After 16 years, ‘Startalk’ returns to its original Sunday slot. GMA’s showbiz talk show will now be seen every Sunday at 4:00 p.m. or after ‘I-Bilib’ and before ’24 Oras Weekend’.
You may recall that I wrote an article suggesting that ‘Startalk’ needs to move back to Sundays in order to give GMA a more formidable counterpart to ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’ (and later ‘Buzz ng Bayan’). And after GMA failed to counter with ‘GMA Blockbusters’, the need to bring ‘Startalk’ back to Sundays became even more pronounced. But ‘GMA Blockbusters’ is not the only reason for the move.
In November of last year, ABS-CBN started airing ‘The Singing Bee’ opposite ‘Startalk’. And based on initial ratings published by both Kantar and AGB Nielsen, the results overwhelmingly favored the former. ‘The Singing Bee”s winning streak continued into the new year, and by January 18, it became clear that ‘Startalk’ no longer has the ability to dominate Saturday afternoon viewership.
Which leads to the switcheroo of sorts this weekend. The move of ‘Startalk’ back to Sundays is seen as GMA’s attempt to re-stabilize their Sunday afternoon lineup. It is also seen as a matchup of the two longest-tenured talk shows in the country, with ‘Startalk’ first airing in 1995, and ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ debuting as ‘The Buzz’ in 1999. But perhaps another intriguing aspect is the fact that ‘Startalk’ is finally up against its original host Boy Abunda, who left the show to host rival ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’.
Moving ‘Startalk’ back to Sundays is undoubtedly the best move that GMA executed to begin the new year. The question is, will the move pay off for the Kapuso network? We’ll see.