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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Worst

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 worst moments in Philippine television this year.

GMA Scraps Sunday TV Mass

On January 4, GMA decided to cease its broadcast of the Family TV Mass organized by the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI), replacing it with the movie block ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’. The Sunday Mass of SVD-MCFI returned to its old home in IBC-13 a week later.

Poor ratings of the Sunday Mass was among the reasons behind the cancellation. Despite the claims of many that GMA is promoting apathy and not favoring the Catholic religion, they still managed to cover (albeit not as dedicated as other stations) the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines, as well as produce a religiously-themed teleserye ‘Pari ‘Koy’ starring Dingdong Dantes.

Gone Too Soon for KISPinoy and Misterless Misis

‘KISPinoy’ and ‘Misterless Misis’ aired for only three episodes each during the third quarter of 2015. The former was axed in late July, while the latter received a postponement (or possibly a cancellation) notice the following month.

Both events paved the way for VIVA to take over TV5’s entertainment department, with Vic del Rosario replacing Wilma Galvante.

PBB, It’s Showtime Summoned by MTRCB

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘It’s Showtime’ were each summoned by the MTRCB for offending viewer sensibilities. The former was for the so-called ‘bromance’ involving teen housemates Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez, while the latter was for the alleged ‘pimping’ of ‘Pastillas Girl’ Angelica Yap in the ‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ skit.

Both shows eventually complied by imposing self-regulatory measures, among other rulings. MTRCB also summoned GMA’s ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ for strong language inappropriate to viewers.

GMA’s Finances Put Into Question

Despite an increase in revenue, GMA’s financial capabilities were on the hot seat anew this year. The increased revenue was done at the expense of the network’s ‘streamlining’ efforts which featured, among others, the closure of regional networks and programs, and the termination of long-time employees.

Felipe Gozon’s reluctance to sell a part of the network’s shares was also a major issue. Talks between him and Ramon Ang collapsed in August (with the latter later accusing Gozon of estafa), and a few months later, Gozon rejected offers from Chavit Singson and Manny Pacquiao to purchase a part of the network.

Pope Francis, SONA and APEC Coverage Issues

Not all news networks were able to cover the three biggest news events of the year. GMA News TV received major heat for their lack of coverage in both the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines and the State of the Nation Address, while AksyonTV was criticized for their non-coverage of the APEC Summit.

The two embattled news networks deserved a lot of blame this year. Speaking of AksyonTV,…

AksyonTV’s Identity Crisis Continues

Admit it or not, AksyonTV really needs a makeover. No longer the 24/7 all-Filipino free TV news channel of years past, the network is now increasingly littered with sports coverage, ranging from major leagues like the PSL to more low-scale ones like the PCBL.

Perhaps the time is now for the network to bring back the AKTV name it once used as a blocktimer on IBC-13. After all, AksyonTV’s glory days are behind them.

StarStruck’s Disaster

The return of ‘StarStruck’ proved to be a glorified failure, as ratings and a questionable timeslot doomed the reality show’s sixth season. It was also long overdue, and it would have made a big difference for the network had it been placed opposite ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’.

That said, there may never be another season of ‘StarStruck’ after this. So much for hype gone wrong.

Goodbye Showbiz Talk Shows As We Know It

Easter Sunday of this year marked the final episode of the 16-year-old ‘The Buzz’. Seven months later, ‘Startalk’ took a bow as well after 20 years on air.

A change in viewer’s taste was a key reason behind the demise of both shows. Although ‘CelebriTV’ replaced ‘Startalk’, and ABS-CBN planned to revive ‘The Buzz’ in the future, it won’t be easy adapting to a new audience.

CNN Philippines Not Living Up to Expectations

Launched last March 15, CNN Philippines was supposed to be a local version of its parent network. However, a lot of issues surfaced from the beginning.

Whether it’s due to the revolving door of anchors and reporters, an overemphasis on Nancy Grace or the lack of round-the-clock news coverage, it is clear that CNN Philippines is still a work in progress. That said, Nine Media will need to make a lot of changes to ensure that this venture between them and CNN won’t end quickly.

NBA on ABS-CBN Demoted to the Studio

Since February, NBA coverage on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action has been purely local, handled in-studio by Boom Gonzalez, TJ Manotoc, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras. But to the surprise of many, only Manotoc traveled to the United States to cover the NBA Finals, and ABS-CBN opted to call the games in-studio rather than on location.

Delayed broadcast of the NBA games were a primary reason behind ABS-CBN’s questionable decision. Still, with digitization looming, and the migration to HD underway, it seems like this is a more logical solution for the network to save costs.

In tomorrow’s year-end special, From the Tube will look back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this 2015.

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In 100 Words: The 700 Club Asia Returns ‘Home’

GMA made a surprising programming decision this week.

Starting Monday, December 14, ‘The 700 Club Asia’ will be seen on Channel 7 every weeknight at 12:00 a.m. This brings the CBN Asia-produced program back to its original home for the first time in 13 years.

The return of ‘The 700 Club Asia’ to Channel 7 came just in time for the show’s 20th anniversary. Thus, it was only fitting for the program to move back to the channel where it all started as they celebrate two decades on television.

As for the show’s now-vacated timeslot on GMA News TV, how will the so-called ‘news’ station ever fill the void? A lot of possibilities are on board for News TV come this Monday as they try to replace ‘The 700 Club Asia’.

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In 100 Words: The Flying House is Now a Kapamilya

It’s now the turn of ‘The Flying House’ to jump from Timog to Mother Ignacia.

Much like its sister series ‘Superbook’, ‘The Flying House’ has become very synonymous with GMA since the 1980s. But starting this Saturday, it will now be seen on ABS-CBN, who almost a year ago acquired both the classic and reimagined versions of ‘Superbook’ through distributor CBN Asia.

‘The Flying House’ will be dubbed in Filipino, using virtually the same voice cast as ‘Superbook’. The latter series will replace the original ‘Superbook’ at 9:30 a.m., while the reimagined ‘Superbook’ will continue to air on Sundays at the aforementioned timeslot.

Another terrific addition to ABS-CBN’s weekend morning lineup.

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More Pressure for ‘Pari Koy’ With ‘Nathaniel’ Debut

So far, not so good for ‘Pari Koy’ as far as performance goes. They now await a new challenger in ‘Nathaniel’. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The first six weeks of ‘Pari Koy’ proved to be a dud for GMA.

The Dingdong Dantes-led series seldom hit the 20% mark in the Kantar ratings, compared to the recently concluded ‘Dream Dad”s 30% or better numbers. While it did manage to break in decent numbers in AGB Nielsen, there is no denying that Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo were a better hit with the masses than GMA’s so-called ‘Primetime King’.

And as they begin week seven of their run, an even more imposing challenge await the cast of ‘Pari Koy’.

Enter ‘Nathaniel’, the newest ABS-CBN teleserye that debuts later tonight. The series will be led by Gerald Anderson, Shaina Magdayao, and the latest Kapamilya child discovery, Marco Masa.

‘Nathaniel”s plot will feature the titular angel who was sent back to earth in order to restore man’s belief in God and remind people of the goodness that can be found in their hearts. The series is the latest in a line of divine-centric teleseryes produced by ABS-CBN and Dreamscape Entertainment, makers of classics such as ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’ and ‘Honesto’.

Joining ‘Nathaniel’ in his quest for faith and devotion to mankind are Pokwang, Isabelle Daza, Benjie Paras, Jayson Gainza, Ogie Diaz, Sharlene San Pedro, Jairus Aquino, Yesha Camile, David Chua, Young JV, Fourth and Fifth Pagotan, and Coney Reyes. The series will be directed by Darnel Joy Villaflor and Francis Pasion.

Based on ABS-CBN’s track record of creating successful teleseryes with themes of inspiration and faith, it will be a very tough task for ‘Pari Koy’ to overcome ‘Nathaniel’. Not even the entry of Carla Abellana to the series as a supporting character will help matters.

If their inability to make a dent on ‘Dream Dad’ is not enough, what more if an untested child star in Marco Masa gives a veteran in Dingdong Dantes a run for his money? This is definitely one dilemma that GMA has to solve in facing ABS-CBN’s newest child star.

‘Nathaniel’ premieres later tonight after ‘TV Patrol’. As for ‘Pari Koy’, well, good luck in facing this new opponent.

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‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’ Premieres, Plus TV5’s Revamped Schedule

‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’ premiered last Monday, leading to some changes in TV5’s programming lineup. (Photo credit: TV5 via Interaksyon.com)

A brand new weekday showbiz talk show paved the way for a revamped programming lineup on TV5.

The new show in question, ‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’, premiered last Monday morning. The show is hosted by IC Mendoza, Bianca King and MJ Marfori, and covers the latest showbiz news in a more interactive and upbeat manner through the use of social media.

With ‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’ making its debut, TV5 decided to make some changes to their programming lineup. The new weekday lineup is as follows:

5:00 am – Aksyon sa Umaga
6:30 am – Higglytown Heroes
7:30 am – Doc McStuffins
8:00 am – Teacher’s Pet
8:30 am – Hi-5
9:00 am – Transformers: Animated
9:30 am – Rockman.Exe Beast
10:00 am – Happy Wife, Happy Life
10:30 am – Healing Galing sa TV5 (M & F)/Solved na Solved (T-TH)
11:00 am – Showbiz Konek na Konek
11:30 am – Aksyon sa Tanghali
12:00 pm – Movie Max 5 (x2)
3:45 pm – Hi-5
4:15 pm – PSL/PBA/Movie Max 5
6:15 pm – Aksyon
7:00 pm – PBA/Movie Max 5
9:00 pm – Wattpad Presents
9:30 pm – The Vampire Diaries (last day tonight)/Supernatural (starting tomorrow)
10:15 pm – Extreme Series
10:45 pm – Aksyon Tonite
11:15 pm – ReAksyon
11:30 pm – KBO block reruns
12:00 am – Shop Japan

Programs written in bold were the ones whose schedules changed from last week.

Notice the absence of ‘T3: Enforced’ on the weekday lineup? It turns out that the Tulfo brothers’ public service program will now compete against ABS-CBN’s ‘Failon Ngayon’ and GMA’s ‘Imbestigador’ starting this Saturday at 4:30 p.m, and is expected to morph into an investigative documentary in the mold of prior Tulfo brothers’ programs.

As for the rest of Saturday’s lineup, here they are as follows:

4:30 am – Shop Japan
5:30 am – Family Matters
6:30 am – Kakaibang Lunas
7:00 am – Kim Possible
7:30 am – Little Einsteins
8:00 am – Powerpuff Girls
8:30 am – Ben 10 Omniverse
9:00 am – Magical Doremi
9:30 am – Sword Art Online
10:00 am – Fushigi Yuugi
10:30 am – Street Fighter
11:00 am – Movie Max 5 (x2)
2:00 pm – YHTube
2:30 pm – PSL/Movie Max 5
4:30 pm – T3: Enforced
5:00 pm – PBA/Movie Max 5
7:00 pm – Tropa Mo Ko Unli Spoof
8:00 pm – 2 1/2 Daddies
9:00 pm – Everybody Hapi
10:00 pm – Rising Stars
11:00 pm – Kaya/Yaman ng Bayan
12:00 am – Shop Japan

TV5’s Sunday lineup will remain unchanged. However, as part of a shared agreement with ABS-CBN, GMA and Solar Sports in the upcoming Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, TV5 will air a weekly special showcasing the best fights of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at 12:30 p.m., leading up to the main bout on May 3.

As for ‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’, its entry was timely, as ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’ went on hiatus the day before. Viewers can only hope that ‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’ will fill the void and attract younger and more socially conscious individuals with its fresh and upbeat approach.

‘Showbiz Konek na Konek’ airs weekdays at 11:00 a.m. on TV5.

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