Bobby Au Yeung Upset with “Always and Ever” Ratings

In February 2013, Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華) was hospitalized for two long weeks due to acute pneumonia. At the time, he was only a few weeks shy from completing the filming of Always and Ever <情逆三世緣>, TVB’s latest television drama that is currently airing.

Bobby joked that he had been actively promoting Always and Ever since his hospitalization. Nonetheless, having gone through a near-death experience, Bobby thought he would leave the world for good.

“I was scared! But the entire incident was quite dramatic. When I slipped into an unconscious state, I knew I was in trouble. I asked myself why I couldn’t move at all. When I woke up, I realized I had been in a coma. I’m not sure if I will have good fortune after going through that near-death experience, but this is what we experience in life. From being in a coma to leaving the hospital, it was only 11 days. The doctors joked to me that maybe it’s because I’ve done many good deeds, which was why I was able to recover so quickly. I actually think Esther Kwan (關詠荷) said it better. She told me that bad guys can’t die that easily. I always do charity, but I have also done many bad things. After that, I will try not to do many bad things! Hahaha!”

Always and Ever also costars Esther Kwan, whose chemistry with Bobby in Taming of the Princess <醉打金枝> and the Armed Reaction <陀槍師姐> series, had warmed the hearts of many TVB fans.

Disappointed in Low Ratings

With the award-winning couple collaborating again, Bobby admitted that he had high expectations of Always and Ever. The time-traveling romantic drama, however, only managed to rake in an average of 28 points since its premiere on August 12.

“Esther alone could bring in at least 25 points in ratings. Now with me in the picture, ratings were only around 28 to 29 points. So I only have the power of having 4 to 5 points? I am not familiar with how the ratings are compiled, but Always and Ever has been receiving good word-of-mouth since its premiere. Everyone told me that they’re watching it, and they were able to give me a very detailed description of the storyline as well. Why did the ratings not reflect this?”

Bobby added, “It’s hard to film a decent television drama now. The audience often complains about the plot being too confusing. When we filmed [Always and Ever], we already tried to make it like a radio play – even when holding a cup of tea, we mentioned that we were drinking tea. Esther and I performed naturally. We didn’t fake it. We are compatible and we didn’t need to grind in [our chemistry] because we’ve had collaborated way too many times already – from the Armed Reaction series, to Taming of the Princess, and even The Legendary Four Aces. After she became a mother, it was many years until we could collaborate again. [She’s] even better than before. Of course, I’m not talking about her figure, but her maturity and self-restraint. She can control her emotions very well, especially during filming. To prevent outtakes, when someone rushes toward her, she will not even be scared and will insist to finish her lines. Amazing.”

Esther entered semi-retirement after her marriage to fellow actor and Film King Nick Cheung(張家輝) in 2003. She briefly returned in 2007 to star in the TVB sitcom Best Selling Secrets <同事三分親>, but left the cast in 2008 to focus on her family and raising her daughter. Esther made one more comeback in 2010 to star in The Season of Fate <五味人生> with Roger Kwok (郭晉安), but she went into hiatus again soon after filming completed. It was Bobby who convinced Esther to return once more for Always and Ever.

“I always obtain permission first. I first asked the boss [Nick] if he agreed. When he said he had no problem, we were already halfway to success.”

Bobby joked that he feared for his future acting career and made sure he stayed on Esther’s “good side” so he could easily convince Esther to make another comeback again when necessary. He said, “When filming, I spent more time pleasing Esther so she would be willing to work with me again in the future! It’s hard to find a work partner now. There are not many fadans out there that are a good match for my age. That’s why I’ve been spending a lot of time serving Esther Kwan, Jessica Hsuan (宣萱), and Amy Chan (陳秀雯), who has recently signed under my manager Lydia. Just so I can have an extra partner or two when I’m filming. At the end of the year, I will be filming a new [TVB] drama with a new partner. I am not familiar with Joey Meng(萬綺雯), but this will be a very fresh collaboration. She is very special – after being in the industry for so many years, she still maintained that childish aura of a young woman.”

Bobby’s new TVB drama with Joey, temporarily titled Ox Head Loves Horse Mouth <牛頭愛搭馬嘴>, is slated to begin production in November 2013.

Excited for TVB’s Future

In regards to the reported returns of film kings Tony Leung Ka Fai (梁家輝) and Anthony Wong (黃秋生) to TVB next year, Bobby supported their comebacks. He remarked that not only should TVB spend more time to cultivate their rookie actors, but inviting established senior actors back to the channel would benefit the audiences.

Asked if he wanted to work with his former costars and veterans, Nick Cheung and Michael Tao (陶大宇), in a new drama, Bobby laughed, “Given the chance, of course! If TVB really has this intention, I will not mind being the middle man. I will go contact them myself!”

Source: Ming Pao via

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. If he can bring back these veteran actors, this is certainly great news for TVB! TVB can use them to garner more audiences, and use them to cultivate new artistes. Two birds with one stone!

  2. The chemistry is undeniably strong but the plot had a lot of flaws. Such a waste of good actors!

    1. the plot is overused. time traveling is not a new thing anymore. they need to use a fresh idea.

      1. Maybe TVB is trying to milk the time traveling element as much as they can since China no longer use it.

    2. He has been one of my favorite actor however as far as plot is concerned this is the worst series Bobby is in.

  3. What a shame. Great actors minus Mandy Wong and a great plot. I look forward to each episode everyday, though my viewings don’t count :I

  4. It’s really such a shame because I thought this drama was so promising. The acting is amazing and I love Esther + Bobby, but I think the plot is really lacking. I stopped watching at the point where Bobby “loses” his memory and becomes a totally different person. I really enjoyed the series during the Song dynasty, but goes downhill after that…

    1. @Krissy, you are spot on! We lost interest the moment Bobby lost his memory as the storyline & plots started to irritate us much. We love the Sung Dynasty’s Justice Pao exploits though. Too bad Bobby didn’t get the message….

    2. Me too! Bobby “losing” his memory was just… an annoying plot. But I will pick it up again after the whole drama broadcast so I can skip around. I just love Bobby & Esther too much to not finish it.

  5. Excellent acting, yes. The plot didn’t make sense. It should have been a 22 episode series. Plus the Song dynasty was a lot more interesting.

  6. I really enjoyed this series… The chemistry between them is so genuine. I didn’t know Bobby and Joey are going to be collaborating… Will be looking forward to that.

    1. based on the temporary title, looks like it’ll be a comedy! definitely something to look forward to

  7. Like many TVB series of this year, great acting wasted on bad plots…so what is the point of bringing back veteran actors? They should invest in better script writers.

    1. Totally agree!! Bringing back good actors and veterans will be if no use if there are no good scripts and plots. It seems like the audience is finally realizing that there are way more important factors to any series rather than just the cast.

    2. Exactly. Haven’t seen a good series for ages! Even TITS 2 was mediocre to bad given the big casts. Even if the film kings/queens return to TVB next year, it will not garner much viewership if the scripts are equally bad.

  8. I am a big fan of Bobby and Esther. Although the beginning was ok but after 10th episode the storyline gets worse and uninteresting. Gave up the Shanghai era which I thought was terrible. Waste of Bobby and Esther’s talent.

    1. Glad that you also realize how important the storyline and script are.

  9. Ratings doesn’t matter if the series is well received and so far it has been, I would say it’s a pretty successful series.

    1. Like When Heaven Burns? The series did not have high ratings, but still won many praises.

    2. Yup, good ratings do not always prove or show that a series it good. There were some really bad series that got high ratings.

    3. Exactly, WHB was a great series it’s just that HK audiences are used to watching something more simple. Ratings is like the money they make at box offices, no matter if they make millions it still doesn’t change the fact that the movie sucked. It should be embarrassing for them to hold celebrations for series with high ratings but it wasn’t even good at all. Ratings just prove how many people watch on TV it does not count the amount watched on the Internet which most of us do. Who actually waits to watch the series at 8:00-9:00PM. We got other priorities too.

  10. I think a big part of why the ratings are lower now is the previous combination of Beauty at War and Bullet Brain airing at the same time. That caused about a month of super low ratings and bad feedback, and a lot of viewers probably watched something else to entertain themselves and never really came back.

  11. The plot was too draggy and over-hype on TITS2.

    They still have a week to finish strong.

  12. But they recently achieved a peak rating of 31 which is to be honest very good for tvb series this year

  13. “[She’s] even better than before. Of course, I’m not talking about her figure,” I couldn’t help but laugh at that lol

  14. Elena Kong and Kenneth Ma’s May-December pairing in Triumph in the Skies 2 is very interesting and their acting is superb and should be nominated for some awards. Their older woman-younger man liaison gives a different dimension to the usual older man-younger woman pairing. In this series, Elena plays her role as an alluring, confident, engaging, mature and caring older woman to the hilt.
    I would not call Elena’s character a cougar because she is not on the prowl and does not chase Kenneth Ma nor is she looking for a younger man. It is the other way round. It is not surprising to find her such an intriguing actress, and her portrayal as the beautiful, older woman is so appealing. Many times in the series, I thought that she looked so beautiful and attractive – stunning!
    Elena is perfect for the role as she is able to produce all the right expressions and the right intensity, facially or vocally. She brilliantly shows us a woman who is grounded and has already figured out who she is. Kenneth Ma also plays the dejected, helpless and emotionally immature ‘little puppy’ and ‘cub’ quite convincingly.
    There is that unforgettable marriage proposal scene by Kenneth Ma in the airport cafeteria where their friends are all gathered. Elena, as the older woman, always seems to have the upper hand in the relationship and is ever so self-possessed. In this memorable scene before the marriage proposal, she shows some degree of self-possession and stability but then in the scene after the proposal, there is a moving break and coarseness in her voice when she realises that he is committed to their relationship – when he says he loves her no matter what. She relents and her voice startlingly cracks and tears well up in her eyes. Her mixture of facial emotions, the complexity of her expressions, her ever so-slight body movements, the subtle contraction of her facial muscles and the rise and fall in the pitch of her voice all vividly showcase her awesome acting skills. I thought this scene is absolutely amazing and is stamped indelibly in my memory! It really shows her impressive acting maturity and speaks volumes about her as an actress.
    I suppose many in the audience do not approve of May-December relationships. BUT, they forget that what they are watching is just only a drama series. ‘The difference in age’ shouldn’t be an issue when they assess the performance of actors and actresses. Elena Kong’s phenomenal acting skills are overlooked by some who are easily influenced by actors and actresses who are given more air time and attention or those who play more flamboyant roles. I believe that even Francis Ng’s acting skills have also been largely ignored by the majority of the audience. Sometimes, I wonder what is necessary for a TVB actor or actress / non-TVB managed actor or actress to get critical acclaim for their awe-inspiring performance or to get awards.

  15. The rating of 29 is not bad; it is still much higher than many other series.

  16. At the end of the day, it’s all about the storyline of the drama. I doubt dramas like no regrets and heart of greed will be as successful if the stories werent as interesting even with the good actors

  17. I would say the high 20s is pretty successful for ratings these days. People just dont watch as much tvb as they used to because the storylines are so bad.

  18. TV also has Korea series and China series that sharing the rating.

  19. It’s too long. When Bobby woke up and lost his memory should be the end of the series. I

    1. TV ratings are calculated only based on the broadcast. It does not account for TVB Online, and Mobile streams.

      People don’t care for TVB enough to catch it live anymore. There are just too many sources available online now for people to catch it whenever they want. Also, there are much better production out there as well (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, etc). Seriously, if I wasnt fluent in Cantonese and watched TVB growing up as a child, I wouldn’t give a crap about TVB. It’s amateur material.

      1. I am guessing the many that are loyal to TVB are ones that grew up watching them?? I grew up watching TVB, but have stopped watching many of their series for years. I still do but only occasionally, however, I am really disappointed at how bad their series have been lately. There are also a lot more options these days rather than just TVB.

      2. Thanks Anon. Cos I always read about rating points. And still wondering how do they calculate that based on broadcast lol. They will have a formula to that.

    2. I think TVB has hired another company to calculate their drama ratings recently. They have included broadcasting, MyTV, mobile phones, and maybe some other sources since the broadcasting of “TITS 2” to arrive at the total viewership ratings.

      1. That will be next year. They are still using the old outdated method of counting viewership numbers.

      2. Actually, they will rollout over time the new tv viewership rating system til it fully implanted 2017.

        CSM Media Research (the current TVB rating researcher) surveys only 650 people and often have controversies with the viewership numbers

        TVB hired Nielsen last year and will take over, hopefully see some numbers maybe next year, surveying 800 people monitor tv and computers.

        I think they need 1000 people to probably get the exact number at least.

      3. My bad, TVB is using Nielsen ratings but it still is bad for Always and Ever ratings.

  20. i think hk is still using nielsen ratings, which imo are pretty inaccurate as the sample size is so small. anyway, the 8:30pm time slot very rarely jumps over 30 points as all the si lais in hk are either cooking or having dinner with their families. i know i am super busy at 8.30 every night and have no time to watch tv, hence have to catch it online the following day (and not always on… oops).

    i like always and forever. although it started getting draggy after bobby lost his memory, i am still persevering as i like the cast. i am liking it better than sniper standoff so far..

  21. Sung Dynasty was the best part. After that, it’s just horrible, more so after he lost his memory! So annoying…

    We seriously need a good Justice Pao’s series, btw, lol

  22. He thinks that HK audiences miss him and that will get him good ratings or what? Who cares who the casts are if the the plot is stupid and pointless?

  23. im fine with Mandy Wong as an actress, but her character in this drama is so spiteful especially about her ridiculous “tragic past” which made her this way is so stupid.

    1. I am Mandy Wong’s fans…but don’t like her scrips in this drama…

  24. Found Mandy Wong’s character very irritating and cliche in the series – ended up skipping through all her parts as much as possible after memory loss. Maybe they spent too much time in the 60’s period.

  25. Acting is good, but storyline is terrible in “Always and Ever”.

  26. I find his analogy of actor : ratings quite irritating. How does that even make sense? He assumed that ratings will be based on solely Esther and his acting/popularity? He sounded so surprised and probably a bit haughty when he thought he was only worth 4-5 points. Like really man, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by downplaying how much you’re worth with mere ratings. How does he even know those 4-5 points were only because of him? The more I read that paragraph the more embarrassed I feel for him saying those things.

    1. Bobby Au Yeung always likes joking a lot. That was his joke only.

    2. @Evie,
      I guess for veteran actors, they feel like they are all that just b/c they are starring in it. I remember that stupid series w/Lam Fung, some sort of devil series, I couldn’t even pass 1 episode, it was so bad and even if a film/queen or king played it, it will still suck.

      1. That was very piss-poor script. You can blame Raymond’s acting 🙂

  27. The series was definitely a waste of great talent. As much as I love Bobby and Esther, I actually gave up on the series a long time ago (same with TITS2 as well as the Sniper series with Eddie and Kathy)….all those series have the same ‘problem’ in common — bad scripts. Looks like TVB still hasn’t changed their ‘habit’ of putting big name veteran artists in horribly scripted series….I guess they still have the mindset that as long as you put well-known veteran artists into a series (especially those who’ve been away from the TV industry for awhile), there’s no need for the script to be good, since the audiences won’t care anyway as long as they get to see the artists they want to see. This is why I dread it when veteran artists come back to film series, especially artists whom I like, because I know they are going to get cast in a series with a crappy script…honestly, I would rather those artists not come back, since I hate seeing their reputations dragged through the mud every time (and yes, it happens every time, without fail because that’s how the HK Media operates). If those artists are making a good living working in Mainland China or another country and are happy doing so, then let them be…why drag them back into the TVB ‘torture chamber’ and ‘feed’ the ruthless HK Media hounds???

    1. It is truly sad that TVB is so bad now even when the veterans come back to film. I always look forward to seeing veterans come back but not with such bad plots and scripts. My mom has been complaining so much about how bad TVB series have been lately. We are now mostly watching China series, Taiwanese and Korean series and only a few TVB ones recently and not a single TVB series is good.

  28. Actually I’m quite fond of the paring of Esther and Bobby and I loved the drama. If there were any votings for the best pariNg, my vote would have given them rather then the more popular drama this year, TITS2 even though my fave actress Fala, is in it. I could tell that it was a romantic drama or something ,cos it tells about their love in 3 different lifetimes. It was very convincing that.秋鳳 liked 龍飆 from the tears when she spoke to him even though he had lost his memory and refused to see her at first. Esther’s characters in Always and Ever is amazing and so is Bobby’s. Though it was not as high as 衝上雲霄’s points, I still felt that this is a better drama.

    1. i agree so much! 🙂 seeing Esther and Bobby are like seeing old friends. but i must say Esther has aged so well. she’s still so beautiful!

  29. I dont think the drama is good at all…. in terms of story an plot. acting not their best work. Thats probably why. They need better writing and not just invest on actors. Hate when he says about the audience complain the plot is confuse!!!! well the plot is just too naive and unrealistic.

  30. I would like to see Bobby & Michael Tao in a series again. They click so well!

  31. Why not go back to fun historical fiction stories; Chronicle the life of Sun Tzu as the old Mainland production was not that great (Make it a grand production), write a story about Genghis Khan or the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty as nothing has been done since the 1980’s in TVB, how about Chinese piracy during the 19th century (Chinese pirates ruled the seas during the early 19th century before the advent of modern navies), or a new drama about Hong Kong’s own past with the revolts in the 1950’s.

    Or do something Chinese writers don’t do enough, dream of the future: Has anyone ever seen a decent futuristic Science fiction series from TVB or China: If the Chinese people are to move beyond stagnation, we need our brand of Sci-Fi. Western audiences can imagine Star Trek and Star Wars, why can Chinese writers not imagine a future with as much interesting elements or developments?

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