action, drama, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Has ‘Imbestigador’ Run Its Course?

Recently, ‘Imbestigador’ tried a new format that emphasizes mostly on dramatizations. However, it did little to change its fortunes.

GMA’s long-running public affairs program ‘Imbestigador’ is currently in its 14th year. However, in recent years, ‘Imbestigador’ has been overwhelmed by the popularity of ABS-CBN’s ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and as a result, changed its format to emphasize mostly on murder-related stories and dramatizations.

Which begs the question, ‘Has ‘Imbestigador’ Run Its Course?’

In the beginning, ‘Imbestigador’ was a weekly 30-minute late-night program that aired after GMA’s newscasts. Then it moved to Saturday nights with a one-hour format in hopes of attracting more viewers, before moving to its current Sunday timeslot. By all accounts, ‘Imbestigador”s placing on the Sunday slot seem unusual, considering its rival programs ‘Bitag’ and ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ air on Saturdays.

‘Imbestigador”s peak of popularity came during the mid-2000s. At a time when neither Twitter nor TNS Kantar existed, ‘Imbestigador’ was producing high ratings for the Kapuso network, even rivaling those of ABS-CBN’s other programs. ‘Imbestigador’ proved to be so popular that it led to the cancellation of the long-running ‘Magandang Gabi, Bayan’ (which by then was no longer hosted by Noli de Castro), and the move of ‘XXX: Eksklusibong, Explosibong Expose’ to Monday nights.

However, thanks to ABS-CBN’s insertion of reality shows and the sudden popularity of ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, ‘Imbestigador”s ratings began to decline. Eventually, this forced the program to deviate away from its trademark reality documentation of various crimes to mostly dramatizations in the mold of rival program ‘SOCO’. The former were now being handled by another GMA public affairs program ‘Alisto’.

To be honest, ‘Imbestigador”s new format only proved that the show is no longer a viable asset to Sunday night programming. While still averaging around 16% in terms of ratings, it was not enough to put ‘Imbestigador’ back on the hump, as evidenced by the advent of social media and the continued popularity of ABS-CBN’s programs.

Perhaps a move back to Saturdays may help its cause. Or better yet, in the afternoon slot, against ABS-CBN’s ‘SOCO’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’.

Whatever the cause, it is clear that ‘Imbestigador’ had run its course. A change in format and a change in timeslot is what the show needed to breathe some new life, otherwise its days of hunting down criminals through the watchful eyes of Mike Enriquez are being numbered.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Reformatting GMA’s Afternoon Prime

Award-winning documentary programs such as ‘I-Witness’ will greatly benefit from the move to GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’.

Desperate times need desperate measures. And for GMA, it’s all about trying to reverse an ongoing ratings slide.

Already suffering from a decline in viewership in the Telebabad slot, the Kapuso network’s fortunes in the afternoon slot took a turn for the worse after ABS-CBN‘s post-‘Showtime’ afternoon ratings improved, largely due to the success of programs such as ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’,  ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’, ‘Pinoy True Stories‘, and ‘Princess Hours‘. As a result, GMA responded with their own movie block in ‘GMA Blockbusters’, which like its ABS-CBN counterpart, will feature more recent films from the GMA Films library.

But is the movie block really the answer for their ratings slide? As far as I’m concerned, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ is not the solution to the network’s problems. In fact, it would have been better if they moved their award-winning documentary programs out of the midnight slot. Why? Because the awards that shows like ‘I-Witness‘ earned would be worthless if no one is watching. By placing them into the afternoon slot it will help them attract more viewers, in the same way that ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy True Stories’ accomplished a few months earlier.

Aside from the GMA documentary programs, I also liked to see ‘Love Hotline’ move from GMA News TV to the mother network. ‘Love Hotline’, a love advice program hosted by Jean Garcia, has been airing on weeknights since it debuted last October, opposite the main networks’ newscasts. Moving ‘Love Hotline’ to GMA’s afternoon slot will greatly benefit the program, as it will now go head-to-head against TV5’s ‘Face the People’ on the same timeslot.

With that, here is what I think should be the best lineup for GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’:

2:30 p.m. – Villa Quintana

3:20 p.m. – Magkano Ba ang Pag-Ibig

4:10 p.m. – I-Witness/Reporter’s Notebook/Born to Be Wild/Alisto/Out of Control

5:00 p.m. – Love Hotline

With ABS-CBN pushing the right buttons for the past few years, perhaps it is time for GMA to do the same. And shuffling its afternoon slot should help.

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