An Analysis of TVB “Standing” Positions: Kenneth Ma Finally Ready for TV King?Grace
Like seniors posing for their final class picture for high school, TVB artistes would gather together every year to pose for a group photo during the annual TVB Anniversary Gala. For years, this annual group photo would be analyzed from top to bottom by the media, touting it as TVB’s pantheon. The station’s top artists would be placed front and center, giving us all a good glimpse of artiste hierarchy within Hong Kong’s number one television station and management agency.
TVB Favors Kenneth Ma for TV King?
In the center of the front row would always be, of course, Liza Wang (汪明荃) and Carol “DoDo” Cheng (鄭裕玲), respected veteran entertainers and regular MCs of the TVB Anniversary Gala. Standing beside the two veterans would usually TVB’s “number one brothers”—and over the past few years, those brothers would be Wayne Lai (黎耀祥), Roger Kwok (郭晉安), or Moses Chan (陳豪). This year, Moses Chan remained, but standing beside DoDo became Kenneth Ma (馬國明).
Ever since being promoted to leading TVB actor ten years ago, Kenneth has become a mainstay in the front row. Over the years, he has slowly inched up from standing at the end, to the closer in the middle, and finally, to standing next to DoDo this year, putting him as one of TVB’s most important actors. With his soaring popularity after last year’s The Exorcist’s Meter <降魔的> and this year’s Big White Duel <白色強人>, 2019 may be the likely year where TVB will finally push Kenneth for TV King.
Ali Lee Still Staying Strong
Standing beside the “number one brothers” would usually be the “number one sisters”—this year, it was Ali Lee (李佳芯) besides Moses and Natalie Tong (唐詩詠) besides Kenneth. Ali was reportedly “frozen” by TVB after sharing a social media post that had upset mainland Chinese netizens, but judging from this photo, it appears that Ali’s position within TVB is unchanged.
Natalie, who won last year’s TV Queen and Best Actress at this year’s Singapore’s StarHub TV Awards, stood beside Kenneth, asserting her high status in the hierarchy. It’s very likely that the former TV Queen would be a top contender for this year’s TV Queen as well.
Standing beside Natalie was Ruco Chan (陳展鵬)—though he hasn’t had a new drama release this year, his position as TVB’s top dog remains. Beside Ali stood Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪), one of the stars of TVB’s first Netflix drama The Defected <鐵探>.
First row artistes are the following:
Liza Wang (汪明荃), Carol Cheng (鄭裕玲), Moses Chan (陳豪), Kenneth Ma (馬國明), Ali Lee (李佳芯), Natalie Tong (唐詩詠), Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪), Ruco Chan (陳展鵬), Nancy Wu (胡定欣), Mandy Wong (黃智雯), Vincent Wong (王浩信), Ben Wong (黃智賢), Pakho Chau (周柏豪), Elaine Yiu (姚子羚), Rebecca Zhu (朱晨麗), Priscilla Wong (黃翠如), Lai Lok-yi (黎諾懿), Owen Cheung (張振朗), Matthew Ho (何廣沛), Kelly Cheung (張曦雯), Sisley Choi (蔡思貝), Sharon Chan (陳敏之), and Tony Hung (洪永城)