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Another Weekend Shuffle on GMA

Sen. Bong Revilla’s ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ is moving to the Sunday morning slot, one of several changes that GMA implemented on its weekend lineup.

GMA’s ‘Startalk’, the longest-running showbiz talk show, returns to the Saturday slot at 3:30 p.m. today. However, the move of ‘Startalk’ is just one of several lineup changes made to GMA’s weekend slate of programs.

Suspense series ‘Tales of Horror’ will air every Saturday and Sunday. The series is basically similar to another GMA program in ‘Asian Horror Stories’ (formerly ‘True Horror Stories’), in which horror flicks are featured. ‘Tales of Horror’ airs every Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ and before ‘Startalk’, and every Sunday after ‘Asian Horror Stories’ and before ’24 Oras Weekend’.

Sitcom ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ will now air after ’24 Oras Weekend’, as the game show ‘Picture Picture’ moves to Sunday nights following the said newscast. An earlier timeslot for ‘Vampire’ means that the ABS-CBN sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’ will now face the Vic Sotto-starred sitcom every night, while ‘Picture Picture’ will be up against ‘Goin’ Bulilit’.

Movie block ‘GMA Blockbusters’ moves from Saturday afternoons to replace both ‘Picture Picture’ and ‘Reporters’ Notebook’. The movie block airs after ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ and before ‘Magpakailanman’. Meanwhile, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ was moved to Thursday afternoons in GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, leaving ‘I-Witness’ as the sole Saturday night public affairs program.

And finally, the educational program ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ has found a new timeslot. The Bong Revilla-hosted program will now be seen on Sunday mornings, as part of a quartet of educational programs that include ‘Aha!’, ‘Born to Be Wild’, and ‘I-Bilib’.

Looking at GMA’s weekend programming lineup, there are some strong and weak points to consider. Moving ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ to Sunday mornings will be a huge boost for the program, as it will now attract young and informative viewers. And with ‘Aha!’, ‘Born to Be Wild’ and ‘I-Bilib’ preceding it, viewership of ‘Kap’s’ will definitely help its cause.

Over at the nighttime slot, an additional hour of ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’, while not favorable to some, will benefit a portion of the viewers who are in need of more intelligent programming. ‘KMJS’, one of GMA’s stronger programs, is up against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Rated K’, and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’.

Meanwhile, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ and ‘Tales of Horror’ are intended to by the network as ‘stopgap programs’, meaning they currently air on a short-term basis while a new program is in the works. In the case of Sunday’s edition of ‘Tales of Horror’, its possible replacement may be an upcoming dance program featuring Marian Rivera.

And then there is ‘Sunday All-Stars’, now relegated to 1:50 p.m. after the transfer of ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’. Having reduced its airtime and crew, it is clear that ‘Sunday All-Stars’ is nowhere close to the level that ‘ASAP’ currently enjoys. And a later timeslot only makes the situation even worse.

In what has become a recurring theme in the last few years, GMA restructures its weekend lineup in hopes of gaining viewers’ interest. And again, will this new lineup pay off? Only time will tell.

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Startalk Moving Back to Saturdays is a Bad Move

The move of ‘Startalk’ back to Saturdays was basically intended to avoid competing against old friends Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda.

Tomorrow, GMA’s long-running showbiz talk show ‘Startalk’ will move back to Saturday afternoons after a near five-month experiment with a Sunday timeslot. However, the return of ‘Startalk’ to the Saturday slot is just one of several moves made by the network’s management in hopes of reinvigorating its weaker weekend lineup, one in which I will discuss in another article.

Now here’s the big question: Did GMA make the right call in moving ‘Startalk’ back to Saturdays, or did they make a serious mistake?

Back in January, ‘Startalk’ was moved to Sundays in order to challenge ABS-CBN’s ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. GMA hoped that the move of ‘Startalk’ to Sundays will give ‘Buzz ng Bayan’, then formerly known as ‘The Buzz’, some serious challenge, as GMA’s previous Sunday showbiz talk shows like ‘S Files’, ‘Showbiz Central’, and ‘HOT TV’ were unable to match the success of ‘The Buzz’.

Then on May 18, the Kapamilya network decided to bring back ‘The Buzz’ in time for the show’s 15th anniversary. In addition, original hosts and ‘Startalk’ alumni Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda returned to host the show, and were joined by Toni Gonzaga. For the first time ever, the two original ‘Startalk’ hosts in Boy and Kris were up against the program they used to host, now with Butch Francisco, Joey de Leon, Ricky Lo and Lolit Solis as the hosts.

But after just two weeks, GMA decided to move ‘Startalk’ back to its familiar Saturday slot, effective May 31. Perhaps it is the fear of getting upstaged by Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, whose egos are as big as their hosting skills. Or perhaps it is because ‘The Buzz’ had been a consistent ratings winner against ‘Startalk’ in its timeslot, even during the period where some viewers were upset about the format and the hosts of the now-defunct ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. But whatever the reason, ‘Startalk’ seems to be at its best on Saturdays, and for GMA, they seem fine with it.

And while some folks agreed that moving ‘Startalk’ earlier would give them a head-start in reporting the latest showbiz news, the fact is, ‘Startalk”s departure leaves a big hole in GMA’s Sunday afternoon lineup. Not even the upcoming dance show hosted by Marian Rivera, as some of the tabloids have reported, would seriously contend against ‘The Buzz’ or any other Kapamilya show on Sundays.

In short, it was a big mistake for GMA management to place ‘Startalk’ back to the Saturday slot. They not only refused to compete against Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda’s show (in the process surrendering to them too soon), but also left its Sunday afternoon slot prone to ABS-CBN’s consistent dominance.

The decision to move ‘Startalk’ back to Saturdays is something that GMA would like to regret. Instead of giving ABS-CBN a more competitive program, they simply retreated. Where is the ‘Puso ang Una (Heart comes First)’ that the station talks about?

In the end, this only shows that GMA, despite the fact that they are called the ‘Kapuso network’, have little heart whatsoever in making their programs as competitive as possible. Now whether or not ‘Startalk’ will be better off airing on Saturdays remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure: as long as Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino are with ‘The Buzz’, ‘Startalk’ will never go head-to-head with that said program.

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Billboard Hot 100 – June 7, 2014

Here are the Top 10 songs from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of June 7, 2014.

1. Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – Fancy. No. 2 last week.

2. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea – Problem. No. 3 last week.

3. John Legend – All of Me. No. 1 last week.

4. Pharrell Williams – Happy. No. 4 last week.

5. DJ Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down for What. No. 5 last week.

6. Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – Dark Horse. No. 6 last week.

7. Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty. No. 7 last week.

8. Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong? – No. 17 last week.

9. Justin Timberlake – Not a Bad Thing. No. 8 last week.

10. Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg – Wiggle. No. 20 last week.

All videos of the Top 10 songs can be viewed above. Our thanks to Billboard for this week’s Hot 100 Top 10.

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‘Rhodora X’ Exits With a Whimper

Throughout its four-month run, ‘Rhodora X’ has been consistently upstaged by ‘The Legal Wife’ despite boasting an interesting storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’.

GMA’s suspense-filled drama series ‘Rhodora X’ will bid goodbye this Friday, to be replaced by ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. And despite an original and enticing storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, the ratings of the said program were not as well-received as they intended to.

‘Rhodora X’, along with the recently-concluded series ‘Carmela’, debuted strongly last January 27. But from the beginning, it was clear that ABS-CBN’s teleseryes were still the most-watched in the country. In only its first week, ‘Rhodora X’ had a 15.8% Metro Manila rating, and an 11% national rating according to AGB Nielsen. Meanwhile its competing program and fellow debutante ‘The Legal Wife’ got a 23.9% and a 21 %. The TNS Kantar figures were also won by ‘The Legal Wife’, who bested ‘Rhodora X’ 21% to 11%.

‘The Legal Wife”s promising start would set the tone for the rest of ‘Rhodora X”s run. In fact, ‘The Legal Wife’ got even more attention on Twitter thanks in part to the memorable lines, serious physical confrontations, and over-the-top sexual encounters between the characters of Angel Locsin, Maja Salvador and Jericho Rosales. Meanwhile, the first few episodes of ‘Rhodora X’ trended on Twitter, before disappearing altogether just as the split personalities of Jennylyn Mercado’s character began to materialize.

To be honest, ‘Rhodora X’ was a good series. It may not have been a ratings winner throughout its run, but it did raise awareness on ‘DID’ in a more dramatic manner. The series also showcased the versatility of Jennylyn Mercado as both a good girl and a bad girl, the latter of which I hoped to see in future teleseryes involving the former ‘Starstruck’ alumnus. And the portrayal of Yasmien Kurdi as the estranged sister of Jennylyn’s character shows that her acting prowess remains top-notch, and a huge follow-up to her comeback in ‘Anna Karenina’.

With ‘Rhodora X’ about to leave the airwaves, the pressure is now on ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. The series, starring Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe and Maricel Soriano, is essentially a version two of ‘The Legal Wife’, except that Dingdong’s character is a man marrying two women. ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, which begins on June 2, will be ‘The Diamond Star”s true comeback project, after appearing in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ Lenten special ‘Kulungan Kanlungan’.

But for now, ‘Rhodora X’ is saying goodbye. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

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GMA Reformats Afternoon Prime with the Addition of Public Affairs Programs

Starting with ‘Alisto’ last May 26, GMA’s Public Affairs programs began to air on the teleserye-dominated ‘Afternoon Prime’ block.

Nearly two years ago, ABS-CBN decided to place their news and current affairs programs (a.k.a. ‘Pinoy True Stories’) in the afternoon slot. Soon after, they placed ‘Banana Nite’ in an earlier timeslot following their late-night telecast ‘Bandila’. At the time, I derided their decision to place ‘Banana Nite’ following their news program, simply because ABS-CBN’s late night public affairs programs do not measure up to the standards set by GMA’s award-winning counterparts.

As time wore on, however, the Kapamilya network’s decision appears to have paid off. ‘Pinoy True Stories’, which today consists of ‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ and ‘Red Alert’, enjoyed ratings of 10% or better, mainly due to higher viewership in the afternoon compared to the late night hours. In addition, the equally high ratings of ABS-CBN’s teleseryes are also helping the program’s cause.

The success of ‘Pinoy True Stories’ prompted GMA to make their own changes in the ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, something I first envisioned in an article back in December. The end result is a reformatted ‘Afternoon Prime’ that now includes five public affairs programs: ‘Alisto!’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The newly-reassigned programs started airing last May 26, beginning with ‘Alisto!’.

On Mondays, ‘Alisto!’, hosted by Arnold Clavio, tackles various crimes, natural disasters, man-made accidents, and other life-threatening incidents. On Tuesdays, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos, features famous individuals and their real life stories. Then on Wednesdays, ‘Power House’, hosted by Kara David, documents the lives of powerful people by showcasing their properties and their prized possessions while talking about their normal lives.

On Thursdays, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, hosted by Jiggy Manicad and Maki Pulido, investigates a wide variety of stories that affect the Filipino society. And on Fridays, ‘Love Hotline’, hosted by Jean Garcia, spotlights individuals in the need of love advice.

GMA’s afternoon public affairs programs should give viewers a welcome break from the tear-jerking drama series of years past. But more importantly, it should help these programs gain some much-needed exposure from a bigger audience, considering the likes of ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ were regular winners in various international award-giving bodies.

It remains to be seen whether or not these programs will help GMA return to form in the afternoons. But for now, this is a good decision for GMA to bring them out of late nights and into the viewer-rich afternoon slot.

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‘Sirena Wars’ End Prematurely

The ‘Sirena Wars’ between ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’ was dominated by the former.

Tonight on GMA Telebabad, the much-awaited value-oriented drama series ‘Nino’ will make its primetime debut. But instead of premiering on the timeslot vacated by ‘Carmela’, GMA decided to make a programming change.

‘Nino’ was placed on the timeslot following ’24 Oras’, essentially following the same formula used by ABS-CBN in series such as ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’, and ‘Honesto’. It also meant that the so-called ‘Sirena Wars’ waged between the Kapuso network’s ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ABS-CBN’s own adaptation of ‘Dyesebel’ had to end with this timeslot change, as ‘Kambal Sirena’ was moved at a later time opposite ‘Ikaw Lamang’.

The ‘Sirena Wars’, which lasted from March 17 to May 23, overwhelmingly favored ‘Dyesebel’ in the ratings. According to TNS Kantar’s figures, ‘Dyesebel’ consistently registered a double-digit winning margin over ‘Kambal Sirena’, with the former’s ratings reaching 30% or better against the latter’s 16% or lower average. Over at AGB Nielsen, the margin was close to nearly 5%, but it still favors ‘Dyesebel’ over ‘Kambal Sirena’, albeit by lower scores compared to Kantar’s.

‘Dyesebel’ was also a hit among social media netizens, with hashtags and topics related to the series consistently ranking among the top trends on Twitter. The same cannot be said for ‘Kambal Sirena’, however.

To GMA’s credit, ‘Kambal Sirena’ managed to hold its own against ‘Dyesebel’. While the series was outplayed by ‘Dyesebel’ in the ratings, it enabled Louise delos Reyes to continue improving her acting prowess, in what is only her second lead role in primetime. And while Anne Curtis remains among primetime’s top female stars, there is no question that delos Reyes is a formidable primetime actress herself, and has a bright future ahead of her.

But in the end, GMA needed a change. Realizing that ABS-CBN was successful in airing ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’ and ‘Honesto’ after news programs, GMA decided to move ‘Kambal Sirena’ to a later timeslot and place ‘Nino’ instead. However, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Nino’ will match, if not surpass the success of ABS-CBN’s value-oriented teleseryes.

Beginning tonight, both ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ will continue to air on primetime. But the ‘Sirena Wars’ is no more. And it was fun while it lasted.

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