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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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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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Dangwa Concludes; Heart of Asia Mornings Extended

The drama series ‘Dangwa’ is currently on its final week.

Airing since October 26, 2015, the story of ‘Dangwa’ has been focused on Rosa (Janine Gutierrez), the flower vendor who gave roses to men who hope to find their true love. At the same time, her own love story took hold, thanks to two men, Baste (Mark Herras) and Lorenzo (Aljur Abrenica), who try to gain her attention.

While ‘Dangwa’ has featured guest appearances from Kapuso artists each week, the finale solely focused on the conclusion of the love triangle between Rosa, Baste and Lorenzo. That said, viewers will have to tune in to see what fate awaits the threesome.

‘Dangwa’ had been well-hyped to begin with, thanks to a series of viral videos that revealed Janine Gutierrez as the so-called ‘Dangwa Girl’. However, ratings for the series proved to be unimpressive, as ‘Dangwa’ can only muster national ratings of 7-8% , whereas ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ average 2% percent higher.

With the not-so successful returns from its morning drama, GMA has decided to once again extend its Heart of Asia Mornings starting this Monday. The newest Koreanovela, ‘Carmina’, will be added to the block.

‘Carmina’ stars Kim So-yeon, Jung Kyung-ho and Yoon Hyun-min. The story of the Koreanovela will involve Carmina (Kim) as a secretary of a big company, Derek (Jung) as her fiance, and James (Yoon) as her boss.

Fate soon intervened in Derek’s life when he died, and his heart was removed and placed into James’ chest during his heart transplant. The once-strict James soon had a change of heart, and eventually fell in love with Carmina.

‘Carmina’ will take over the 11:00 a.m. timeslot of ‘Dangwa’. This means that the Heart of Asia Mornings block will once again have three Koreanovelas: ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’, and ‘Carmina’.

As GMA reverts back to Koreanovela mode just before noontime, the question is, will they ever be able to produce another local morning drama? Considering their lack of success, it is unlikely that the network will make another one, and Koreanovelas will be here to stay.

Tomorrow is ‘Dangwa”s last, and after that, ‘Carmina’ takes over. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Brings Back Kapuso Primetime Cinema

Once again, GMA is making some radical changes to its Telebabad lineup.

Just recently, the network announced that they will bring back the transitional movie block ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. The re-premiere of the said movie block will take place on November 9, replacing the Koreanovela ‘Legendary Women’.

It can be recalled that GMA aired ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ two years ago, following the conclusions of ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’. GMA’s intent of airing ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ at the time was clear: to capitalize on low advertising revenue during the Christmas season and to give more time for the production of upcoming teleseryes.

As it turned out, the move backfired. Replacement dramas ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’ failed to bring the desired results, and GMA was left wondering why their ‘Kapuso ang Una’ battle cry did not work out.

This year, GMA opted for a more different approach. Instead of replacing the network’s teleseryes like they did two years ago, they decided to place ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ on the timeslot normally reserved for Koreanovelas.

One possible reason for the move is that GMA intended to air ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ in order for ‘Saksi’ to match up better with ‘Bandila’. The presence of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ has led to a later-than-expected airing for ‘Bandila’.

There is one problem, however. ABS-CBN has announced that a fifth teleserye (‘You’re My Home’) will air on Primetime Bida at the conclusion of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’, and as a result, a hopeless situation now awaits GMA and its embattled fanbase.

That said, GMA needs to realize that they need to concede defeat than continue their already lopsided rivalry with ABS-CBN. It is clear the both networks are headed into opposite directions, and with ABS-CBN already more dominant than ever, GMA knows that an overhaul is more than necessary at this point.

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cartoon, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

‘Instadad’ Bids Farewell; Two New GMA Shows to Replace

‘Instadad’ ran for four months and 14 episodes, with little success. It will be replaced by ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ and ‘Alamat’ this coming Sunday. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

So long, ‘Instadad’.

The comedy-drama series that starred Gabby Eigenmann, Gabbi Garcia, Ashley Ortega and Jazz Ocampo aired its final episode Sunday afternoon. Overall, ‘Instadad’ aired for only a mere 14 episodes, from April 5 until yesterday.

‘Instadad”s pilot episode was pitted against ‘The Buzz”s finale, and had an impressive start as far as ratings are concerned. But when ABS-CBN moved ‘Luv U’ to a later timeslot the following week, ‘Instadad’ failed to keep up to its new rival.

Not even the premiere of ‘Wowowin’ nearly a month later helped ‘Instadad’ regain its opening day fortunes, nor did the former’s suddenly declining ratings in subsequent weeks. In the end, GMA’s latest attempt at a teen-oriented series was doomed as a failure once again.

Now that ‘Instadad’ is already out of picture, both Gabby Eigenmann and Gabbi Garcia can now focus on their primetime projects in ‘Pari ‘Koy’ and ‘Let the Love Begin’, respectively. At least they still have something to keep busy with.

Moving on, GMA has lined up a pair of programs to replace ‘Instadad’. They are:

Heart of Asia Presents

If five Asianovelas on weekdays are not enough, then a weekend with GMA’s ‘Heart of Asia’ block should satiate the desires of Asianovela fans. As the title suggests, ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ will feature special presentations of various Asian dramas, particularly from Korea.

‘Heart of Asia Presents’ airs every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. starting July 12.

Alamat

GMA dubs it as the first-ever local animated anthology series. Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, ‘Alamat’ will feature a some of the greatest myths and legends the country has ever told, and will be voiced by some of the country’s most popular and distinguished personalities.

‘Alamat’ airs every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. starting July 12.

This should be another acid test for GMA’s predictably weak Sunday offerings. ‘Alamat’ and ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ may pack some potential, but it remains to be seen if they are definitely good enough for viewers to see.

With that, good luck to both shows.

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anime, drama, entertainment, Japan, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Astig Authority To Be Reduced In Favor of Heart of Asia Reruns

GMA’s anime fans should expect another rude awakening next week.

Starting this Monday, GMA’s Astig Authority block will be reduced to two hours. This will give way to yet another Heart of Asia rerun in ‘Secret Garden’.

The Koreanovela first aired on the Kapuso network four years ago via the Telebabad block. It starred Hyun Bin of ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’ fame, and Ha Ji Won of ‘Hwang Jini’ fame.

‘Secret Garden’ will relegate ‘Knock Out’ (known in Japan as ‘Hajime no Ippo’) to an earlier timeslot, while replacing ‘Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic’ in the morning lineup.

Over the years, GMA’s animes have been able to fare well against their ABS-CBN counterparts, despite being criticized for frequently re-airing them on a seemingly annual basis. Classic animes like ‘Ghost Fighter’ (known in Japan as ‘YuYu Hakusho’), the ‘Dragon Ball’ series and ‘Slam Dunk’ remain popular with anime fans, while new titles are also attracting new viewers.

This despite the fact that GMA rarely promotes the programs of the Astig Authority block at all, in contrast to ABS-CBN’s Umaganda.

The same cannot be said for their Asianovelas, though. While Heart of Asia had some decent success and heavy promotion, it never earned quite the same following as the animes of Astig Authority, especially when they were re-aired for a second time and beyond.

That said, it was a mistake for the Kapuso network to sacrifice Astig Authority in favor of a Heart of Asia rerun, especially with ABS-CBN a non-factor in the early morning hours. GMA’s success in the early mornings is due in part to its animes, and giving way for an Asianovela will definitely hurt their loyal anime fanbase.

For now, though, they are giving their Asianovela fans a second chance. If successful, they should look forward to either another or a new Asianovela, otherwise they will need to once again extend the Astig Authority block.

‘Secret Garden’ returns this Monday after ‘Knock Out’ and before ‘Two Mothers’.

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