Article originally published 12/27/2011
Source: Oriental Daily
Translated by: llwy12
** Note: Only the part of the article related to Lee Tim Sing was translated**
With all the changes that TVB has been going through recently, the internal politics have been a mess and now, even elders who’ve always been ‘ratings guarantees’ are falling victim to the internal unrest.
Golden producer Lee Tim Sing (Tim Gor), who contributed greatly to TVB’s success for several decades, invited singer/actress Niki Chow to return to TVB last year to film the series “Bottled Passion” with actor Raymond Wong. Around the time of last year’s Sales Presentation, the plan was to arrange for the series to air during October’s ‘golden’ timeslot. Unfortunately, due to internal politics, “Bottled Passion” was moved to the December ‘cannon fodder’ timeslot and replaced instead with Liza Wang and the three gods’ anniversary series “Super Snoops”.
Currently in its finale week, the storyline for “Bottled Passion” revolves around a love story, which seems to be the perfect fit for TVB’s housewife audience’s tastes compared with the cannibalism-themed series “When Heaven Burns”, which is also in its finale week. However, TVB has arranged for the finale of “When Heaven Burns” to air on Sunday (January 1st), pushing “Bottled Passion”s finale to Monday, Jan 2nd (the first time that a TVB series has aired its finale on a Monday). This further added fuel to an already burning fire. It is rumored that because Tim Gor is planning to retire next year, someone is seizing upon the opportunity to give him the ‘cold shoulder’. Despite his previous accomplishments, including last year’s highly rated anniversary series “No Regrets”, Tim Gor was not given any face, causing his newest series to become ‘high quality cannon fodder’!
Our reporter contacted Tim Gor for clarification. When the issue of his series being placed in a cannon fodder timeslot was brought up, a usually mellow Tim Gor became upset, angrily blasting TVB: “Of course there will be someone sacrificed in the PK timeslot! [TN: 'PK' in this context represents a Cantonese curse word]. Several years ago, my series “A Fistful of Stances” was the same way – whether there is a particular motive to it, I really don’t know! It’s not worth getting upset over anymore – besides, I’m not the first one treated this way – cannon fodder or not, doesn’t matter anymore!” Tim Gor expressed that TVB’s action of moving “Bottled Passion” to such a timeslot was hugely discouraging to the cast and crew and he has been trying his best to bring the morale back up. He stated: “I can’t lie – the ratings truly aren’t that great. The worst part is that the series has good word of mouth….the screenwriting team is definitely upset. Aiye! During the holidays, there are at least 600,000 to 700,000 people who leave town for travel, so of course they won’t be sitting in front of their TVs watching the series. If the series was placed in the October timeslot as originally planned, the ratings would be at least 2 points higher, if not more! But I’m used to it already!”
When the series was originally taken out of the October timeslot, Tim Gor had angrily gone up to the drama department to inquire as to the reason: “I admit that the series [Bottled Passion] is not a ‘star-studded’ production, as the main leads are Niki and Raymond. But Niki has truly shown great improvement in her acting, Raymond is a perfect fit for the role, and Joel [Chan] did a good job as anticipated. I put a lot of heart into coming up with this story and the plot was carefully arranged. When I first heard about the series airing in the October timeslot, I thought to myself that it would surely succeed. Unexpectedly though, the drama department pulled the series out of that timeslot last minute – when I asked why, they said it was because of a ‘particular reason’ and even apologized to me!”
Asked about plans to retire, Tim Gor replied that the final decision will be made at the end of next year: “At the end of next year, I will be 65 years old. The company’s retirement age is 60 years, so I have already exceeded by 5 years – it is enough! I still have the heart for it, but not the strength. My colleagues sometimes see me limping when I’m walking, so I already know that health-wise, it’s taking a toll on me!”