Low ratings, financial struggles, and futile programming changes. These attributes have become the standard of the GMA Network in recent years.
And the GMA Artist Center is sharing a part of the blame.
While the Artist Center has been known for making stars out of Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo and others, they also had a fair share of missteps along the way. Missed opportunities, underdeveloped and disgruntled talents, and even poor acquisitions have played a role in the GMAAC’s recent history.
For instance, Jolina Magdangal’s recent visit to ABS-CBN has hinted reports of a possible return to the network. Once one of the most promising talents to come out of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic, her career gradually went downhill after moving to GMA in 2002.
The Artist Center also acquired other former Star Magic talents such as Heart Evangelista, Christian Bautista, Michelle Madrigal and Claudine Barretto. But while Madrigal became a full-fledged star with GMA, the same cannot be said of the careers of Evangelista and Barretto, who were on the decline by the time they signed with the GMAAC. This despite the likes of Tom Rodriguez receiving a career boost with GMA after lingering under Star Magic.
On the contrary, several former GMAAC artists blossomed under Mr. M’s watch. For example, Cristine Reyes, Jake Cuenca, Coco Martin, Paulo Avelino, and more recently Ellen Adarna were considered raw and underdeveloped talents on GMA, but upon transferring to ABS-CBN, their careers were given a new lease on life.
Even several established former GMAAC stars managed to maintain a high profile after moving to ABS-CBN. Angel Locsin, formerly the lead star of ‘Darna’, ‘Mulawin’ and other fantaseryes, gave a good account of herself with a critically-acclaimed performance on ‘The Legal Wife’. Ditto recent Kapuso-to-Kapamilya transferee Iza Calzado, who currently play the lead role in ‘Hawak Kamay’ after starring in several GMA series such as ‘Encantadia’.
If GMA wants to get back on track, look no further than the GMA Artist Center. Since Ida Henares resigned as head of the GMAAC in 2012, the agency is currently run by various personnel, neither of which share the multi-faceted vision and mission of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic. The GMAAC clearly needs a multi-purpose leader, not a by-committee leadership group with clashing personalities, in order to develop and manage talents well.
In the end, much of GMA’s fortunes will begin and end with the GMA Artist Center. The success and failure of the network depends on how the GMAAC manages their talents. But right now, the GMAAC is a mess, and its sudden and gradual decline mirrors that of GMA’s. Time to fix a wrecked system, otherwise things will only get worse.