Joe Ma and Charmaine Sheh Drop CTI to Return to TVB?
Ricky Wong (王維基) invested $200 million HKD to develop CTI, a new Hong Kong television station regarded as TVB’s new rival. As ambitious as Ricky’s new venture is, he may have been too quick to “jump the gun.” Without receiving an approved television broadcasting license and the proper filming facilities, CTI already started production on multiple television series. Reports have surfaced that Ricky suddenly let go of Joe Ma (馬德鐘), Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), Bernice Liu (廖碧兒), as well as three top CTI executives.
It turned out that Ricky was unable to come to a mutual agreement with Joe Ma and Charmaine Sheh, who allegedly wished to have a firmer guarantee in contractual terms from CTI. Unfortunately, without a proper television license, it was unclear whether CTI dramas will be aired in Hong Kong. With the delayed approval of their broadcasting rights, CTI was unable to give artists a solid offer to stand on.
Ricky convinced business executive, William Lau (劉傳弘), to partner with him to start an artist management company, Leader Artist Management Company, recruiting TVB talents such as Joe Ma and Charmaine Sheh with the intent to sign onto CTI. According to an inside source, Ricky has worked tirelessly to sign seasoned artists, Wilson Tsui (艾威) and Sin Ho Ying (冼灝英). While Ricky wished to recruit younger artists, they were more hesitant to sign with CTI because they felt that Ricky will not be able to compete with TVB in the long run.
Recently, William Lau has resigned from Leader Artist Management Company. This fueled additional rumors that CTI did not have a firm foundation,leading to growing internal problems.
CTI Lacks Firm Foundation
Ricky’s lack of preparedness has drawn much speculation over CTI’s longevity. Without a proper television license and a facility dedicated for filming, all of the series currently filming have to take place publicly. This caused further production delays and increased costs.
To have greater certainty in their careers, Joe Ma and Charmaine Sheh are reportedly considering returning to TVB. Recently, Joe has spent a large amount of time promoting his new TVB drama, Tiger Cubs, to regain TVB’s trust in him. TVB executive, Virginia Lok, acknowledged that TVB aked Joe to film Tiger Cubs 2.
Charmaine Sheh has always been one of TVB’s most valued artists. Charmaine is also rumored to start filming a new series for TVB next month. Seeing that Joe and Charmaine have a change of hearts, Ricky had no choice but to allow them to go.
However, Bernice Liu already filmed a new musical TV drama with CTI. Her future with TVB is still uncertain.
With the sudden shakeup in his company staff and contracted artists, Ricky’s representative replied on his behalf, “We are continuing with the filming of the series and recruitment of artists.”
Source: Sudden Weekly #888 via ihktv.com
This article is written by Natalie for JayneStars.com.
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