entertainment, lifestyle, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Sarap, ‘Di ba?

‘Sarap Diva’ has been transformed.

In the wake of Regine Velasquez’s move to ABS-CBN this past week, her former show immediately went to work and rebranded itself into ‘Sarap, ‘Di ba?’ effective last Saturday. Replacing Regine as the show’s host is the family trio of Carmina Villaroel and twin children Mavy and Cassy Legaspi.

For all intents and purposes, ‘Sarap, ‘Di ba?’ is considered a ‘new’ show that is different in tone from its successor. While the cooking portion of the show remains, Carmina, Mavy and Cassy now focus on topics regarding family and individual lifestyles.

So far, ‘Sarap, ‘Di ba?’ has been well-received by viewers. But it remains to be seen if it will be good enough to last as long as its predecessor did.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Road Trip: Another Short-Term Solution in GMA’s Late Sunday Afternoon Timeslot?

Instability has defined GMA’s late Sunday afternoon slot.

Since ‘Juan Tamad’ ended its 29-episode run in March 2016, five different programs were placed at the 4:45 p.m. slot on Sundays. They are:

  • Alamat – six episodes from May 15 to June 19, 2016.
  • Conan, My Beautician – 13 episodes from June 26 to September 18, 2016.
  • Usapang Real Love – 14 episodes from September 25 to December 18, 2016.
  • People vs. the Stars – 14 episodes from January 15 to April 16, 2017.
  • Follow Your Heart – 13 episodes from April 23 to July 16, 2017.

Talk about running in the short term. With the exception of ‘Alamat’ which was only slated for six episodes, every program that GMA placed in the timeslot was given only 13 to 14 episodes to broadcast.

The fact that late Sunday afternoons are usually the least-watched period on Philippine television may have played a factor on why GMA continues to experiment with short-term programs in this timeslot. And come this Sunday, that experiment is expected to continue when they premiere a travel show called ‘Road Trip’.

Produced by no less than GMA News and Public Affairs, ‘Road Trip’ is a one-hour show that will feature celebrities and their friends and family going on a field trip to some of the country’s most breathtaking destinations. The program’s premiere episode will see Carmina Villaroel, Zoren Legaspi, and twins Mavy and Cassy go to Batanes.

Future episodes of ‘Road Trip’ will also feature the likes of Rochelle Pangilinan, Max Collins, Andrea Torres, Kris Bernal, Arny Ross, Jinri Park and Meg Imperial. So while news of celebrities going on vacation are a regular sight in tabloids and entertainment websites, GMA is now using it as a tool to create a reality series in ‘Road Trip’.

Now here is a very crucial question. Can ‘Road Trip’ survive past the 13th or the 14th episode?

On a normal basis, Filipino travel shows tend to last for only a few episodes. Case in point: ABS-CBN’s ‘G Diaries’ and TV5’s ‘Lakbai’, which lasted 13 and eight episodes respectively.

That said, it will not be a surprise to see ‘Road Trip’ conclude after only 13 or 14 episodes. But if this program manages to survive past those numbers, then it will be a huge morale boost for GMA.

‘Road Trip’ airs starting this Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

JaDine Returns with Till I Met You

JaDine is back on the small screen.

Seven months after the conclusion of the love team’s breakout TV hit ‘On the Wings of Love’, James Reid and Nadine Lustre return for a greater dose of ‘kilig’, but at the same time tackle more serious storylines. Their newest project, ‘Till I Met You’, will showcase a more mature JaDine, while it introduces a new star.

‘Till I Met You’ will focus on the lives of three people, each with a story to tell. Iris (Nadine) and Basti (James) are a couple and are set to marry, but things soon turn when Iris’ best friend Ali, played by JC Santos, is revealed to have a secret relationship with Basti.

Like more recent ABS-CBN dramas featuring their love teams, ‘Till I Met You’ will also highlight a particular tourist attraction. The early portion of the series was shot in Greece, a country that features a mild Mediterranean climate and a vast tradition of civilization and commerce.

Joining JaDine and JC on ‘Till I Met You’ are Carmina Villaroel, Zoren Legaspi, Pokwang, Angel Aquino, Kim Molina, Noel Trinidad and Robert Seña, with Richard Yap and Jay Manalo playing special roles. The series will be directed by Antonette Jadaone and Andoy Ranay, both of whom have been the directors of JaDine’s projects in the past.

The hype for ‘Till I Met You’ has been tremendous leading up to its premiere. News regarding the upcoming series became a constant trending topic on social media, and as such, fans of JaDine cannot stop talking about ‘Till I Met You”s hit potential.

This should cause a concern for GMA, whose continuous failures to concoct their own popular love teams have been well documented. The expected popularity of ‘Till I Met You’ could keep GMA out of it, especially now that they are airing a Koreanovela (in this case ‘Descendants of the Sun’) as a last resort.

It will be interesting to see how the new and improved JaDine will fare the second time around. But as far as viewers are concerned, there will be no surprises, as they are poised to once again generate high ratings for ABS-CBN based on past reputation.

‘Till I Met You’ premieres this Monday, and airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, talk show, television

ABS-CBN Brings Back ‘The Buzz’

Looks like ABS-CBN forgot to use the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.

As announced this week, the Kapamilya network decided to rename ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ back to ‘The Buzz’. The rebranded program will be hosted by original hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, and are joined by Toni Gonzaga, who was Boy’s final co-host of the first version of ‘The Buzz’, which ended on October 13, 2013.

The first sign of ‘The Buzz”s return came via Kris Aquino’s Instagram, stating that ‘true love has a habit of coming back’, and mentioning the date ‘May 18, 2014’. Moreover, her recent contract with ABS-CBN also stated that Kris has a list of three programs, two of which (‘Kris TV’, ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’) are currently on the air.

Soon after, teasers for the upcoming return of ‘The Buzz’ aired during ABS-CBN’s commercial gaps, as seen in this short video below.

The return of ‘The Buzz’ came at just the right time, as ABS-CBN’s flagship Sunday showbiz talk show enters its 15th year. In addition, the rebrand means that viewers will finally see the long-awaited rivalry between ‘The Buzz’ and GMA’s ‘Startalk,’ which has been halted by ‘Startalk”s initial foray into Saturday afternoons, and the launch of ‘Buzz ng Bayan’.

Despite the fact that ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ earned higher ratings than ‘Startalk’ since the latter’s return to Sundays, it was clear that the audience had a hard time recognizing its concept that emphasized on a panel discussion and audience interaction. And while Carmina Villaroel and Janice de Belen decently played their roles well, viewers were not receptive to them either.

In the end, ABS-CBN decided to bring back ‘The Buzz’ for good reason. The program has had the longevity and the popularity that ABS-CBN’s other showbiz programs never had. And hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino had great chemistry.

In other words, ABS-CBN should have KEPT ‘The Buzz’ rather than reformatting it. ‘The Buzz’ is always an icon and a symbol to the Kapamilya network’s afternoon viewing pleasure, and should never be changed even as it ages.

‘The Buzz’ returns this Sunday afternoon on ABS-CBN.

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entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

GMA’s New Morning Talk Show is a Thumbs Down

GMA is once again producing a morning talk show in ‘Basta Every Day Happy’, as they try to restore order in their morning lineup.

The last time GMA had a morning talk show, real-life married couple Zoren Legaspi and Carmina Villaroel were the hosts of a now-forgotten program called ‘Love ni Mister, Love ni Misis’. And now the Kapuso network is once again trying to resuscitate their already tattered morning lineup by introducing a new morning talk show.

‘Basta Every Day Happy’ is GMA’s latest attempt at a morning talk show. The upcoming program will be hosted by Chef Boy Logro, Gladys Reyes, Donita Rose and Alessandra de Rossi, and will begin its broadcast this Monday at 11:00 a.m., right before another talk show in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

Ever since ‘SIS’ left the airwaves, GMA has attempted and failed to create their own highly-rated talk and variety shows in the morning slot. Anyone who remembers ‘Diz Iz It’ , ‘Nay-1-1’ and the aforementioned ‘Love ni Mister, Love ni Misis’ will be scratching their heads in disbelief.

And their most recent attempt, ‘Kusina Master’, was also a non-factor. As it turned out, Chef Boy Logro’s weekday program was supplanted by ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, then moved to an earlier timeslot, before cutting its airtime to 15 minutes. Worse, the program that was once produced inside a studio to a live audience was demoted to producing taped broadcasts in various kitchen setups.

Which is why the pressure is definitely high for the hosts of ‘Basta Every Day Happy’. The thing is, GMA management would have done the right thing by placing the program opposite ‘Kris TV’, in order to downplay such expectations. Instead, the management decided to put the program against ‘The Singing Bee’, and based on ‘TSB”s recent ratings, it looks like ‘Basta Every Day Happy’ is poised for a disastrous start.

It remains to be seen whether or not ‘Basta Every Day Happy’ will prove doubters wrong. But as far as recent history goes, it looks like GMA has produced yet another short-lived morning talk show.

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entertainment, Philippines, talk show, television

The Buzz and Showbiz Inside Report Merge as Buzz ng Bayan

Last Sunday, ‘The Buzz‘ hosts Charlene Gonzales and Toni Gonzaga confirmed that they’ll leave the show. It was also announced that the program will undergo a ‘makeover’, which became official when news outlets confirmed the arrival of Janice de Belen and Carmina Villaroel from ‘Showbiz Inside Report‘ to join Boy Abunda on the ‘new’ showbiz program ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. The reformat effectively ended ‘The Buzz”s 15-year run.

‘Showbiz Inside Report’ aired for the last time on September 28, to make way for unnamed special programs. While the program decently rated well owing to the chemistry of Janice, Carmina and Joey Marquez, it could not equal or surpass the viewership of GMA’sStartalk‘, which has been a staple of Saturday afternoon viewership since 1998. ‘SIR”s short run was just the latest of many talk show flops that ABS-CBN introduced to compete against ‘Startalk’, which led to another change in programming format.

While ‘The Buzz’ became virtually unbeatable on Sunday afternoons despite competing with ‘S Files’ and ‘Showbiz Central‘, its viewership soon declined after the departure of host Kris Aquino. Many agreed that Aquino’s presence, charisma and chemistry with Boy Abunda made the show a hit, and it earned numerous talk show awards during Aquino’s tenure. After Aquino’s departure, the program experimented with the likes of Ruffa Gutierrez, KC Concepcion and the aforementioned Charlene Gonzales and Toni Gonzaga, but neither were able to replicate the magic that Aquino created on the show. The program flirted with reformatting soon after, but it finally gave in last Sunday, leading to ‘Buzz ng Bayan’.

In an interview with Janice de Belen, she revealed that the format of ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ will feature audience interaction and panel discussion, something unheard of in a showbiz talk show. The program format appears similar to the one used on TV5’s ‘Face the People’, which also allows people to participate and intervene. This novel approach is worthy of a first look, so let’s see if they can pull that off.

‘Buzz ng Bayan’ will debut on October 20 after the successful teen comedy series ‘Luv U’.

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