BETWEEN sophisticated toys, the lure of electronic games and CD-ROM and even the Internet, teenagers these days seem spoiled for choice when it comes to entertainment. Yet surprisingly, television seems to be as popular as ever. However, many local teenagers believe little of the output is aimed at them, and they are forced to turn to programmes more suitable for older audiences or to cartoons meant for pre-school children. TV fan Tim de Sousa, 13, said he loves to watch sitcoms such as MASH on Star Plus and the music shows on Channel V. 'For me, watching TV is mainly for entertainment. I spend two hours every day in watching TV,' said Tim. Even so, he has a few grouses. 'I find [there are] few suitable programmes for teenagers,' he said, adding that the schedules seemed divided between adult shows and 'childish' ones. This was a big gap and he hoped the TV stations would start working to fill it. Betty Wong Him-nam couldn't agree more. Although she loves watching Weekend Cinema on TVB Jade Channel, she wishes there were more informative programmes for teenagers. 'I wish to learn from those programmes which are rich in knowledge and information such as current affairs,' said the Form Three student. But David Wu, host of Channel V's Wu Man Show, The Ticket, Big Bang and Chinese Top 20, thinks that music programmes such as his can also be very useful in bringing across strong messages to today's youth. 'My programme has a message: when you play, play hard, when you study, study hard, when you work, work hard,' said the popular video jockey. Cable Drama Channel manager Norman Li admitted there were few programmes catering specifically to teenagers but said Cable TV was trying to plug that gap. 'For instance, we are bringing a youth drama series Youth 7.11 from Japan starring some of the most popular idols including Suzuki Hornia and Kase Taisui,' he said. Then there is the Cable YMC channel which carries music and lifestyle programmes reflecting the styles, tastes, habits and values of teenagers in Hong Kong. Channel manager Hugo Kwong Wai-ming said: 'We are dedicated to spread healthy and positive messages through music, lifestyle and interactive phone-in programmes. 'Audience participation is an integral part of each programme. It gives young people a channel for communication.' Local television heavyweight TVB has placed moral education at the top of its agenda. TVB Jade offers various programmes for teenagers, such as Focus On Camera, an educational programme, Love Is Hope, a drama series dealing with family relationships, and Music Magazine. 'The main idea of our youth programmes is to be 'healthy' with an emphasis on positive influence on our viewers, such as Love Is Hope, ' said Cheung Wai-kit, the station's programme purchasing and scheduling assistant manager. And there are plans to release more youth programmes on Jade this summer, including Love Is Hope Part IV and a series of dramas from Japan. ATV Home manager Felix To Chi-hak said the station was also moving to meet the demands of its teenage audiences. 'Although youth programme is seldom scheduled during our prime time, TV has become so deeply embedded in a nation's culture that viewers demand something familiar in prime time,' he said. 'We realise the youngsters represent a prominent market, our youth programmes are chiefly designed for their needs.' And the station is planning to release several youth programmes shortly in addition to those it already puts out such as Sunday Music Express and Movie Station. These include documentary series like The Year 1997, which mirrors people's lives and social habits in Hong Kong in the run up to the handover, and About China, plus the animated series Crayon Shinchan and Japanese idol dramas.