anime, cable TV, cartoon, lifestyle, Philippines, reality show, television

New Name for Lifestyle, Plus Toonami Gets the Ax

Lifestyle (Network) has a new name.

On April 2, 2018, Lifestyle was renamed and rebranded as the Metro Channel. Named after the high-end lifestyle magazine of the same name, Metro Channel will feature almost the same content as its predecessor, with a focus on food, fashion and travel programs.

Some of the programs that will air on Metro Channel include locally-produced shows such as ‘The Crawl’, ‘Casa Daza’, ‘At the Table’, ‘G Diaries’ and ‘Pia’s Postcards’. It will also feature foreign canned programs such as ‘Masterchef’, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘The Great British Bakeoff’.

Operated by ABS-CBN affiliate Creative Programs Inc., Metro Channel was originally launched on July 24, 1999 as the Lifestyle Network. It was later rebranded as ‘Lifestyle’ in 2015 with increased emphasis towards programs concerning food, fashion and travel.

Metro Channel will continue to air on SkyCable channel 52 and on high definition channel 174. It is also available on SkyDirect channel 31 and on select cable operators in the Philippines.

Easter weekend also saw the demise of Toonami, a cable channel operated by Turner Broadcasting. After nearly six years on the air, Toonami was officially shut down on March 31, 2018.

A sister channel of Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Toonami was known to air a selection of anime and American action cartoon series. Among the notable programs that were aired on Toonami include ‘Batman’, ‘Teen Titans’, ‘Ben 10’, ‘Inazuma Eleven Go’, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’, ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ and ‘Dragon Ball Z’.

The shutdown of Toonami had huge repercussions to Filipino anime fans who still mourn the loss of local anime channel Hero. At the time it was taken off the air, Toonami was broadcasting the ongoing ‘Dragon Ball Super’ series which has yet to be launched on Filipino free TV.

It remains to be seen if Cartoon Network will be able to revive the Toonami primetime block to accommodate its displaced programs. But for anime fans who are looking for other ways to watch their favorite programs, there are other options such as cable channels Animax and AniPlus, as well as anime streaming websites.

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anime, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 150 Words: Hero Revived as Jeepney TV Programming Block

Hero is back on television, sort of.

Filipino anime fans rejoiced as the Hero brand was revived as a programming block of Jeepney TV. Starting March 11, select anime programs will be aired on Jeepney TV every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. as part of the Hero Zone block.

It can be recalled that Hero the cable channel left the airwaves last January 31 after a 13-year run. While it became a purely digital portal that concentrated on anime, pop culture and gaming, anime viewers sorely missed its presence on television, even as sister channel Yey! tried to make up for Hero’s absence with new titles of its own.

Although if it will only be a two-hour habit once a week, viewers should be more than happy to enjoy a treat of new and on-demand anime from the Hero Zone block. Still, it remains to be seen if this experiment will be a long-term one.

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anime, cable TV, Japan, Philippines, television

Goodbye, Hero

Tomorrow will be the last day for Hero TV.

Hero, a cable channel of ABS-CBN affiliate Creative Programs Inc., will permanently sign off at 11:59 p.m. of January 31st. Similar to the case of now-defunct sister channels TAG and ABS-CBN Regional Channel, a ‘change of business direction’ is cited behind the closure of Hero.

Hero was first launched on November 12, 2005 and became the only channel in the Philippines to showcase Tagalized dubs of Japanese anime. The content of Hero ranged from classic anime titles (some of which were redubbed) first shown on ABS-CBN and other channels to new acquisitions fresh from its original Japanese airing.

But Hero is not exclusive to anime alone. Over the years, the channel also showcased tokusatsu programs (e.g. ‘Masked Rider’ series and ‘Shaider’) and even original programs produced by the network that focused on the cosplay culture and other anime-related news.

Just as Hero was starting to take off, however, a new digital free TV channel was being planned by ABS-CBN to eventually inherit its place. In 2011, Yey! was launched, and four years later, the ABS-CBN TVPlus digital TV box made its commercial debut.

Still, CPI soldiered on with Hero despite the presence of Yey!. Unfortunately, the growing sales of ABS-CBN TVPlus along with the rise of undubbed new anime on the internet necessitated cord-cutters to shift to these new medium, and as a result, Hero’s viability was put into question.

Sadly, such factors became too much for Hero, and in early January, CPI finally delivered the bad news. Hero would cease to exist whether its loyal fans liked it or not.

Regardless of how it ended, the 12-year run of Hero is worth remembering for Filipino anime fans. In the days leading up to its closure, Hero’s social media pages were flooded with appreciation posts, thanking them for their service in delivering Filipino-dubbed classic and fresh anime to their satisfaction.

Hero’s final call to arms should be a memorable one. But for those who still crave for more anime, there is Animax and AniPlus to deal with it, as well as Yey! for Tagalized ones.

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anime, entertainment, Japan, lifestyle, movies, Philippines, talk show, television

AniMega Has a New Timeslot, Plus Other Updates on TV5’s Weekday Schedule

TV5’s AniMega block was moved from weekday mornings to weekday afternoons beginning last Monday. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

Another tweak took place on TV5’s weekday lineup.

As reported by Anime Pilipinas, the AniMega block was moved from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, effective last Monday. The new AniMega lineup consists of:

  • Transformers: Animated
  • Rockman.EXE Beast
  • Street Fighter
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

In doing so, TV5 avoided competing with the animes of ABS-CBN and GMA and instead focused on alternative programming in a slot dominated by noontime shows and teleseryes.

But while TV5 gave anime fans a favor, they did not announce a replacement for the vacated slot of AniMega. Instead, ‘Movie Max 5’ filled in following the TV5 Kids block, which is by far the earliest timeslot for movies on TV5 since the takeover by Manny V. Pangilinan.

There were also questions as to what happened to ‘Healing Galing’ and ‘Solved na Solved’, the two shows that briefly shared the 10:30 a.m. slot for two weeks. At the moment, it remains to be seen whether or not the two shows were cancelled or up for renewal, so wait for further updates.

With ‘Healing Galing’ and ‘Solved na Solved’ currently out of the picture, and with ‘Movie Max 5’ now part of the morning lineup, ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ was moved to a new time of 10:15 a.m. The lifestyle show recently added Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla as its new co-host, replacing original hosts Jeck Maierhofer and RR Enriquez.

Other than the aforementioned changes in TV5’s weekday lineup, the rest of the list remain untouched.

Regardless, the transfer of AniMega to weekday afternoons is a huge boost for TV5. Their continued push for alternative programming became a factor to this decision, and it should benefit the block’s fierce and loyal anime fanbase in the long term.

It remains to be seen if TV5’s anime fans are buying into this matter, but from the looks of it, this is perhaps one of the best decisions TV5 has made to date.

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action, anime, cartoon, entertainment, Japan, Philippines, television

The Decline of ABS-CBN’s Team Animazing

Animes on ABS-CBN are suddenly out of commission with the re-airing of classic adapted Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ and ‘Cedie’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Hard-hitting animes on ABS-CBN are now a thing of the past.

With new seasons of ‘Naruto Shippuden’ and ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’ still months away from their premiere, ABS-CBN decided to re-air their popular 1990s Japanese adaptations of classic novels on the said block. This despite the fact that they have the backing of sister channel Hero to bring in new animes.

It is clear that Team Animazing, once a formidable rival to GMA’s Astig Authority block, is on the decline. And here are some reasons why.

It all started when ABS-CBN took advantage of ‘Princess Sarah”s renewed popularity on social media by re-airing the series in October. Then in a more desperate move, the Kapamilya network re-aired ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’, ‘Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe’ and ‘Dog of Flanders’, much to the dismay of their anime fans.

Worse, ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ continued to air on the said block, even though it is clear no one is in the mood to watch the Nickelodeon icon in Tagalized and heavily edited form.

As a result, Astig Authority overwhelmed Team Animazing in the ratings, even though they were frequently criticized for re-airing old animes regularly. But Team Animazing’s problems go beyond low ratings.

Unlike Astig Authority, which runs for over three hours, Team Animazing is only given half of what the former is allotted. This leads to fewer programs, and worse, heavily edited episodes, which does not bode well with viewers and the anime community in general.

And if there’s anything the Kapamilya anime fans want to blame, it is the presence of Kris Aquino in the mornings. ‘Kris TV’, which is now airing for four years but is struggling for ratings, continue to be honored by the network thanks to Kris’ ‘ironclad’ contract demands.

Team Animazing’s recent slump is only one of several problems that concern ABS-CBN today. That said, for the Kapamilya anime community, it is unfair for ABS-CBN to not commit towards new animes.

What’s the use of Hero if ABS-CBN won’t do favors to their anime fans? This definitely makes no sense.

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action, anime, cartoon, comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, Sports, talent show, television

FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

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