Hong Kong: ATV’s dramatic intentions help fill pipeline

Mipcom 2005: Territory report

HONG KONG — The territory’s two free-to-air broadcasters, Asia Television and Television Broadcasts, have carved out nice niches for themselves.

“Our strategy focuses on factual programs, but we may try to find more drama slots. It depends on the availability of dramas,” says Wallace Wong, ATV’s assistant program manager.

The channel, which has an average rating share of 25%, would like to add another drama, which would bring its total to four. It currently airs “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Jack & Bobby” and “CSI: Miami.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” will wrap its run Sept. 30. The channel hopes to carry it again next season, but nothing’s confirmed, Wong says. If not, the show will be replaced by season five of “CSI.” “CSI: Miami” will wrap Nov. 14 to be replaced by “CSI: New York.”

Wong hopes to branch out beyond crime drama in the future. However, he says, ATV will be looking for docs and children’s programs at Mipcom, noting that drama isn’t the focus for ATV.

Wong adds that TVB Pearl’s new arsenal of primetime dramas is hard to compete with. Network offers lots of docu, and nature and travel shows while moving toward more drama.

TVB Pearl’s upcoming dramatic fare includes “Point Pleasant,” “Las Vegas,” “Alias” and “The OC,” all of which will begin in the next couple of weeks. “Medium, “The 4400” and “Nip/Tuck” also will be starting soon.

The channel currently doesn’t have any empty blocks, says Christina Tse, assistant publicity manager. But at Mipcom, it will be searching for anything that will enhance the current schedule.

“Obviously, if there are good things, we’ll grab them,” Tse says.

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