drama, entertainment, game show, movies, Philippines, television

Wowowin Out for Two Weeks

Willie Revillame is on vacation, and so is ‘Wowowin’.

Both the host and the game show will take a two-week break starting today, in order to recharge and plan for ‘Wowowin”s upcoming first anniversary*. The vacated timeslot will be filled by ‘GMA Blockbusters’ until May 13.

In the meantime, ‘Wowowin”s new studio will be used temporarily by GMA News and Public Affairs for its ‘Eleksyon 2016’ coverage, which will kick off on May 9. Afterwards, a refurbished set is expected to be unveiled once ‘Wowowin’ returns on May 16.

The temporary hiatus of ‘Wowowin’ may benefit ABS-CBN in the short term. ‘We Will Survive’, in particular, has been slumping since its demotion to Kapamilya Gold, with ratings in the 10s on most days.

The brief absence of ‘Wowowin’ might put ‘We Will Survive’ back on track. Still, with the series not airing in select areas thanks to regional ‘TV Patrol’, it will not be easy for ‘We Will Survive’ to win without ‘Wowowin’ to oppose them.

The other series opposing ‘Wowowin’, ‘My Super D’, may be winning in the ratings, but the margin remained small. That said, the absence of the former may help ‘My Super D’ pull away, even if it’s only for a short moment.

As for GMA, this is an opportunity for the network to sustain the momentum in ‘Wowowin”s absence. Airing more recent hit movies on ‘GMA Blockbusters’ may do the trick, even as a few of their regional networks continue to air local news in place of the show’s first 45 minutes.

This is going to be an interesting two weeks for both GMA and ABS-CBN. Let’s see how the brief hiatus of ‘Wowowin’ will affect the fortunes of both networks from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

*‘Wowowin”s actual first episode was aired on Sunday, May 10, 2015. The show has been airing on weekdays since February 1, with the first 90-minute episode airing two weeks later.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

GMA Tries Something New with Dear Uge

A comedy version of ‘Magpakailanman’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ is about to unfold.

On Sunday, GMA will launch ‘Dear Uge’, said to be the first-ever comedy anthology series on Philippine television. The program will be hosted by Eugene Domingo, with Divine Grace Aucina as her sidekick.

In ‘Dear Uge’, Eugene will play the role of Urbana Genoveva Esperanza (or Uge), a sari-sari store owner and host and narrator of her own web show, also titled ‘Dear Uge’. Her character is an obvious parody of both Mel Tiangco and Charo Santos-Concio, hosts of ‘Magpakailanman’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ respectively.

Aside from hosting the program, Eugene will also make cameo appearances in each episode. The stories featured on ‘Dear Uge’ will be different every week, but the premise of making people laugh will always be a major emphasis.

‘Dear Uge’ will take over the timeslot of ‘Wowowin’ (with ‘GMA Blockbusters’ taking over on an interim basis), who recently found a new home on weeknights. Considering how unpredictable the early Sunday afternoon slots are of late, ‘Dear Uge’ should expect a tough challenge early on.

Still, curiosity over the program’s new approach should help its viewership. That said, ‘Dear Uge’ is a must-watch for those who want something different and funny for a change.

‘Dear Uge’ airs every Sunday after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on GMA.

Breaking News: Speaking of ‘Wowowin’, GMA has announced that due to insistent public demand, the show will now air at 5:00 p.m., thus adding 30 minutes to its airtime. The News and Public Affairs block (‘Alisto’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ and ‘Love Hotline’) will likely be moved after ‘Saksi’.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Overshadowed By Willie, InstaDad Finally Premieres on Easter Sunday

The new GMA Sunday drama ‘InstaDad’ premieres on April 5. (Photo credit: InstaDad Official Facebook)

The announcement of Willie Revillame’s return on GMA may have caught the cast of ‘InstaDad’ off-guard.

After all, the upcoming weekly drama was supposed to premiere last Sunday, if not for a breaking news announcement that shook the entire country. But with Willie returning to the limelight in a few weeks, GMA decided to make a revision to their plan.

As a result, the pilot episode of ‘InstaDad’ will now be seen this Easter Sunday. It may be long overdue, but for Kapuso fans, it would be worth the wait.

‘InstaDad’ stars Gabby Eigenmann as a popular chef and eligible bachelor. In the main plot, Kenneth (Eigenmann) opted to stay single after breaking up with his first love, but then learned that he had three daughters in Marikit (Gabbi Garcia), Mayumi (Ash Ortega) and Maaya (Jazz Ocampo).

The three daughters’ contrasting personalities will pose a huge challenge to Kenneth as he tries to raise all of them by himself. Along with their adjustment to a new set-up, they must also deal with a variety of issues regarding both teenage and family life.

Joining ‘InstaDad’ in supporting roles are Matet de Leon, Juancho Triviño and Prince Villanueva. The series will be directed by Neal del Rosario.

‘InstaDad’ marks the return of Sunday afternoon dramas on GMA. Their last such drama was ‘TeenGen’, which ended two years ago.

For a network whose programming on Sunday afternoons has been mostly mediocre (thank you ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ and ‘GMA Blockbusters’), ‘InstaDad’ is one program badly need to wake up a rather sleepy block. Then again, with ABS-CBN’s and ‘The Buzz’ getting in the way, it remains to be seen if the viewers finally woke up to GMA’s senses.

Still, ‘InstaDad’ is a good first step for GMA to reestablish some order into their Sunday lineup. This is definitely a must for the Kapuso network, since they have been heavily criticized of late for their poor programming options, especially on Sundays.

And with ‘Wowowin’ coming up, who knows what will happen next.

‘InstaDad’ airs every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. starting April 5.

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entertainment, movies, Philippines, religion, television

No More Sunday Mass for GMA, And It Sucks

Irrelevance on Sundays are becoming a norm for GMA, even in the early mornings.

On the first Sunday of 2015, the first two programs that GMA aired were ‘In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley’ and ‘Jesus The Healer’. What happened next shocked even the most religious of viewers.

Instead of the ‘Family TV Mass’ that is produced by the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI), GMA brought back ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’, another movie block of theirs. An hour later, ‘Family TV Mass’ returned to its old home, the ever-unreliable IBC-13.

GMA’s decision to remove ‘Family TV Mass’ came at a not-so opportune time. Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines this month, and dropping the ‘Family TV Mass’ is definitely not a good way to appease GMA’s Catholic viewers.

As a result, GMA now airs around four to six movie blocks on a weekend. Aside from ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’, their other movie blocks include ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ ‘Superhero Sunday’, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ (twice or thrice), and ‘Sunday Night Box Office’.

For GMA, it is back to their old ways. The lack of a Sunday TV Mass is once again apparent to the folks inside Timog Avenue, and they are clearly feeling the heat.

Airing ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’ at 6:00 a.m., much like the cartoons that GMA once aired against the TV mass on ABS-CBN and TV5, is an insult and a disrespect to the Christian religion. It’s one thing to air entertainment programs, but airing them this early on a Sunday is just a step too far.

And as far as GMA is concerned, they are becoming more desperate towards ratings than ever before, and it’s not because for a lack of trying.

With the removal of ‘Family TV Mass’, GMA is once again showing its unworthiness to the Catholic religion. And with Pope Francis’ visit looming, things are not looking good for GMA in a religious standpoint.

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entertainment, fantasy, Japan, Korea, Philippines, suspense, television

A Halloween Special: GMA’s Dark, Cruel, and Twisted Weekends

Call it one scary Halloween this year for the folks at GMA.

For much of 2014, GMA has been airing not one, but two horror series every weekend. Anyone who became a fan of both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ must have their hairs raised from all that fear.

Both series have one thing in common: they air nothing but Far Eastern (particularly Korean and Japanese) horror flicks. In addition, both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ occupy the mid-afternoon slots.

These two series were symbolic of how bad GMA’s programming has been through the past several years. Both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ were considered inferior efforts on the part of GMA to stay relevant on weekends, and had no answers to rival ABS-CBN’s programs.

There was a time when GMA used to rule the weekends. Those who grew up in the ‘glory days’ of the network must have heard of shows like ‘Kakabakaba’ and ‘Wag Kukurap’, two locally-produced shows that once helped GMA win the ratings war against its ABS-CBN counterparts like ‘Oka Tokat’ and ‘Nginiig’.

That was then. Now, it looks like the ghosts of programs’ past are beginning to haunt them.

Case in point: the movie-infested daytime slot (e.g. ‘GMA Blockbusters’) on Sundays. Why? Because they are too repetitive and are overly dubbed in the Filipino language, in the process scaring away viewers at every turn.

For GMA executives, the fear of being upstaged by an archrival is real. Whereas before they had the ability to counter and outdo what ABS-CBN is doing, now it seems like they are hiding away from it.

As Halloween approaches, the mood inside the Timog headquarters appear dark and frightening. And for those who know all too well about GMA’s programming every weekends, there is always a reason to feel scared.

Announcement: From the Tube will take a break from October 31 to November 3, in observance of Halloween and All Saints’ Day. The U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 songs for November 8 will posted on November 4.

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comedy, dance show, entertainment, humor, live events, movies, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

Another Lineup Change on GMA, Thanks to The Voice Kids

The season finale of ‘The Voice Kids’, won by Lyca Gairanod, blasted GMA’s rival programs during the weekend of July 28. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

Blame ‘The Voice Kids’ for forcing GMA into another programming change this past weekend.

The final weekend of ABS-CBN’s ‘The Voice Kids’ Season 1 saw Lyca Gairanod win the cash prize of P1-million, a recording contract, a house and lot, and various other prizes. Rounding out the top four are Darren Espanto, Juan Karlos Labajo, and Darlene Vibares, all of whom finished behind Gairanod in percentage of votes.

‘The Voice Kids’ season finale, held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World Manila, was also a ratings winner. Saturday’s performance episode registered a series-high 37.7% national rating, while Sunday’s results episode ended with an equally impressive 37.7%. In Metro Manila, ‘The Voice Kids’ ended their first season with respectably high numbers of 31.8% on Saturday, and 29.2% on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the never-ending timeslot changes on GMA’s weekend lineup continued. In an attempt to counter the expected lengthy performance episode of ‘The Voice Kids’, GMA hastily added ‘GMA Blockbusters’ to its Saturday lineup, weeks after it was replaced by ‘Marian’. As a result, GMA now has five movie blocks on its weekend slate.

Unfortunately, the last-minute change did little to stem the tide. ‘Marian’ only managed ratings of 18.9% (national) and 15% (Metro Manila), while the ‘GMA Blockbusters’ feature film ‘Snakes on a Plane’ ended with a mediocre 22% (national) and 16.1% (Metro Manila).

Against the results episode of ‘The Voice Kids’, GMA’s sitcoms ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ and ‘Ismol Family’ did not fare well either. ‘Vampire’ finished at 10.6% (national) and 11.6% (Metro Manila), while ‘Ismol Family’ mustered ratings of 11.2% (national) and 14.6% (Metro Manila).

Contrary to a recent article written on GMA’s website, this was simply not a fun weekend for the folks inside Timog Avenue. Now the question is, what’s next?

GMA’s soon-to-be-launched reality talent search show, ‘Bet ng Bayan’, is currently on the pre-production stage, with auditions ongoing in various parts of the country. There is a possibility that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ will air every weekend, with the target date for its pilot still unknown.

With ‘Bet ng Bayan’, GMA hopes that they can reverse the course with their latest talent program. Unfortunately, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ will be facing an uphill climb, considering the tremendous strength and consistency of ABS-CBN’s weekend lineup.

For GMA, the saga of weekend changes continues. Sooner or later, they’ll make another change or two. But the truth is, they are slumping, and not even the slightest of changes will help them.

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