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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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ABS-CBN, GMA to Air Christmas Specials This Weekend

‘Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko’ or ‘Maniwala sa Magic ng Pasko’?

In the past month, ABS-CBN and GMA have been one-upping each other when it comes to creating the perfect Christmas theme this year. For the former, they reached their message through a long-form music video, while for the latter, they used a series of 3D animated shorts to make a statement.

This weekend, the two arch-rivals in the world of Philippine television will once again take their Christmas themes to the next level, this time in the form of a televised concert. It will be ‘Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko: The ABS-CBN Christmas Special’, against ‘The Magic of Christmas: A GMA Christmas Special’.

Both Christmas specials will feature song and dance numbers from each network’s top stars. And while GMA will use this special to unveil upcoming shows for next year, ABS-CBN’s special will focus on stories of ordinary people who inspired others to succeed in their lives.

A lot is expected on the two specials this weekend, particularly with the star power the two networks possess. However, there is special emphasis on the love teams, as ABS-CBN’s ‘Big 3′ of KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla), JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) and LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil), and GMA’s AlDub (Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza) will try to gain the viewers’ attention.

ABS-CBN’s Christmas special will air as a two-part series. The first part will air this Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, while the second part will air this Sunday after ‘Wansapanatym’.

As for GMA’s own Christmas special, it will be shown this Sunday as part of ‘Sunday Night Box Office’. Thus, this Sunday will mark the only time that the two networks’ Christmas specials will cross paths, and considering GMA’s overall deficiencies in their programming, it could pose a disadvantage on their part.

Either way, this promises to be a special ‘week before Christmas’ to remember. Both ABS-CBN and GMA have done their share in impressing their viewers this Christmas season, and now it’s up to their fans to give back.

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One Year After Debut, Sunday PinaSaya Struggles to Remain Relevant

Seems like viewers still favor musical numbers over comedic skits in a Sunday variety show.

It has been a struggle lately for GMA’s ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ as they enter their first anniversary this week. The APT-produced variety show was off to a strong start when it first aired, but like ‘Eat Bulaga”s AlDub phenomenon (Alden Richards happens to be a cast member of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’), its momentum soon faded as the calendar turned to 2016.

On the contrary, ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’, now on its 21st year, returned to the top of the game thanks to its improved production values and new segments. The show also got a boost when it added former Kapuso performers Kyla, Jay-R and most recently Jona Viray.

Ratings for the two shows clearly indicate how things quickly change on the Sunday noontime scene. ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ was able to dominate early on because viewers were curious about this new comedy-centric variety show, but as the months wore on, it was obvious that they still prefer the music and dance numbers of ‘ASAP’.

It was also evident that the AlDub phenomenon dictated the early success of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, especially since Alden Richards was a cast member and Maine Mendoza made a few appearances. Unfortunately, even AlDub is bound to lose sometime, and when bandwagon fans grew bored of the love team, the ratings of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ soon plummeted.

The improvements on ‘ASAP’ should cause a lot of concern to the people behind ‘Sunday PinaSaya’. The show overall was not bad, but they need to understand that they should not rest on their laurels and make some tweaks every once in a while.

That said, the priority of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ at this point is to possibly add new cast members and create new skits that will further engage its viewers. If done properly, they could regain the momentum that they lost at the beginning of the year.

As ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ celebrates its first anniversary, one thing is certain: they want to go back on top. But it remains to be seen whether or not they will be able to make some improvements in hopes of regaining their lost viewership.

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A New Breed of Sunday Noontime Show

‘ASAP’ finds itself with a different kind of opponent.

Last Sunday, GMA and APT Entertainment launched ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, a new variety show that features mostly comedy skits with a few hints of musical performances. The new Sunday noontime show is hosted by Marian Rivera, Ai Ai Delas Alas, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Alden Richards, Julie Anne San Jose, Barbie Forteza, Valeen Montenegro, and Jerald Napoles.

‘Sunday PinaSaya’ marked the first time that GMA did not play a key role in producing a Sunday noontime show. The said program is produced by APT, whose founder, Tony Tuviera, is the director of ‘Eat Bulaga’.

The new offering did give ‘ASAP’ a run for its money, scoring a 21.4% rating over the latter’s 16.8% in the AGB Nielsen NUTAM figures. In the Kantar ratings, however, ‘ASAP’ still emerged the winner, but just barely (17.1% over ‘Sunday PinaSaya”s 16.1%).

Judging from the first week, it is safe to say that ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ is still a work in progress. Their ratings in the first week are purely based on the viewers’ curiosity, so it remains to be seen whether or not the show’s second week will have the same kind of performance.

 

‘Sunday PinaSaya’ is not the only Sunday noontime show that is offering something different, however. Just ask TV5’s ‘Happy Truck ng Bayan’.

The two-month-old program employs a more unconventional approach, as they hold shows in various barangays. It is essentially a modern-day ‘Kwarta o Kahon’, albeit outdoors, with various games and segments to entertain the audience.

Though ‘Happy Truck ng Bayan’ airs an hour earlier, it is still considered a noontime variety show for all intents and purposes. The show is hosted by Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs, Derek Ramsay, Gelli de Belen, Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and various other Kapatid stars.

While its ratings pale in comparison to ‘ASAP’ and ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, TV5 seems unconcerned about its performance. After all, the Kapatid network values alternative programming, and ‘Happy Truck ng Bayan’ exemplifies that.

Gone are the days where musical performances dominate every viewer’s Sunday noontime habits. A new dawn in Sunday noontime programming has indeed arrived, with skits and games to keep people entertained.

The Sunday noontime slot is definitely back in business.

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1995 Flashback: APO Out, ASAP In

Some of the ‘ASAP’ logos that were used throughout the show’s run. (Logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

This week will mark the 20th anniversary of the longest-running Sunday afternoon variety show in the country.

‘All-Star Sunday Afternoon Party’, better known as ‘ASAP’, debuted on ABS-CBN on February 5, 1995. The show was created in the wake of predecessor ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila”s move to weekdays as ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’ following the move of TAPE, Inc.’s ‘Eat Bulaga’ to GMA.

‘ASAP’ did not follow the precedent of its predecessor ‘Sa Linggo nAPO Sila’, which in many ways was an extension of ‘Eat Bulaga’ up to this point. Instead, it was conceptualized as a ‘concert party’ on Sundays, which means that the performances of ABS-CBN’s contract artists would dominate the show.

For the first two years of its run, ‘ASAP’ competed against ‘GMA Supershow’, then the top-rated show on Sunday afternoons. But on February 2, 1997, ‘SOP’ replaced the latter, setting off a heated rivalry between the two shows that lasted 13 years, mostly resulting in ‘SOP’ winning the ratings battle.

In 2003, ‘ASAP’ was renamed ‘ASAP Mania’, in response to ‘SOP”s rebrand as ‘SOP Rules’. A year later, the two competing shows launched their own spinoffs in ‘ASAP Fanatic’ and ‘SOP Gigsters’, during the height of popularity between rival talent search shows ‘Star Circle Quest’ and ‘StarStruck’.

‘ASAP Mania’ then reverted back to ‘ASAP’ in 2005, and other than the minor name changes such as ‘ASAP Rocks’ and ‘ASAP (year/anniversary)’, the show retained the ‘ASAP’ name for the remainder of its run.

The rivalry between ‘ASAP’ and ‘SOP’ came to an end on February 28, 2010, when ‘SOP’ aired its final episode. By then, ‘ASAP’ had taken over the No. 1 spot, and it would stay there for good despite the best efforts of GMA to replace ‘SOP’ with ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’.

Today, ‘ASAP’ remains the benchmark to which all Sunday afternoon variety shows are measured. With a run of 20 years and counting, it easily surpasses former rival ‘GMA Supershow’ in that regard, and remains atop the ratings game thanks to their mix of high-energy performances and top-notch studio sets.

Now what happened to ”Sang Linggo nAPO Sila’? The reformatted weekday show only managed to air for another three years, after which it was replaced by ‘Magandang Tanghali, Bayan’. The APO Hiking Society, for whom the show was named after, then returned full-time to the music industry before disbanding in 2010.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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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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