Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TVB 28th Anniversary Gala (1995): The Top 10 Highest Rated Series of All Time (up to that point)

Retrotvb's post recapping TVB's 1997 Anniversary Gala (read it here) inspired me to write this post about a particular segment of the 1995 Anniversary Gala (though I will admit that I remembered the date wrong at first and thought it was the 1998 gala, but it was really the 1995 one – shame on me!).

The show itself was great, as up to that point (prior to the start of the awards thing in 1997), the galas were still grand, all-star events. (I echo retrotvb's sentiments regarding the pointlessness of the awards, which turned the anniversary galas into lackluster events, but that's another story). The true highlight of the entire show for me (and probably for other 80s/90s TVB series fanatics as well) was the segment near the end of the show when TVB did a 'countdown' of the 10 highest rated TVB series up to that point. Almost every single one of my favorites made the list and I would venture to say that all 10 series were deserving because they were classic, high quality, well-made series.

The most memorable moment for me in this entire segment was when the "winner" of the countdown -- meaning the series that made it to the top of the list as the #1 highest rated series of all time (up until that point) -- was announced. Not suprisingly, the series that came out on top was "Looking Back in Anger" from 1989. True classic and truly deserving of the #1 spot!!! But what really did it for me was when Felix Wong, Kathy Chow, Deric Wan, and Maggie Siu went up on stage and accepted the 'award’ on behalf of the entire cast (I wonder who got to keep it? LOL!). Even though they were only up there for a minute or two and didn't say anything really, it was just awesome to see that cast together again – especially Deric, since he had left TVB long ago and made a special appearance just for that moment. Of course, I wish that Carina would have been able to make it as well (because then the cast would truly be complete in terms of the main leads), but I guess it wasn't meant to be...

The countdown was prefaced with these amazing numbers: the 10 series combined garnered a total of over 2.2 billion viewers (households), with each series averaging over 80 million viewers (households). Those numbers may ‘pale’ in comparison to the numbers today, but considering the series were of a way higher quality back then (the ones nowadays pretty much suck), those numbers were definitely something to ‘rave’ about!

I loved the way the segment was done – after the number of viewers and the series was announced, they had singers perform parts of the theme song for each series on the list while clips from the series played on the screen (though the singers weren’t the original artists who performed the songs, I was ok with it because the songs themselves were such classics that they sounded good no matter who sang them).

Here’s the countdown:

10th place: Police Cadet ‘84 新紮師兄 (1984)
(88131000 viewers)

9th place: The Big Family 大家族 (1991)
(97,916,000 viewers)

8th place: The Two Most Honorable Knights 絕代雙驕 (1988)
(98,513,000 viewers)

7th place: The Challenge of Life 人在邊緣 (1990)
(106,987,000 viewers)

6th place: The Breaking Point 今生無悔 (1991)
(117,925,000 viewers)

5th place: Love and Passion 萬水千山總是情 (1982)
(233,674,000 viewers)

4th place: Blood of Good and Evil 我本善良 (1990)
(283,266,000 viewers)

3rd place: Legend of the Condor Heroes 射鵰英雄傳 (1983)
(356,163,000 viewers)

2nd place: The Feud of Two Brothers 流氓大亨 (1986)
(388,323,000 viewers)

1st place: Looking Back in Anger 義不容情 (1989)
(431,355,000 viewers)


My ‘quick’ recap:

.>> Deric and Maggie are the big winners in this countdown, as both of them had 3 series a piece (happened to be the same series) that made it onto the list (not to mention being part of the #1 series).

.>> Felix came in a very close second with 2 series in the countdown -- though he does have an advantage in terms of ranking in that both of his series were in the top 3!

.>> Tony, Alex, and Leon did pretty well too, with 2 series a piece in the countdown.

.>> I think that the only one I would disagree with is “Love and Passion” – I’ve seen that series and even though it’s much better than many of today’s series, I really didn’t think it was all that great compared to the other series on the list. But maybe it made it on the list because it’s such a classic (it is the oldest one of the list)? But then again, there are many other series that would fall into the ‘classic’ category….


For those who are interested, below is the link to the 2nd half of the 1995 Anniversary Gala – the countdown starts at 33:12.

TVB Anniversary Gala 1995 (part 2)

Feel free to comment on what you think of the countdown! :o)


  1. Fun segment! Nice to see TVB give recognition to the series that deserve it, rather than just handing out awards like candy. And having the Looking Back In Anger cast reunited and on stage together was a big highlight.

    The numbers are astounding. Do they really pale in comparison to the ratings nowadays? Who watches TVB anymore?? I'm not being sarcastic either. It's a serious question. I thought most people moved on to K-dramas or whatnot.

  2. @retrotvb: I'm actually not sure whether they calculate the ratings the same way in the past as they do now -- I highly doubt it though because I think TVB may have gone with a different company. Plus I crunched some numbers (trying to figure out number of viewers based on ratings points and the math doesn't seem to work out (because if you take the above numbers and convert to ratings points based on 1 ratings point = 63880 viewers, TVB would have to have a rating of 6000 to meet that viewership, which is impossible)....I'm thinking that may be why they switched more to focusing on ratings points rather than number of viewers?

    Anyway, the reason why I say the numbers may 'pale' in comparisons to today, is because today's system uses primarily ratings points and I know that there have been a few TVB series in this decade that have surpassed the 40 point mark, which I'm pretty sure did not happen back then -- so technically, people can argue that the series I listed are no longer "highest rated", since it's based on a supposedly 'antiquated' system....

  3. @llwy12: You meant The Bund didn't make it? Replace that with 'Love and Passion'. (let me get into my time machine and change it. LOL!) Though I thought The Bund was kind of slow BUT listening to the main theme for 20x times or so did it.

    The Blood of Good and Evil - You mean Deric didn't sing it? I forgot, did Deric sing it? Though I have the DVD, LOL! And Deric killed Maggie in two of 'em, right? For both 'The Breaking Point' and 'Looking Back in Anger'? (The reason why I don't want to watch LBIA and hates 'The Breaking Point', and that I hate it that Deric portrays the bad guy, especially in 'The Breaking Point'. Okay, 200% bias, but I didn't see the point for that one or watched too long ago and I remember not liking it. I want Leon and Maggie to get together BUT...)

    Getting back to ratings, LOL! Sorry for the rant but I tend to get so bitter where Deric is concerned (but not bitter towards him). I do remember hearing something about LBIA being one of the highest ratings since I remember reading like Felix was the only one who was able to beat his own record? BEAT THAT, people! (Sorry, had to get that in since my partial to Felix is kind of disastrous at times too.)

    And wait, what about 'War of the Dragons'? Okay, or maybe I'm biased again since I remember it was pretty intense and was pretty good. Oh well...

    Another great post...

  4. OMG, OMG! Maggie was hooking her hands through Deric's! Yeah, I saw the clip, LOL! That was so cute! (She forgave him for killing her twice? LOL!)

    Awww...Felix still cares so much for his 'messed up bro', lol. 'Cause when they were calling him over, he turned to Deric and motioned for Deric (not just stepping forward without regarding to others, if you know what I mean...) Then I just slided the clip back a bit to watch again (just for kicks) and when they were walking forward to accept the award/trophy (?), Deric was actually placing his hand around Maggie's waist? Okay, I don't know why I notice, but yeah...

    Regarding how I know some details of LBIA, I read spoilers already, just didn't want to watch it since it seems so frustrating.

    Regarding who kept it, I think it has to be Felix, right? Okay...getting carried away...lol...

  5. @DTLCT: Totally agree with you -- how could they have Love and Passion in there and not The Bund? WTH? Yes, please change it for me -- hahahaha!

    Yes, what you said about Felix is true -- that's why he's able to live such a good life now (as his buddy Michael continues to point out every time they interview together)...the 'royalties' he gets from LOTCH and LBIA are enough to last him a lifetime! And yes -- BEAT THAT, TVB -- how DARE you disrespect Felix after all he has done for your company? Damn management! (Sorry, just had to get that in).

    Oh yes, I liked "War of the Dragon" too -- but no, that one didn't make it into the count. Ah well -- it was still good though!

    Oh, that's why you didn't watch those 2 series -- makes sense now...well, I still love both series cuz Deric just does such an awesome job -- and it's good that his villain characters are so memorable cuz that proves that his acting skills are excellent!

    Hahaha -- I knew you would like the clip!

  6. @llwy12: YUP, how dare they make use of Felix to promote some of their newbies by slamming around the slogan "Felix and Michael's reunion" to lure the rest of us in for GMG and then cast them aside again, especially Felix. Eek! SORRY, I sort of felt he was still rob in GMG so I still didn't pick up GMG again yet. Don't ask, I'm just greedy watching Felix where it was concern. AND like I just said, totally misled me.

    Yeah, the reasons why. But I have to clarify I did watch 'The Breaking Point' but it was a long time ago so I can't remember as much. But I remember liking Leon and Maggie and then Leon just moved on and then fast forward Maggie came back AND then Deric killed her. For a villain, he has such a bad aim, should have been more precise with his aim so he could hit Leon instead of Maggie. YEAH, I'm fighting a losing battle but oh well...(Did you know that Leon and Maggie did paired up in the movie 'Shogun and Little Kitchen'? It was the one starring Yuen Biao. But then you must have known already. I didn't watch the other Leon & Maggie collaboration though. BUT of course the whole Leon & Maggie thing was just at that time, now? Deric and Maggie! The previous comment said it all!) Talking about that, thanks again for sharing the clip!

    I have another theory as to who kept the trophy. They sold the trophy and split the money! NICE? JUST KIDDING...

  7. @DTLCT: Absolutely! (Though my purpose for watching GMG was precisely to support Felix and Michael -- plus the more TVB decided to neglect the series, the more I wanted to watch it...LOL!)

    Haha...Maggie and Deric...(sigh)...sounds like Maggie never fares well when she is in a series with Deric, huh? Either he kills her (LBIA and TBP), causes her to go blind (BOGAE), or she ends up in jail (Conscience)...LOL! BUT I LOVE THEM BOTH!!!

    I will admit that I also fell for the Leon thing back during the Breaking Point days, but luckily, that was a 'short' phase that I went through and I quickly got over it (plus I had a 'bone' to pick with him on the music side of things, but that's another story)...

    To be honest, I never really liked the Leon / Maggie pairing -- I got too used to her with Deric and just couldn't imagine her with anyone else...in my heart, no matter who else they were ultimately paired with (in real life or in series), Deric and Maggie together will always be the best couple!

    LOL! Hey, I'll go with that theory! TVB awards don't mean anything anyway -- if I were them, I would rather have the money so that at least it could be split between them or they could go have a nice 'reunion' dinner together! Haha!

  8. @llwy12: I don't remember who was the first person I watched with Maggie - Felix or Leon. But I have always liked Maggie with Felix regardless, weak spot. It was "Kim Mo Tak Ku Kau Pai" and then I was wishing for more of their collaborations BUT it kept getting in the way, like triangles, etc. So I sort of gave up on that and quit. Then I somehow shifted Deric and Maggie in the end, LOL! Though I did see past pictures of them, but needed to watch the series to get suck into their chemistry, etc. Did you know what I went and did a post of them like yesterday? But it's not posted yet. It's scheduled. SO yeah...

    But definitely, their fate in series are so frustrating at times though there are cute moments too! (I'm still blaming TVB! I don't care, I still blame them, LOL!)

    Regarding money/split - I hoped they went for lobster if they had the meal together! OR something worthwhile. But of course Carina had to miss out since she wasn't there like them, LOL! *mwuhahahahha* Okay, getting carried away again. So yeah...