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.

Kimerald’s Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin Relegated to Late Mornings

Seems like the reunited Kimerald will have to pay their dues in the late mornings.

Once a successful duo on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, the tandem of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson will now take their act to the 11:30 a.m. slot with a new series that centers around the world of triathlon. This new series is called ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Starring alongside another tandem in Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ centers around childhood friends Bianca (Kim) and Gabriel (Gerald), both of whom aspire to become successful triathletes in order to support their families.

Along the way, the duo encounter some obstacles that will test their love for each other. ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will feature the following storylines:

  • Bianca distances herself from Gabriel in hopes of saving her father’s life
  • After a long period of separation, Bianca and Gabriel met anew in a triathlon event headlined by Carlos (Jake), a top triathlete in the country
  • Carlos hires Bianca as an endorser of Tigershark, then falls in love with her to the dismay of his ex-girlfriend Isabelle (Coleen)
  • Carlos and Gabriel become archrivals in both triathlon and in Bianca’s heart, but some secrets from the past soon threaten their lives

‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will also star Gina Pareño, Bing Loyzaga, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Michael De Mesa, Daniel Fernando, Dante Rivero, Nicco Manalo, Ivan Carapiet, Andrea Brillantes, and Grae Fernandez. The series will be directed by Dan Villegas and Onat Diaz.

Unlike previous romantic late-morning series in ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ and ‘Be My Lady’, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will have a more serious tone that is uncharacteristic for the slot. The storyline would have been a perfect fit for primetime, but with no slots available at the moment, ABS-CBN has no choice but to place this series before noontime.

Still, considering the past success of the Kapamilya network at the said slot, ratings should not be a problem for ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’. That said, the network only hope to see the viewers fall in love with this pensive drama.

‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s PrimeTanghali.

Why Jackpot En Poy Only Makes Eat Bulaga Worse?

For 37 years, ‘Eat Bulaga’ was known for its innovative and groundbreaking segments.

Some of their most famous portions have become synonymous with the show; examples include Little Miss Philippines, That’s My Boy, Laban o Bawi, Pinoy Henyo and Juan for All, All for Juan. However, they recently took a further step back by introducing this ridiculous segment.

Earlier this year, ‘Eat Bulaga’ brought the game of rock-paper-scissors (or in Filipino, Jack en Poy) to the show and billed it as the ‘most serious’ game ever. Enter the infamous Jackpot En Poy segment.

In this game, four people who represent a particular color section of the audience (red, green, yellow, blue) go one-on-one in the game of rock-paper-scissors. The first round winners then face off in the finals, after which that round’s winner gets a chance to play in the jackpot round against a select team of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts, each with a particular prize money allotted to them.

To make the game ‘serious’, ‘Eat Bulaga’ brought in Gov Lloyd as its ‘referee’, while a guest judge takes a look at violations that took place during the segment. Initially, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, Wally Bayola and Maine Mendoza were brought in as ‘judges’, but after only a few episodes, they were reassigned to do another segment.

While the Jackpot En Poy segment typically used regular audience members as players, the more recent episodes featured none other than guest celebrities from different fields. For instance, the March 25 installment of Jackpot En Poy saw Senators Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Gringo Honasan and Manny Pacquiao play the said game.

Despite its ‘serious’ yet ‘entertaining’ nature, the segment proved to be ‘Eat Bulaga”s weakest and most desperate segment yet. Let’s face it, rock-paper-scissors is a simple game, but once ‘Eat Bulaga’ added some shenanigans to make it appear like it was innovated, this act only alienated a more vocal section of the audience.

It is no secret that the ratings of ‘Eat Bulaga’ continues to fall with each episode. The fact of the matter is, this noontime show is now on the twilight of its run, and with ‘It’s Showtime”s emergence, it appears that the torch has finally been passed.

Sorry, Jackpot En Poy, but this segment does not deserve a place on ‘Eat Bulaga’ lore. Let’s just hope that it will be good riddance to this simple yet ridiculous skit.

Ika-6 na Utos Extends to Saturday Afternoons

GMA gets even more desperate.

Due to so-called ‘insistent public demand’, the network announced that the teleserye ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will now air on Saturday afternoons as well. In doing so, GMA made some history by becoming the first TV network to air a new episode of a weekday teleserye on a weekend.

The upcoming Saturday episodes of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will replace the short-lived and poorly-rated crime and investigation series ‘Case Solved’, which only lasted six episodes from February 18 to March 25. But can this risky move work?

According to the national Kantar Media ratings, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ trails ‘It’s Showtime’ by around 3-4% since its premiere on December 5, 2016. While the former’s ratings were on the upswing of late (they even defeated ‘It’s Showtime’ by 0.3% on March 2), they still failed to topple the latter since the popular ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment airs at the same time.

As ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ goes deep into Saturday afternoon, they face an even tougher test. The legal drama ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ made mincemeat of ‘Case Solved’ during the past month, and with the latter raking in around 20% ratings in recent episodes, chances are ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is in for a reality check.

To make matters worse for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, the viewers’ demands for a sixth episode every weekend could prove too much to ask for. Let’s face it, the need for variety on television is obvious here, and GMA’s desperate move to extend ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturday afternoons could easily tire out even the most demanding of viewers.

That said, GMA’s daring move to extend ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturdays may come back to haunt them. After all, everybody wants a break from watching teleseryes each and every weekend, but for GMA, all roads lead to disaster simply because of a needless opportunity to boost ratings.

Sorry GMA, but this is not going to work, regardless of what the viewers say.

GMA’s Astig Authority a Sinking Ship Thanks to Magandang Buhay

How the mighty have fallen.

The past few days have not been kind to GMA’s Astig Authority block, and it showed in the recent ratings posted by the more ‘national’ Kantar firm. As seen in these figures below, it is clear that the block has lost the interest of the public while rival ‘Magandang Buhay’ is beginning to gain momentum with each passing episode.

February 27, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.1%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.9%) / Pokemon Xy (6.7%) / Bleach (7.3%)

March 6, 2017

Magandang Buhay (7.5%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.9%) / Pokemon Xy (6.7%) / Bleach (7.1%)

March 13, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.2%) vs. Ghost Fighter (6.3%) / Pokemon Xy (6.9%) / Bleach (7.5%)

March 14, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.3%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.8%) / Pokemon Xy (6.5%) / Bleach (6.9%)

March 15, 2017

Magandang Buhay (7.8%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.7%) /  Pokemon Xy (6.9%) / Bleach (6.7%)

So what is the common denominator in these five episodes? Basically ‘Magandang Buhay”s guests came from ABS-CBN’s three top-rated shows in ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and the recently concluded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and the constant top-notch performances of the three shows carried over to the former.

On the other hand, anime’s declining interest on free-to-air television is hitting Astig Authority hard. The fact that Filipino anime fans are moving over to cable and internet for their anime needs, not to mention GMA’s constant overreliance on old anime, is something that the network has yet to realize at this point.

One can only look at ABS-CBN’s controversial decision to cease airing anime in June of last year. The only difference here is that ABS-CBN has the digital TV channel Yey! and the cable channel Hero to back them up, whereas GMA doesn’t have the benefit of sister cable channels to constantly commit to a variety of anime.

Speaking of relying too much on reruns, GMA just announced that a long-awaited Filipino redub of ‘Voltes V’ (voiced by young GMA stars) will hit the airwaves next Monday. This should only make things worse for Astig Authority, as the classic Japanese mecha anime has been re-aired multiple times since 1977.

That said, unless GMA plans a new programming strategy, the slumping fortunes of Astig Authority may continue to last for a longer period. For a network once proud of bringing successful anime titles to the Filipino mainstream, this is unacceptable to say the least.

In the end, GMA must accept reality and move on, because airing anime on free TV is no longer a thing at this point (unless you’re TV5 and you’re willing to bring new animes with it). No offense, but the time is now for GMA to have something else to offer every weekday morning.

Star Circle Quest Returns as Segment of It’s Showtime

‘Star Circle Quest’ returns soon as a segment of ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’. (Screenshot and logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

Remember ‘Star Circle Quest’?

Before ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ became the so-called ‘instant ticket’ to stardom for some of ABS-CBN’s top stars, there was the reality talent search show called ‘Star Circle Quest’. Between 2004 and 2011, two teen and three kids editions of SCQ were produced, and several of its alumni made their mark in the business.

While ‘Star Circle Quest’ proved to be no match for ‘StarStruck’ in terms of popularity and star factor, it was nevertheless credited for discovering stars that soon became mainstays on ABS-CBN programming. Here is a look at some of the network’s most memorable personalities whose careers began as Questors on the show:

  • Sandara Park
  • Joross Gamboa
  • Roxanne Guinoo
  • Melissa Ricks
  • Michelle Madrigal
  • Nash Aguas
  • Sharlene San Pedro
  • Erich Gonzales
  • Jason Abalos
  • Arron Villaflor
  • Bugoy Carino
  • Izzy Canillo
  • Xyriel Manabat

Six years after its last edition aired, ABS-CBN announced that ‘Star Circle Quest’ will be revived as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. Auditions for the segment commenced last month, with teenagers aged 13 to 19 years old trying to impress the judges with their dancing, singing and acting skills.

As SCQ will now be relegated into a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’, reality show elements will be minimized due to the live nature of the program. Nevertheless, for the many people who became fans of SCQ from the beginning, the prospect of its revival is an exciting one to say the least.

ABS-CBN has yet to announce the start date of the competition, so stay tuned for further updates.

In a related development, a kids’ edition of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will take the place of the just-concluded adult edition starting today. Auditions for the competition were well underway, and will follow the same format as the original.

And finally, a second installment of ‘Funny One’ will also begin soon. Auditions for ‘Funny One’ began last month alongside SCQ, with the aim of discovering the country’s next great comedian.

The resurgence of ‘It’s Showtime’ following the Pastillas Girl-Kalyeserye debacle is a breath of fresh air for ABS-CBN. And following the success of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, expect a lot more from the show once it unveils ‘Star Circle Quest’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids’ and ‘Funny One’ to its menu.