entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Case Solved Adds to GMA’s Saturday Afternoon Madness

It is safe to say that GMA’s Saturday afternoon lineup is an absolute mess.

Since ‘Startalk’ left the airwaves nearly two years ago, three successor shows have tried to fill the void that the former left. Unfortunately, neither ‘CelebriTV’, ‘Laff Camera Action’ nor ‘#Like’ were able to make an impact.

To make matters worse, the block now features three shows that appear indistinguishable from one another. ‘Karelasyon’, ‘Wish Ko Lang’ and ‘Imbestigador’ may be different shows in name, but their formats are way too similar to each other, especially now that the latter two employ greater amounts of dramatization than before.

Now add a fourth show with a similar premise. Starting this Saturday, GMA will introduce the docu-drama series ‘Case Solved’, to be hosted by Dingdong Dantes.

Here is an excerpt from the GMA Network Public Relations Department:

Case Solved features sensational and controversial real-life cases ranging from nonaggressive to violent circumstance derived from Philippines’ Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) handled by the country’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), judicial agencies like the Department of Justice (DOJ), Supreme Court and Bureau of Corrections. More than presenting how the crime is committed, it further explains how the crime is solved.

Hosted by none other than Kapuso Primetime King Dingdong Dantes, this program presents solved cases that will empower and educate the viewers in predicting the probability of a crime before it occurs.

Let’s face it, does GMA need another ‘Imbestigador’ at this point? Because based on the description, ‘Case Solved’ is just another crime-solving program that GMA concocted, even though they already have one in ‘Imbestigador’.

That said, the addition of ‘Case Solved’ does not solve anything as far as their Saturday afternoon lineup goes. The lack of diversity in the block is something that might concern viewers, especially now that ABS-CBN is pulling away in the ratings with ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, ‘SOCO’, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’ and ‘Family Feud’.

A moral victory or disaster awaits ‘Case Solved’. GMA can only hope that the show can defy the odds and at least make their block more interesting than ever.

‘Case Solved’ airs starting this Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, talent show, television

GMA’s Unstable Sabado Star Power Continues

Saturdays have been a source of frustration for GMA.

Once again, the Kapuso network decided to make a change in their Sabado Star Power afternoon lineup. Gone was ‘Laff, Camera, Action’, and in came ‘#Like’, the newest reality talent show hosted by Tom Rodriguez and internet sensation Balang.

‘#Like’ is a talent show featuring online sensations battling against each other in a barangay setting. To the surprise of no one, it is just another concept produced by the GMA Public Affairs team, whose penchant for producing non-news shows becomes more infectious and more criticized than ever.

The premiere of ‘#Like’ took place last September 3, but instead of replacing ‘Laff, Camera, Action’ on its 4:30 timeslot, GMA decided to air the said show after ‘Eat Bulaga’. As a result, this is the how the schedule looks like:

  • 2:30 p.m. – #Like
  • 3:00 p.m. – Karelasyon
  • 4:00 p.m. – Wish Ko Lang
  • 5:00 p.m. – Imbestigador

However, the change did little to improve the ratings. All four of GMA’s post-‘Eat Bulaga’ afternoon programs were on the losing end, with ‘Wish Ko Lang’ the least impressive at 9.4%.

Let’s face it, would’ve been better for ‘#Like’ to go up against ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’ instead of the last half-hour of ‘It’s Showtime’? Probably, given that Marc Logan’s show also features internet sensations and GMA would’ve loved to see that matchup.

Still, GMA had no regrets in making the change once again. However, they would have been better off if ‘Wish Ko Lang’ and ‘Imbestigador’ were to be cancelled, since they are no longer the same programs as they once were.

Meanwhile, another new program premiered last Saturday on the said network. The new show, ‘Superstar Duets’, replaced ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, whose run finally ended after seven months.

Based on the format alone, ‘Superstar Duets’ appears to be the second coming of ‘Celebrity Duets’, except that the celebrities in the show were paired alongside impersonators of foreign singers. The show is currently hosted by Jennylyn Mercado, with Allan K, Aicelle Santos and Christian Bautista serving as judges.

The premiere of ‘Superstar Duets’ didn’t quite impress many, as it earned a 13.2% rating. On the other hand, ‘Pinoy Big Brother Lucky Season 7’ fared much better with a 16.4% rating.

This is going to be a tough battle as far as ‘Superstar Duets’ were concerned. Though it has the potential to run just as long as ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ did, the possibility of winning remains tricky at best.

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entertainment, game show, talent show, television

Laff Camera Action Premiere Fails to Pay Off

There’s nothing to laugh about on GMA these days.

Last Saturday, GMA’s newest comedy game show ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ officially premiered on the network’s Sabado Star Power block. Hosted by Betong and Sheena Halili, the show features two aspiring teams of comedians in a showcase of unscripted and improvisational comedy (sample video from episode 1 below).

A lot was expected on ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’, considering its purpose of putting up-and-coming comedians on the spotlight. Unfortunately, the show’s debut episode failed to impress the entire nation, as it scored a paltry 8.2%.

The initial performance of ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ was similar to the finale of its predecessor ‘CelebriTV’, in which it scored an 8.1% rating. At this point, it’s hard to fathom why the 4:30 p.m. timeslot on Saturdays is a bane for the Kapuso network, and why GMA was not willing to pit ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ with ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’.

Any critical viewer knows that ‘Family Feud”s overreliance on celebrities as its contestants does more harm than good. If GMA were smart and daring enough, they would have placed ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ (whose purpose is different from ‘Family Feud’) opposite the former, in hopes of drawing any disgruntled viewer who doesn’t like ABS-CBN’s ‘un-Kapamilya’ act.

But as it turned out, GMA is not willing to make that possible, all because of ratings. ABS-CBN’s obsessive celebrity approach to game shows continues to pay off no matter the harm it causes, and thus GMA wants nothing to do with this matchup.

With episode 1 behind them, GMA can only hope that ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ will show some semblance of improvement. Given ABS-CBN’s more impressive afternoon and beyond lineup, it will not be an easy task, but with smart promotional strategies, it should pay off.

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, talk show, television

The End of CelebriTV?

Tomorrow afternoon could be the last time ‘CelebriTV’ will ever air on GMA.

The official teaser released today (see below) gave no indication that it will be the final episode for the GMA talk show. But as GMA announced the premiere date and timeslot for ‘Laff, Camera, Action’ (May 28, every Saturday afternoon), it was clear that the network has no choice but to close the curtain on ‘CelebriTV’.

‘CelebriTV’ first premiered on September 19, 2015, with Joey de Leon, Lolit Solis and Ai-ai de las Alas as hosts. It replaced ‘Startalk’, who had been on the air for 20 years but whose ratings were on the decline due to changing preferences in showbiz news reporting.

Originally, ‘CelebriTV’ was tagged as the weekly ‘trend-tertainment news’ and ‘comedy talk show’. Soon after, however, game show elements were added, possibly in an attempt to curb the increasing ratings of ABS-CBN game shows ‘Celebrity Playtime’ and ‘Family Feud’.

It backfired, and ‘CelebriTV’, like the final few years of ‘Startalk’, stumbled in the ratings. Not even a brief timeslot switch with ‘Imbestigador’ helped matters.

Overall, ‘CelebriTV’ will have a total of 35 episodes and eight months to its resume. Considering its performance, it was not bad, but it was not impressive either.

The truth is, showbiz talk shows are no longer viable. ABS-CBN knew what was coming when they finally pulled the plug on ‘The Buzz’ last year, however, GMA insisted that they are still worth watching, which is why they decided to create ‘CelebriTV’ in an attempt to revive its declining appeal.

Unfortunately, it didn’t, and GMA painfully realized it. Now they have no choice but to say goodbye to the format that once infiltrated the airwaves for several decades.

So come this Saturday, sit back, watch and enjoy what could be the curtain call for ‘CelebriTV’. It’s going to be a fun farewell, even if it will not make an impact in the ratings.

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