For the first time at the StarHub TVB Awards, there was a two-way tie for the biggest winner of the night. Crime detective drama Legal Mavericks and action crime thriller The Unholy Alliance both notched up five awards each. The eighth edition of the glitzy affair was held last Saturday night at Marina Bay Sands.
Legal Mavericks was the dark horse of the night and its big awards haul was surprising to many, given the more controversial topics it explores, such as nudity as a form of art, the legality of euthanasia, animal rights and societal reaction towards the transgender and homosexual communities.
Its trophies included My Favourite TVB Actor for Vincent Wong, 34, for his convincing portrayal of a blind lawyer, and My Favourite TVB Actress for Ali Lee, 34, who plays a headstrong and insubordinate judge.
Wong, who won My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor in 2015, was also part of this year's Favourite TVB On-screen Couple alongside Natalie Tong for their roles as Saving (Wong) and Cherry (Tong) in the show My Unfair Lady.
The actor, who won My Favourite TVB Actor for the first time, was handed his award by a very emotional Nancy Wu, a long-time co-star and friend.
An equally emotional Wong recalled his family's insistence that he stop acting classes for fear he would end up as an extra. He later went into singing before being signed by TVB.
Thanking his co-stars and wife, he ended his speech saying: "Lastly, I'd like to say thanks to my grandfather. I hope I proved I could be more than just calefare."
The winning duo were among the more than 25 Hong Kong stars who attended the event, much to the delight of the 1,500-strong crowd.
Other notable award winners this year were Roxanne Tong and Brian Tse, who won the TVB Best New Artiste awards, and Owen Cheung and Jacqueline Wong, who won the My Favourite TVB Supporting Actor and Actress awards. The Unholy Alliance took home the biggest award of the night, My Favourite TVB Drama.
Though time-travel comedy drama A General, A Scholar And A Eunuch - starring Edwin Siu, Kristal Tin, Raymond Cho and Matthew Ho - led the pack with 15 nominations, it picked up only three awards, one in the favourite TV character female category and two in the male category.
Hot on its heels with 14 nominations were Legal Mavericks and TVB's first 4K high-resolution television series, My Unfair Lady.
The Unholy Alliance had 13 nominations and featured the same cast as martial arts drama A Fist Within Four Walls, the biggest winner at the StarHub TVB Awards last year with seven gongs.
Throughout the night, the mood was lively, thanks to the banter from veteran host Lawrence Cheng and upcoming variety hosts Luk Ho Ming and Mayanne Mak.
The crowd was also entertained by performances from Hong Kong singers G.E.M. and George Lam, Singaporean singer-songwriter Hanjin Tan and local a cappella group MICappella.
This year, the awards featured a total of 15 categories, of which 12 were open for public voting.
A special 25th Anniversary award was also presented in celebration of the silver jubilee of StarHub and TVB's partnership for the most popular TVB drama male and female characters.
It was taken home by Wayne Lai for his role as Chai Kau in the 2009 hit drama Rosy Business and Nancy Sit for her role as Leung Yun Ho in A Kindred Spirit (1995 to 1999), one of the longest-running TVB dramas.
• The StarHub TVB Awards will air on demand starting Saturday on Hub Drama First (StarHub TV Channel 860) in the original Cantonese. It will also air on Hub VV Drama (StarHub TV Channel 855) on Nov 4 and on Hub E City (StarHub TV Channels 111 and 825) on Nov 11 at 7pm in Mandarin.