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Producer Lee Tim Sing Blasts Tvb For Airing “Bottled Passion” In ‘Cannon Fodder’ Timeslot

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#1 llwy12

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:33 AM

Producer Lee Tim Sing blasts TVB for airing “Bottled Passion” in ‘cannon fodder’ timeslot

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Hong Kong

Source: Oriental Daily

Translation: llwy12@ http://asianfanatics.net

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** Note: Only the part of the article related to Lee Tim Sing was translated**

With all the changes that TVB has been going through recently, the internal politics have been a mess and now, even elders who’ve always been ‘ratings guarantees’ are falling victim to the internal unrest.

Golden producer Lee Tim Sing (Tim Gor), who contributed greatly to TVB’s success for several decades, invited singer/actress Niki Chow to return to TVB last year to film the series “Bottled Passion” with actor Raymond Wong. Around the time of last year’s Sales Presentation, the plan was to arrange for the series to air during October’s ‘golden’ timeslot. Unfortunately, due to internal politics, “Bottled Passion” was moved to the December ‘cannon fodder’ timeslot and replaced instead with Liza Wang and the three gods’ anniversary series “Super Snoops”.

Currently in its finale week, the storyline for “Bottled Passion” revolves around a love story, which seems to be the perfect fit for TVB’s housewife audience’s tastes compared with the cannibalism-themed series “When Heaven Burns”, which is also in its finale week. However, TVB has arranged for the finale of “When Heaven Burns” to air on Sunday (January 1st), pushing “Bottled Passion”s finale to Monday, Jan 2nd (the first time that a TVB series has aired its finale on a Monday). This further added fuel to an already burning fire. It is rumored that because Tim Gor is planning to retire next year, someone is seizing upon the opportunity to give him the ‘cold shoulder’. Despite his previous accomplishments, including last year’s highly rated anniversary series “No Regrets”, Tim Gor was not given any face, causing his newest series to become ‘high quality cannon fodder’!

Our reporter contacted Tim Gor for clarification. When the issue of his series being placed in a cannon fodder timeslot was brought up, a usually mellow Tim Gor became upset, angrily blasting TVB: “Of course there will be someone sacrificed in the PK timeslot! [TN: 'PK' in this context represents a Cantonese curse word]. Several years ago, my series “A Fistful of Stances” was the same way – whether there is a particular motive to it, I really don’t know! It’s not worth getting upset over anymore – besides, I’m not the first one treated this way – cannon fodder or not, doesn’t matter anymore!” Tim Gor expressed that TVB’s action of moving “Bottled Passion” to such a timeslot was hugely discouraging to the cast and crew and he has been trying his best to bring the morale back up. He stated: “I can’t lie – the ratings truly aren’t that great. The worst part is that the series has good word of mouth….the screenwriting team is definitely upset. Aiye! During the holidays, there are at least 600,000 to 700,000 people who leave town for travel, so of course they won’t be sitting in front of their TVs watching the series. If the series was placed in the October timeslot as originally planned, the ratings would be at least 2 points higher, if not more! But I’m used to it already!”

When the series was originally taken out of the October timeslot, Tim Gor had angrily gone up to the drama department to inquire as to the reason: “I admit that the series [Bottled Passion] is not a ‘star-studded’ production, as the main leads are Niki and Raymond. But Niki has truly shown great improvement in her acting, Raymond is a perfect fit for the role, and Joel [Chan] did a good job as anticipated. I put a lot of heart into coming up with this story and the plot was carefully arranged. When I first heard about the series airing in the October timeslot, I thought to myself that it would surely succeed. Unexpectedly though, the drama department pulled the series out of that timeslot last minute – when I asked why, they said it was because of a ‘particular reason’ and even apologized to me!”

Asked about plans to retire, Tim Gor replied that the final decision will be made at the end of next year: “At the end of next year, I will be 65 years old. The company’s retirement age is 60 years, so I have already exceeded by 5 years – it is enough! I still have the heart for it, but not the strength. My colleagues sometimes see me limping when I’m walking, so I already know that health-wise, it’s taking a toll on me!”

#2 iMAGiNATi0NS

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:26 AM

i totally understand Tim Gor! "Bottled Passion" is actually a really good series, so it definitely deserved a better time slot. i don't see why TVB would decide to air "Super Snoops" over "Bottled Passion" during that golden time slot. i like Fook Look Sau, but "Super Snoops" was a random-ish series. i'm sure if "Bottled Passion" was aired during october, it would've had ratings of at least 30 points. also, the plot is so interesting.

but it's too late now...don't wry Tim Gor! there are still ppl who are able and love to watch "Bottled Passion"! it's a great series!

#3 anonymoushehe

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:44 AM

Poor Tim Gor.. I definitely think Bottled Passion would have gotten much better ratings than Super Snoops if it had been aired in that time slot. But at least BP is getting good feedback from the audience ^^ I personally think BP is better than a lot of the series aired this ("last"?) year. Can't wait for the finale :D

#4 kailie

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:52 AM

I've been enjoying my daily doses of the tv drama. As a fan of the show, I cheer you on Tim Gor. It's definitely one of the series I actually would take $ out buy the DVD to add to my HK drama collection. :thumbsup

#5 spikedpunch

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 06:23 AM

Is it a coincidence that Super Snoops, which replaced BP in the original October timeslot, has the ultimate TVB 'Ah Jeh', Liza Wang in it? <_<

#6 llwy12

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:10 AM

Poor Tim Gor.. I definitely think Bottled Passion would have gotten much better ratings than Super Snoops if it had been aired in that time slot. But at least BP is getting good feedback from the audience ^^ I personally think BP is better than a lot of the series aired this ("last"?) year. Can't wait for the finale :D


Agreed! "Bottled Passion" is definity a great series -- it's actually one of the few TVB series from this entire decade (not just this year) that I actually liked. For TVB to push the series aside in favor of that dumb anniversary series "Super Snoops" (which was so stupid, I felt like I lost brain cells just watching the first episode) is truly pathetic!! If they would have kept BP in the original October timeslot instead of in the cannon fodder December timeslot, its ratings would probably not have suffered so badly (though to be honest, I really don't care anymore at this point because everyone knows that HK TV ratings mean absolutely nothing!).

The sad thing is, Tim Gor has been with TVB for ages (he started with them in the late 60s when the company itself started and has worked in various positions at TVB since then) -- and he was responsible for some of the past 3-4 years' most acclaimed series (AFOS, RB, NR, etc.)...not to mention his contributions to TVB the past 40 years.....yet instead of giving him some respect, they treat him like this! If what the article says is true and TVB is doing this because Tim Gor is retiring next year (for health reasons) and so probably refused to renew his contract with them, then that’s truly shameful of them!

On a related note....

It’s probably not a good idea for TVB to keep pissing off their producers and artists because soon, they’re not going to have anyone left! Already, TVB will be losing 2 "golden producers" next year with the departure of Lau Kar Ho and Mui Siu Ching, both of whom are leaving TVB and going to nowTV in early 2012. Both of them have been with TVB since the 1980s and have produced numerous highly rated and highly acclaimed series...

In terms of artists, look at how many TVB lost in the last 2 years alone: Bowie Lam, Wong Hei, Steven Ma, Joe Ma, Charmaine Sheh, Bernice Liu, etc. (plus a whole bunch of others who will only sign per series contracts)...by the way, it was just announced that 20 or so former TVB artists are joining CTI (Ricky Wong's company) -- these include: Frankie Lam, John Chiang, Wilson Tsui, Jerry Lamb (currently ATV), Yu Mo Lian, Catherine Chow, Benji and Lesley Chiang (well, they aren't exactly TVB artists, but their father Paul Chun is), etc.

With so many key players leaving TVB, you would think that they would 'wake up' and start doing something to change their stupid politics....but I guess not...they probably don't even care as long as they continue to make tons of money….

#7 &&itslove`

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:54 AM

what's with tvb and their horrible management causing all talent workers to either quit or blablabla with their contract. goshh, no wonder i can never finish a tvb series these days. plots are meh and people are meh as well

#8 lazzieboi

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 12:56 PM

now even tim gor is angry on tvb.. tim gor help tvb alot and he produced many good series and now tvb know he is retiring so no use of him now so don't give face to tim gor.. tvb is a b*tch.

#9 donkeykong

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:15 PM

Fook Luk Sau.. and Liza Wang gets on my nerves.... yes its such a random production. No substance... seriously would you rather watch a romantic drama with a great and emotional storyline and good acting OR some 3 ugly boys cross-dressing and making ppl laugh at the stupid things they do.

Lucky <Bottled Passion> received a lot of praises despite low ratings. Hope Tim Gor won't renew contract! If he does decides to continue working, go work for NOW - prolly better off there.

#10 llwy12

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:00 PM

Is it a coincidence that Super Snoops, which replaced BP in the original October timeslot, has the ultimate TVB 'Ah Jeh', Liza Wang in it? <_<


At first, when I found out that Super Snoops was airing as an anniversary series in October, I was scratching my head trying to figure out how such a ridiculously stupid series that doesn't even deserve the 'anniversary series' title ended up in that timeslot. Now, it makes complete sense! The reasoning is actually quite simple: 1) TVB was trying to promote the 3 gods and also generate hype for their movie and 2) once again, TVB gave in to their 'fear' of Liza Wang (or the management probably just gave in to her demands to get her off their backs). Too bad that Tim Gor ended up being the 'sacrificial lamb'.....

Well, seeing that most of the good producers are leaving or have left TVB, there are only 2 producers left whose series I'm willing to watch -- if both of them leave as well, then that's it -- it's back to only 'old' series for me...

#11 tamaya

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:11 PM

instead of in the cannon fodder December timeslot, its ratings would probably not have suffered so badly (though to be honest, I really don't care anymore at this point because everyone knows that HK TV ratings mean absolutely nothing!).


The bolded sentiment could have come right out of Producer Leung Choi Yuen's mouth and Steven Ma's, the latter netizen dubbed the "king of cannon fodder series timeslots". What first line actor has had his series broadcasted 5 years in a row in such dismal timeslots? Maybe 6 years in a row if his Daddy Good Deeds also broadcasts in unfavorable timeslot (if not release overseas/warehoused) since he and Producer Miu are leaving tvb. With Steven gone, TVB now has the critical problem of deciding whose series can stabilize the ratings for cannon fodder timeslot like Steven's can.

2007 Brink of Law《突围行动》 2007.01.08
2008 The Gentle Crackdown II 《秀才爱上兵》Jan.21 CNY
2009 Sweetness in the salt《碧血盐枭》premiere AOD Jan.05; aired tvb June 8 after RB’s success.
2009-2010 The watchdog’s watch《老友狗狗》Dec 28 2009 Xmas-NY timeslot
2010 Cupid Stupid 《恋爱星求人》premiere AOD Jan.25; overseas release
2010 The Ghost Writer《蒲松龄》June 7 WC
2010-2011 Links to Temptation 《诱情转驳》Dec 13 Xmas-NY timeslot
2011 7 Days in Life《隔离七日情》Jan.24 CNY

HK TV ratings may mean absolutely nothing to you but know that these very ratings can change the status and wealth of a producer and an artiste within the company and in the entertainment world. High ratings can dramatically increase their popularity among advertisers, hence their clout with tvb management to make certain demands. TVB is a bottom line profit driven company; their mission is to produce highly rated series, good artistic series are incidental, hence the recycling of...everything.

That being said, despite Niki's poor performance, I am enjoying Bottled Passion very much so especially Raymond Wong's, Elaine Yiu's and Rebecca Chan's performances.

Edited by tamaya, 16 January 2012 - 11:10 PM.


#12 llwy12

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

HK TV ratings may mean absolutely nothing to you but know that these very ratings can change the status and wealth of a producer and an artiste within the company and in the entertainment world. High ratings can dramatically increase their popularity among advertisers, hence their clout with tvb management to make certain demands. TVB is a bottom line profit driven company; their mission is to produce highly rated series, good artistic series are incidental, hence the recycling of...everything.


Very true...and I absolutely agree with you! In any other territory where there are multiple TV stations and a variety of programs competing for ratings, then yes, that scenario is ideal and healthy -- the producers and artists who generate the highest ratings deserve the clout. But in a territory like HK, where only 1 TV station dominates and controls the fate of majority of the entertainment industry's artists, the ratings become meaningless because it becomes merely a political game. With TVB's monopoly over the TV industry, the other stations are already not included in the fight for ratings, so it's pretty much a 'battle' between TVB's own series -- and given how corrupt TVB's management is and how much they like to play favorites, they could easily 'favor' one series over another by sticking series they don't like into crappy timeslots, since they know for sure the ratings will suck. So in a sense, they are controlling their advertisers (and the entire market to some extent) by indirectly pushing them towards the series and artists that they favor. It's a vicious cycle that can't be changed because it is already so embedded into HK culture (and it's part of the reason why TVB is such an effective promotional machine...)

That's the frustrating thing about being a TV actor / actress / producer / screenwriter, etc. in HK -- which is also why so many people (those who understand the dynamics, that is) seek to get out of the HK TV industry completely....

#13 selliesellie

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:50 PM

Feel bad for Tim Gor. A golden and greatly made series such as Bottled Passion would've been more suitable for the anniversary series in October instead of Super Snoops. TVB is promoting the 3 Gods and Liza too much.

#14 tamaya

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 05:14 PM

and given how corrupt TVB's management is and how much they like to play favorites, they could easily 'favor' one series over another by sticking series they don't like into crappy timeslots, since they know for sure the ratings will suck. So in a sense, they are controlling their advertisers (and the entire market to some extent) by indirectly pushing them towards the series and artists that they favor. It's a vicious cycle that can't be changed because it is already so embedded into HK culture (and it's part of the reason why TVB is such an effective promotional machine...)


llwy12, You took the words out of my mouth. :worship

#15 Epic

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 08:45 PM

At first, when I found out that Super Snoops was airing as an anniversary series in October, I was scratching my head trying to figure out how such a ridiculously stupid series that doesn't even deserve the 'anniversary series' title ended up in that timeslot. Now, it makes complete sense! The reasoning is actually quite simple: 1) TVB was trying to promote the 3 gods and also generate hype for their movie and 2) once again, TVB gave in to their 'fear' of Liza Wang (or the management probably just gave in to her demands to get her off their backs). Too bad that Tim Gor ended up being the 'sacrificial lamb'.....

Well, seeing that most of the good producers are leaving or have left TVB, there are only 2 producers left whose series I'm willing to watch -- if both of them leave as well, then that's it -- it's back to only 'old' series for me...


I recalled that Jack Wu mentioned in an article that he thought the series would be aired in October before TVB anniversary but was a bit suprise that the series got aired in December instead. It is indeed sad and a loss that the series didn't receive a better slot and their chance to showcase to HK audience and that Tim Gor and his peeps seem to be the sacrificial lamb.

I guess low ratings or what is consider substantial in the rating system doesn't always implied the quality of the drama and doesn't mean it's less enjoyable. This series is one of best series I've seen in the past 10 years (the best for 2011) or so and probably one of the most memorable one for me.

#16 woaini1314

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 10:23 PM

TVB is too corupt. The series and actors/actresses are getting worse although there are many young talents they only use "favoured" ones who are often BAD and the storylines are boring. The problem is TVB doesn't have competiton. Without competition no improvement. Why should they invest more? They are the only channel where HK people watch their dramas. ATV? Nobody is watching it. They are a monopoly. That's the problem.

#17 mashimaroluff

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:49 PM

Bottle Passion is a really great series. It has even motivate me to watch more TVB series, seeing as my brother is a tvb addict and i need to brush up my Cantonese skills.
The last tvb series i stomached before bp is that series with myolie wu, bosco wong and liza wang... revolve around liza being myolie's mother in law. How long ago was that series?

I really hope this is not the end of good series for tvb.
btw, can any one recommend me some good tvb series? good or old is fine too

#18 llwy12

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

One small bit of good news.....it looks like the good word of mouth for BP is starting to pay off because the ratings increased a little this week....though the average ratings are still at around 28 points (which is still considered low), Monday and Tuesday's episodes actually peaked at 30 points...still not enough to save the overall average ratings for the entire series, but at least its putting up a damn good fight given the crappy timeslot! .

#19 JJ1996

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

this is such a good film, i though it would have really high viewing ratings til i found out Decemeber isnt a good month ><

i could have watched this in October if it was released -_-
thats so unfair for Tim Gor, he's retiring soon and also why would you air Super Snoops instead??? O_o


since Niki is back after being gone for 2 years for Tim Gor to film this series, i really wanted it to have high ratngs.....

im personally not a big fan of period dramas but for some reason i was really addicted to this one

i started watching from episode 4, after seeing the first episode i had to finish all four ^^