entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

GMA Pulls the Plug on People vs. the Stars

‘People vs. the Stars’ is no more.

GMA effectively cancelled the game show after its most recent broadcast last Sunday. It was clear that despite its encouraging use of audience and viewer participation, ‘People vs. the Stars’ never quite clicked with the people.

‘People vs. the Stars’, hosted by Drew Arellano and Iya Villania, first aired on January 15, 2017, and was GMA’s anointed answer to the popular yet controversial ABS-CBN franchised game show ‘Family Feud’. But a shaky premiere (11.5% compared to ‘Family Feud”s 16.9% according to Kantar) soon set the tone for the remainder of ‘People vs. the Stars” run.

On average, the margin between ‘Family Feud’ and ‘People vs. the Stars’ was around 4-5%, with ‘Family Feud’ winning all of their matchups. While ‘People vs. the Stars’ was praised for bringing audience participation back to a game show, viewers doesn’t seem to care about it at all.

What also hindered ‘People vs. the Stars’ was GMA’s questionable decision to air it once a week. It would have made sense for the game show to air every Saturday and Sunday to give ‘Family Feud’ a run for its money, but alas, GMA wanted none of it as they thought their current Saturday afternoon lineup is strong on paper (too bad it’s not).

In the end, ‘People vs. the Stars’ join a select list of GMA game shows that did not quite make it big. With only 14 episodes to its credit, it will surely make the ‘most forgotten game shows in the Philippines’ list if there is one.

So what is the next plan of action for GMA in the game show department? Considering their recent misfortune in the said genre, they may not have the motivation to make another one for a long period of time.

It’s a shame, since GMA prides itself in doing things ‘locally’ for the most part (unlike ABS-CBN which has depended more on franchised programs). With that, viewers can only hope for the best in GMA’s future endeavors.

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

People vs. the Stars Tries to Give Family Feud a Run for Its Money

The itch to topple ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’ led GMA to unveil a game show of their own.

After months of witnessing ‘Family Feud”s rise into a popular yet controversial celebrity-exclusive game show, GMA decided to give ABS-CBN a harsh lesson in viewer and audience participation. This led to the network’s newest game show called ‘People vs. the Stars’, which premieres this Sunday.

Hosted by the husband-and-wife tandem of Drew Arellano and Iya Villania, ‘People vs. the Stars’ features a unique strategy. Celebrities have a chance to win P 200,000 by answering eight mind-boggling questions with an allotted value, and if they answer incorrectly, viewers have a chance to steal the prize by answering a ‘People of the Week’ question through text.

With that, ‘People vs. the Stars’ encourages viewer participation through each episode, something that its soon-to-be rival ‘Family Feud’ has not been able to do. Kudos to GMA for being more generous to its viewers.

However, if there is one thing that holds ‘People vs. the Stars’ back, it is its schedule. While ‘Family Feud’ airs every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, ‘People vs. the Stars’ was only given a Sunday afternoon slot as GMA continues to air ‘Imbestigador’ opposite ‘Family Feud’ on Saturdays.

The unusual weekend afternoon schedule will not help ‘People vs. the Stars’ at all. That said, if GMA were smart enough to compete with ‘Family Feud’, they would have been better off if they move ‘Imbestigador’ to an earlier timeslot (against ‘SOCO’, of all shows) and cancel the more dramatized and irrelevant ‘Wish Ko Lang’, in order to give way to ‘People vs. the Stars’.

Regardless of this situation, viewers who were fed up by ‘Family Feud”s celebrities-only approach should look at ‘People vs. the Stars’ and see why this game show is worth watching. After all, everyone is welcome to earn the big bucks just by watching and participating on this game show.

‘People vs. the Stars’ airs every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. on GMA.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

Lip-Sync Battle Philippines Nears End

The end is getting closer for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’.

A few episodes remain for this franchised GMA celebrity talent show, whose finale will take place around September. A replacement, ‘Superstar Duets’, was officially announced by GMA a few days earlier (more on that in a future article).

In relation to that, Iya Villania-Arellano announced that she will take a maternity leave to prepare for the birth of her son with husband Drew Arellano. Thus she will leave behind not only her hosting duties with the ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, but also with ’24 Oras’.

The only question remains though, is whether or not GMA can ably replace Iya with another co-host for the final few episodes of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’. As it stands, host Michael V may have to do it all alone, which may either be a blessing in disguise or a bad case of overwork.

‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ first premiered on February 27, and it featured celebrities dressed as iconic singers lip-synching to their hit songs. It was GMA’s first franchised show since ‘Don’t Lose the Money’ two years ago.

Though the show had promise, they were unable to make an impact in the ratings.  For the entirety of its run, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ was pitted against ABS-CBN shows ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, each of which posted better ratings than the former.

To make matters worse, Michael V found himself overexposed in the first few months of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’. Prior to the show’s timeslot change on July 2, it was aired back-to-back with ‘Pepito Manaloto’, which also starred Bitoy.

Overall, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ was a good show. Notwithstanding its unimpressive ratings, the show was worth watching for those who know the art of lip-synching.

As the show comes to an end in September, one can only hope that it will make a final impression to its viewers. But it remains to be seen whether or not Michael V can hold the fort alone, that is unless GMA can find an able replacement for Iya.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, politics, television, United States

The Absence of Fake News on Philippine TV

In the United States, the two most popular fake news programs today are Comedy Central’sThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart‘ and ‘The Colbert Report‘. Both shows offer a humorous take on current news events that affect both the United States and the international scene, with ‘The Colbert Report’ emphasizing a commentary and pundit-based approach similar to ‘The O’Reilly Factor‘. The popularity and critical acclaim of the two programs make them one of the most iconic television shows in the US.

In the Philippines, fake news programs are a rarity, and only a few programs ended up gaining  high viewership figures. One of the earliest fake news programs is ‘Sic O’ Clock News’, aired on IBC-13 in the late 1980s. The program was hosted by Jaime Fabregas and Ces Quesada, with the late Rene Requiestas as one of the program’s most notable players. The program focused on issues that affected both the country and internationally at the time, and the way they delivered the news in a humorous and often riotous manner made it a television icon during the administration of Cory Aquino.

‘Sic O’ Clock News’ was directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, who later presided in the filming of ‘Jose Rizal’ and ‘Muro-Ami’ in the late 1990s, both of which likewise earned praise and critical acclaim.

After the demise of ‘Sic O’ Clock News’, elements of fake news skits were seen in programs such as ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘Tropang Trumpo‘, ‘Ispup’, ‘Super Laff-In‘ and other gag shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was not until 2004 that the fake news program was revived, in the form of Studio 23’s ‘Wazzup Wazzup‘. Hosted by then-newly-contracted Kapamilya Toni Gonzaga, Vhong Navarro and Drew Arellano, the show aired for three years and featured mockups of news stories, rather than commentaries on current issues.

While ‘Wazzup Wazzup’ enjoyed decent audience figures, the show was eventually axed three years later, owing to the busy schedules of the main hosts. Nevertheless, the program served as a vehicle for Studio 23’s shift of viewership from the niche upper class to the youth and ‘masa’, an emphasis that I wrote in a previous article.

In 2011, GMA News TV launched ‘May Tamang Balita‘. Originally hosted by Ramon Bautista, Sheena Halili and Janna Dominguez, the show ran for two years before it was axed for unknown reasons. Like ‘Wazzup Wazzup’, ‘May Tamang Balita’ offered mockups of news stories, presented ’24 Oras’ style unlike the more freelance approach of ‘Wazzup Wazzup’. The most popular segment of the show would see Dominguez strip to her underwear in the middle of her mock weather report. The original iteration of ‘May Tamang Balita’ lasted for 60 minutes.

After the departures of Halili and Dominguez, Betong Sumaya, Maey Bautista, Boobay and Jinri Park would arrive and the show’s format would emphasis less on mock news reporting in favor of more celebrity-related reports. Their arrivals caused the show to cut air time to 30 minutes, but failing ratings and lack of originality would cause the program’s demise.

As of the moment, the fake news genre is absent on Philippine television. Perhaps it is the ongoing sensitive nature of the news that prevented the creation of full-time news parodies. Whatever the case, we may never see comedians deliver fake news to the viewers in the near future.

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