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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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

In 150 Words: Imbestigador and CelebriTV Switch Timeslots

GMA is switching timeslots for ‘Imbestigador’ and ‘CelebriTV’ this coming Saturday.

Caught off-guard by ABS-CBN’s most recent timeslot change on their Saturday schedule, GMA decided to change the timeslots of ‘Imbestigador’ and ‘CelebriTV’. As a result, the former will now air at 4:00 p.m., while the latter will air at 5:00 p.m.

This means that ‘Imbestigador’ will once again face ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’, while ‘CelebriTV’ will be up against ‘Celebrity Playtime’ and ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’. As it stands, ‘Imbestigador”s newest timeslot is now the earliest in the program’s 15-year history, having started as a primetime show early in its tenure.

Much like GMA’s most recent revamp of its weekday schedule, this decision only enhances GMA’s recent reputation as a ‘you lead and I follow’ network. Whatever move ABS-CBN makes, GMA seems to have a response, and that is not good for a network that is trying to rebound this year.

UPDATE: The scheduling change for ‘Imbestigador’ and ‘CelebriTV’ will take effect on February 27.

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anime, entertainment, Korea, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, television, variety show

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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action, comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, Love story, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, reality show, Sports, talent show, television

FTT’s Opening Salvo for 2016

It will be a very busy 2016 for media networks in the Philippines.

This year is an election year, and this one will decide the fate of the presidency of the Philippines. ABS-CBN, TV5 and GMA, along with several minor players, will be on hand to cover the five-month period of conviction and decision, leading to the national elections on May 9, and finally to the inauguration on June 30.

The question is, will CNN Philippines, GMA News TV and AksyonTV be busy enough for the grind of the elections? The three news networks have had a rough outing last year, with only ANC and DZMM TeleRadyo continuing to showcase their usual journalistic excellence, and unless they prove the critics wrong on election day, they will endure yet another showering of boos.

On the entertainment side, this is where GMA needs to make a statement (yet again). Even though ‘Eat Bulaga’ and AlDub grabbed the headlines during the second half of 2015, the rest of GMA’s programming, talents and staff still leave a lot to be desired, and if GMA were to be competitive and financially strong, they need more than just AlDub to survive.

Over at TV5, they are making a fresh start with a new ally. Viva Entertainment head Vic del Rosario is now leading the network’s entertainment unit, and he hopes to make an impact with new shows that could reenergize the Kapatid network’s stagnant and unpredictable programming.

As for ABS-CBN, there’s no need for a forecast. Barring any possibility of overconfidence and complacency, this should be another successful year for the Kapamilya network, with new shows featuring both established and rising stars on the menu.

Sports programming suffered a big blow when ABS-CBN-operated Balls signed off for good last year. That said, there will be big shoes to fill for the remaining sports networks in the country, particularly TV5’s Hyper and ABS-CBN Sports+Action, as they scramble for rights to some of the events that Balls covered.

FM’s 90.7 Love Radio remained dominant last year, as are DZMM and DZBB on the AM band. Closing in on the top radio stations will once again be a very tough act for the rest of the field this year, especially with the possibility of a rebrand and a change in personnel looming for those who couldn’t keep up.

And finally, as always, the endless questions of IBC-13’s planned privatization (or closure) will continue to surface this year. The question of when, who and how will once again permeate curious viewers, as the fate of the embattled station remains a mystery even with the change of administration.

This should be an interesting year ahead, and From the Tube will be there to cover every step of the way. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Koreanovela Overload Continues on GMA

Add a sixth Koreanovela to GMA’s weekday lineup.

In what seems like a new record in Philippine television history, GMA will air six Koreanovelas every weekday beginning this Tuesday, August 4. The latest addition is ‘Reply 1997’, a Koreanovela that reminisces on the good times of teenage life.

The story focuses on six high school buddies who reunite for a dinner after 15 years apart, two of whom would announce their marriage. Throughout the story, flashbacks of their teenage lives will resurface throughout the conversation, switching back and forth between their 18-year-old selves in 1997, and their present selves 15 years later.

‘Reply 1997’ stars Jung Eun-ji, Seo In-guk, Hoya, Shin So-yul, Eun Ji-won, and Lee Si-eon. The series was one of the most popular dramas in Korean television.

The entry of ‘Reply 1997’ continues a downward trend for GMA in terms of programming quality and creativity. As mentioned earlier, GMA will air six Koreanovelas starting this Tuesday, the list of which are as follows:

  1. The Master’s Sun (re-run; airing at 9:40 a.m., replacing Secret Garden)
  2. Two Mothers (airing at 10:10 a.m.)
  3. The King’s Doctor (airing at 10:50 a.m.)
  4. Birth of a Beauty (airing at 5:15 p.m.)
  5. Reply 1997 (airing at 5:50 p.m. starting this Tuesday)
  6. Pinocchio (airing at 9:55 p.m. on Mondays-Thursdays)

With six Koreanovelas at their disposal, it is clear that GMA’s creative nadir is now at its worst point. The inability to produce formidable local programming and their overreliance on importing other countries’ programs are taking its toll on the creative staff.

Worse, ‘Reply 1997’ will face a tough opponent in ABS-CBN’s ‘Pasion de Amor’. The local adaptation of the original Colombian telenovela has been on a ratings tear, and it left its soon-to-be-departing opponent ‘My Mother’s Secret’ in the dust.

The breaking point is now near for GMA. Six Koreanovelas on a weekday won’t help their cause.

Note: ‘My Mother’s Secret’ was scheduled to end tomorrow, July 31. But due to a preemption that was caused by the State of the Nation Address last Monday, the series is now scheduled to finish on Monday, August 3. ‘Reply 1997”s premiere will be moved to Tuesday, August 4.

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business, news, Philippines, television

Collapse of GMA-Ang Deal Further Baffles GMA’s Business Operations

A deal between Ramon S. Ang and GMA has been terminated for unspecified reasons, furthering the already troubled business operations of the Kapuso network. (Photo credit: San Miguel Corporation)

The resuscitation of GMA Network has once again hit a roadblock.

It was announced Tuesday that talks between the said network and businessman Ramon S. Ang for the latter’s acquisition of a 30% share have been terminated. Responding to this sudden turn of events, Ang called the move surprising and unexpected, and promised to wait for any explanation by GMA regarding the situation at hand.

This was not the first time that talks between GMA and a potential investor have ended without any conclusive results. PLDT and TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan have also entered talks to acquire a portion of GMA’s shares in 2001, 2004, 2012 and 2014, only to collapse in the end.

The latest development involving Ang and GMA marked the latest chapter in the decline and mismanagement of the network. Just recently, the Kapuso network have been involved in a pair of un-Kapuso-like decisions in relation to its business operations.

Late last year, 52 GMA employees were laid off while fighting for the regularization of their services, leading to a protest by the group known as ‘Talents Association of GMA’ (TAG). Claiming there were ‘unfair labor practices’, the group recently held a protest in front of the GMA headquarters in Timog Avenue.

Then in late April, GMA closed down four regional offices, canceled a pair of regional morning programs, and laid off at least 100 employees. The network claimed that they were merely streamlining its operations in order to increase ratings and revenue.

Coupled with still-declining ratings and programming quality, it is now clear why GMA is going nowhere. The lack of urgency to improve and expand the business is taking its toll on the network.

And it only made worse with its latest debacle involving Ramon S. Ang.

This is now a hopeless situation for Felipe Gozon, Gilberto Duavit and the rest of GMA management. Without any support from other investors, GMA is destined to become an afterthought in the media industry, something they cannot afford to happen.

They desperately need a new investor at this point. Perhaps a sit-down discussion with SM’s Henry Sy and family may help.

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