drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Why GMA’s Teleserye Countdown Timer is Overrated?

GMA is going to great lengths in hopes of winning back its audience.

The past two weekends saw the network post a countdown timer for their soon-to-air series ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘My Love from the Star’ (see example from ‘Dear Uge’ below). This timer was flashed during most GMA programs (exceptions are variety shows, other blocktimed programs and select GMA News shows).

The reason is unclear, but it is presumed that GMA is using the timer to promote and add some hype to their upcoming series. To be honest, though, the utilization of a countdown timer for nothing but promotion of a program is very overrated.

For starters, GMA has long been an advocate of the countdown timer, having been used to advertise not only dramas but also variety shows and other network-produced programming. However, not even the addition of a timer is enough to jack up ratings of a particular show.

‘Encantadia’, for example, had a countdown timer in the days leading up to its premiere last year. Unfortunately, despite the good reviews and the positive reception from viewers, the fantaserye failed to keep up with the juggernaut that is ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

GMA also made a countdown timer for AlDub’s ‘Destined to Be Yours’. Even though it was hyped well, the series regularly fell short to ‘My Dear Heart’ mainly because Maine Mendoza’s acting is still raw by viewers’ standards.

Contrast that to ABS-CBN’s own approach to promote a teleserye. Rather than utilizing a countdown timer like GMA does, they take advantage of the hype through social media, on-demand streaming and a strong regional and global presence.

So where does GMA stand at this point? Considering that they still have a long way to go before closing in on ABS-CBN’s national (and global) superiority, they should focus more on strengthening their regional and international reach, a deficiency that they continue to endure for many years now.

The power of social media is also a necessity for GMA to aggressively promote their programs. However, they must engage more in order to make an impact.

There are plenty of options to promote a drama. But a countdown timer for GMA teleseryes and other programs? That is unnecessary and distracting.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Encantadia’s Last Stand (For Now)

The retelling of ‘Encantadia’ is down to its last few episodes, sort of.

For the past 10 months, ‘Encantadia’ gave ‘Ang Probinsyano’ all they could handle. For every gunshot and fist that Cardo (Coco Martin) throws to all criminal masterminds, the Sang’gres respond with mystical powers that could not only repel the forces of evil, but also help revive their allies who have previously died.

The epic story of ‘Encantadia’ will have a total of 218 episodes when it was all said and done. With so many episodes (not to mention recurring characters) made, it should have been a feel-good tale for Kapuso fans around the world.

Instead, ‘Encantadia’ simply could not keep up with the more compelling series that is ‘Ang Probinsyano’. As of May 12, the former’s average rating is 24% per episode, which is not enough to overcome the near-40% marks that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ tallies.

Having spent a lot of money using elaborate production sets and nearly half of GMA’s roster of artists, the below average performance of ‘Encantadia’ should cause a lot of concern for GMA management. After all, the broadcast of the series brought in some high expectations considering the original series’ immense popularity.

Unfortunately, big-budgeted fantaseryes no longer work in this day and age. The focus of Philippine television is on the here, now and future (e.g. digital and high-definition broadcasts), and for whatever reason, GMA simply mortgaged that future in favor of quick fixes that do not go their way.

 

That said, ‘Encantadia”s long run will not be remembered for its mystical tales or its memorable characters. It will only be remembered for three things: ambitious, expensive and underwhelming.

Looking ahead, GMA will have another fantaserye (Mulawin vs. Ravena) that will once again question their financial capabilities. It a shame, but regardless of critical opinion, GMA will continue to risk them all in hopes of finally getting the victory, even if it means draining the last remaining reserves in their back pocket.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Replacement for MariMar, At Least for Two Weeks

‘MariMar officially concludes tomorrow, but its replacement ‘That’s My Amboy’ will not be seen until January 25.  (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA is taking a ‘less is more’ approach on Telebabad. at least for the next two weeks.

Tomorrow night marks the final episode of ‘MariMar’, the second Filipino remake of the classic Mexican telenovela. The series, starring Megan Young as the titular character, will officially end with a total of 100 episodes.

High expectations awaited this version of ‘MariMar’ when it first premiered on August 24, 2015. After all, the original starring Thalia and the first remake starring Marian Rivera were each big hits when they were aired here.

Unfortunately for GMA, the new ‘MariMar’ failed to make an impact in the ratings. The series lost regularly to both ‘Nathaniel’ and ‘Ang Probinsyano’, forcing GMA to consider moving ‘MariMar’ to a later timeslot, only to renege on that promise.

Looking back, it is clear that this ‘MariMar’ was a letdown for the Kapuso network. The series was supposed to be a hit, bar none, but with viewers already used to the story, not to mention a shorter wait between remakes and tougher competition from Primetime Bida, it lost its appeal.

In the end, it was a mistake that GMA would like to forget. For Megan Young, the comeback trail following her victory at the Miss World pageant was a rough one to begin with.

So what’s next for GMA after ‘MariMar’? GMA has already confirmed that ‘That’s My Amboy’, the follow-up project of ‘The Half-Sisters’ stars Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras, will replace ‘MariMar’, but the series will not begin until January 25.

This means that for the next two weeks, GMA Telebabad will only have five programs on the menu, with two teleseryes highlighting the lineup. The schedule is as follows:

5:45 p.m. – The Producers

6:30 p.m. – 24 Oras

7:45 p.m. – Little Nanay

8:30 p.m. – Because of You

9:15 p.m. – Kapuso Primetime Cinema

With only two local dramas starting this Monday, GMA Telebabad is at a clear disadvantage against Primetime Bida’s five teleseryes. Both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ will now face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’; an obvious mismatch ratings-wise.

That said, the next two weeks will be a difficult one for Telebabad. While waiting for ‘That’s My Amboy’ (‘The Half-Sisters’ ends January 15, hence the delayed premiere), viewers will need to endure watching only two teleseryes on GMA’s primetime lineup.

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