Sammul Chan is the Smartest S4

Including Raymond Lam (林峯), TVB’s “S4” members Ron Ng (吳卓羲), Sammul Chan (陳鍵鋒), Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), and Kenneth Ma (馬國明) were once regarded as TVB’s future in the early millennium. Young and handsome, the five actors were branded as the station’s next generation of leading young actors, emulating the 1980s success of TVB’s young Five Tigers, a group that consisted of Michael Miu (苗僑偉), Kent Tong (湯鎮業), Felix Wong (黃日華), Andy Lau (劉德華) and Tony Leung(梁朝偉).

But the glory of TVB siu sangs is coming to an end. Not only is TVB lacking young actors to lead their dramas, almost the entire S4 gang, excluding Kenneth Ma, are now finding better career prospects in mainland China.

Netizens commended Sammul Chan for being the smartest out of the five. After starring in the mainland Chinese period drama, Schemes of a Beauty <美人心计>, in 2010, Sammul’s popularity exploded in mainland China. Sammul thus parted ways with TVB in early 2011 to completely focus his career in the north, and he has been earning big money since then. Meanwhile, S4 members who chose to stay with the low-paying TVB like Kenneth Ma and Ron Ng are still struggling to earn a decent income.

However, with recent rising television stars like Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), Him Law (羅仲謙), Oscar Leung (梁烈唯), and Jason Chan (陳智燊) leading in TVB dramas, the station may be able to bring back the glory that Hong Kong siu sangs used to have. While most of these actors are already in their early to mid 30s, and not even close to the youth that TVB siu sangs used to emit in the last few decades, they are nonetheless still refreshing for the audience to watch on television. Their careers will be closely watched on the radar!

Source: Three Weekly via

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. He was I always felt severely underused in TVB for reasons perhaps understood only by TVB and also because TVB during his time did not have roles that suited him well.

      1. jason chan again? wonder if this jason chan who has no acting talent whatsoever is bribing virginia lok with handbags.

        i can understand promoting ruco, oscar and him, but jason??

      2. When he refused to sign with Txb, 620 wasn’t joined.

      3. this article is good but don’t like that it’s saying ron and kenneth aren’t doing well. that’s not entirely true. ron also filmed many mainland series in recent years and kenneth is just starting to rise in tvb and doesn’t like to reject tvb series. kenneth also has revealed he has mainland invitations.

      4. don’t like this avatar. prefer the yellow one, prettier.

      5. he claimed to media last time a producer cheated him that he was the first lead when actually he was only supporting and joe ma is the lead. and they give him a gay looking scene with joe ma. and during that time too he got popular in mainland after pairing with ruby in schemes of beauty so good decision for him to leave tvb.

      6. here is exclusive interview by sammul with i-cable right after his tvb contract ended with sammul spilling tvb’s bad treatment to him!

        Sammul Chan and Michael Tao speak out against TVB’s harsh treatment

        Thursday, March 31, 2011 Hong Kong

        Source: Oriental Daily

        Translation: llwy12@

        Both Michael Tao and Sammul Chan recently terminated their contracts with TVB (Michael did so last year and Sammul this year). Now that his contract is terminated, Sammul sat down for an interview with TVB’s rival i-Cable (CEN) and expressed that he is finally able to ‘taste freedom’. He laments that TVB neglected his efforts and hard work for years and also reveals the company’s ‘pettiness’ in going back and forth with him over a few bucks during previous contract renewal talks, which was the catalyst for him wanting to leave. In a separate interview with Oriental Daily, Michael Tao also expressed dissatisfaction with TVB.

        Throughout the 11 years that he has been with TVB, Sammul Chan feels that he has put in quite a strong effort to do his job well — however, TVB has been heavily promoting fellow artists who started around the same time he did (namely Raymond Lam and Bosco Wong), throwing him by the wayside, practically all but forgotten. It’s no wonder that almost immediately after his contract expired with TVB, Sammul accepted an interview with i-Cable (CEN) and ‘spilled the dirt’ on his former employer. Referring to his own experience at TVB, Sammul states: “I was a youngster working hard at my job and even received acknowledgment from the audience, yet all this time, I’m pretty much told to ‘stand aside’, watching as others get awards while I myself don’t even get a nomination at the awards ceremony!”

        Sammul admits that at one point, he had considered signing a management contract with TVB, believing that by becoming a ‘biological son’, he may be valued more by the company – unfortunately, he was wrong and realized that he overestimated TVB: “Someone asked me to sign a 10 year long contract, yet no change in salary for the entire term of the contract!” In the end, his contract renewal talks with TVB fizzled when the company refused to negotiate with him over a pay raise that amounted to less than 100 HKD: “Fighting over such slight, petty things was absolutely not worth it. To tell you the truth, the recent ‘problem’ of artists leaving and not wanting to renew their contracts is not an isolated incident and certainly not a decision that was made spur of the moment – if people are unhappy with their jobs, it is natural for them to leave.”

        As a ‘free’ artist now, Sammul is able to enjoy many freedoms that were impossible before, including interviewing with i-Cable in Cantonese. Speaking of this, Sammul did not pass up the opportunity to ‘mock’ his former employer: “In the past, when attending events, I would be running around trying my best to avoid being ‘included’ in other stations’ (i-Cable, ATV, etc) cameras….they [TVB] are already the ‘biggest’ station around, I don’t understand what they are afraid of? Very weird!”

        Sammul Chan isn’t the only former TVB artist speaking out. In a telephone interview with Oriental Daily’s reporter, veteran actor Michael Tao – once crowned ‘housewife killer’ at the height of his popularity at TVB – also spoke out about his previous contract woes with TVB. He expressed that a few years ago, he had signed a 2 year contract with TVB and the agreement was to film 20 episodes a year: “They waited more than a year into the contract before asking me to shoot <>, so when the contract ended, there were still 10 episodes left on the contract….TVB told me to unconditionally extend the contract for 6 months and treat it as a ‘gift’ to them….at the time, I felt it was very unreasonable – why should I have to ‘pay’ for TVB’s mistakes?” In the end, TVB paid Michael the salary for the remaining 10 episodes as compensation and also to resolve the issue.

        A few months later, TVB approached Michael with a series they wanted him to star in and he agreed to discuss with them, since he was also interested in the series: “When it came time to discuss the contract, they had the audacity to tell me that in order for me to film the series, I have to re-pay them for the 10 episode compensation that they had paid me first. I felt that they really crossed the line – absolutely unacceptable!”

        With regard to recent reports of various TVB fa dans and siu sangs ‘leaving the nest’, Michael expressed that it is only natural for them to leave, as artists need to take care of their families too.

        In related news, TVB’s long time production department director (variety show / non-drama series division) Ho Lai Chuen – who had serviced the company for over 30 years – officially resigned, with his last day being tomorrow (3/31). His job responsibilities will temporarily be taken over by TVB GM Stephen Chan.

      7. I agree with you, Funn. I always felt that he was the smartest one.

      8. tvb is stingy and petty! good for sammul to leave tvb in 2011 and never look back!

    1. This is NOT TVB’s first time underusing, treating artists unfairly,not promoting the right people,etc.. so this does NOT shock me or anyone at all. Glad that Sammul has left and has found success in China. I guess TVB is mostly good for a starting point in anyone’s career in the circle, but everyone eventually has to leave if they want to advance in their career, make more money, get better treatment,etc… Maybe one of the reasons that TVB was over the last as long as they do now is to be cheap to the artists?? However, that is coming back to haunt them due to many people leaving, new companiese emerging,etc. It is so hard to survive in HK.

    2. It’s actually pretty easy to understand why Sammul was under-utilised by TVB: If I understood it correctly, he refused to sign longterm contracts.

      I was happy that he severed his ties with TVB since they have only ever given him crappy “lead” roles.

      1. He refused to sign manager contract, it’s more correct.

  2. Txb dun have young actors and young actresses to promote now. In other word, having to wait until old to be promote in Txb now.

    1. tavia’s boyfriend is still in his 20’s. oscar still look like in his 20’s. just don’t like jason chan. he can’t act!

    2. it’s not tvb don’t have, but when tvb have such as nancy wu and mandy wong, tvb don’t promote them and promote talentless christine kuo instead!

      1. Well TVB is a business and lately Christine Kuo is drawing all the sponsors. Nancy Wu and Mandy Wong ARE promoted and they have better roles than the kelefe ones that Christine has so why the whining?

      2. What talent do most of these celebrities have but to pose a bunch? Nancy and Mandy’s acting isn’t anything special either, dont kid yourselves. Irritiable faces and acting.

      3. go watch autumn season of season of love. nancy is the titular role in that season and she handled it marvelously! she got tons of praises from netizens while kate and toby in the previous two seasons got criticized.

      4. All of them, are not young anymore. Nobody is under 25.

    3. Not surprising. Unless artists had professional acting training before debuting, they need probably at least 5 years to be really good at acting. The five tigers were popular but then because they were a breath of fresh air, but back then even their acting was raw and unpolished, if acceptable.

  3. TVB has failed to build New 5 Tigers after 80’s era, the current talent have no par with Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Felix Wong, etc. The golden era is over.

    1. let’s see if him law and jason chan can be the next tigers. more like only selling their looks and getting young fans to fawn over their body or face or british accent.

    2. agree,if tvb will revive the golden era they should do more scouting jobs to find talented charimatic young guys.

      1. i mean guys that have the same charisma/handsomeness as louis ko or takeshi kaneshiro.

  4. We are in the digital era. It is impossible to reproduce the golden age of television. People in the 80s could only watch 2 HK tv stations. Now they can watch any series from China, Taiwan, Korea, etc.

    1. that’s why sammul is smart to leave the sinking ship and expand his territory! he made it to the top in mainland after the success of schemes of beauty and is digging gold in mainland now and more successful than his peers!

      Throughout the 11 years that he has been with TVB, Sammul Chan feels that he has put in quite a strong effort to do his job well — however, TVB has been heavily promoting fellow artists who started around the same time he did (namely Raymond Lam and Bosco Wong), throwing him by the wayside, practically all but forgotten. It’s no wonder that almost immediately after his contract expired with TVB, Sammul accepted an interview with i-Cable (CEN) and ‘spilled the dirt’ on his former employer. Referring to his own experience at TVB, Sammul states: “I was a youngster working hard at my job and even received acknowledgment from the audience, yet all this time, I’m pretty much told to ‘stand aside’, watching as others get awards while I myself don’t even get a nomination at the awards ceremony!”

  5. love sammul 🙂 i disagree with your statement about sammul being the top five in tvb, or that he had potential. the producers focus on raymond lam ,bosco wong, ron ng mostly. Sammul is smart to move to mainland china 🙂

  6. he was easily the best of the bunch. charismatic and youthful without any plastics involved. his charm was natural. tvb is an idiot, good thing this gave him opportunity to make real money elsewhere.

    1. it’s tvb’s loss! glad now sammul got praises for his decision to leave the sinking ship tvb and make lots of money in china since schemes of beauty huge success!

  7. Also TVB is run by connections, since Sammul relied too much on himself, he was the outcast.

    1. Especially the ones who are still “obedient” to act in anything assigned by Txb without considering the roles. Sammul wasn’t that obedient, of course he was the outcast.

      Disclaimer: It’s a half-sarcasm (to pretend someone to jump).

  8. It’s great n he was smart to have gotten away faster. Nowadays, everyone wants head to mainland n grab more money i/o starving themselves in TVB.

  9. This is a perfect example of what Ricky Wong said abt TVB’s mismanagement. Sammul was treated like a worthless rock for yrs and only after he jumped ship did ppl realized his truth worth as a diamond 🙂

    TVB business model seems to be selling rocks as diamonds and expect ppl to be stupid enough to buy them again and again 😀

  10. i can just tell by looking at his face thats he’s gay.

    1. What a great skill you have. You could make a fortune out of it LOL

    2. I always thought he was the best looking out of the lot 😀

    3. seriously? haha i think it was rumored he was a while ago but sometimes whenever you are over 30, i think men or women they will automatically assume you are if you are unattached. but, he might just be a nice guy who is private n dont comment on his love life like some does openly…

  11. and all the new siu sangs are crap, with ruco being the only exception. they can’t act for s***, are average looking, no charisma, no sex appeal, no nothing. you look at them and you all want to do is
    fall asleep.

  12. This article makes it seem like Sammul is super rich and successful while the rest are poor and unpopular. The other 4 guys who stayed with TVB are still really successful with Raymond holding concerts and filming in Mainland, Ron films in Mainland also, and Bosco is obviously rich since he was able to invest in a restaurant and he does both mainland series and movies. Kenneth is the slowest to move up but became super big in the last 2 years and is making a lot more money in promo events now. Not everyone who goes to China to film, makes it big. I wouldn’t say Sammul is the smartest, but he is lucky that he was cast in such a good role without TVB’s push.

    1. but they are growing old and they wouldnt stay long.and the “newbies” all dont have charisma and poor acting.

    2. If comparing the wealth and fame of them, I doubt that Sammul is any better than LF and Bosco who also do good not only in HK but also in China (saying by their price). Before, in the beginning of the 2000s, going to China to film series means frozen status, but from late 2000s, China is a big market. Saying of luck, Sammul has it but it isn’t all. Luck solely, can’t bring him or anyone to current status.

      1. raymond maybe popular in hk but after highs and lows don’t see him having anything else out other than the concert and album and dates with karena. bosco has nothing out since witness insecurity. Don’t be so sure about their product in hk.

      2. “bosco has nothing out since witness insecurity.”

        The statement above is False 😛 . Bosco has 3 movies out after Witness Insecurity(July 2012).

        1. Love In Time 等我愛你 (HK premiere: 19 Nov 2012 / Mainland premiere: 7 Jan 2013)

        2. I Love HK 2013 2013我愛HK 恭囍發財 (HK/Malaysia/SG premiere: 7 Feb 2013)

        3. Together 在一起 (Hk/Malaysia/SG premiere: Feb 2013, Mainland premiere: 11 Feb 2013)

      3. raymond maybe popular in hk but after highs and lows don’t see him having anything else out other than the concert and album and dates with karena.”

        After HAL he has 2 movies (Love is Pyjama and 3D Baby Blues), 1 series (Purple Hairpin) to be filmed, 2 albums and 1 concert to be done. He is going to film another series (Lu Xiao Feng) soon. In HK, he has 1 movie to be released (LIP) and 2 which are going to be released (Saving General Yang and 3D Baby Blues). Txb bought the copyright of Purple Hairpin to air it in 2013 in HK while in China, CCTV8 and HunanTV are discussing to buy that series.

        As for Bosco, Abigail informed you.

        Your statement is definitely false :P.However, since they just dun need to appear in Txb series after series 😛 and your world is limited within Txb, can understand why you don’t know.

  13. Glad to know that Sammual has found success in China and hope to see him in more great productions. Maybe one day, he can film in Hk again. If not for TVB, hopefully for other companies…

  14. Sammul is smart but this isolated incident isn’t about smart or not but more of luck. He landed a good role and the series had good ratings.

    Also dislike how this article ties success with money and diminishes Kenneth Ma and Ron Ng. Kenneth has received a lot of good roles over the years with TVB and if Kenneth left like Sammul did, he may not have been successful at all. To me, sticking it out with TVB will give an artist a higher chance to be exposed. Kenneth wasn’t an idiot and Sammul isn’t either. The article really shouldn’t put the two together and say one is smarter than the other.

    1. I dont agree, all the 4 Siu Sans were given at least one drama where they were leading whilst he was always a second lead or Co-star.
      When he came back from China to re-join TVB, he had already starred a couple of times in highly successful dramas. Yet TVB STILL gave him second lead roles. One of the them was a tranny-dressing one which probably did wonders (-__-) for his career. No wonder he got fed up.
      You cant expect him at that stage to hang on hoping to get better roles when he had much better propects elsewhere. Not everyone needs to stick it out their mid-30s 40s before TVB finally promotes them.

    2. It’s a fact that when Sammul left Txb the first time to China, he already had supporting roles in quite big series (such as the Chor Lau Heung one) and had lead roles in other some. When he left Txb the second time, he has on hand a good portfolio. Even in Txb, he has second leads or leads. But MM only has some recognitions from 2008 to now, and mostly from 2011. Imagining that MM leaves Txb at this moment, maybe he can have some supporting roles in China series (as he was offered) but if he leaves in the time like Sammul did, prolly he won’t be as promoted as he is now in Txb and still searching for a chance in China. In short, Sammul had better portfolio than MM which allowed him to go.

      Ron, on the other hand, had chances in China before. So his chance to go is still higher than MM when it comes to China market. Just in Txb, Ron is demoted.

      Staying in Txb or traveling to China, both ways can grab successful and both ways can eat bitter fruit. However, in my opinion, staying in Txb is more stable because it is lacking artists, so one day an artist will be promoted, just rmb to choose the right side.

  15. Glad to see he is doing well in the mainland market. I really miss seeing him though and haven’t seen any of his mainland stuff.
    I also always felt he was severely underused and unappreciated.
    Imo, he was really the only young male actor at TVB that could convincingly portray a good-hearted person. – Similar to Felix Wong’s young roles (but nowhere near as great an actor). You just really felt that he was a kind hearted person inside because of the way he acted.
    His acting skills were right up with Bosco in terms of ability and room to grow and you could tell that he would improve a lot if given the right roles and opportunities. The other 3 I really dont think have the ability to grow and are mediocre at best.
    LF can only play a few roles convincingly the rest make me laugh uncontrollably.
    Ron is one of the worst actors I have seen at TVB lately and he struggles with the 1 type of role he always gets.
    Kenneth is slowly starting to get decent roles and I havent really seen any roles that are challenging or impressive, but Hopefully he proves me wrong and becomes a great leading actor.
    Really the only thing that sucks about Sam leaving TVB is that I will probably never see him in any productions anymore since his stuff never gets subbed overseas.

  16. Kenneth can act and is still improving, I like him.

    Raymond is good, but we hear too much gossip about his love life, which is annoying.

    Bosco’s last TVB drama Witness Insecurity was good, but haven’t seen him since.

    Ron is good looking, but he always plays similar role, nothing special or any break through yet.

    Samuel is great, enjoyed him in Scheme of beauty.

    Another one I like is Steven Ma.

    Out of the new siu sangs, Ruco is my favourite one.

    Him and Oscar are ok, Him plays similar character all the time… same character that used to be for Ron.

    Oscar’s one are a bit more varied, enjoyed him in Tiger Cubs.
    Jaso is cute, but very boring in acting.

  17. A little bit of luck and talent. If TVB didn’t neglect Sammul, then he wouldn’t have the opportunity to film outside (very much like Kevin for BBJX). Also, if he didn’t have any talent, then he wouldn’t have made it big. It was a good move to stick it out with TVB while exploring the Mainland market.

    Yeah, TVB treat many of their artists bad, but you def get your exposure.

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