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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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ABS-CBN Shakes Up Weekend Lineup with Entry of I Can See Your Voice

Changes are indeed aplenty on ABS-CBN this weekend.

Last weekend marked the season 3 finale of ‘Bet on Your Baby’. The 36th and final episode was aired last Sunday and it featured a reunion of original ‘Mara Clara’ stars Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes.

Although ‘Bet on Your Baby’ enjoyed impressive ratings throughout its run, the game show faltered in its final few episodes, prompting ABS-CBN to shelve it for the time being. Initially, ‘Bet on Your Baby’ was to be replaced by ‘I Can See Your Voice’, but ABS-CBN made a drastic move and placed the program on primetime starting this weekend.

Hosted by Luis Manzano alongside judges Angeline Quinto, Alex Gonzaga, Kean Cipriano, Wacky Kiray and Andrew E, ‘I Can See Your Voice’ is the first Kapamilya franchised program to originate from Korea. For more information on its game play, click this link.

‘I Can See Your Voice’ will air every Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sunday after ‘Rated K’. All told, ABS-CBN will bring back the game/talent/reality show format at the 9:30 p.m. slot, something that was not seen since ‘I Can Do That’ ended.

The premiere of ‘I Can See Your Voice’ casts some doubt on the fate of ‘Lethal Weapon’. The Tagalized American action series aired its 14th episode last Saturday, and according to some knowledgeable sources, the first season of ‘Lethal Weapon’ still had four more episodes to go.

However, no teaser for the next episode was aired, and for some unexplained reason, ABS-CBN effectively canceled ‘Lethal Weapon’ before its season really ended. This despite the fact that the program enjoyed good ratings during its short run.

As for the vacated slot of ‘Bet on Your Baby’, ABS-CBN decided to fill the Saturday slot with a rerun of the ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ anthology series. Then on Sundays, ABS-CBN opted to extend ‘Kapamilya Weekend Blockbusters’ instead of adding another program to its slate.

It will be interesting to see how these changes will affect ABS-CBN’s weekend lineup. But for those who await to see ‘I Can See Your Voice’ on the small screen, good luck and have fun.

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Last Episodes for I Can Do That, Plus Celebrity Bluff Returns

Two weekend shows are about to hit the crossroads.

On ABS-CBN, ‘I Can Do That’ will enter its final weekend tomorrow night and Sunday night. In these two episodes, the final four iCandidates in Cristine Reyes, Daniel Matsunaga, Gab Valenciano and Wacky Kiray are expected to perform their riskiest and most death-defying acts imaginable.

Judges Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and Boy Abunda will have the enviable task of evaluating each iCandidates’ performance. Not only that, the viewers will also play a key role in determining the show’s ‘Greatest Entertainer’, who will walk away P1 million richer by virtue of combined scores from the judges and the viewers.

First premiered on March 11, 2017, ‘I Can Do That’ was the latest reality show franchise acquired by ABS-CBN. The program has had contrasting ratings fortunes throughout its 25-episode run; despite averaging a decent 15%, only ‘I Can Do That”s Saturday episodes were consistent winners.

That said, the decent but unsatisfactory performance may be considerable enough for ABS-CBN to relinquish its rights after only one season. The network may have had some successful foreign franchised shows, but ‘I Can Do That’ is not one of them.

Which leads to its one-night-only opponent for tomorrow night. After a season break that lasted over a year, GMA announced the return of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ for its 13th season.

Eugene Domingo will reprise her role as host of this long-running Kapuso game show. She will not be alone though as Edu Manzano will now join Eugene as a special bluffer, while Boobay and resident boyband One Up will also ramp up the entertainment factor even further.

A typical episode of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ is as follows (via GMA Public Relations):

“Celebrity Bluff features three pairs of celebrity contestants as they attempt to outsmart one another by answering questions to be able to advance to the jackpot round, where the winning team could take home half a million pesos.”

Guest bluffers will also be on hand to make fun of this week’s celebrity players. For instance, the premiere of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ season 13 will see Alden Richards and Brod Pete play the role of bluffer.

With its predecessors’ failures to make an impact, the onus is on ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to change GMA’s declining fortunes ever Saturday night. Otherwise, its comeback may turn out to be a dud.

‘Celebrity Bluff’ returns this Saturday after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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Full House No More: Full House Tonight Airs Finale Saturday

‘Full House Tonight’ airs its finale this Saturday night. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA’s own attempt to recreate ‘Saturday Night Live’ for Filipinos is officially out.

The last episode of ‘Full House Tonight’ will take place this Saturday night, owing to host Regine Velasquez’s inclusion to the cast of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. However, Regine’s addition to the said fantaserye is not the main reason why ‘Full House Tonight’ will come to an end.

First airing on February 18, 2017, ‘Full House Tonight’ was a comedy-musical variety show that focuses on comedic performances from a select group of professional comedians. In essence, this program was viewed as a primetime version of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, and it drew comparisons to the long-running American variety show ‘Saturday Night Live’.

Unfortunately, ‘Full House Tonight’ failed to deliver during its soon-to-be 14-episode run. The show was placed against powerhouse ABS-CBN reality shows ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ and ‘I Can Do That’, and the expectations to stand out against both shows were too much to bear.

Not only that, most of the comedians in ‘Full House Tonight’ were hardly household names at all. That, along with Regine’s co-hosts/performers being relegated to the background, contributed to its demise.

It’s a shame that ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down swinging after this Saturday. Let’s face it, Regine hosting a comedy show is an insult to her reputation, considering her lack of comedic background unlike her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Perhaps GMA would have spiced the show up with guest celebrity hosts rather than Regine pulling all the strings. Had they done that, not to mention further training for the comedians and stars involved (if any), ‘Full House Tonight’ would have lasted longer than the 14 episodes it will accumulate at the end.

Alas, ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down as one of the most forgettable programs in GMA lore. If there is any consolation, it was that they put a lot of effort to produce a show like this, even if it goes in vain.

Come this Saturday, a final round of applause will be needed to send off ‘Full House Tonight’. So long, and good riddance.

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I Can Do That: ABS-CBN’s Latest Foreign Franchised Show

Franchised shows and ABS-CBN continue to be inseparable.

This weekend will be no exception, as the Kapamilya network premieres its latest acquisition. Enter ‘I Can Do That’, ABS-CBN’s newest talent reality show where celebrities perform the riskiest and most imaginative of acts in order to entertain the audience.

‘I Can Do That’ originated in Israel under the watchful eyes of Armoza Formats. Twenty countries, including the United States, have put their own spin on the franchise.

The Philippine franchise of ‘I Can Do That’ will be hosted by Robi Domingo and Alex Gonzaga. The show will be headlined by eight actors known as the I CANdidates: Cristine Reyes, Arci Muñoz, Pokwang, Sue Ramirez, JC Santos, Gab Valenciano, Wacky Kiray and Daniel Matsunaga.

Via ABS-CBN PR, here is how ‘I Can Do That’ is played:

Every week, the I CANdidates will perform extraordinary acts in pairs. The fun begins when different groups of professional performers demonstrate a variety of acts that I CANdidates have never done before.

If the I CANdidates think they can do a certain act, they will make their way down the stairs towards the performers. The first to reach the fourth and last step will be locked in to perform the act and will get to choose the I CANdidate who he or she believes will help him or her give a winning performance.

Given only one week to practice, the I CANdidates should be able to perform their assigned act and entertain the audience.

The weekly winner will be determined based on the combined scores culled from the scores given individually by the iCANdidates and the extra points granted to the winner of the audience vote.

With ‘I Can Do That’ bordering towards improvisation and danger, expect lots of pain and exhaustion from the I CANdidates and the professional performers. This show is definitely not for the weak at heart.

Still, despite the death-defying acts, expect no shortage of entertainment and laughter among the eight I CANdidates. After all, ‘I Can Do That’ is about captivating the audience with every move they make.

‘I Can Do That’ airs Saturdays after ‘MMK’ and Sundays after ‘Rated K’ on ABS-CBN.

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