anime, entertainment, Korea, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, television, variety show

Heart of Asia, Astig Authority Reduced As Part of GMA’s New Programming Lineup

‘Wowowin”s new timeslot and extended running is part of another revamp of GMA’s lineup. (Logo courtesy of Wil Productions Inc., GMA Network)

Yesterday marked yet another change in GMA’s programming.

Once again, the Kapuso network brought back ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ (airing weekdays at 9:00 a.m.) in hopes of competing with ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. To accommodate the said movie block, the duration of the Astig Authority and Heart of Asia Mornings blocks were reduced to 90 and 60 minutes respectively.

The impressive ratings of ‘Wowowin’, though still not enough to beat ‘Pasion de Amor’ nationally, also led to a timeslot change. As a result, ‘Wowowin”s start time was pushed to 5:00 p.m., and its running time was extended for another 30 minutes; this enabled the show to compete against ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ as well.

Consequentially, the extension of ‘Wowowin’ likewise led to a timeslot change for the programs that once occupied the 5:00 p.m. slot. In what has become a ‘you lead and I follow’ scenario, GMA moved its News and Public Affairs block back to late nights, two months after ABS-CBN’s own News and Current Affairs block returned to the said timeslot.

Unlike ABS-CBN’s current affairs block, however, GMA’s so-called ‘Pampamulat sa Gabi’ block only airs from Mondays to Thursdays (thank you ‘Bubble Gang’), and will comprise of these programs. They are ‘Front Row’ (Mondays), ‘Alisto’ (Tuesdays), ‘Tunay na Buhay’ (Wednesdays), and ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ (Thursdays).

Speaking of Mondays to Thursdays, the Heart of Asia Mornings block (‘You’re the Best’, ‘Carmina’) was also reduced to make way for a pair of refugees from the 5:00 p.m. slot. Both ‘Dream Home’ (formerly ‘Power House’) and ‘Love Hotline’ were moved to Friday mornings, and will take over the timeslot of the former block on that day.

By all indications, this is another desperate attempt by GMA to keep up with rival ABS-CBN. Considering that the latter network continues to dominate virtually every timeslot in the ratings, GMA’s answers don’t seem to matter at this point.

Now they need to be patient with this new approach. Otherwise another revamp is in store for the Kapuso network.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

GMA Tries Something New with Dear Uge

A comedy version of ‘Magpakailanman’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ is about to unfold.

On Sunday, GMA will launch ‘Dear Uge’, said to be the first-ever comedy anthology series on Philippine television. The program will be hosted by Eugene Domingo, with Divine Grace Aucina as her sidekick.

In ‘Dear Uge’, Eugene will play the role of Urbana Genoveva Esperanza (or Uge), a sari-sari store owner and host and narrator of her own web show, also titled ‘Dear Uge’. Her character is an obvious parody of both Mel Tiangco and Charo Santos-Concio, hosts of ‘Magpakailanman’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ respectively.

Aside from hosting the program, Eugene will also make cameo appearances in each episode. The stories featured on ‘Dear Uge’ will be different every week, but the premise of making people laugh will always be a major emphasis.

‘Dear Uge’ will take over the timeslot of ‘Wowowin’ (with ‘GMA Blockbusters’ taking over on an interim basis), who recently found a new home on weeknights. Considering how unpredictable the early Sunday afternoon slots are of late, ‘Dear Uge’ should expect a tough challenge early on.

Still, curiosity over the program’s new approach should help its viewership. That said, ‘Dear Uge’ is a must-watch for those who want something different and funny for a change.

‘Dear Uge’ airs every Sunday after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on GMA.

Breaking News: Speaking of ‘Wowowin’, GMA has announced that due to insistent public demand, the show will now air at 5:00 p.m., thus adding 30 minutes to its airtime. The News and Public Affairs block (‘Alisto’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ and ‘Love Hotline’) will likely be moved after ‘Saksi’.

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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA Afternoon Prime Revamps Schedule

The newly-premiered GMA series ‘Destiny Rose’ is one of three teleseryes whose running times were extended as part of Afternoon Prime’s revamped schedule. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network/Destiny Rose Official Facebook)

GMA’s Afternoon Prime block is now down to four programs.

In an attempt to curb the declining ratings of the block, GMA decided to shrink the amount of programs that Afternoon Prime normally airs. The victim of this revamp is the Koreanovelas; following the conclusion of ‘Birth of a Beauty’, GMA decided not to air a Koreanovela in the afternoon, leaving Afternoon Prime with just four programs.

The four programs are:

  • The Half-Sisters
  • Buena Familia
  • Destiny Rose (new show)
  • News and Public Affairs block (Alisto, Tunay na Buhay, Power House, Reporters’ Notebook, Love Hotline)

This means that GMA will now extend the running times of the three teleseryes by 5-10 minutes. So expect ‘The Half-Sisters’, ‘Buena Familia’ and newcomer ‘Destiny Rose’ to air for nearly an hour each, which is uncharacteristic for a teleserye.

As for the News and Public Affairs block, the new schedule puts them out of position. Instead of going head-to-head with their ABS-CBN counterparts, they will now go up against ‘Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal’, which is a definite mismatch based on the latter’s recent string of ratings success.

Overall, this is not a good scheduling idea for GMA in the long run. Since the three teleseryes run for nearly an hour, there will be issues of more frequent commercial breaks and unexpected cliffhangers, something that would make these teleseryes tough and mentally draining to watch even for the more die-hard viewers.

Not even the viewership of ‘Eat Bulaga’ will help either. Despite the show’s recent success with the AlDub phenomenon, the momentum built up during ‘Eat Bulaga’ gradually falls after the show ends, due to various factors.

That said, the reduction of the number of programs in the afternoon is of no use for GMA. Dragging these programs for an extended period may mean disaster for this once-formidable programming block.

Now it’s up to ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold to take advantage. GMA’s loss is now ABS-CBN’s gain.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

‘Full House’ Returns and Other Changes on Afternoon Prime

‘Si Mama Bear, si Papa Bear, si Baby Bear!’ One of the most iconic phrases in Asianovela lore is back.

GMA announced that the Koreanovela ‘Full House’ will be re-aired on Afternoon Prime. The series, which made Korean singer Rain a full-fledged superstar in his home country, was one of the Kapuso network’s most popular and recognizable Koreanovelas.

First aired in 2005 on GMA Telebabad, ‘Full House’ became an instant success, at a time when GMA was dominating primetime television. The popularity of the original ‘Full House’ led to several more re-runs in the morning, and eventually a Filipino adaptation in 2009, starring Heart Evangelista and Richard Gutierrez.

The return of ‘Full House’ is just one of several changes that will take place on Afternoon Prime beginning today.

In response to ABS-CBN’s tweaking of ‘Kapamilya Gold’, GMA decided to counter with their own revision of Afternoon Prime. Both ‘The Half-Sisters’ and ‘Dading’ will retain their old timeslots, but that is it.

‘May Queen’, the Koreanovela starring Han Ji Hye, will now be seen at 4:05 p.m. The series replaced ‘Jewel in the Palace’ as the closing program on ‘Afternoon Prime’ early in September, but it did not fare well against ‘Pretty Man’ ratings-wise.

Now up against ‘Ana Manuela’, GMA hopes that ‘May Queen’ will enjoy an even better performance against a telenovela whose ratings have constantly fluctuated since its debut.

Also moving to a new timeslot is the News and Public Affairs block, consisting of ‘Alisto’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporters’ Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The block will again compete with ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs block (‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’, ‘Red Alert’), which had moved to a later timeslot since late August.

And finally, ‘Full House’ will be assigned as the closing program on Afternoon Prime. The re-run of ‘Full House’ will take on ‘Pretty Man’ in its timeslot.

The response that GMA made to ABS-CBN was swift and stirring. Now the question is, will Afternoon Prime take advantage of their revised schedule? Let’s see what happens this week on both networks.

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country, documentaries, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, talk show, television

GMA Reformats Afternoon Prime with the Addition of Public Affairs Programs

Starting with ‘Alisto’ last May 26, GMA’s Public Affairs programs began to air on the teleserye-dominated ‘Afternoon Prime’ block.

Nearly two years ago, ABS-CBN decided to place their news and current affairs programs (a.k.a. ‘Pinoy True Stories’) in the afternoon slot. Soon after, they placed ‘Banana Nite’ in an earlier timeslot following their late-night telecast ‘Bandila’. At the time, I derided their decision to place ‘Banana Nite’ following their news program, simply because ABS-CBN’s late night public affairs programs do not measure up to the standards set by GMA’s award-winning counterparts.

As time wore on, however, the Kapamilya network’s decision appears to have paid off. ‘Pinoy True Stories’, which today consists of ‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ and ‘Red Alert’, enjoyed ratings of 10% or better, mainly due to higher viewership in the afternoon compared to the late night hours. In addition, the equally high ratings of ABS-CBN’s teleseryes are also helping the program’s cause.

The success of ‘Pinoy True Stories’ prompted GMA to make their own changes in the ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, something I first envisioned in an article back in December. The end result is a reformatted ‘Afternoon Prime’ that now includes five public affairs programs: ‘Alisto!’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The newly-reassigned programs started airing last May 26, beginning with ‘Alisto!’.

On Mondays, ‘Alisto!’, hosted by Arnold Clavio, tackles various crimes, natural disasters, man-made accidents, and other life-threatening incidents. On Tuesdays, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos, features famous individuals and their real life stories. Then on Wednesdays, ‘Power House’, hosted by Kara David, documents the lives of powerful people by showcasing their properties and their prized possessions while talking about their normal lives.

On Thursdays, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, hosted by Jiggy Manicad and Maki Pulido, investigates a wide variety of stories that affect the Filipino society. And on Fridays, ‘Love Hotline’, hosted by Jean Garcia, spotlights individuals in the need of love advice.

GMA’s afternoon public affairs programs should give viewers a welcome break from the tear-jerking drama series of years past. But more importantly, it should help these programs gain some much-needed exposure from a bigger audience, considering the likes of ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ were regular winners in various international award-giving bodies.

It remains to be seen whether or not these programs will help GMA return to form in the afternoons. But for now, this is a good decision for GMA to bring them out of late nights and into the viewer-rich afternoon slot.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Reformatting GMA’s Afternoon Prime

Award-winning documentary programs such as ‘I-Witness’ will greatly benefit from the move to GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’.

Desperate times need desperate measures. And for GMA, it’s all about trying to reverse an ongoing ratings slide.

Already suffering from a decline in viewership in the Telebabad slot, the Kapuso network’s fortunes in the afternoon slot took a turn for the worse after ABS-CBN‘s post-‘Showtime’ afternoon ratings improved, largely due to the success of programs such as ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’,  ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’, ‘Pinoy True Stories‘, and ‘Princess Hours‘. As a result, GMA responded with their own movie block in ‘GMA Blockbusters’, which like its ABS-CBN counterpart, will feature more recent films from the GMA Films library.

But is the movie block really the answer for their ratings slide? As far as I’m concerned, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ is not the solution to the network’s problems. In fact, it would have been better if they moved their award-winning documentary programs out of the midnight slot. Why? Because the awards that shows like ‘I-Witness‘ earned would be worthless if no one is watching. By placing them into the afternoon slot it will help them attract more viewers, in the same way that ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy True Stories’ accomplished a few months earlier.

Aside from the GMA documentary programs, I also liked to see ‘Love Hotline’ move from GMA News TV to the mother network. ‘Love Hotline’, a love advice program hosted by Jean Garcia, has been airing on weeknights since it debuted last October, opposite the main networks’ newscasts. Moving ‘Love Hotline’ to GMA’s afternoon slot will greatly benefit the program, as it will now go head-to-head against TV5’s ‘Face the People’ on the same timeslot.

With that, here is what I think should be the best lineup for GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’:

2:30 p.m. – Villa Quintana

3:20 p.m. – Magkano Ba ang Pag-Ibig

4:10 p.m. – I-Witness/Reporter’s Notebook/Born to Be Wild/Alisto/Out of Control

5:00 p.m. – Love Hotline

With ABS-CBN pushing the right buttons for the past few years, perhaps it is time for GMA to do the same. And shuffling its afternoon slot should help.

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