news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Messed Up: 24 Oras’ Drastic Graphics Overhaul Perplexes Viewers

Welcome to ‘Extreme Makeover: 24 Oras Edition’.

This past week saw an overhaul of ’24 Oras” on-screen graphics. From the looks of it, though, the newscast seems to imitate the styles of one particular news outlet and another news program that airs on GMA.

Flashback to one week ago. This was how GMA’s flagship primetime newscast looked on-screen last time.

Exhibit A: 24 Oras

Exhibit B: 24 Oras Weekend

On Monday, however, GMA News unveiled an updated graphics package for ’24 Oras’. The newscast’s logo is shrunk in size, moved to the right and is now enveloped in a red square, while the headline/detail text box moved to the left and the digital clock was removed in favor of a longer news ticker.

The initial look did not sit well with viewers as the style was obviously copied from CNN and its affiliates (particularly CNN Philippines). Take a look at the comparison below.

Tuesday saw a minor tweak in ’24 Oras” graphics package. The logo and headline/detail text box changed positions, perhaps in response to criticisms surrounding the previous style.

This update stayed that way the following day, but on Thursday, another new wrinkle arrived. The news ticker went from black to blue while the detail box went from red to blue.

For starters, blue is the main color used on GMA’s late-night newscast ‘Saksi’ (see video below). Which makes it all the more perplexing as to why ’24 Oras’ would use a color that is not distinctly theirs.

Finally, ’24 Oras Weekend’ released its update graphics package this weekend. It was almost the same look as the one used the prior week, except that the digital clock was eliminated and the news ticker was recolored blue.

The newly-updated graphics for ’24 Oras’ were part of GMA’s newest deal with Vizrt, in which the network invested P154 million to improve its news operations. It was no secret why the initial update of its graphics were criticized for being CNN-like because CNN also uses Vizrt for its news gathering capabilities.

After all the experimentation, what will GMA News do next to ’24 Oras’ come this week? While viewers wouldn’t care less about the on-air imagery and focus more on the content itself, the lack of uniqueness and consistency in the graphics deserves lots of criticism, and GMA News must settle in with something distinct and different for ’24 Oras’.

It’s up to GMA to do something right for a change. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Thoughts on Sirkus

GMA’s new weekly fantaserye ‘Sirkus’ premiered last January 21 and has had a mixed performance since. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

A fantaserye on a Sunday night?

This is exactly what GMA delivered when it premiered ‘Sirkus’ last January 21. But in contrast to the network’s other fantaseryes, ‘Sirkus’ is a production of the GMA Public Affairs group (notorious for bringing non-news programs to the network) and it only airs once a week.

The premise of ‘Sirkus’ is that of two fraternal twins Mia (Mikee Quintos) and Miko (Mikoy Morales) finding themselves in the company of a traveling circus in order to escape from the clutches of an evil villainess. Throughout their quest, the motive behind the villainess’ obsession to catch them will be revealed and their true identities will also be discovered.

Also part of the cast of ‘Sirkus’ are Andre Paras, Chariz Solomon, Sef Cadayona, Klea Pineda, Gardo Versoza, Ms. Cherie Gil, Divine Tetay, Gerald Acao, Zoren Legaspi and Angelu de Leon. The director is Zig Dulay.

When the series was first introduced to the public in late December, many thought that ‘Sirkus’ would replace ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ as the opponent of the long-running fantasy anthology ‘Wansapanatym’. However, GMA had other plans in mind.

Not only did the network keep ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’, it also made significant changes to the late afternoon-early evening Sunday timeslots. As a result, ‘Sirkus’, which replaced the travel series ‘Road Trip’, was assigned to the 6:30 p.m. timeslot and ’24 Oras Weekend’ was bumped to an earlier time.

Through two episodes, ‘Sirkus’ has had mixed results in the ratings. Its debut episode barely defeated ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ by 0.4%, but the following week saw ‘Sirkus’ slump by 4% to its opponent.

Given the often volatile financial situation of GMA, it was a better idea for them to just produce a weekly fantaserye instead of one that airs on weeknights. But to be produced by GMA Public Affairs instead of GMA Entertainment is once again a desperate act altogether.

Whatever the case, one can only hope that ‘Sirkus’ will be the start of many elaborate once-a-week projects that GMA embarks. Such series is for the better of the network at this point because they need all the money in the world to focus on technological improvements that will make them more viable in the age of digitization.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, talent show, television

Hay, Bahay! Ends, All-Star Videoke to Premiere This Sunday

It turns out ‘Hay, Bahay!’ did not exceed expectations.

Last Sunday, the final episode of ‘Hay, Bahay!’ was aired on GMA. But like all previous episodes, the sitcom made little noise among its viewers.

First aired on June 19, 2016, ‘Hay, Bahay!’ succeeded another Vic Sotto-starred sitcom in ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’. The latter’s stars Vic and son Oyo were joined by Oyo’s wife Kristine Hermosa, Ai-ai delas Alas, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola.

Unlike ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ which lasted for over three years, ‘Hay, Bahay!’ was only able to air for over a year as it had to contend with the long-running ABS-CBN gag show ‘Goin’ Bulilit’. Overall, the sitcom aired 61 episodes, joining a list of more recent Vic Sotto sitcoms that had a short run (e.g. ‘My Darling Aswang’, ‘The Jose and Wally Show Starring Vic Sotto’).

So what’s next for Vic Sotto? According to GMA, a new sitcom starring Vic and Ai-ai delas Alas is in the works, but the premiere date and the show’s title is yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, a replacement for ‘Hay, Bahay!’ is set to premiere this Sunday night. The new show will be called ‘All-Star Videoke’, and it will be hosted by Solenn Heussaff and Betong Sumaya.

The game play of ‘All-Star Videoke’ is as follows:

“The game features six celebrity contestants or Videoke stars vying to outwit one another by filling in the missing words on a song in a videoke-type of presentation.

In the event that every player correctly answered the words in each song, a pair of celebrity ‘laglagers’ will choose one player who will be out of the competition.

The two remaining contenders will proceed in the semi-final round for a chance to play in the jackpot round. The winning contestant becomes the All-Star Videoke Champ! and may bring home a cash prize of up to 100,000 pesos.

A “Super Oke” prize is also up for the win if the winner decides to continuously play in the succeeding weeks.”

In short, ‘All-Star Videoke’ shares some similarities with another long-running videoke game show ‘All-Star K’. But whether or not the former will enjoy the same success as the latter remains to be seen.

In the age of foreign franchised programs, it is good to see networks such as GMA maintain a more local approach. Still, the success of a particular program will only depend on the response of the viewers, and for ‘All-Star Videoke’, it will not be an easy task.

‘All-Star Videoke’ airs Sundays after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA.

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action, comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ismol Family Gives Way to Tsuperhero on GMA’s Sunday Grande

‘Ismol Family’ is officially done.

After a run that began on June 22, 2014, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its final episode last Sunday, November 6. ‘Ismol Family’, which starred Ryan Agoncillo, Carla Abellana, Carmi Martin, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Marc Justine Alvarez among others, aired a total of 125 episodes that spanned over two years.

When ‘Ismol Family’ premiered over two years ago, it was supposed to replace the game show ‘Picture Picture’ and go up against another family-oriented sitcom in ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Instead, the sitcom was placed on Sunday nights, while ‘Pepito Manaloto’ was moved to Saturday nights to counter ‘Home Sweetie Home”s move.

The unexpected timeslot change proved to be a hindrance to ‘Ismol Family’ once it began its run. Pitted against shows such as ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and more recently ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, the sitcom failed to find its footing in a crowded Sunday night field.

While ‘Ismol Family’ was not bad, it was clear that GMA made a mistake by placing the show on Sundays. Had it aired against ‘Home Sweetie Home’, it would have given the latter a run for its money.

Still, a run of over two years was a good accomplishment for ‘Ismol Family’. For the viewers who have tuned in for all 125 episodes, let that sink in.

Moving on, a new show is slated to replace ‘Ismol Family’. The newest entry, ‘Tsuperhero’, is a superhero comedy-adventure series that stars Derrick Monasterio and Bea Binene.

In ‘Tsuperhero’, Nonoy (Derrick) is a jeepney driver who transforms into a superhero thanks to a mysterious object from a distant planet. Along the way, he developed feelings for Eva (Bea), a barker who found his kalye attitude both irritating and enduring.

The upcoming weekly series will also star Gabby Concepcion, Alma Moreno, Betong Sumaya, Philip Lazaro, Miggs Cuaderno, Valentin, Annalyn Barro, Jemwell Ventenilla, and Kuhol. ‘Tsuperhero’ is an original concept by Michael V, and will be directed by LA Madridejos.

It remains to be seen if ‘Tsuperhero’ can give the long-running ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ a tough challenge. Hopefully the series can stick just as long as its predecessor did.

‘Tsuperhero’ premieres this Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA’s Sunday Grande sa Gabi.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

A History of Vic Sotto Sitcoms (Part 1)

The cast of ‘Okay Ka, Fairy Ko’ nearly 30 years after it first aired. Tweetie de Leon was the second actress to play the role of Faye. (Photo credit: Allan K Official Instagram)

It has been nearly 30 years since Vic Sotto left the shadows of TVJ and became a star himself.

On Sunday, June 19, his newest sitcom ‘Hay, Bahay!’ will officially premiere on GMA. This will mark Vic Sotto’s eighth sitcom as a solo artist, and ninth overall.

While he was better known as 1/3 of the fabled trio TVJ alongside Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon, and the host of ‘Eat Bulaga’, it was his individual comedic brilliance on television and film that cemented his legacy. Without further ado, let’s look back at his solo sitcoms over the years (in chronological order), starting with the first four on the list.

1. Okay Ka, Fairy Ko! (1987-97)

Aired on: IBC-13 (1987-89), ABS-CBN (1989-95), GMA (1995-97)

Notable co-stars: Aiza Seguerra, Alice Dixson, Tweetie de Leon, Dawn Zulueta, Charito Solis, Jinky Oda, Ruby Rodriguez, Larry Silva

The sitcom that started it all, ‘Okay Ka, Fairy Ko’ introduced viewers to Enteng Kabisote, the mechanic-turned-husband of the fairy Faye. The character then went on to star in nine box-office hit movies based on the sitcom.

2. 1 For 3 (1997-2001)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Ai-ai delas Alas, Charlene Gonzales, Rosanna Roces, Nanette Inventor, Imee Marcos, Allan K, Mickey Ferriols

Believe it or not, ‘Hay, Bahay’ is not the first sitcom to star both Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas. When Charlene Gonzales left ‘1 For 3’ to host ABS-CBN’s ‘Keep on Dancing’, Ai-ai was introduced in the sitcom as one of Gene’s (Vic) housemates.

3. Daddy Di Do Du (2001-07)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Danica Sotto, Maxene Magalona, Isabelle de Leon, Cindy Kurleto, Redford White, Ruby Rodriguez, Joonee Gamboa, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, Nida Blanca

The first sitcom to feature Vic and daughter Danica, ‘Daddy Di Do Du’ was the second in Vic’s sitcom filmography to feature a mystical theme. Unfortunately, just a few months into the sitcom’s run, Nida Blanca was murdered, and her character was written off afterwards.

4. Ful Haus (2007-09)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Pia Guanio, Jose Manalo, BJ Forbes, Joonee Gamboa, Marissa Delgado, Mitoy Yonting, Sugar Mercado

Based on the Koreanovela ‘Full House’, ‘Ful Haus’ marked the debut of child star BJ Forbes, whose claim to fame was via the Tide detergent commercials as ‘Tolits’. This was also the first project for Mitoy Yonting prior to winning season 1 of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ several years later.

For Part 2 of A History of Vic Sotto sitcoms, click here.

Note: ‘Hay, Bahay!’ will air every Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA. All of his sitcoms are property of M-Zet Productions.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

A History of Vic Sotto Sitcoms (Part 2)

Vic Sotto’s eighth solo sitcom, ‘Hay, Bahay!’, will mark his second collaboration with Ai-ai delas Alas. (Photo credit: GMA Network/Hay, Bahay! Official Facebook)

It has been nearly 30 years since Vic Sotto left the shadows of TVJ and became a star himself.

On Sunday, June 19, his newest sitcom ‘Hay, Bahay’ will officially premiere on GMA. This will mark Vic Sotto’s eighth sitcom as a solo artist, and ninth overall.

While he was better known as 1/3 of the fabled trio TVJ alongside Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon, and the host of ‘Eat Bulaga’, it was his individual comedic brilliance on television and film that cemented his legacy. Without further ado, let’s look back at his solo sitcoms over the years (in chronological order), concluding with the final four on the list.

5. My Darling Aswang (2010-11)

Aired on: TV5

Notable co-stars: Daiana Menezes, Tetchie Agbayani, Ces Quesada, Sugar Mercado, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Ritchie d’Horsie, Miguel Faustmann, Kakai Bautista, Rhea Nakpil

Based on the movie ‘Ang Darling Kong Aswang’, ‘My Darling Aswang’ was the first Vic Sotto-starred sitcom in 15 years to not air on GMA. Instead, it aired on TV5, where Vic also happened to be the host of the game show ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’.

6. The Jose and Wally Show Starring Vic Sotto (2011-12)

Aired on: TV5

Notable co-stars: Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Jimmy Santos, Mcoy Fundales, Erika Padilla, Dianne Medina, Buboy Garovillo, Miriam Quiambao, Niña Jose

While Jose and Wally were the headliners of this variety show within a sitcom, Vic was also added to the mix as its ‘director’. Like ‘My Darling Aswang’, ‘The Jose and Wally Show’ was aired concurrently with Vic’s other show on TV5, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’.

7. Vampire ang Daddy Ko (2013-16)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Oyo Boy Sotto, Pilita Corrales, Jackie Lou Blanco, Anjo Yllana, Jimmy Santos, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Bea Binene, Derrick Monasterio, Glaiza de Castro, Jin-ri Park, Allan K, Jinky Oda

‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ was the third Vic Sotto-starred sitcom to feature a mystical theme. It was also his first project alongside son Oyo Boy, and the first comedic role for young child star Ryzza Mae Dizon.

8. Hay, Bahay! (2016-present)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Oyo Boy Sotto, Kristine Hermosa, Ai-ai delas Alas, Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Ruby Rodriguez

The premise of ‘Hay, Bahay’ is similar to ‘1 For 3’, in which the characters share the same house owned by a landlord. The sitcom marks the television comeback of Kristine Hermosa, and it will be her first show outside of ABS-CBN.

Indeed, Vic Sotto has come a long way since he was introduced as the iconic Enteng Kabisote in ‘Okay Ka, Fairy Ko’. After nearly 30 years as the ‘Bossing’ of Philippine sitcoms, he is still going strong.

For Part 1 of A History of Vic Sotto sitcoms, click here.

Note: ‘Hay, Bahay!’ will air every Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA. All of his sitcoms are property of M-Zet Productions.

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