entertainment, movies, Philippines, religion, television

No More Sunday Mass for GMA, And It Sucks

Irrelevance on Sundays are becoming a norm for GMA, even in the early mornings.

On the first Sunday of 2015, the first two programs that GMA aired were ‘In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley’ and ‘Jesus The Healer’. What happened next shocked even the most religious of viewers.

Instead of the ‘Family TV Mass’ that is produced by the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI), GMA brought back ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’, another movie block of theirs. An hour later, ‘Family TV Mass’ returned to its old home, the ever-unreliable IBC-13.

GMA’s decision to remove ‘Family TV Mass’ came at a not-so opportune time. Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines this month, and dropping the ‘Family TV Mass’ is definitely not a good way to appease GMA’s Catholic viewers.

As a result, GMA now airs around four to six movie blocks on a weekend. Aside from ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’, their other movie blocks include ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ ‘Superhero Sunday’, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ (twice or thrice), and ‘Sunday Night Box Office’.

For GMA, it is back to their old ways. The lack of a Sunday TV Mass is once again apparent to the folks inside Timog Avenue, and they are clearly feeling the heat.

Airing ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’ at 6:00 a.m., much like the cartoons that GMA once aired against the TV mass on ABS-CBN and TV5, is an insult and a disrespect to the Christian religion. It’s one thing to air entertainment programs, but airing them this early on a Sunday is just a step too far.

And as far as GMA is concerned, they are becoming more desperate towards ratings than ever before, and it’s not because for a lack of trying.

With the removal of ‘Family TV Mass’, GMA is once again showing its unworthiness to the Catholic religion. And with Pope Francis’ visit looming, things are not looking good for GMA in a religious standpoint.

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The Weekend Shuffle on ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5

The return of ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’ last Sunday left Toni Gonzaga (left) with four programs on the same day. As a result of the over-exposure, Toni’s sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’ was moved to Saturday nights.

Just in time for the homestretch of summer, the ‘Big Three’ networks made noticeable changes in their weekend lineup. But while GMA and TV5 made a few tweaks, ABS-CBN decided to clean house and revamp theirs.

Last Sunday, ‘The Buzz’ made a grand return to ABS-CBN. However, one of the program’s hosts, Toni Gonzaga, had three other shows on Sundays; namely ‘ASAP’, ‘Home Sweetie Home’, and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’.

The addition of ‘The Buzz’ proved to be a case of overexposure for the host, and as a result, ABS-CBN decided to move one of her shows to another day. And ‘Home Sweetie Home’ proved to be the odd one out. However, another of ABS-CBN’s programs needed to move as well.

‘Home Sweetie Home’ was moved to Saturday nights, while ‘Wansapanatym’ was moved to Sunday nights. This is a homecoming of sorts for the latter, as it used to air on Sundays during its initial run in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Meanwhile, instead of facing Michael V’s highly-rated ‘Pepito Manaloto’, ‘Home Sweetie Home’ will now have to compete against Vic Sotto’s ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ in its new timeslot.

On Saturday afternoons, both ‘Failon Ngayon’ and ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ exchanged timeslots, with the former now airing at 4:00 p.m., and the latter at 4:45 p.m. Also in a few weeks’ time, ABS-CBN will bring back the legal drama series ‘Kapag May Katwiran, Ipaglaban Mo!’, which is expected to be placed on the timeslot preceding ‘Failon Ngayon’. And finally, ‘The Voice Kids’ debuted last night, and will air every weekend thereafter.

Over at GMA, the network started to air classic films via the ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’ block. Like the old QTV program ‘Ginintuang Telon’, the movie block showcases films made during the 1950s and 1960s. It was placed in the early Sunday morning slot opposite religious programs such as the live Sunday TV Mass.

Meanwhile, GMA also decided to end its broadcast of Dr. Charles Stanley’s ‘In Touch Ministries’ after a six-year run, effective last April. This leaves ‘Jesus the Healer’ of the Jesus is Lord Movement as the network’s sole religious program on Sundays.

And over at TV5, Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s self-titled drama and suspense program will premiere next Sunday. ‘JasMINE’ is a series that revolves around Curtis and her rise to fame being threatened by a stalker named ‘Mascara’, whose role is to make things miserable for the young actress. The series was supposed to premiere in March, but due to the network’s decision to shorten the ongoing PBA season, its premiere was delayed for three months.

In addition to Curtis, Vin Abrenica, Matt Padilla, Carlo Orosa, Gerard Sison, Marvelous Alejo, Nicole Estrada, Cai Cortez, and Alwyn Uytingco will also play key roles in the series. ‘JasMINE’ the series is scheduled to premiere after ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ this June 1.

To all the parties involved, good luck in trying to keep viewers happy with these programs.

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GMA Pits Cartoons vs. Sunday Mass on Other Networks

In an unexpected change of schedule, GMA decided to move ‘In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley’ to an even earlier timeslot, at the wee hours of 4:00 a.m. Then come 6:00 a.m., a mix of cartoons and anime started airing on the network.

What GMA did is disrespectful and insulting to the Christian religion. Sunday is supposed to be a day of relaxation, rest, recreation and recollection, and yet GMA decided to become desperate by airing cartoons at 6:00 a.m. in hopes of drawing more kids who lacked the motivation to go to church. It is a counter-programming strategy that has gone too far, and GMA deserves a lot of flak for it.

Putting cartoons on an early Sunday morning were nothing new to GMA. Older viewers of the network may remember the time when ‘Word of Hope’ and Cathedral of Praise’s ‘Dawn of Revival’ were being aired before the general entertainment programs. That was back when GMA’s logo was a rainbow. But once the network decided to change its logo into a rainbow-colored heart, they decided to drop most of the religious programs by 7:00 a.m. and air animated programs. From then on its religious programming was restricted to the sunrise hours, before relegating them to the wee hours as of today.

GMA should realize that the majority of the Philippine population remains under the Roman Catholic religion. Going to church, if not watch the whole mass on television, is an obligation for every Catholic family. But by counter-programming them with cartoons every Sunday at 6:00 a.m., GMA seems to promote the notion that they are ‘anti-Catholic’, and in doing so, they try to lure away people from the church and back into their homes, which is not a good idea.

In the end, GMA’s decision to counter-program the Sunday Mass with cartoons will backfire on them. Sorry to the loyal Kapuso viewers, but it is a decision that definitely does not sit well within the Catholic majority in the Philippines.

Notes: Family Rosary Crusade resumed its broadcasts on the new ABS-CBN Sports+Action yesterday. It now airs at 5:00 a.m. Also, the Healing Eucharist on ABS-CBN Channel 2 is now simulcast on Sports+Action Channel 23 every Sunday at 6:00 a.m.

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