drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Tadhana: Another GMA Public Affairs’ Intervention to Entertainment

Another drama anthology will hit GMA screens this Saturday afternoon.

This time, the focus of this up-and-coming series will be on the lives of OFWs whose trials and tribulations abroad are well-documented. Their struggles to fit in another country and bring a better life to both country and family will be told every week on ‘Tadhana’, presented by Marian Rivera.

As is customary to all drama anthologies, celebrity guests will portray a particular subject(s) week after week. For the premiere of ‘Tadhana’, Kris Bernal will portray Elvie, a former Saudi Arabia-based OFW who was constantly abused by her employer, played by Ms. Cherie Gil.

Unsurprisingly, GMA Public Affairs will be responsible for the production of ‘Tadhana’. Considering their recent dabbing into non-news programming, this bit of news should once again add insult to injury to Lilybeth Rasonable and GMA’s Entertainment group.

So what challenge awaits ‘Tadhana’? For starters, this drama should pose another obstacle to ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ and ‘SOCO’ when it comes to performance.

Not only that, GMA also hopes to see a carry-over in ratings from ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to ‘Tadhana’. With the former enjoying impressive ratings since its extension to Saturdays, the network now banks on the latter to maintain the momentum, something that ‘Karelasyon’ was not able to do.

However, expect a lot of alienation from more traditional viewers who view ‘Tadhana’ as another cowardly attempt by GMA Entertainment to get bailed out by the news division. It’s a shame, since Rasonable and company have done nothing right to salvage whatever pride they have left.

If this is indeed a production of GMA Public Affairs, ‘Tadhana’ should have been a docu-drama instead, with one of GMA News’ reporters presenting the show plus reenactments from various no-name actors and interviews from the subject involved. That said, their decision to use Marian Rivera and bring to life a story by using Kapuso actors leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth.

For now, the verdict is on ‘Tadhana’ to defy all prognosticators. Come this Saturday, this show should experience a baptism of fire.

‘Tadhana’ airs every Saturday after ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ on GMA.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, Sports, television

GMA Is NOT The True No. 1 Station As Rasonable and Cruz Claim

The braintrust running GMA are at it again.

In an article published by the network last week, GMA executives Lilybeth Rasonable and Angela Cruz claimed that GMA is the No. 1 network and that AGB Nielsen is the more trusted ratings provider, based on the 77% mark that the network attained in the latest NUTAM and Urban Luzon ratings. While that was a good reason to cheer, ratings is not the only measuring stick towards becoming a top network.

As harsh as it sounds, GMA is nowhere close to what ABS-CBN has done. For several years, GMA is plagued by a variety of issues, most which have been thoroughly discussed to on this blog.

To summarize, here are the concerns that have frustrated the Kapuso network.

Lack of Quality Talents

Talents, in this case, are the actors and hosts of various GMA programs. This is already self-explanatory, as Rasonable has had trouble overseeing the development and utilization of GMA’s roster of talents.

Labor Woes

Following the concerns that its employees were illegally dismissed, the National Labor Relations Commission has no choice but to force GMA to pay sums of money to them. The well-documented struggle of TAG (Talents Associated with GMA) only added to GMA’s poor reputation, and the NLRC’s decision serves to give them justice.

Streamlining of Operations

Despite GMA’s claims of over P2 billion in revenue, cash within the network remains few and far between. Right now, GMA is streamlining its operations, which started by closing most of their regional operations.

Unwise Usage of Funds

The shortage of cash only got worse when GMA began to produce a new installment of ‘Encantadia’. They would have been smart enough by saving some of the money for more important things, such as HD, digital broadcasts, and the improvement of the much-maligned GMA News TV.

A New Investor

CEO Felipe Gozon has already expressed his intention to sell some of his shares to prospective investors. However, the GMA executive should have done this a long time ago, and considering the ongoing issues that GMA faced, that may be too late to resuscitate the network.

These are just some of the concerns that plague GMA in recent years. Overall, despite the so-called proclamation that GMA is the true No. 1 network, they can never be the real No. 1 unless they fix these long-standing issues.

That said, the onus is on Rasonable and other executives to justify GMA’s No. 1 billing through a network-wide rebuilding program. Because as it stands, GMA is not even close to fit the bill as the Philippines’ best network.

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entertainment, live events, Philippines, television

A Look Back at the First and Only GMA Artist Center Ball

Remember the first and only time GMA held the Artist Center Ball?

On November 8, 2011, the GMA Artist Center staged its own ball at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati. A majority of Artist Center talents attended the event, each of whom showed up in their most elaborate attire.

The GMA Artist Center Ball was presented in response to the growing glamor of ABS-CBN’s Star Magic Ball. At the time it was held, the Star Magic Ball had been staged five times since its inception in 2007.

The theme of the 2011 event was about the launching of the short-lived Profiles magazine. It was supposed to be GMA’s answer to the annual Star Magic catalogue magazine, but it only had one catalogue before it was shut down that same year.

Unfortunately, the 2011 Artist Center Ball marked the last such event for the network. Lack of funds, declining television ratings and programming concerns were too much for GMA to handle, and they have not produced a ball since.

On the contrary, ABS-CBN’s Star Magic Ball continues to put on a show for all of its talents. In fact, the tenth edition of the ball will take place tomorrow night, which should only add insult to injury for GMA’s Artist Center and even to Entertainment department head Lilybeth Rasonable.

Five years after the last Artist Center Ball, there are still questions of what might have been. Regardless of the unfortunate circumstances, Kapuso faithful can only hope for the best, as GMA tries to make sense of their ongoing dilemmas.

For those who may have forgotten the last GMA Artist Center Ball, Pep.ph has some interesting photo galleries to show for. Click the following links and look back at a time when Kapuso stars used to show up in their glamorous dresses and suits for this occasion.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Not-so Happy Ending for Juan Happy Love Story

Tomorrow night will be the end of a tale for ‘Juan Happy Love Story’.

The GMA Telebabad series, starring Heart Evangelista, Dennis Trillo and Kim Domingo, will air its finale September 2. It will mark the last of the comedy-infused teleseryes that GMA produced in the last several months, as it will revert back to a more serious tone on ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’.

‘Juan Happy Love Story’ first premiered on May 16, replacing another comedy-infused drama in ‘Because of You’. The series failed to captivate viewers from the start, as it lost to the Kim Chiu and Xian Lim-starred ‘The Story of Us’ on a consistent basis.

Things did not improve for ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ once ‘Born for You’ entered the picture. The latter series, which starred former Kapuso star Elmo Magalona and rising ABS-CBN talent Janella Salvador, scored victory after victory over their more veteran counterparts in the national ratings.

Overall, ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ will have aired for 80 episodes, a norm for GMA dramas these days. Still, despite the decent amount of episodes produced, it was clear that GMA failed to win back their viewers by using a more comedic approach to their teleseryes.

It also did not help that GMA cast a pair of veterans in Dennis Trillo and Heart Evangelista to star in ‘Juan Happy Love Story’. And to make matters worse, GMA did not actively promote the series (via upcoming episode trailers) after the second week, as was the norm in more recent teleseryes.

That said, the flaws in GMA’s talent development, storytelling and programming promotion are once again on display. The Kapuso network’s lack of improvement in these aspects have been a constant issue for Lilybeth Rasonable, and it continued with this series.

Come this Friday, a ‘happy ending’ may be in store for ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ story-wise, but not in terms of performance. Nothing will be expected here, just relief that this comedy-styled approach will mercifully end tomorrow night.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Mid-Morning Problems Continue with Kapuso Movie Festival

GMA is bringing back ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ as they continue to figure out the problems that plague them every weekday morning. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Poor ratings have characterized GMA’s mid-morning lineup.

After an impressive showing for the network’s Astig Authority block (some of which are often reaired), the drop-off in ratings becomes noticeable once they move into a different set of programs. This has been a perennial problem for the network since Lilybeth Rasonable took over, and they have tried everything just to shake the mid-morning slate up.

There was the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block, which was their obvious answer to ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. Then came Heart of Asia Mornings, a block that contains new light-hearted Koreanovelas.

They even attempted to air talk shows (e.g. ‘Basta Every Day Happy’, ‘Yan ang Morning) and local dramas (e.g. ‘With a Smile’). Unfortunately, all of these attempts failed miserably.

Now they are going back to airing movies via the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block. Not to mention a rerun of an old QTV program called ‘H20: Just Add Water’, which will be obviously dubbed in Filipino unlike its original airing on Channel 11.

Let’s face it, there is no way GMA can beat ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ with their own movie block. Their portfolio of new movies to air is running low, and to make matters worse, GMA Films has only a few titles to choose from, which is basically 1/8th to 1/16th of what rival Star Cinema has produced lately.

If GMA were smart enough to admit that they can no longer beat ABS-CBN after 9:00 a.m., perhaps the time has come to welcome a TV shopping block of their own choosing. Whether or not it is Shop Japan, EZ Shop or even Shop TV, it doesn’t matter, as long as they fill in GMA’s programming hours every morning.

They could also welcome blocktimers who can produce their own programs. While they already have established blocktimers in TAPE, Inc. (‘Calle Siete’, ‘Eat Bulaga’) and APT Entertainment (‘Sunday PinaSaya’), they might as well need another for non-entertainment purposes, such as lifestyle shows or documentaries.

Still, it is up to GMA management to decide the fate of the mid-morning slot. They need to think twice about giving up this venture.

Otherwise, they will be stuck with this hashtag: #KMFMForever, which translates to Kapuso Movie Festival Mornings Forever.

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