Thursday, September 18, 2003

[Oriental Daily]

TVB's ratings have taken a drop recently and even "Ah Wong" Roger Kwok's "Mei Lai Joi Mong" (Not Just A Pretty Face) wasn't enough to keep them afloat. As we are nearing the annual Anniversary celebrations, TVB is currently working on its plans and has finally decided on placing Charmaine Sheh and Julian Cheung's "Sai Kwan Dai Siu" (Master of Guangdong) and Francis Ng's return to TVB production "Chung Seung Wan Siu" (Triumph in the Skies) on the boards to try and rescue the ratings and celebrate TVB's 36th Anniversary in style.

As they have been pointed out as anniversary series, then of course they will be something out of the ordinary and in order to promote "Triumph" that will be aired after "Juk Sai Ching Jan" (Seed of Hope), TVB has made a production special for it, rarely seen in recent years, proving how much hope TVB is pinning on this series.

As the lead role in "Triumph", Francis Ng is very happy with the focus that TVB is placing on his series as he says: "Thanks TVB, the show has been filmed for nearly a year and I have really wanted them to air it. The little brothers and sisters of mine in the show have all become lead roles already so it will be down to them to bring me up!"

When asked whether he will rescue the ratings for TVB, Francis says: "I don't really care about ratings because it all depends on the weather. I just hope that this show has good reviews because this is what lasts forever. I want to attract those viewers who do not usually watch TV, but my worst fear is that the usual viewers will all be scared away."

Although Francis has great expectations of the show, he could not take part in the filming of the production special as he says helplessly: "I am very busy these two months, promoting 'Infernal Affairs II' and heading abroad. I did call TVB earlier to ask about timeslots for shooting promotions but they said it had not been planned yet, so I confirmed my own schedule. Then TVB comes with a date that could not be changed but I really could not fit them in, so I feel very sorry about that." However, Francis has agreed to try and appear at the promotional events nearer the time.

As for "Master", this will follow Deric Wan and Sonija Kwok's "Ngau Long Jik Nui" (The Legend of Love) in November and with it being selected as an anniversary series, female lead Charmaine Sheh is very excited: "I really do like this series because I could work together with my idols Damian Lau and Amgie Chiu, so after the filming I asked the director if the show was okay after the cutting and he said it was very good so I can't wait to watch it myself."


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