Reasons Why “Another Era” Is One of TVB’s Lowest Rated Dramas of the Year

Despite Another Era <再創世紀> being one of TVB’s big-budget dramas, it failed to capture the audience’s attention. Its average of 21.8 rating points makes it the third-lowest rated series of the year, right behind Infernal Affairs <無間道> (at 21.69 points) and Succession War <天命> (at 21.54 points), which was also a big production.

This goes to show that a higher budget doesn’t equate to success. TVB invested $100 million HKD into the production of Another Era, which comes as no surprise due to the on-location shoots abroad and the filming duration of six months.

In addition to the sufficient funds, it was also a star-studded production. Leading actors Roger Kwok (郭晉安) is a three-time TV king while Frankie Lam (林文龍) has always been TVB’s lucky star when it came to ratings. The series was also Tavia Yeung’s (楊怡) first drama with TVB since leaving in 2016, as well as, Linda Chung’s (鍾嘉欣) first time on the small screen since giving birth to her daughter, Kelly, in 2016. The two actresses are relatively popular, so was the drama’s lukewarm response due to its broadcast timeslot?

Another Era broadcasted from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays, right after the low-budget but popular drama Life on the Line <跳躍生命線> starring Joe Ma (馬德鐘) and Matthew Ho (何廣沛). Since Life on the Line is highly rated, it should’ve increased the scores for Another Era, but the fact is the audience chose to turn off the TV after 8:30 p.m.

There seems to be an explanation of why Another Era has been plagued with low ratings. Although business politics is nothing new in TVB dramas, they often involve big families with storylines that are simple and easy to understand. In spite of the series being based on Hong Kong’s financial crisis, it just tried to cover too much at once – there were too many things going on. On top of that, there were many business elements that could easily lose viewers. If the audience doesn’t understand the storyline or terminologies, they won’t have the motivation to follow the series.

On the other hand, Life on the Line averaged at 29.3 rating points. Although the romance storylines are beginning to develop more rapidly, it did not affect the ratings. As a matter of fact, there is a possibility of the drama beating the rating record for Deep In The Realm of Conscience <宮心計2深宮計>.

Source: Hk01

This article is written by MelodyC for

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  1. Also, the producer and screenwriter are no longer Chik Kei Yi and Chow Yuk Ming (Another Era 1&2). Behind the screen is equally important to a drama production too.

  2. why is no one acknowledging the fact that the reason the rating is low because tvb broadcasted the episodes first in mainland china. those who are interested to watch would have already watched it online

      1. @ivan Yes, that did contribute, but less in this case, especially since, as @jimmyszeto already pointed out, the reception in Mainland was poor too (and Mainland even broadcast the series on their CCTV channel, which they rarely ever do).

        At the end of the day, Another Era’s failure boiled down to one thing: the script sucked. I think anyone who has followed HK series in the past decade or so can see that most of the series which have seen some amount of success with audiences (regardless of the TV station), especially in the past few years, have been ones where the story / subject matter is relatable to audiences in some way….the series that reflect what is happening in society currently and/or to common (ordinary) people like you and me, audiences have been especially able to resonate with. I think TVB’s thinking is too old-fashioned…yes, in the past, it was fine to make series that weren’t really realistic so audiences can have a temporary “escape” from their boring lives and perhaps have something to fantasize about, but nowadays, that isn’t the trend anymore. As a whole, people are more involved in their societies nowadays and with so many problems to deal with in their lives that they know they can’t escape from (yes, in a sense, people have finally woken up to the realities of their lives, lol), they want to be assured in the fact that others are going through the same thing and they aren’t alone in their struggles….when TV series reflect that reality, it can be very powerful, especially for people going through those same struggles – it’s like, finally, there’s someone out there who understands how I feel!

        This is why I’ve always been a fan of TV stations doing audience surveys every year (or every two years at minimum) so they can get a more up to date pulse on how audiences are feeling and can adjust accordingly (though of course, also depends on the way the survey is done, the audience pool, the questions asked, etc.). TVB doesn’t do audience surveys anymore because they don’t feel it’s needed….I remember a few years ago, when HKTV was still in the picture and the whole audience survey thing came up (since HKTV was doing not just audience surveys but also focus groups where they would get feedback on their series from audiences face-to-face), TVB even stated that the last time they did an audience survey was like in the 90s or something like that and they are not going to do one anytime soon because they already know what audiences want and since audiences’ tastes don’t change much (TVB’s thinking, not mine), management didn’t want to waste the time and resources….(which of course was another idiotic decision on management’s part because look where they are now – obviously they don’t know what audiences want or care about…either that or they are just banking on the fact that their target audiences will always be ignorant housewives who just have the TV on as background noise and won’t really pay attention anyway….).

      2. @llwy12
        I wonder what is the next big production TVB will target the mainland with? Think they will learn from their mistakes of ‘Another Era’. It does not have to be a good series. Just need to hire an actor known in the mainland and produce a script fully catered to the Chinese audience…

      3. @jimmyszeto TVB’s CEO Mark Lee already talked about what type of series will be Mainland co-productions in this interview from back in July:

        Basically, TVB believes that Mainland audiences are most interested in series about professional occupations, such as cops (any type of police-themed series), lawyers (any type of series courtroom dramas), and doctors (any type of medical-related profession), etc, so the exec-mandated “one-fourth of TVB’s series going forward will be Mainland co-productions” will most likely be series with the above themes. In other words, TVB will be doing the same types of series they’ve been doing for years because, according to them, that’s what both Mainland and HK audiences want.

        In terms of specifically what the next big co-production will be – well, basically any series produced by Lau Ka Ho and Mui Siu Ching will be a Mainland co-production, as that’s what they were re-hired by TVB to do (which was to head up the “Mainland co-productions department” – if they had business cards printed, no doubt you will see something related to Mainland China in their titles, lol). Aside from that, the other co-production we already know about (since it was unveiled at Filmart earlier in the year) is Triumph in the Skies 2020, which TVB already confirmed will have “well-known” Mainland artists in lead roles (unlike Another Era, which had Mainland artists in it, but ones that even Mainland audiences had never heard of). Now of course, we all know that nothing is set in stone and until the series actually starts filming, everything could still change at a moment’s notice….but at least the above gives us some indication…

  3. b/c it is a co-production w/ mainland china. all their co-prod with china are bad. they just throw alot of money without considering the plot or story.

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