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Joe Ma and Charmaine Sheh Drop CTI to Return to TVB?

By on August 7, 2012

Joe Ma and Charmaine Sheh Drop CTI to Return to TVB? thumbnail

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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  • Readers' Comments (63)

    1. AC says:

      Joe Ma already resigned with TVB on a per-series contract. I don’t think he had any intention to jump to CTI after 620 “saved” him from the Rose Chan scandal.
      I think Charmaine still has a per-series contract with TVB as well and she always denied going to CTI. People just thought that she was going to film for them because of her management’s connection to Ricky.

      As for Bernice, she seemed to have left on bad terms with TVB because they sided with Moses and are now milking Moses/Aimee. I doubt she would want to go back.

      • vivien says:

        Joe Ma has scandal debt to 620

      • Gar says:

        Don’t go back Bernice, they left you to fend helplessly for yourself while the disgusted lovebirds shone in the spotlight at your expense. You’ll do better elsewhere where you’ll be appreciated.

        • Rainbow says:

          Couldn’t agree more with you

        • sport3888 says:

          Absolutely agree! I totally understand and would not want Bernice to return. They didn’t defend her when she and Moses broke up and even used the new lovebirds to milk more money!

      • sandcherry says:

        Agreed with the above comments, especially on Bernice Liu.

      • Nicole says:

        They might not have the intention to jump ship to CTI, but I believe Ricky Wong might have set up that management company to lure them in to film for his TV station. Which is why he’s gonna let go of the top management in that management companies as they are still unwilling to sign with him.

        Charmaine has been filming a lot in mainland, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss seeing her on screen, as her mainland productions have not been broadcasted. Now, I really blame TVB’s overexposure for the years I disliked seeing her on screen.

        • hello says:

          im actually quite relieved to not see charm on tvb screen. glad she made some room for more pple

      • yuaida says:

        While everyone here is commenting on the artists, I’m gonna direct some words at Ricky. I think he is way over his head if he originally thought that with a small handful of cash in his hand, that he will be a meaningful competitor to TVB….TVB has about 45 years history in this industry and as ruthless as they are with the way they do business, they have a solid foundation that not even some smart-ass like Ricky Wong can come and knock down because he came across a handful of cash. Ricky Wong is not seasoned enough in this business to even dent TVB……in fact, judging from the way he looks in most of the pics, he looks quite the loser……….I bet he will lose a handful more cash before he learns his lesson that he’s not in the same league to compete with the big boys………go home Ricky………hahaha….

        • sport3888 says:

          I have to disagree! RTV(now ATV) used to be the more experience tv station with the big head! When TVB came along as a free to air station they thought they’d win because of many years of airing. Boy were they wrong, not only did RTV add price for their channel they did switch to colored screen and free channel until it was too late! If anything Ricky Wong isn’t just all talk and money! He goes to experience what’s the filming work like for the crew to see what changes need to be made. He willings to bring HK drama standard back on level with other countries with Hollywood technology! In case you haven’t notice HK’s dramas are very behind due to TVB’s years of monopoly! Compared to Virginia Lok who only cares about their managed leading actors, CTI and Ricky Wong are far more sincere in bringing more variety to HK dramas! They are even filming the FIRST musical drama in HK ever!

    2. Kelly says:

      I’m disgusted of Moses and aimee

    3. smile says:

      I can’t stand amiee’s acting. My husband thinks she’s cute. But I think my door mat has more character than her!

    4. TVBFanatic says:

      I can’t see Bernice going back to TVB… so where will she go? I like Bernice :(

      • Larry 3 says:

        her tv career is a downer.

        • HeTieShou says:

          She can just film for China just like she has been just like many others are currently doing.

        • Lemon says:

          Bernice has no where to go. Her career in China hasn’t been doing so well – which is why she signed on with CTI. All of her roles are cameo at best.

      • Icetea_td says:

        I always like Bernice but I think her acting is so so, thus it’s difficult for her to develop her career anywhere else but TVB, however lastime when she had trouble of unfaithful to Mosses, TVB did nothing to protect her image, so I’m wondering whether she might want to come back.

      • Fox says:

        One: To China
        Two: To NowTV first, then Txb later.

    5. Hannahh says:

      oh Tiger Cub 2 SOUND GREAT!

      Poor Bernice! Moses n Aimee really make me vomit everytime i read news about them.

    6. purplepaw says:

      i miss watching charmaine in tvb dramas. since she decided to sign a per series contract, she’s starred in mediocre dramas. i want to see her in the big productions again

      • Bubblez says:

        Me too! :) I like to see her in big productions as well!

        • skinnymocha says:

          Sorry to put a dampener, but…
          – Can’t Buy Me Love was terrible
          – Beyond The Realm Of Consciousness was terrible
          – Drive Of Life was terrible

          She’s a bit OTT, but I rather enjoyed her in that comedy with Dayo Wong. Another favourite was Country Spirit. Boy was that long ago…

          Back on topic: Bernice going back to the company that flung her out to dry? Hmmm. Unless they make Moses+Aimee grovel.

          On a more serious note, I do feel sorry for the artists who used CTI as an escape route from TVB, hoping to seek better opportunities/treatment. It’ll be a shame if the plans fall through.

        • lol says:

          Ricky has good people skills. He goes to great length to get these TVB artistes to escape from TVB. All of them they are touched when Ricky approached them personally.

        • Bubblez says:

          @Skinnymocha: Very true but I did like those dramas, compared to 4inLove and when heaven burns.. :S

        • purplepaw says:

          didn’t watch drive of life, i do agree that beyond the realm of consciousness wasn’t great, but i really liked can’t buy me love haha. rewatched it a few times

        • Magic says:

          @skinnymocha: I actually like CBML and The Drive of Life. Beyond was exactly good, though…

        • Magic says:

          Sorry I meant wasn’t exactly good.

        • Nicole says:

          I agree “Can’t buy me love” was good, it’s not exactly brainfood, but it’s quite entertaining. Charmaine does really well in sassy characters.
          but I dislike Drive of Life and Beyond the Realm of Consciousness was the worst.
          I did like parts of 4inLove, although I didn’t like Charmaine’s story, but Elvina’s story was good.

        • Fox says:

          Acting wise, I see Charmaine’s acting the best in Drive of Life. BTROC is ridiculous and Can’t buy me love is simply a comedy with no depth.

    7. Ric says:

      This is why CTI can only get older artists to sign with them. Younger artists don’t wan to risk CTI failing to get the license. I’m quite surprised there seems to be so much difficulty in gaining that license. Ricky has been acting as if it’s a sure thing but it seems like the company is on shaky ground.

    8. Funn Lim says:

      Don;t think Charmaine ever considered their offer seriously.

    9. sehseh says:

      Ricky Wong is a joke. William Lau already issued statement and interview that Charmaine is not under Leader Artist but MediaQuiz, his other artiste management company and that she will not film other HK station because she still have contract with TVB. But Ricky keep baiting the media by hinting that he could get Joe and Charmaine. Such a boast.

      If Charmaine want to film with another HK station after her TVB per series contract expires next year, it would be NowTV, not CTI. Though they are also TVB competitors, they maintain a civil relationship. CTI are too arrogant for its own good, now its Aug and they havent got issued free tv license yet. NowTV have connections with mainland China station like HunanTV, so they can air series in Mainland via HunanTV too.

      • Lemon says:

        It’s not Ricky Wong’s fault that the license has been postponed by the government. ATV and TVB threatened to sue the government if they would issue the free TV station licenses. Which is why the license has been postponed month after month.

      • sport3888 says:

        CTI also has connection to Mainland not just NowTV! CTI’s drama will also be able to air in mainland once they’re ready.

    10. HeTieShou says:

      CTI sounds great and promising but lets see how it all turns out??? I think the fact that they are new and unstable is what makes newbies and veterans frown.

      • Lemon says:

        It depends what these artists wants and how heavily they are promoted. TVB only plays favorites and they don’t value most of their artists. There’s countless reports by these artists on how unsatisfied are they with their treatment by TVB.

        • looooooooooooooooo says:

          How do you know CTI will value their artist?

        • Maoli says:

          I just made a point that tvb doesn’t value their artists which is why so many of have left. That is a fact. Deal with it.

          Nobody knows if cti values their artists or not, but so far cti has kept their word in everything they said they wl change from tvb’s harsh treatment. Their wages are higher than tvb’s underpaid wage, cti treats their artists to decent meals (3 dishes, one soup) compared to tvb’s take out lunch box, cti promised their artists will not work for more than 12 hours compared to tvb’s 22 hour wok shifts.

          What does tvb do? Oh ya, play favorites and promote those that are unfit (Aimee) over those that deserve it (nancy).

        • Funn Lim says:

          “I just made a point that tvb doesn’t value their artists which is why so many of have left. That is a fact. Deal with it. ”

          I wonder the same question as looooooooooooooooo. Just because they can’t afford their salaries or rather chose not to doesn’t mean they don’t value their artistes. CTI is new, they’re trying to get artistes on board and so of course will make very generous terms. Until we see CTI 5 to 10 years from now, we will never know if it is an employer with a golden heart. But you can’t deny TVB has wider network, and from outside what appears to be a more stable management. Just look at ATV to know what I mean. But every year I predict ATV’s demise and they’re still around? Amazing.

        • Maoli says:

          Can’t afford and won’t afford aren’t the same. Paying artists like Maggie cheung (Ho yee) 10k isn’t exactly valuing them is it? I am not picking on Linda, but I think she makes 15k (not saying she’s not worth it). But If you were Maggie would you think tvb is valuing your worth?

          But I am open to new ideas, if tvb values their artists so much, why hasn’t those that left openly praised tvb for valuing their artists or they were treated well by tvb?

    11. RLF Lover says:

      Charmaine’s last two TVB series, When Heaven Burns and 4 in Love were crap, honestly. But I’ve always liked her and I sincerely hope to see her in another TVB series again.

      • HeTieShou says:

        I did not watch Heaven Burns so cannot comment but 4 in Love was really horrible… You should all watch a series for more than just the cast though.

        • RLF Lover says:

          I watched the first 2 episodes of either and disliked it so never continued. I did however, watched Moses’ Master of Play because it seemed like a good storyline but I didn’t like it either. You’re more likely to finish an entire series if you watched it based on cast though. But I agree.

    12. lol says:

      4in Love, CBML, BTROC are horrible. WHB is ok because of good script but very slow and boring.

      Charmaine popularity also quiet down after she step out from her no1 fadan position and focus to China. Mainland also has more competition since many new and young mainland actresses are coming out

      • TVBFanatic says:

        mainland seems to also be in love with plastic looking dolls… of which Charmaine is not. She’s made her money, best to come back to Hong Kong.

        It’s better to big a big fish in a small pond.

    13. jasmine7 says:

      I also miss Charmaine on tvb and hope they’ll have better series for her. Her big number Founding of the Yuan Empire (??) has yet to air and I look forward to that.

      Mosses & Aimee….total turn-off.

      I wonder what will happen to all the veteran scriptwriters who left tvb for Ricky’s CTI. Now that the license approval is still up in the air and what will really happen if it’s not approved???

    14. sandcherry says:

      I want to watch Charmaine’s drama series on TVB channel. First, I think Charmaine’s Mandarin is not good enough and her voice needs dubbing. I don’t like dubbing and, moreover, I need to rely on subtitles when I watch drama series filmed in Mainland China.

      • HeTieShou says:

        Even the mainland artists are dubbed so Hk artists are definately going to be dubbed.

        • sandcherry says:

          Really? Then it is not too good.

        • Nicole says:

          China’s dubbing, if it’s a high quality production, is actually very good. Note that I specify if it’s a high quality production. When they dubbed Crystal Liu’s voice when she played XLN, I think that it made her performance more credible.

        • HeTieShou says:

          It is true that when they have high quality dubbing then it makes the performances better in done cases. But in sone cases it can make it worse too so it can go either way. However, there are times when the mainland artists Dunn their own voices too, but a lot of times most the series are all dubbed with other people’s voices.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Oops meant to say “dubb”. I hate typing on the IPod!!

      • Hannahh says:

        all Mainland tv series are dubbed even tho they all speak mando.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Yea, but like I have said, at times they get to dubb their own voices, but only the mainlanders are allowed to do so.

    15. exoidus says:

      I thought the TV license was a sure thing as Ricky would not invest so much money if he wasn’t sure.

      Having them for per-series contract is one thing, but don’t see the value of having them in the long run.

      Just do it like the US i.e use new faces in their series. What matters is that the script is good and most importantly it will keep the production cost down.

      • sport3888 says:

        Even if they don’t have license CTI can always sell their dramas outside out HK. Ricky Wong said that already consumes 50% of the production cost!

    16. elle says:

      CTI has potential. From audience point of view its good to have more choices than TVB. CTI can proves itself by producing good quality productions captivating audience plainly with good script and good actors/actresses.

      Good actors/actresses doesn’t have to be famous/popular. Having famous actors and actresses is a costly advantage.

      If one truly believes in his idea and has a plan he should give his all to the end. There are many ways to get to Rome.

      Hope he’ll get the license soon.

    17. ticker says:

      Hope CTI gets its license soon. WHY is it taking so damn long to get one? I really wanna see how good their productions are compared with boring TVB recycled actors. Moses and Aimee *pukes* Why must they rub faces each time I hear about them. Aimee is a really good actress, as in good actress to gain publicity for their fake relationship. LOL.

      • sport3888 says:

        HK government already approved it but are dragging their feet for whatever reason, maybe intimidated by TVB. They made a law in 2006 that HK must issue more free to air licenses for more equal competition! The lawyer already told Ricky Wong that the licenses for all 3 tv stations are approved so right now it’s just a matter of “time”. Besides they still have to film dramas, variety shows, etc to have enough storage in order to start broadcasting. Most likely these tv stations will get their license next year and start airing when they’re ready. Right now NowTV has’t even started filming their dramas and CTI’s the only one with enough goods to start anytime.

    18. elin says:

      i lovr charm… but bernice hope u dont go bck to tvb… thy were playing favourites…

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