news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Pissed Off: TV Patrol Unhappy About Late Start

The ‘It’s Showtime’ effect of going overtime has had plenty of repercussions.

For the most part, it affected the start times of succeeding ABS-CBN programs. But none felt the sting of starting late more than ‘TV Patrol’, the flagship primetime newscast of the network.

‘TV Patrol’ usually airs at around 6:30 p.m. and is simulcast on both ABS-CBN and DZMM. However, the DZMM portion gets a little tricky; ‘Dos Por Dos’ anchors Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna usually end their show just before 6:30, but in recent episodes they either stick around for a little while or leave and allow DZMM to play a long commercial break.

In certain instances where ‘TV Patrol’ begins later than its usual 6:30 p.m. start, the ‘Headlines’ portion was omitted in favor of a shortened opening billboard. Peter Musñgi’s introduction of “Live mula sa ABS-CBN News Center Manila, Ito ang TV Patrol”, accompanied with an airborne shot of the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center, was also removed at times.

Even the newscast’s anchors were starting to feel unhappy with the late start. During one recent episode, anchor Noli de Castro berated one of the teleprompter operators a few minutes into the newscast for not opening the teleprompter on short notice (a moment that was later cut from iWant TV uploads of the show).

There were also times when Star Patrol, the newscast’s entertainment news segment, was reduced to just two or three news items. And finally, a few recent episodes saw an unusual closing segment in which the anchors bid farewell and then walk out of the set immediately while still on camera.

Despite the late starts, ‘TV Patrol’ continued to be the newscast of choice for the common Filipino as it scores over 30%. However, it was clear that the show and its anchors were not happy with the late starts.

Perhaps ABS-CBN management should call an emergency meeting to solve this brewing issue once and for all. They can call out both the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’ and the anchors of ‘TV Patrol’, their respective production teams, and both the head of integrated news Ging Reyes and corporate communications Kane Errol Choa to end this impasse.

One can only hope that ABS-CBN will do the right thing and go back to what it was useful in the past. After all ‘TV Patrol’ does not deserve to be put in a bad light because of ‘It’s Showtime”s string of poor time management.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Blood Sisters to Conclude Friday

Erich Gonzales’ ‘three-in-one’ had a mixed run.

The good news for her is that ‘The Blood Sisters’ still reigned on its timeslot. But unlike its predecessor ‘Wildflower’, it failed to win big and make a noticeable impact.

First aired on February 12, 2018, ‘The Blood Sisters’ tells the story of triplets Erika, Carrie and Agatha (all portrayed by Erich). The series had a strong debut, hitting the 25% mark on its first episode.

‘The Blood Sisters’ would go on to hit the 20% mark on several other occasions during its run. Overall, however, the series never caught on with the viewers the way Ivy Aguas/Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) did on ‘Wildflower’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Blood Sisters’ wound up airing twenty minutes later than usual because of ‘It’s Showtime”s incessant streak of going overtime. Whenever Vice Ganda and company go beyond its limit, the worst-case scenario that ‘The Blood Sisters’ had was a 6:10 p.m. start which is way past its normal start time of 5:45-5:50 p.m.

That of course threw some viewers off and ‘The Blood Sisters’ ratings were affected by it. While the series still got the better of competing program ‘Wowowin’, the small gap between the two suggests that ‘The Blood Sisters’ was indeed beatable.

Still, the series managed to air 132 episodes when it is all said and done. Not bad for a series that had plenty of expectations yet could not get the job done.

If there was one consolation for ‘The Blood Sisters’, it is that Erich Gonzales continued her maturation as an artist. Having to portray three different characters is no easy task, but Erich was able to effectively pull it off with Erika, Agatha and Carrie.

Still, those shortcomings ‘The Blood Sisters’ had outweighed the positives. Had ABS-CBN put a leash on Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering, ‘The Blood Sisters’ would have raked in more viewers.

Either way, ‘The Blood Sisters’ was still a good series to watch even with all the concerns put into them. May this series enjoy a graceful exit this Friday.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN’s Ika-6 na Utos Problem

It seems like ABS-CBN is having a problem with ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

Since late March, the GMA Afternoon Prime drama has earned an average rating of 17% per episode (via Kantar Media), a far cry from the unimpressive 11% average it enjoyed in its first month. Saturday episodes of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ (introduced April 1) were just as strong, scoring around 15%.

Much of the spike in popularity has something to do with a combination of factors, such as:

  1. Memorable scenes and interactions between the characters Georgia (Ryza Cenon), Emma (Sunshine Dizon) and Rome (Gabby Concepcion)
  2. Lack of interest in ‘It’s Showtime”s Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids
  3. ‘Eat Bulaga”s continued decline post-Kalyeserye

The stunning success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ left ABS-CBN dumbfounded and perplexed as to what happened. While they still rule most timeslots every day, it is against ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ that they are noticeably struggling at this point.

So why is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ giving ABS-CBN fits? Here are the three possible factors to look at.

It’s Showtime”s Long Running Time

‘It’s Showtime’, unlike ‘Eat Bulaga’, runs for over three hours six times a week (in contrast to ‘Eat Bulaga’ running 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday and three hours on Saturday). That said, a total of 18 hours per week can be totally draining for both the hosts and the audience.

Coupled with a recent streak of uninspiring pre-Tawag ng Tanghalan segments, and ‘It’s Showtime’ is left to lick their wounds amid the surge of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Cutting it to 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday may be the best way to remain efficient while maintaining its top-notch ratings.

Resistance to Change

In the past, ABS-CBN aired three teleseryes in the afternoon to counter GMA’s own set of three. Since reducing the amount to only two, the tables seem to have turned in the Kapamilya network’s favor, that is until ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ came along.

Sticking to what seems best might not be a good idea for ABS-CBN at this point. With a surplus of upcoming teleseryes in the pipeline, it is best for them to counter ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ with another teleserye (probably not a ‘kabitserye’) in hopes of reversing its momentum.

A New Trend: Saturday Teleseryes

Before ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, a typical Filipino teleserye only airs from Monday to Friday. That has changed since April 1, when GMA extended ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturday afternoons, in a move reminiscent of Latin American telenovelas.

The sudden move caught ABS-CBN off-guard, as ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ began to struggle against the surging ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Still, the extension is only four weeks old so anything can happen in the long run.

With ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ now a major dilemma for ABS-CBN, drastic changes should be in the offing. But unless they figure out a way to overcome this popular Kapuso drama, their overall dominance will become nothing more than a punchline.

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