TVB -- Articles Worth Reading (值得看的文章)

This page will be dedicated entirely to interesting articles and tidbits about TVB.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Source: Mingpao

Translation: llwy12

Artists not being allowed to ‘dig gold’ in Mainland is primary cause for TVB exodus

What is the reason for so many TVB artists terminating their contracts and choosing to leave the company?

In the past, TVB was a place to lay ‘golden’ eggs because of the number of opportunities artists had to film series with high ratings, which in turn caused the artists to become popular. Due to the increase in the audience’s familiarity with the artists, they then had a chance to attend various events in Asia (for example, Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia) as well as events for merchandise endorsements in HK. Many artists were satisfied with this, which is one of the reasons why TVB has been able to retain artists even with low wages throughout all these years.

As the production of series in the Mainland started to flourish and the need grew for popular HK artists to participate in order to make their series more marketable, Mainland companies were willing to offer salaries of 2 to 3 times the amount that HK TV stations paid in order to secure artists. In the past, TVB would allow their artists to take time off from their work in HK to film series in the Mainland and ‘dig for gold’ – the only caveat was that the series could not air on rival TV stations using the artists’ original voices.

However, in recent years, there have been instances of other TV stations such as ATV buying the broadcasting rights for [Mainland] series that TVB artists participated in, causing there to be situations where the same artist would be ‘competing’ against themselves on different stations. Plus last year, when TVB artist Ron Ng won a Best Actor award for his role in Mainland series <> at rival station i-Cable – this greatly upset Director of Artists and Resource Management Virginia Lok, who felt that the other stations were purposefully trying to upstage TVB. Therefore, Ms. Lok implemented a ‘requirement’ that going forward, all Mainland series that TVB siu sangs and fa dans participate in must be ones where TVB has priority in purchasing the rights and airing. If TVB has no interest in buying the rights to the series, then TVB artists are not allowed to participate in the series. When this ‘instruction’ was implemented, many artists were dissatisfied.

One of the first artists to be ‘affected’ by this new stipulation was Steven Ma – after 6 months of negotiation to participate in Mainland series <>, his hopes were dashed when TVB rejected the series on his behalf. On the other side of the spectrum, fellow artist Charmaine Sheh, who was also invited to participate in the same series, fared better – as soon as her management contract expired, she already expressed that she would not renew and instead switched to a per series contract, which therefore allowed her to participate in said Mainland series for a high salary of 120,000 yuan per episode.

Due to this new stringent requirement, many artists who wanted to have the opportunity to film in the Mainland became hesitant that they would not be allowed to do so if they remained at TVB – therefore, some artists decided that they would rather take the risk and try breaking through to the Mainland market themselves. For example, an artist like Steven Ma can afford to terminate his contract early and pay a fine to TVB so that he can participate in <>, as he would be able to earn the money back quickly.

It is said that as soon as TVB’s GM Stephen Chan found out about this ‘problem’ [the new requirement causing artists to leave], he immediately stepped in to resolve the issue by loosening the requirement in the hopes of retaining many of their first line siu sangs and fa dans.


Chinese version:







Source: The Standard
Action station

Phila Siu

Friday, September 09, 2011

TVB's high-profile general manager, Stephen Chan Chi-wan, has put payback plans as well as celebrations on hold within days of a judge throwing out claims that he's been an underhand dealer in the world of entertainment.
One and a half years after he was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption at his home in Mong Kok, the 52-year-old Chan walked from Wan Chai District Court last Friday apparently in the clear to get back into the full swing of his job with Hong Kong's No 1 terrestial broadcaster.

But five days later, prosecutors in the Department of Justice caused a shock by appealing against acquittals for Chan and Edthancy Tseng Pei-kun, 28, Chan's former personal assistant and a director of Idea Empire Advertising and Production, on graft charges. (A third person cleared in the case about outsourcing and fees is not targeted for new action.)

More important than having to delay raising a celebratory glass or two would seem to be that Chan must delay resuming a long-running standoff with TVB group general manager Mark Lee Po- on.

And it's likely he also has unfinished business with the broadcaster's controller of production resources, Virginia Lok Yee-ling.

There's quite a history to this sorry situation, and some of the background is worth recalling ahead of the renewed legal flurry.

A University of Hong Kong graduate in English and theater, Chan first - and perhaps surprisingly - put his talents to work as a government administration offic
er. But a natural calling drew him to TVB in 1994 as a program controller. He worked his way up from that slot to general manager in 2004, earning about HK$4 million a year.

Along the way, Chan's business and personal relationships have been hard to discern. That has provided fuel for gossipers, with some of the talk about Chan's sexual orientation.

Lately have come suggestions that his relationship with Tseng went beyond being just good friends and business pals. This after ICAC arresting officers knocked on Chan's door in March last year and found Tseng there, quite at home.

But whispers about gay guys and gals in entertainment no longer rate much more than passing giggles and winks, and this side to Chan's life is not the focus today.

Instead, most eyes are on how Chan - back on the job this week with responsibilities for TVB programming, production and external affairs - will get along with TVB heavyweight Mark Lee Po-on, 55.

Lee was ATV's chief executive between 1992 and 1996 but joined TVB as general manager of finance and administration in 2007. He was quickly promoted to group general manager in 2009, making him Chan's boss.

But this does not mean Lee has had a upper hand. For Chan is popular among TVB staff, largely because of his outgoing, friendly personality. He's also a favorite of senior management.

Weight was added to the view that Chan's place at the station is rock solid after he was arrested in March last year and then suspended from his duties as general manager.

For in November, in the middle of his trial, he was recalled to the station when Mona Fong Yat-wa, TVB managing director and wife of the station's 103-year-old founder, Run Run Shaw, faced a challenge.

Fong, now 77, was having a tough time negotiating with potential buyers of TVB shares. With Chan's help a deal was sealed a few months later, ending Shaw's 44-year grip on the broadcaster.

Charles Chan Kwok-keung, chairman of investment holding firm ITC Corp, Taiwan information technology entrepreneur Cher Wang Hsiueh-hong and Providence Equity Partner chief executive Jonathan Nelson bought the entire 26-percent stake of TVB owned by Shaw Brothers for HK$6.26 billion.

Charles Chan, it's said, called Stephen Chan an "outstanding" person because he helped TVB make a lot of money even when his trial was in progress.

And when Stephen Chan walked out of the court a free man last week, Fong was among the few people he named for special thanks.

In contrast, Lee is not high in the TVB staff popularity ratings, and talk of low morale at the station is laid at his door. But that's not surprising: it fell to Lee to lay off about 300 staff after he was made group general manager.

More biting are suggestions that Lee helped the ICAC to move on the graft charges against Chan, Tseng and former TVB head of business development in the marketing and sales division Wilson Chan Wing-shuen, 63.

TVB celebrities

And then there's the testimony that Lee offered in court. He said he had been outraged and shocked when he found out from an internal audit about a contract that outsourced a function to Tseng and Idea Empire - which offered a good earning opportunity for Chan. Lee said he would not have approved the deal if he'd been told about it before it was struck.

TVB had almost 3,000 staff, Lee noted, and so there had been no need for "such a small company" as Tseng's to be paid to handle an easy task. "It's common sense that the company's benefits need to be protected." he added.

When Chan was cleared of all charges, it was noted, Lee had nothing to say.

Prosecutors had lined up 54 witnesses in the trial, and among them were big names such as TVB celebrities Wayne Lai Yiu-cheung, Charmaine Sheh Sze-man and Tavia Yeung Yi.

But there was another stand-out name on the list who, like Lee, figures prominently in the continuing dispute. That's the 52-year-old Virginia Lok, who is back to reporting to Chan rather than Lee.

When testifying, Lok said she would not have approved the appearances of actresses at a 2009 New Year's Eve event at Olympian City if she'd known there was money involved. She described Chan's demand that actresses had to show up for the event as "selling piglets" - sending artists to events without telling them why.

Lok must also be wary of Chan's comeback because she does not seem to be on good terms with perhaps his best friend, Wong Hei. The TVB celebrity was an ever-present companion when Chan went to court. Wong's contract with TVB is a month from expiring, and Lok, who's in charge of the matter, has yet to talk with him about a renewal.

Lok explained to The Standard's sister publication Eastweek magazine that the lack of action was because Wong was out of town.

Wong counters: "She has my phone number, and it has roaming service, so she can definitely reach me. But so far no one has contacted me."

Herder of 'piglets'

But Lok has changed the hostile face she wore in court, talking now about the strength Chan has displayed and how the trial would have caused a lesser person to collapse. "When I heard the verdict, I had tears in my eyes," she adds.

Lok also declares that Chan "is my boss from the beginning until the end," though she'd had to report to Lee when the case went active. "But Stephen Chan Chi-wan knows a lot of stuff," she says, "so I need instructions from the master."

Quite a change from a herder of "piglets."

Whatever he may have in mind, Chan will likely let matters tick over as the Department of Justice appeals against the acquittals of Tseng and himself on three of five counts of graft.

One of the key allegations is that he received HK$112,000 from Tseng to take part in the Be My Guest show as part of the New Year's Eve countdown function at Olympian City.

Prosecutors have also filed an appeal against Acting Chief District Judge Poon Siu-tung's order the department must pay court costs for Chan and Tseng.

A spokesman for the department also says that prosecutors believe the judge made an error in law and misapplied it to facts in the case.

He was referring to the court's view about "celebrity contracts" and Chan's status, which are at the core of the appeal.

Chan did not take part in the countdown as a TVB artist, Poon ruled, because he was not under a celebrity contract. But Chan took part in the countdown as a celebrity, not a member of TVB's staff.

That ruling has raised concerns that many senior managers of companies are so-called celebrities, and they could take a cue from the Chan case if they land in trouble over "fees."

Others see losses of face for the ICAC and the Department of Justice, believing the graftbusting agency was pulled into an internal rift at TVB.

Joseph Wong Wing-ping, a public and social administration professor at City University and a former secretary for commerce, industry and technology, said in a newspaper column that senior managers of many companies show up at events as "celebrities" to get exposure for their businesses.

And chief executives of banks and other financial institutions could also lay claim to that status because of media exposure.

So the ICAC could face a new challenge to doing its job if the idea catches on, he said.

A barrister thinks along similar lines about knock-on effects if judge Poon's ruling stands as a precedent.

The Department of Justice, he adds, has to fight the decision by asking the Court of Appeal to consider whether the judge erred in law in reaching his verdict as it cannot base its action on the evidence.

The importance of this sort of appeal - known in legal parlance as "case state" - was seen a few years ago, the barrister says. Then, the Department of Justice appealed against the acquittal of a police officer accused of graft charges, arguing that an undercover officer's recording should be allowed into evidence.

The case went up to the Court of Final Appeal, which decided that a recording by a undercover officer can be evidence if it met certain requirements. That has since had an impact on similar cases.

Solicitor Daniel Wong Kwok-tung noted that the judge acquitted Chan because his contract with TVB did not state clearly that he is not allowed to take part in functions from which he can make money.

"But the ICAC does not care much about the contract," he adds. "They think that there is a conflict of interests, so corruption is involved."

And that ensures a legal saga that is set to throw up plenty of juicy tidbits about one of the most high-profile jobs in the territory.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chinese version:

TVB举行亮灯仪式演“宫心计” 艺人需跟对老大




















































English Version (translated):

TVB’s Light Switching Ceremony -- Artists Need to Follow the Right Leader (updated analysis of TVB’s 4 parties)
Thursday, November 18, 2010 Hong Kong
Translation: llwy12

On 10/18, TVB’s anniversary series <> starring Wayne Lai and Sheren Tang officially started airing. On the same day, TVB held its 43rd annual Light Switching Ceremony, formally announcing to the world that the competition for TV King and Queen has officially begun.

Under the leadership of Mona Fong (Mrs. Six), TVB’s upper management was ‘unofficially’ separated into 4 main parties – these parties have been battling openly as well as behind the scenes for years, to the point where it has become a normal part of entertainment industry life. Some of the artists themselves have voluntary ‘gotten in line’ behind certain leaders.

With the corruption charges against TVB’s GM Stephen Chan and Virginia Lok’s subsequent increase in power, the fate of TVB’s various artists seem to have followed along with their leaders’ ups and downs.

Hints of this can already be seen in the group photo taken during TVB’s annual Light Switching ceremony on 10/18. To the right of TVB’s Chairman Run Run Shaw stood Wayne Lai and Sheren Tang; to his left stood Moses Chan and Charmaine Sheh. As for TVB’s former ‘first sister’ Jessica Hsuan – well, she has already been relegated to ‘second row’ status.

Who gets promoted, who gets demoted, who leaves, who joins, who sits atop the ‘number one’ throne – even from the beginning, it’s never had anything to do with acting talent.

Promoted Artist: Charmaine Sheh
Practicing the ‘Lau Sam Ho’ way of living and handling issues
Promotion background: In 1974, producer Catherine Tsang joined TVB and was responsible for launching the careers of many famous stars such as Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Tony Leung, etc. She experienced both the ‘Run Run Shaw era' as well as the ‘Mona Fong era’ and even now, continues to stand strong. In 2003, Virginia Lok came to power, becoming the Head of the production and resources department, with her main emphasis in Artist Management. At that time, Charmaine Sheh – who used to be under Catherine Tsang’s party – switched over to Virginia Lok’s party, thereby ensuring that she would be successfully promoted.

Though Charmaine did not have Gigi Lai’s good looks or Jessica Hsuan’s handsomeness, and to some, she seemed to always have a ‘bitter melon’ face, but yet, almost without much fanfare, she became hugely popular.

Originally, Catherine Tsang was the one who pretty much was single-handedly responsible for elevating Charmaine to her position. However, due to the presence of fa-dan Gigi Lai, Charmaine had to settle for ‘Number 2’ for many years. It wasn’t until Virginia Lok arrived on the scene that Charmaine was able to see the ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel. Therefore, she “jumped ship” to Virginia Lok’s party.

Virginia Lok is known to like obedient, ‘good’ artists who listen to what she says, so Charmaine would always heed her arrangements, while at the same time continuing to elevate her own acting. Coincidentally, a lot of rumors also surfaced in recent years between Charmaine and Virginia Lok’s ‘god-son’ Kevin Cheng.

In TVB, it’s not hard to find people who dislike Charmaine – older generation artists such as Sheren Tang feel that her acting is not quite up to par and newer generation artists such as Sharon Chan feel that she is not ‘pretty’ enough. Nonetheless, whether it’s malicious intent behind her back or blatant dislike in her face, Charmaine always takes it all in stride and uses Lau Sam Ho’s [her character in <>] tenants to handle the situations – either laughing it off or not saying anything, but absolutely never giving others any pretext for gossiping about her. This kind of harmonious nature on the part of Charmaine deeply endures her to Virginia Lok.

Not only is Charmaine good at gaining Virginia Lok’s favor, she also understands how to ‘play along’ according to the situation. Back when Stephen Chan was arrested, there were reports that circulated claiming the reason he got into trouble was due to long time embezzlement of artists’ performance fees, especially those of popular fa dans such as Charmaine Sheh, Tavia Yeung, etc. Some HK media also claimed that Stephen Chan was arrested due to someone snitching on him internally – rumor has it that the person is his biggest enemy, Virginia Lok. With regard to this rumor, not only did Charmaine outright deny it, she also invited both Stephen Chan and Virginia Lok to have Japanese sushi dinner together and was ‘conveniently’ photographed doing so by the media, which gained her the appreciation of both managers. It is impossible for such a ‘considerate’ artist to not be promoted.

Promoted Artists: Moses Chan, Wayne Lai
Following the right boss, then will successfully get to the top
Promotion background: Catherine Tsang and Tommy Leung are TVB’s 2 head producers and have been battling intensely for years. Tsang once forced Leung’s wife out of the company, which at the same time also caused his biggest asset – number one siu sang Louis Koo – to leave TVB. This action deepened the rivalry between the two – one that is still ongoing today – and as a result, Leung’s party has not been able to recover from it.

The departure of Leung party artists Louis Koo and Gallen Lo gave Moses Chan the huge opportunity he needed to be heavily promoted and not long after, become TVB’s ‘number one brother’.

From last year’s grand production <> to this year’s grand production <>, success rested on the shoulders of the 2 main leads Moses and Charmaine. Moses may not be the best looking nor does he possess the most charm, however he does have a big role in almost all of the important grand productions.

When Moses first came to TVB, not only was he thin and lanky with a sharp face, he also had polyp as well as a scratchy voice – his looks would not be appealing to audiences and therefore no upper management would even give him the time of day. However Catherine Tsang always had a very ‘accurate’ eye and she saw potential in Moses from the start – she was highly supportive of him and helped him build up his image in various ways, including helping him rid the polyp through surgery and having him focus on getting exercise / fitness. The transformation was significant.

Since Moses came from the ‘big screen’ (film industry), of course he possessed a certain amount of acting skill already. And in order to adapt to his new role in the TV industry, he was smart to make some personal sacrifices, letting the company make arrangements for him completely. The ‘obedience’ factor also comes up again: almost every series that Moses films, ‘rumors’ develop between him and his female co-star – whether it’s being spotted shopping together outside of work or going karaoke together...and of course, the HK Media would ‘accidentally’ catch them each time. Even though Moses is technically under the Tsang party, he also has an excellent relationship with the other 3 managers as well, so it’s no wonder that he is one of TVB’s most heavily promoted ‘biological sons’.

Despite the party struggle, there is no doubt that Catherine Tsang has an accurate eye when it comes to choosing artists and series – the hugely popular ‘palace-scheming and struggles’ themed series <> and <> were both produced by her group, as was last year’s award-winning hit <>, in which she personally chose Wayne Lai to lead the series.

Wayne was in the supporting actor role for 20 plus years before finally becoming male lead for the first time last year at the age of 45. He was lucky to encounter a good script, good producer, and an audience that backed him, so naturally his career and success soared last year.

Based on the positive feedback and results from the premiere episode of “No Regrets”, the series definitely has potential to garner good ratings.

Promoted Artist: Sheren Tang
The newest ‘number one sister’—posses both talent and strong backing
Promotion background: Ever since Stephen Chan became TVB’s General Manager, his power and influence has been quite vast. It is rumored that he loves to support and promote those artists whom others don’t want – for example, he single-handedly promoted artist Fala Chen, who is known for being daring and open, to the top of the ‘supporting actress’ ladder. In addition, Sheren Tang – who is known for constantly being at odds with Virginia Lok – is also heavily promoted by Stephen Chan.

20 years ago, before Charmaine Sheh even entered the industry, Sheren Tang was already a household name for TV audiences. After leaving the industry for a number of years, she came back strong in the late-90s, completely changing her image from a young, fresh martial arts heroine to a middle-aged (yet still pretty) strong woman. Though her excellent acting skills were still there, the industry had already changed and she was pretty much all but forgotten already.

Worse yet, Sheren – not wanting to be managed by TVB -- refused their invitation to sign with them, and in so doing, dashed her chances to become ‘one of their own’. Of course, this means that TVB management would pay even less attention to her.

However, it’s precisely this aspect that attracted Stephen Chan’s attention – Chan is very different from his nemesis Virginia Lok in that he loves to support / promote those artists (especially the female artists) whom others reject or give up on. Actually, it can be said that Sheren receiving the opportunity to participate in the series <> was partly because of Stephen Chan’s support. Talking about connections, Sheren also has another potential ‘ace’ up her sleeve – respected mainland actress Liu XiaoQing, who is one of her best friends.

In the 2006 battle for TV Queen, Sheren’s attitude was a more aggressive one, openly battling for the award with Gigi Lai and Charmaine Sheh, however in the end, she lost the battle due to the fact that she was not TVB’s ‘biological daughter.’ During last year’s TV Queen battle, Sheren learned her lesson and took a less aggressive stance, allowing others such as good friend Liu XiaoQing do the talking for her – during an event, Liu XiaoQing openly declared her support for Sheren in her pursuit of the TV Queen award. It so happens that Liu XiaoQing is also long-time friends with TVB Chairman Mona Fong, so naturally, Ms Fong would give Ms Liu some ‘face’. Sure enough, Sheren was able to successfully ascend the TV Queen throne last year.

TVB’s 4 Parties
Lok Party:
Male artists include Kevin Cheng, Raymond Lam, Ron Ng, Bosco Wong, Kenneth Ma, Raymond Wong, etc. Female artists include Charmaine Sheh, Myolie Wu, Linda Chung, Kate Tsui, etc.

Virginia Lok – TVB production and resources department Head, primary focus on Artist Management, official spokesperson for issues related to TVB-managed artists. The fate of all TVB-managed artists rests in her hands. Lok has been responsible for launching the careers of many newer artists, with Kevin Cheng being the ultimate example. Back then, Kevin had been in the industry for a long time, but was virtually unknown – it wasn’t until he became Virginia Lok’s ‘god-son’ that he became the male lead in many of TVB’s grand productions and won the TV King award in 2006.

Tsang Party:
Male artists include Bobby AuYeung, Steven Ma, Wayne Lai, Moses Chan, Wong Cho Lam, etc. Female artists include Ada Choi, Maggie Cheung Hor Yee, Shirley Yeung, etc.

Catherine Tsang – Head of TVB’s drama production department, known to artists as “Jen Jie”. Most of the Tsang party artists are known for their acting skill, however due to most of Catherine Tsang’s energy being put into directing and producing series plus the huge power that Virginia Lok has (Lok is Tsang’s direct boss), most of Tsang’s artists are not heavily promoted.

Leung Party:
Male artists include Gallen Lo, Louis Koo, Roger Kwok, etc. Female artists include Sonjia Kwok, Jessica Hsuan, Flora Chan, etc.

Tommy Leung – the other Head of TVB’s drama production department. He joined TVB in 1973 and is considered an ‘elder’ of the company; his strength is in producing big commercial dramas. In 2001, Leung party was at its peak, as almost all of his siu sangs and fa dans were immensely popular – Louis Koo, Gallen Lo, Jessica Hsuan, Flora Chan, etc. – all were first-rate artists and absolutely ratings guarantees. In subsequent years, after a fierce battle with the Tsang party, the Leung party was significantly weakened – then, when Virginia Lok came to power in 2003, Leung party continued to trail far behind. Today, most of Leung’s artists have already left TVB.

Chan Party:
Artists include Sheren Tang, Patrick Tang, Amigo Chui, Fala Chen, Sharon Chan, etc.

Stephen Chan – TVB’s General Manager, was once a DJ for a major radio station. One of TVB’s most flamboyant and well-known managers due to his on-screen presence hosting shows such as <>. Specializes in supporting / promoting artists who are considered ‘troublesome’ – for example, both Patrick Tang and Amigo Chui were able to win hosting awards at the anniversary awards ceremony because of him, however the wins were not without some contention.

Artists with NO party affiliation:
Artists include Tavia Yeung, Bernice Liu, Michelle Yim, Kara Hui, Susan Tse, Susanna Kwan, Mary Hon, etc.

Both Tavia and Bernice are considered to not have any party affiliation, which is why they do not ‘appear’ as much on-screen as compared to other artists. Tavia especially – with no party affiliation and practically ‘zero’ rumors – to be able to star in <> as second female lead was certainly no easy feat. As for Bernice – even though she is Moses Chan’s rumored girlfriend, she does not belong to any of the parties, so therefore, is not promoted much.

Michelle, Kara, Susan, Susanna, etc. are all older generation veteran actresses who already have the skill and have been in the industry long enough to know how things work – after seeing all the ups and downs that the industry goes through, they already know that their generation artists will always only be ‘background scenery’ for others. Therefore, they don’t even bother trying to ‘get in line’ to follow a leader.

Artists who have left or will soon leave TVB:
Artists include Ha Yu, Wong Hei, Ada Choi, Maggie Cheung, Steven Ma, Louis Koo, etc.

The departures of artists such as Wong Hei, Ada Choi, Maggie Cheung, Steven Ma, Louis Koo, etc. are the result of TVB’s internal strife and problems. Rumor has it that 2008’s TV King Ha Yu – who is already tired of witnessing the endless infighting within TVB – has decided to pursue a film career and will most likely not renew his contract when it expires.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chinese version:
















English Version (translated):

TVB’s promotion tactics: ‘Arranging’ for an artist to win an award
By Guo Qian Cheng

Source: MingPao
Translation: llwy12

It is rumored that this year, TVB will ‘support’ Raymond Lam to become TV King – whether this is true or not, it’s too early to tell.

However, there is absolutely no doubt that Raymond Lam is currently TVB’s most heavily promoted “biological son”: at the beginning of the year, he received the ‘Asian Region Most Popular Male Singer’ award at JSG, he is the lead in several series airing this year, and he is also the male lead in two TVB/EEG film collaborations.

In order to ‘heavily promote’ an artist in this fashion, it is necessary to plan at least 1 year in advance, otherwise it is almost impossible for the artist to be in one series / film after another.

Within the industry, TVB’s annual Anniversary Awards ceremony has always been considered “a closed-door game among their own family members” – however in recent years, it is obvious that public opinion has been able to play a part in ‘skewing’ the results.

Therefore, the task of ‘successfully’ supporting a particular siu sang or fa dan to the top is no longer an ‘easy’ task. If there turns out to be a ‘major competitor’ in the running [within the award category], there is a huge possibility that – under tremendous pressure from the viewing audience and the public – the award must be given to the ‘competitor’ who is most deserving and most expected by the masses to win, which of course, would affect TVB’s original ‘idea’ [for the artist they support to win]. If we are to presume that TVB has ‘plans’ in this area, then during the annual mid-year progress meetings (which occur in the summer months), they would have to start making arrangements for the artists they are planning to promote in the coming year.

To increase their chances of becoming TV King or TV Queen, it is most suitable for the artist’s ‘representative work’ [the series he/she would be nominated for] to air in the prime spot between the summer months and the anniversary gala [June to November].

Participating in the grand production anniversary series is not necessarily a bad thing – but the series would air a bit too close to the anniversary awards show. Last year, because TVB wanted audiences to finish watching the anniversary series before casting their votes, they deliberately delayed the awards ceremony to December.

Another important tactic is to write a “tailor-made” character specifically for the artist being supported. If the artist has good acting skills, he/she still needs a well-written character to fully showcase these skills; if the artist lacks acting skills, he/she needs a well-written character more than ever – because oftentimes, audiences are not able to differentiate between whether it’s the artist’s acting skills that are “good” or whether it’s the character that is “good”.

Usually, just because an artist has good acting skills does not necessarily mean that he/she will win the award. Therefore, the importance is placed more on being given a character that very obviously stands out and is markedly different from the others. For those artists whose acting skills are still in development and not yet recognized [by the audiences], a character that is borders between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ usually gives the most advantage.

Also, in the same series, there absolutely cannot be another ‘major character’ that could steal the show and ‘challenge’ the artist being promoted – so a lot of thought needs to be put into the various collaborations of the artists.

In order to successfully ‘support’ a certain artist to win the award, all those who may have a chance to “challenge” him/her need to ‘make way’ – therefore, series that have even a remote chance of being anticipated or well-received by the audiences [TN: series that does not have the artist being promoted for the award] are either delayed to the end of the year (or later) or are aired way earlier in the year. This type of arrangement should not be too difficult for TVB, given their status as “the single major TV station” in Hong Kong.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Source:  Mingpao

Chinese version:













English Version (translated):
Perhaps TVB needs some competition in order to improve (Part 2 in a series)
By Guo Qian Cheng

Saturday, May 22, 2010
Source: Ming Pao
Translation: llwy12

Out of those who hope for TVB to improve, roughly half feel that in these past few years, TVB’s priorities have been misplaced – without much competition to fire it up, the station’s focus has been on reducing production costs and so recently have not developed any ‘creative’ new shows.

For those shows that are supposedly based on ‘new ideas’ – many times, we can find the ‘original form’ of the show when we look to the TV stations in other Asian regions, so in actuality, the shows cannot be attributed entirely to the ‘creativity’ of the locals (Hong Kong). In fact, even in the area of ‘basing on original’, Hong Kong often lags behind – just looking at the concept of ‘similar shows’: China, Taiwan, and other neighboring regions often come out with shows that are based on similar ideas faster than TVB does.

In the past, TVB rarely bought broadcasting rights for series and other programs produced overseas, however in the past few years, this has happened more often – unfortunately, the reason is primarily due to the lack of emphasis placed on its own creativity (hence the shrinking of production costs and resources).

Back when the Hong Kong television industry was at its peak (80s and early 90s), even though TVB was still ‘the one biggest station,’ it was very obvious that its creative talent was the driving force moving the industry forward. The talent and creativity that emerged at that time was strong enough to drive the expansion of the entire market -- not only servicing Hong Kong audiences, but also expanding to include all Chinese-speaking audiences residing in all corners of the world.

Nowadays, with the emergence of strong TV programs in China and Taiwan, the Chinese-speaking ‘market’ has been divided up and is no longer ‘enjoyed’ by Hong Kong exclusively. Add to that the emergence of satellite TV and the easy accessibility of TV shows on-line – both of which are huge threats to TVB’s once lucrative business of selling their programs to the overseas market.

In recent years, TVB’s focus has been primarily on servicing the local Hong Kong audience pool; however as members of this audience get older, they have less desire for innovation and creativity in programming, opting instead to stick with the ‘tried and true’ – which explains why TVB’s ratings continue to remain relatively steady and why middle-aged artists carry many of the leading roles in series.

Before, TVB only had 2 location channels – the Chinese-language ‘Jade’ channel and the English-language ‘Pearl’ channel – with the main focus resting of course on the Jade Channel. In efforts to cater to the majority of the audience pool at that time – the middle-aged, elderly, and ‘housewife’ crowds – the station decided to broadcast mostly TV series. The goal at that time was not really to provide excellent service, but rather to draw as little negative attention as possible (partly by not making major mistakes). However with the dawn of high definition – and the subsequent addition of more channels as a result – it is logical to think that there should be more room now to focus on the ‘service’ aspect. Unfortunately, up until this point, TVB still does not have any long-term plans for creating innovative or creative programming.

With the fierce competition in the mainland China television market, the industry has seen quick and significant progress in that region. Even with the many restrictions imposed by the government, the market continues to grow rapidly in China – the TV stations there are constantly producing shows that the audience has never seen before or new genres of shows that are often talked about in entertainment circles.

In terms of variety and diversity, TVB right now is truly lagging behind – perhaps it needs some ‘new’ competition in the future in order for it to progress.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Source:  Mingpao

Chinese version:















English Version (translated):

So is TVB doing a good job or not? (Part 1 in a series of articles)
By Guo Qian Cheng

Thursday May 20, 2010
Source: Mingpao
Translation: llwy12

Throughout the years, there has been frequent criticism toward TVB – besides the concerns about how the station handles its news programs, the biggest complaint by far is TVB’s lack of creativity and lack of consistent progress (improvement).

So is TVB doing a bad job? In comparisons to other local (Hong Kong) TV stations, they are actually doing quite well – or perhaps the blame should be placed on the other local stations for doing so poorly.

For the past few decades, TVB has owned over 80% of the Hong Kong television audience pool. Every year, the station has at least one (if not more) highly rated and highly acclaimed series, plus a bunch of game shows and variety shows with a huge audience following – for a local TV station, it has already achieved a certain level of ‘success’ in satisfying basic audience needs.

If that’s the case, then which area does TVB need to improve?

By setting our sights further – not just looking at Hong Kong, but at the TV stations in the neighboring Asian regions – we will be able to see how others have ‘improved.’

By doing such a comparison [between TVB and other stations outside HK], it is easy to discover that in the past 10 to 20 years, TVB has not progressed (‘improved’) much. Of course, if we factor ATV into the comparison, the situation is even worse.

It is true that looking at a station’s ratings alone may not necessarily be an indicator that it is regressing or moving forward very slowly; however by paying just slight attention to the various channels and productions of the stations in other regions, it is already obvious that the others have progressed a lot – not only have these regions ‘caught up’ with Hong Kong, but on certain levels, they have already ‘surpassed’ them.

Currently, Hong Kong drama series are represented almost exclusively by TVB – however the station’s ‘creative’ production methods have not changed much since the 80s and 90s. In addition, production budgets have continued to shrink and the content of the series produced are geared more and more toward local (HK) audiences.

At one point, Japanese and Korean dramas created a huge trend-setting phenomenon in the industry, which proves that the productions from these 2 countries have progressed greatly. Same goes for Taiwan and mainland China drama series, which have greatly increased production costs due to huge demand in the market. This is especially true in mainland China: for example, the highly rated and highly acclaimed mainland China series <> boasts a production cost of 1.8 million Yuan (CNY/RMB) per episode; another genre of series – one that reflects how every day people live in modern society – is starting to become more and more popular in China.

In recent years, there have been very few Hong Kong drama series that are creative or explore different genres and themes. Also, with the overwhelming number of sequels produced each year, the ‘creativity’ has pretty much resided in the “successes” of the past.

With many of the behind-the-scenes crew (producers and writers) who have been responsible for most of the station’s highest rated and most highly acclaimed series leaving TVB this year, the concern over whether TVB will try to improve its ‘creativity flaws” becomes even greater.

Of course, there are other problems as well, which will be further discussed in future articles.

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Original article posted on 3/17/2010
Source:  Sina News

Chinese version:


  香港无线电视(TVB)上周爆出贪污丑闻,权倾一时的总经理陈志云等四人被香港廉政公署带走,虽现已保释,但显然事情没完,而爆料也是一个紧接一个。不过最劲爆的还数有消息称,陈志云“落马”,乃TVB内部举报。至于TVB的高层内部派系斗争几乎是人尽皆知的秘密。乐易玲、曾励珍、梁家树、陈志云四大高层首脑手握实权,以此来拉拢艺人和捧红艺人。如今陈志云“落马”,TVB四派互斗的局面将打破,形成乐易玲、曾励珍、梁家树的三足鼎立,而三者中,“六婶”方逸华的亲信乐易玲最被大家看好,她手下一众年轻干将或将成为TVB的台柱子。纵观“陈志云”事件背后的风起云涌,似乎比以往TVB出品的任何一部宫廷斗争剧都好看,这场TVB现实版《宫心计》,更加狠绝,更具意味。本报记者 肖黎




















  珍派VS梁派 互不相让



  乐派VS珍派 互相制约


  陈派VS乐派 彼此不服




























English Version (translated):

Analysis of TVB’s ‘Parties’ and ‘Cliques’: Real-life  《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》?

Thursday, March 18, 2010 Hong Kong
Translation: llwy12

The recent scandal over TVB GM Stephen Chan’s arrest for alleged corruption has so far played out like one of the station’s own dramas. Though Stephen Chan and 4 others have now been released on bail awaiting further investigation, there does not seem to be an end in sight to the ongoing saga, with one person after another ‘spilling the beans’ on the inner workings and disarray at TVB. Of course, the ‘biggest’ news so far has been the rumors that Stephen Chan was ‘turned in’ to the ICAC by none other than his employer TVB due to his ‘falling out of favor’ with top management. As for TVB being overrun by ‘parties’ and ‘cliques’, this is a well-known ‘secret’ by almost everyone in the industry. Virginia Lok, Catherine Tsang, Tommy Leung, and Stephen Chan are the ‘head’ of the executive team and have the power to control and promote artists. If Stephen Chan loses all power due to the scandal, then the competition of the ‘4 parties’ will be greatly affected, resulting in only 3 parties remaining (Virginia Lok, Catherine Tsang, Tommy Leung). Out of the 3, it has been rumored that Mona Fong’s ‘favorite’ Virginia Lok would likely prevail and the group of young artists under her would become the ‘face’ of TVB in the future.

With the commotion surrounding Stephen Chan’s case now, the developments and the way things are playing out in the media rival that of the inner palace conflicts and struggles in TVB’s highly-rated hit from last year 《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》 -- except that the real-life events are even more dramatic and interesting.

Part 1: The 4 Parties

The Chan Party – Leader: Stephen Chan

Stephen Chan: TVB’s General Manager, used to be a DJ. Prior to being arrested, he did the ‘voiceovers’ for various TVB variety and specialty shows and simultaneously hosted the interview show 《Be My Guest》.  Since becoming GM, Stephen’s presence has been quite strong and his flamboyance has attracted many to him. It is rumored that Stephen ‘loves’ promoting the artists that others [managers] don’t want – the greatest example is Fala Chan, whom he single-handedly pushed to the “Best Supporting Actress” position. TV Queen Sheren Tang, who is known for constantly going against Virginia Lok, is also highly favored by Stephen. In addition, Patrick Tang, Amigo Chui, etc. – also his favorites – were able to win many awards at the 2007 TVB Anniversary Awards ceremony, though there was a lot of backlash afterwards.

Favorite Male Artists – Amigo Chui, Sammul Chan, Patrick Tang, Wong Hei, etc.
Favorite Female Artists – Sheren Tang, Fala Chan, Tavia Yeung, etc.

The Lok Party – Leader: Virginia Lok

Virginia Lok: TVB’s Production and Resources Manager, with primary jurisdiction over all matters related to TVB’s artists; also one of the “official” representatives and spokesperson for the artists. The “Lok” Party consists primarily of the newer generation ‘siu sangs’ and ‘fa-dans’. With her position, it can be said that the fate of ALL TVB artists is in her hands. Virginia Lok has made quite a few new artists popular through promotion – Kevin Cheng is the biggest example of this. Back in the days, Kevin Cheng had been in the industry for a long time, but was never able to become popular until he officially became Virginia Lok’s “god-son” – after that, he started getting lead roles in series after series (most of them grand productions), which paved the way for his ‘TV King’ award in 2006.

Favorite Male Artists – Kevin Cheng, Moses Chan, Raymond Lam, Ron Ng, Bosco Wong, etc.
Favorite Female Artists – Charmaine Sheh, Myolie Wu, Linda Chung, Kate Tsui, etc.

The Tsang Party – Leader: Catherine Tsang

Catherine Tsang: TVB’s Production Department Head (Series); was once a broadcaster at RTHK; affectionately nicknamed “Jen Jie” by the artists. Catherine started with TVB in 1974 and has been credited with launching the careers of HK’s biggest stars such as Chow Yun Fat, Andy Lau, Tony Leung, etc. She has gone through both the ‘Run Run Shaw era’ as well as the ‘Mona Fong era’ and has remained strongly standing to this day. The Tsang Party consists almost entirely of the most skilled and talented artists (in terms of acting) in TVB, however because Catherine’s focus has always been on directing behind the scenes, coupled with much of the power being in Virginia Lok’s hands, so her artists are never heavily promoted.

Favorite Male Artists: Bobby AuYeung, Steven Ma, Wayne Lai, etc.
Favorite Female Artists: Ada Choi, Maggie Cheung, Shirley Yeung, etc.

The Leung Party – Leader: Tommy Leung

Tommy Leung: TVB Producer; Head of Series Production. Started with TVB in 1973 and is considered an ‘elder’-type figure [started with the company from the beginning]. His specialty includes grand commercial productions. 2001 was the “Year of Leung’s Party”, as the ‘siu sangs’ and ‘fa dans’ under him at that time – Louis Koo, Gallen Lo, Jessica Hsuan, Flora Chan, etc. – were all “high ratings guarantees”. After strong competition with Tsang’s Party for many years, Leung’s Party had already lost some of it’s steam – then, when Virginia Lok came to power in 2003, his Party had to battle with hers as well. Currently, almost all of Leung’s artists have left TVB.

Favorite Male Artists: Gallen Lo, Roger Kwok, Louis Koo, etc.
Favorite Female Artists: Sonjia Kwok, Jessica Hsuan, Flora Chan, etc.

Part 2: Competition

Tsang Party vs Leung Party: Won’t Concede to Each Other

Between Catherine Tsang and Tommy Leung, all this time, they refuse to concede to each other. Back in the days, at the height of the “Tsang/Leung Competition”, Catherine forced out Tommy’s wife Siu Siu Ming, which solidified his desire to stand in opposition to Catherine. Subsequently, Siu Siu Ming’s “favorite” – Louis Koo – also left TVB. Not too long after, Catherine also forced out ‘golden’ producer Gary Tang Duk Hei, which resulted in the demise of popular series such as 《Healing Hands》. In this particular battle, the Leung Party was defeated.

Every year’s anniversary gala is the event where the ‘competition’ between all the Parties is the most intense – for years, the Tsang and Leung Parties have battled each other for the awards.

In 2001, the TV King award went to Leung’s party [Louis Koo], however the TV Queen award could not be fairly settled between the parties, so it eventually went to Liza Wang.

In 2002, the Tsang Party sacrificed Ada Choi in order to guarantee that Charmaine Sheh would get into Top 5, so the Leung Party had no choice but to sacrifice Jessica Hsuan, however the results were opposite of what was expected [Flora Chan became TV Queen].

In 2003, with the hit series 《Square Pegs》 favored to ‘bag’ the major awards, which would mean a victory for the Leung Party, Catherine Tsang sacrificed Charmaine Sheh and Ada Choi in favor of Maggie Cheung to win the TV Queen award – not only that, but Gigi Lai and Kenix Kwok also became “fish in the pond.”

In 2004, with the overwhelming popularity of the series 《War and Beauty》, it was pretty much a guarantee that the Tsang Party would ‘bag’ all the awards this time, however the audiences would not vote for Charmaine Sheh, causing Sheren Tang and Gigi Lai to be the top 2 contenders for TV Queen. As for Ada Choi, she didn’t even get into the Top 5, so she obviously became the sacrifice that year.

In 2006, the Leung Party’s 《Drive of Life》 was poorly received and miserably defeated – in addition, Tommy’s actions of promoting his daughter Toby Leung harmed his years-accumulated image of being fair and just. Another defeat for the Leung Party.

In 2009, the Tsang Party’s 《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》 also defeated the Leung Party’s 《Born Rich》.

Lok Party vs Tsang Party: Mutually Restricting

Catherine Tsang is known for reacting swiftly and decisively, therefore, she has made countless enemies throughout the years. In 2003, Virginia Lok “took flight” at TVB, becoming the ‘artists manager’, which undoubtedly put some of the Tsang Party artists in an awkward position; Catherine’s “god-son” Steven Ma was one of those affected and ended up having to ‘reduce his workload’. However, the series that the Tsang party produced were traditionally highly regarded in terms of public praise as well as ratings (series like《War and Beauty》 and 《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》 for example).

In the 2004 Anniversary Awards battle, Gigi Lai’s actions of ‘exchanging her contract’ for the TV Queen award stifled the Lok Party’s Charmaine Sheh from rising to the top, so she (Charmaine) had to wait until 2006 to successfully become TV Queen.

Therefore, it can be seen that the struggles between the Tsang Party and Lok Party would rise and fall in succession, oftentimes surrounded by peril.

Chan Party vs Lok Party: Not Accepting of Each Other

The relationship between Stephen Chan and Virginia Lok can be said to one filled with contradiction – primary reason is because the 2 of them refuse to be overruled by each other, which made their competition especially fierce. Virginia Lok’s ‘rule’ for promoting artists is pretty much in line with TVB’s conventional method – “loyalty” is number one and “internal conflict” is frowned upon. Stephen Chan’s method is completely opposite – his approach is “if you are not able to promote them to stardom, I will” – which, in a sense, was a means of “belittling” the opposing Party. Fala Chan is the ultimate example of this, as she was single-handedly ‘promoted’ by Stephen Chan to the position of Best Supporting Actress; it was rumored that Fala’s personality was too ‘open’ – every couple days, she would be ‘in the news’ or ‘out getting attention’ – causing both Catherine Tsang and Virginia Lok to dislike her. So Stephen took Fala under his wing and started promoting her.
Over time, internal conflict escalated between Stephen and Virginia.

Part 3: Possibilities
Will Virginia Lok ‘smile’ until the end? Will the Leung Party and Lok Party collaborate to ‘overcome’ the Tsang Party?

With Stephen Chan’s arrest and the chances of him returning to TVB very slim, the ‘Party politics’ that has played out behind the scenes at TVB for ages will undoubtedly undergo significant changes. Due to Virginia Lok’s advantage of having a group of immensely popular younger generation ‘siu sangs’ and ‘fa-dans’ in her Party, plus the so-called ‘support’ of Mrs. Shaw (Mona Fong) behind the scenes, there is a high possibility that the Lok Party may join forces with the Leung Party to “stifle” the Tsang Party. However, Catherine Tsang has been known to have “Nine Lives” [comes back strong each time she gets beaten down], so this particular “battle” will definitely be very interesting.

The Lok Party: Siu sangs and fa-dans become the ‘pillars’ of TVB

It is rumored that Stephen Chan’s “fall from grace” will ‘elevate’ the status of the various siu sangs and fa-dans in the Lok Party. Virginia Lok’s number one favorite (and god-son) Kevin Cheng, other favorites Bosco Wong, Raymond Lam, Moses Chan, Myolie Wu, Charmaine Sheh, Linda Chung, etc will likely be heavily promoted. Even Kate Tsui – who chose to ‘get close’ to Virginia Lok on her own accord – will probably have a lot of acting jobs coming up. In addition, rumor has it that TVB’s internal production team has received “secret orders” to promote all the above artists – whether through new series or variety shows – so that they can eventually become the ‘pillars’ of TVB. As Mona Fong’s ‘favorite’, there is a huge possibility that Virginia Lok could be ‘smiling’ until the end [come out on top].

The Tsang Party: Rely on true talent and praiseworthy performances to stay on top

Though Catherine Tsang may not be as strong in the competition between the Parties, it cannot be denied that her view of people as well as series is extremely accurate – in addition to the palace-scheming, war-themed hit series 《War and Beauty》 and 《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》 (which were produced by her Party), part of the success of last year’s award-winning 《Rosy Business》can also be contributed to her, as she was the one who personally picked Wayne Lai to star in the series. Also, she possesses the ‘big card’ that will surely be an advantage to her Party: “Golden Producer” Lee Tim Shing. With the high anticipation for this year’s《Rosy Business》 sequel (produced by Lee), there is almost sure to be a ‘ratings surge’ for the series.

The Leung Party: Continue to “run with the pack”; possibility of joining Lok Party

With veteran artists Jamie Chik, Ray Lui, Kenix Kwok, Gallen Lo, and Anita Yuen returning to TVB last year, the Leung Party seized the opportunity to have their series 《Born Rich》 elevated to the status of ‘grand production anniversary series’ alongside the Tsang Party’s 《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》. Unfortunately, the ratings for 《Born Rich》 did not even come close to those for 《Beyond the Realm of Conscience》, with 《Born Rich》 lagging way behind. From this it can be seen that Tommy Leung’s “golden years” have long since passed and his Party is pretty much in the position of ‘running with the pack’ now. However, because Tommy Leung is enemies with Catherine Tsang, if he is not able to make amends with her, there is a possibility of him joining forces with Virginia Lok to go against Catherine.

Part 4: Conversation
Hong Kong veteran media reporter Huang Si Nong accepted an interview with our paper yesterday. He analyzed Stephen Chan’s “fall from grace” situation as well as the impact on TVB. He states that Stephen Chan being arrested by the ICAC is not necessarily a bad thing – it’s like knocking down a beehive so that it can’t do any more harm. In addition, Huang feels that even though this situation is very damaging to TVB at the moment and ATV may jump on the opportunity, it is his belief that the grand TVB Entertainment Empire that Run Run Shaw created will not be destroyed that easily.

Q = Reporter

A = Huang Si Nong

Q: Have you heard of Stephen Chan’s arrest already? Did you get a chance to look into the details yet?

A: I’ve been in Hong Kong the past few weeks, so I did hear the news. In my observation, the ICAC has never been this ‘high profile’ in terms of arrests – in the past, it was always “invite for coffee” type situation (drink coffee, have a conversation) – plus they are usually very protective of the person they are “inviting” for coffee. This time, it’s directly “arresting,” which shows that ICAC must have some type of confirmed information. Also, there were reports that TVB themselves were the ones who “unveiled” the scandal – if that is true, then the situation is like the real-life version of TVB’s palace wars dramas.

Q: This time, TVB did things very publicly and high profile, which has caused people to speculate that this was planned all along by them and was a result of internal power struggles. What do you think is the primary internal struggle/contradiction within TVB?

A: Internal power struggles within an organization is usually due to people not being able to get along with each other. It’s just like animals will always try to compete and fight with each other. For instance, I own a few rabbits as pets and sometimes when they fight, one usually tries to kill the other one that it perceives as its enemy. Not sure if using this animal analogy makes sense.

Q: Currently, TVB is controlled by Mrs Shaw (Mona Fong) and internally they are separated into 4 ‘parties’ or ‘cliques’. What role do you feel each of them play in TVB?

A: I’m not too familiar with the so-called ‘parties,” but I am familiar with Mr. Run Run Shaw. In terms of the battle between the 4 parties, I’m not too clear.

Q: What do you feel will be the impact of this situation on TVB?

A: It will help eliminate the “cancers.” In a huge organization, if there is someone who utilizes their power [within the organization] to earn outside money, it is a very serious matter. Especially since the creation of the ICAC, they are very strict on this type of stuff. Back when I was a social reporter, we had to interact with many people as part of our jobs and of course with that came financial implications; therefore, we set a policy that we absolutely were not allowed to receive any “red envelopes.” As for Stephen Chan, he’s a public figure and already has high pay, so for him to still take money (if true) is really a shame. One good thing though is that the situation being revealed can serve as a “warning” to others. If someone does this and they are captured, then it is good because it can serve the purpose of eliminating the “cancers” in the organization.

Q: TVB’s biggest competitor ATV has been going through management changes again recently. With Stephen Chan’s situation, is this then the perfect opportunity for ATV to rebound?

A: If I were ATV, I would absolutely seize this opportunity tightly! In a competition, those in the same industry are usually like enemy nations in a war – whenever there is a “weak point”, it should be immediately grabbed up. It’s just like with horseracing – when the opponent starts to slow, you need to take advantage of it and crack the whip to go faster in the hopes of overtaking the competition.

Q: So will ATV take this opportunity to recruit TVB’s resources, thereby causing even greater harm to the network?

A: This can be answered with another rabbit analogy – a rabbit will go in the direction where there is fresh green grass. However, currently, TVB is still an Entertainment Empire – a massive mother ship created by Mr. Run Run Shaw – so it won’t be easily destroyed. This “punch” (the current situation) will perhaps be a heavy blow, but after the air clears, the empire will still remain standing. Also, one last point – ATV’s talent pool can’t compare to TVB’s, as TVB is full of resources.


  1. Sorry for being a comment monster. I'm still reading through all these great articles/posts you have. This part in particular caught my eye: In TVB, it’s not hard to find people who dislike Charmaine – older generation artists such as Sheren Tang feel that her acting is not quite up to par

    Seriously? Did Sheren really say that? If so, then she just went WAY up in my estimation. I love it when these veterans tell it like it is.

  2. @retrotvb: No problem! Comments are definitely welcome! Thanks for the compliments on the posts & articles!

    I'm actually not 100% sure whether Sheren actually said that, since there is so much "stuff" in the HK entertainment industry nowadays that it's hard to tell what's real and what's fake. So pretty much now I read stuff with a grain of salt -- unless I'm able to prove that it's true...

  3. Darn. Wishful thinking on my part. I was one of the original anti-Charmaine people. No offense if you're her fan.

  4. No, definitely not her fan...but I've been trying not to be too negative with my comments, since I don't feel like having fans converge on me right now....if I'm doing a series review though and I happen to dislike her character, then I may say something...otherwise, I just let things be for the most part...