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FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

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 ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

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ABS-CBN, GMA, TV5 Unveil New Programs for the Summer

The ABS-CBN sexy drama series ‘Moon of Desire’ is just one of several programs to debut in time for the summer vacation.

Summer is right around the corner, and to kick off the hot-weather months, the ‘Big 3’ networks unveil some new programs to begin summer vacation.

Beginning today, ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ block will be taken over by the re-run of ‘Meteor Garden’.  First aired in 2003, the Asianovela helped launch the career of F4 and popularize the genre in the Philippines. The highly-anticipated re-run of ‘Meteor Garden’ will be seen after another upcoming teleserye on the Kapamilya network.

‘Moon of Desire’, a new series starring Ellen Adarna, JC de Vera, Dominic Roque, Miguel Raval, and Meg Imperial, will replace the recently-concluded ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’. The series picks up from where ‘Galema’ left off, using the same formula of casting a lead female protagonist (Imperial) in an unusual predicament. This time around, Imperial’s character suffers from hypertrichosis, a condition where her entire body is covered with thick hair. ‘Moon of Desire’ premieres today after ‘It’s Showtime’.

Just as ABS-CBN replaces its movie block with ‘Meteor Garden’, GMA has decided to go the other way around. A week ago, ‘GMA Sinebabad’ replaced the Koreanovela ‘Tale of Arang’, and its first week saw a pair of Korean films (‘My Tutor Friend’, ‘A Moment to Remember’) air in two and three-part segments, respectively. After the conclusion of ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’,  ‘GMA Sinebabad’ will be expanded to a 90-minute format, featuring classic Filipino movies every weekday. ‘GMA Sinebabad’ airs before ’24 Oras’.

And finally on TV5, ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ will be replaced by a ‘tawaserye’ called ‘Beki Boxer’. In this series, Alwyn Uytingco portrays the lead role of a gay boxer who tries to reclaim his family’s honor after his father was humiliated in the ring. Also starring Vin Abrenica, Danita Paner, Christian Vasquez, Onyok Velasco, John Regala, Joross Gamboa and Claire Hartell, ‘Beki Boxer’ airs tonight after ‘Aksyon’.

In the meantime, enjoy a beautiful summer vacation.

 

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Reformatting GMA’s Afternoon Prime

Award-winning documentary programs such as ‘I-Witness’ will greatly benefit from the move to GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’.

Desperate times need desperate measures. And for GMA, it’s all about trying to reverse an ongoing ratings slide.

Already suffering from a decline in viewership in the Telebabad slot, the Kapuso network’s fortunes in the afternoon slot took a turn for the worse after ABS-CBN‘s post-‘Showtime’ afternoon ratings improved, largely due to the success of programs such as ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’,  ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’, ‘Pinoy True Stories‘, and ‘Princess Hours‘. As a result, GMA responded with their own movie block in ‘GMA Blockbusters’, which like its ABS-CBN counterpart, will feature more recent films from the GMA Films library.

But is the movie block really the answer for their ratings slide? As far as I’m concerned, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ is not the solution to the network’s problems. In fact, it would have been better if they moved their award-winning documentary programs out of the midnight slot. Why? Because the awards that shows like ‘I-Witness‘ earned would be worthless if no one is watching. By placing them into the afternoon slot it will help them attract more viewers, in the same way that ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy True Stories’ accomplished a few months earlier.

Aside from the GMA documentary programs, I also liked to see ‘Love Hotline’ move from GMA News TV to the mother network. ‘Love Hotline’, a love advice program hosted by Jean Garcia, has been airing on weeknights since it debuted last October, opposite the main networks’ newscasts. Moving ‘Love Hotline’ to GMA’s afternoon slot will greatly benefit the program, as it will now go head-to-head against TV5’s ‘Face the People’ on the same timeslot.

With that, here is what I think should be the best lineup for GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’:

2:30 p.m. – Villa Quintana

3:20 p.m. – Magkano Ba ang Pag-Ibig

4:10 p.m. – I-Witness/Reporter’s Notebook/Born to Be Wild/Alisto/Out of Control

5:00 p.m. – Love Hotline

With ABS-CBN pushing the right buttons for the past few years, perhaps it is time for GMA to do the same. And shuffling its afternoon slot should help.

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Last Sunday Night on Philippine TV, and Upcoming Teleseryes

It was an eventful Sunday night on Philippine TV. ABS-CBN’s ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ finally crowned a winner, as Mitoy Yonting won the final showdown over Klarisse de Guzman. The final showdown of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ proved to be a ratings and social media hit. Over at TV5, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ also trended on Twitter, in large part to the performance of the Singing Elevator Girl Cheridel Alejandrino. And both GMA networks experienced an abrupt on-air interruption after a fire broke out at the basement of its headquarters in Quezon City, which was later put under control without any reported injuries.

Meanwhile, contrary to my prediction in a previous article, the new ABS-CBN teleserye ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ will actually have its series debut on the Kapamilya Gold afternoon slot, replacing ‘Dugong Buhay’. The series will make its debut today, and will star Andi Eigenmann in her afternoon soap debut.

Over at primetime, the Kapamilya network’s highly rated teleserye ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’ will finish its run this week, with its series finale scheduled for Friday, October 4. The remake of ‘Maria Mercedes’ will replace the former beginning October 7, and will mark the return of Jessy Mendiola to the primetime slot. ‘Maria Mercedes’ will be the fourth local adaptation of a Thalia-starred series, after GMA’s ‘MariMar‘, ‘Rosalinda’, and ABS-CBN’s ‘Maria la del Barrio‘.

Switching over to the Kapuso side, GMA will likewise debut a new afternoon series entitled ‘Magkano Ba ang Pag-Ibig’, which will mark the acting return of Heart Evangelista. The new series will replace the Bianca King-starred ‘Maghihintay Pa Rin’ beginning today, September 30.

And finally the Kapuso network also announced that the highly rated and controversial teleserye ‘My Husband’s Lover’ will conclude on October 11, as seen on the network teasers. The teasers also announce a new replacement for MHL, entitled ‘Genesis’, and will officially mark the return of Dingdong Dantes to primetime. However, Dantes will not be paired with his usual off-screen partner Marian Rivera; instead he will be paired by another returning Kapuso star in Rhian Ramos. Barring any hitches, the series debut of ‘Genesis’ will be on October 14.

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Kapamilya Blockbusters, FPJ Return to ABS-CBN; Other Notes

Last Monday, ABS-CBN revamped its ‘Kapamilya Gold’ afternoon lineup by reintroducing the movie block ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. The said program has been aired in both the morning and afternoon slots primarily to fill in programming slots on a temporary basis. ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ replaced the recently concluded ‘Juan de la Cruz‘ spinoff ‘My Little Juan’ in its timeslot, and airs after ‘Showtime’ and before ‘Dugong Buhay’.

The first film aired on the weekday return of ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ is ‘The Adventures of Pureza: Queen of the Riles‘, starring Melai Cantiveros. The program will focus more on Star Cinema‘s recent film releases, with occasional foreign films added for good measure. While ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ will only be used as a temporary fill-in while an upcoming afternoon teleserye is being planned, it will give viewers an opportunity to watch films they’ve never seen before in cinemas.

Before ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ moved back to its weekday slot, it aired during Sunday mornings, with its timeslot only preempted by ‘Pinoy Pride’ boxing matches and NBA games. However, with the expected return of ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ to the weekday slot, ABS-CBN announced that ‘FPJ: Da King on ABS-CBN’ will make its return. As the name suggests, it features classic films from Fernando Poe, Jr.‘s library of archives, which the Kapamilya network has exclusive rights. In addition, ‘FPJ: Da King’ will also air on Studio 23, Cinema One and Jeepney TV.

The ‘FPJ: Da King’ block will also be a fill-in program, after which it will again be replaced by NBA games and Pinoy Pride matches on ABS-CBN soon. However, don’t expect the FPJ films to be axed soon, as there will be a possibility of moving the program to another timeslot once the NBA season begins.

On another note, the hit teleserye ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, starring Julia Montes and Enrique Gil, will officially conclude in three weeks. The teleserye has enjoyed consistently high viewership numbers despite pitting against equally strong GMA teleseryes ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘My Husband’s Lover’. The series finale is expected to air on October 4. Meanwhile, ABS-CBN started to air teasers for the upcoming teleserye ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’, starring Andi Eigenmann, which is expected to replace ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’ in its timeslot.

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