anime, entertainment, Philippines, television

Is It Time for GMA to End Astig Authority on Weekdays?

The entry of ‘Assassination Classroom’ (retitled ‘Invincible Teacher’) on GMA may have excited anime fans, but the network’s short leash on Astig Authority suggest that its days are numbered. (Photo credit: Crunchyroll, Shuiesha, Fuji TV, Funimation, Viz Media)

This is not a good sign.

For many years, GMA’s Astig Authority dominated early mornings with new and repetitive anime programs that every generation can appreciate. Not any amount of criticism or hate can stop this block from becoming a ratings darling in a period where overall viewership is lower compared to later hours.

However, it seems like the days of Astig Authority are being numbered. Since last week, Astig Authority on weekdays was reduced to just two anime titles, a far cry from several years ago when it went as high as five programs.

And it’s not just the number of programs that is decreasing. Even the overall running time was compromised as well, with commercial breaks enjoying longer airtime than the anime themselves.

So what is going on with Astig Authority lately? Perhaps one should point out a time when GMA introduced a new anime to its audience.

When GMA decided to air ‘Assassination Classroom’ on the block (retitled ‘Invincible Teacher’ to avoid negative connotations), that was where the butchering began. For some unexplained reason, editors began to cut some scenes without warning to compensate for the short running time.

Even some more recent anime such as ‘Hunter x Hunter’ or ‘Detective Conan’ were not safe from the editors’ hands. With all that’s going on behind the scenes, not even its good ratings could prevent anime fans from harshly criticizing GMA for doing such a bad deed.

Perhaps GMA should do the right thing and cease airing anime on weekdays altogether. After all, they have essentially neglected such programs to the point that they simply don’t care.

If this abolition were to happen, GMA has three choices. They could either replace Astig Authority with the Heart of Asia block (with one Koreanovela airing every morning in a 45-minute span), move its imported fantasy series to an earlier time and accommodate two Tagalized movies, or simply add EZ Shop to fill in airtime.

For now, GMA’s Astig Authority is still around. However, with all that took place of late, it will not be long before GMA finally pulls the plug on this long-running anime block.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

GMA Tries Again with Bossing & Ai + The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

‘Never stop trying!’

It has been the motto for GMA these past several years. The odds have not always been great for the network, but give them credit for continuing to compete despite these insurmountable obstacles.

Remember the time when ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ was so unbeatable that GMA had no choice but to stop competing against it? For years, the ABS-CBN late-night variety show proved to be GMA’s Achilles heel, and each time GMA tried to answer with a show of their own, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ always shoves them out of the door.

But it seems like ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ has seen better days of late due to the presence of ABS-CBN’s reality and talent shows (e.g. ‘Pinoy Big Brother’). Sensing that the show’s ratings is on a downward trend, GMA decided to create a new show in ‘Bossing & Ai’ in an attempt to finally bring down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ from its perch.

‘Bossing & Ai’ premiered last night and is a game show starring Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas as leaders of two groups of contestants. They are joined by Jose Manalo, Tart Carlos and game master Oyo Sotto.

In essence, ‘Bossing & Ai”s competition with ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ is an extension of the ‘Eat Bulaga’-‘It’s Showtime’ rivalry, of which Vic Sotto and Vice Ganda are the respective hosts. Still, it remains to be seen if ‘Bossing & Ai’ will live up to its promise of taking down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ for good.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’, the d’Explorer sisters of ‘Kalyeserye’ will have a talk show of their own. Beginning today at 11:30 a.m., Jose Manalo (as Lola Tinidora), Paolo Ballesteros (as Lola Tidora) and Wally Bayola (as Lola Nidora) will host ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

The new talk show will replace ‘TROPS’, the coming-of-age drama series starring ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘BAES’ (Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia). ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will mark TAPE’s first venture into the talk show genre since ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ from 2013-15.

But unlike ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be pre-taped as Jose, Paolo and Wally also serve as on-location hosts of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment. This means there will be no live transition from one show to the next.

‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ would have been a perfect show to compete against the ABS-CBN morning talk show ‘Magandang Buhay’, especially now that GMA’s slate of animes are declining in popularity. Instead, the talk show will be placed as part of TAPE’s mandated 11:30-2:30 p.m. block and will go up against ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Whether or not ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be a factor in the game remains to be seen. But as far as GMA, M-ZET and TAPE are concerned, there’s nothing wrong about continuing to try despite the odds.

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anime, entertainment, Japan, Philippines, television

GMA’s Astig Authority a Sinking Ship Thanks to Magandang Buhay

How the mighty have fallen.

The past few days have not been kind to GMA’s Astig Authority block, and it showed in the recent ratings posted by the more ‘national’ Kantar firm. As seen in these figures below, it is clear that the block has lost the interest of the public while rival ‘Magandang Buhay’ is beginning to gain momentum with each passing episode.

February 27, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.1%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.9%) / Pokemon Xy (6.7%) / Bleach (7.3%)

March 6, 2017

Magandang Buhay (7.5%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.9%) / Pokemon Xy (6.7%) / Bleach (7.1%)

March 13, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.2%) vs. Ghost Fighter (6.3%) / Pokemon Xy (6.9%) / Bleach (7.5%)

March 14, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.3%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.8%) / Pokemon Xy (6.5%) / Bleach (6.9%)

March 15, 2017

Magandang Buhay (7.8%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.7%) /  Pokemon Xy (6.9%) / Bleach (6.7%)

So what is the common denominator in these five episodes? Basically ‘Magandang Buhay”s guests came from ABS-CBN’s three top-rated shows in ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and the recently concluded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and the constant top-notch performances of the three shows carried over to the former.

On the other hand, anime’s declining interest on free-to-air television is hitting Astig Authority hard. The fact that Filipino anime fans are moving over to cable and internet for their anime needs, not to mention GMA’s constant overreliance on old anime, is something that the network has yet to realize at this point.

One can only look at ABS-CBN’s controversial decision to cease airing anime in June of last year. The only difference here is that ABS-CBN has the digital TV channel Yey! and the cable channel Hero to back them up, whereas GMA doesn’t have the benefit of sister cable channels to constantly commit to a variety of anime.

Speaking of relying too much on reruns, GMA just announced that a long-awaited Filipino redub of ‘Voltes V’ (voiced by young GMA stars) will hit the airwaves next Monday. This should only make things worse for Astig Authority, as the classic Japanese mecha anime has been re-aired multiple times since 1977.

That said, unless GMA plans a new programming strategy, the slumping fortunes of Astig Authority may continue to last for a longer period. For a network once proud of bringing successful anime titles to the Filipino mainstream, this is unacceptable to say the least.

In the end, GMA must accept reality and move on, because airing anime on free TV is no longer a thing at this point (unless you’re TV5 and you’re willing to bring new animes with it). No offense, but the time is now for GMA to have something else to offer every weekday morning.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Mid-Morning Problems Continue with Kapuso Movie Festival

GMA is bringing back ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ as they continue to figure out the problems that plague them every weekday morning. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Poor ratings have characterized GMA’s mid-morning lineup.

After an impressive showing for the network’s Astig Authority block (some of which are often reaired), the drop-off in ratings becomes noticeable once they move into a different set of programs. This has been a perennial problem for the network since Lilybeth Rasonable took over, and they have tried everything just to shake the mid-morning slate up.

There was the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block, which was their obvious answer to ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. Then came Heart of Asia Mornings, a block that contains new light-hearted Koreanovelas.

They even attempted to air talk shows (e.g. ‘Basta Every Day Happy’, ‘Yan ang Morning) and local dramas (e.g. ‘With a Smile’). Unfortunately, all of these attempts failed miserably.

Now they are going back to airing movies via the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block. Not to mention a rerun of an old QTV program called ‘H20: Just Add Water’, which will be obviously dubbed in Filipino unlike its original airing on Channel 11.

Let’s face it, there is no way GMA can beat ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ with their own movie block. Their portfolio of new movies to air is running low, and to make matters worse, GMA Films has only a few titles to choose from, which is basically 1/8th to 1/16th of what rival Star Cinema has produced lately.

If GMA were smart enough to admit that they can no longer beat ABS-CBN after 9:00 a.m., perhaps the time has come to welcome a TV shopping block of their own choosing. Whether or not it is Shop Japan, EZ Shop or even Shop TV, it doesn’t matter, as long as they fill in GMA’s programming hours every morning.

They could also welcome blocktimers who can produce their own programs. While they already have established blocktimers in TAPE, Inc. (‘Calle Siete’, ‘Eat Bulaga’) and APT Entertainment (‘Sunday PinaSaya’), they might as well need another for non-entertainment purposes, such as lifestyle shows or documentaries.

Still, it is up to GMA management to decide the fate of the mid-morning slot. They need to think twice about giving up this venture.

Otherwise, they will be stuck with this hashtag: #KMFMForever, which translates to Kapuso Movie Festival Mornings Forever.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Unang Hirit Extended, Responds to Umagang Kay Ganda

GMA extended ‘Unang Hirit’ for another 30 minutes in response to ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’, whose recent dominance in the early mornings became a cause of concern. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The morning rivalry between ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ gets a little more interesting.

Two weeks after ABS-CBN’s ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ received a 30-minute extension, GMA responded Monday by giving ‘Unang Hirit’ an additional 30 minutes of their own. This means that the two rival morning shows now air from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

The 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. slot is nothing new to ‘Unang Hirit’. In the show’s early years, GMA aired it on the exact same timeslot, only to cut it to 2 1/2 hours and shuffle between start times of 5:00 a.m., 5:15 a.m. and 5:30 a.m in later years.

Unfortunately, the extended run of ‘Unang Hirit’ proved to be a consequence to the Astig Authority block. By adding 30 minutes to ‘Unang Hirit, GMA managed to sacrifice 30 minutes of anime programming, and considering that their animes are currently their strongest suit, this will not suit well with their anime fans.

And neither are viewers of ‘Yan ang Morning’. GMA would have had an opportunity to move the low-rating ‘Yan ang Morning’ to an earlier timeslot (in the process cutting ‘Unang Hirit’ to only two hours and giving it a head-start over ‘Magandang Buhay’), but it is clear that GMA’s marquee morning program is in no mood to give way.

Looking at the ratings between ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’, it is obvious that GMA would have been better off doing a little bit of cost-cutting for the former. In recent years, ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ has had the upper-hand, winning by a small margin on most days.

Let’s face it, after nearly 17 years on the air, ‘Unang Hirit’ is clearly wearing down. Their core lineup of hosts are showing their age, and if there is any chance for the show to survive much longer, they need a lot of tweaks to fit in with a younger generation of viewers.

As far as GMA News is concerned, there is a lot more to do in order to resuscitate the declining ratings of ‘Unang Hirit’. And extending the show by another 30 minutes is not a good idea.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, talk show, television

Yan ang Morning Demoted Due to Low Ratings

It’s been a rough first month for ‘Yan ang Morning’.

Through four weeks and 19 episodes, the GMA talk show’s national ratings average was a paltry 6%. Making matters worse for Marian Rivera and company is that ‘Yan ang Morning’ is outperformed at times by ‘Magandang Buhay’, another recently unveiled morning talk show produced by rival ABS-CBN.

The poor ratings of ‘Yan ang Morning’ forced GMA to make an adjustment starting today. From its original timeslot of 10:45 a.m., ‘Yan ang Morning’ will be demoted to an earlier timeslot of 9:30 a.m.

In turn, GMA’s Asianovelas (collectively known as Heart of Asia Mornings) will be moved much later. Starting at 10:30 a.m., this will be the lineup for Heart of Asia Mornings.

  • 10:30 a.m. – Mako Mermaids
  • 11:00 a.m. – High School Love On

The two series will air their final episodes tomorrow morning. Then on Wednesday, June 1, a pair of Koreanovelas will premiere on Heart of Asia Mornings, with ‘Secret Hotel’ taking over ‘Mako Mermaids” timeslot followed by ‘I Heart U Doc’ in ‘High School Love On”s place.

Despite the timeslot change, ‘Yan ang Morning’ will still be up against ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, not to mention the upcoming 2016 NBA Finals that will be aired on a delayed basis on ABS-CBN. That said, it’s still going to be a tough challenge for ‘Yan ang Morning’ to keep up since they’re facing the same programs they’re up against before.

Perhaps GMA should consider this proposal. In order for ‘Yan ang Morning’ to perform well, they need to sacrifice the final 30 minutes of ‘Unang Hirit’, then move the former to 7:00 a.m., so as to have a chance at winning.

Not only does ‘Yan ang Morning’ air much earlier, it also gives them a head-start over ‘Magandang Buhay’, and in the process, enables GMA to keep their high-rating animes in the same timeslot. Seems easy enough given GMA’s penchant for cost-cutting in recent months.

It remains to be seen if the new timeslot will pay off for ‘Yan ang Morning’. For now, though, give them a chance to thrive.

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