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.