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Another Weekend Shuffle on GMA

Sen. Bong Revilla’s ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ is moving to the Sunday morning slot, one of several changes that GMA implemented on its weekend lineup.

GMA’s ‘Startalk’, the longest-running showbiz talk show, returns to the Saturday slot at 3:30 p.m. today. However, the move of ‘Startalk’ is just one of several lineup changes made to GMA’s weekend slate of programs.

Suspense series ‘Tales of Horror’ will air every Saturday and Sunday. The series is basically similar to another GMA program in ‘Asian Horror Stories’ (formerly ‘True Horror Stories’), in which horror flicks are featured. ‘Tales of Horror’ airs every Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ and before ‘Startalk’, and every Sunday after ‘Asian Horror Stories’ and before ’24 Oras Weekend’.

Sitcom ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ will now air after ’24 Oras Weekend’, as the game show ‘Picture Picture’ moves to Sunday nights following the said newscast. An earlier timeslot for ‘Vampire’ means that the ABS-CBN sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’ will now face the Vic Sotto-starred sitcom every night, while ‘Picture Picture’ will be up against ‘Goin’ Bulilit’.

Movie block ‘GMA Blockbusters’ moves from Saturday afternoons to replace both ‘Picture Picture’ and ‘Reporters’ Notebook’. The movie block airs after ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ and before ‘Magpakailanman’. Meanwhile, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ was moved to Thursday afternoons in GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, leaving ‘I-Witness’ as the sole Saturday night public affairs program.

And finally, the educational program ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ has found a new timeslot. The Bong Revilla-hosted program will now be seen on Sunday mornings, as part of a quartet of educational programs that include ‘Aha!’, ‘Born to Be Wild’, and ‘I-Bilib’.

Looking at GMA’s weekend programming lineup, there are some strong and weak points to consider. Moving ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ to Sunday mornings will be a huge boost for the program, as it will now attract young and informative viewers. And with ‘Aha!’, ‘Born to Be Wild’ and ‘I-Bilib’ preceding it, viewership of ‘Kap’s’ will definitely help its cause.

Over at the nighttime slot, an additional hour of ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’, while not favorable to some, will benefit a portion of the viewers who are in need of more intelligent programming. ‘KMJS’, one of GMA’s stronger programs, is up against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Rated K’, and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’.

Meanwhile, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ and ‘Tales of Horror’ are intended to by the network as ‘stopgap programs’, meaning they currently air on a short-term basis while a new program is in the works. In the case of Sunday’s edition of ‘Tales of Horror’, its possible replacement may be an upcoming dance program featuring Marian Rivera.

And then there is ‘Sunday All-Stars’, now relegated to 1:50 p.m. after the transfer of ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’. Having reduced its airtime and crew, it is clear that ‘Sunday All-Stars’ is nowhere close to the level that ‘ASAP’ currently enjoys. And a later timeslot only makes the situation even worse.

In what has become a recurring theme in the last few years, GMA restructures its weekend lineup in hopes of gaining viewers’ interest. And again, will this new lineup pay off? Only time will tell.

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Startalk Returns to Sundays

GMA’s ‘Startalk’ returns to Sundays, and will match up against ABS-CBN’s ‘Buzz ng Bayan’.

After 16 years, ‘Startalk’ returns to its original Sunday slot. GMA’s showbiz talk show will now be seen every Sunday at 4:00 p.m. or after ‘I-Bilib’ and before ’24 Oras Weekend’.

You may recall that I wrote an article suggesting that ‘Startalk’ needs to move back to Sundays in order to give GMA a more formidable counterpart to ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’ (and later ‘Buzz ng Bayan’). And after GMA failed to counter with ‘GMA Blockbusters’, the need to bring ‘Startalk’ back to Sundays became even more pronounced. But ‘GMA Blockbusters’ is not the only reason for the move.

In November of last year, ABS-CBN started airing ‘The Singing Bee’ opposite ‘Startalk’. And based on initial ratings published by both Kantar and AGB Nielsen, the results overwhelmingly favored the former. ‘The Singing Bee”s winning streak continued into the new year, and by January 18, it became clear that ‘Startalk’ no longer has the ability to dominate Saturday afternoon viewership.

Which leads to the switcheroo of sorts this weekend. The move of ‘Startalk’ back to Sundays is seen as GMA’s attempt to re-stabilize their Sunday afternoon lineup. It is also seen as a matchup of the two longest-tenured talk shows in the country, with ‘Startalk’ first airing in 1995, and ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ debuting as ‘The Buzz’ in 1999. But perhaps another intriguing aspect is the fact that ‘Startalk’ is finally up against its original host Boy Abunda, who left the show to host rival ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’.

Moving ‘Startalk’ back to Sundays is undoubtedly the best move that GMA executed to begin the new year. The question is, will the move pay off for the Kapuso network? We’ll see.

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