drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

The Return of Juan Direction, Plus Wattpad Stories Premiere on TV5

The Fil-foreign quintet known as ‘Juan Direction’ is back.

Michael McConnell, Daniel Marsh, Brian Wilson, Henry Edwards and Charlie Sutcliffe return for a two-week special starting tonight. They will be joined by a new set of hunky Fil-foreigners: male supermodel and 2014 Mr. World Philippines winner John Spainhour, American Ninja Warrior finalist Shane Daniels, and Cosmopolitan centerfold hunk Wil Dasovich.

The ‘Juan Direction’ special will be known as ‘Islanders’. As the title suggests, the original ‘Juan Direction’ and their Fil-foreign visitors will be stranded on the islands of Masbate and experience their fair share of adventures and misadventures in an isolated setting.

Since debuting in October 2013, ‘Juan Direction’ has become one of TV5’s top programs. This led to bigger opportunities for the quintet on other Kapatid programs; their most recent project, ‘One of the Boys’, aired from May to July of this year.

The upcoming ‘Juan Direction’ special is not the only new offering on TV5, however.

As part of TV5’s deal with the Canadian-based company Wattpad, the Kapatid network will air a drama special called ‘Wattpad Presents’. The first offering from the series, ‘My Tag Boyfriend’, premieres tonight and will run throughout the week.

Starring real-life couple Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Sam Concepcion, ‘My Tag Boyfriend’ tells the story of a Facebook addict whose accidental tag of a campus hearthrob on her status post went viral. A series of funny encounters eventually led to a relationship between the two.

In addition to ‘My Tag Boyfriend’, three other stories from Wattpad are in production and will be aired over the next few weeks: ‘Mr. Popular Meets Ms. Nobody’, starring Mark Neumann, Shaira Mae dela Cruz, and Diego Loyzaga; ‘Poser’, starring Akihiro Blanco, Chanel Morales and Sam Rodriguez; and ‘Almost a Cinderella Story’, starring Eula Caballero and Carl Guevara.

The entry of ‘Wattpad Presents’ should bring good vibes to Filipino Wattpad writers and romance enthusiasts. Having penetrated the big screen via the likes of ‘Diary ng Panget’, ‘She’s Dating the Gangster’ and ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead’, Wattpad now hopes to enjoy a similar level of success on the small screen, something TV5 is more than willing to provide.

‘Wattpad Presents’ and ‘Juan Direction: Islanders’ will air back-to-back starting at 7:00 p.m. later tonight on TV5.

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Bossing, Bitoy Get New Timeslots; Juan Direction Goes Everyday

‘Pepito Manaloto’ now moves to Saturday nights after several years delighting viewers on Sundays.

After several years of giving viewers laughs every Sunday, ‘Pepito Manaloto’ is moving on. But in order for that to happen, they have to trade with another sitcom.

It was announced that Michael V’s long-time reality sitcom will be leaving its old Sunday timeslot and move into the Saturday slot, just before the premiere of Marian Rivera’s dance show ‘Marian’. Its vacated slot will now be filled by the upcoming sitcom ‘Ismol Family’, starring Ryan Agoncillo and Carla Abellana.

‘Pepito Manaloto’ will also trade timeslots with Vic Sotto’s sitcom ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’. The MZET-produced series will retain the same timeslot after ’24 Oras Weekend’, except that it will now be seen every Sunday evenings.

The change in timeslots came after ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’ moved to Saturday evenings in late May.  The sitcom received a new life as it outrated ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ on its new timeslot, but with ‘Pepito Manaloto’ back to challenge the program, its newfound supremacy will now be tested again by its old adversary.

Meanwhile, GMA’s movie block ‘GMA Blockbusters’ will move to Sunday nights, giving the network either one or two movies to air every Sunday, with ‘Sunday Night Box Office’ the other block. Their intentions are very clear, despite the fact that airing ‘GMA Blockbusters’ on Sunday nights is deemed unnecessary.

In their defense, they want ‘Sunday Night Box Office’ to go up against ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best’. But because ABS-CBN’s Sunday programming runs a little late thanks to ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’, and ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, GMA decided to intentionally run their programming late as well, thus the addition of another movie block.

Whether or not these moves will translate to better ratings remain to be seen. All in all, it was another serious attempt by the Kapuso network to turn things around. But then again, there is still the possibility of another tweak or two in a few weeks’ time if it fails.

Over at TV5, ‘Juan Direction’ will now be seen every weeknights, beginning June 23. ‘Juan Direction’ will replace ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, which airs its final episode tonight. In addition, teasers for the second season of ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ began to air, with its season premiere yet to be determined.

And finally, ‘JasMine’ will now be seen four hours earlier on Sundays. The already unpredictable series, which returned following the stalking incident that halted taping of the second episode two weeks earlier, will now air right before the PBA games.

With that, good luck to both stations in their programming schedules this weekend.

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The Trouble With Last Saturday’s TV Programming

Last Saturday on television was memorable for both the right and wrong reasons. There was a PBA doubleheader, a double-overtime NBA thriller, a boxing event, and a dance contest featuring elementary school students. It also witnessed a pair of programming changes, and a slew of programs that ran way behind schedule.

On this article, the focus of attention will be on the programming problems that plagued the ‘Big 3’ networks last Saturday. Here is how I looked at the programming that took place last March 22, and how they need to be rectified.

ABS-CBN

The Oklahoma City-Toronto NBA game lasted until the second overtime, and as a result ‘It’s Showtime’ began later than usual, at around 12:45-1:00 p.m. The highlight of the variety show was the grand finals of the ‘Stars on 45’ talent contest, where Haydee Manosca emerged the winner. ‘It’s Showtime’ lasted until 4:00 p.m., affecting other programs’ start times for the remainder of ABS-CBN’s operating day.

Perhaps the Kapamilya network’s Saturday schedule would have served better if ‘It’s Showtime’ airs from 12:30-3:30, making it a three-hour program similar to the Saturday edition of its competitor ‘Eat Bulaga’. In addition, the airing of ‘Saturday Specials: Shake, Rattle and Roll’ is unnecessary, and should be removed in favor of making ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’ into a pair of hour-long programs.

GMA

‘Eat Bulaga’ took place at Resorts World Manila, where the grand finals of ‘Junior Pinoy Henyo”s cheerdancing competition was held. However, it was the broadcast of another movie on the ‘GMA Blockbusters’ block following ‘Laban ng Lahi’, and the transfer of ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ which affected its programming for the remainder of the day. Poor German Moreno and his ‘Walang Tulugan’ variety show.

To keep Kuya Germs and his loyal viewers happy and awake, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ should be restricted to just one movie or event rather than the unnecessary two. That way, the succeeding programs can be aired at a more comfortable timeslot.

TV5

Gone are the AksyonTV simulcasts of the PBA, and as a result, TV5 was compelled to air every PBA game for the rest of the season. The first Saturday doubleheader aired on the network was not without any complications, however. ‘Aksyon Weekend’ was slotted in between the doubleheader, much to the dismay of the league owners, while the programs that followed the PBA aired later than usual, with the live broadcast of ‘SpinNation’ taking place at a rather unfavorable time of 11:20 p.m.

The only Saturday program that was affected by the change was ‘Juan Direction, which now air on Sunday nights. It would have been better, however, if ‘Kaya’ was included in the move, since that particular program became expendable with the increase of PBA airtime. In addition, ‘Aksyon Weekend’ should be aired after the PBA games are finished.

March 22, 2014 should be remembered as one of the most infamous dates in Philippine television. The programming last Saturday proved to be excruciating and frustrating for the viewers, mostly due to some programs that aired way beyond their usual start times. Unless the executives make some more favorable changes in their respective networks’ programming, things will only get worse from here.

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By Popular Demand, More PBA Games on TV5

TV5 will now air at least seven live PBA games per week with the addition of a Monday playdate and the second game of a Saturday doubleheader.

After the highly successful broadcast of the Philippine Cup playoffs, the PBA and TV5 have agreed to make some changes to the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup schedule beginning today.

Mondays will now be a regular part of the PBA schedule, with a special Tuesday playdate scheduled for March 25. Previously the Monday and Tuesday playdates were utilized only when necessary and during the playoffs. But with the PBA already running behind schedule, and with preparation time a must for the Gilas players, the addition of a Monday playdate is an absolute necessity for the league to devote to the national cause.

In addition, TV5 will now air both doubleheaders on Saturdays, as opposed to only one during the Philippine Cup and early in the Commissioner’s Cup. As a result, TV5 will now have at least seven live games per week as opposed to only five in the original setup.

But while the Kapatid network will broadcast two games live on weekends, the original weekday format will remain the same, with only the second game airing live at 8:00 p.m., and the first game airing ‘via satellite’ at 11:10 p.m. AksyonTV will still carry all the games live.

Thanks to the addition of a second Saturday game, TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ schedule will now be as follows:

Saturdays

2:45 – PBA first game

4:45 – Aksyon Weekend

5:15 – PBA second game

7:15 – Tropa Mo Ko Unli

8:15 – Celebrity Dance Battle

9:15 – Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman

10:15 – Kaya

11:15 – SpinNation

Sundays

3:00 – PBA doubleheader

7:15 – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

8:15 – Wow Mali Pa Rin

9:15 – Sunday Sineplex

10:45 – Juan Direction

11:15 – Pilipinas News

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup will be taking a break from April 3-6 to give way to the All-Star Game, which is expected to bring back the PBA All-Stars vs. Gilas format of the previous year. The single-round nine-game eliminations will end on April 20.

 

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Martinez Documentary, New ‘Kaya’ on TV5 and Other News

The Olympic journey of Michael Christian Martinez will be featured in the documentary ‘Hero on Ice’ tonight on TV5.

Tonight after ‘Aksyon Weekend’, TV5 will air a special 30-minute documentary called ‘Hero on Ice’. The documentary will focus on Michael Christian Martinez’s life, career, and journey that took him from the small SM rinks to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Along the way, viewers will be treated to an all-access look at Martinez’s trip to Sochi and his preparations for the event. Interviews with family and friends, as well as highlights of his Winter Olympics ice skating routines will also be featured.

As a bonus treat to viewers, the documentary will also look back at Martinez’s triumphant homecoming, followed by the press conference and a skating exhibition at the Mall of Asia rink. ‘Hero on Ice’ is hosted by Chiqui Roa-Puno, and will pre-empt ‘Magic Gimik Revealed’ in its timeslot.

Also on TV5, the documentary series ‘Kaya’ returns with a brand new episode, after giving way to ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ last week. In this episode entitled ‘Tindog’, DJ Sta. Ana will take a look at the rebuilding of Tacloban following its destruction from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). The series airs after ‘Juan Direction’.

With regards to ‘SpinNation’ which is currently airing on repeats, the second season premiere of the program is currently being delayed by Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s taping schedule for her upcoming self-titled suspense/drama series ‘JasMINE’. The series is scheduled to begin this March 25 at 8 p.m., and will also star the likes of Alwyn Uytingco, Matt Padilla, and Vin Abrenica. Along with the weeknight comedy/drama series ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, the two series will highlight another busy month for the Kapatid network, which will also include the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and the US NCAA March Madness.

Speaking of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the conference begins on March 5, a week after the end of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. But contrary to what Commissioner Chito Salud had assured, and despite the recent high ratings of the recently concluded Philippine Cup playoffs, the airing schedule from the Philippine Cup eliminations will continue in the upcoming conference, with only the second game of the weekday doubleheaders, first game of Saturday doubleheaders, and both games of Sunday doubleheaders airing live on TV5. However all of the games will be shown live on AksyonTV.

And finally, the US NCAA March Madness will begin in mid-March, and like the preceding Winter Olympics, coverage of the games will be shared by TV5, AksyonTV, Hyper and Cignal HD. With that, good luck to TV5 and its affiliate stations on a busy month to come.

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The ‘New’ AksyonTV in 2014

The entry of ‘Juan Direction’ to AksyonTV virtually changed the landscape of the all-news network arm of TV5.

When AksyonTV decided to cease its 24-hour broadcast last December, there were hints that the network will revamp its programming and improve its reach. And as 2014 got underway, viewers were treated to a ‘different’ AksyonTV than in years past.

Gone were AksyonTV original programs ‘Cocktales’, ‘Wasak’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Dokumentado’, ‘Dong Puno de Kalibre’, and ‘Presinto 5’. The cancellation of these programs had an adverse effect on TV5. With the exception of the PBA replays, TV5 has been signing off after ‘Reaksyon’ on weeknights; their sign-off comes in much earlier than that of the government station PTV-4 and former blocktimer IBC-13.

As a result, the ‘new’ AksyonTV now features TV5 original programs, AKTV carryovers such as the PBA, NCAA and boxing events, Radyo5 simulcasts, newscasts such as ‘Aksyon’, ‘Pilipinas News’ and ‘Andar ng mga Balita’, and several remaining AksyonTV original programs. But perhaps the most radical example of the ‘new’ AksyonTV was ‘Juan Direction’, which is currently part of TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ slate of entertainment programs.

Despite claiming to be a ‘documentary-reality’, ‘Juan Direction’ is mostly entertainment-based, which is not what AksyonTV is. The fact that it airs on TV5’s entertainment block still bothers me. Would it be good to see a quintet of muscular Fil-Brits, all of which have showbiz potential, enjoy a trip around the country on an all-news network? I don’t think so, unless you watch GMA News TV and their movie blocks.

This year is an adjustment period for AksyonTV, as signal improvements, programming changes and the move to the Media Center in Mandaluyong are in progress. But without its core public affairs programs, the transition period of the network may be tougher than anyone can imagine.

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