Monday, October 04, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & Oriental Daily 05/10/04]

TVB's "War and Beauty" aired its final episode last week and achieved average ratings of 39 points, peaking at 41 points, taking 95% of the viewing public at that time and takes the record for the highest rating finale to be aired at the weekend since the tradition started in 1998. As a result, TVB will be arranging a special celebration for the cast and crew this week.

TVB's External Affairs Assistant Chief Tsang Sing Ming indicates that the shows that have aired weekend finales since 1989 have included "Healing Hands", "Burning Flame", "Armed Reaction", "Secret of the Heart", "Witness to a Prosecution" and most recently "To Catch the Uncatchable". The percentage of the viewers that they have taken has always been either 90% or 92% and never as high as the 95% achieved by "War". Although the show has finished, the reviews from the audience are still echoing among the crowds and over ten phone calls have been received by TVB requesting that TVB films either a prequel or a sequel to "War". However, TVB are still considering this possibility. Also, a Taiwanese TV station has been very interested in the ratings results of "War" and also curious about the special banquet airing of the show. TVB have provided them with the appropriate information. The charity event on Saturday raised a total of over $140,000 for the Community Chest, but the show's sponsors were extremely pleased by the outcome and donated another $50,000 to take the total amount raised to nearly $200,000.

Although the final episode had very good results, the final week Monday to Friday results were only at an average 32 and peak of 36 points and were not as special. Tsang explains that this was because last week coincided with Mid-Autumn as well as the National Day holidays and at these times, the ratings traditionally fall. As a result, the ratings for "Shine on You" and "Virtues of Harmony" also fell by two or three points, but the new series of "Super Trio Show" did not seem to be affected as it rose by two points on last week, achieving an average of 30 points and a maximum of 34 points. No complaints have been received as yet regarding the content of this weeks show.

Sheren Tang not only agrees with the suggestion to film either a sequel or prequel to the show, but whilst filming the Sales Presentation for "Rouge and Powder" yesterday, she indicated that she was very happy at the 39 points that the final episode achieved. Talking of the viewers demands for a continuation on the "War" theme, she is very supportive of them and when asked if she would rather film a prequel or a sequel, she indicates that either would be a possibility because the characters have a lot of room for development.

Asked if she would appear at the celebration party in a bikini, Sheren laughs: "I'll leave the bikinis to the xiunui's to wear, did they (Bowie Lam and Moses Chan) agree to dress up as palace maids? I will be the judge then. I would like to thank all the viewers for their support and I will continue to work hard on some great roles for you to enjoy." Then she says rather more seriously: "The good ratings are the result of the cast and crew's co-operation, so I hope that there will be some backstage awards at this year's anniversary for some of the crew, such as for photography, script, direction and sound because they deserve to be encouraged and this would be good for morale."

After last Saturday's banquet, Sheren and the cast members went to celebrate at a karaoke and there were rumours that she was drunk. She explained that it was like a teacher thanking party and she was chatting with the other cast members and crew, so she did not drink too much and was not drunk. In "Rouge and Powder", she plays the housekeeper of a big family and she indicates the storyline is very similar to the "Zhu Family Woes".

"War and Beauty" producer Chik Kei Yi was asked about the possibility of a follow up being filmed, but Chik indicates he will not be doing this for now. He says: "I am currently filming for 'Healing Hands III' and this will take us to next year. After that I have other work to do. (Will you make a modern version?) This kind of conflict is already present in a lot of modern series."

With the final episode for "War" outshining "To Catch the Uncatchable" final episode ratings, there have been reports recently about plans for a "TCTU" sitcom to replace "Virtues of Harmony". However "TCTU" producer Tsui Ching Hong denied this, saying: "The company has not thought about this at all because it would be impossible to produce this. TCTU's cases would require a lot of location filming and with the tight sitcom schedules, this would not allow for this. Anyway, Dayo has to film in the mainland for the time being."


[Ta Kung Pao 05/10/04]

Organised by the Women's Association of Hong Kong, TVB's special "Bauhinia Beauty Show" was taped two days ago in TVB City and the guests of Honour included the wife of SAR Chief Executive, Mrs Tung Chiu Hung Ping, Deputy Supervisor for the Central Communications Bureau in Hong Kong Guo Li, Justice Department Chief Ms Leung Ngoi Sze and the Joint Women's Association Chairman Ms Lam Bui Lu Ka. The usual leading MC Liza Wang was absent this year and TVB decided to give the hosting roles to Shirley Yeung, Anne Heung, Halina Tam and Kate Tsui, but the four girls lack the experience of hosting big shows and gave a lacklustre performance.

Shirley and Anne were both not calm enough, often fluffing their lines and panicking when they made mistakes, getting very embarrassed. Luckily the audience often gave them some very encouraging applause and their smiles emerged again. Anne forgot her lines and was caught out, leaving the rather sensitive host a little teary eyed, whilst Shirley mistakenly referred to Chu Wai Man as Chu Wai San and then did not handle it well as she apologised to the camera, looking rather odd.

Anne indicated that maybe because they did not have enough time to prepare because she was doing the National Day show at the Coliseum the night before and she only had time to review the script for this show that day. Moreover with so many high-ranking ladies present, she felt the pressure and this pulled her standard down. Shirley says that she was very thankful to the audience for their encouragement and as this was the first time she had taken part in this show, even though she had prepared in advance, she was still too nervous and this led to mistakes. She will continue to work hard next time.


[Ta Kung Pao 05/10/04]

Bobby Au Yeung was working alongside Sheren Tang, Anne Heung and Mandy Cho in filming for the "Rouge and Powder" Sales Presentation clip yesterday, where he plays the second young master, who is a wasteful soul. Sheren plays the third sister and Anne plays the wife of the eldest brother.

In response to the ratings for "Shine on You" falling by three points last week to just an average of 27 points, Bobby was not worried at all: "Whenever there is a holiday, then it will be like this. 'War and Beauty' had high ratings because it was the final week, but I must congratulate them. I am confident our ratings will keep going up."

With Tse Kwan Ho being photographed earlier with a female partner in Shanghai, Bobby was also shown in the pictures together with some friends, but he was acting properly and not too close to his female friends. To this, Bobby says: "That night, Kwan Ho was sat beside us, but I don't really know him too well. That undercover reporter is someone that I know, but there was a group of us and I was not doing anything, so I just left him to it. I went to Shanghai because I plan to invest in a restaurant there and I went to take a look at the surroundings." Bobby has been in the food and drink industry in Hong Kong for a number of years now and he is lucky to have a partner who does everything personally and so they are still in business.


[Ta Kung Pao 05/10/04]

With the emergence of bird flu in dogs in Thailand, many dog owners have become rather concerned recently, but Niki Chow was not aware of this and earlier she was suffering from a skin allergy after her dog licked her face. Niki says: "Maybe the weather is getting cold and he came into my room to warm up. At the time I was asleep and didn't know that he had licked me. Later I found that my face was very itchy and went to see the doctor, who suggested that the dog possibly licked some excrement before licking my face and this caused an allergic reaction. My dog is not allowed in my room now."

Niki is currently busy filming for TVB's new series "Scholar and Soldier" and she had to film a fight scene with the fight choreographer earlier, but she accidentally hit her opposite in the sensitive region with a stick. Filming yesterday, the choreographer refused to fight with her again, saying he did not want a repeat. Niki knew he was joking because she did not have a fight scene that day anyway. In the show, she plays a man and as her figure is 'rather flat', the director does not require her to wrap her breasts. However, the director did remind her that she needs pads to protect herself when she films the wire sceens. Niki will be working with Moses Chan in this series and she says confidently that she will not become involved in any rumours with him.

Niki also says that she was once asked to become a spokesperson for a breast enhancement product, but her manager refused it on the grounds that her figure was not suitable. She feels that with her figure, she would rather be flat-chested because if she were to enhance her breasts, she would have to lose some weight before she would consider it.


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