Ice Age for HK Drama? “Another Era” Drops to 19.7 Points

As of September 30th, Hong Kong business thriller drama Another Era <再創世紀> has dropped to an average rating of 19.7 points per episode, hitting an all-new low for the series. The drama starring Roger Kwok (郭晉安) and Frankie Lam (林文龍) is on its way to becoming the lowest-rated television drama of 2018, along to the likes of Benjamin Yuen’s (袁偉豪) Stealing Seconds <棟仁的時光> (at 22.2 points), Ruco Chan’s (陳展鵬) Succession War <天命> (at 21.5 points), and Gallen Lo’s (羅嘉良) Infernal Affairs <無間道> (at 21.7 points), all three which are Hong Kong dramas.

On the other hand, Mainland Chinese drama Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略>, which stars Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), is on its way to becoming the territory’s highest-rated drama of the year, as its last September week recorded an average of 34.1 points. Saturday and Sunday’s episode rating respectively pulled in 32.9 and 34.7 points. Although ratings for the final week is not yet out, experts say it could be the highest recorded for 2018.

This is a huge disappointment for the Another Era crew—with a budget of over HK$100 million and three-time TV King Roger Kwok at the helm, Another Era had the means to be successful. A majority of the show was shot on location, and its story perfectly captured Hong Kong’s changing business scene in the last decade. It was a drama that focuses on the story of the Hong Kong people, and although it is far from being TVB’s best work, it is also far from being TVB’s worst.

But despite its low ratings, Another Era is a drama that has been resonating well with critics. Praised for its realistic approach toward business politics, Another Era takes a far step away from TVB’s usual story tropes. Long gone were the times when Hong Kong would be ruled by two big monopolies or one big family. The story of Another Era is expansive, covering all grounds and focusing on on a variety of different characters.

TVB’s decision to broadcast Mainland Chinese dramas during prime time in Hong Kong is backfiring. Viewers can now see the dramatic differences in production value between the two industries. TVB may be entering an ice age if it does not stay competitive.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Another nail in the coffin.

    Besides a few big names, the plot sucked and lacked depth – just like 99% of tvb productions. This series will be remembered for its travelogue-feel then for its attempt to be a serious drama.

    Linda Chung… Why was she even casted??… Rogers performance was mediocre at best. Frankie is still wooden. Tavia was acceptable. There were no standout performances.

    Its not even a debate that mainland dramas are better at this point. TVB made the wrong move by prioritizing Chinese dramas over in-house productions. It just may just be the final blow to their influence in HK entertainment. I don’t see how tvb can ever compete at this point.

    1. @anon Linda’s purpose was basically to fulfill her contractual obligations (and also to flaunt her fluent English, lol).

      TVB is basically dead already at this point, at least where the HK market is concerned. They have little to no talent left, their production quality/value has gone from bad to worse, the management team keeps making the wrong moves, etc. – it’s almost as though they don’t care anymore. It’s quite telling that, over the past few years, TVB has only done one thing successfully and that is – piss off and push away their main audience pool.

  2. I think number 1 rule if targeting the mainland is to cast an established star who is already popular with the Chinese viewers. No one is going to tune in to watch Roger who?

    1. @jimmyszeto Yes, especially when they already knew the theme of the series (about HK business politics) is not going to resonate with Mainland audiences. From the start, Another Era was destined to fail in Mainland because there was nothing in the series that would motivate audiences to watch (the cast is relatively “unknown” to them, theme is too localized to HK, plot too complicated for them to understand, etc.). Honestly, whoever is in charge of overseeing the Mainland/TVB collaborations side of things should be fired, as they obviously don’t know what they are doing (actually, IMO, the entire management team should be fired for running TVB into the ground for the past 15 years, but that’s just me…).

  3. That sucks, but TVB did it to themselves. Yanxi’s popularity is rising there while TVB dramas are the opposite.

  4. Just started to watch another era. The first two epi is not bad, is it going to get worst?
    Tried to watch 無間道 but it was so bad had to give up half way.

    1. @mike i too try to watch 無間道 i was excited as 1st to see so many veteran artist in it but then after a few eps i stopped i just didnt get the story but as for Another era yeah the 1st few eps is boring but towards the middle it gets better wher Nicky Frankie and Roger battle it out to the top and Linda’s appearrance is pretty much pointless in the series sorry i had to say that

      As for TVB they are slowly killing there own station

  5. Very disappointing series. The script is extremely inconsistent. Too many bad things to say about this series that I’m too lazy to type them out. I’ve also noticed Frankie has been type cast doing very cool/handsome/smart/quiet characters. His last 3 out of 4 drama series are literally the same character just different work industry LOL. Hidden Faces, My Unfair Lady & Another Era. < In Night Shift although his character is not as rich, but still portraying a cool and quiet guy.

  6. Story of Yanxi is on a league of its own. Intriguing from beginning to end… I can’t remember the last time TVB produced something comparatively compelling.

    Another Era was so dreadfully awful that I couldn’t even get past the first 1 1/2 episodes.

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