Being one of the pioneers in the Hong Kong television industry, TVB has been in the supremacy position of the television industry for more than a decade now. However, with the increasing number of heavyweight Siu Sangs actors and Fadans actresses absconding the company for greener pastures and the uprising of three aspiring rival television stations next year, TVB’s dominant position looks set to be under threat and might even be in the precarious danger of facing a bleak future ahead.
Knowing very well that the stakes involved were simply too high such that they could not afford to take any chances, TVB decided to shake off its image of being a miser and splurged heavily on hiring external help in their former highly lauded actors and actresses, in a bid to prepare themselves for the ferocious battle of the free television stations that lies ahead.
Yesterday, Sing Tao newspaper exclusively reported about TVB’s extension of invitation to Chilam Cheung (張智霖) to shoot their highly-anticipated drama sequel, Triumph In The Skies II《衝上雲霄II》. Besides that, it was also reported that the usually miserly TVB had even doubled their initial remuneration offer from 40,000 HKD to 80,000 HKD per episode, in a bid to tempt Chilam to accept the drama series!
In a show of desperateness, TVB repeatedly used their tactic of doubling their former meager sum of salary, in hopes of attracting their former Siu Sangs actors to return to their “maternal” home. However, TVB’s efforts may all come to naught as although Gallen Lo (羅嘉良) may stand to receive a heavenly sum of 100,000 HKD per episode upon his return (re: Gallen’s former filming fee was 50,000 HKD per episode), it was known that he has since turned down the offer and refused to come back to TVB.
Apart from Gallen, Bowie Lam (林保怡), who had received the same amount of filming offer as Gallen, has also turned down TVB’s filming proposition to shoot War and Beauty 2《金枝慾孽II》as he felt that TVB’s salary offer was too low and would rather head up North to earn the renminbi there.
Like a spectator to the sorry plight that TVB was currently in, Felix Wong (黃日華) gleefully mused over popular Chinese social microblogging site, Weibo, “Flying away one after another, it is indeed amusing and a sight to behold, awesome!”
Initially pinning high hopes upon former number one big brother Gallen Lo to stage a comeback and film upcoming 2012 drama series, Lu for King《呂氏為王》with current fadan Tavia Yeung (楊怡) , TVB was unexpectedly left out in the cold when Gallen heartlessly turned down their offer. Furthermore, the news of the rejection was confirmed yesterday when Gallen and his wife, who was on a holiday to Europe, accepted an overseas phone interview and replied to the reporter, “Someone from TVB did approach and asked me to film a series for them next year but I did not agree to it because there was no permittance of time for it yet.”
According to sources, Gallen’s salary before he had left TVB was 50,000 HKD per episode and in a bid to welcome him back, TVB was willing to blow double that price at a staggering sum of 100,000 HKD per episode.
On the other hand, Bowie was said to have commanded the same amount of filming fee as Gallen at 160,000 – 200,000 RMB per episode back in the Mainland. However, despite being viewed as an integral character of the first installment of War and Beauty《金枝慾孽》and heavily concerned by the outside world whether he would re-join the original cast and crew of “War”, Bowie still rejected the filming offer to the sequel as he felt that the remuneration fee was too deficient. With the backing out from Bowie, this leaves the only confirmed cast of War and Beauty 2《金枝慾孽II》left to be Moses Chan (陳豪) and Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯).
Since they were only willing to pay up to that certain insubstantial amount and given that Gallen Lo was unable to fork out spare time to film “Lu for King”, TVB decided to devise an alternative route and cast Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), Tavia Yeung, Sharon Chan (陳敏之) and etc in that drama instead. This was because like Raymond Lam (林峯), Bosco, Tavia and Sharon were their very own “biological” son and daughters and would come at a steal since they would only each be given a mere sum of 30,000 HKD per episode.
On the other hand, “War and Beauty 2”, which was scheduled to be filmed next year, was initially the optimistic hope of TVB but with Bowie Lam, Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) and other key characters heading up to the Mainland China to reap in the renminibi, there is indeed a slim chance of getting the original cast of “War” to shoot this sequel together.
Despite suffering the setbacks received from their formerly groomed actors and actresses, TVB still persistently chose to engage external help, even going as far as to target movie stars in hopes of taking them under their wing. However, to be honest, if TVB wishes to continue using their “friendship cards” to persuade their former beloved generals to return to the company, they might want to consider formulating a much better stratagem as it is indeed rather apparent that their antics haven’t really worked to their advantage as yet.
Felix Wong utterly disappointed in TVB
Last year, experienced thespian Felix Wong had participated in the filming of TVB Anniversary drama, Gun Metal Grey《刑警》, by the invitation of his good friend cum former five tigers group mate, Michael Miu (苗僑偉). Despite Michael’s good intentions, the filming experience had instead proved to be a relatively unhappy one for Felix as he felt that he wasn’t highly appreciated and regarded by TVB. In a complete display of his disapprobation for TVB, Felix had refused to attend the TVB Anniversary Awards back then.
Since TVB was on a despondent hunt for accomplished Siu Sangs actors to save the standing of their company amidst the upcoming intense rivalry with the other television competitors, they absolutely wouldn’t miss Felix Wong, who always had a high affinity with the audiences, for anything. However, given their previous horrendous treatment to him, it didn’t come as a surprise that TVB had failed yet again to convince Felix to return to TVB.
In fact, Felix, who has converted to filming Mainland series in recent days, had projected his prominent animosity towards TVB in his Weibo tweet about them, “I just watched TVB’s promotional clip and there was a footage of a girl flying up in the sky. Oh! Perhaps the company had a form of premonition that the employees would be flying away one after another! It’s indeed interesting, awesome!” From this Weibo tweet by Felix, it was apparent that he was sarcastically criticizing TVB for not treating their employees well thus they only had themselves to blame for the recent abandonment by their former artistes.
In other news, TVB is currently rushing all filming of drama trailers to be in time for their 2012 Sales Presentation. Yesterday, it was known that Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) was busy shooting an introductory clip in TVB City to introduce prospective clients to his upcoming TVB drama, Detective Columbus《神探哥倫布》. Now that TVB was greatly lacking in talents, being one of the only leading veteran actors left to hold the fort, it was expected that Wayne would have to be worked to the bone in order to film more dramas for the company.
Besides that, TVB had circulated a Memorandum of Transfer within their employees in recent days. It was understood that TVB had done so to retaliate against the prescribed contract that Ricky Wong (王維基) [Chairman of upcoming rival television station, City Telecom] had assembled with an overseas partnering arm. In that contract, one of the clauses stated that should the artiste decide to sign on with them, they would compensate a maximum of six months’ salary to TVB on behalf of that artiste. This thus alerted TVB to take preventive measures against it as a form of warning to their artistes.
Source: Sing Tao, Sina
This article was translated by Ah K, a Contributing Writer at JayneStars.com.