entertainment, music, Philippines, television

GMA’s Sunday Afternoon Blues

Party Pilipinas will have its last show on May 19, another futile effort by the GMA Network to stay afloat against its arch-rival on Sunday afternoons. Hot TV was another example, after it was axed two weeks earlier. (Logo courtesy of GMA)

Last Sunday, it was announced that next week’s ‘Party Pilipinas‘ will be their final show. The penultimate live performance was held at the MOA Arena on Mothers’ Day, and it was the ‘A’ team who performed for the final time. Next week’s show will see the ‘B’ team make its last performance in the PP stage, and then the show itself will fade into history after Sunday afternoon.

It was a three-year run that did not live to the expectations of management, talent and the viewers. That does not mean the variety show performed badly, but it could not equal nor topple the Sunday afternoon standard that was ASAP on ABS-CBN. In fact, the more recent Kantar ratings (which was ABS-CBN’s preferred carrier) show that ASAP led by a wide margin over PP. Although GMA claimed their show rated well based on their more trusted NUTAM ratings, it was not enough to save the show from getting axed.

Two weeks ago Hot TV was also cancelled without warning, and was replaced by Filipino-dubbed movies. Amid rumours of its cancellation, it was confirmed by various sources that due to either health concerns (Regine Velasquez) or election preparations (Roderick Paulate, Raymond Gutierrez), Hot TV was impromptly cancelled by the GMA Network, without announcing it on the air. Its cancellation was again based on the ratings, where the program’s emphasis on true human stories over showbiz issues never clicked with the viewers.

The past few years saw GMA fare poorly on Sunday afternoons. With the exception of Manny Pacquiao fights, GMA’s Sunday afternoon ratings were never at par with ABS-CBN’s. In the past, SOP and S-Files were the more preferred programs for viewers, but the scales recently tipped in ASAP and The Buzz’s favor, in large part to the exodus of some of GMA’s resident stars to the Kapamilya network and its decision to reformat both programs into Party Pilipinas and Showbiz Central. Worse, GMA brought in aging and unproven talent rather than maximizing the use of their own new talent in a futile effort to remain competitive.

On the contrary, Johnny Manahan’s magic continued to weave. ASAP continued its winning streak thanks to the recent introduction of younger Star Magic talent, social media trends and creative stage designs. The use of Facebook and Twitter further enhanced ASAP’s  appeal, whereas PP’s performances were mentioned less on the new medium. The Buzz also benefited from the use of social media to gain more viewers than its competing program. Such social media participation was virtually absent on the GMA Network.

With Party Pilipinas and Hot TV now a distant memory, the Kapuso network needs a new plan of action in order to remain competitive. A new unnamed variety show program is in the works, while a new showbiz talk show remains in development. But seriously, all GMA needs is a new approach on their Sunday afternoon programming. Not a variety show nor a showbiz program, but live sports events, something GMA has been reluctant to air for the past 20 years.


8 thoughts on “GMA’s Sunday Afternoon Blues

  1. James Ty III says:

    I used to call GMA before asking them on what movies they will air on Sundays. But lately, they don’t answer my calls anymore. This is a sign that the network is already covering up on its programming failures.

      • James Ty III says:

        GMA keeps on airing its Tagalized movies a lot of times. That station will air the fight of Bradley and Marquez on Sunday. Not sure if the My Husband’s Lover concert will be aired on SNBO. Pls check.

      • They haven’t advertised when to air the MHL concert on TV, but perhaps they’ll air it on a few weeks’ delay.

        And for some reason I also hate GMA’s boxing coverage; too many commercials and delays to speak of. ABS-CBN has done a lot better, from Pinoy Pride to the Top Rank series. Bob Arum wanted ABS-CBN to air Top Rank matches because of their good reputation, but they can’t air Pacquiao fights because he was tied up to GMA.

  2. Jake Jacinto says:

    Worse, GMA no longer airs drama anthologies after their Sunday variety shows. If I were GMA, here’s the proposed Sunday afternoon sked:
    12:00 NN – 3:00 PM: Variety show
    3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Drama anthology
    4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Showbiz talk show

    • There’s just too much drama programs on this day and age. Blame the teleseryes for the decline in quality of television programming in the country.

      ABS-CBN, for their part, no longer air drama programs on Sundays. Don’t consider Luv U as a drama anthology in the same manner as Tabing Ilog or the Your Song series, but rather a comedy series since it spun off from Goin’ Bulilit. For whatever reason, Luv U has been airing without a true opponent throughout its run, since GMA cannot afford to make a similar rival program and worse, became scared of ASAP, which was the reason behind SAS’ demotion.

      Also, GMA tried putting Startalk back on Sundays at one point. But after Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda resumed hosting duties together on ‘The Buzz’, they returned back to Saturdays, possibly because they’re intimidated.

  3. James Ty III says:

    Don’t forget, Toni Gonzaga returned to The Buzz with Kris Aquino after Carmina Villaroel and Janice de Belen were removed after Buzz ng Bayan flopped.

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