drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Is It Time for GMA to End Contessa’s Saturday Experiment?

‘Contessa”s first few episodes did not impress viewers. Even its first Saturday episode failed to deliver. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Talk about a complete 360.

Through its first nine episodes as of April 4, GMA’s ‘Contessa’ was only able to average 10% in the ratings according to Kantar. In contrast, ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ raked in around 17%, and while its numbers declined by around 2% during the Holy Week, it was still enough to dispatch ‘Contessa’.

Even the first Saturday episode of ‘Contessa’ on March 24 was a flop, as it earned only 9.9% compared to ‘It’s Showtime”s 17.4%. By comparison, the finale of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ which aired the previous Saturday finished with a 20.6% rating, 10.7% better than its successor.

The slow start of ‘Contessa’ should cause plenty of concern within GMA Network. Following up a successful afternoon drama in ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ was no easy task, but no one expected ‘Contessa’ to fall way below expectations.

In the days leading up to its premiere there were some doubts on whether or not ‘Contessa’ will have a Saturday episode. Initially, GMA considered having ‘Contessa’ air only from Monday to Friday, but when the network realized that they lack suitable replacements for the 2:30 p.m. slot, they reluctantly added a Saturday episode on ‘Contessa’.

In doing so GMA gave ‘Contessa’ enormously high expectations to succeed. Unfortunately, ‘Contessa’ didn’t come close to sustaining ‘Ika-6 na Utos” high viewership, and it also didn’t help that its first foray into Saturdays failed to produce the desired result.

Perhaps it is those bandwagon viewers that only showed up during ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ and then switched to ‘It’s Showtime’ and other programs once it ended. Or perhaps GMA dramas have had a history of starting slow and then occasionally picking up ratings midway through.

Whatever the reason, it was clear that ‘Contessa’ underachieved from the get-go. Adding a Saturday episode was a huge mistake and the possibility of viewer burnout became more apparent.

But as far as GMA is concerned, ‘Contessa’ has had only one Saturday episode so far (there was no episode during Black Saturday) so it is too early to tell. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not succeeding episodes will increase viewership and give ‘Contessa’ some much-needed respectability.

If it does not improve, the onus is on GMA to end its Saturday experiment on ‘Contessa’. Good luck.

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9 thoughts on “Is It Time for GMA to End Contessa’s Saturday Experiment?

  1. Anonymous says:

    While I know you don’t trust AGB considering their many flaws, I think you might need to make a brief mention that even in AGB Contessa was losing, thus emphasizing what a drop it was compared to IANU. It would make GMA worried and maybe be a wake-up call to them that even in their beloved AGB, Contessa is doing far below expectations.

    Seriously though: what went wrong? It can’t just be because of the Wildflower rip-off accusations: other shows have been accused of being rip-offs before but did fine. And it can’t solely be blamed on bandwagon viewers since some of them should have stayed and took a look at Contessa instead of immediately switching out.

    Also, apparently in a recent episode, the lead male actor showed his abs, and now FB pages are joking that it wasn’t enough to salvage wins.

    • First of all, AGB has not released all its ratings of late, so how can you trust that firm? You said it yourself that they’re always inconsistent in releasing these figures.

      Honestly, GMA became too overconfident with Contessa. They were banking on this show to deliver the same results as IANU did and even went as far as airing it six times a week. But when your viewers grew tired of the same routine and the same story over and over, consequences happen and Contessa failed to deliver. Perhaps that’s why they struggled. Now, if you disagree, why don’t you give us your honest opinion on why Contessa has not panned out.

      • Anonymous says:

        It would be hard for me considering I don’t even watch the show (and couldn’t anyway due to conflicts in my schedule). But my guess is two reasons: 1. ABS-CBN’s existing and loyal fanbase nationwide, 2. ABS-CBN’s superior broadcast infrastructure and social media presence, and 3. A strong lead-in (Showtime). That and perhaps nationwide views just aren’t fond of Glaiza (after all, her presence in Encantadia failed to boost that show’s popularity). And yes, maybe, people just got tired of seeing the show allegedly having similar themes to Contessa. That and the reviews I’m seeing online are saying that the show is simply not that good.

        I guess in the Philippine TV industry, what goes around comes around: before it was KG which struggled due to an overreliance on repetitive “kabitseryes”, and now it’s GMA who are falling victim (rightly or wrongly) to allegations of copying ABS and/or foreign networks (like how The Cure is getting flack for allegedly being a Walking Dead rip-off, but let’s save that for another post).

      • Fact is, GMA still lacks in many areas that made ABS so successful this decade. The absence of sustainability was apparent from the start. They can be successful in one show, and then flop in the next. But most of the time, they don’t even make an impact.

  2. B says:

    I feel that the so-called similarities to Wildflower are hurting Contessa. Aside from the revenge plot, they even have a hunky actor play as the leading man.

    • Jak Roberto is playing Joseph Marco’s role, among other comparisons. GMA already said in a PEP article that should a teleserye struggle in the ratings, they will just quicken the pace of the story in hopes of attracting viewers. That said, I won’t be surprised if Contessa only runs for 50-60 episodes because of how poorly they fare so far.

  3. Anonymous says:

    With Ryza gone from GMA, I wonder how is this going to affect GMAAC. They’re already so reliant on veterans, their younger artists aren’t catching on (some, like Gabbi, are even rumored to be transferring elsewhere), and in any case they’re bleeding artists. At the rate things are going, they could end up being in a crisis soon.

    • Glaiza de Castro isn’t even working out at this point since Contessa is not doing well. She must be regretting her transfer from ABS to GMA several years ago right now. Some Kapamilya to Kapuso transferees are also enduring stalled careers with no direction whatsoever.

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