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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comedy, entertainment, humor, Love story, Philippines, television

Conan Out, Usapang Real Love In

From cross-dressing beauticians to real love issues.

Last Sunday, the 13-episode run of ‘Conan My Beautician’ came to an end. The GMA Public Affairs-produced sitcom premiered on June 26 as a replacement to ‘Alamat’, but the show never caught fire, losing to ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’ on a consistent basis.

Although Mark Herras made a good account of himself by portraying a cross-dressing hairstylist, ‘Conan My Beautician’ still fell short by GMA Public Affairs’ standards. Their continued involvement in entertainment shows is becoming a brain drain to the entertainment department, and it could pose an even bigger risk in future shows.

Moving on, a new GMA show will take the place of ‘Conan My Beautician’ this coming Sunday. Billed as the first-ever interactive rom-com series, ‘Usapang Real Love’ will feature four weekly episodes starring GMA’s love teams, along with a selected video entry that will be submitted by netizens on social media.

The show’s first story, titled ‘Dream Date’, will star Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. The supporting cast for the said story will consist of Jak Roberto, Yayo Aguila, Lloyd Samartino, Jade Lopez, Ces Quesada and Gene Padilla.

The second story, titled ‘Perfect Fit’, will be led by Andre Paras and Mikee Quintos. The supporting cast will have William Lorenzo, Mickey Feriols, Arra San Agustin, Jay Arcilla, Vince Gamad and Bern Josep ‘Bekimon’ Persia.

As innovative as ‘Usapang Real Love’ is, they still have a huge hurdle to overcome. As mentioned earlier, ‘Family Feud’ proved to be a thorn on ‘Conan My Beautician”s side, and this puts even greater pressure on ‘Usapang Real Love’ to succeed.

Considering that the show will be a mere short-term filler, GMA can only hope for the best. The four episodes of ‘Usapang Real Love’ should be a gauge to see if their love teams will return to form, and if so, GMA will be poised to give them better projects.

‘Usapang Real Love’ airs every Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on GMA.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Conan, My Beautician Premieres Sunday

Meet Mark Herras in drag.

Beginning this Sunday, Mark will topbill GMA’s newest comedy series ‘Conan, My Beautician’. This series will feature Mark in a role that he has never played before: that of a gay man.

In ‘Conan, My Beautician’, Mark will play Conan, a straight man who is the most talented yet desperate beautician at Salon Paz. But in order to accept the job, he has to pretend that he is gay; after all, he needs the money for the sake of his sick mother and family, who were banished from their hometown by Chika La Chaka (Cacai Bautista).

Along the way, he met and fell in love with Ava (Megan Young), whom he worked along in a make-up gig. But as the story goes on, his fellow beauticians seem to notice that Conan may not be gay at all.

‘Conan, My Beautician’ will also star Jerald Napoles, Betong Sumaya, Boobsie, Tetay, Lotlot de Leon, Jay Manalo, Balang, Chlaui Malayao, Vangie Labalan and Antonette Garcia. It will be co-directed by Adolf Alix and Rember Gelera.

Continuing the recent trend of Sunday afternoon comedy series that was first seen on ‘Juan Tamad’, a lot is expected on ‘Conan, My Beautician’. Still, winning its timeslot will be a daunting task, considering that ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’ remains the most-watched show nationally every late Sunday afternoon.

Nevertheless, expect the series to pull all the stops. Playing a man dressed in drag is a great challenge for Mark Herras, and if the viewers find it awesome and funny, that should help spike ‘Conan, My Beautician”s performance.

‘Conan, My Beautician’ airs every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. on GMA.

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