You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mischer runs HK spec

Don Mischer, who will executive produce this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, has been entrusted with the duty of entertaining a mammoth audience at a July 1 spectacle celebrating Hong Kong’s transition from British to Chinese rule.

As exec producer of “Hong Kong ’97 Spectacular,” Mischer finds himself at the helm of a historic event with an expected attendance of 4 million and an audience of millions more on TV throughout Asia and Europe.

While the show will be presented a day after the official government hand-over of Hong Kong to China by Britain at midnight June 30, it’s not government-sponsored and has no public financial support, according to Mischer.

Funding for the event was put up by a group of Hong Kong businessmen who call themselves the Better Hong Kong Foundation. Motivation purportedly was to give a “gift to the people of Hong Kong,” to quote event sponsors.

“This is a completely privately funded production,” Mischer said. “It’s not about governments, boundaries or politics. It’s about the people, the tradition, and the spirit of the city.”

For the changing of the Hong Kong guard, Mischer and his production company will stage a larger-than-life extravaganza on the waters of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. It’s being billed as the largest outdoor event ever staged on the Asian continent, with a three-mile-long “playing area” entirely on water.

It won’t be difficult to catch a glimpse of the festivities for miles around, Mischer assured.

“To have any impact at all, our scenic elements must be a minimum of six or seven stories high,” he said. “Some will be as high as 12 stories above the water in the harbor.”

There will be lasers, fountains, fireworks and a “River of Life” made up of 30 90-foot barges decorated with images of Chinese tradition, culture and symbols of good fortune.

David Goldberg, who produced the opening and closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympics, serves as producer of “Hong Kong ’97 Spectacular.” Adam Bezark, who specializes in creating high-tech special events and attractions, will direct.

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content