Catherine Tsang vs. Sandy Yu, Artists Suffer from TVB Politics
It appears that there will be a major change in TVB’s drama department in the following months.
According to a gossip site on Friday, TVB’s director of drama production, Catherine Tsang (曾勵珍), has lost her strong hold on the station’s drama department. After taking full control of the department in 2014, the TVB dramas that were made under Catherine Tsang’s direction delivered dismal ratings and poor reviews in the last two years.
The CEO of TVB Group, Mark Lee (李寶安), thus announced that the drama department would go through a major revamp operation, and he has enlisted the help of executive Sandy Yu (余詠珊) and the newly appointed assistant general manager To Chi Hak (杜之克) to manage the resources of the department. In addition, assistant general manager Peter Au (區偉林), who normally handles the funds of production, was “demoted” to manage the departments for art, makeup, and TVB’s visual effects partner Zenith Digital Creation instead.
Mark Lee admitted in a recent interview that TVB has been undergoing a change in staff, stating that TVB needs to change in order to meet the demands of the dynamic market. He said, “There are three points: [we] need to make [programs] that are unstinted, have substance, and are youthful. And because we will be establishing a second broadcasting platform next year, the workload has increased. This is why we need a revamp.”
Sandy Yu Rises In Power
While Catherine Tsang is losing favor among TVB’s big bosses, variety department executive Sandy Yu is gaining more favor. Over the last two years, the executive producer has churned out TVB variety programs such as Big Big World <世界零距離>, DoDo Goes Shopping <Do姐去Shopping>, and Four Amigos Bon Voyage <四個小生去旅行>, all which garnered high ratings and popularity during their runs.
Sandy Yu’s positive contributions to TVB do not end at variety. Her suggestion to broadcast the non-local drama The Empress of China <武則天> during a primetime slot had turned out to be a profitable decision—The Empress of China has not only become the second highest-rated television drama of the year, its final episode is also the most-watched episode of 2015. Thanks to The Empress of China, TVB’s main channel “Jade” altered its third primetime slot to air dramas seven days a week instead of only five, and that successfully pulled up TVB’s Saturday and Sunday evening ratings.
Sandy Yu and To Chi Hak were also in “close talks” with Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯), who has been blacklisted by TVB since 2013, to return to the station next year to star in the drama Women Who Can’t Act Cute Have It the Hardest <不懂撒嬌的女人最苦命>. In addition, Sandy Yu convinced Power Chan (陳國邦), who announced his high-profile leave from TVB a few months ago, to renew his TVB contract. Power confirmed in an earlier interview that he will indeed return to TVB, and will be starring alongside Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) and Teresa Mo (毛舜筠) in a sitcom next year.
Catherine Tsang’s Camp Suffers, Ruco Chan “Sacrificed”
The shift in personnel has affected TVB artists as well. The 2014 hit drama Line Walker <使徒行者> was announced by both Tencent and TVB last month that a second installment was in the making. Original cast member Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), who won Best Actress for her role as “Ding Jeh” in the TVB Anniversary Awards last year, attended the TVB Sales Presentation 2016 and announced that she would take part in the sequel. However, latest developments point out that Charmaine was dropped from the sequel due to her high price demand. Sandy Yu then suggested the studio to cast Kenneth Ma (馬國明) and Tavia Yeung (楊怡), both who were not favored by Catherine Tsang, to helm the blockbuster.
As a result of Catherine Tsang losing power, many artists who fall under her “camp” have to experience setbacks in their careers. This is allegedly the main reason why Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), who is currently one of TVB’s most popular artists, lost his TV King award to Anthony Wong (黃秋生) this year. Other members of the “camp” including Raymond Wong (黃浩然), Maggie Shiu (邵美琪), and Kenny Wong (黃德斌), are said to be struggling to get cast in dramas.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
Anthony Wong won without question. If ruco was sidelined he would have gone home empty handed.
I’m definitely glad that he received the best character award, the only reason why I kept watching Captain of Destiny was to watch his side of the story.
Funny! Anthony wong won by a landslide of 30k votes against RUCO! If my favourite award was 100% public votes,i am sure it would go to wayne lai or anthony and RUCO would go home empty hand! tvb most popular artist because tvb is lacking of good experience actor as many had left. Not that RUCO is popular and higher demanded in Hong Kong!
Bringing back Power and Sheren is definitely a good thing I guess.
Also I’m wondering how much longer are they shelving No Reserve 3?
@lileric I wonder too. By the time they finally decide to air No Reserve 3 possibly Myolie may have come back to film for TVB from mainland lol.
@lileric I hope never…..anything with Myolie can never be good…not with her acting skills.
Sometimes you just wonder, how could anyone skills not improved after so many years
Politics are part and parcel of any work environment not just showbiz. However if those in power are smart enough, they will continue to give jobs to those currently in demand,
If Ruco is “sidelined” as a result of the power struggle , TVB would only go against themselves. Currently , he is one of the hottest male artistes left in TVB and many of his fans would only tune in for his dramas. I hope that they can see his market value especially in South East Asia as he has a huge fan base there.
if the blacklisted sheren tang may come back to tvb,then i hope tvb will also call back their lost son felix wong. i think he can score more ratings for tvb than sheren and power together. im not looking for the come back of power chan,better call back tony leung chiu wai instead of this bad horse.
I thought Power Chan mentioned that he came back because of Tereso Mo and Catherine Tsang.
@incipio he came back for himself,its a trick to get a better contract with tvb. i understand ppl always wants more but not with such dirty tricks.
Exactly, it was Power Chan’s last ditch effort to gain a better contract. With a lack of talent pool, he was confident that he would get what he wanted and it worked. Never thought too highly of him to begin with, both in acting and character, but after seeing him pull this tactic, he has no respect from me, as he manipulated his fans that supported him through these years, and the often-hated TVB. He’s no better than TVB, as both have a tendency to use under-handed tactics to achieve their goals. Birds of a feather flock together cannot be more true.
Really Tavia plus Kenneth in Line walker sequel and Charmaine is out ???? Is it line walker or hippocratic crush
@hamster37 exactly! you dont start a movie without the original cast.
Whoever wrote this article (I’m referring to the original article in Chinese) is retarded. Please stop giving Sandy Yu and Felix To (杜之克) so much credit – even if veteran artists do successfully return, it has nothing to do with them, as they are essentially ‘outsiders’ (one came from i-Cable and the other from NowTV) who don’t have any relationship with these artists. While the politics piece does play a key role in all this (in terms of the reasons why many of the artists left as well as why they decide to return), there are definitely other factors as well. There are actually many more artists and behind-the-scenes people who either already returned or agreed to return to TVB this past year, even prior to this supposed ‘change in power’ amongst management, it’s just that none are ‘big names’ like Sheren (which is still rumored), Teresa (confirmed) and Liu Kai Chi (who actually only signed up to film that one series with TVB), so no one bothered to notice (especially mainstream media). Most of those who returned did so because they had no other choice given what happened to HKTV (that’s especially true with some of the scriptwriters and directors/producers who returned) and they had to make a living somehow. If these artists being approached by Sandy and Felix DO return, my guess is that it’s more because of timing and the artists’ personal reasons rather than due to their (Sandy and Felix) efforts.
In any case, even if TVB does get some of these artists back, it won’t do any good if the scripts are still crap (which most of them have been the past couple years). The strategy shouldn’t just be to invite talented artists back – rather it should be to fix the issues that have put TVB in the rut they’ve been in for pretty much the past decade, which includes things such as changing their structure / policies and making the work environment less restrictive (it’s a fact that the way TVB operates has a direct impact on the quality – or should I say, lack of quality – of their scripts), treating employees better, taking all productions seriously rather than just focusing on that one high profile anniversary series and letting all the others go to hell, giving certain artists ACTING TRAINING, etc. etc. (the list goes on and on and on…). To me, the approach TVB is taking sounds like a ‘band-aid approach’ that isn’t going to work for them long-term.
By the way – that series that they’ve supposedly invited Sheren to star in sounds super-lame. Please, TVB, at least come up with better titles for the series before approaching the artists…
Oh, and the “link” that the writer tried to make about Anthony Wong winning TV King due to Sandy Yu’s rise in power (and Catherine falling out of favor) is a load of baloney (another reason why I said that whoever wrote this article is retarded). Once again, this article looks like the product of someone who didn’t bother to do their research or double check to see if what they wrote even makes sense…
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@freedalas agree with you that both dramas every step you take and with or without you are indeed sub-standard. I don’t even follow the dramas. Seems like TVB dramas are getting worse and worse each day!?
@llwy12 stop playing smart,of course the collapse of hktv play a part that many old tvb employees have no choice to return to tvb, but even if the artist return arent due to sandy yu, tvb management still are the last who have to agree with their return. i think you underestimate the power of sandy yu if she can singlehandedly put a clown like tony hung as lead in a catherine tsang’s aniversary serie,then it says to me that she have the power to veto anyone’s return to tvb. do you think they can walk in and out tvb when they want?
Anthony deserved the TVB King awards. It’s a wall Ruco can’t climb yet.
However, if TVB freezes him just bcos of politics, TVB is going down the drain at turbo rate. I hope Sandy wont replace Tony with Ruco in big projects…….
How about they make a drama about their own politics in this company? Would be very realistic and entertaining.
Aside from all the jokes, I don’t care who’s losing or winning, as long as we get to watch some high quality dramas with good actors then I’m happy. Sheren Tang, Power Chan are coming back? That’s a good news. Hope to see more veteran names coming back. Oh and does this mean Tavia is renewing her contract? I thought in one of the articles they said she’s not renewing.
wow so much drama in a drama department lol, I am simply happy to see Power Chan returning to TVB. I like that guy, I am sure he’ll get the award he deserve very soon if this is all true.
Hopefully these new changes will bring back some old TVB actor/actress into the big family, I seriously can’t stand watching the new generation of Miss HK leading roles in serie. lol
Why Sheren Tang got blacklisted by TVB???
She was very vocal about the poor working conditions at TVB during her tenure there.
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@freedalas It’s hard to recall these actresses once they start to act in China Mainland.. China is paying more than TVB… Unless TVB can get more investors to pay for the dramas they made…
Maybe they should veterans like ai wai and deano cheung who left tvb angrily. I would also love to see kwong wah back, as he is now selling life insurance. I know he has a spinal injury so no action scenes but i would gladly watch him act as anything.
I think the one thing they should bring back is ACTING CLASSES
LOL…a good one. So true, all those MR&MS HK’s.
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