With the premiere of Have A Big Laugh! < 開心大綜藝> on April 11, Eric Tsang (曾志偉) led the blessing ceremony of the variety show. Though rival station ViuTV has been generating buzz with their variety show lineup, Eric dismisses them as posing any real competition to TVB and hopes to win back viewers with more creative programming.
Taking cues from classic show Enjoy Yourself Tonight <再會歡樂今宵>, Have a Big Laugh! will be a long-running variety show on the station every Sunday night, with the premise of entertaining families as they gather over dinner and generating buzz topics for locals as they start a new work week.
The premiere episode of Have a Big Laugh! was anchored by many TVB artistes, including Sammy Leung (森美), Bob Lam (林盛斌), Louis Yuen (阮兆祥), Mayanne Mak (麥美恩), Christine Ng (伍詠薇), Elena Kong (江美儀), Alex Fong (方力申), Crystal Fung (馮盈盈), Gloria Tang (鄧佩儀), Stephen Cheng (鄭詩君), and Billy Luk (陸永).
Expressing his happiness at being able to see many old friends, Eric did not feel any pressure in his new managerial role to achieve ratings results. Instead, he values viewers’ feedback and hopes to regain their confidence in TVB.
Asked to comment on TVB’s majority shareholder Li Ruigang’s (黎瑞刚) criticism that the company was aging and lacking innovation, Eric replied, “One day, we will all have to retire. In the next two to three years, we will be focusing on nurturing younger successors.” He shared that Li Ruigang had already spoken with all department heads about succession planning before his comments were disclosed publicly.
ViuTV is Not in the Same League
Seeing TVB’s Jade Channel’s target audience as the global Chinese audience, there is a lot of lost ground for that station to cover. However, Eric does not view ViuTV as a competitor. “I am looking down on them, but ViuTV only has 4 points in viewership ratings. Their topics are more niche, so it is not the same path as our Jade Channel.”
A closer comparison would be between TVB’s digital J2 channel and ViuTV. Disclosing that he will be discussing J2’s future with department heads, Eric promises to attract younger audiences to compete with ViuTV.
Although ViuTV’s Miss Mask Pageant <最后一届口罩小姐选举> has been generating buzz because the features of its contestants are kept hidden behind masks, Eric made a snide remark that it was a gimmick. “Our Miss Hong Kong competition is a real pageant, there will be no mask wearing.”
Reporters also brought up the negative backlash after TVB parodied popular ViuTV star Keung To (姜濤). As parodies are common on TVB’s variety shows, Eric does not understand why the controversy arose three days later. As he hopes to break down barriers and does not restrict contracted artistes from other stations to appear on TVB, Eric had extended an offer for Keung To to appear on TVB, but ViuTV never directly responded to the request.
Open to cooperation with different artistes as long as the outcome is desirable, Eric pointed out that Eric Kwok (郭偉亮) and Mimi Lo (羅敏莊), who previously filmed for ViuTV, will be making TVB appearances.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.