TVB Ratings Report: Big Budget Does Not Equate to Big Ratings

By on December 4, 2017 in NEWS, TV Dramas

TVB Ratings Report: Big Budget Does Not Equate to Big Ratings

With 2017 almost coming to an end, it is time to start reflecting on the results of TVB’s 50th television season. If there was any lesson to be learned at all, 2017 has taught us that blockbuster productions do not necessarily mean it would win the hearts of the masses, and that lower-budget dramas should not be swept under the rug.

As of today, three of TVB’s top-rated dramas of the year are locally-produced, smaller productions that were never meant to be promoted as big series. Coming fourth on the list is the recently-aired The Exorcist’s Meter <降魔的>, starring Kenneth Ma (馬國明), Mandy Wong (黃智雯), Hubert Wu (胡鴻鈞), and Moon Lau (劉佩玥). The Exorcist’s Meter, a horror drama about a taxi driver who can see supernatural beings, averaged 24.75 rating points per episode, putting it as the fourth most-watched television drama of the 2017 TV season thus far. The Exorcist’s Meter was never meant to be promoted as an anniversary drama, but after a successful premiere episode and an even more successful first week, The Exorcist’s Meter eventually followed the footsteps of Line Walker: The Prelude <使徒行者2>, becoming a kickstarter for TVB’s 50th anniversary season. The Exorcist’s Meter underperformed when it aired its final episode on a Sunday, but the random switch in broadcast date was to blame.

Elena Kong and Ben Wong in “Tiger Mom Blues” (2017).

The third most-watched television drama of the year is Tiger Mom Blues <親親我好媽>, which aired in the beginning of the year. Starring Ben Wong (黃智賢), Elena Kong (江美儀), Sharon Chan (陳敏之), and a special starring appearance by Michelle Yim (米雪), Tiger Mom Blues averaged 25 rating points when it aired in February. The show is also responsible for pushing Matthew Ho (何廣沛) to stardom—the rookie actor is now leading TVB’s next generation of siu sangs, and is co-starring a drama with Joe Ma (馬德鐘).  Tiger Mom Blues was not produced with a big budget, and it also went through a controversial production phase, but it won the audiences with its heartwarming script and talented cast.

Second place is A General, a Scholar, and a Eunuch <超時空男臣>, a time traveling comedy about three Ming Dynasty court officials who were warped into modern-day Hong Kong as they go on a search for their lost princess. Starring Edwin Siu (蕭正楠), Raymond Cho (曹永廉), and Matthew Ho, A General was both a ratings hit and a trending series when it aired in Hong Kong this past summer. It averaged 26.8 points.

Number one on TVB’s most-watched list is no other than The Unholy Alliance <同盟>, the answer to last year’s A Fist Within Four Walls <城寨英雄>. Created by Four Walls producer Jazz Boon (文偉鴻), the martial arts drama saw TV King and Queen duo Ruco Chan (陳展鵬) and Nancy Wu (胡定欣) returning as the lead stars, costarring Film Queen Nina Paw (鮑起靜) in her first TVB drama. The Unholy Alliance easily defeated all other TVB dramas that aired this year, averaging 28 ratings points during its broadcast run. It was not produced with a high budget, but its connection with Four Walls definitely helped with the promotion.

Jessica Hsuan and Frankie Lam in “My Unfair Lady” (2017).

On the other hand, big-budget dramas and carefully-crafted productions like My Unfair Lady <不懂撒嬌的女人> and the co-production Line Walker: The Prelude failed to outrun its local competitors. My Unfair Lady received praises on all fronts—the high-budget camerawork and no-studio filming style definitely earned many praises from critics, but it averaged only 24 points during its broadcast run. The show did, however, give Jessica Hsuan (宣萱) her first TV Queen honor since 1999’s Detective Investigation Files IV <刑事偵緝檔案IV>.

Though led by respected veteran actor Michael Miu (苗僑偉) and popular idol Pakho Chau (周柏豪), Line Walker: The Prelude failed to reach expectations. Despite being a co-production with China’s Penguin Pictures, Line Walker: The Prelude averaged only 24 points during its run. It also failed to catch the same attention in China as its 2014 predecessor.

Can you think of any other examples of successful low-budget TVB dramas?

Source: HK01.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

10 comments to TVB Ratings Report: Big Budget Does Not Equate to Big Ratings

  1. Profile photo of tiffany tiffany says:

    Well, a handful of ppl watch dramas online now. It should be, “high ratings don’t equate to quality dramas.”

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    • Profile photo of yummiki24 yummiki24 replied:

      @tiffany Agree. Ratings dont have that value as it did before. Its all about what people are saying and creating the hype online.

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    • Profile photo of llwy12 llwy12 replied:

      @tiffany Yup…and the other thing to consider too is that with TVB’s recent trend of collaborating with Mainland China platforms such as Tencent, Youku, iQiyi, etc. in broadcasting their dramas, they basically shot their chances at getting decent ratings in HK, since they are obligated to allow Mainland audiences to watch the series first. Part of the reason why Line Walker’s ratings in HK were so low was because they put 10 episodes up at a time for Mainland audiences (versus 1 episode a day for HK audiences), so HK audiences who didn’t want to wait could just watch the Mainland version online and not bother with the HK version (whether on TV or online). Basically, this will be the modus operandi going forward for any and all TVB co-productions with Mainland China.

      I’m not sure if the above numbers are the cross-platform ratings (which counts both TV and online) or just the TV ones. If it’s cross-platform, then yea, the ratings are truly pathetic if the highest they can get with all platforms combined is 28 points…

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  2. Profile photo of yummiki24 yummiki24 says:

    Exorcists Meter is so popular and so many people have good things to say. But i didnt find it as great

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  3. Profile photo of queenian queenian says:

    Many of the big productions were co-produced with china and they were released online before it even aired in HK and has super high views online. So alot of people just watched it online before the broadcast date which is probably why it got low ratings. Plus ratings don’t have the same standards anymore. TVB should focus more on online platforms. Sites like Netflix is taking over and everyone is just watching things online anytime they want rather than having try to catch shows at a specific time on TV.

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  4. Profile photo of m0m0 m0m0 says:

    did anyone ever say high budget = high rating? nothing’s guaranteed in life so for whomever to think that, it’s pretty naive.

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  5. Profile photo of funnlim funnlim says:

    There it is. Possibly 2017’s worst series will win best series at TVB awards. Jessica basically won an award for playing Jessica.

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    • Profile photo of llwy12 llwy12 replied:

      @funnlim Yup…and what would be worse is for TUA to sweep all the awards and be the biggest winner of the night (unlikely but not impossible, since at the end of the day, it’s up to TVB who they want to give the awards to). All I know is that if TUA sweeps the awards, it’s almost guaranteed that we will be seeing part 3 with the same cast some time in the not so distant future….

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  6. Profile photo of siro112233 siro112233 says:

    Best drama
    The Excorcist meter

    Best actor
    Doubt between
    Kenneth Ma Moses Chan

    Best actrice
    Kristal Tin

    My favourite male character
    Ma Kwai

    My favourite female character
    Paris

    Best supporting actor
    Joël Chan

    Best supporting Actress
    Elaine Yiu

    Most improved actor
    Hubert Wu/Matthew Ho

    Most improved actress
    Moon Lau

    Best theme song
    Hubert Wu “out of Reach”

    My favourite couple on screen
    Joël Chan – Elaine Yiu
    Aka
    K&K

    Still havent seen HOG 3 And BTROC 2

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  7. Profile photo of jimmyszeto jimmyszeto says:

    Best drama
    The Exorcist’s meter

    Best actor
    Vincent Wong

    Best Actress
    Ali Lee

    My favourite male character
    Ma Kwai

    My favourite female character
    Mall Jeh

    Best supporting actor
    Owen Cheung but they will give it to Joel Chan

    Best supporting Actress
    Elaine Yiu

    Most improved actor
    Matthew Ho

    Most improved actress
    Moon Lau

    My favourite couple on screen
    Joël Chan – Elaine Yiu

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