Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mingpao Article: “Detective Columbo” to be Lee Tim Sing’s last series prior to retirement

This article is sort of related to the previous one I did regarding the 2012 Sales Presentation series, plus Lee Tim Sing is one of my favorite producers, so I figured I would post this article on my blog as well.

A few comments regarding the article:

.—Definitely sad that Tim Gor will be retiring, as he was one of the few producers left at TVB who actually produced good, high quality series. Plus Tim Gor has been at TVB like forever (he started with them in the 1960s), so it’s definitely a huge loss for them. But hey, Tim Gor’s health is more important, so if retiring is best for him, then so be it!

.—The other latest piece of news related to this is that it has also been confirmed that the other 2 ‘golden producers’ at TVB – Mui Siu Ching and Lau Kar Ho – will be leaving TVB early next year and going over to nowTV. So this means that TVB will be losing 3 golden producers next year!

.—Tim Gor’s latest series “Bottled Passion” is an awesome series – I’ve been watching it since it premiered on 12/6 and am absolutely hooked! As most people know, there aren’t too many TVB series that I actually like from the post-2000 era and in the last 5 years, it’s been even more dismal, since it’s a huge struggle for me to find even 1 series each year that I feel is worth watching from beginning to end. So for me to enjoy “Bottled Passion” so much is a huge testament to how good the series is (and how well Tim Gor produced it). Needless to say, I will be doing a review of the series later on once I finish watching it.

.—At first I wasn’t sure if I would want to watch “Detective Columbo” next year after seeing the sales presentation clip, but now that I know the series will likely be Tim Gor’s last series prior to retiring, plus I tend to like Tim Gor’s series anyway (and Wayne will be in the series), I will most likely put it on my ‘to watch’ list now…


“Detective Columbo” to be Lee Tim Sing’s last series prior to retirement

Source: Mingpao

Translated by: llwy12

December has traditionally been a ‘bad’ month for TV ratings: students are busy with finals, parents are busy worrying about their children’s grades in school, families are planning for holiday festivities and travel plans, etc. Understandably, arranging for a series to broadcast during this time period is pretty much the same as putting it up for sacrifice. As the ratings reports come out every week, the focus has been on how much the ratings for the series “When Heaven Burns” has fallen from one week to the next. With the upcoming long holiday and guaranteed heavy travel season that comes with it, the concern in the coming weeks is not only about how first-line series “When Heaven Burns” will fare during that time, but also how much second-line series “Bottled Passion” will be affected as well. Not surprisingly, golden producer Lee Tim Sing (Tim Gor) has already expressed concern about his series “Bottled Passion” losing several hundred thousand viewers.

Currently in its 3rd week of broadcast, the ratings for “Bottled Passion” have been acceptable, with an average of 26 points, putting it ahead of “When Heaven Burns” for 2 weeks in a row. However, Tim Gor admits that the ratings have been lower than what he expected, as he feels that the average ratings should be at least 28 or 29 points in order to be acceptable. Always one to speak what’s on his mind, Tim Gor candidly expressed that series airing during this particular timeslot (the month of December) are definitely at a disadvantage. That being said, Tim Gor has a lot of confidence in “Bottled Passion” and in the past few days, the average ratings have slowly climbed to 28 points – though he is happy about the slight increase in ratings, Tim Gor is also worried that the ratings will drop again as viewers prepare to go out of town for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, especially since the critical finale episodes will air during this time. Tim Gor smiled helplessly and stated: “Coincidentally, “When Heaven Burns” will be airing its finale around the same time as well – since its finale is scheduled for January 1st (Sunday), there was no choice but to schedule “Bottled Passion’s” finale for the next day (Monday, January 2nd). To be honest, I’m a bit worried that audiences won’t know the finale is airing at that time, but unfortunately, there is nothing I can do, since I don’t have a right to interfere with program scheduling. I can only attribute it to bad luck.”

Tim Gor expressed that he is very happy with his series “Bottled Passion”, as the storyline breaks away from the traditional ‘romantic love story’ method and is a nice change for the audiences – plus the pairing of leads Raymond Wong and Nikki Chow is refreshing and their performances in the series are quite up to par.

Having just wrapped filming for his next series “Stairway to Heaven”, Tim Gor stated that the series is currently in post-production; after that, he will be preparing for his newest series “Detective Columbo”, which starts filming next year. Tim Gor expressed that “Detective Columbo” will be his last series prior to retirement: “Two of my directors just left, jumping ship to CTI [Ricky Wong’s company], so I don’t dare to take vacation even during the Christmas holiday because I need to personally monitor post-production for “Stairway to Heaven”. After the New Year, I’ll be starting on “Detective Columbo” – so far, there is nothing in terms of storyline, so I can only give you 6 words: 『哥倫布+黎耀祥』[Columbo + Wayne Lai]. This time around, the filming is really taking a toll on my health – after this series, I truly need to retire!”

The recent trend in the TV industry is that even scriptwriters and copy editors get to sign ‘per series’ contracts, so the reporter asked Tim Gor how he would feel about continuing to produce series on a ‘per series’ basis even after retirement? Tim Gor’s response: “I definitely won’t consider filming long-term, but if they are willing to set a precedent for producers to collaborate on a ‘per series’ contract basis, then that’s something to consider!” Even though Tim Gor says he’s retiring, looks like the door isn’t shut completely – there’s still an opportunity if TVB management is willing to take advantage of it!

Asked about recent reports that the low ratings for series “When Heaven Burns” is causing his series to have low ratings as well, Tim Gor voiced support for the series: “There was obviously a lot of thought put into the writing of the script [for “When Heaven Burns”] and the method of filming is quite good. However, whether it suits the tastes of the general public or not is really up to the audiences to decide. I would never be able to film this type of series, but am interested in observing how others do it and learning from it – if I happen to be at home, I tune in to watch as well.”


Chinese Version:








  1. Wow! So now Wayne is sealed! So we could only guess about the female lead and a bit of the storyline? LOL! I think it would be a watch for me too.

    TVB is definitely suffering a lost after Tim Sir leaves and then the other two producers.

  2. nice idea, thanks for sharing...

  3. @DTLCT: Yup, Wayne is definitely sealed -- in fact, he has been from the beginning (when Tim Gor decided to produce the series), as Wayne is one of Tim Gor's favorite actors(they've been collaborating since back in the 80s). So I guess we could say that "Detective Columbo" is being produced specifically for Wayne? That could be agood or bad thing....anyway, let's see what happens...