|Also known as Rosy Business III|
Created by Lee Tim-sing
First episode date 1 October 2016
Number of episodes 30
Executive producer Lee Tim-sing
|Genre Period dramaEspionage|
Written by Ip Kwong-yam
Final episode date 5 November 2016
Network TVB Jade
|Starring Wayne LaiMyolie WuEdwin SiuSire MaYoyo ChenKing Kong LeeLau KongCecilia FongLee Shing-cheongSusan Tse|
Opening theme "孤嶺花" (Solitary Flower) by Kay Tse
Cast Wayne Lai, Myolie Wu, Edwin Siu, Susan Tse, Lau Kong
Similar Rosy Business, Rogue Emperor, Lord of Shanghai, No Regrets, Come Home Love: Din
No Reserve (Chinese: 巾幗梟雄之諜血長天), also known as Rosy Business III, is a 2016 Hong Kong espionage television drama serial created and produced by Lee Tim-sing for TVB. It is the third installment of the critically acclaimed Rosy Business period drama series. Previous installments include 2009's Rosy Business and 2010's No Regrets.
Set primarily in Canton, China (now known as Guangzhou) during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the show's story follows the affairs of Chinese spies and their entanglements with underground triads and the Empire of Japan. Wayne Lai stars as special government agent Kong Sheung-hung. Co-starring is Myolie Wu as Kong's partner Cheung Kei-sang, and Edwin Siu as their rival, Chau Sai-kai. No Reserve premiered on 1 October 2016 on TVB's streaming service, myTV SUPER. It later had a mainstream premiere at TVB Jade on 19 December 2016, with the series edited to 26 episodes.
No reserve auctions
Development and filming
After the critical and commercial success of No Regrets (2010), TVB encouraged Lee to produce a third installment. Though Lee was initially against the idea, he agreed to helm the project if Rosy Business head writer and assistant creative director, Cheung Wah-biu, would return to TVB. Upon learning that Cheung was tied to other projects, Lee put the production of No Reserve on hold, expressing that without Cheung, he would be unable to continue the franchise.
In December 2011, Lee announced that he would consider retirement after finishing the post-production work of his crime serial, Bullet Brain. Lee admitted that the unsatisfying ratings from his 2011 drama, Bottled Passion, significantly impacted this decision. Despite his hopes for retirement, TVB contacted Lee for a contract renewal in late 2012. Lee eventually renewed his TVB contract in the spring of 2012 after TVB agreed to increase his pay and reduce his workload to one drama serial per year.
Lee began pre-production work on No Reserve in September 2012. Lee's longtime collaborator and Bullet Brain head writer, Ip Kwong-yam, was attached to the script. No Reserve was Ip's first TVB drama since leaving the company sixteen years ago. Ip drafted a preliminary script for No Reserve in May 2012 and began officially working on the project after the completion of Lee's other production, Detective Columbo, in August 2012. The Chinese working title of No Reserve was announced to be "Dip Hyut Chi Hung" (Chinese: 諜血雌雄; literally: "Espionage Heroes"). The title was later changed to "Dip Hyut Cheung Tin" (Chinese: 諜血長天; literally: "espionage through continuous time").
A costume fitting press conference was held on February 20, 2013. Principal photography began on March 11 in Hong Kong. Other filming locations included Foshan and Zhongshan. A bless ceremony was held on April 8. Photography wrapped up in July 2013.
The success of Rosy Business and No Regrets relaunched the careers of main leads, Sheren Tang and Wayne Lai. Both leads respectively won best actress and actor at the TVB Anniversary Awards two years in a row for their acclaimed performances. In late 2011, Lai stated that he would be willing to push aside other filming offers in order to accommodate his schedule to film No Reserve. Lai reconfirmed this statement with the Singaporean media in July 2012. Tang also privately agreed to help Lee in No Reserve if her schedule allowed.
When the No Reserve project was announced to be reopened in September 2012, Lai re-confirmed his return. A few days later, Lee announced that Myolie Wu would replace Tang as the serial's lead actress. With the exception of Lai, a core star to the franchise, Lee indicated that No Reserve would feature an entirely younger and fresher cast. Lee received a lot of complaints on Wu's casting; the complaints said that Tang had an irreplaceable role in the Rosy Business franchise. Wu's acting abilities were also questioned. Lee defended Wu, gushing that Wu was a TVB fadan who he wanted to collaborate with the most.
Following Wu's casting, Lee announced that Edwin Siu had been cast as the serial's second male lead. Natalie Tong and Sire Ma were also announced to have joined, but Tong left the cast in early 2012 due to a schedule clash.
A sales presentation trailer was filmed in October 2012. Helena Law, Yoyo Chen, Eric Li, Cheung Kwok-keung, and returning cast members Susan Tse and Li Shing-cheong were confirmed to join the cast in February 2013.
When production first began, the Hong Kong media predicted that No Reserve would be one of TVB's anniversary dramas of 2013. However, in May 2013 when filming had hit its halfway mark, TVB pulled the drama from the 2013 broadcast lineup, and the series was being subjected to review by a censor board. It was said that the drama, which included sodomy and rape scenes, could be too violent for broadcast on a prime time network. Lee allegedly altered the story due to these restrictions. TVB had attempted to censor all the scenes alluding to the violence, cutting the drama from 30 episodes to 15.
After three years in broadcast limbo, TVB finally confirmed in July 2016 that No Reserve would be getting a October 2016 premiere. Instead of getting a network broadcast, No Reserve would be released on TVB's streaming service myTV SUPER, which has more lax restrictions. At a promotional event to promote its release in September 2016, Lai said TVB's hesitance to air No Reserve on television was more likely due to the drama's politically sensitive topic rather than its sexual content.
myTV SUPER will be airing the complete, uncut version on 1 October 2016. The first five episodes will be released on the first Saturday, followed by four episodes on the next every Saturday for four week & last five episodes released following week.
TVB Jade will also air the edited version (26 episodes) from 19 December 2016, everyday at 9.30pm.