Producer Lee Tim Sing Curses TVB for Airing “Bottled Passion” in Poor Timeslot

TVB series, Bottled Passion <我的如意狼君> featuring Raymond Wong (黃浩然) and Niki Chow (周麗淇), will be entering its final week of broadcast. Although the drama won good word of mouth, it lost in ratings. Producer Lee Tim Sing (李添勝) cursed at the poor ratings and even lamented in an interview program why the broadcast was delayed until the holiday season. 

Tim Gor blasted, “Someone has to take the PK (cannon fodder) broadcast date! My past series, A Fistful of Stances <鐵馬尋橋>also suffered the same fate. I cannot be angry each time. Anyway, I am not the first one. It is unnecessary to say whether it was cannon fodder or not! ”

Tim Gor added, “You cannot lie about it; the ratings are only average. However, the word-of-mouth was good, which made the scriptwriters very unhappy! (Sigh) During the holidays, approximately 60,000 to 70,000 people leave Hong Kong. If the series were broadcast in a peak period, the ratings would likely be two points higher! Anyway, I am used to this!”

Tim Gor lamented, “Bottled Passion does not feature a big star-studded cast, which is largely anchored by Niki Chow and Raymond Wong.  Niki improved dramatically [in her performance], Raymond was very suitable for his role, and it was expected that Joel Chan (陳山聰) would perform well. I placed a lot of effort into constructing the story and everything was planned carefully. When it was initially announced that the series would be aired in October, I thought the series would definitely succeed. However, the programming department decided to delay its broadcast, citing some reason. They even apologized to me.”

Regarding his retirement plans, Tim Gor said that he will have a clear decision by next year. “I will be 65-years-old next year. TVB’s retirement age is 60; it is enough to have worked an extra 5 years already! Even if I possess the heart, I no longer have the ability! When colleagues see that I walk with a limp, they know that I am lacking physical stamina!”

Due to Niki Chow’s contractual issues, Tim Gor delayed the filming of Bottled Passion to accommodate her schedule. Niki possessed high hopes for the series. Since the ratings were mediocre, no wonder Niki appeared with a sad expression while shopping in the Central district earlier. However, her “friends around her” [implying 鄭嘉穎 鄭嘉穎] brought home numerous good news lately.

Excerpt from Oriental Daily

Jayne: Everyone may indeed be too busy for television from the Christmas through Lunar New Year holiday timeframe.  Ratings are not always an indicator whether a series is worthy or not.

This article has been updated with additional quotes from Producer Lee Tim Sing after additional information emerged in the evening paper.

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  1. I actually agree with Tim Gor. This series should have broadcast during the anniversary series period. It should have air on “Super Sheits” time slot. Really poor decision by TeeVeeBee!

    1. For 2 weeks, this series is at 26 points. I dont see TVB release their numbers yet for the third week… it maybe the same number: 26 points.

      1. the other one only 23 points and they are desperate doing promotions i.e. concerts LOL

      2. Yeah, they desperate giving away free ugly t-shirts when playing TVBfun

    2. A series has to be in that timeslot. If not this series, it will be other series. Other producers also put effort in their series.

      The most right thing Tim Gor said here is “I cannot be angry each time. Anyway, I am not the first one. It is unnecessary to say whether it was cannon fodder or not! ”

      That is the truth. He’s not the first to get this timeslot. Just take it as a rotation. Producer Leung Choi Yuen has even more series at canon fodder time.

      1. Agree with Kidd.

        Despite having low ratings, I’ve only heard good things about BP. I find it unfair to just count the ratings and ignore the positive feedback by netizens. Low ratings doesn’t always mean the series is not well-liked by the audience, but some choose to watch it online or wait for more episodes to air and just marathon through it.

      2. @Kidd @Chriselle,

        Despite the understanding that many Producers’ series have been given poor time slots, such allotment usually signifies that TVB did not hold it in high regard. In a politics-free world, weaker series (in terms of story, cast, and overall production quality) would be given the weaker airing slots. While stronger series would be given better slots to heighten the series’ potential ratings.

        There are of course exceptions, in which ratings fared well for certain series which were aired in non-peak airing dates. However, the odds are against them and it may be arguable that if given a stronger time slot, the final results may have been even better.

        Over his 30 year career, no doubt Producer Lee produced some hits and misses. However, he is airing his grievances because he, the scriptwriters, and the cast put in good effort that was praised by the audience, but did not have a better chance given the circumstances.

        For TVB Producers, perhaps their pay and bonus may be tied to ratings. A year from now, when their annual review comes up, perhaps the praise and non-quantitative data will not be remembered. TVB is a profit-driven company who cares more about ratings (and advertising income) rather than artistic integrity, which is why they do not produce innovative, quality programming. They continue to recreate the same mold to capture high ratings.

        As overseas audience, we may not care about ratings and appreciate the series for what it is. But in TVB world, there is much higher clout for the involved artists and producers to be part of the high rating series.

      3. “In a politics-free world, weaker series (in terms of story, cast, and overall production quality) would be given the weaker airing slots. While stronger series would be given better slots to heighten the series’ potential ratings.”

        How do we judge which series is weaker in terms of story, cast and overall production quality? Aren’t these thing subjective.

        Also, we can’t expect the team who do the scheduling to watching all series before airing them to determine the quality.

        “However, he is airing his grievances because he, the scriptwriters, and the cast put in good effort that was praised by the audience, but did not have a better chance given the circumstances.”

        The casts and scriptwriters of other series also put in good effort. A series have to be in that timeslot.

        At least it got aired. The producers who really have a cause for complain are those whose series are warehoused. HK audience does not even have a chance to view them.

      4. Kidd,
        “How do we judge which series is weaker in terms of story, cast and overall production quality? Aren’t these thing subjective.”

        True, judgment will always be subjective. Audiences with trained eyes will be able to decipher a series of somewhat higher caliber based on a well defined set of criteria though. Whether we like it or not may be a matter of taste and preferences.

        There are still standards in judging such as the strength of the story in terms of originality, plot development, a clear beginning, middle, and end. Is the conflict in the story fully developed between the characters? The strength and interest level of the characterizations of the characters? Does the story make sense? Does the theme contain powerful elements that impact the audience’s emotional reactions and long-lasting resonance? Are the characters well intertwined with each other and do their motivations drive the story’s development or the other way around? Technically, there are parameters that all judgment are based upon and if the series satisfies the majority of such criteria, you may say it is a stronger series.

        We can also break down acting, direction, and other execution factors. Although the script and acting are elements that tend to be critically reviewed first. Sometimes certain elements will stand out stronger and mean more to one individual than another, thus changing the person’s reaction to a series.

        Thus a good reviewer or better judge of the quality of a series will take into account multiple criteria and assess the series’ overall score based the average of all such factors, much like an Olympic judge. We can fine tune the process and establish technical measurements. Although there are also discrepancies among various Olympic judges on athletes’ performances, the majority of the time, they agree.

  2. It’s been a long while since I did any TVB review. Been so long since I watched any! But I was sick one day and got to watch like 10 episodes of this drama. Maybe I’ll have time writing one. I miss the debates and discussions!

    I don’t really agree with Tim because of the holidays and I blame it on how horrible episode one was.

  3. It feels like someone is always complaining about what time slot their series are at. lol. Either it’s too early, broadcast during the holidays, not close enough to the anniversary time, etc. Even if it’s broadcast during the anniversary timeslot, someone will say that it’s too late and doesn’t build up early hype for the awards.

    There have been series that have done well in this timeslot though and I don’t think any timeslot is really a guarantee for ratings. However, I do think it was a bad idea to air Bottled Passion and When Heaven Burns at this time only because I think people would want to watch something lighter for the holidays.

  4. Tvb honestly doesn’t think well of bottled passion. Maybe it is because the current fadens aren’t in them hence they feel that they do not need to promote the drama much.

    1. I agreed with Kimmy, TVB doesn’t think well of Bottled Passion therefore they broadcast during this holiday season. No promotion neither,

  5. Pity the ratings because this is one of my favourite dramas of the year. I’ve been hooked since the beginning 🙂

  6. I like the series but Nikki Chow is not my cup of tea. She doesn’t have the charisma which interest me as an actress. I love watching Raymond Wong but I might not like his villain role…LOL

  7. I really like this serie. All the casts performed a great job especially Raymond Wong, Rebecca, Nikki, Elaine, Joel, and etc.

  8. It’s always said that series aired this time of the year suffers from low ratings because of the the holidays and people may be too busy to watch. I think it was Steven Ma who was also quite upset that his Links to Temptation was aired in a bad time slot.

    The truth is, unless TVB doesn’t air any series around the holidays, otherwise some artists, some producer will be likely upset that their hard work doesn’t get paid off.

    That said, I’m enjoying Bottled Passion very much and if it was aired later through the year, it may have higher ratings and will be remembered for the anniversary awards.

    1. Maybe TVB should learn from US broadcasters and just air reruns around the holiday period, or produce telemovies.

    2. i agree with how the series aired during the holidays were bad, but links to temptation was a terrible drama. But, for this drama, it is actually pretty good and hooking.

      1. Agree Links to Temptation was just horrible. I couldn’t finish the last few episodes.

    3. But, Link to Temptation still make it to this year’s top 10 series (yes, they include it in this year’s list). I remember Dicey Business which was aired after the award ceremony also did quite well.

      People always complain about ‘canon fodder’ timeslot causing their series ratings to be low. But, some series still thrive in these timeslot. MOL got very high ratings despite airing around World Cup time.

      1. Did it?
        1 Forensic Heroes III
        2 Lives of Omission
        3 The Rippling Blossom
        4 Curse of the Royal Harem
        5 Ghetto Justice 怒火街頭
        6 The Other Truth 真相
        7 Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir!
        8 A Great Way to Care
        9 Only You
        10 Grace Under Fire
        Links to temptation was one of the worst series this year.

      2. Oops sorry, I remember the wrong list. It was in last year’s list, with the other Steven Ma series. Sorry. My mistake.

      3. Dicey Business did very well at around 31 point average.

        The last series air in this time/date period with a decent ratings was A Chip Off the Old Block (巴不得爸爸…) in 2009, around 30 points average.

        Love that theme song:

    4. The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow, starring Maggie Cheung and Kwong Wah, was also aired during the Chinese New Year of 2003, but still managed to have achieved high ratings. Additionally, its female lead, Maggie Cheung, received the Best Actress award (at that time named Favorite Lead Actress) at the anniversary that year.

  9. Good for TVB to get scolded by LTS! This series is great. I support LTS he’s a great producer

    Niki is ok since I can’t picture any other typical new fadan in that role. Raymond Wong is cute and hot.

  10. i disagree with lee tim sing cuz if his series was not airing in that timeslot and some other series replaces it,doesnt mean that that series will get low ratings. look at whb for god sakes, 23 points, i dont see anyone complaining.

  11. I curse TVB too.


    “Niki improved dramatically [in her performance], Raymond was very suitable for his role, and it was expected that Joel Chan (陳山聰) would perform well”

    A bit over the top statement, an understatement and overacted, respectively

  12. OMG! I’m hooked on BP and I find it very captivating and touching.
    The cast took their roles very well and I appreciate their effort.
    Niki is so pretty and pairs up well with Raymond. Elaine is good too.
    Anyway, on PPS,this drama tops the list!

  13. I really like Bottled Passion! Its such a touching story, I have cried so many times! LOL. I’ve definitely become more attracted to Raymond Wong because of this series =P I also wanna mention that Joel Chan is really good in this too! Especially the scene where his mum discovers that he can’t make babies. I like Joel =P

    1. Same feeling of yours! Its great to watch this series & something fresh on the story line. Raymond W, Joel C, Niki C impressed on their acting!

      TVB should appreciate the true effort given by TIM Gor!

      1. TVB already did, he got an lifetime achievement award, last year. Already motivated, lots of times 😀

  14. I like Bottled Passion a lot but wish they made Tsui Sum’s character more interesting and complicated. Tsui Sum is much too simple, too ordinary, too weak, too forgiving and almost a bit too boring to watch. Really, there is nothing special or memorable about Tsui Sum’s character. It would have been so much more interesting to watch a smarter and stronger, stubborn, challenging Tsui Sum with SOME attitude. It was just too easy for Tung Bun Sin to win back Tsui Sum’s heart – he didn’t need to try at all. What a waste of what could have been (an even more) touching love story.

    1. Love this drama. The storyline is good, the actors are great, even the child actors are great. I can’t see anyone else playing Tung Bun Sin other than Raymond Wong. He’s a perfect for the role. Can you imagine Raymond Lam, Mosses or Bosco playing this role? I certainly can’t.

  15. Ratings for B.P. in the Week#3 eps 10-14… 27 points, peaked at 30 points. It did improve slightly.

    1. TVB really made a major mistake, should have aired this series in the anniversary period! 🙁

      Stupid TVB.

  16. Man, this really goes to show that you can’t mess with Liza Wang aka “a tai jeh tai” because her ridiculous “super stupid snoops” was an anniversary series. Meanwhile, a great series like BP is being treated as a filler, how pathetic of TVB!!! If I was Liza Wang I’d be embarrass.

      1. is it Liza’s fault for BP being aired during holidays season?

    1. She has seniority, or have a say in TVB management.

      I really think the person who decides to air the series deserve to get a pink slip. They made terrible decisions for the past year.

      Dont they have test people to watch the entire series to see they like or dislike before it goes on air…. Quality control is really not there at TeeVeeBee these days.

      1. Larry,

        What do u mean by Pink slap? You just made me think of something “naughty” from that word.. mind to elaborate?

      2. Guess you’re from the states? since “pink slip” refers to american practice.

    2. I doubt it’s because of Liza Wang. TVB most probably think ‘3 Gods’ is popular, so, choose this series as anniversary.

      1. If TVB management thinks ‘Fuk Low Slows’ are popular on TV… They must be $moking something good.

      2. I agree with you Larry, I don’t get it either. They have their moments, but it gets old fast and I find them very irritating now lolz

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