drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko Looks to Make Saturdays Relevant Anew

As stubborn as they come.

Even in a losing cause GMA continues to defy the norm. Their insistence comes in the form of one afternoon drama that airs from Monday to Saturday.

Initially they only used this formula for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, by far their most successful afternoon drama in the recent past. But later dramas such as ‘Contessa’ and ‘Ika-5 Utos’ proved to be flukes as neither show was able to keep viewers tuned in six times a week.

And after only 36 episodes, GMA demoted ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to a later timeslot to make way for yet another ‘kabitserye’. As far as the new series ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ is concerned, there is no need to explain, not even the story itself.

(Spoiler alert: one of the lead characters is a gay man who underwent sexual reassignment surgery ala Jake Zyrus to become a woman)

For those who still want to check in on the plot, just click this link. Enough said.

Anyway, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will be led by Kris Bernal, Rayver Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jason Abalos. The supporting cast will include Lotlot de Leon, Devon Seron, Annalyn Barro, Caprice Cayetano, Jean Saburit, Ricardo Cepeda, Maricris Garcia, Matthias Rhoads, and Phil Noble.

While ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ has some recognizable names and an intriguing yet familiar storyline, the challenge now for the show is its ability to keep viewers glued to their seats from Monday to Saturday. Considering its opponent is ‘It’s Showtime’, it is not going to be an easy task, especially on Saturdays.

That said, GMA can only hope that ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will give Vice Ganda and company a lot more than they can chew. If not, then it will not be a surprise to see GMA demote this series and try a new strategy every Saturday.

Directed by Mark Sicat dela Cruz, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ airs every Monday to Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Is It Time for GMA to End Contessa’s Saturday Experiment?

‘Contessa”s first few episodes did not impress viewers. Even its first Saturday episode failed to deliver. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Talk about a complete 360.

Through its first nine episodes as of April 4, GMA’s ‘Contessa’ was only able to average 10% in the ratings according to Kantar. In contrast, ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ raked in around 17%, and while its numbers declined by around 2% during the Holy Week, it was still enough to dispatch ‘Contessa’.

Even the first Saturday episode of ‘Contessa’ on March 24 was a flop, as it earned only 9.9% compared to ‘It’s Showtime”s 17.4%. By comparison, the finale of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ which aired the previous Saturday finished with a 20.6% rating, 10.7% better than its successor.

The slow start of ‘Contessa’ should cause plenty of concern within GMA Network. Following up a successful afternoon drama in ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ was no easy task, but no one expected ‘Contessa’ to fall way below expectations.

In the days leading up to its premiere there were some doubts on whether or not ‘Contessa’ will have a Saturday episode. Initially, GMA considered having ‘Contessa’ air only from Monday to Friday, but when the network realized that they lack suitable replacements for the 2:30 p.m. slot, they reluctantly added a Saturday episode on ‘Contessa’.

In doing so GMA gave ‘Contessa’ enormously high expectations to succeed. Unfortunately, ‘Contessa’ didn’t come close to sustaining ‘Ika-6 na Utos” high viewership, and it also didn’t help that its first foray into Saturdays failed to produce the desired result.

Perhaps it is those bandwagon viewers that only showed up during ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ and then switched to ‘It’s Showtime’ and other programs once it ended. Or perhaps GMA dramas have had a history of starting slow and then occasionally picking up ratings midway through.

Whatever the reason, it was clear that ‘Contessa’ underachieved from the get-go. Adding a Saturday episode was a huge mistake and the possibility of viewer burnout became more apparent.

But as far as GMA is concerned, ‘Contessa’ has had only one Saturday episode so far (there was no episode during Black Saturday) so it is too early to tell. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not succeeding episodes will increase viewership and give ‘Contessa’ some much-needed respectability.

If it does not improve, the onus is on GMA to end its Saturday experiment on ‘Contessa’. Good luck.

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