“Another Era” Flops in Mainland China but Hits Big in HK

Another Era <再創世紀>, TVB’s grand co-production with Mainland China’s iQIYI and CCTV-8, premiered in China on August 29 to lukewarm responses. On the other hand, Another Era was welcomed with grand applause when it premiered in Hong Kong on September 10. Why such dramatically different responses for the two regions?

There are several reasons that could have contributed to Another Era’s poor performance in China. First, the story’s financial backdrop may be more confusing and complicated for casual viewers to understand—the story spans an entire decade, starting with the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. Brexit, acquisitions, hedge funds, and voting rights are among some of the financial and social topics that are heavily discussed in the show. Compared to China and Hong Kong’s last big hit Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略>, a period drama about the inner politics of the palace, Another Era is considerably more difficult to follow.

Secondly, the cast of Another Era has yet to successfully break into the mainland market. Lead stars like Roger Kwok (郭晉安), Frankie Lam (林文龍), and Tavia Yeung (楊怡) mainly focus on doing work in Hong Kong. On the other hand, Story of Yanxi Palace has Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), who already has popularity in China with her multiple dramas and variety show appearances.

Thirdly, the genre is just too different. Historically, period dramas such as Story of Yanxi Palace, Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace <如懿傳>, and Ashes of Love <香蜜沉沉燼如霜> would always have a stable fanbase and do well in China. Another Era is a brand new topic for viewers.

Source: HK01.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

Related Articles


  1. It’s flopping because the story is not good. You don’t need a grand cast. Look at Yanxi – a good plot, post-production, etc. attracted the crowd.

    On a different topic, is anyone looking forward to The Defected? So many vets!

    1. @tiffany With Another Era, TVB basically picked the wrong series to collaborate with Mainland, as everything from the theme to the cast to the story doesn’t fit in with Mainland audiences’ tastes – even I know this and I don’t follow the Mainland entertainment industry that closely. Honestly, if TVB is serious about breaking into the Mainland market, they need to stop being lazy and actually do their research….in order to succeed in the Mainland market, they need to understand the rules of the game….otherwise, why even bother? TVB already screwed up their chances at salvaging the HK market so you would think that they at least put in the effort to make sure the Mainland market works out for them…

      In terms of The Defected — I love Kara Hui but unfortunately have no confidence in TVB whatsoever nowadays. I already dislike most of the main cast of The Defected (the current TVB artists whom I have no interest in watching) and can only look forward to the veterans, but of course, with this being TVB, I have huge reservations as to what type of roles those veterans will play (it’s possible some might only have split second cameos)…if TVB doesn’t utilize them well (which they probably won’t), then there’s no point in even having them in the series.

      With Yanxi, it’s more than the plot and post-production….the authenticity piece plays a huge role as well, plus the good pacing (doesn’t drag a story arc out over long period of time like most Mainland series) and also willingness to be “different” from the typical palace drama (there is actually a good balance of humor in the series that I felt was really well done). As much as I can’t stand Yu Zheng and he honestly annoys the hell out of me with that big mouth of his that 99% of the time spews garbage (and true to form, he’s constantly “in the news” these past couple weeks saying all kinds of stupid things that are pissing audiences off, lol), I’m still willing to support Yanxi because it truly is an excellent series.

      By the way, can the media please stop comparing Story of Yanxi Palace to TVB’s series? There honestly is no comparison – Yanxi is in a class of its own pretty much.

      1. @llwy12 SOY was also very expensive to produce, although they got their money’s worth in the end. TVB can’t compete with that kind of moola.

        TVB never relied on their budget in the past for great dramas, because they had great storylines & characters. There’s a feeling of authenticity that moved with the characters. Nowadays, all their dramas and shows are centered on careers. Not on character development. And they lack coordination & story logic.

        If TVB can fix those things, they’ll have some power to compete. But at this point, they’re still kind of floundering around.

      2. @tiffany If we’re talking about Kara Hui TV series, I’m actually more looking forward to Fox Asia’s Stained over TVB’s The Defected….to me, it’s a no-brainer, lol: Kara Hui + Anthony Wong + Tse Kwan Ho (Stained cast) beats out Kara Hui + current TVB artists (The Defected cast) any day!

      3. @llwy12 its not right to compare like that. Mandarin and canto drama are different. SOY they got big palace , huge people inside thats why it looks grand.
        TVB drama except the storyline, also the actors’ speaking skill are exellent compare with china.
        China only can do well in ancient drama. Tvb more on modern drama. But still its not right to compare both as its different although skin color same only.

    1. @ivan Some netizen actually had the audacity to say that Another Era is “better than the original” in every way (and the media actually reported it, using that netizen’s comment to make the claim that HK audiences “love” the series – that’s where the piece in this article about Another Era being welcomed in HK “with grand applause” came from)….so delusional and pathetic! AE can’t hold a candle to the original, no matter which way they try to slice it…and they (the media) need to stop already with all the comparisons – for example: no, Pakho Chau is NOT Gallen Lo so let’s please stop likening his character in the series to Gallen’s Yip Wing Tim…(I should probably stop reading all the media hype on the series because it’s seriously ticking me off, lol).

      1. @llwy12
        I’ve heard it all this week. ‘Another Era is one of the better drama this year’. ‘Edwin Siu is a solid actor’ etr. What kind of measuring stick are we using and standards we comparing to nowadays? haha

      2. @jimmyszeto LOL…yea, I wonder. Standards are definitely low nowadays. And with all the “changes” happening at TVB lately (just yesterday, they announced the shutting down of yet another long-running program and potentially more layoffs of staff), their reputation is already in the toilet, so looks like they need all the “hype” they can get with their series to perhaps reassure the masses that they are doing ok….whatever the case, their series in recent years are still subpar….

      3. @llwy12

        I know what you mean, I just finished “another Era” series and it sucked. Hong Kong audiences aren’t stupid enough to accept trashy plots like this and call it genius. The series has no real vision except “evil rich person wants to use stock market to win it all”. That’s not what “At the Threshold of an era” was about, or what motivates the characters, aka “family”, “dreams”, and “the future”.

        TVB can’t hide a flop like this behind smoke and mirrors

    2. @ivan

      If this is one of the better TVB dramas this year then I don’t want to watch TVB anymore because this series was hot garbage to me (aside from Roger’s acting, of course).

  2. When is tvb releasing dic-ky series? That will save tvb. Maybe remake jttw. Beg jin yong perhaps? Film sequel to hit series? Do a small series? Revive legal series? Medical series?

  3. The whole story sucks!!
    Really!! Pakho Please go back to movies. Drama’s are to long for You.

    The plot is just bad. No shocking moments. Evrything was foresight. Who wrote This?!!

    Tvb need Some good new ideas, Because This years is worser then last year. I allready stop watching hkdrama’s. Instead of watching newest i’m Watching the older ones

    Step-in to the past. Great story. Everything is So detailright. Acting was superb!! And again the story was fantatstic!!

    Who can help Tvb!!

Comments are closed.