news, Philippines, public affairs, television

The End of TV5’s KBO, As We Know It

Since January 2015, reruns are now dominating what was once the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block on TV5. The said block debuted in October 2013, but was deemphasized the following year. (Screenshot courtesy of TV5)

The ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block on TV5 is now a distant memory.

These days, the remnants of the KBO block, consisting of ‘Demolition Job’, ‘Numero’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Unang Tikim’, and ‘Astig’, air reruns of past episodes at 11:30 p.m., a far cry from the block’s early days. It is safe to say that the KBO block has run its course, and with it, comes the clear fact that the said block has become more irrelevant than ever.

Debuting in October 2013 as part of a new programming strategy of the Kapatid network, KBO is originally composed of the following programs:

  • Demolition Job – hosted by Paolo Bediones
  • Numero – hosted by Cheryl Cosim
  • History with Lourd – hosted by Lourd de Veyra
  • Dayo – hosted by Atty. Theresa Licaros
  • Astig – hosted by Paolo Bediones

Upon the departure of Atty. Licaros from the network, ‘Dayo’ was replaced by ‘Bigtime’, hosted by Twink Macaraig, in February 2014. The original incarnation of KBO aired their last episodes in May 2014.

In September 2014, a new incarnation of KBO debuted, as ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’ returned for their second season. A new program, ‘Unang Tikim’, premiered on the said block, with chef Jeremy Favia as host, while ‘Numero’ and ‘Astig’ continued to air old episodes.

At this point, however, TV5 deemphasized the KBO name on air, but for reference purposes From the Tube will continue to use the KBO name when referring to TV5’s current 11:30 p.m. block.

The KBO block was also simulcast on TV5’s sister UHF network AksyonTV. But on the second incarnation of the said block, ‘Unang Tikim’ was not included on the simulcast, and ‘Bigtime’ continued to air instead.

By January 2015,  reruns are dominating the entire KBO block. The last new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’, ‘History with Lourd’ and ‘Unang Tikim’ were aired two months earlier, and upon checking the Facebook pages of each program, no mention of new episodes were posted.

What was once a very promising news block is now riddled with irrelevance, a lack of freshness and creativity, and a sense of exhaustion. The KBO block is now a shell of its former self, and News5 paid dearly for not maintaining it.

It remains to be seen if News5 finally wakes up to their senses and replace these overly repetitive programs. But in the eyes of the observers, the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block is essentially over, never to be seen again.

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FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

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 TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the ‘Batang Gilas’ in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’. TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs that were cancelled in his first full year in charge include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the Kapatid network introduced ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage, much to the dismay of the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But perhaps the biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’ failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

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Back to ‘Normal’ Ways for AksyonTV

AksyonTV brought back reruns of programs such as ‘Cocktales’ following the conclusion of the 2014 Asian Games. (Photo credit: Daphne.ph)

After sharing the coverage of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Asian Games with TV5, it is back to ‘normal’ for the embattled AksyonTV.

The conclusion of these sports events means that re-runs of old AksyonTV and TV5 programs were once again occupying the network’s vacant hours.  Other than the ongoing NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the rest of AksyonTV’s content reverted back to where they were in the summer of 2014.

AksyonTV’s return to a rerun-based programming does not help their cause at all, and it is clear that they are in extremely bad shape to compete against the likes of ABS-CBN Sports+Action, 9TV and GMA News TV.

Back in May, I wrote about the need to improve AksyonTV’s programming. In summarizing the needs of AksyonTV to improve in order to be competitive, here are my suggestions:

  1. Eliminate the dependence of simulcasting TV5’s newscasts, and produce their own that do not conflict with the mother network.
  2. Make Radyo5’s ‘Orly Mercado All Ready’ as the main morning show of the network.
  3. Produce more original programs.

Since then, however, AksyonTV’s programming quality got even worse, despite the return of Radyo5 programs ‘Aksyon Solusyon’ and ‘Remoto Control’ to the fold.

In July, the network stopped producing ‘Aksyon Breaking’ and ‘Aksyon Weather’ updates, as well as ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. Then in September, old programs such as ‘Cocktales’ and ‘Wasak’ were brought back.

In addition, the network decided not to air new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’, as well as a new program called ‘Unang Tikim’. Instead previous episodes of KBO were re-aired, much to the dismay of its viewers.

For AksyonTV, this is an already alarming situation. Instead of trying to improve the network’s programming quality, it seems like the management is becoming extremely casual in operating the lackluster station, especially when there are no sports events to cover.

If TV5 wants to upgrade and improve the status of its UHF counterpart, the management should start acting on this matter right now. Otherwise, AksyonTV’s days will be numbered, to the point where a permanent sign off is difficult to resist.

AksyonTV is definitely a good network to watch. But with the kind of programming they have right now, this will not help their standing among the other major UHF networks.

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KBO on TV5 is Back, Sort of

Paolo Bediones (left) returns to host a new season of ‘Demolition Job’ on TV5. (Photo credit: Demolition Job Official Facebook)

A new program and a new season of two others marked the return of TV5’s ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block.

On the week of September 15, new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’ began to air on TV5. The two original KBO programs were recently rewarded with a new season as a testament to their popularity with viewers.

The latest season of ‘Demolition Job’ marked the on-air return of Paolo Bediones, who recently took a leave of absence as anchor of ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the light of his controversial sex scandal. Meanwhile, Lourd de Veyra will continue to host ‘History with Lourd’, alongside his sidekick and the self-proclaimed ‘pinaka-walang kwentang showbiz reporter’, Jun Sabayton.

Also on TV5, a new program called ‘Unang Tikim’ debuted on September 18. The program marked the latest project for chef Jeremy Favia, whose previous projects on the Kapatid network include the short segment ‘Take Out’, and the 30-minute cooking show ‘Chef vs. Mom’ alongside his mother Lalie Favia.

Unlike other cooking shows, ‘Unang Tikim’ focuses more on the exotic delicacies and the benefits that come with it. This is a daunting challenge for the average viewer, because in each episode, their intestinal fortitude and ability to overcome the grossness of delicacies like insects, rodents and reptiles will be put to the test.

And to fill in the void, repeats of ‘Numero’ and ‘Astig’ were added on the Tuesday and Friday slots, respectively.

While TV5 and AksyonTV were able to reinsert the KBO block following ‘Aksyon Tonite’, the latter’s version is currently not a simulcast of the former.

As a result, AksyonTV does not air new episodes of ‘Demolition Job’ and ‘History with Lourd’, and instead concentrate on the first season episodes. In addition, repeats of ‘Bigtime’ air instead of ‘Unang Tikim’, while airings of ‘Numero’ and ‘Astig’ are different from those that air on TV5.

The return of KBO on TV5 should be a positive development for its news department. Having said that, News5 should keep on planning for fresh concepts in order to stay relevant and up-to-date. The time to improve News5 is now, and should begin immediately.

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TV5’s New Programs for October (Part I)

Last month, TV5 brought in its first wave of new and returning programs as part of its restructuring process. These programs began to air on the weekend of September 14-15 on what became known as ‘Weekend Do It Better’. This October, TV5 will continue its restructuring with the introduction of new programs on the weeknight slot, with the hopes of attracting younger and more socially conscious viewers. For Part I, I will discuss News5‘s newest programs.

The new News5 programming block will be dubbed as ‘KBO’ (Karunungan, Balita, Opinyon), which will start airing on October 14 at 10:00 p.m.. On Mondays, Paolo Bediones will host ‘Demolition Job’, a program which he will challenge and refute some commonly accepted facts. On Tuesdays, Cheryl Cosim will host ‘Numero’, a program similar in scope with the former but with the use of statistics as proof. On Wednesdays, Lourd de Veyra will host ‘History’, a program which will feature history lessons as told by Lourd himself. On Thursdays, Atty. Teresa Licaros will host ‘Dayo’, a program which will tell stories about the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers. And on Fridays, Paolo Bediones returns to host ‘Astig’, a program featuring interesting sports stories.

The ‘KBO’ block will be followed by the late night news broadcast ‘Pilipinas News‘ with anchors Paolo Bediones, Cheri Mercado and Jove Francisco, and ‘Reaksyon’ with News5 head Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

One program that was axed to make way for these news programs happen to be the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’. The program, through its various incarnations, has been airing on TV5 since 2009. However, with the anticipated programming shakeup, Jojo Alejar and his All the Way Band finally decided to bid goodbye to their loyal viewers last September 27, after a four-year run. Following the final airing of ‘Medyo Late Night’, AksyonTV original programs began to air on TV5 primarily to fill in programming hours, but will only been seen on an interim basis while the aforementioned ‘KBO’ block is being prepared for launch. As for ‘Medyo Late Night’, it remains to be seen whether it will be brought back sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, the morning news program ‘Good Morning Club‘ will also be revamped to include new hosts and segments. The new hosts will include Radyo5’s ‘Punto Asintado’ tandem of Erwin Tulfo and Martin Andanar, ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ star Tuesday Vargas, and News5 anchor Twink Macaraig. The newly-reformatted ‘GMC’ will also be shortened to two hours as opposed to three on the other competing morning shows, and will be divided into segments in order to provide information to a specific audience, and not just to the general public.

These new program offerings of News5 are also expected to air on sister network AksyonTV, though it has not been confirmed at the moment. In the meantime, TV5’s new entertainment programs will be discussed in Part II.

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