Here's why Hong Kong's TVB is much more than just a television network in Asia
While we're all familiar with KBS, MBC, and all the mainstream Korean networks on DramaFever, there is one huge network that recently joined our collections that just can't be missed! Television Broadcasts Limited, or TVB, was the first wireless commercial television station ever in Hong Kong, and with a half-billion dollar revenue intake, it is Asia's largest commercial television production center.
TVB has a cult-like following in Asia, with longtime fans following the network not just as a form of entertainment, but also as a lifestyle. TVB's actors and actresses start young in the industry and act until their retirement, often into their fifties and sixties, so their fan base is largely steady. Fans often develop a sense of intimacy as they grow up with familiar faces, so TVB actors are a cultural link to nostalgia and childhood.
So where are all the major TVB addicts? Growing up in a Chinese family, I can tell you that TVB and Canto-pop definitely played a major role in my household. Beyond China (and Macau and Taiwan), major audiences for the network include many Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore. With such a wide audience base, many local and international movie actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Stephen Chow, began their careers in TVB shows.
Viewers may find content in TVB dramas have a more straightforward and comical slant, and that many story-lines focus less on romance than Korean and Taiwanese series. Currently, the most popular actors include Kenneth Ma, Tavia Yeung, Charmaine Sheh, and Kevin Cheng, whom all can be seen in our recent TVB drama lineup. Remember what I said earlier about a core group of individuals making up most of the actors in TVB? That's why you'll see a lot of overlap in these dramas (for example, Tavia Yeung is in both Hippocratic Crush and Beyond the Realm of Conscience).
Have you been a longtime follower of TVB? Let us know how you feel about Hong Kong dramas in the comments below!