This week, ‘The Singing Bee’ moved from its original Saturday afternoon slot to the weekday morning slot. And contrary to what I wrote in a previous article, ‘The Singing Bee’ will only be seen on weekdays rather than six times a week as originally predicted. As a result, there was a vacancy to fill on ABS-CBN’s Saturday afternoon lineup, but viewers need not to worry.
The top-rated noontime variety show ‘It’s Showtime’ will now be extended to at least 3 1/2 hours every Saturday, effective March 1. By all accounts, the extended airtime was necessitated by the lack of available programs that would have filled the 3 p.m. slot. In addition, the extension allowed the program to air a few more segments and concert performances that would keep viewers interested. But there is another reason behind the extension.
Rival ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA usually starts its Saturday broadcasts at 11:30 a.m. With the NBA games still airing at this point, ‘It’s Showtime’ had no choice but to air 30 or 45 minutes later, and at the time ‘The Singing Bee’ aired on Saturdays, the runtime of ‘It’s Showtime’ was only 2 3/4 to 3 hours, compared to Eat Bulaga’s 3 to 3 1/2 hour duration. Despite that, ‘It’s Showtime’ still rated better than ‘Eat Bulaga’ based on Kantar’s ratings, but the need for extended airtime was too good to pass up.
Fortunately for ‘It’s Showtime’, the longer airtime will be more beneficial, since the final hour only competes against ‘GMA Blockbusters’. And with additional segments and musical performances on the menu, expect ‘It’s Showtime’ to create more memorable and entertaining moments in an expanded Saturday format.
UPDATE: Contrary to what I posted on this article, ‘It’s Showtime’ will not be extending its runtime every Saturday, although it may still extend beyond 3 p.m. in order to finish each segment. Instead ABS-CBN will air ‘Sabado Specials: Shake, Rattle & Roll’, featuring more recent short films taken from the ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ franchise. The first shortie to air this Saturday will be ‘Poso’ from the 2005 installment, starring Ai Ai de las Alas.