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GMA Reformats Afternoon Prime with the Addition of Public Affairs Programs

Starting with ‘Alisto’ last May 26, GMA’s Public Affairs programs began to air on the teleserye-dominated ‘Afternoon Prime’ block.

Nearly two years ago, ABS-CBN decided to place their news and current affairs programs (a.k.a. ‘Pinoy True Stories’) in the afternoon slot. Soon after, they placed ‘Banana Nite’ in an earlier timeslot following their late-night telecast ‘Bandila’. At the time, I derided their decision to place ‘Banana Nite’ following their news program, simply because ABS-CBN’s late night public affairs programs do not measure up to the standards set by GMA’s award-winning counterparts.

As time wore on, however, the Kapamilya network’s decision appears to have paid off. ‘Pinoy True Stories’, which today consists of ‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ and ‘Red Alert’, enjoyed ratings of 10% or better, mainly due to higher viewership in the afternoon compared to the late night hours. In addition, the equally high ratings of ABS-CBN’s teleseryes are also helping the program’s cause.

The success of ‘Pinoy True Stories’ prompted GMA to make their own changes in the ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, something I first envisioned in an article back in December. The end result is a reformatted ‘Afternoon Prime’ that now includes five public affairs programs: ‘Alisto!’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The newly-reassigned programs started airing last May 26, beginning with ‘Alisto!’.

On Mondays, ‘Alisto!’, hosted by Arnold Clavio, tackles various crimes, natural disasters, man-made accidents, and other life-threatening incidents. On Tuesdays, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos, features famous individuals and their real life stories. Then on Wednesdays, ‘Power House’, hosted by Kara David, documents the lives of powerful people by showcasing their properties and their prized possessions while talking about their normal lives.

On Thursdays, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, hosted by Jiggy Manicad and Maki Pulido, investigates a wide variety of stories that affect the Filipino society. And on Fridays, ‘Love Hotline’, hosted by Jean Garcia, spotlights individuals in the need of love advice.

GMA’s afternoon public affairs programs should give viewers a welcome break from the tear-jerking drama series of years past. But more importantly, it should help these programs gain some much-needed exposure from a bigger audience, considering the likes of ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ were regular winners in various international award-giving bodies.

It remains to be seen whether or not these programs will help GMA return to form in the afternoons. But for now, this is a good decision for GMA to bring them out of late nights and into the viewer-rich afternoon slot.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, talk show, television

Boy and Kris Reunite on Primetime

The ever-popular tandem of Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda returns via ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’ on ABS-CBN.

Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino always seem to be inseparable. Beginning with ‘Startalk’ in the mid-90s, the duo found its way to other programs; namely ‘The Buzz’, ‘Boy & Kris’, and ‘SNN: Showbiz News Ngayon’. And this Monday, Boy and Kris will return to primetime television via ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’.

The new program will be similar to ‘SNN’, except that it is condensed into a 15-minute program featuring fast-paced news from the social, political and showbiz perspective. It will also feature a guest interview featuring some of the most controversial personalities today, along with a social media interaction segment.

In essence, ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’ will be the replacement to Boy’s previous segment on ‘Bandila’ called ‘Ikaw Na’. While the segment itself was popular (resulting to a parody on ‘Banana Nite’ starring Jayson Gainza), the viewers’ requests for an earlier timeslot became a huge factor in moving Boy out of ‘Bandila’ and into his own show with Kris. It is also said that the renewal of Kris’ contract with ABS-CBN also played a huge role in reuniting the showbiz duo.

ABS-CBN also decided to avoid placing the program before ‘Bandila’ in order to avoid the same fate that befell ‘SNN’. During ‘SNN”s two-year run, its ratings suffered due to competition with other entertainment programs, as well as the eventual departure of Kris Aquino during her brother Noynoy’s presidential campaign. The harsh lesson of ‘SNN’ led to the new program’s assignment within Primetime Bida in an effort to maintain a sizable audience from its preceding teleseryes. As a result, ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’ will be seen after ‘The Legal Wife’ and before ‘The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles’.

‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’ is expected to be another coup created by the ABS-CBN management. But with the demise of ‘SNN’ still fresh in viewers’ minds, it remains to be seen whether or not the reunited duo will erase the stigma that doomed ‘SNN’. Anything less than high ratings will be a failure for the program and the Kapamilya network.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

‘Banana Nite’ Absent from ABS-CBN Last Night

The popular ‘Ihaw Na’ skit featuring Jayson Gainza in a parody of Boy Abunda did not air as ‘Banana Nite’ was ‘replaced’ by ‘O Shopping’.

It was around 11:15 p.m., and ABS-CBN was about to wrap up their late night newscast ‘Bandila’. I was expecting to see ‘Banana Nite’ go on-air. But instead something else happened on the Kapamilya network.

Last night the spinoff to the popular gag show ‘Banana Split’ did not air as expected, and was replaced by the ‘O Shopping’ infomercials. ABS-CBN did not specify the reason as to why ‘Banana Nite’ was replaced by ‘O Shopping’ in its timeslot.

The reported absence of ‘Banana Nite’ coincided with rival GMA welcoming the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ to its fold. Jojo Alejar’s show runs back-to-back with ‘The Tim Yap Show’ every late night, though because of GMA’s public affairs programs, they were not able to air opposite the timeslot that ‘Banana Nite’ typically occupies. In addition, its absence also came at a not-so opportune time; female cast members Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco and Jef Gaitan were featured in FHM Philippines’ January 2014 issue.

Apparently, despite rave reviews on the skit ‘Ihaw Na’ starring Jayson Gainza in a parody of ‘Bandila’ anchor Boy Abunda, ‘Banana Nite’ has not been faring well in the ratings, although it has nothing to do with its timeslot. Let’s face it, ABS-CBN did a great job moving their current affairs programs (now ‘Pinoy True Stories’) to the late afternoon slot. And while GMA’s public affairs programs have been beating ‘Banana Nite’ in its timeslot, when compared to ‘Pinoy True Stories’, the numbers favor the latter.

‘Banana Nite’ was a wonderful experiment for ABS-CBN with regards to late night entertainment. Unfortunately, its unscheduled absence remains a mystery.

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