Monday, June 04, 2007

[Ta Kung Pao 05/06/07]

"Heart of Greed" Finale Reaches 48 Points

TVB series "Heart of Greed" aired its finale last week and a special banquet was arranged to mark the occasion. After a string of strong publicity, there were suggestions that ratings for the finale would break the ratings record held by "Jewel in the Palace" in 2005.

TVB announced the ratings results yesterday and the week averaged 40 points, with the finale averaging 44 points, watched by 2.87 million people. The finale peaked at the scene where Moses Chan's character 'Dak Dak Dei' proposed to Linda Chung's 'Sheung Joi Sum', where ratings points of 48 points were recorded, thats 3.1 million viewers. Although they did not break the record set by "Jewel", but equalled the 2003 record set by "Square Pegs", ranking itself in one of the highest rated series of recent years. To celebrate the success, TVB will be holding another celebratory party and says that it will not be filming a sequel, but the original cast will be regrouped for a completely new series of a different genre.

As for "The Family Link" starring Sheren Tang, Cecilia Yip and Kiki Sheung, it averaged 34 points last week, up 2 points from the week before as the ratings continue to rise. However, the Miss Hong Kong 2007 Pageant Interview Reality Show only managed ratings of 18 points on Saturday morning, just pulling in 1.18 million viewers, proving that the new concept of beauty pageants has not helped with the falling ratings for TVB's pageant in recent years.


[Ta Kung Pao 05/06/07]

Michael Tse's Cross-dressing Goes Down Well but Turns Down Ad Offers

TVB series "The Family Link" will be airing its finale this week and in order to resolve all the dangers to the family, the three 'husbands' in the show Michael Tse, Derek Kok and Al Wai presented their 'wives' with a special peace offering yesterday and allowed them to seek revenge, the ladies Sheren Tang, Cecilia Yip and Kiki Sheung subjected them to a walk down a pebble path, kneeling on a durian, putting a potty on their heads and then brushing their teeth with wasabi... all in the name of promotion.

The cast announced last weeks ratings averaging at 34 points and peaking at 40 points, proving to be the most popular series in the earlier 8:30 timeslot this year. TVB General Manager Stephen Chan was also there to suppor them, but there will not be any banquets for them as this is only a 20 episode series, just a celebration party. Will there be a sequel? Mr Chan hopes for something completely new.

When it was revealed that his argument scenes with Sheren that pulled in the most viewers, Michael indicated he is very happy and asked if he is confident of breaking the records set by "Heart of Greed", he says: "I have not thought about it. 'Heart' has captured the attentions of the viewers and is a rarity for the year." As for his cross-dressing being accepted well, with even offers of advertising contracts of him in his ladies clothing, he indicated that the company did not want him to do any ads with this image, so the job was declined even before a fee was discussed. He also does not really want people to accept him dressed as a woman. So how much would he do it for? He says: "I wish to make money with my male identity and not wearing a bra."

Kiki received two bunches of flowers and revealed that they were a gift from some online fans. She says happily: "I was very surprised. They are all university students and have been supporting me for a long time and they used cardboard to make a book for me with all my series info in it. Unfortunately I have never had the chance to meet them, but they always send me little gifts. This is the first time they have sent flowers. (Are you confident of beating the ratings for 'Heart' with your finale?) Yes. (But the public may be out and not watching?) I am not worried, it is a finale after all and I hope it will break the ratings set by 'Heart'."

Cecilia's acting is of award-winning calibre, but there have been criticisms that her acting in this show was exaggerated. She explains: "I acted it with the calmest of approaches, if that is still classed as exaggerated, then the boundaries seem to be quite wide. I don't mind though, everyone has their own opinions and the most important thing is that people are talking. She believes that the complaining netizens are favouring the other type of housewife, so they brand her character as dislikeable and bad, but she is only doing what a lot of normal people do.

As for a change to her normal role types for is she unhappy at playing the bad person in this show? Cecilia laughs that when she first heard she would be working with Sheren, she was very happy and she cherishes the opportunity, so even before she received the script, she accepted the role. Afterwards when she read the first four episodes and found that her character was so despicable, she discussed this with the producer, who told her not to be afraid, saying this would bring her to the attention of even more viewers, but she is still quite suspicious of his words. Asked if she feels cheated? She continues to smile: "No, I agreed to this project of my own accord and I had nothing to say as I had accepted. (Do you mind people disliking you?) No, just that this was different from my original understanding. I will look at the whole picture and it was good fun during filming. (Are you unhappy about the lack of screentime?) No, but I just feel misled about the character's direction."

Asked about whether she thought Cecilia's acting was exaggerated, Sheren says that they felt it was ok whilst they worked together. As for her lack of screentime, Sheren says that she will not have this problem because working with the children was hard work and she would rather have more time to sleep. Asked if she is afraid of being accused of being complacent? She smiles: "No,I do admire Cecilia and I remember in a scene where she and Fala Chen fell into the water, there were press there throughout the shoot. If that was me, I would be sour-faced because I would be worried about my make-up being washed away or revealing myself, but she worked very hard at it and was very professional, so I do admire her. I have met with this situation before, but my principle is the same as hers,if you have accepted a job, then you have to put your heart into it and work even harder to put it right. This is the more intelligent solution."

Producer Lam Chi Wah does not feel that Cecilia's character is dislikable and says that some people find her cute: "I feel that the screentime between the three ladies is very even and as for some people's reaction, this was unexpected, but it only reflects some of the viewers who are netizens and not other groups. (Did Cecilia ask to change the script?) We discussed it and I did make some changes for her, but everyone else did this too and not just her." He also revealed that the finale will feature Cecilia suffering from an STD and the situation will pull at people's sympathies, helping her image with them. Will there be a sequel? He says it depends on the audience response before they decide.


[Ta Kung Pao 04/06/07]

Francois Huynh Signs to TVB for 3.5 Years

Mr Hong Kong Winners Francois Huynh, Stephen Huynh, Byron Pang and Rocky Cheng joined Miss Hong Kong Aimee Chan and also Natalie Tong and Jess Sum to promote the application process for this year's Mr Hong Kong contest. The men showed off their winning talents and the Huynh brothers were the most popular.

At the event, Francois presented the girls with flowers and had his shirt unbuttoned by MC Miguel Choi to show off his chest. Afterwards, he said he does not mind and admits that he has been keeping fit lately because some magazines have complimented him on the firmness of his muscles. He now has a 4-and-a-half-pack abdomen, so he is better than the 2-pack he had when he was in the contest last year. He has signed with TVB for three and a half years and will be taking part in filming for "Best Selling Secrets", so he has been busy perfecting his Cantonese in the hope of speaking it well because he loves filming dramas.

Natalie and Jess received flowers from Byron and Rocky. Natalie laughs that she has never been presented with flowers on one knee by a man before. She did receive flowers from a man when she was 18, but because she was worried about her parents finding out and scolding her, she threw them away before she got home. Did her ex-boyfriend Amigo Chui ever give her flowers? She avoided the question and said: "I have forgotten. (There are rumours you are back together?) We have always been good friends and did not date or go out." She says that she is focussing on her work for now and the company has not prohibited her from dating.


[The Sun 05/06/07]

Chiu Ka Dik's Identity Revealed Overshadowing Hot Favourite Lily Ho

The 16 finalists for this year's Miss Hong Kong contest took part in a blessing ceremony for their location filming together with the guest performers yesterday and after revelations about her background, Number 14 Chiu Ka Dik has become the media focus, overshadowing early favourite Number 2 Lily Ho.

In response to reports that she is the daughter of former TVB artiste Leung Siu Ling, Ka Dik indicated that her mother did not mind: "My mother is very supportive of me and told me to do better. My mother is overseas now, but I can't say where but she will be coming back to Hong Kong to support me later. (There are rumours you have the support of an executive?) If that was the case I wouldn't need to enter the pageant, I would just go straight into the industry! I did not reveal my background because I did not want people to know. (How do you resemble your mother?) Everything, I am her daughter!"

Producer Chin Kwok wai reveals that among the location shoots, running down the Great Wall will be hardest work, but Ka Dik has an injury to her back, so she may avoid this. She says: "I slipped when I was taking part in a charity event earlier and there is a small crack in the bottom of my spine, so I have to see whether I can run up the Great Wall."

Favourite Lily Ho was asked whether she is worried abotu Ka Dik stealing the limelight, She says that everyone is treated the same. Aside from this, she reveals this is her first trip to Beijing: "My mother is very worried and this morning my dad escorted me here and gave me some medicines. My mother did not see me off, but I did want her to because 9 days is not a long time, but it is also not a short time."


[The Sun 04/06/07]

Jessica Hsuan Received Counselling for Dog's Death

Jessica Hsuan brought her beloved dog Lulu to join Bobby Au Yeung at a 'Doggie Dating' event. Her other dog Boom Boom had died earlier from kidney failure and this made Jessica very upset indeed. Although she still has four old dogs at home, she still felt loneely. Will she adopt any more? She says: "When the other four die, then I will adopt another group. (Is it very painful to watch your dogs die?) It is okay, I have to go to counselling, but the most important thing is that they had a very happy life." Jessica will be heading out to the mainland shortly to film a series there and she admits that she has been in discussions with ATV: "I still have 6 months per-series contract with TVB and if there is work, I will do it. (Will TVB be your priority?) It depends on the conditions."

There have been rumours that Michael Tao has tried to win his wife back after getting bored of Sonija Kwok. Asked about this, Bobby says he has seen Michael at TVB, but he did not mention this: "The most important thing is for him to be happy."


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