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MGB Halloween Specials

‘Magandang Gabi, Bayan”s Halloween specials were a cherished tradition for viewers during Halloween week. Sadly it’s been nearly a decade since the last MGB Halloween episode.

Before Saturday night television viewing was taken over by tearjerkers such as ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya‘ and ‘Magpakailanman‘, news and public affairs programs such as ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho‘, ‘Imbestigador‘ and ‘XXX: Eksklusibong, Explosibong Expose’ were keeping viewers informed during the weekend. But let’s go back to the 90s, and one classic program came to mind.

ABS-CBN‘s ‘Magandang Gabi, Bayan‘ became a standard of excellence for investigative journalism. The program’s title was a trademark of host Noli de Castro, who frequently begins and ends ‘TV Patrol‘ with this phrase, and likewise uses a variation of the phrase whenever he host his DZMM morning program ‘Kabayan, Kapangyarihan ng Mamamayan, Balita at Talakayan’. The program became closely identifiable with de Castro, and was famous for ‘Kabayan”s hard-hitting interviews with various guests, as well as a detailed study at current events and issues that shaped the nation at the time.

However, its most famous tradition was its Halloween specials. In each special, ‘Kabayan’ would discuss urban myths, encounters with the supernatural, horror stories, and even places that were deemed haunted by bad spirits. The MGB Halloween specials became a chilling affair for the viewer, especially when de Castro narrates in his normally baritone voice how each horror tale took place. The specials would continue even after de Castro ran for the Senate in 2001, but its final special aired in 2005, months before MGB was pulled off the air.

When de Castro returned to ABS-CBN after a nine-year run as both a senator and a vice president, he did not convince management to revive MGB. Instead he focused on both ‘TV Patrol’ and his radio program ‘Kabayan’, but in 2011, the traditional MGB Halloween specials returned as a one-off documentary. The special ‘Kababalaghan’ reminded viewers of how the MGB Halloween specials scared the life out of them, especially when de Castro’s baritone turns spookier with every word. The documentary trended on social media when it aired.

It is unknown when another one-off MGB Halloween special will be produced, but one thing is certain: Halloween won’t be the same without Magandang Gabi, Bayan’s Halloween specials.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Post-Wowowillie TV5

The Delta Theater, where Wowowillie used to tape live episodes, lay quiet. Only the logos and images of Willie Revillame were still intact, a stark reminder of how Willie helmed the program through its most controversial and memorable moments. It’s been nearly a month since Wowowillie left the air, and TV5 has yet to fill in the void.

The timeslot vacated by Wowowillie is currently used to air Tagalized foreign films as part of the ‘Sine Ko Singko’ block. After the program’s departure, TV5 has shifted its attention to late afternoon and evening programming, which they think is more attractive to viewers. In addition, the upcoming PBA season now gives TV5 the opportunity to tinker with their programs to fit in with the league’s games.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, reality show, television

When Kids Take Over Showbiz

TV programs such as ABS-CBN’s ‘Bet On Your Baby’ have shifted their attention to young children making an impression in front of a television audience. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

The age requirement for people entering the world of showbiz is getting younger. Some years ago ‘Starstruck’ and ‘Star Circle Quest‘ were responsible for extending their hand to teenage talents looking to break into the entertainment world. Now it’s the turn of ‘Bet On Your Baby’ and ‘Anak Ko Yan’ for encouraging even pre-teens and elementary school youngsters to make their mark.

The two talent departments in GMA’s Artist Center and ABS-CBN‘s Star Magic have the responsibility of finding diamonds in the rough, regardless of age. However, in recent years the trend is on preschool and grade school children getting their seat warm. Last night ABS-CBN introduced another child wonder in five-year-old Raikko Mateo in the new teleserye ‘Honesto’, continuing what has been a hot trend for young children to enter the world of showbiz. And it has also extended to programs such as ‘Bet On Your Baby’ and on GMA’s ‘Anak Ko Yan’.

ABS-CBN’s ‘Bet On Your Baby’ focuses on toddlers trying to win various challenges in order to win the top prize of P 1,000,000. The game show proved to be a ratings hit in its first three weeks on the air, peaking after Dello Gatmaitan won the top cash prize of P 1,000,000. ‘Bet on Your Baby’ has been praised for its fresh format and its positive handling of toddlers during the show, and with the high ratings and reviews, it looks like ABS-CBN has found another winner in its long tradition of acquiring franchises of foreign shows.

GMA’s ‘Anak Ko Yan’ follows in the vein of prior reality talent search programs, where young children showcase their talents in hopes of becoming the ultimate winner. The format is nothing new; ‘SCQ Kids’ and ‘Starstruck Kids‘ have used this approach in the past. However, ‘Anak Ko Yan’ also pays attention to the children’s parents who will play key roles in guiding their children in every challenge. The series, while billed as a ‘fresh take’, has not been able to capture most viewers’ attention since it is basically reusing a tried and tested format from older reality series.

Both networks have found a new outlet in discovering talent from the preschool/grade school group. However, the talent centers remain the source of finding new talent. With the exception of a Ryzza Mae Dizon who became an instant celebrity simply by winning a noontime talent competition, most top child stars today came from the talent centers, and were extensively trained by experienced actors and directors. An example of that training is on the ABS-CBN comedy show ‘Goin’ Bulilit‘, whose priority is to prepare young children into more prominent roles later on.

It is not bad for children to become famous early in their lives. However, a little guidance and growth is needed to sustain that level of fame as they get older. And of course, education will remain a priority.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television, United States

Honesto Debuts, The Gift Still Uncertain, NBA Season Begins

ABS-CBN will have a new teleserye debuting tonight. The drama series ‘Honesto’ focuses on a child named Honesto, whose recurring nasal allergies were a result of telling lies to others. The lead character’s willingness to remain honest and truthful amid the lies and conflicts surrounding his friends and family will be the main theme of the series, which airs tonight after ‘TV Patrol‘.

‘Honesto’ will be topbilled by young child actor Raikko Mateo, and playing supporting roles are Paulo Avelino, Maricar Reyes, Eddie Garcia, Janice de Belen, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Angel Aquino, Nonie Buencamino, Joel Torre, Joseph Marco and Melissa Ricks. The series replaces the highly-rated Coco Martin starrer ‘Juan Dela Cruz’ which ended last Friday.

Meanwhile, the airing date of TV5’s ‘The Gift’ is still being determined. The series was supposed to start last October 14, but due to the then-ongoing PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, it was rescheduled for a future air date. The shelving of ‘The Gift’ forced the reshuffling of the network’s ‘Everyday All the Way’ primetime lineup, with ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ airing at 7:00 p.m. followed by ‘Madam Chairman’ at 7:30 p.m. As of today TV5 management have yet to make an announcement regarding ‘The Gift’.

And for basketball fans in the Philippines, the 2013-14 NBA season gets underway this Wednesday morning. The Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers square off to begin the NBA season at 7:00 a.m. on Basketball TV. Over at Studio 23, the defending champion Miami Heat will raise their banner and begin their quest for a third straight title against the returning Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls at 8:00 a.m. And at BTV, the Hallway Series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers concludes opening night at 10:40 a.m. Both the Heat-Bulls and Clippers-Lakers matchups will also be aired live on NBA Premium TV.

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Uncategorized

Premier League Out of Balls; BeIN Sport Launches

This past August, ABS-CBN‘s Balls Channel announced the airing of Premier League matches on the network, giving loyal soccer fans an opportunity to watch the most popular soccer league in the world. However, with BeIN Sport finally making its long-awaited debut in the Philippines last October 15, ABS-CBN had no choice but to relinquish the airing of Premier League matches on the Balls Channel starting November 1.

BeIN Sport first acquired the rights for the Premier League during the offseason. Previous broadcasters Fox Sports Asia (formerly ESPN Asia) and STAR Sports aired the Premier League for several years, but mounting broadcast rights expenses forced the networks to step aside, and replace them with the lesser-known Dutch Eredivisie. Despite the announcement, BeIN Sport did not reach cable subscribers in time for the start of the Premier League, forcing ABS-CBN to step in on a temporary basis.

After a successful launch in Indonesia last July, MP & Silva finally launched BeIN Sport in the Philippines last October 15. BeIN Sport will have three channels on the HD dial, one of which will be devoted exclusively to the Premier League. Unfortunately, the channels will only be available on HD, thus loyal and fierce soccer fans will have to shell out more money in order to install a high-definition digibox.

The all-Premier League channel BeIN Sport 3 HD is available on Channel 206, while sister network BeIN Sport 2 HD is available on Channel 205, both through SkyCable. Meanwhile, Balls Channel will continue to air the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, with the purpose of quenching the thirst of devoted soccer fans craving for some non-stop soccer action.

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Philippines, Sports, television

The Other Pinoy Pride

Two simultaneous boxing events featuring rising Filipino boxers Johnriel Casimero, Genesis Servania and Arthur Villanueva will be aired this weekend. ABS-CBN and ALA Promotions’ successful ‘Pinoy Pride’ series will have its 22nd installment featuring Servania against Panamanian boxer Rafael Concepcion for the WBO Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Championship, and Villanueva against Mexican Jose Cabrera for the WBO International Super Flyweight Championship. And over at GMA, its ‘Laban ng Lahi’ series will pit Casimero against Mexican Felipe Salgueiro for the IBF Junior Flyweight Championship. ‘Laban ng Lahi’ airs tonight after ‘Celebrity Bluff’, while ‘Pinoy Pride’ airs tomorrow morning after ‘Matanglawin’.

While the Pinoy Pride series has become well-known for promoting young and up-and-coming talent from the ALA stable, it has been a different story for GMA’s ‘Laban ng Lahi’ series. Despite sharing the same aspect of promoting young boxing sensations, GMA produces the series on an independent basis, and through a variety of promoters. Some of the Filipino boxers who have fought in the series include Casimero, Donnie Nietes, Denver Cuello, Dodie Boy Penalosa, Brian Viloria, Marvin Sonsona and female boxer Ana Julaton.

Some of the fights featured on the series have also been re-aired on the ‘All Sports’ program on GMA News TV, which contrary to its name, has been mostly synonymous with airing boxing matches. In addition, some of the aforementioned boxers have also been profiled in another GNTV program, ‘Sports Pilipinas’.

Even though the ‘Laban ng Lahi’ series has been decently successful in its own right, it has suffered from a lack of promotion, sporadic television appearances, and a lack of available talent. The series has also been overshadowed by GMA’s promotion of bouts featuring more well-known boxers such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Timothy Bradley, and Manny Pacquiao. In contrast, ‘Pinoy Pride’ on ABS-CBN has maintained stability over the years because of the ALA Promotions’ positive track record to training and planning the careers of their talents, in addition to aggressive promotional tactics. Some of the ALA talents went on to achieve international success after their appearances on ‘Pinoy Pride’.

The ‘Laban ng Lahi’ series may be considered GMA’s answer to ‘Pinoy Pride’, but unless they can find a stable with the same vision as ALA’s, their own series is considered an afterthought in the pro boxing scene.

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