TVB Staff Are Still Working Overtime Despite Call for Reform

More than a week ago, TVB Executive Chairman Norman Leung (梁乃鵬) announced that TVB will be cultivating a strong “family culture”, by capping filming hours so artists can have sufficient rest. However, some workers revealed that not only are they still working overtime, there are still some artists who are still surviving on three hours of sleep.

Norman Leung issued an official memo to all staff. It was stipulated that studio filming should not exceed ten hours at a time and outdoor shooting should not exceed twelve hours.

Although the initiative has been implemented for more than ten days, it is only practiced in theory.  Currently, TVB is simultaneously filming five dramas at the same time. A look at the notice for Come Home Love <愛.回家> indicated a filming of thirteen hours.

Nancy Wu (胡定欣) who is currently busy filming for Midas <點金勝手> said, “Every series has different working conditions. If the filming goes according to the filming schedule, I will surely have seven hours of rest. I believe if there are new rules, the people in the company will comply.”

Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) who is presently filming for  Time for Marriage <男大當婚> said filming did not go into overtime as filming went smoothly.

Roger Kwok (郭晉安) and Kristal Tin (田蕊妮) who are currently filming The Good and The Bad <忠奸人> claimed that although there are occasions when they have insufficient rest, the overall hours have normalized and the schedule is acceptable.

Management’s Response

TVB Deputy Director of External Affairs, Tsang Sing Ming (曾醒明), responded to claims that TVB work hours have not improved. Tsang said, “Because adjustments need to be done for some schedules and personnel, it takes time to arrange. Moreover, the working method has been used for so long so we need to implement (the new system) one step at a time.”


This article is written by Karen for

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  1. Its was said aslong as producers approve for for hrs of work it will go on

  2. i am not against about actor and actress need to work long hours…so what if actor and actress work long hours…they earn so much on just a few hour show in mall! But I suggest and agree to raise the wage for those 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th…line actor/actress so that they can make enough for living!

    1. You are mistaken, Funn. It will be implemented in 3102.

      1. 3102 earth already gone….no sun how do tvb shooting? hahaha…

  3. Well change does not come overnight, even if I did believe TVB’ Mr. Leung

  4. A big plan like this of course needs time, like @advo just said, change does not come overnight. Even to other large companies or corporations, it is still the same, it needs time. The production will need to re-arrange all their schedules to accommodate each other, you think it is like a normal company, 9am-5pm, where everyone leaves at that time.

  5. They want less hours and get paid more? Sounds like a labor union demand. And they call themselves professional actors?

    If the compensation offers on the contract is too low, actors have the choice not to sign and go somewhere else, no? So why did they sign anyway, and then complain about it? Many people can make ridiculously lots of money in entertainment business, while some others starve everyday. This happens every where, not only in HK.

    Hollywood day time soap opera for example, they are known for not making as much as Hollywood movie stars, not even can match TV Series actors. New comers make $700 – $1,000/episode. If they are lucky, they appear in many episodes, if not, one episode then gone.

    1. If the compensation offers on the contract is too low, actors have the choice not to sign and go somewhere else, no?

      No. That’s the problem when TVB has a monopoly. As for the new stations, I’ll wait and see how much that will really affect the industry.

      True, the entertainment industry has a pretty lopsided income distribution everywhere, the problem is again TVB’s monopoly is keeping conditions uncompetitive.

      Soap opera actors also do not generate the same amount of revenue as movie or even primetime actors do. Hence, their wages are adjusted for this. In the past when soaps where peaking, their actors did earn much more than in today’s climate where their production budgets are cut from year to year to reflect the declining ratings for soaps.

    2. You DO realize that asking for more rest time is part of being a professional right? In which line of work do you have a “professional” working for 20+ hours a day for months and months at a time? Without sufficient time of sleep they are unable to offer their best performance.

      Comparing Hollywood soap with TVB is just silly. There’s a lot more choices in Hollywood to make it big or make a steady income. In HK, Tvb is your only choice and it all depends how well you play your cards with the upper management.

      1. There are alot of people out there who work 20+ hours a day, but couldn’t complain much. Accounting during peak season, lawyers handling big cases, investment bankers.etc. they all have choice to work less hours, and of course that means less compatetive

      2. @Doremi123: Yes, there are alot of people out there who work 20+ hours a day, but the key is that those people do it TEMPORARILY — meaning that they only work such hours for a short period of time, like let’s say for a project or something. That’s not the case at TVB….with TVB, we are talking about working 24-48 hour+ shifts with no to little rest on a consistent basis, over a long period of time. It’s actually ‘the norm’ rather than ‘the exception’ at TVB — THAT’S the reason why the artists are complaining. And if the artists happen to fall sick? Well too bad — they’re expected to go into work anyway (unless they’re on their deathbeds that is). And all of this for pennies on the dollar, especially if you’re a 3rd/4th/5th tier artist?

        Oh and no, they don’t have a ‘choice’ to work less hours — the only ones who have a ‘choice’ are those who aren’t bound by contract (i.e. the ‘outsiders’ they invite back to film series for them) or the ones who have ‘connections’ or people watching over them. Of course, you can always ‘disobey’ and refuse to work the hours — but then don’t complain if you get ‘dropped’ from the production or get ‘put in the freezer’ for an indefinite amount of time (some ‘disobedient’ artists have gone through periods where they didn’t have any work for 6 months straight). Ok, let’s say that worst case scenario is that these artists quit…where else can they go? Movie industry? Um, not without connections. ATV? Hell no. I-cable or NowTV? Possibly, but since they don’t film series, what’s the point of actors/actresses going there? Mainland? Maybe — depends on who you are. Of course, the other option is to become a stage actor/actress (quite a few artists have taken this route) — but unfortunately, that path isn’t for everyone. Retire from the industry? Definite possibility, though probably worse case option.

  6. As a TVB stockholder, I like how TVB management handles this. Stick to the low pay and overtime schedules. Hehe more money for me.

    1. And “promising” change… very good job mr. Tsang!
      Well done, maybe I will increase your salary, hehe.

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