Francis Ng Causes TVB Headaches; “Triumph in the Skies 2” Delayed Until September 2012

TVB drama, Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄2>, appeared to be jinxed from the start. For the last several months, TVB struggled in negotiating with Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) and Chilam Cheung (張智霖) to film the sequel. Producer Tommy Leung (梁家樹) was dissatisfied with the current script, which was constantly revised due to casting changes. Francis has agreed to film the project, but set his terms firmly. He requested to film another movie project first, delaying Triumph in the Skies 2’s production date to September 2012!

Released in 2003, the original Triumph in the Skies was a ratings bonanza, peaking at 37 points. Due to the new competitive market in the Hong Kong television broadcast industry, Triumph in the Skies 2 served as a critical mega project for TVB. The company went to extensive lengths to accommodate Francis Ng, “the soul” of Triumph in the Skies 2, paying more than $80,000 HKD per episode. TVB even adjusted their production date from June to September, allowing Francis to first shoot mafia thriller movie, Du Yuesheng <杜月笙>, with Chow Yun Fat (周潤發).

TVB Moves Heaven and Earth for Francis Ng

An insider at TVB grumbled that such scheduling changes caused the company much headache, “TVB is willing to accommodate Francis Ng at all costs, making him arrogant! At first he said he did not wish to film the sequel. When Francis realized he can find a pretty spot, he changed his mind. When he got one wish, he asked for another, requesting the entire cast and crew to accommodate him! TVB agreed to all of Francis’ terms. Since the production start date is now delayed, this puts Chilam Cheung in a tough position!”

Myolie Wu (胡杏兒), was delighted to be able to partner with Francis Ng again in Triumph in the Skies 2 and did not mind the filming delay. “He is a HKFA Best Actor; I am just afraid he will not film the drama!”

Perhaps due to the sudden delay in production date, Fala Chen (陳法拉) and Kenneth Ma (馬國明) apparently were not informed of the change yet. Fala said, “All along, they said we will film in May. I don’t know! Is it real or fake news?” Kenneth asked, “Why did this happen? Well, the production schedule for dramas often have adjustments to accommodate everyone. I am already happy to participate in a heavyweight drama. It’s not a problem to accommodate the change!”

Producer Tommy Leung admitted that the filming start date was adjusted to accommodate Francis Ng. “We mutually accommodate each other on the production date. Please don’t make it sound so negative by saying the entire world is accommodating Francis only!”


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Jayne: It may be possible that the production date will move from September until end of the year. TVB seems to be in a state of chaos right now. Triumph in the Skies 2 plagued by so many production delays; will the drama be jinxed? 

Fala Chen now has no drama on hand until Triumph in the Skies 2, so she can take on a new project.

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  1. Personally I don’t care about watching Francis Ng. He does not have good pronunciation of words. He slurs a lot in his dialogues.

    1. I know right? he is so OVERRATED. he must be like 50 now and hes one of those i actually think doesnt age well yet he always pairs up YOUNG women. awwwww…i mean is he that popular still?

      1. Age does not always signify if you are popular or not. You can be young, handsome,etc… but no one gives a care about you…

      2. I thought he was just a guest star for this second installment but doesn’t seem like it nao… Sigh

    2. well tbh he really did embody his character in triumph in the skies tho. yeah his english was laughable but what can u do its not like he lived overseas. the main point is that he can act.

  2. as much as i like him to be lead in the series but i think TVB should just forget about him and start the productions without him.

  3. I understand Tommy wants a strong cast, but that’s unfair for the other artists. But then TVB can give them new projects while waiting.

    Fala’s really out of the loop. lol

    1. Yeah that’s true hahaha laugh at ur comment on fala

  4. From the sales preview, Fala was seen pairing with ChiLam but I remember ChiLam has yet to confirm whether he’ll film TITS right?

    Oh well, Francis is a big star now, since it’s TVB wanted him so bad..then they (tvb)shouldn’t complain too much.

      1. Thank you Hannah for the info.

        So we’re going to have 2 big stars leading the series? that’s good. And Fala is rejoining the series, does that mean Rebecca will be kick out sort of?

      2. Why would Rebecca be kicked out if Fala is in it? The article before said that the 4 female leads are Myolie, Kate, Fala and Rebecca. And she already had her own role in the sales presentation.
        I think you got it mixed up with Silver Spoon, Sterling Shackles where Rebecca replaced Fala.

      3. yeh. Fala was never kicked out from TITS2. She was in the sales presentation clip from the very beginning. so was rebecca.

  5. Then it is a question whether Francis is worth waiting for. I will say yes because he is an experienced actor and I think many young ones are eager to work with him as it can be a learning experience. It is like Tony Leung saying he can be in this series but delay filming until December, and i am sure TVB will wait.

    1. yes indeed, I think it’s worth the wait. it’s a grand production and I would really want TVB to make good use of this extra time to revise their script, making it great and extraordinary! 😀

    2. Heh if only Tony Leung would come and make one more series! That would be my dream come true :D. I don’t really care for Francis either, he is not that memorable in movies for me. He is always over shadow to me by other artist in his movies, for me at least.

      1. Francis is very popular amongst men. I notice all the men admires him, especially those who are of the triad sort.

      2. If TVB could get Tony Leung, Aaron and Takeshi Kaneshiro film TITS 2 it ratings would skyrocket for sure.

        Too bad TVB can’t afford even one of them and there’s no friendship card to play with either.

        TITS 2 is going to fail badly and desperate award winner will once again fall into deep depression, LOL.

    3. Absolutely.

      Unless it means losing Chilam? But I’m ambivalent anyway, because it sounds like they are just moving to accommodate Francis and not to improve production values. While Francis is obviously a draw, without a good script this could still flop.

  6. I don’t mind waiting as long as they can come out with great script with strong cast 😀 besides, I’m kinda excited to watch the film starred Francis and Chow Yun Fat XD

    1. No wonder Francis didn’t want to drop the film.

  7. chill folks, it’s not like they gonna cancel the entire production, it’s just a couple more months of wait!! 😀

  8. Well, no one wants to pass up an opportunity to film with Chow Yun Fat.

    Francis is getting the best of both worlds.

    1. Yea, he is lucky to get the best of both worlds since often times artists have to pick one or the other, but he gets both…

    2. I guess it’s because he’s such a great actor, ppl will do anything to keep him in the series

  9. I am shocked that TVB would accomodate Francis like that. I guess that once you have made a name for yourself, you get a lot more power. I still remember him playing extras and very minor roles back then so he has come a long long way and is now enjoying the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…

    1. Francis has already made a name for himself eons ago. Let’s not forget he is award winning and rather acclaimed actor. I am not surprised why TVB is so accommodating since they really want him in it.

      1. I know that but it is great to look back at when he was only an extra and see what a long way that he has gone…There are many that are still stuck playing small roles.

    2. Well, Francis can really lead a series himself even w/o others in tits lol and the rating can be ensured with him around. Guess that’s why he get to be acommodated well unlike others.

      1. Francis was brilliant in TITS (gosh, terrible acronym), so I also am not surprised with TVB wanting to wait. First, there’s like not many people left in TVB who are credible actors. Second, Francis did bring out the best in the younger cast in the first version (Myolie, Ron, etc.).

    3. In a time of such competition, having Francis on board, even for one project, will give TVB a great edge. Especially with Chilam. I guess, as long as they go through with it I’m fine. Although I prefer Chilam over Francis (he’s aged soo well), I have a feeling that TVB would put more effort into it if Francis was in it so it would be worth all the trouble and actually be a grand production worth remembering…

    4. i think the only reason tvb is doing this is because they have announced the good news of this former tv king coming back to participate in TITS2. if they back out now- netizens and viewers will complain like crazy. they already pulled out 2 big siu sangs (bosco and LF) out of this show- they can’t lose anyone else…

  10. Hire Louis Koo or Ekin Cheng to replace Francis ,it good for both side ,Louis and Ekin also a big star of TVB and more popular than Francis in movie industry and more handsome than him ,why only depend on Francis ?
    If Francis want to act with Chow Yun Fatt ,let it be .

    1. Who doesn’t want to act with Chow Yun Fatt? I doubt Louis will be free until 5 years later. He looks more busy than Francis. As for Ekin, seriously? Ekin?

      1. ahhh Louis Koo still owes TVB one series. They’ve been keeping that for AGES.

    2. Ahh…would love to see Louis and Julian in another series together. But, Louis is super busy. And, he’s only into sci-fi series. I doubt he will repay those episodes, lol

      1. Yeah. Both (Louis Koo and Cheung Chi Lam) are very good-looking guys. It would be nice to have them act in the same drama series.

    1. come on that was 10 years ago, technology wasn’t that advanced back then.

    2. In 2003 TITS (lol) was one of highest rated series. I rmb tat it isn’t the highest but definitely on top 5.

      1. yup
        here’s the list of the Next TV Award 2004

        Triumph in the Skies ranked no.1 😀

        Top 10 TV Programs
        1. Triumph in the Skies
        2. Survivor’s Law
        3. King of Yesterday and Tomorrow
        4. Point of No Return
        5. Vigilant Force
        6. Jade Starbiz
        7. Witness to a Prosecution 2
        8. Virtues of Harmony
        9. Light of Million Hopes
        10. Hearts of Fencing

      2. Man 2003 sure was a hella good year of drama quality. I still remember the storylines of 7/10 and loved them all. Pretty sure I’ve seen them all though.

        Quite shocked to see Hearts of Fencing there though! I did like that back then, but it was one of the ‘teen’ series.. Though that might have to do with it being an Olympic (??) series and trying to emulate F4 thing (read that somewhere)

  11. “Fala Chen now has no drama on hand until Triumph in the Skies 2, so she can take on a new project.”

    Like finally holding a public wedding banquet. Either that or go back to the US and buy another house.

    In the past TVB used its clout to push artistes around; now an artiste is pushing TVB around. I like it.

  12. face it, none of tvbs current actors can headline this series and no other non-tvb actor who would film for tvb can promise to bring the ratings except francis cause his played the role before. Though I quite like the addition of chilam

    1. yeap, he was and will be the sole and soul role in the series. Without Francis, tvb could have rename the drama.

  13. francis probably never minded not to be in triumph in the skies 2, in fact there were several times, he turned down the offer (when TVB first toyed with the idea of shooting the bonus clip back in 2003/4 and the sequel in 2005). also last May when tvb announced the plan for sequel again, he didn’t accept it right away. he seemed to be okay to have other actors replaced him.

    it was only after myolie wu and other tvb actors expressing their hope for his comeback that he eventually put it into consideration.

    the fact that he was the driving force of tits 1, i think he deserved to be prioritized 🙂

    1. Myolie sound like she really really want to pair with Francis

    2. @lol: “after Myolie…” – Hah, giving her too much credit.

      @Vivien: She’s hopinG to win another award. Haha

    3. haha don’t think its got to do with Myolie. it was more to do with his son who wants to see him on tv (i think). and probably the money.

    4. oh and also probably because he did it out of sympathy for TVB who was suffering and bad publicity and threat from new stations. since he grew up from TVB, he probably felt sorry for them and decided to help out.

    5. Of course it’s many factors I think. But the fact that he’s willing to be in it is great.

  14. I wonder when this series really film? It’s postponed times. Maybe when september comes, it’ll be delayed again.

  15. Damn Francis is powerful! TVB has to bow to him to get him ROFL

  16. Wow TITS2 has been postponed like for a full year.. it was suppose to film at the end of 2011. Now Sept 2012. Probably postponed again.

    TVB seems VERY DESPERATE to have Francis to be part of TITS2… its like if there’s not Francis there’s no TITS2. Shows that TVB themselves ain’t even confident with their own managed artists such as Myolie, Fala, Kate, Raymond, Kenneth and Ron to take on such a big project? Or is it something to do with sponsorship? Like if its just their own managed artists, then maybe HK Airlines might not sponsor them? I dunno. Because it seems its not Francis who really wants to film this, but its TVB that really wants him to film this….. hence they are willing to postpone this for 4 months for Francis to take part. He isn’t cheap either.

    Now it stuffs up the schedules of everyone else. We all know how jammed pack Raymond’s schedule is – dunno if he had some film commitments or concert lined up during Sept-Dec time. Fala’s on sick leave, I wonder if her treatment has finished yet? Coz there’s not much news on how she’s going with treatment either.

    So now the May-Sept slot is free… where are they gonna find series for the 6 main leads to film? Some random series? Coz I’m sure the series that they were gonna film during the May-Sept have been finalised with which lead etc. And even if they whip up 2-3 more series for TITS2 leads to film, then they need to consider studio, and kalafe, fittings, set arrangements, behind the scenes staff, sponsorship…. all that to do in one month.

    Poor Ron. Didn’t he give up on a few Mainland series to film TITS2 but it got postponed? That’s losted $$$$ for him! I wonder how Chilam feels about this. He might pull out.

    1. hahaah gosh you sounded like some kind of TVB officers or something. Don’t worry they will sort things out.

      didn’t Raymond Lam already confirm himself that he is not participating in this drama.

      1. that’s I think it’s very2 good that Ah Fung not participate in the first place,such a chaotic series

      2. He didn’t confirm but kind of hinting about it. He said Txb found him to film the trailer and the actual series, he doesn’t know. However, likely no for him as in Sep, his schedule is packed with a China series.

    2. TVB can find. Kenneth official site mentioned he will have another series in the empty slot until TITS2

    3. With TVB losing so many other artists to the other new rival stations, they will need all of the star power that they can get. I guess that is why they really need and want Francis to be in such a big production. In the past, TVB would not accomodate artists but artists have to accomodate them and listen to them. But it would also depend on who the artist is…

    4. Is Ron going to be in it?? Postponing this series seems to be an inconvenience for everyone, except for Francis of course…

    5. For the list of TVB’s current managed artists ft. in the trailer:

      – Myolie – having a series with Yu Bo
      – LF – not likely to film anymore Txb series in 2012 because his task (1 series/1 year) is fulfilled.
      – Bosco – series in China
      – Ron/Kate/Fala/Rebecca/MM – waiting and doing other jobs in waiting.

      That’s all.

  17. Why is Raymond suddenly mentioned again? Won’t there be 5 male leads (Francis, Chilam, Raymond, Ron, Kenneth) and 4 female leads (Myolie, Fala, Kate, Rebecca)? And the female leads are so weak!!

  18. Although it seems so difficult to get Francis to star in this role, but i hope he would be able to make it.. because without him, it’s not the same..

  19. Once again, I been saying many times. TVB abandoned TITS 2! It is a WA$TE of resource, time, production, casting, money, delays. I dont think it will film this year or even next year at all.

    TVB put all your leftover TITS2 resources in to future production series ahead because they will be competitor[s] trying to eat TVB shares.

    Tommy Leung needs to put a stop.

  20. i am not particularly interested in the series, but i think they should try to accommodate francis as much as possible, because i think it’s just super dumb to keep the female lead but not the male. drop chilam if they must. he is popular enough to lead his own series.

  21. The script better be good since now they have extra time to finish their work

    1. ikr, dude if they make a bad sequel (ie forensic heroes anyone) im gonna be so dissapointed. triumph in the skies was one of the last flawless dramas tvb produced. im hoping tvb ups the ante and puts more effort bc their productions lately? waste of time and money

  22. Amused and glad that an actor is giving TVB so much headache. What goes around comes around! Personally, I didn’t like Francis with Myolie. He is way too old for her. I rather see Myolie with Chilam.

    1. Agree. I don’t like Francis Ng at all, and he is too old for Myolie.

      Anyway, I only like watching Chi Lam.

      The new cast will not include Raymond Lam and Bosco Wong, but not sure about Rebecca and Kate. I think Myolie, Fala and Kenneth Ma will be members of the cast.

    2. yeh because Chilam is younger looking.

      I remember in the first part, everyone was a Flora-Francis shipper than Myolie-Francis… so when they got married at the end – that was devastating!

  23. part 2 to a series that came out in 2003? wow, sound interesting….NOT!

  24. Well, whatever they do just don’t let him speak English again…it was quite funny because his character was supposed to be a CBC, but his accent was so heavy you can’t help but find it funny. And boy look at Moyolie then and now…she has changed a lot, much better looking now.

    1. I think I would very much prefer watching actors who can really act but their english are slightly flawed than actors who have super brilliant english but can’t act. I reckon his English though not that well is still bearable. Plus, it’s a hong kong made drama, cantonese is still their main language.

  25. now that TVB is low on ‘potential’ actors and actresses, they have to deal with it. I totally agree, Chilam fits perfectly better with Myolie instead. TITS2 better be good! Although I doubt it.

  26. I feel that the entire article/tabloid, or at least the words they used just made Francis sounds like a badass. This is somewhat irrational.

    They haven’t even locked down the script. in fact the producer himself expressed his dissatisfaction about the current script. They probably need more time to revise it and so just started to blow things up saying that “TVB Moves Heaven and Earth for Francis Ng”.

    don’t trust tabloids

    1. And let Flora replace Rebecca as one of the 4 female leads. Let Rebecca be a supporting actress first.

  27. I wanna see my olive with Kenneth for a change

    1. Heard both of them have a new TVB drama in may. Not sure if it’s the same drama though.

    2. Myolie and Kenneth will be suitable for a comedy LOL

      1. Myo and Kenneth would make an interesting pairing.

  28. Oh how this takes me back. This is still one of my favourite TVB series. Yes it has its problems (Belle = annoying, Joe Ma’s English, some overacting from Myolie, wrongly suggested that Ron Ng had potential), but I loved it. Francis Ng and his character Sam alone is worth watching the series.

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