IMAGE: APPLE DAILY
Hong Kong – Aaron Kwok, Chinese pop’s lord of dance, has closed a record 30- million yuan (S$6-million) deal to judge Zhejiang Satellite TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, says Apple Daily.
The Chinese broadcaster offered the same deal to another Heavenly King, Andy Lau, to appear on another talent show, The Voice Of China, but he has yet to sign on the dotted line because of a scheduling problem, says the report.
Chinese television is booming and popular provincial broadcasters are courting superstars with loads of money. Actor Chow Yun Fat was offered 50 million yuan to judge China’s Got Talent on Shanghai Media Group’s Dragon TV but he refused, says Apple Daily. Apparently, he loves only acting and finds appearing on a weekly variety show too tiring.
Singer Jacky Cheung also turned down 40 million yuan to be on the judging panel of The Voice Of China because he did not want to be away from his two daughters, says the report. Producers reached out to him as Lau is tied up in a movie by Chinese studio Huayi Brothers.
Actor Julian Cheung, however, took Hunan TV up on its 20 million yuan offer to appear on reality show Where Are We Going, Dad? with his son.
CCTV’s auction for advertising slots is an indicator of Chinese television revenue. The state-run broadcaster’s auction for last year reached an all-time high of 15.9 billion yuan, according to The Wall Street Journal. By comparison, the country’s entire box-office revenue, reported by China Daily, was about 21.8 billion yuan last year. Also, Kwok is paid a reported 8 million yuan for a film.
But beyond dollars and cents, sincerity matters. Zhejiang producers took three trips to Hong Kong to lobby Kwok for their show, says Apple Daily. After months of negotiations, they also agreed to work around his schedule. He has committed to a movie by Chinese director Chen Kaige and it would have been hard for Kwok to set aside three days every fortnight for the taping of the talent show, says the report. But by the current arrangement, he will do only one taping every three weeks. The show is set to premiere next month.
This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on March 17, 2014. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.