TVB to Film “Beyond the Realm of Conscience 2” with Beijing’s CCTV

The recently broadcast When Heaven Burns <天與地>, which was warehoused for two years, won critical acclaim but lost in ratings, dipping to a record low of 23 points. The new approach of the series disgruntled housewife viewers and angered advertisers. As a result, TVB will tread on safer ground next year, in which the majority of series will be based upon old formulas of success.

A TVB staff member revealed, “When Heaven Burns used a first-class line-up. After it was filmed, TVB hoped to quickly broadcast the series and see the reaction. However, they realized that the audience may be unable to accept it, thus they waited for the right opportunity and did not wish to take any chances. The truth is that the series created many controversial discussions and won praise, although it lost in ratings. The advertisers are all very upset! Management has already directed that we will resume a conservative approach. Many of the series released next year will be sequels and will place priority in audience’s preferences.”

TVB Hopes to Win Through Safe Material

Since housewives were unwilling to watch When Heaven Burns <天與地>, the ratings naturally suffered. Unwilling to take another risk, TVB will release primarily sequels in 2012, hoping to win through stable prime-time ratings.

Ghetto Justice 2: Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) and Myolie Wu’s (胡杏兒) Ghetto Justice <怒火街頭> was released in May 2011 and won critical praise and ratings. Catching on the popularity of the first installment, TVB is currently filming a sequel featuring the original cast.

Triumph in the Skies 2: Aired in 2003, Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄> was highly popular. Pilot, Francis Ng’s (吳鎮宇) hairstyle even launched a lively discussion. TVB will be filming a sequel next year, which will be a grand production series.

Beyond the Realm of Conscience 2: In 2009, Beyond the Realm of Conscience <宮心計> boosted the popularity levels of Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼), Moses Chan (陳豪), and Tavia Yeung (楊怡). The series opened markets in mainland China, Southeast Asia, and other geographic regions. TVB has indicated that a sequel for Beyond the Realm of Conscience will be filmed in 2012, which will be collaboration between TVB and Beijing’s CCTV station.


Jayne: Relying on recipes of past success and conservative scripts is not good. That means making scripts for mainstream audiences and not breaking any new ground, while sacrificing artistic and creative vision perhaps. One step forward and three steps back again for TVB, despite the recent praise “When Heaven Burns” received among industry creative forces that there was hope in the television industry.

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  1. With the lack of success from some more recent sequels of past popular titles, I wonder if this really is a “recipe for success.”

    Maybe they should instead focus on finding a way to inspire their scriptwriters?

  2. Damn. This is so bad news. No innovation from TVB anymore. Just repeat formula again and again and again.

    1. Kidd,
      “Damn. This is so bad news. No innovation from TVB anymore. Just repeat formula again and again and again.”

      That’s what the scriptwriter of “When Heaven Burns” said, that TVB has been stuck for the last 20 years, no innovation and creativity. “When Heaven Burns” diverted from mainstream dramas, with industry insiders praising it as groundbreaking.

      However, at the end of the day if the ratings are not there, then advertisers will be displeased. It is the Hong Kong audience’s fault and market conditions.

      In the Hong Kong film industry, useless comedies after useless comedies are churned out since they sell tickets. You may argue that only a select few movies each year are produced with artistic vision in mind for awards purposes.

      1. It’s hard to please Hong Kong film audience now. The highest grossing “Chinese language” film this year is You’re the Apple of My Eye, mostly notable for the biographical nostalgic storytelling that appeals to the post 80s and post 90s generations – who contributed to cinema sales largely.

      2. Do you really think WHB was ground breaking or just the same old packaged differently in a more artistic feel? Groundbreaking was JTTW.

      3. And no. WHB is not ‘the same old packaged differently in a more artistic feel’.

        If WHB is just same old same old, I don’t see how is JTTW groundbreaking.

      4. JTTW manage to be educational as well as entertaining. That is groundbreaking.

  3. ” One step forward and three steps back again for TVB, despite the recent praise “When Heaven Burns” received among industry creative forces that there was hope in the television industry.”

    I wish TVB will continue making both kind of series. Some production house is like this. Make several commercial films to cover the cost, then, make some artistic films.
    I hope TVB can use this approach. Even only make 1 innovative series per year is better than none.

    1. Kidd,
      “I hope TVB can use this approach. Even only make 1 innovative series per year is better than none.”

      Don’t think that will happen in 2012, as the stakes are high with the new rival TV stations in HK. The TV stations will all be competing for the same advertisers.

      TVB seems to be pursuing joint venture partnerships with mainland China’s established stations such as CCTV, which may be smart to get good connections with mainland broadcasting stations. This may ensure favorable broadcasting slots for TVB series and continue to raise the profile of TVB in mainland China.

      Right now, current and former TVB stars are still in high demand to anchor many mainland China productions. In the next ten years, I wonder if this will continue to hold true?

      For longevity, TVB needs to balance near-term profits while producing higher quality programming and creating big stars.

      Who was the last big star at TVB? Actresses, I would say Charmaine Sheh. Actor, I would say Raymond Lam.

    2. I don’t mind this approach as long as the end results is good. Like rosy business and no regrets are 2 different series with same cast and almost same name. But the content is different. I would have wished for different cast, different name but if same cast but different story, I think TVB will not die just yet.

  4. When Heaven Burns is just not that great of a series. I think it would’ve have had a chance for higher ratings if the story was told better and not at such a slow pace, and they didn’t used the same tired combination of Moses/Bowie/Kenny/Charmaine. I have nothing against those actors but it just doesn’t seem to create any fresh type feelings.

  5. Couldnt agree more with you jayne. I just hope they use the same cast or at least have a few of them in BTROC 2. its just sucks cause i know the ‘sequel’ will have a different story line… they shouldnt name it 2!

    1. Agreed! Esp. like FH3, it shouldn’t even haven been called FH!

    2. yep. never understood why they call shows sequels when they have completely different casts and storylines

  6. OH gosh, once again TVB is COMPLETELY out of ideas and have to keep on recycling the same old things over and over again… TVB is doomed for good if they continue on like this.

    1. TVB just need to steal some original ideas from Jap.manga and change it a little bit i.e. replace the girl with the boy instead etc.

      Still they choose to milk from a dead cow over and over. BAKA BAKA BAKA!!!

      1. I say TVB should really consider of filming a horror series with zombies walking at night, vampire lurking to houses and etc.

        That would be interesting and refreshing hehe.

      2. the chance they will even consider it equals zero in fear of conplaints after conplaints.

        i personally wish for series ala Gosick.

      3. if they can act JTTW with that level of CGI, I wont complain much if they ever film any horrow series with zombies, vampires around hehe..Atleast something refreshing.

      4. im surprised TVB didn’t jump on the vampire trend when is was superhot.

        demon/spirit series is also welcomed as there are alot of material to steal i.e. the scriptwriters can continue to bet on horses and watch porn, hehe

      5. Cannot! That’s where most criticisms come from!! Don’t steal; say openly that they’re adapting! But need to pay copyright. Maybe beg Jin YOng for another go at one of his classics in MODERN times perhaps?

      6. If TVB remakes Jin Yong’s adaption, I still doubt the rating will be high.

        If only they can be more open and do adaption to someone else. Jin Yong Jin Yong all the time. Ok, Jin Yong is the best authour of old wuxia time and a statue of wuxia, but why him all the time? His 16 novels are made and made and remade. Boring! Now whenever I see an adaption of Jin Yong’s novels, I yawn.

        If TVB want HK authour, please do more Huang Yi. Huang Yi has more than just FYFY, DTSLC and XQJ. Just his oneshot like “Love through time” can make a very good romantic supernatural series.

      7. Maybe challenge themselves and adapt those wuxia into modern times minus the wuxia? Can be done! Imagine Cheung Mo Kei as some young corporate guy or something like that. Why not? But Jin Yong will die before he lets TVB touch one of his books again or have they became friends again or is.. Jin Yong dead?!?!

      8. LOL, Cheung Mo Kei as a corporate die would go to chapter 11 very soon. You better have someone smart as Yeung Gor in that role.

        HSDS in mordern version equals jap. anime in the harem genre 🙂

      9. On copyright. I read somewhere that books 100 years old and beyond have no copyright. So, TVB can adapt the classics. No need to pay copyright. They can adapt the lesser known classics, no need to adapt 4 Big Classic, which has been adapted countless times.

      10. Kidd, which other classics? I only keep hearing the issit 5 classics of China literature? Why not do shakespeare chinese style? Hamlet? Too melodramatic. Richard III? Maybe can?

      11. LOL, who isn’t smarter than GJ. Im not saying CMK isn’t bright just that his personality don’t suit being a corporate guy. Maybe he can be a doctor.

        In the corporate world you need someone like YG. Tyical TVB series only 2 max 3 girls falls in love with the guy. They should increase it to 5-6, LOL

      12. What cause will a dr have being surrounded by hundreds of other people demanding for his death? And to be stuck between 2 women of different nationalities? Diplomat’s son maybe? On the run after his parents killed in some espisionage gone wrong where their respective countries demand for their death? Something like that? Eh eh CAN WORK!!! Now Guojing silly boy running around… that is ermmm harder…

      13. @ Funn

        Shakespeare story but change setting to modern time or fictional semi modern world like those Hollywood film?

        As for lesser known classic, off the top of my head, I can think of 2. There are more. But, I couldn’t remember it now.


      14. Yea, they have milked the cow to death and still continue to do so….Yawn….

      15. @Funn

        yeah your idea can work actually it sounds interesting similar to “chuck”.

        hardest thing for GJ is do make someone smart to fall in love with him, LOL

      16. Cheung Mo Kei is smart but not scheming type of smart. So, he will lost in corporate struggle. Cheung Mo Kei can learn things very fast.

      17. Yes Kidd that’s what I meant. Even Hollywood rarely does that.

      18. Copyright to a book is only 50 years after the death of the authour, kidd.

      19. If that’s the case, can even adapt Huan Zhu Lou Zhu’s work. Anyway, TVB already has the copyright since they have adapted Zu Mountain before.

      20. @Kidd: In accordance with the Berne Convention on copyright. BTW, China isn’t a member of the convention 🙂 but HK is one.

      21. So what does that mean for China?? No restriction or no copyright at all?

      22. As China isn’t a member of the convention, the convention dun have the binding meaning to it. It’ll follow its own regulations (if any) on copyright.

        Mean if China’s law stipulate that the right of free adaption (no need to ask for the copyright of the authour) will happen after 10 years of his death, then after 10 years, anyone can have the right to adapt it in stead of 50 years like Berne Convention regulated.

      23. Seems like China is a member of this convention after all accordning to my sources.

      24. @exoidus: If you refer to the member list listed by WIPO, yeah, China signed the documents to make Berne Convention in force so they are listed, but they don’t be bound by Berne convention and don’t follow it due to their own profits in making copies :). In other words, China isn’t a real member of the convention. The reason why China signed these documents were to protect is that they want to use it in the future, but not now. But I’ve informed that China is re-thinking of it and might let Berne convention in force soon.

      25. P/S: The convention is only having its meaning IF it’s a case with foreign factors. So if it’s the copyright of a China authour and the adaption of a China company and the adaption happens in China, the case will be held by China court.

      26. Thanks for the info. Im sure you have done the due dilligence properly 🙂

      27. I wonder. Is copyright that expansive to buy? Taiwan, China (some companies), US all buy copyright to make adaptations. Why can’t TVB? I bet lesser known authors, the copyright will be cheaper, right?

      28. Or those that have yet to be a published author. Would their copyright fee be cheaper? ‘Lan Yu’ and BBJX used to be popular internet novels that was adapted to movie/TV. ‘My Sassy Girl’ was supposed to be adapted from a real life account of someone who posted his dating story on an internet forum or something.

      29. Lesser know authors of course cheaper. I suppose there are 2 types; one you buy outright so you can make in perpetual and one more a license plus profit. Like JK Rowling. I suppose why studios are reluctant to buy license/copyright is because sharing of profit if popular novel or the author insisting on playing a part in the adaptation. Most authors couldn’t care less. I suppose TVB just doesn’t want to pay. I read USD50,000-00 can also buy the rights to a book, etc. Depends again on popularity of novel and author.

  7. 2 and 2. Then will have 3 if 2 is high rating, even it’s highly criticized. Something good but ppl dun understand it or TVB dun favour it, never have 2. Something bad but high rating will have 2,3,4.

    Lau Ka Ho and Mui Siu Ching left TVB. Most of sequels made by them in the past. Now without them, who will make 2 of BTROC?

    1. Someone better. Someone who makes something original out of something rehashed.

  8. yay!!!!! but i hope they still have charmaine and kevin together >.<

  9. Oh geez, again?! Let’s see, no more Charmaine…Tavia was decent but not memorable. Moses Chan was scary with his dark eyeshadow… and I don’t think I can stay awake with Kevin in this again. He was b to the oring in BR.

    Think I’ll skip this one!

  10. If they are really going make BTROC 2, I hope they will have Charmaine and Tavia in it.

    1. IKR! At least those two have to be in it in order for it to be called BTROC2!

  11. usually most sequels arent as good as the first one, but there are exceptions: academy was good, second one was bad, third was good and it kept getting better (only because they kept changing the leads), my hopes are up, but I don’t expect too much

  12. Ghetto Justice 2 will be safe.
    Not safe…..
    Beyond the Realm of Conscience 2, another CCTVB production, yuck.

    Triumph in the Skies 2: ugh, ten years later; wont be a great series.

  13. I agree completely. When heaven burns is refreshing. And I do not wish to see voice-overs so I do not hope Beyond the Realm 2 will be filmed with CCTV which means horrible looking voice overs.

  14. Sigh…All of you lot are soo fussy! I’m actually excited with the upcoming dramas, and all of you only know how to moan. Before all you say that the new dramas were stupid, and now TVB decide to film old but successful dramas, but still you people are not satasfied. So do you think you guys can do better? It’s not there fault, you nasty people don’t like it. I personally think all of don’t appreciate all the hard work TVB does to make new series to make us happy. I am disappointed that you people still complain.

    1. Ugh, we have to complain because TVB is getting crappy everyday.

      We want TVB to get better and maybe be back to produce great series and I still remember TVB making great series and even good sequels.

      Todays TVB, is a joke. A lot of people, including me are still TVB loyal viewers who just watch pirated off the internet that can not afford the paid per subscription crap.

      1. But, by complaining and moaning, also doesn’t help TVB, unless you have any super ideas yourself. Also, you aren’t supporting TVB more, by watching off the internet.

      2. Yes I am supporting TVB to catch me that I download illegal things off of the internet or watch it illegally live streaming on the Hong Kong channels in my spare time.

        Everybody complains all the time; it is life.

      3. But, I also paid the bloated (USA) Direct TV: TVB Jadeworld subscription package for US$40.00.

      4. @Larry3:

        If u have the direct tv channels, why do u still download illegally off the internet? U cannot wait 1 day or even 13 hrs?
        I pay the $40/month for the jade pkg too and I think it’s worth it. As jacky cheung says in the commercial, please respect “original work” (chong joc).

      5. I have a family that are computer illiterate and they have to watch it on big screen tv. I can not wait for the latest fresh drama, either its live on air or download it.

        The Jadeworld package is expensive and now 1/3 of the programming is old recycle or past programming that already watch. Its improving a bit.

        So, if you care to donate me some money to pay my Direct TV Jadeworld package to me, that would be fine…. 🙂 [/kidding]

      6. BTW, Canadian people who have to subscribe to Fairchild TV…. I feel your pain who can not watch the latest dramas and shows.

      7. Those poor people. The only imports I like f/ Canada are Ryan Reynolds and maple syrup.

  15. collaboration between TVB and Beijing’s CCTV station.
    I mean no disrespect to China’s Beijing’s CCTV station but if it is a collaboration between this two station, then I would not watch.China’s TV station is like Taiwan TV station.They have a habit OF insulting the audiences’intelligence!!!!The story tend to drag on and on and new character are introduced half way through the story……so long winded…………..

    1. Truth is so called collaboration, ended up TVB stars take main place, the chinese stars elsewhere. I think it is mainly to facilitate broadcast over at CCTV which I believe requires one Chinese actor/actress in leading role. And good thing with such cooperation is maybe, just maybe they can use real location for some scenes if it is historical drama. That is to me a bonus.

    2. That is not true about Beijing’s CCTV station. I have seen many series from that company and some are good and some are bad, just like with TVB or any company. Not all of their series are draggy and long winded… TVB, Korean or series from any country can be like that. Gosh, I just saw this one Korean historical series and it was SO LONG and boring… I think it was worse than any Mainland series or any other series that I have ever seen… Therefore, long and dragginess is not just a mainland series thing…

  16. Beyond 2! Oh my! This is awesomely good news for me! I support TVB mainly because of Sheh, and now that she is moving on more to Mainland, China. I’m gonna start moving there too. Muahahah. Some TVB shows are nice, but they get boring, because of the same old story lines that doesn’t make things any better. Especially to people who watches drama because they are bored. 😀

    1. Oh gosh, didn’t they just film another series similar to this one in China with Tavia?? Are they out of ideas??? Beyond the Realm part 1 was already really boring…

  17. I’m not complaining as I do enjoy most of the TVB shows. There are only a few that I don’t really like, like Sister of the Eternal Flower and Yes Sir, No Sir. I find that Charmaime and Moses just do not fit in their respective roles. As for BTROC2, I really look forward to Charmaine and Kevin acting opposite each other again. Don’t find their paiting boring at all.

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