbers though, let's first understand what goes into the calculation.  For TVB specifically (all the articles out so far are TVB-centric – I have yet to see anything about the other TV stations so not sure how specifically they will integrate this new system), the ratings number will now be a calculation of the following 3 things:  1) traditional TV ratings (those who watch via traditional TV set same time as broadcast– these are the same ratings we have now),  2) myTV Super "live" ratings (those who watch via myTV Super platform same time as broadcast), 3) myTV Super 7 day re-watch ratings (those who don't watch same day as broadcast but go back at a later time to watch).

In order for the above method to make sense, here's a little bit of background and explanation.  We all know that nowadays, in HK especially, very few audiences watch TV on a traditional television set (by "traditional", I'm talking about those "vanilla" TV sets that are only capable of receiving free channels and maybe cable subscription – doesn't include the ones with OTT/set-top boxes) .  With all the advances in technology (and the fact that Hong Kongers are known for leading busy lives that are always "on-the-go"), the trend in recent years has been for audiences (those who still bother with television content that is) to "watch TV" via the Internet (online on a computer or hooked up to a television set via OTT set-top box) or via mobile devices such as cell phone or tablets.  In addition to watching via multiple platforms, the time of day that audiences watch has changed as well – gone are the days when a typical HK family would sit around the dinner table with the TV on and watch programs together while they ate (those who grew up with TVB in the old days like I did would probably be familiar with the phrase "rice mixed with television", lol).  Instead of watching a TV program at the same time that it is broadcast, many audiences nowadays do "catch-up" watching – basically watching all of that week's episodes at one time, either at the end of the week or on the weekend.  So then supposedly, this means that the ratings going forward should, in theory, be more "accurate" in the sense that it takes into account modern audiences' viewing habits.  

According to a Mingpao article I read today, TVB released their first ratings report under the new system and this is how a few of their programs fared (this covers the week of 1/1/18 to 1/7/18): 

Golden timeslot – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line series:
Come Home Love: Lo and Behold = average 23.5 points, 1.53 million audience share (households)
My Ages Apart = average 26.1 points, 1.7 million audience share (households)
Heart And Greed (Heart of Greed 3) = average 25 points, 1.62 audience share (households)

Midnight timeslot (this is the timeslot at midnightwhere TVB usually airs old series / classics)
Files of Justice V = average 7.4 points, 480,000 audience share (households)

Weekend timeslot 
Cantopop at 50 (Anita Mui Tribute special) = average 18 points, 1.17 million audience share (households)

Source: Mingpao 


Obviously, the above is not an all-inclusive list, plus there is no comparison point in terms of what the ratings would've been for that same week if the old method was used, so personally, I am hesitant to say whether this new system is truly "more accurate".  While it does reflect better the viewing habits of audiences in the current environment, I have some reservations as to accuracy due to a few reasons. 

-          First, it appears that the calculation method for the first number (traditional TV ratings) is the same as it was previously – this number has always been a bit convoluted, as it is based on a series of algorithms and formulas performed on data that is a bit suspect to begin with, since it looks at "average" households and takes a "sampling" based on population.  I'm not a math whiz and hated Statistics in school so maybe I'm just not understanding the calculation properly but I've always been suspicious of this ratings number and what it represents, which is why I rarely ever take ratings into consideration when it comes to TV series (I basically could care less what the ratings are, since it won't impact whether I like the series or not).

-          Second, I'm not totally clear how the second number (online platform "live" ratings) is calculated.  With traditional TV ratings, despite not understanding the formulas and algorithms specifically, I at least DO have a general idea overall how the ratings are calculated (which is basically installing some type of device into the TV sets that will monitor when it is tuned to a certain program, measuring down to the minute, then sending that data to the data processing centers to get put into their various formulas).  With online ratings, how does this work?  I'm assuming it's based on number of unique clicks or something of that nature but honestly, I'm not too sure.  I was able to Google some information in general about the different methods that Internet ratings are usually captured and calculated, but without knowing which method TVB (or whoever is putting together the reports over there) is using, I can't say with any amount of confidence that this number is capturing what it's supposed to capture.

-          The third number is the most "mysterious" one in my book because honestly, how do they even capture who is going back to watch the series and who isn't?  And does it depend on how many episodes are being watched?  So like what if I missed 2 weeks worth of episodes and I binge-watch the first 7 episodes on Saturday and the last 3 episodes on Sunday?  How does that affect the number?  And what if I watch outside of the 7 day window – does that get captured in the following week's data or it doesn't get counted at all?   Obviously there are a lot of "unknowns" still with this one so until I have time to do more research and truly look at what this number is capturing, I can't really say a whole lot about it.

So in conclusion – for me personally, nothing much really changes because as I said earlier, I'm not a ratings-watcher so how well a series does or doesn't do won't impact whether I choose to watch or not….it's the content and the quality of the production that matters in my book.  With that said though, it will be interesting to see how this new ratings system evolves in the coming months as more and more people catch on and start digging into things more.  I'm sure TVB will be asked to explain their calculations at some point and if they do, then I'll be sure to post an update at that time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Jacky concert - Confirmation of additional Las Vegas show!!

The below picture says it all!  Those who didn’t get tickets for the 2/17 show, make sure to put 1/4/18 on your calendar as that is when the tickets for the added show on 2/18 goes on sale!

Friday, December 29, 2017

** LATEST UPDATE 12/30 ** Jacky Concert - Additional Las Vegas show added???

** UPDATE 12/30/17:  IEM Showplace posted the following on their Facebook page this morning:

Currently working on adding another show at Las Vegas Stop and progress so far is optimistic. Please give us more courage and positive energy while we work very hard towards bringing you good news as soon as we can. Thank you.

Source:  IEM Showplace via Facebook

**UPDATE** Ok, apparently this is a glitch — the webpage is no longer accessible now.  People on FB said that their orders were cancelled.  Someone else said they called IEM and were told that the show is still being confirmed and tickets won’t officially go on sale until next week so anyone who purchased tickets for 2/18, their orders will be cancelled.

Hi guys,

Just wanted to bring to everyone's attention that it looks like they added an additional show to the Las Vegas stop for Jacky's concert.  There has been no announcement made so far though and his official concert page hasn't been updated yet.  IEMShowplace's Facebook page (which is the page that they tell us to check every time we call) also has not been updated since 12/8.  However someone on Facebook checked on IEMShowplace's web page and it appears that a show was added for 2/18 at 3pm (see below screenshot).  Not sure if they will be making the announcement soon or if this is a mistake, but since so many fellow fans missed out on tickets for the 2/17 show, I figured I would post this up and you guys can check it out if you want.  If I find out anything further, I'll be sure to update!

P.S.:  Word of warning -- we found out alot of people who bought tickets earlier in the month got their orders cancelled nearly a week later due to the purchase being made "outside of the U.S."  Quite a few people have been complaining on FB about it -- someone actually called and was told their order was cancelled because the person bought their tickets while on a trip in Canada (even though the credit card they used and account they created all had their U.S. address / phone numbers on it).  In reading the Terms and Conditions on IEM's website, it does not specifically prohibit overseas audiences from buying so not sure what the deal is with the cancellations but I wanted to let fans know just in case....


Monday, December 18, 2017

**UPDATED** HK Television Wars Update: ATV making a comeback!

**12/24/17 Hot off the press update -- Soooo.....things are starting out on the wrong foot already.  Turns out that ATV won't be able to remake MDWAV because the rights to that series (along with a bunch of other popular ATV classics) was sold to Fox Networks.  Fox released a statement today (yesterday) stating that they hold the rights to MDWAV and ATV would be infringing on copyright if they were to remake the series without Fox's consent.  ATV's CEO Ng Yu was asked about this today and he said that it is true that most of ATV's series were indeed already sold to other companies (including TVB, Fox, HMV, Sohu, etc.) and that it was a misunderstanding on their part, as the records are really messy and they are still going through them.  He said that they are in discussions with Fox right now on possible collaboration with the remake but if that doesn't pan out, they have other series they can look at remaking instead.

What a mess!  I mean, how could ATV not know that the rights to the series was already sold to Fox?  And then to announce plans for a remake as though ATV still owned the rights?  This definitely doesn't look good for ATV, especially with their already previously tarnished reputation....


Ok, so seeing that I haven't updated HK television-related stuff in awhile and we're coming up on the end of the year, I figured it was time for a mini "recap" of some of the major things going on in the HK television industry as of late.  This will be a quick, relatively short post (yea, I know, departure from my normal "War and Peace" style, but hey, I'm busy and in a crunch for time this month).

I don't plan on talking about all the TV stations, as I don't really have time for that right now (maybe I'll do a year-end recap later – we'll see), so I'll just focus on one major "hot off the press" HK television news for now.

The big news this weekend was ATV announcing their official comeback.  No, they didn't get their license back.  Rather, they are returning as an internet TV station where their programs will be available to watch via mobile platform (phone and tablet app) as well as via OTT (Over-the-Top) TV set boxes.  The new owner is a Mainland businessman with (supposedly) boatloads of money and he has hired quite a few big name industry veterans to head the station, including former TVB (and EEG) director of operations Ng Yu (he will be CEO), former TVB top exec/manager Peter Au, retired former TVB director of promotion and marketing Tsang Sing Ming, and former TVB (and subsequently NowTV) head of variety shows production Ho Lai Chuen (who is supposedly serving in the capacity of "consultant").  Also, they have a new logo now and I believe their official name is called "New Asia TV"….

In terms of artists, Ng Yu announced that everyone signed a "per series/show" contract only and are essentially free artists who can work for whichever station they so choose.  They will not be doing artist management in the beginning – instead, they intend on cultivating newcomers by having them work with experienced artists, then they will pick out the ones who are good and sign them to long term contracts (interesting strategy).  There were boatloads of former ATV and TVB artists who attended the official press conference this weekend (note that the official re-launch date isn't until January 29th – they are just making all the announcements 1 month early), most notably Stephen Chan, Margie Tsang, Wong Hei, Spencer Leung, Joyce Chan, Anne Heung, Queenie Chu, Cillia Lok, Jacqueline Chu, ATV veteran Lau Shek Yin, etc.  Supposedly these artists are only a few of the over 100 artists + behind-the-scenes crew that ATV currently has working for them. 

Programming-wise, the biggest highlights are Stephen Chan hosting the 2018 version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" – of course, he's got pretty big shoes to fill considering how popular that game show was back when Kenneth Chan hosted the Chinese version on ATV many years ago (and no, I highly doubt Stephen Chan will be able to invite the "A-list" guests that Kenneth was able to back in the days when he hosted).  The other big highlight (on the variety show side) is that they will have a live variety program that will air every night Monday thru Friday – the show is called "See You Tonight" (and yes, the similar-sounding name to TVB's iconic live variety show EYT is probably deliberate) and will consist of one episode a night with a different theme each night hosted by different artists.  Spencer Leung, Joyce Chan, and veteran radio host Sarah Lee will host the Monday entertainment news-themed edition (Spencer said that for the first episode, he will be inviting 2 of his "enemies" whom he hasn't seen in a long time on to the show to have dinner with him – he also said he can't guarantee their won't be arguing or fighting so he advised audiences to tune in to see what happens).   Wong Hei and Anne Heung will be hosting Thursday nights, with the theme being travel and food, while Queenie Chu, Cillia Lok, and Margie  Tsang will host Wednesday nights where the theme will be fashion / lifestyle.  Lau Shek Yin will host Tuesday nights with the theme being HK current affairs and societal concerns.  I didn't catch who will be hosting Fridays though – will update once I find out.  

I'm sure the biggest question on people's minds is whether ATV will be filming series.  The answer is yes – the 2 "big productions" they already have in the works is a television version of the iconic HK movie "A Better Tomorrow" (yes, the movie that starred Chow Yun Fat in one of his most famous roles ever, "Mark Gor" – it also famously starred Leslie Cheung and Ti Lung) and also, a remake of ATV's classic hit "My Date with a Vampire" (I was never a MDWAV fan but those of you who are/were, feel free to comment how you feel about this news – good? Bad? Indifferent?).  Cast won't be announced until later, though in terms of MDWAV,  I highly doubt that any of the artists who were involved with the original will be participating in this new remake version.  Also, Ng Yu had done an interview last week (prior to this weekend's press conference) where he pretty much already confirmed that all of their "self-produced" series will be collaborations with Mainland – meaning produced with Mainland money, feature Mainland artists, and overall be geared toward Mainland audiences.

Lastly, the question of the day from reporters during the press conference was whether there would be a repeat of what I like to call "Salarygate" – remember those 4 to 6 months where ATV failed to pay their staff's salaries, resulting in hundreds of ATV staff having to apply to the Labor Department and also take ATV to court to recoup their lost wages.  Ng Yu confirmed that there will absolutely NOT be a repeat of that, as one of the pre-requisites for him agreeing to be CEO (keep in mind that he had retired from EEG last year) was that the owner must put staff salaries first and foremost.  He said the current owner of ATV has tons of properties and business and money is not an issue…in fact, he said that the owner plans on investing 400 million HKD the first year to make sure all relevant and necessary production costs, salaries, expenses, etc. are covered.


To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about this whole ATV thing.  In my book, that station's reputation is so tarnished already that it will essentially take Herculean effort to truly re-establish themselves as a possible force to be reckoned with in HK audience's eyes.  Personally, even after their announcement, I wasn't all that excited about their programs, as there really wasn't much that interested me except for that "See You Tonight" variety program that I might possibly watch, mostly out of curiosity to see whether it will truly be an "original effort" or merely a copycat of EYT (long-time TVB fans will probably remember that Ng Yu is still considered the "father of E.Y.T." and is largely credited with making that show the success it was for so many years, so it's hard for me to believe there won't be 'E.Y.T.' influences in the show).  The 2 series they announced so far I'm definitely not interested in – as I said above, I was never a fan of MDWAV so I could care less that they are doing a remake of it, but I did love the movie "A Better Tomorrow", which is one reason why I don't want to watch the ATV remake version because I know for sure they are going to butcher it (come on now – I don't care who they end up casting, no one is ever going to surpass Chow Yun Fat's iconic performance in that movie!).  With that said though, one thing I will say is that if the powers-that-be at ATV have been paying attention to entertainment news the last couple months, they perhaps would've heard the iconic film's director John Woo recently reveal that actor Mark Cheng was originally slated for the role of 'Mark Gor' but he turned it down due to scheduling conflict, so Chow Yun Fat got picked for the role (CYF was known as "box-office poison" at that time – he was a huge television star, but movie-wise, practically every movie he had made leading up to that movie had bombed).  To me, it would be interesting (and probably a huge talking / selling point for ATV) if they were to cast Mark Cheng in the lead role for the TV version – in a way, giving him a chance to fix a previously "missed opportunity"….but this is just me putting in my two cents…I actually have no idea who ATV is going cast in either series.

Concluding thoughts:  Basically, my approach with this ATV comeback thing is "wait and see".  As I said above, I'm not excited for any of their programs or artists.  On the contrary, I'm actually more excited about the internet series from other lesser name (in HK at least) production companies:  namely, OCTB season 2 (which will start filming next month) and also both of Fox Asia's HK series "Trading Floor" and "Stain'd".  The trailers for both series have been out for awhile already and even though both were only a few short seconds, the little I saw already blew TVB series out of the water big-time.   I read in the news that they recently did a special director's cut of "Stain'd" where they edited all 5 episodes into a movie length film and debuted it at the Macau Film Festival, where 2 of the series' stars Kara Hui and Tse Kwan Ho as well as director Patrick Kong were in attendance (the other lead, Anthony Wong, was not in attendance) – the film version was supposedly quite intense and gory (the story is based on a real life HK murder case – the infamous recent case of a teenager who hatched an intricate plot to kill his parents and dismember their bodies, then blamed the killings on the mentally ill friend who  had assisted him).  With 3 award-winning A-list actors leading the series, no doubt the acting will be top-notch!  "Trading Floor" also I'm excited about, mostly because of the cast (again, award-winning movie actors Francis Ng and Liu Kai Chi), plus the producer is none other than Andy Lau – the "big names" attached to the project and the guaranteed top-notch acting are enough to get me absolutely interested!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jacky Cheung Concert Tour - U.S. Shows - ticket information!

Finally – ticket information for Jacky's U.S. shows was just announced!  For those who can read Chinese, below are the original posts from iemshowplace's (concert organizer) Facebook page.  There are some special instructions on here so make sure you read it carefully.  

For the benefit of those who may not be able to read Chinese, I went ahead and translated (note that the posts for both the Connecticut and Las Vegas shows have the exact same information on them, with the only difference being the dates and times).


Jacky Cheung – A Classic Tour – Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

IEMshowplace Facebook fans can buy tickets on 12/7/17 – one day ahead of official ticket release.  Please be aware of the following:

1.       A limited amount of tickets will go on sale starting 12/7/2017 (Thursday) from 12:00noon to 11:59pmand will end once all tickets have been sold.  In order to purchase tickets, you will need to use your Facebook account to log in to the ticket sales website.  The website for presale will be announced on 12/7/2017 at 11:59am on Facebook.

2.       Those who purchase tickets online will not be able to choose their seats.   The tickets will be sold on a "first come first served" basis.  Once you indicate the which level of tickets you want, the system will automatically choose the seats starting from the middle inner seats in that ticket bracket and expand out from there to both sides.  If your credit card fails to go through, then you will need to wait until the system purges your information before placing another order

3.       Please note:  After your online order successfully goes through, all sales are final – no refund or exchange will be allowed.  

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jacky’s Concert: Official Announcement!

** Sorry guys -- looks like this post got all warped up initially...I guess that's what happens when I try to do a rush post from my phone!  I fixed the post so it should be good now.**

It's here!!!!

Official announcement for U.S. shows on Universal's Facebook page! In terms of where/how to buy tickets, the last sentence says "details will be announced in next couple days"

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

***UPDATED***Jacky Concert News - North America tour dates!!!

**UPDATED 11/30/17**

Ok, so I have updated information.  I actually called the concert organizers (Universal) and was able to get confirmed information from them.  Jacky will indeed be doing 3 shows in Connecticut and 1 show (so far) in Las Vegas – the dates below are also accurate ( I didn’t ask about Canada, since I live in the U.S., so my apologies to Canadian fans).  The lady I spoke with said that tickets have not officially gone on sale yet.  I told her that I know of people who claim to already have bought tickets and she said she knows, as there were a bunch of people who somehow were able to get into their website earlier and buy tickets even though they were not officially on sale (perhaps website was hacked?)…as soon as they found out about this, they shut everything down, which is why there is no information about Jacky’s concert on their website (iemshowplace.com).  The tickets don’t officially go on sale until next week – the exact date and time will be announced on their Facebook page in the next couple of days.

Also, in terms of prices, the most expensive tickets range between $468 to $488 USD – this is important to know because if anyone tries to sell you tickets for more than that price (not including handling charges of course), most likely they are scalpers.  Just wanted to make everyone aware so fellow fans don’t get jipped out of their hard earned money.

I’ll keep posting updates as I find out more info.

**UPDATED 11/29/17**

There is finally word on the show dates for the North America (USA / Canada) leg of Jacky's concert tour!  I got word from a friend that the show dates for U.S. and Canada are tentatively scheduled for the following:

Las Vegas:  2/17/18 at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Connecticut  2/2/18 through 2/4/18 at Mohegan Sun Arena

Vancouver, Canada:  2/27/18 at Rogers Arena


From what I understand, the above dates are tentative and supposedly additional dates are being finalized.  I checked UMG's official concert tour web page and none of the above dates are posted yet -- not sure if they are behind on posting or the dates haven't been confirmed yet.  I haven't heard any official announcements from Universal or Jacky's fan club yet so of course take this with a grain of salt.

In terms of ticket information, I've seen some websites that supposedly are selling tickets, but not sure if I believe the legitimacy of those.  I checked the website that was listed on the Las Vegas poster (yes, there is a poster for the Las Vegas one already...though real or fake I don't know) where supposedly tickets were being sold, but when I pulled up the site, Jacky's concert isn't even listed.  My friend said that his friend told him he bought tickets already but again, not sure how true that is.  I checked MGM Grand's website where it lists upcoming shows all the way out through February and so far nothing there either.

I will definitely post further if I hear anything -- for now though, this is all I've got.  If anyone else hears anything, feel free to give me a holler in the comments!

Friday, November 24, 2017

TVB 50th Anniversary Gala – My Thoughts

With this year being TVB’s 50th anniversary, I decided to tune in to their Anniversary Gala celebration that took place on November 19th (this past weekend) just to see if they would do anything “special” to celebrate such a significant milestone.  Most people know that I’ve been following TVB since the 80s era and back then (as well as throughout the 90s), the anniversary gala each year was truly a “grand” event that I always looked forward to watching – it was absolutely a glamorous affair where all the stars would come out and give us audiences a truly entertaining and memorable show.  Nowadays, things are obviously different – the anniversary gala has ceased to be a “grand” affair for at least a decade now and every year, it seems like TVB is merely “going through the motions,” haphazardly throwing something together just because they have to (after all, being HK’s main free-to-air TV station, they can’t “not” celebrate their own birthday, as it would make them look really bad).  I’ve continued to watch the anniversary galas the past couple years, even though most of them have been horrible – I do so mostly out of curiosity to see whether, for once, TVB will make a decent gala show…unfortunately, each year, I am hugely disappointed, as the show gets worse and worse each year, to the point that I wonder why I even bother watching.  Though I knew better than to have any type of expectations for a TVB program, I still went into the 50th anniversary gala hoping that perhaps this time, with it being such a special occasion, TVB won’t let me down.  Looks like this was wishful thinking on my part – while the show overall was heaps better than last year’s gala (which I don’t consider a compliment since last year’s gala was the worst one ever, both in terms of ratings and content), overall, it was still disappointing in that the show was pretty much “same old same old” as previous years in terms of being lackluster, boring, and hugely disorganized.   Writing this post up now, several days after the gala aired, I honestly can’t remember much of the event, which is already a sign that the show was not memorable.  This is especially significant given the fact that I am able to vividly remember almost all of the past galas that took place back in the 80s and 90s even though it has been years since I last watched those shows, yet I can barely remember any of the galas from the past 15 years.  It’s pretty sad and I guess in a way, it shows how little I care about TVB nowadays compared to the past. 

The only 2 things I remember from this year’s anniversary gala were also the 2 best segments of the entire show and in the spirit of giving credit where it’s due, I will give TVB a rare pat on the back for both these segments (don’t get used to it though, lol).  The first segment I thought was done well this year was, surprisingly, the anniversary gala skit – this time around, the skit was actually kind of funny (I have no problems admitting that I got a few laughs out of watching certain artists make fools of themselves):  Wayne actually made me laugh when he resurrected his classic imitation of Roman Tam, I chuckled when Raymond Cho imitated Wayne, and yes, FAMA was hilarious with their imitations of Dodo Cheng and Eric Tsang (and watching Eric “beat them up” afterwards was funny too, lol).  Of course, when I compare this year’s skit to the “classic” ones from the older anniversary galas, it absolutely pales in comparisons – but taken by itself, there was obviously some thought and effort put into the skit this year and for that, I will give TVB some brownie points.

For me though, the biggest highlight of the entire show was the “Hidden Heroes” segment where TVB paid tribute to all the “green leaf” (supporting) artists who have worked for them over the years.  This segment was technically in two parts – the first part consisted of Fook Luk Sau (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) dressing up as comic book super heroes (Batman, Wonder Woman, and I can’t remember who the third one was) to battle 3 “enemy villains” played by veteran green leaf artists Law Lok Lam, Jimmy Au, and Lau Kong.  To be honest, the “fake battle” was kind of cheesy and if it weren’t for the 3 veterans, I probably would’ve stopped watching the segment altogether, but I’m glad I stuck with it because part two was truly AWESOME!  After the corny battle scene, FLS announced that there was actually more and when they turned around, all of the “green leaf” artists were standing on stage (the ones who attended the gala of course).  The first row of artists were specially chosen to represent the various types of “supporting” roles that we see often in TVB series and each of them were formally introduced as well as got the chance to say a few words to the audience.  I loved this segment and actually got a little teary-eyed seeing so many wonderful supporting actors / actresses up there finally getting the “5 minutes of fame” they deserve.  For once, TVB actually did the right thing by giving these unsung heroes (the true pillars of all TVB series) the credit they deserve and even though it still wasn’t enough time in my opinion (take parts one and two together and it was only about 15 minutes max), it’s already a huge improvement considering these artists usually get no recognition at all in past galas.  Again, to give credit where it’s due, kudos to TVB for thinking about the “green leaf” artists this time around and for putting together a segment that was truly memorable as well as fitting of a 50th anniversary celebration (enjoy the praise while it lasts TVB because it’s rare for me to give any nowadays….).

Below I’ve included a link to part two of the “green leaf” artists tribute (on Youtube) as well as a brief “write-up” that HK01 did on the segment.  I hope you enjoy the segment as much as I did! 

One last note -- I’ve also done tributes to green leaf artists on my blog in the past and I honestly hope that other bloggers who follow the HK entertainment industry will do the same.  There is never enough recognition or credit given to supporting artists (mainstream media cares mostly about the lead/popular artists and/or artists who are controversial and constantly put themselves in the line of media fire), so whenever I see tributes of this sort to these “unsung heroes,” I have no problem heaping on the praise.  It’s a small token of my appreciation and gratitude for these artists’ unwavering dedication and efforts at making HK entertainment still worth following!

Video source: HK01 article

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NEWS update: ATV to make a comeback in 2018

It has been more than a year since ATV lost their free-to-air TV license and officially closed up shop.  From the moment they closed, there were already rumors that they would “come back” some day – one rumor was that they were going to submit an application for a license again while another was that they were going to “change format” and return in a different capacity.   Up until this point, there was never much merit to the rumors, especially since majority of what was being told to the public was coming from the mouth of ATV’s former chairman Nick Ip Kar Bo (who already proved himself to be a weak puppy through his constant regurgitation of whatever ridiculous assertions that ATV’s higher ups at the time had him relay).  Even up until last week, when Nick Ip attended an event for Creation TV (the Christian television channel that he has officially joined as chairman), he was still talking about the possibility of ATV returning.  While I still don’t give Nick Ip’s words much merit (since he has a bad reputation in my book), there is actually some truth to the rumors this time in that there is now official confirmation that ATV is returning, albeit Nick Ip isn’t really involved.

I had actually read about ATV possibly making a comeback in a few news articles last week, but at the time, didn’t have the details.  Now I have more info so I wanted to get this blog post out there to share it.   The latest issue of Mingpao Weekly magazine (published this past weekend) had an article that spells out some of the details, including an interview with the person who will be the new ATV chairman.

My two cents:  Personally, I’m not sure how well ATV will fare coming back as a web channel given all the competition in this arena as of late (in addition to TVB, who officially entered the web channel arena last year with myTV Super, there’s also ViuTV, which has their own web streaming platform, and also “outsiders” such as Fox Asia and Netflix, plus the plethora of production companies that have been making web series and putting them on various streaming platforms such as Youtube).  To me, if ATV wants to make a successful comeback, the first thing they need to do is change their name….keeping the same name will conjure up memories of the old ATV and with the horribly damaged reputation that station had, it will be harder for HK audiences to accept them without blemish.  For right now, I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach, as there hasn’t been a whole lot revealed yet in terms of artists and also programming / content – both of which we all know are critical to success.  Since the “launch” is tentatively scheduled for some time in January, I’m pretty sure we will hear more details come out in the next two months.


Below is the article along with a brief summary of the main points from the original article (note that this is NOT a direct translation – it is basically me pulling out the main points from the article and summarizing them here).

Source:  Mingpao Weekly magazine, Issue #2556
(published November 4, 2017)

Main highlights:

-          ATV will be officially returning to TV screens in January 2018.  They will be returning as a web channel that can be accessed via Internet platform as well as mobile devices (via a specially designed app).  TV audiences can access their channel via a set-top box, but with a paid subscription (which is essentially the exact same OTT – Over the Top – method that TVB’s myTV Super utilizes currently). 

-          The new chairman of ATV will be Ng Yu (吳雨), who retired from his executive-level position at EEG last year.  As most people may already know, Ng Yu also used to be one of the top executives at TVB (back in the 80s and 90s) and has many years of experience in media management, so in a way, he’s the perfect candidate for the job.  Though another company will officially be heading up the venture, they recruited Ng Yu for the role of chairman with the promise that he will be the one who calls all the shots.

-          Aside from Ng Yu, the executive team for this new ATV venture consists mostly of former TVB and EEG people, including:  former TVB Assistant Manager Peter Au (歐偉林), former TVB senior producer Fred Lam (林嘉穎), former EEG artists’ department manager Roger, and also Ng Yu’s long-time secretary Pauline.

-          As of right now, there are already over 100 employees working for this new ATV.  Majority of the employees are former ATV staff (i.e. all the behind-the-scenes people such as makeup artists, costume, PAs, etc.) but due to his connections, Ng Yu was also able to recruit artists and behind-the-scenes staff from both TVB and EEG as well. 

-          Ng Yu stated that they are planning to bring ATV back in its entirety in that they are going to produce TV series (and also purchase series from other countries to air on their channel), variety programs, news programs, and also revive the Miss Asia pageant.  However he said that the Miss Asia pageant this time around will be very different from the past, as he didn’t want all the issues that used to plague the pageant to follow them.

-          Supposedly, Ng Yu is already in talks with a few well-known artists to collaborate with him at this new ATV (most of the names are former ATV artists).  Some of the rumored names include:  Jaclyn Chu (朱慧), Eva Lai (黎燕), Margie Tsang (曾華), Kenneth Chan (陳啟).

Thursday, November 2, 2017

News article: Fox Asia series “Trading Floor” (香港華爾街)

Fox Asia recently announced that post-production for their highly anticipated series Hong Kong Wall Street has been completed and season 1 is scheduled to air first quarter 2018. Season 1 will only be 5 episodes and will have a movie-like quality. The way HK audiences can watch is very similar to Netflix – subscription basis via an app.

I'll post up more information once I have more time but for now, those who can read Chinese can check out this article from HK01, which is an interview with the series' star Francis Ng. I'm actually looking forward to this series, as there are so many veterans in it, plus so many big HK movie stars.

Anyway, more to come so stay tuned….

HK01 article