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So Long, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’

TV5’s ‘Face the People’, along with ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’, bid adieu on November 21, 2014. (Photo credit: TV5)

The last remnants of the original ‘Everyday All the Way’ block are gone.

On Friday, November 21, 2014, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ aired for the final time on TV5. Three days later, ‘Movie Max 5’ took over the slot vacated by both programs.

And in a related development, both ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ and ‘T3: Enforced’ were once again cut to 30 minutes. This was in anticipation of the latter program’s year-end reports that are slated to air during Christmas and New Year’s week.

‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ returned with a second season on July 7, albeit on the late morning slot rather than the afternoon and early evening slots, respectively. The move to new timeslots paved the way for TV5 to air two PBA games on weekdays beginning in mid-October.

As a result, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ served as an appetizer to TV5’s noontime newscast ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, which debuted the following week.

The two shows also carried new hosts; ‘Face the People’ mainstays Gelli de Belen and Tintin Bersola-Babao were joined by Edu Manzano, while Ogie Alcasid replaced Aga Muhlach on ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

In all, 100 episodes were aired on both ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ during their second seasons, which was not a bad run.

‘Face the People’ marked the swan song of Edu Manzano on the Kapatid network. On September 14, it was announced that Manzano will rejoin ABS-CBN following the completion of his obligations with TV5.

Meanwhile, Gelli de Belen and Ogie Alcasid will have new projects come next year, as TV5 recently announced its upcoming slate of programs for 2015. As for Tintin Bersola-Babao, it is unclear if she will stick with TV5 or move to another network.

With the cancellation of both ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’, TV5 now has an opening for any of their upcoming programs. For now, though, the same ol’ boring Tagalized movies on ‘Movie Max 5’ will take over the slot, albeit temporarily.

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TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ Revisited

‘Wow Mali’, now under the ‘Lakas ng Tama’ tagline, is one of three ‘Weekend Do It Better’ programs on TV5 that are still on the air today. (Title card courtesy of TV5)

It’s been over a year since TV5 decided to change the network’s programming approach.

Under the leadership of president Noel Lorenzana, the Kapatid network overhauled its programming lineup in a way that it would favor a younger and a more active audience. These initiatives resulted in the ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’ and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ blocks.

The first of these blocks debuted in September of last year. The first block, ‘Weekend Do It Better’, initially consisted of the following programs:

  1. ‘Showbiz Police’
  2. ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’
  3. ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’
  4. ‘What’s Up Doods?’
  5. ‘Pinoy Explorer’
  6. ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
  7. ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’
  8. ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’

Of the eight, only ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ (now ‘Tropa Mo Ko Nice Di Ba’), ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ (now ‘Wow Mali Lakas ng Tama’) remain on the air. The three shows were the only ‘Weekend Do It Better’ stalwarts to survive TV5’s most recent transformation, that of the ‘Happy Ka Dito’ era, and their success and viewer loyalty were a testament to that.

On the other hand, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were cancelled just before the end of last year due to low viewership numbers. Then in the first half of this year, ‘Showbiz Police’, ‘Pinoy Explorer’ and ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’ were also cancelled, with the first two having moved to new timeslots in the middle of their run.

The ‘Weekend Do It Better’ title would be deemphasized by February 2014, but in the minds of the Kapatid network, it was only the beginning of further experimentation and constant rebuilding. New programs would be unveiled within the next few months, with the hope of making TV5’s weekend lineup even more formidable.

Today, the experiment continues, but for TV5, ‘Weekend Do It Better’ marked the start of bigger and brighter things for the still-No. 3 network, one that would carry them for the next few years.

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Face the People, Let’s Ask Pilipinas Return

Ogie Alcasid replaces Aga Muhlach as host of ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’. (Photo credit: Ogie Alcasid’s Instagram account)

TV5’s two standout programs are back, with new hosts eager to make a mark.

It was announced that ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ will return for another season this Monday. The former will now air at 10:15 a.m., followed by the latter.

In addition, both programs will receive new hosts. Edu Manzano will now join Gelli de Belen and Tintin Bersola-Babao as the third host on ‘Face the People’, while Ogie Alcasid will replace Aga Muhlach for ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

Edu was last seen regularly as host of ‘What’s Up, Doods’, which ceased production in December 2013, while Ogie will return to weekday programming three weeks after his tawaserye ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ ended on June 20.

Both programs were once aired as part of the now-defunct ‘Everyday All the Way’ afternoon to evening block. ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ was last seen on March 28, before it was replaced by ‘Beki Boxer’, while ‘Face the People’ aired its last episode on June 6, before it gave way to a re-run of ‘Star Confessions’.

Their transfer to the morning slot is intended towards the accommodation of upcoming sports events on the Kapatid network. TV5 is slated to air the Gilas Pilipinas matches in the FIBA Asia Cup, the FIBA World Cup, and the Asian Games, along with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

The return of both programs is just one of several programming changes that TV5 will implement this month. More on the other changes in future articles.

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TV5 Continues its Rebuild

The painful rebuilding process continues for TV5, in an effort to earn a sizable audience.

Over half a year ago, TV5 established its ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’, and ‘Everyday All the Way’ blocks. However, as the calendar flipped to 2014, these programming blocks were deemphasized and it appears TV5 is not satisfied with how they turned out.

Through the first four months, TV5 gradually brought in new programs as part of its continuous restructuring process, which also included a relocation away from its old Novaliches headquarters in favor of the newly-opened TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. The adjustment to a new location was difficult though, as the staff attempted to learn new digital-based methods in producing its programs.

In the news department came in Saturday night public affairs series ‘Kaya’ and ‘Yaman ng Bayan’, and the Thursday night program ‘Bigtime’. On the other hand, ‘Good Morning Club’ once again claimed its position as the only morning news program with a running time of under two hours, when management decided to cancel the ‘Good Morning Girls’ and ‘Good Morning MamuTin’ segments (which were taped as opposed to live broadcast on other programs), and renamed ‘GMC’ as ‘Good Morning Ser’.

In terms of entertainment, TV5 replaced ‘Madam Chairman’ with ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, while introducing another ‘tawaserye’ in ‘Beki Boxer’. On the other side of the spectrum, ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ essentially replaced ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, though the latter program remained on air until April, when it was finally cancelled in favor of the sitcom ‘One of the Boys’.

And finally, TV5 partially satisfied basketball fans by airing live PBA games almost every day in primetime, including an increase of Saturday broadcasts to two games. But with the network’s broadcast of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics (and potentially the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) a few months away, it is expected that more adjustments will be made in terms of accommodating the network’s sports coverage.

That said, TV5 should not stand pat and continue improving its lineup for the long term. It is a difficult and painful process, but when done right, the network’s fortunes should pay off.

Now what to do with AksyonTV? The question will be answered in another article.

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TV5’s First New Shows of 2014

TV5’s ‘Obsession’ follows the same blueprint used in ‘Positive’, this time tackling the issue of cosmetic surgery.

Next week on ‘Everyday All the Way’, TV5 will unveil a new weekly drama series in ‘Obsession’. Like ‘Positive’, ‘Obsession’ will tackle issues concerning the health of the human body. This time, the series divulges into the world of cosmetic surgery, where the main character obsessed with her former lover assumes a new post-surgical identity. The series will be headlined by Bianca King, Neri Naig, Marvin Agustin and Martin Escudero, and will replace ‘For Love or Money’ at the 8:00 p.m. slot.

Cycle 2 of ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ will also be seen on TV5. The Asian adaptation of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ will have a pair of Filipinos in Jodilly Pendra and Katarina Rodriguez compete against 14 other aspiring models in hopes of becoming the next top model. The series airs starting tonight replacing ‘Positive’ at 9:00 p.m.

In addition, TV5 has also unveiled a mix of new and returning programs that will be seen over the next few months. Returnees include ‘Talentadong Pinoy’ (albeit without original host Ryan Agoncillo), ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’, and ‘The Million Peso Money Drop’. Upcoming titles will include ‘For All the Boys’, ‘My Pirated Family’, ‘Minamahal’, ‘The Baker King’, ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Jasmine’, ‘One Boy’, ‘Beki Boxer’, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’. Details of the new shows should arrive once the teasers are revealed.

And even as TV5 unveiled new programs, some existing ones had to go. Both ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were presumably cancelled by management for ‘not living up to expectations’. And there is also the uncharacteristically early sign-offs on nights without PBA games, after AksyonTV original programs like ‘Cocktales’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Wasak’ and ‘Chef vs. Mom’ were cancelled. Simply put, the management handled by Noel Lorenzana and Wilma Galvante have a long way to go before stabilizing the network’s programming.

Nevertheless, both ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Obsession’ should give TV5 something to look forward to this year. They may still be in the experimental stage, but with the way viewers have responded, it appears that this experiment is headed in the right direction.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, which enjoyed a slow start before rebounding with a respectable fourth quarter.

The Positives

After it was suspended for a good part of last year because of the you-know-what, T3: Reload rebounded in 2013 with a more toned-down approach, yet maintaining the same ol’ nastiness that the Tulfo brothers constantly address to the bullies and anomalous officials. This year also saw Radyo5 welcome Ben Tulfo and his ‘Bitag sa Radyo’ program after its departure from UNTV, in the process uniting the three brothers on the same umbrella, with Erwin also co-anchoring ‘Punto Asintado’ with Martin Andanar and Raffy hosting ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ with Nina Taduran.

In September, TV5 hired Noel Lorenzana in an effort to overhaul its programming. The end result were three program blocks: ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’, and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’. This alternative programming approach would bear fruit by the end of the year, as several of its programs finished among the Top 15 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. In addition, the network’s willingness to reach out to a younger audience also paid dividends, as programs such as ‘SpinNation’ were among the top trending topics on Twitter.

TV5 also scored big in its sports coverage, with the recent airings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals, and the Gilas Pilipinas games at the FIBA Asia Championship earning high viewership figures. And to cap off a resurgent finish to the year, TV5 officially christened the new TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City.

The Negatives

Under Perci Intalan, TV5 tried to compete against more established powers GMA and ABS-CBN. However, it only resulted in revenue losses. None of TV5’s own teleseryes (‘Kidlat‘, ‘Undercover’, ‘Cassandra: Warrior Angel’, ‘Misibis Bay’, ‘Enchanted Garden‘, ‘Never Say Goodbye’) even made noise in the teleserye wars, and programs such as ‘Jeepney Jackpot’, ‘Kanta Pilipinas‘, ‘Alabang Housewives’ and ‘Boracay Bodies’ were critical failures.

But perhaps the most crucial reason behind the reformat was ‘Wowowillie‘. The noontime show, a symbol of the Intalan era, finally left the airwaves in October after three years, numerous controversies and massive losses. Host Willie Revillame would ‘retire’ shortly afterwards. In addition, TV5 originals ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy‘ were also cancelled; its hosts Amy Perez and Ryan Agoncillo would secure new contracts with ABS-CBN and GMA respectively after departing.

TV5 also encountered numerous problems with its sports coverage. In May, they cut block-time ties with IBC-13, but were urged to stay until the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations. As a result the NCAA was forced to air its nightly games on AksyonTV; the long-delayed finals was aired on TV5 in the early afternoon. And to cap off, many PBA fans were angered when TV5 decided to air only the ‘marquee’ games of the ongoing Philippine Cup live during weeknights and Saturdays, leaving the signal-deficient AksyonTV to air the rest.

Outlook

The motto for TV5 this 2014 should be ‘There’s nowhere to go but up’. With Noel Lorenzana spearheading the rebuilding project, TV5 will continue its commitment to programs that are favorable to younger and socially active citizens. And as they open the TV5 Media Center, it appears that things are on the upswing.

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