Will Andy Lau’s Return to TVB Save the Ailing Network?

TVB’s lackluster ratings and ongoing competition with City Telecom (CTI) has certainly left the once-dominant television station in a difficult position. With many of TVB’s actors and actresses signing off to CTI or heading to mainland China for more opportunities, the station has been struggling to retain its veteran artists. When rumors sparked that Andy Lau (劉德華) and possibly Chow Yun Fat (周潤發) will be returning to TVB to film a television series, it has been the talk of the town since then.

Eric Tsang (曾志伟) has been credited for being the driving force in recruiting Andy Lau and Chow Yun Fat. Eric said, “I want to honor TVB for their contribution to the entertainment industry all these years. Although Hong Kong’s film and television industries have been going downhill for the past ten years, I want to do something to reignite the industry as a whole. After all, audiences in mainland China and the rest of the world understands Hong Kong through TVB’s series.” He added, “When the mother station is in need, I know they will come back to help!”

Eric also acknowledged that Andy has already agreed to return to TVB. While they are in the screenwriting and brainstorming stage right now, Eric said that Andy ultimately has the final say in the storyline and the script for the series, which is anticipated to be about 30 episodes long.

With Andy being the king of acting and music, the main questions lingering over everyone’s mind are how much will TVB pay Andy and who will be the lead actress? Eric dodges the money question when he said, “Money is not the deciding factor for Andy. What’s most important for him was our sincerity and genuinity when we approached him, because he understood what this meant to the industry as a whole.” Eric teased, “I also know that many of Andy’s fans are eager to find out who the lead actress will be. You guys will find out soon enough.”

When reporters approached TVB’s promotional staff about Andy’s return, they revealed that Eric is actually the investor in Andy’s drama series. Since Eric is holds part ownership in TVB, he has vested interest to drive up ratings for TVB. Eric also will ensure that his good friend, Andy, will be properly compensated for his work.

It is no wonder that Eric has been making the rounds in the media and discussing Andy’s return so openly. Regardless, Andy’s return to television certainly has many viewers in anticipation of seeing their beloved pop star grace the small screen again after 20 years!

Source: QQ.com

This article is written by Natalie for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I can’t wait to see Andy back on the small screen! It’s going to be so awesome. I hope they come up with a really good story line. None of where the main actor dies of a serious illness or something.

      1. Haha, if the likes of Andy, Tony, etc. come back, will Jin Yong let TVB touch his works again?

    1. The main actor’s girlfriend/wife will get in an accident and be in a coma.. and then she will wake up at the end with a happy ending.

      Oh, and the main actor will find out he was the long lost son of the rich businessman. blah blah blah..always the same type of plot for modern series…

    1. Even if Andy looks old now in person but he can still pair up with younger actresses like shu qi and others with no problem.. I think Idy Chan’s current outlook looks a bit too old and motherly to play romantic storyline with Andy who can still play romantic character in most of his movies..Also, not many young generations will be anticipated to watch two oldies dating too..

      1. Idy Chan is too busy and dedicated in doing charity than caring about how she looks and what’s going on in showbiz. I used to hope she would make herself look prettier because she is beautiful, but now I appreciate her for who she is.

  2. I’m not sure how the HK television industry works, but maybe Eric is offering a % of the profits? I know a lot of US actors take a big cut on their filming fee if they are offered a back end deal to make a percentage of the profits, which is usually better than how much their filming fee is.

    1. That can be the case, but I think IF Andy comes back it is out of friendship and gratefulness rather than money. I really hope that he will come back since it has been over 20+ years ever since he made a series. It would bring back so many fond memories. I hope that it will be an ancient series, but I think it may be a modern series instead because those are usually easier to make than ancient series are.

      1. I think if Andy really film for TVb, i bet each episode with Andy in will earn high audiences rate and probably more rating than Wayne in his series haha. PPl just watch it because Andy being the Super STar Icon..

      2. Andy and many other celebs came from TVB so if it were not for TVB, tbey would not be where they are today. TVB has a long history which is still an advantage over those new stations. THerefore, it would be a good thing for them to come back to help TVB in their time of need which is now..

  3. Let us not forget CTI has yet to produce ONE SINGLE series so why is the headline so dramatic? Ailing? TVB is hardly ailing. People ate still watching. ATV is ailing. TVB is doing fine except it is creatively ailing.

    I believe such headline is just to pressure poor Andy.

    1. Andy! Quick! Run to Jinyong, get permission and give us a proper Wuxia series!!!! Imagine all the guest stars who can fill all sort of roles.

      But you want real ratings killer? Get back Stephen Chow & Ng Man Tat (Where is he?! Alive? Dead?) & Sandra Ng and I bet even Eric will say “I can easily invite the Jade Emperor to film for TVB, but not Stephen Chow”

      1. Ng Man Tat filmed a mainland series with Myolie this year.
        I believe he’s in mainland digging gold.

      2. i only wannna watch Sandra Ng if she’s pairing with Stephen Chow.. the hillarious pairing ever.

      3. Speaking about Ng Man Tat, I remember reading 1 interview from Wan Pik Har, she said she felt cheated when filming her 1st bed scene because the director told her her co-star gonna be Andy but turned out to be Ng Man Tat.. oh man, I can imagine Man Tat’s saliva all over her haha.

      4. wuxia series!! i really miss a good wuxia serie of tvb for a long time,the last pair good wuxia from tvb that i have seen is twin of brothers and lethal weapon of love and passion. they should produce more good wuxia’s as before.

    2. Agreed.

      ATV is doing horrible with its zero ratings and now they’re facing backlash from their biased news reporting too.

      1. I’m not too familiar with Hong Kong politics so I’m not sure if I’m saying this correctly. Basically, some officials are trying to implement a patriotism course in the school systems, which sparked massive protests since they view it as too pro-China and they want to maintain their Hong Kong roots. ATV tried to classify the protestors as destructive and manipulated by Washington and London to put on these protests. Viewers are outraged at their biased reporting (since this is from a news program) and said that ATV is misleading the public about what is actually going on. 10,000 complaints soon became over 40,000. This was a few days after the Miss HK voting scandal where they received 700? complaints so that died down because this is now bringing in the most complaints.

        A little confusing, but here’s a good summary:

    3. Yeah, seriously. Some entertainment journalists seem very eager to write TVB’s obituary.

      I’d like to see CTI succeed but they’re the ones who are going to struggle to build viewership. Starting a television station from zero is a long uphill task.

    1. yeh,tony leung,louis ko,gallen lo,they all should go back to save tvb!!

  4. I read that when Andy visited Felix and Michael on the set of ‘Gun Metal Grey’, he’s going to cameo in it. But, later decided against it because he doesn’t want focus to go to him instead of the 2 leads.

    So, Andy willing to help out TVB is unsurprising. I think Eric will have a harder time convincing Chow Yun Fatt.

    1. Actually, no — it’s easier to convince Chow Yun Fat to return than Andy. Andy is pretty much only doing it because of Eric and also because he’s always had a good relationship with TVB. Chow Yun Fat on the other hand doesn’t have that close of a relationship with Eric — however he DOES still have a fondness for TVB that has never wavered after all these years. Not only does Chow Yun Fat still watch most of TVB’s series over the years, he also keeps very up to date on majority of the stuff going on with TVB, even though he left decades ago (not sure if you guys listen to his interviews, but whenever reporters ask him anything related to TVB, even the names of current artists and the series they were in, the answers he gives show that he has been keeping very current on TVB-related matters).

      Also, he’s constantly encouraging people to go back and film for TVB — for example: Chow Yun Fat was actually the one who told Felix Wong he should go back and film a series for TVB (no, Felix didn’t agree to return because his buddy Michael Miu asked…CYF was actually the one who ‘planted the seed’ with Felix)….

    2. Sorry, but just had to clarify the piece about Andy “almost” doing a cameo for GMG…here’s an excerpt from the summary I had written back when Michael Miu and Felix Wong did an interview on The Green Room back in November 2010:

      [The other big question that everyone wanted to know was whether Andy would ever go back to film another series for TVB. They said that Andy actually really wants to do a series, but realistically, it’s not going to happen because of his tremendously busy schedule — but he is open to doing cameos and such….in fact, he almost did a cameo for GMG — he had visited the set while they were filming and when he was in the TVB canteen chatting with Michael and Felix, they had to shoot the next scene…Andy kept sitting there and didn’t want to leave, so Michael asked him if he wanted to be in the scene…Andy said “sure” and continued to sit there….in the end, Michael and Felix decided not to let him do the scene because it would be wasted, since the focus would be on Andy (Michael said that even if Andy sat in a far corner with his back to the cameras, everyone would know it’s him, since he’s easily recognizable) — they jokingly said that they didn’t want Andy to steal their thunder so they kicked him out — plus he had already caused such a disruption on set already just by showing up (LOL!).]
      Source: http://llsmusings.blogspot.com/2010/11/green-room-vip-interview-with-michael_07.html

      1. Thanks for the clarification and the excepts. It refreshes my memory of the news. 😀

      2. Thanks! 😀 I would love to see the 5 Tigers work together again! It would be a dream come true.

      3. Gosh, everything is making me feel nostalgic again.. I really really miss the good old days. I wonder if TVB will ever be golden like they were back then??

    1. bring back leon lai ,alex man, aaron kwok, louise koo and ekin cheng. jacky cheung is interested in venturing tvb series too

      1. Just to clarify (cuz I just know I’m going to start seeing misleading headlines tomorrow)….Jacky never said he is interested in filming TVB series. The reporter was basically asking him whether he had heard about Andy returning to TVB and since he (Jacky) is also good friends with Eric, if he was asked, would he do it. He said that he doesn’t mind if the script is good, but since he’s never filmed TV series before (which is true…he’s a film actor, not a TV actor) he was concerned that he would hinder the production rather than help it…

        So no, Jacky is not “interested” in filming TVB series — he was merely replying to a cleverly worded question that TVB’s reporter asked him…

  5. They dont need to bring anyone back.
    Just improve on those scripts & stories & viewership will naturally go up!

    1. Not really, you can have a good script and story but if the actor/actress sucks big time, it will just be a waste of a good script and story. If you notice alot of their recent hugh hits are from experienced actors who has been in the industry 20 years or more, paired with good stories.

      1. Agree with Grace , good scripts are very important no matter how good is the actors !

  6. would love to c all them back still got to agree wth u grace.. main thing improve scripts and stories.. the rest wll naturally follow

  7. God help us all if the lead actress is one of the current so called fadan. They need a well respected veteran instead.

    1. Honestly, I agree. I would be pretty annoyed if Andy returned and the acting of his co-stars ruined a potentially good drama series.

  8. Carina Lau or Anita Yuen. Is there another former TVB turned movie actress?

  9. instead of wuxia series…tvb should do like what Li Guo Li and Karen Tsoi did for CEI company…get the rights for computer games and blast it to the max with crunchier plot and state-of-the-art CGI…Xuanyuan Sword was a success!

    1. But is that game even popular in HK? The peeps here in HK are living in their own world.

  10. I am not seeing how Andy returning to do one serie would “save” the company. Yes ratings might be up but that would only be for a few months. I mean unless TVB can work their magic, open their wallet and revamp the way they work artist to death, I don’t see any big names that would go back to filming for TVB. I doubt it will do much but cause a buzz for a few months and then fizzle away.

    1. As someone mentioned above, I don’t think TVB needs “saving” per se. I think the big deal about bringing these top stars back is more a strategic business decision to assure investors and stakeholders including the public, that TVB will always be the biggest power player in HK TV and that it is established and has great influence on the entertainment industry as a whole.

      Of course one series may bring higher ratings, but it symbolically can restore faith in TVB and gain an edge over CTI. Not to mention, the sentimental and nostalgic value of TVB vs a ‘newcomer’ like CTI. Remembering that a large market for TVB is the “see lai”/housewives, they are more likely to value sentimental and familiarity over just pure experimentation or creativity (which is probably why ratings for TVB’s more recent experimental and moralistic dramas have suffered poor ratings, though poor execution may have also played a part in that).

      To be honest, I’ve never been crazy over Andy Lau but if he does come back, I’m excited to see what he brings to the table since he’s so experienced and polished.

  11. You know who is more impossible than Stephen Chow?

    Tony Leung Chiu Wai That to me is a never. I never see Tony Leung Chiu Wai back at TVB for even a walk on role.

    1. I remember how Tony was mistreated by TVB and was over worked by them back then.. I heard that they made him work 20 hours a day with no break which made him really tired… He always lost sleep and was always late for work which resulted in him getting in to arguments with his co stars…

      1. Everybody worked 20 hours, not just Tony. I remember Tony purposely came very very late to the set. Diva you know? But for a just cause.

    2. I don’t know why so many renowned artistes do hate TVB. In fact, without TVB’s training and acting opportunities, they would never shine, such as Stephen Chow Sing Chi, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Seon Lau Ching Wan, etc.

  12. For the life of me I still fail to understand how the return of Andy Lau to the small screen would resuscitate the whole HK enterntainment industry that is in life support right now as China pretty much dominates everything excepts in tabloid reporting.

    Also, foreign audience come to understand HK through its movies, not TVB which is an interantional laughing stock that passes beauty pageant bimbos as actresses.

    1. You underestimate the power and influence of TVB. TVB penetrates many Asian countries and whenever there is chinese in the place, there will be TVB series. I remember Stefan Wong said he grew up watching TVB series and Stefan grew up in France.

      1. that’s true. Actually TVB is really popular among Asian people in general. Like me I’m born and raised in Norway, my family is etnic Vietnamese, but i also grew up watching TVB series.

    2. Yeah, I don’t quite get it either, what the return of Andy Lau is supposed to accomplish. IMO what’s ailing TVB is a lack of fresh ideas and good scripts, and maybe the ossification of their production values, not so much a lack of actors. If the script is bad, then Andy Lau returning to film a TVB drama is akin to putting shiny giftwrap on a lousy product.

      Also, I’m assuming Andy Lau’s proposed return would be a one-off thing — his series may garner high buzz and ratings but he can’t help with future TVB series. It’s not going to help TVB with its lack of a medium/long-term strategy when it comes to grooming new talent and retaining old talent.

  13. TVB why are u so desperate? Hire more brilliant scripwriters and producers instead.

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