Jonathan Chik and Chow Yuk Ming’s Next Battleground: Mainland China

With the recent departure of numerous talented TVB producers, the quality of recent series have already been affected. Audiences fear that the standard will continue to deteriorate. It looks like TVB may be facing a very serious situation ahead.

Talented scriptwriter, Chow Yuk Ming (周旭明)–who has written many critically acclaimed series, including When Heaven Burns <天與地>, Healing Hands 3 <妙手仁心III>, and War and Beauty <金枝欲孽>–has announced his departure from TVB. As for the resignation of his frequent partner, producer Jonathan Chik (戚其義), it is still unclear for now.

A reporter contacted the TVB public relations manager, and he confirmed that the golden duo, Jonathan Chik and Chow Yuk Ming, are indeed leaving TVB. However, this will not affect the air date of Beauty at War <金枝欲孽(貳)>. “The series will not be shelved aside, and it also will not be aired in a bad time slot. TVB invested a large amount of money to produce this series, and there is no reason to do such a thing.”

Chow Yuk Ming said, “I am leaving TVB, but not for any of the three yet-to-be approved TV stations in Hong Kong. I planned to leave all along. Also the bad ratings of When Heaven Burns and Master of Play <心戰> have affected my mood quite a bit.” Chow felt a little disappointed with their poor ratings, but most importantly he is hurt because the Hong Kong audience did not really enjoy watching the two series. Since he cannot change the audience’s opinion, he will try his luck in another market. Chow wants to have the freedom to write and create his own ideas.

The Future

Chow said he will attempt to pursue a career in mainland China, and he has already signed a contract with a TV production company. He has already started preparing a script for a TV series. First, Chow will try to adapt to the new working environment, but he believes the current quality of mainland TV series is higher than Hong Kong’s TV series.  Although the subjects may be limited for him to write about, he will adjust to the changes.

As to whether Jonathan Chik is also leaving TVB, Chow explained that he is still wrapping up the post-production of Beauty at War, and he has not left the company yet. Jonathan’s situation is more complicated, but he shares the same desire to leave TVB. Chow worries that if Jonathan leaves TVB, the company may make a business decision to air Beauty at War in a bad time slot.

Chow believes that he and Jonathan share the same vision and idealism, and they will eventually collaborate together again. Jonathan Chik and Chou Yau Ming collaborated on the following series in the past:

1995 — The Criminal Investigator <O記實錄>

1996 — Cold Blood Warm Heart <天地男兒>, The Criminal Investigator II <O記實錄II>

1998 — Secret Of The Heart <天地豪情>

1999 — Feminine Masculinity <先生貴性>, At the Threshold of An Era 創世紀>

2000 — At the Threshold of An Era II <創世紀II天地有情>

2004 — Blade Heart <血薦軒轅>, War And Beauty <金枝慾孽>

2005 — Healing Hands III <妙手仁心III>

2006 — The Dance of Passion <火舞黃沙>, CIB Files <刑事情報科>

2008 — The Gem of Life <珠光寶氣>

2010 — Fly With Me <飛女正傳>

2011 — When Heaven Burns <天與地>

2012 — Let it be Love <4 in Love>, Master of Play <心戰>, Beauty at War <金枝慾孽(貳)>


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  1. agree with chow that mainland productions better than hk. its all because of stupid hk audience complaining about EVERYTHING.
    I’m thinking beauty at war might be next years anniversary series cause it’s such a big production it won’t be aired at a bad time

    1. It might air around May- June timeslot I think since they have other big dramas to air too! Like Triumph in the Skies 2, Big Wheel, Hippocratic Crush 2 etc. just like 3 Kingdoms aired at good timeslot but at the same time aired a bit earliet

  2. i don’t know how is it like in HK, but in malaysia, we all enjoy watching HK series be it high rated or low rated they are forever better than Malaysian production. it’s a shame Malaysian are only good at being ‘copycats’. Really…
    Thanks to the forever complaining audiences in HK that TVB sets such high criterias in filming. Event he golden directors can’t keep up to the criterias.
    Just hope for more series 🙂 i just love wathing HK series!

    1. Did you even bother to watch the Malaysian series before calling them a copycats?

      If Malaysians are copycats, what do you call TVB who copied so obviously? At least, we don’t have a Malaysian version of Galileo, The Mentalist, Bridget Jones etc.

      1. Not one of those that are blinded by TVB’s excessive copycat of the world. My thing is, at least copy well and not make a sloppy version. Most of TVBs copy cat productions end up being below the actual original series. Pretty sad ….

        Malaysians, and other countries, are either creeping up to TVBs level or has already surpassed TVB.

  3. As for JC and CYM moving to do Mainland series, I do not think that would be good because China’s Brocasting Criteria is so strict and everyone know JC likes to add political themes in his series. By the time the series is editted and broadcasted, it would look like an empty shell.

    Why don’t JC and CYM sign on to TVB per series? At least they would get to film what they want and not what the government wants.

    1. I really like the idea of signing onto TVB per series! But it’s definetely a good experience for both to experience the world outside of TVB! Good luck to both! And I am anticipated to watch Beauty at war!! Seems really good!

  4. I think they made the right choice in leaving. Their creative direction has moved faster than the Hk audience’s willingness to accept new things. People keep complaining about TVB reusing plots but when producers and writers try to offer something new, they get criticized and ratings drop severely. You can’t have it both ways. HK audience just likes to criticize to much or more likely, HK media like to blow up criticism. I will never understand how the media reports on complaints by just 20 or so viewers if that many as if thousands of people are complaining. In a city if 7 million, 20 complaints is not really a big deal. For all we know, it may be the media who is making the complaints.

    1. Yup, it’s definitely smart of them to leave because at TVB, their careers will only grow stagnant. Part of it is because like everyone said, HK audiences are ultra-conservative and aren’t willing to accept new things plus they complain alot…but alot of it has to do with TVB as well and the way they run their operations. I remember reading an interview that one of TVB’s top brass Au Wai Lam did during which he said that TVB’s direction will always be to cater to the ‘general population’ in HK in terms of TV series and for them, the ‘general population’ is the ‘housewife’ population — so that’s why there won’t be much innovation to their series and they’re less likely to try something ‘different’.

      So based on this, it’s pretty much a given that Jonathan Chik and Chow Yuk Ming wouldn’t last in this type of environment unless they are fine with just ‘not doing anything different’ for the rest of their careers….

  5. how do i say this…it’s like the ebb and flow, wax and wane kinda thing…ming’s and chik’s dramas possess a certain style (and casting) that makes them very distint and often over-repetitive

    imo, even tho I love whb, that drama could potentially be more successful if they hadn’t casted the same actors. If perhaps they have allowed fresh faces, the ‘mood’ and ‘atmosphere’ would be completely different. I’ve said before somewhere, but typecasting can ruin dramas. That said, I’ll reiterate that I love When Heaven Burns. It is different and ‘new’ in a sense, story wise. I find no problems in writing, but perhaps in production. But that, I believe, is a TVB production flaw. Now if we take the writing and make a korean drama, I can see this as a hit. No lie.

    4 in Love was also different (but only as a ming-chik drama). As a romcom its nothing to boast about. Again, the casting is kinda….meh.

    oh, i mentioned ebb and flow, wax and wane rite? it was perhaps inopportune timing as well. When the audience get sick from too many procedural shows or when low budget costume shows feel pedestrian, they’ll demand more ming-chik style dramas.

    at the moment, minus tiger cubs, i find tvb shows to be really dull. and cliche. they need to experiment more. and cap the number of dramas a year an actor can film. oh, but then they’ll probably starve. never mind.

  6. Right, TVB is “fair.” Beauty at War might share the same fate as WHB. Sheren didn’t renew her contract, and if both producers leave, then it’s doomed. But, there’s hope. The former was a mega-hit.

  7. If they are airing Beauty at War in a bad time slot, what kind of business is TVB running? First they invested huge amount of money, time, and resource on this series but when they know a producer/ scriptwriter are leaving, they either decided to shelved it or put it in a bad timeslot. Wait, to punish them? Yeah, they might feel hurt but isn’t the company is hurting itself by not getting enough viewers to compensate their investment. I hope TVB will not do this, they will need this series to combat the new TV stations.

  8. Not a fan of these two recent series, preferred their earlier series much more. However, I still enjoy the duos more than other TVB productions.

    1. I’m not a fan of their recent series either, but at least Jonathan Chik and Chow Yuk Ming were willing to do something that none of the other producers dared to do: break from TVB’s ‘housewife’ mold and explore different, controversial themes as well as filming styles in the hopes of injecting new life in the TV industry. The 2 of them made WHB and MOP knowing perfectly well that the ‘housewife’ population most likely will not be accepting of either series because of how ‘different’ both series are from the ‘normal fare’, but they did it anyway…their ‘boldness’ in that regard is praiseworthy, at least in my book!

  9. Guess they’ll make more money in the Mainland. Problem will be trying to create a series that is acceptable to the government, which means that it will probably suck!!

    1. Not really – even with all the restrictions, mainland writers/producers manage to come up with some very good dramas. Ironically, this move implies that there is MORE creative freedom in the mainland than in the TVB monopoly zone.

  10. Maybe if they stopped casting Moses and Charmaine in their series, people would like them a bit more.

  11. Noticed tat most of the drama series mentioned has bowie cast in it… 哈哈 ^.^

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