entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

In 100 Words: GMA Teased Upcoming Season of StarStruck on Facebook

Even GMA is itching to find a new star.

As ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ continues to look for future artists among its housemates, GMA teased its audience by updating the Facebook page of ‘StarStruck’, implying that a new season will come around very soon.

‘StarStruck”s most recent season came in 2015 when it crowned Klea Pineda and Migo Adecer as the Ultimate Female and Male Survivor respectively. However, that season of ‘StarStruck’ was a disaster as it endured poor ratings while airing in the early primetime slot.

It remains to be seen if GMA will indeed produce another season of ‘StarStruck’. Considering how bad last season turned out, it will not be a surprise if viewers have seen the last of the country’s original ‘artista search’ program.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Eat Bulaga Moves to APT Studio This Saturday

‘Eat Bulaga’ is officially on the move.

On Saturday, December 1, ‘Eat Bulaga’ announced that it will move to the new APT Studio in Cainta, Rizal next week. The first episode at the new studio will take place this Saturday, December 8.

Located at Marcos Highway in Cainta, APT Studio is a few minutes’ drive from Robinsons Metro East, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, SM City Masinag and Ayala Feliz Mall. The studio is beside the College of San Benildo-Rizal’s elementary and high school departments and is in front of the Town and Country Executive Village gate.

The APT Studio is a brainchild of ‘Eat Bulaga’ producer Tony Tuviera. It was built at a reported cost of over P 1.5 billion.

The studio is expected to hold a larger seating capacity compared to Broadway Centrum; the overall number of seats yet to be determined. It will also feature updated video and audio technology such as high-definition cameras.

Saturday’s episode of ‘Eat Bulaga’ at the new APT Studio will include most of the show’s current hosts. However, there is one notable mainstay that will not be a part of the festivities.

Senate President Tito Sotto, who previously announced his intent to leave ‘Eat Bulaga’ while in his current position, is not expected to attend. Still, even without one of the show’s founding fathers, expect the same old ‘isang libo’t isang tuwa’ at the new studio this Saturday.

In the meantime, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will hold five ‘taped-as-live’ episodes at Broadway Centrum from Monday up until Friday. This arrangement is made in order to allow TAPE Inc. and APT staff to smoothly move their operations to APT Studio within the next few days.

Erratum: The article “In 100 Words: Eat Bulaga Set to Move to a New Studio” erroneously stated that the APT Studio is located in Marikina, when in fact it is within the jurisdiction of Cainta, Rizal. 

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

In 100 Words: Eat Bulaga Set to Move to a New Studio

The inevitable is about to happen.

‘Eat Bulaga’ announced Saturday that they are expected to move to a new studio anytime next month (dubbed ‘lipat bahay’ in the teasers). The new studio, aptly named the APT Studio (after ‘Eat Bulaga’ producer Tony Tuviera), is located at Marcos Highway in Marikina.

This will mark the fourth time that ‘Eat Bulaga’ moved to a different studio, and the first to be independently funded. The program previously occupied the following studios:

  • Broadcast City Studios (1979-88; with RPN-9)
  • Celebrity Sports Plaza (1988-89; with RPN-9)
  • Dolphy Theater (1989-95; with ABS-CBN)
  • Broadway Centrum (1995-2018; with GMA)

Broadway Centrum is expected to be demolished shortly after ‘Eat Bulaga”s move to the APT studio. It will be replaced by a high-rise condominium unit developed by Megaworld’s Empire East Holdings.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Take It Back: PNP, DILG Express Support to Ang Probinsyano in Joint Statement

The threat has been retracted, for now.

A week after the Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government expressed concern over ‘Ang Probinsyano”s supposed unfair portrayal of the police force, a joint statement was issued following a meeting Wednesday between the DILG and ABS-CBN executives. Here is the full statement.

“ABS-CBN and the Department of Interior and Local Government met yesterday (Nov. 21) in Camp Crame and resolved the issues related to the program “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.” It was a fruitful dialogue wherein both parties were thankful for the chance to express their views directly to each other.

The PNP stated the importance of the support and respect of the people to its organization, while recognizing ABS-CBN’s freedom to create and convey the story of the program.

For its part, ABS-CBN assured them that the program will continue to portray Cardo Dalisay as a police officer with integrity, who is dedicated to serve and protect the people.

The DILG, including its attached agency the Philippine National Police, will continue to support “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” as it continues to inspire Filipinos with the valuable lesson that in the end, good will always triumph over evil.”

It can be recalled that PNP chief Oscar Albayalde criticized ‘Ang Probinsyano’ for its unfair portrayal of the police force, something that the DILG initially agreed upon. In response ABS-CBN said that “all elements in the series are purely fictitious as stated in the disclaimer in the beginning of each episode” and that “they have no intention to smear the reputation of any person or organization.”

DILG undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the meeting was simply set up to explain the two parties’ views to each other and that there was no mention of any changes to the plot. In the meantime, ABS-CBN executives are currently considering a meeting with PNP chief Oscar Albayalde to similarly iron out this situation.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Not a Good Sign: The Declining Interest of Late-Morning Dramas on Philippine Television

‘Playhouse’ is only averaging around 13% in the ratings, a far cry from past late-morning teleseryes aired on ABS-CBN. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

There was a time when late-morning teleseryes on television were a thing in this decade.

It started in 2012 when the unlikely pairing of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap took off with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. The series became an immediate hit, reaching ratings of as high as 27%, and ran for over two years.

From then on, ABS-CBN kept the wheel rolling, airing either romantic comedies such as ‘Oh My G!’, ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ or kid-oriented tear-jerkers like ‘Ningning’ and ‘Langit Lupa’. ABS-CBN even tried to get serious for once with the triathlon-themed ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

But in the past several months, late-morning dramas began to lose viewer interest. By August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ slumped to around 13-15% in the ratings (this despite having Jodi and Richard in the series), and this decline only continued through its successor ‘Playhouse’.

Over on GMA, the network already waved the white flag at the start of the month. Their most recent local late-morning drama, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, was cancelled last November 2, and after only two weeks, GMA moved the Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ to an earlier timeslot due to poor ratings.

Prior to that, GMA tried to counter ABS-CBN with their own dramas that were either self-produced or under the TAPE Inc. production team. Unfortunately for GMA, each of their dramas backfired, with the likes of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ ending after only two or three months.

While ABS-CBN continues to claim victory over this timeslot, the declining ratings of ‘Playhouse’ is something that should cause a lot of concern to the network. If the 13% ratings are of any indication, then there must be something wrong.

Either that viewers are getting tired of watching too much of the same thing, that the story in itself lacked substance and originality, that the cast is boring, or that they just can’t wait for ‘It’s Showtime’ to start. Whatever the case, it is up to ABS-CBN to regroup and see what needs to be corrected.

It is too early to tell if this will spell the end for Filipino late-morning dramas. That said, one can only hope that a turnaround in fortune is imminent, but if this spell continues, then a programming reboot is necessary.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ang Probinsyano’s Latest Threat: PNP and DILG

It has been a mostly smooth-sailing run for ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’, until now.

Earlier this week, the Philippine National Police, led by Director General Oscar Albayalde, criticized ‘Ang Probinsyano’ for its supposed unfair portrayal of the police force. This led to the PNP withdrawing any further support to the long-running ABS-CBN action series.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also sided with the PNP’s opinion on the show and considered filing legal charges against the producers of ‘Ang Probinsyano’. In response, ABS-CBN issued this statement.

“FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” assures the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the characters, places, and incidents in the program are purely fictitious as stated in the disclaimer aired at the start of the show every night. There is no intention to smear the reputation of any organization or portray any person in a negative light.

The program has also portrayed its main character, Cardo, as a hardworking police officer dedicated to saving lives and serving his fellowmen. As in the past years, “FPJAP” has highlighted that good shall always triumph over evil and has shared valuable lessons and family values that have resonated with viewers.

— Kane Errol Choa

Head, Integrated Corporate Communications

Senator Grace Poe, Gabriela, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and the group Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI) sided with ABS-CBN over the matter and chided the PNP and DILG over its perceived censorship of the series. Meanwhile, DILG secretary Eduardo Año would seek a meeting with the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives regarding the matter.

As of November 16, 2018, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has aired 813 episodes and is the highest-rated primetime series in the country with an average of 40% in the ratings. But with this latest issue facing the show, it appears as though its dominance may soon taper.

At this point, viewers of the show can only hope against the inevitability of cancellation should the PNP and DILG file and perhaps win its case against ‘Ang Probinsyano’. If that happens, it may become a repeat of ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ getting banned from television under the Marcos regime, and it will be utter humiliation for media freedom.

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