This past week, GMA shook up its programming schedule in both weekday and weekend slots, in hopes of reversing the downward trend in terms of ratings. However, these changes do not seem to help the Kapuso network at all.
In the weekday morning slot GMA extended its anime block to nearly three hours. However, all they did was to re-air ‘Flame of Recca‘ and ‘Shaman King‘, which like ‘YuYu Hakusho‘ (Ghost Fighter) held a sentimental value to the network. Then ‘Kusina Master’, formerly a 30-minute ‘live’ program converted to a 15-minuter, airs shortly afterward. After Chef Boy Logro’s program, things seem to get interesting.
GMA’s extension of its anime block cost them two programs: the Mexican telenovela ‘Lola’ (original title Bella Calamidades), and the parent-child reality show ‘Anak Ko Yan’. The latter aired its series finale, with Jen-Jen Chubb crowned as the grand champion. The former, which replaced ‘With a Smile’ nearly two months ago, abruptly ended its run due to low ratings, even though more episodes were in the offing. In ‘Lola”s case, its abrupt cancellation has something to do with the viewers’ lack of interest towards Latin American drama series, which has fallen out of favor since the Asianovela invasion of the mid-2000s.
Meanwhile, the biography series ‘Tunay na Buhay‘ moved from the Saturday night slot to the weekday morning slot, to make way for another movie block called ‘Sabado Horror Night’. With the eight-part historical drama series ‘Katipunan’ currently airing, GMA had no room for ‘Tunay na Buhay’, thus moving it to the weekday morning slot. However, the ‘Sabado Horror Night’ block is deemed unnecessary, since GMA now has three movie blocks on Sundays and that ‘Katipunan’ runs for only a short period of time.
‘Sabado Horror Night’ also forced the variety show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman‘ out of its typical 12:00 a.m. timeslot. By all accounts, 12:00 a.m. is usually the best timeslot for German Moreno‘s program viewership-wise. But by forcing ‘Walang Tulugan’ out of its comfort zone, viewership losses are expected and many would be asleep by the time the show airs at 1:00 a.m.
Also this Saturday, the new game show ‘Picture! Picture!’, hosted by Ryan Agoncillo, will air after 24 Oras Weekend. In my previous blog, I wrote about GMA’s decision to pit ‘Picture! Picture!’ opposite wife Judy Ann Santos‘ game show ‘Bet on Your Baby’, and the reason why GMA wanted Ryan’s show to compete against Juday’s show is because of the poor ratings sustained by the children’s fantasy show ‘One Day Isang Araw’. Thus they answered with their own game show, which unlike ABS-CBN’s, is an original creation of the network.
And finally, GMA decided to cancel the docudrama series ‘Bingit’. The program, which is about stories of individuals surviving near-death experiences, aired its final episode last November 16, after which GMA decided to cease production of ‘Bingit’ out of respect to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
GMA’s programming changes were intended on improving its quality and viewership. However, with the kind of mediocre production they’re creating, it’s no secret why they were falling behind ABS-CBN in the ratings.