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.