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Heart of Asia, Astig Authority Reduced As Part of GMA’s New Programming Lineup

‘Wowowin”s new timeslot and extended running is part of another revamp of GMA’s lineup. (Logo courtesy of Wil Productions Inc., GMA Network)

Yesterday marked yet another change in GMA’s programming.

Once again, the Kapuso network brought back ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ (airing weekdays at 9:00 a.m.) in hopes of competing with ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. To accommodate the said movie block, the duration of the Astig Authority and Heart of Asia Mornings blocks were reduced to 90 and 60 minutes respectively.

The impressive ratings of ‘Wowowin’, though still not enough to beat ‘Pasion de Amor’ nationally, also led to a timeslot change. As a result, ‘Wowowin”s start time was pushed to 5:00 p.m., and its running time was extended for another 30 minutes; this enabled the show to compete against ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ as well.

Consequentially, the extension of ‘Wowowin’ likewise led to a timeslot change for the programs that once occupied the 5:00 p.m. slot. In what has become a ‘you lead and I follow’ scenario, GMA moved its News and Public Affairs block back to late nights, two months after ABS-CBN’s own News and Current Affairs block returned to the said timeslot.

Unlike ABS-CBN’s current affairs block, however, GMA’s so-called ‘Pampamulat sa Gabi’ block only airs from Mondays to Thursdays (thank you ‘Bubble Gang’), and will comprise of these programs. They are ‘Front Row’ (Mondays), ‘Alisto’ (Tuesdays), ‘Tunay na Buhay’ (Wednesdays), and ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ (Thursdays).

Speaking of Mondays to Thursdays, the Heart of Asia Mornings block (‘You’re the Best’, ‘Carmina’) was also reduced to make way for a pair of refugees from the 5:00 p.m. slot. Both ‘Dream Home’ (formerly ‘Power House’) and ‘Love Hotline’ were moved to Friday mornings, and will take over the timeslot of the former block on that day.

By all indications, this is another desperate attempt by GMA to keep up with rival ABS-CBN. Considering that the latter network continues to dominate virtually every timeslot in the ratings, GMA’s answers don’t seem to matter at this point.

Now they need to be patient with this new approach. Otherwise another revamp is in store for the Kapuso network.

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GMA Reshuffles ‘Night Shift’ Lineup

Sandra Aguinaldo, Jay Taruc, Howie Severino and Kara David of I-Witness will now be seen at a more convenient 10:15 slot every Saturday night.

GMA’s ‘Night Shift’ block of public affairs programs will have a new look next week, with two programs from News TV 11 moving to Channel 7 while bumping two other programs to the weekends.

‘I-Witness’, the critically acclaimed and highly awarded documentary series, moves to Saturday nights after ‘Celebrity Bluff’ effective February 8. The timeslot change came amid requests from many loyal viewers who asked to air the program at an earlier time. ‘I-Witness’ will now compete against TV5’s new public affairs program ‘Kaya’ and ABS-CBN gag show ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’. Despite the change, the unnecessary program ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ will continue to air at a later timeslot, putting viewers of ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’ at a clear disadvantage.

Replacing the series on Monday nights is former News TV documentary program ‘Front Row’, which will now adopt a formula similar to the ABS-CBN documentary series ‘Storyline’: no voice-over narrations and no hosts, only subject interviews. The change in formula is intended to make the program more distinct and movie-like, and to distinguish it from ‘I-Witness’.

Another News TV refugee coming to Channel 7 is ‘Powerhouse’, which will now air on Wednesday nights. The program, hosted by Kara David, features interviews with various influential figures, showcasing both their public and personal lives inside the comfort of their homes. The series was one of the so-called ‘News TV originals’, and has been on the air since News TV debuted in 2011.

With ‘Powerhouse’ moving to Wednesdays, ‘Born to Be Wild’ will now occupy the Sunday morning slot after ‘AHA!’. The nature documentary show takes over the timeslot of its spin-off ‘Born Impact’, in essence merging the two shows together. ‘Born to Be Wild’s new timeslot will be a big help to schoolchildren, enabling them to learn and discover the hidden facts about nature at a more convenient time. The show will be up against ABS-CBN’s ‘Matanglawin’.

Moving ‘I-Witness’ and ‘Born to Be Wild’ will be a big help to GMA in their weekend programming. However, moving ‘Front Row’ and ‘Powerhouse’ from News TV to Channel 7 will be more of a detriment than a benefit. By moving to Channel 7, both shows essentially become reruns when aired on News TV. And with the latter suffering from disorganization and lack of identity, it only justified the departure of both ‘Front Row’ and ‘Powerhouse’.

Still, it remains to be seen whether or not the reshuffling of GMA’s public affairs programs will pay off. Right now GMA will continue to tinker with its programs in hopes of finding the right mix.

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