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FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

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The Curse of ‘It’s Showtime’

Billy Crawford, shown here with Coleen Garcia during the 2014 Star Magic Ball, was arrested hours after the event for going berserk outside a police station in Taguig. (Photo credit: Jonathan Asuncion of Philstar.com)

Whether the viewers and the hosts like it or not, it seems like ‘It’s Showtime’ is starting to become a daily magnet for controversy.

The latest incident involving a host of ‘It’s Showtime’ took place yesterday morning. Billy Crawford was detained in a Taguig police precinct after running amok outside a nearby police station within Bonifacio Global City.

The incident took place hours after ABS-CBN held its annual ‘Star Magic Ball’ inside Makati Shangri-La Hotel, in which Crawford was with his girlfriend Coleen Garcia.

Crawford may face charges of direct assault, resistance of arrest, defiance of authority, and malicious mischief.

For some reason, the infamous ‘It’s Showtime’ curse is rearing its ugly head yet again. Early this year, co-host Vhong Navarro was assaulted by a group of men, led by Cedric Lee, inside a Taguig condominium.

Then just weeks ago, Vice Ganda was summoned by the MTRCB for his ‘armpit’ humor on a July 28 episode of ‘It’s Showtime’, which the latter and the National Council for Children’s Television believe is a ‘bad example for children’.

These incidents precede those that happened the previous year, such as Vice’s controversial joke on Jessica Soho and Anne Curtis’ drunken escapades in a Taguig nightclub.

While the hosts have denied the so-called ‘It’s Showtime’ curse, it is clear that they need to grow up in order to minimize such incidents. For all the show’s success and popularity, its hosts’ immaturity continues to be a hindrance to its longevity.

They may not be like the ‘dabarkads’ of ‘Eat Bulaga’ that have been virtually together for over a decade, but the hosts that lead the ‘madlang people’ must grow up together and learn from all of these mistakes in order to emerge as better individuals. After all, maturity and wisdom will always be the keys to long-term success.

For Billy Crawford, getting out of prison a changed man will be his toughest ordeal yet. And for the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’, dealing with this latest controversy will be more difficult than they could have ever imagined.

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