A gem of a show, despite poor ratings

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 12:00am

Everything is down, including television ratings. TVB Jade's big-budget serial The Gem of Life registered quite disappointing numbers despite a cast of top stars like Louise Lee Sze-kei, Gigi Lai Chi and Moses Chan Ho. However, that's not how station manager Stephen Chan Chi-wan sees it.

'We don't think the rating is disappointing at all,' Chan argued at an Asian Film Awards press conference on Tuesday. 'The Gem of Life is a rather unusual drama series compared to many of our other productions. There is more drama in the plot. Plus, like the government said, about 30 per cent of the local audience has now switched to digital television. We believe a lot of people watched on our high-definition channel instead of the traditional one and they were not counted.'

The big concern is whether advertisers believe him. Anyway, the real reason Chan was at the event was because the Pearl channel will broadcast the awards one day after its March 22 presentation. The reason for this, he explained, is so TVB can do a better job creating subtitles for non-English or Chinese presenters and tightening the live ceremony into a slick broadcast.

'The audience today not only wants entertainment, they are very picky about what they watch. They demand high quality and they want to gain new knowledge out of the programme. An example is how The Gem of Life explored the details of the jewellery business.' So, how do you explain the vacuous rubbish that is Dolce Vita every Thursday?