Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jacky Cheung Concert Tour - U.S. Shows - ticket information!


Finally – ticket information for Jacky's U.S. shows was just announced!  For those who can read Chinese, below are the original posts from iemshowplace's (concert organizer) Facebook page.  There are some special instructions on here so make sure you read it carefully.  

For the benefit of those who may not be able to read Chinese, I went ahead and translated (note that the posts for both the Connecticut and Las Vegas shows have the exact same information on them, with the only difference being the dates and times).

Translation:

Jacky Cheung – A Classic Tour – Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

IEMshowplace Facebook fans can buy tickets on 12/7/17 – one day ahead of official ticket release.  Please be aware of the following:

1.       A limited amount of tickets will go on sale starting 12/7/2017 (Thursday) from 12:00noon to 11:59pmand will end once all tickets have been sold.  In order to purchase tickets, you will need to use your Facebook account to log in to the ticket sales website.  The website for presale will be announced on 12/7/2017 at 11:59am on Facebook.

2.       Those who purchase tickets online will not be able to choose their seats.   The tickets will be sold on a "first come first served" basis.  Once you indicate the which level of tickets you want, the system will automatically choose the seats starting from the middle inner seats in that ticket bracket and expand out from there to both sides.  If your credit card fails to go through, then you will need to wait until the system purges your information before placing another order

3.       Please note:  After your online order successfully goes through, all sales are final – no refund or exchange will be allowed.  














Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jacky’s Concert: Official Announcement!

** Sorry guys -- looks like this post got all warped up initially...I guess that's what happens when I try to do a rush post from my phone!  I fixed the post so it should be good now.**


It's here!!!!

Official announcement for U.S. shows on Universal's Facebook page! In terms of where/how to buy tickets, the last sentence says "details will be announced in next couple days"



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

***UPDATED***Jacky Concert News - North America tour dates!!!

**UPDATED 11/30/17**

Ok, so I have updated information.  I actually called the concert organizers (Universal) and was able to get confirmed information from them.  Jacky will indeed be doing 3 shows in Connecticut and 1 show (so far) in Las Vegas – the dates below are also accurate ( I didn’t ask about Canada, since I live in the U.S., so my apologies to Canadian fans).  The lady I spoke with said that tickets have not officially gone on sale yet.  I told her that I know of people who claim to already have bought tickets and she said she knows, as there were a bunch of people who somehow were able to get into their website earlier and buy tickets even though they were not officially on sale (perhaps website was hacked?)…as soon as they found out about this, they shut everything down, which is why there is no information about Jacky’s concert on their website (iemshowplace.com).  The tickets don’t officially go on sale until next week – the exact date and time will be announced on their Facebook page in the next couple of days.

Also, in terms of prices, the most expensive tickets range between $468 to $488 USD – this is important to know because if anyone tries to sell you tickets for more than that price (not including handling charges of course), most likely they are scalpers.  Just wanted to make everyone aware so fellow fans don’t get jipped out of their hard earned money.

I’ll keep posting updates as I find out more info.


**UPDATED 11/29/17**

There is finally word on the show dates for the North America (USA / Canada) leg of Jacky's concert tour!  I got word from a friend that the show dates for U.S. and Canada are tentatively scheduled for the following:

Las Vegas:  2/17/18 at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Connecticut  2/2/18 through 2/4/18 at Mohegan Sun Arena

Vancouver, Canada:  2/27/18 at Rogers Arena

**

From what I understand, the above dates are tentative and supposedly additional dates are being finalized.  I checked UMG's official concert tour web page and none of the above dates are posted yet -- not sure if they are behind on posting or the dates haven't been confirmed yet.  I haven't heard any official announcements from Universal or Jacky's fan club yet so of course take this with a grain of salt.

In terms of ticket information, I've seen some websites that supposedly are selling tickets, but not sure if I believe the legitimacy of those.  I checked the website that was listed on the Las Vegas poster (yes, there is a poster for the Las Vegas one already...though real or fake I don't know) where supposedly tickets were being sold, but when I pulled up the site, Jacky's concert isn't even listed.  My friend said that his friend told him he bought tickets already but again, not sure how true that is.  I checked MGM Grand's website where it lists upcoming shows all the way out through February and so far nothing there either.

I will definitely post further if I hear anything -- for now though, this is all I've got.  If anyone else hears anything, feel free to give me a holler in the comments!

Friday, November 24, 2017

TVB 50th Anniversary Gala – My Thoughts

With this year being TVB’s 50th anniversary, I decided to tune in to their Anniversary Gala celebration that took place on November 19th (this past weekend) just to see if they would do anything “special” to celebrate such a significant milestone.  Most people know that I’ve been following TVB since the 80s era and back then (as well as throughout the 90s), the anniversary gala each year was truly a “grand” event that I always looked forward to watching – it was absolutely a glamorous affair where all the stars would come out and give us audiences a truly entertaining and memorable show.  Nowadays, things are obviously different – the anniversary gala has ceased to be a “grand” affair for at least a decade now and every year, it seems like TVB is merely “going through the motions,” haphazardly throwing something together just because they have to (after all, being HK’s main free-to-air TV station, they can’t “not” celebrate their own birthday, as it would make them look really bad).  I’ve continued to watch the anniversary galas the past couple years, even though most of them have been horrible – I do so mostly out of curiosity to see whether, for once, TVB will make a decent gala show…unfortunately, each year, I am hugely disappointed, as the show gets worse and worse each year, to the point that I wonder why I even bother watching.  Though I knew better than to have any type of expectations for a TVB program, I still went into the 50th anniversary gala hoping that perhaps this time, with it being such a special occasion, TVB won’t let me down.  Looks like this was wishful thinking on my part – while the show overall was heaps better than last year’s gala (which I don’t consider a compliment since last year’s gala was the worst one ever, both in terms of ratings and content), overall, it was still disappointing in that the show was pretty much “same old same old” as previous years in terms of being lackluster, boring, and hugely disorganized.   Writing this post up now, several days after the gala aired, I honestly can’t remember much of the event, which is already a sign that the show was not memorable.  This is especially significant given the fact that I am able to vividly remember almost all of the past galas that took place back in the 80s and 90s even though it has been years since I last watched those shows, yet I can barely remember any of the galas from the past 15 years.  It’s pretty sad and I guess in a way, it shows how little I care about TVB nowadays compared to the past. 

The only 2 things I remember from this year’s anniversary gala were also the 2 best segments of the entire show and in the spirit of giving credit where it’s due, I will give TVB a rare pat on the back for both these segments (don’t get used to it though, lol).  The first segment I thought was done well this year was, surprisingly, the anniversary gala skit – this time around, the skit was actually kind of funny (I have no problems admitting that I got a few laughs out of watching certain artists make fools of themselves):  Wayne actually made me laugh when he resurrected his classic imitation of Roman Tam, I chuckled when Raymond Cho imitated Wayne, and yes, FAMA was hilarious with their imitations of Dodo Cheng and Eric Tsang (and watching Eric “beat them up” afterwards was funny too, lol).  Of course, when I compare this year’s skit to the “classic” ones from the older anniversary galas, it absolutely pales in comparisons – but taken by itself, there was obviously some thought and effort put into the skit this year and for that, I will give TVB some brownie points.

For me though, the biggest highlight of the entire show was the “Hidden Heroes” segment where TVB paid tribute to all the “green leaf” (supporting) artists who have worked for them over the years.  This segment was technically in two parts – the first part consisted of Fook Luk Sau (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) dressing up as comic book super heroes (Batman, Wonder Woman, and I can’t remember who the third one was) to battle 3 “enemy villains” played by veteran green leaf artists Law Lok Lam, Jimmy Au, and Lau Kong.  To be honest, the “fake battle” was kind of cheesy and if it weren’t for the 3 veterans, I probably would’ve stopped watching the segment altogether, but I’m glad I stuck with it because part two was truly AWESOME!  After the corny battle scene, FLS announced that there was actually more and when they turned around, all of the “green leaf” artists were standing on stage (the ones who attended the gala of course).  The first row of artists were specially chosen to represent the various types of “supporting” roles that we see often in TVB series and each of them were formally introduced as well as got the chance to say a few words to the audience.  I loved this segment and actually got a little teary-eyed seeing so many wonderful supporting actors / actresses up there finally getting the “5 minutes of fame” they deserve.  For once, TVB actually did the right thing by giving these unsung heroes (the true pillars of all TVB series) the credit they deserve and even though it still wasn’t enough time in my opinion (take parts one and two together and it was only about 15 minutes max), it’s already a huge improvement considering these artists usually get no recognition at all in past galas.  Again, to give credit where it’s due, kudos to TVB for thinking about the “green leaf” artists this time around and for putting together a segment that was truly memorable as well as fitting of a 50th anniversary celebration (enjoy the praise while it lasts TVB because it’s rare for me to give any nowadays….).

Below I’ve included a link to part two of the “green leaf” artists tribute (on Youtube) as well as a brief “write-up” that HK01 did on the segment.  I hope you enjoy the segment as much as I did! 


One last note -- I’ve also done tributes to green leaf artists on my blog in the past and I honestly hope that other bloggers who follow the HK entertainment industry will do the same.  There is never enough recognition or credit given to supporting artists (mainstream media cares mostly about the lead/popular artists and/or artists who are controversial and constantly put themselves in the line of media fire), so whenever I see tributes of this sort to these “unsung heroes,” I have no problem heaping on the praise.  It’s a small token of my appreciation and gratitude for these artists’ unwavering dedication and efforts at making HK entertainment still worth following!

Video source: HK01 article


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NEWS update: ATV to make a comeback in 2018

It has been more than a year since ATV lost their free-to-air TV license and officially closed up shop.  From the moment they closed, there were already rumors that they would “come back” some day – one rumor was that they were going to submit an application for a license again while another was that they were going to “change format” and return in a different capacity.   Up until this point, there was never much merit to the rumors, especially since majority of what was being told to the public was coming from the mouth of ATV’s former chairman Nick Ip Kar Bo (who already proved himself to be a weak puppy through his constant regurgitation of whatever ridiculous assertions that ATV’s higher ups at the time had him relay).  Even up until last week, when Nick Ip attended an event for Creation TV (the Christian television channel that he has officially joined as chairman), he was still talking about the possibility of ATV returning.  While I still don’t give Nick Ip’s words much merit (since he has a bad reputation in my book), there is actually some truth to the rumors this time in that there is now official confirmation that ATV is returning, albeit Nick Ip isn’t really involved.

I had actually read about ATV possibly making a comeback in a few news articles last week, but at the time, didn’t have the details.  Now I have more info so I wanted to get this blog post out there to share it.   The latest issue of Mingpao Weekly magazine (published this past weekend) had an article that spells out some of the details, including an interview with the person who will be the new ATV chairman.

My two cents:  Personally, I’m not sure how well ATV will fare coming back as a web channel given all the competition in this arena as of late (in addition to TVB, who officially entered the web channel arena last year with myTV Super, there’s also ViuTV, which has their own web streaming platform, and also “outsiders” such as Fox Asia and Netflix, plus the plethora of production companies that have been making web series and putting them on various streaming platforms such as Youtube).  To me, if ATV wants to make a successful comeback, the first thing they need to do is change their name….keeping the same name will conjure up memories of the old ATV and with the horribly damaged reputation that station had, it will be harder for HK audiences to accept them without blemish.  For right now, I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach, as there hasn’t been a whole lot revealed yet in terms of artists and also programming / content – both of which we all know are critical to success.  Since the “launch” is tentatively scheduled for some time in January, I’m pretty sure we will hear more details come out in the next two months.

**

Below is the article along with a brief summary of the main points from the original article (note that this is NOT a direct translation – it is basically me pulling out the main points from the article and summarizing them here).

Source:  Mingpao Weekly magazine, Issue #2556
(published November 4, 2017)



Main highlights:

-          ATV will be officially returning to TV screens in January 2018.  They will be returning as a web channel that can be accessed via Internet platform as well as mobile devices (via a specially designed app).  TV audiences can access their channel via a set-top box, but with a paid subscription (which is essentially the exact same OTT – Over the Top – method that TVB’s myTV Super utilizes currently). 

-          The new chairman of ATV will be Ng Yu (吳雨), who retired from his executive-level position at EEG last year.  As most people may already know, Ng Yu also used to be one of the top executives at TVB (back in the 80s and 90s) and has many years of experience in media management, so in a way, he’s the perfect candidate for the job.  Though another company will officially be heading up the venture, they recruited Ng Yu for the role of chairman with the promise that he will be the one who calls all the shots.

-          Aside from Ng Yu, the executive team for this new ATV venture consists mostly of former TVB and EEG people, including:  former TVB Assistant Manager Peter Au (歐偉林), former TVB senior producer Fred Lam (林嘉穎), former EEG artists’ department manager Roger, and also Ng Yu’s long-time secretary Pauline.

-          As of right now, there are already over 100 employees working for this new ATV.  Majority of the employees are former ATV staff (i.e. all the behind-the-scenes people such as makeup artists, costume, PAs, etc.) but due to his connections, Ng Yu was also able to recruit artists and behind-the-scenes staff from both TVB and EEG as well. 

-          Ng Yu stated that they are planning to bring ATV back in its entirety in that they are going to produce TV series (and also purchase series from other countries to air on their channel), variety programs, news programs, and also revive the Miss Asia pageant.  However he said that the Miss Asia pageant this time around will be very different from the past, as he didn’t want all the issues that used to plague the pageant to follow them.

-          Supposedly, Ng Yu is already in talks with a few well-known artists to collaborate with him at this new ATV (most of the names are former ATV artists).  Some of the rumored names include:  Jaclyn Chu (朱慧), Eva Lai (黎燕), Margie Tsang (曾華), Kenneth Chan (陳啟).


Thursday, November 2, 2017

News article: Fox Asia series “Trading Floor” (香港華爾街)

Fox Asia recently announced that post-production for their highly anticipated series Hong Kong Wall Street has been completed and season 1 is scheduled to air first quarter 2018. Season 1 will only be 5 episodes and will have a movie-like quality. The way HK audiences can watch is very similar to Netflix – subscription basis via an app.

I'll post up more information once I have more time but for now, those who can read Chinese can check out this article from HK01, which is an interview with the series' star Francis Ng. I'm actually looking forward to this series, as there are so many veterans in it, plus so many big HK movie stars.

Anyway, more to come so stay tuned….

HK01 article

Saturday, October 28, 2017

My Thoughts on ViuTV series “My Very Short Marriage” (短暫的婚姻)

Cast:  Eason Chan (陳奕迅), Cecilia Choi (蔡思韵), Eric Kwok (郭偉亮), Jacky Choi (蔡潔), Prudence Liew (劉美君)

Director:  Steve Chan Chi Fat (陳志)

Screenwriter:  Candace Chong (莊梅




I recently just finished watching ViuTV’s latest in-house produced series My Very Short Marriage (短暫的婚), which was a short, 5 episode series that aired for one week earlier this month.  Each episode was around 30 minutes, with the last episode slightly longer – put together all 5 episodes pretty much equaled the length of a movie.  

Before I go into my thoughts on the series itself, let me first backtrack a little and explain why I decided to watch this series in the first place.  Without going into a long spiel about the HK television war and the licensing fiasco (since I don’t want to detract from the focus on this series), I actually have been paying attention to ViuTV’s offerings in terms of programming content, though I haven’t really been watching many of their series.  The last series I watched of theirs was Margaret and David: Green Bean from last year and while I liked the series overall (the acting was stellar and aesthetics were great), I did feel it went a bit overboard with the ‘slow-burn’ feeling, which I’m pretty sure made it less appealing to most HK audiences who are not used to that style of TV series.  Unfortunately for ViuTV, most of the series they produced after M&D (including that series’ subsequent installment) weren’t tremendously appealing either, though I do applaud them for being willing to explore different themes and taking the risk of producing series that are a huge departure from what mainstream HK television audiences are used to seeing (unlike TVB, whose target audiences continue to be housewives and families, ViuTV’s target audience is the younger generation).  As I said earlier, though I haven’t taken the time to really watch their other series (I basically would just tune in to a few episodes here and there), I still make it a point to stay on top of all the news about their series just in case something happens to appeal to me, which in this case, it did, as I discovered this gem of a series – ViuTV’s latest offering My Very Short Marriage (from here on out, I will be using the acronym MVSM for short, since I’m lazy and don’t want to keep typing out the full name, lol).

I will be the first to admit that normally, I probably wouldn’t bother watching a series like MVSM, since 1) I’m not fond of the cast (ok, technically I didn’t even know most of the cast, as the only names I recognized were Eason, Eric Kwok, and Prudence), 2) the style of the series appeared to be very typical ViuTV, which made me think it would be pretty much the same as their other series, and 3) I knew that this was the series that ViuTV had initially ‘hyped up’ as “the musical starring Eason Chan”, making me think this would likely be a throwback to those extended music documentaries that TVB used to produce in the 80s and 90s, which normally would be a good thing for me given the ‘nostalgia’ aspect that I’m pretty big on (plus it would’ve been interesting to see whether ViuTV would produce these similar to the way TVB used to do it) -- except the problem is, of course, that I’m not a fan of Eason’s music. 

So then why did I decide to give this series a chance?  Simple – because I found out that the scriptwriter for this series is Candace Chong, who is one of my favorite HK playwrights.  Those who don’t follow HK theater probably may not be familiar with Candace Chong – she is a renowned writer of numerous HK stage plays whose works have won numerous awards (I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about Candace’s background – those interested can Google her).  MVSM is actually Candace’s first foray into writing a TV series script, so as a fan, I definitely want to support her effort.  I love all the stage plays that Candace has written, so knowing that she helmed the script for this series, I had utmost confidence going into it that the script would be absolutely top notch.  Production-wise, the director for this series is Steve Chan Chi Fat, whom I’m sure HK audiences recognize from the award-winning movie he directed last year, Weeds on Fire (點五), so in that regard, I knew that this series would be different from the ‘typical ViuTV’ style.   Both of those factors alone already sold me on watching this series and I was very much prepared to just ‘suck it up’ in terms of the cast as well as any possible reservations I may have had regarding the acting.

Now after watching the series, I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised and delighted, as MVSM actually turned out to be a gem of a series that I enjoyed immensely!  Of course, a large part of this had to do with Candace Chong’s wonderfully written script (I’ll get back to this in a bit), but I was also surprised to find that the acting was actually quite good in this as well.  I know Eason hasn’t acted in anything in a long time and truth be told, I’ve never watched any of the movies he’s starred in so I can’t really judge how his acting measures up in relation to his previous works, but I will say that his portrayal of widower Galen in this series was very well done.  With that said though, the one to watch in this series is really newbie actress Cecilia Choi, who pulled off an impressive performance as Malena, the conflicted housewife torn between a cheating husband (played by Eric Kwok) and a man who helps her rediscover her true self (Eason’s character Galen).  There were a lot of difficult scenes in this series that required quite a bit of “inner emotion acting” (including scenes with little dialogue that relied mostly on body language and facial expressions), yet Cecilia didn’t have much problem handling these scenes in my opinion – her reactions were ‘just right’ and came across quite natural.  I had never heard of Cecilia prior to this series but now I’m definitely looking her up, as I’m curious to see what other productions – if any – she has been in and what her background is. 

As expected from Candace Chong, the script was awesome!  Tightly written with meaningful dialogue, the script was very much in-line with the high quality of work that Candace usually produces.  Candace is known for raising many social and/or political issues in her works, but in a way that provokes discussion of the topic rather than presenting a solution to the problems encountered by her characters.  This was definitely the case with MVSM’s script, which at its core, was essentially an exploration of the meaning of marriage and love for the central characters in the story, but on a deeper level, it also touched on society’s attitudes toward marriage through Malena’s internal struggle of having to choose between being true to herself or sacrificing who she is deep down for the sake of her family.  One of the biggest traits of Candace Chong’s scripts is its ability to invoke deep thought on societal issues and the brilliance of her writing lies in the fact that each person may have a different interpretation of it based on their own life experiences.  I loved the script for this series and even now, long after having finished watching it, some of the dialogue is still in my head and I find myself still debating some of the questions raised in the series.

After a long dry spell with me practically abandoning TVB’s series due in part to the atrocious acting from their current crop of artists (including worse than past year newbies) as well as the horribly-written nonsense scripts, it’s absolutely refreshing to be able to watch an all-around high caliber series with good performances and a script / story that makes me think and reflect rather than insult my intelligence at every turn (which, annoyingly, is what TVB series have done, especially recent ones).

For those who are considering whether to watch this series or not, all I’m going to say is that this series’ style is VERY DIFFERENT from what you might be used to seeing from TVB.  You definitely won’t find the “formulaic” soap opera format where everything is clearly explained and the story is tied up nice and neat in a package with a fluffy bow on top.  If you’re expecting a “no brainer” type series that you can watch while doing other things and not pay much attention to, then no, this series is not for you.  This one requires careful attention to the dialogue and quite a bit of thought and self-reflection afterwards. 

This series was not flawless by any means (wanted to make sure that was clear, just in case…) and yes, in a sense, the series did kind of end up being a pseudo-promo tool for Eason, since he released 2 new songs that were specifically written for the series in conjunction with its airing, but to be honest, the music actually took a backseat to the story in this instance.  I definitely would not call this series a “musical” (whoever marketed the series that way should be fired, lol) because the music component was really quite minimal. I may not be a fan of Eason’s, but I really couldn’t find much fault with the way the music and songs were incorporated into the series – it actually helped to enhance the series in my opinion. 

Some last thoughts…I’m hoping that ViuTV continues to go down this path in the future and continue collaborating with people who really can bring quality and elevate their series to a higher level (like Candace Chong was able to do with her awesome script for this series and also Steve’s Chan excellent direction).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

OCTB Finale Dinner video clips

I seem to be on a roll with blog posts recently, lol.  Anyway, just dropping by to share this video clip from the OCTB finale dinner that took place 2 days ago.  The production team had actually announced on their Facebook last week that they were going to do a little "surprise" for the finale and also to celebrate the series good viewership ratings -- the "surprise" ended up being the production team treating cast and crew to dinner so that they could all watch the final episode together.

This first clip is hosted by Benji Chiang (who plays 細華 in the series) and he pretty much goes around chatting with people while giving us some insight as to behind-the-scenes stuff from the series.  He also introduces some of the newbie artists who did significantly well in the series, so those who are wondering who those artists are in real life should watch this.  There is also a segment where the series' producers Jones Soong and Sam Lee talk about what to expect for season 2 and also things about season 1 that they are going to improve upon (the second video clip).

Note that both Danny Chan and Jordan Chan had work obligations so of course they did not attend.  Regardless though, this is a great clip that all fans of the series definitely need to watch!

Also, one thing I wanted to clarify from an earlier post -- according to the actual dinner finale clips, looks like the issue of the series being taken down was a hot topic at the dinner and ultimately, once the series is put back up, it will very likely require some type of subscription or payment in order to watch.  The news source that I took some of the info from in my earlier post was not as detailed as the clips so it looks like the info was mis-reported.


Anyway, enjoy the clips!! :-)





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

News Article: Hong Kong’s top TV channels ranked – Media Report 2017

I came across the below article that recaps the top TV channels in Hong Kong based on a Marketing survey..  Details of the survey (including criteria, how it was conducted, number of responses, etc.) are all recapped at the beginning of the article.

I'm actually super-surprised to see ViuTV in the number one spot!  Since they launched last year, I always felt that they had a niche audience, since their programs and the station itself is not covered much in traditional / mainstream media outlets…but I guess advertisers think differently.  In a way, this is a good thing because it means that advertisers are not being biased toward TVB like almost everyone else in HK is and they are willing to put their support behind underdogs that have potential.  Actually, on second thought, I really shouldn't be surprised, since advertisers had already said previously (back when HKTV was still in the picture) that many in their field are tired of TVB's "same old same old" approach and are willing to put their money into other stations that show potential.  This is partly why Ricky Wong was never worried about whether he would get advertising support if HKTV were to get a license and officially launch...I vaguely remember (would need to pull my notes to confirm) that the advertising association in HK (of which almost all advertising firms were a part of) had released a statement back then that they would commit advertising to HKTV if they were to launch (since that was a huge concern back then due to TVB constantly crying a river over advertising revenue dropping).  [Sidenote – I've actually been keeping an eye on ViuTV the past year and while they got off to a rocky start due to their initially upside down policy of only doing infotainment programs rather than series, they've definitely turned things around in recent months with the focus on producing series rather than only infotainment programs.  While I doubt that they will be the next HKTV, it's good to see that ViuTV is finally coming into its own…though of course, it has a LONG ways to go to catch up to TVB…]

The other shocker for me was seeing TVMost on this list (they came in at #8) – for a non-official TV station whose sole purpose is to parody other stations / programs / people, etc., that's actually quite an achievement!  [Shout out to sport3888:  I'm sure you must be grinning from ear to ear right now!  LOL!]

The other interesting part is that ViuTV made the list, but their parent company, cable channel NowTV, didn't make the cut at all, which in a way I'm not too surprised about since there have been complaints galore about NowTV over the past few years (I can't remember whether it was Alan Tam or Hacken Lee who always used to complain on Weibo about NowTV because they carry a lot of sports events and the reception was always super poor quality….I've heard that people were actually happy to cancel their subscriptions at one point).  

Anyway…check out who else made the top 10.  Did any of these rankings shock you?  Feel free to comment down below. 

**Note:  My apologies for not putting the pictures from the article up – I'm posting this from my phone and the process to post pictures is super cumbersome.  If I remember, I'll fix the post when I'm able to access from a computer…otherwise, if you want to see the pictures, you can read the article from its original source via the link below.

****

Hong Kong's top TV channels ranked – Media Report 2017

Source:  Marketing Interactive

Each year Marketing undertakes one of its most significant research projects to discover the media preferences of Hong Kong's top marketers.
The aim of the Media Benchmarking Survey is pretty simple; to understand which media platforms marketers look to for advertising solutions across digital, outdoor, TV, radio and print platforms.
We ask respondents to name the magazine, TV station, digital platform or OOH groups they would use to target consumers across key industry verticals from luxury, local business and finance, news and current affairs, property, travel and consumer electronics.
This article we highlight the top 10 in TV broadcasters.
Methodology
How did we achieve this?
The media rankings were derived from questions in Marketing Research's annual Media Spend Benchmarking Survey. Marketing Research employed an online questionnaire and surveyed its database of client advertisers and marketing services agency professionals. All answers given by respondents were considered by Marketing when finalising the rankings.
Quality recipients and respondents
A total of 587 respondents participated in the Media Spend Benchmarking Survey. Genuine advertising decision-makers and influencers across key agency-using industries were well represented as were agency professionals from various marketing services.
Over 80% of client advertiser-side respondents were manager-level decision-makers and above, with 10% from the most senior ranks of client advertisers – CEOs, MDs or GMs – and another 31% were VPs or director-level marketers.
Twenty percent of the respondents from the agency side were CEOs, MDs or GMs, 30% were marketing personnel, while 25% were sales personnel. The remaining 25% were operations, creative and media personnel.
Advertisers from major and local international banks, FMCG companies, property and construction, IT and telecommunication firms, as well as those from travel and tourism companies participated in the survey. Agency professionals across the marketing services spectrum were also well represented.
Television Broadcasters of the Year
1 ViuTV
Currently in its second year of operation, ViuTV has taken the TV world by storm as it now leads the category for local marketers. The channel operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and its English arm ViuTVsix offers 17 hours of programming per day, including three to four hours of news and public affairs, lifestyle, overseas dramas and documentaries, such as HBO originals True Blood and Boardwalk Empire.
The channel's rapid rise to fame did not go unnoticed, as it swiped up numerous at Marketing's The Spark Awards 2017, including gold awards for Fast Growth, Best Launch/Relaunch and Best Engagement Strategy, as well as silver awards in Best Entertainment Platform and Best Use of Content.
2 TVB
While TVB slipped to second place this year – in no small part due to the entry of a new local challenger – it still managed to keep a spot in the top three on the year of its 50th anniversary. To better compete with the rise of streaming services, TVB launched its own social live streaming app dubbed 'Big big channel' in a bid to engage younger, internet-savvy viewers and generate more ad revenue – a move that has clearly paid off, especially considering the modern TV landscape.
3 Bloomberg
After a slide to sixth spot last year, Bloomberg is back in the top three. Headquartered in New York, USA, and a division of Bloomberg LP, the news agency covers international news, disseminated through television, terminals, radio, markets, the Bloomberg website, Bloomberg's mobile platforms and Businessweek.
While their digital offering is comprehensive, they haven't forgotten about traditional formats and recently opened a new TV studio in Hong Kong to enhance the brand's media technology assets, which will produce programmes covering all of Asia.
4 BBC
Down one spot since last year, the UK-headquartered public service broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has strengthened its mobile and online offerings to facilitate changing tastes. While its World Service radio broadcast was recently replaced on RTHK, the TV side is still going strong.
5 CNN
CNN likewise slid down one spot in the rankings this year. Staffed 24 hours, seven days a week by a staff both in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and in global bureaus, the broadcaster boasts a global team of almost 4,000 news professionals, and has recently expanded its presence in Hong Kong, when it appointed Karen Vera as creative lead for in-house brand studio Create, Asia Pacific.
6 Cable TV
Cable TV has been on a gradual descent over the past few years, and 2017 was no exception as it dropped from fifth place into sixth.
With the uncertain future of i-CABLE Communications Limited' TV offerings earlier this year, i-CABLE announced that Forever Top (Asia) Limited had become a controlling shareholder and injected new funds into the business last month. Additionally, the board underwent a number of changes as the company enters its next phase of development. New offerings include over 200 live games from German soccer league Bundesliga.
7 CNBC
CNBC enters the list this year, with a strong financial backbone to support it. CNBC is one of the world's largest business and financial networks. With international headquarters in Singapore in London, CNBC provides comprehensive 24-hour coverage from Asia to America, and beyond. In addition to the television services, CNBC is also available on tablet, mobile and desktop via CNBC.com and its apps.
8 TVMost
Satirical magazine 100most's TV service, while wholly offline, has grabbed enough marketshare for marketers to list it among the region's top TV channels. The channel provides satirical news services, often parodising existing programmes and channels to present the latest news in an entertaining and humourous way, presented by a slew of local celebrities.
Its Chinese slogan is: "Do our best instead of not having a TV licence issued by the government" – roughly translated to "Doing our best, despite the lack of a TV licence".
9 RTHK
Hong Kong's public broadcasting service Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) keeps its spot in ninth place this year. The service operates seven radio channels, and three TV channels, and produces educational, entertainment and public affairs programmes that are also broadcast on commercial channels. RTHK, like many public broadcasters, is directly funded by annual government allocation and operates as a department of the Communications Authority, but maintains a strong reputation for impartial coverage and editorial independence.
10 Fox
CBS Corporation earlier this year announced a content licensing and trademark agreement for SHOWTIME in South East Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The agreement brought the SHOWTIME brand to these markets for the first time, including international hits like Twin PeaksCalifornication and Dexter.

Monday, October 23, 2017

OCTB - Latest News!!


Source: HK01

So now that OCTB has officially aired its finale, here are some "final numbers" in terms of internet viewership ratings as well as some info about the series and its sequel(s) straight from the mouths of the series' producers (Jones Soong and Danny Chan) and screenwriter.

As anticipated, viewership ratings in Mainland China (via streaming platform Youku) reached 1.3 billion for the finale (quite impressive if you ask me!).  In HK, viewership ratings via Youtube clocked in at 28 million (also impressive considering the production company is relatively unknown and there were duplicate versions of the series uploaded to other channels on Youtube).  During the celebratory dinner, Jones Soong announced that they there will definitely be season 2 (which starts filming early 2018), but to many people's surprise, he also said that they are planning season 3 as well (I actually wasn't surprised, as I had read an interview that Danny Chan did earlier where he said that the script for seasons 1 through 3 had already been written awhile back ago).

As I'm sure those who've been following this series know, there has been much speculation amongst fans on who will be participating in OCTB's sequel(s).  One of the strengths of the series was in its veteran cast and their top-notch acting, which garnered a lot of praise from netizens and general audiences who were tired of the overall crappy performances from TVB's younger generation.  [***SPOILER ALERT***] Those who watched OCTB from beginning to end know that almost all of the veterans in the series either died or went to jail (except for Michael Chan, who remains the head of triad group Wo Hing Sing…for now)….so it makes sense that they will need to recruit another group of veterans for the sequel(s).

On the day the finale aired, the production team held a celebratory banquet attended by the series' cast and crew.  At the dinner, reporters asked the series director / executive producer Jones Soong what the plans were for seasons 2 and 3 as well as whether the rumors about certain artists participating in the sequels have any merit (for the record, the rumored "names" so far that fans are most concerned about are:  Ekin Cheng, Michael Tse, Anthony Wong, Roy Cheung – all from Young and Dangerous franchise).  Here is Jones Soong's response (excerpted and translated directly from the above HK01 article): "All I can say is that for season 2, there will definitely be a few 'heavyweights' participating…who those artists are though, I cannot reveal right now.  We actually have plans to do season 3 as well, so we can't use up all the artists in one shot – we need to add them in slowly.  One thing I can tell you is that the list of rumored artists currently circulating on the internet, majority of them you will likely see [in upcoming seasons].  The purpose of our series is actually to pay tribute to the triad films of the 1990s, so it's natural to incorporate classic characters from the Y&D franchise.  Audiences will need to wait and see!"

Screenwriter Paul Chung (鍾盛遠) revealed that in season 2, 'Dai Sir's' room will be occupied by a "heavyweight" character. [**SPOILER** Remember that in the first season, Dai Sir was played by Philip Chan, who was killed in a bomb blast after being kidnapped by Justin Cheung's character].  He also revealed that in Season 2, one member of the B1-1 police team will "defect to the other side" – who that person is and why, of course we will have to wait until season 2 to find out.

A few other tidbits (some of these are spoilers for those who didn't watch the finale, so read at your own risk)….

-          OCTB's production team gave us a few "Easter eggs" at the end of the series.  One of them was the revelation by Wo Hing Sing's leader Sun Ye (Michael Chan) that he has a son named 'Michael' who will be returning to HK to take over the group.  This is obviously significant given a lot of the stuff that happened in the series was the direct result of the various triad guys fighting over the top leadership spot.   There has been speculation on who 'Michael' will be.  Based on the scene where Sun Ye 'calls' Michael and tells him it's time to come back and we see the back of a guy sitting at a desk picking up the phone, there is much speculation that 'Michael' will be Danny Chan's character turned bad (the backside of the person in the scene actually does look like Danny)….this speculation was further strengthened through the second "Easter egg" where Danny's character meets up with Jordan's character to say goodbye and tells him that, after everything that's happened, he is not sure about his plans for the future and for now just wants a break from everything.  So is Danny actually going to be 'Michael'?  I guess we will have to wait until season 2 to find out.

-          Regarding the speculation about Michael Tse possibly participating in the sequel….supposedly, reporters had asked Michael whether he will be joining the cast and he had said no he won't.  The reporters asked Jones Soong at the celebration dinner, telling him that Michael said he won't be participating in the series.  Jones replied:  "He will be in it.  Actually, from the beginning [season 1], we had invited him to participate, but it wasn't able to happen.  You will see it happen in season 2.." The reporter then asked further whether that means Michael Tse will for sure be part of the season 2 cast, to which Jones then said:  "Let's wait for the official announcement, since I'm not supposed to say anything right now.  We are planning to start filming season 2 in January 2018 and the entire cast will be announced prior to that, so keep an eye out for that.  Since it will be in December, consider it our Christmas present to you!"

-          It's pretty obvious from the finale (the third "Easter Egg") that Justin Cheung will continue to be in season 2 and his villain character Jiu Jik (I probably butchered the spelling) will return to wreak havoc on Wo Hing Sing.  He was essentially the ultimate villain in season 1, but what will his role be in season 2?  From what has come out so far, it sounds like there will be another battle for the Wo Hing Sing top spot in season 2, though to what capacity we don't know. 

-          Rumor has it that Jordan Chan might not return as a lead in season 2..  The production team said that they are working with him, but it depends on his schedule next year.  If they are able to work out his schedule, then he will reprise his role in the same capacity.  If not, then he will still participate in the series, but in a smaller role where he will only show up every once in a while – as often as his schedule allows (in the reduced role, his character will get promoted to Superintendent of Police and will be in scenes as necessary, similar to Gregory Rivers in the first season).  If Jordan won't be able to participate, then that leaves Danny as the main lead going into season 2 – if the rumors of Danny's character defecting are true, then they are going to need another lead to take Jordan's place on the police side…makes it more likely that the person might be Michael Tse or Ekin Cheng (or someone else altogether of course, but it would need to be someone around same level / age).  As I said earlier, I'm pretty sure Anthony Wong will be in season 2 (no confirmation, just a gut feeling on my part), but highly doubt he will take Jordan's spot, as he is too old for that role – most likely he will either be Dai Sir (if he is on the police side) or one of the big shot gangster guys (if he is on the triad side).  Could also be someone else entirely who has not been mentioned yet of course….I guess we will find out in December.

-          Within 24 hours of the final episode's broadcast, the entire series was removed from Youtube.  There was actually warning of this on the production team's Facebook page, but they didn't make the announcement until the day of – obviously they got some heat from audiences on this, since it wasn't enough notice for people who hadn't caught up yet to finish watching the series (there was speculation that the production team took down the series because of marketing concerns and they would have to start charging to watch the series or repackage as DVD).  For  those of you who haven't finished watching the series yet and are freaking out right now – DON'T WORRY….at the dinner, Jones Soong explained the reason for removing the series (to enhance the series and correct any mistakes that were in there) and confirmed that they will be putting back up a 2.0 version that will also be free for audiences to watch.  He said they are not sure when the date will be but to watch for the official announcement on their website.