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FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the ‘Batang Gilas’ in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’. TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs that were cancelled in his first full year in charge include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the Kapatid network introduced ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage, much to the dismay of the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But perhaps the biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’ failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

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TV5 Continues its Rebuild

The painful rebuilding process continues for TV5, in an effort to earn a sizable audience.

Over half a year ago, TV5 established its ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’, and ‘Everyday All the Way’ blocks. However, as the calendar flipped to 2014, these programming blocks were deemphasized and it appears TV5 is not satisfied with how they turned out.

Through the first four months, TV5 gradually brought in new programs as part of its continuous restructuring process, which also included a relocation away from its old Novaliches headquarters in favor of the newly-opened TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. The adjustment to a new location was difficult though, as the staff attempted to learn new digital-based methods in producing its programs.

In the news department came in Saturday night public affairs series ‘Kaya’ and ‘Yaman ng Bayan’, and the Thursday night program ‘Bigtime’. On the other hand, ‘Good Morning Club’ once again claimed its position as the only morning news program with a running time of under two hours, when management decided to cancel the ‘Good Morning Girls’ and ‘Good Morning MamuTin’ segments (which were taped as opposed to live broadcast on other programs), and renamed ‘GMC’ as ‘Good Morning Ser’.

In terms of entertainment, TV5 replaced ‘Madam Chairman’ with ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, while introducing another ‘tawaserye’ in ‘Beki Boxer’. On the other side of the spectrum, ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ essentially replaced ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, though the latter program remained on air until April, when it was finally cancelled in favor of the sitcom ‘One of the Boys’.

And finally, TV5 partially satisfied basketball fans by airing live PBA games almost every day in primetime, including an increase of Saturday broadcasts to two games. But with the network’s broadcast of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics (and potentially the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) a few months away, it is expected that more adjustments will be made in terms of accommodating the network’s sports coverage.

That said, TV5 should not stand pat and continue improving its lineup for the long term. It is a difficult and painful process, but when done right, the network’s fortunes should pay off.

Now what to do with AksyonTV? The question will be answered in another article.

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Coming Soon: Confessions of a Torpe, Plus Other TV5 Updates

Both Ogie Alcasid and Alice Dixson will be part of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, slated to launch this March 3.

Last October, TV5 decided to distinguish themselves from its competitors by airing a more light-hearted primetime comedy and drama series ‘Madam Chairman’. This March, the Kapatid network is set to introduce a similarly-themed series as a worthy follow-up.

Enter ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, a series topbilled by Ogie Alcasid, Bayani Agbayani, Gelli de Belen, Wendell Ramos, Plita Corrales, Alice Dixson, Jojo Alejar, Albie Casino, and Mark Neumann. This will be Alcasid’s first weeknight primetime series as a Kapatid; his intended first series ‘The Gift’ was shelved for the time being. Alcasid, de Belen and Ramos are also part of the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, while Neumann and Dixson recently starred in the Studio5 original ‘Lady Next Door’. ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ debuts this March 3.

The departure of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ enabled News5 to fill the 10:30 slot with a pair of documentaries. First aired was ‘Kaya’, hosted by News5 executives Patrick Paez and Luchi Cruz-Valdes. The two-parter, aired last February 8 and 15, tackled issues such as stem cell treatment and the impending worldwide disaster that may affect the Earth. Tonight, another documentary called ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ will focus on the country’s natural resources and the responsibility that comes through it. The documentary will be hosted by Interaksyon.com editor-in-chief Roby Alampay.

And on the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block, ‘Bigtime’ will take over the slot vacated by ‘Dayo’. Aired every Thursday before ‘Pilipinas News’ and hosted by Twink Macaraig, ‘Bigtime’ will focus on various individuals as they share their hard work and triumph, as well as secrets to their success.

Meanwhile, starting February 24, ‘Aksyon’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ will now be broadcast inside a newly-built virtual studio at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. In addition, the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be aired Monday midnight on TV5 and its affiliates. And finally, the U.S. NCAA March Madness is coming to TV5 this March, with further details coming in future articles.

It has been said that the only way TV5 can be relevant today is when they introduce alternatives to already established norms in television viewership. So far, it has paid off despite committing several missteps. And with more alternative programs coming in the succeeding weeks, expect TV5 to expand its effort in bringing a different kind of programming to more knowledgeable viewers.

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TV5’s Busy February

TV5’s February highlight will be the historic first broadcast of the Winter Olympics, which will be held at Sochi, Russia this month.

The month of February will be TV5’s busiest month so far. And it does not include the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup playoffs and other current programs.

Yesterday morning, the Super Bowl was aired on the Kapatid network. The championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, along with the halftime performance of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, were a social media hit during and after the event. The game was carried by TV5 and sister stations AksyonTV and Hyper, and was also shown on PLDT’s Home Fibr TVolution subscription service.

TV5 will also present the Studio5 Original Movies this month. For its first offering tonight, Alice Dixson and Mark Neumann will join forces in ‘Lady Next Door’. Afterwards, the tandem ‘Guy and Pip’ (Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III) will reunite on the shortie ‘When I Fall in Love’, followed by Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Daniel Matsunaga in ‘The Replacement Bride’, before finishing the mini-series with ‘Bawat Sandali’, featuring an all-star cast consisting of Derek Ramsey, Angel Aquino, Yul Servo, Mylene Dizon, and Philip Salvador. Studio5 Original Movies air on each Tuesday of the month after ‘Madam Chairman’.

TV5 will also make history by airing the Winter Olympics for the first time. This year’s event will be in Sochi, Russia, and will attract over 2,500 athletes, including the lone Philippine representative in figure skater Michael Christian Martinez. The event will be held from February 8 to 24 (Manila time), and will be seen on TV5 and sister stations AksyonTV and Hyper. In addition, PLDT’s broadband internet service will bring extended coverage to the event.

TV5’s other major sports event for the month will be the ‘Ronda Pilipinas’. The event began last February 1, and highlights of the race will be seen on a daily basis until February 16. And finally, the NCAA volleyball tournament reaches its conclusion this week with the airing of the finals of the men’s and women’s event.

This is definitely one hectic month for TV5 management. Now if they can start sorting out the mess that is the programming schedules, then the viewers will be happy and interested.

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Honesto Debuts, The Gift Still Uncertain, NBA Season Begins

ABS-CBN will have a new teleserye debuting tonight. The drama series ‘Honesto’ focuses on a child named Honesto, whose recurring nasal allergies were a result of telling lies to others. The lead character’s willingness to remain honest and truthful amid the lies and conflicts surrounding his friends and family will be the main theme of the series, which airs tonight after ‘TV Patrol‘.

‘Honesto’ will be topbilled by young child actor Raikko Mateo, and playing supporting roles are Paulo Avelino, Maricar Reyes, Eddie Garcia, Janice de Belen, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Angel Aquino, Nonie Buencamino, Joel Torre, Joseph Marco and Melissa Ricks. The series replaces the highly-rated Coco Martin starrer ‘Juan Dela Cruz’ which ended last Friday.

Meanwhile, the airing date of TV5’s ‘The Gift’ is still being determined. The series was supposed to start last October 14, but due to the then-ongoing PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, it was rescheduled for a future air date. The shelving of ‘The Gift’ forced the reshuffling of the network’s ‘Everyday All the Way’ primetime lineup, with ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ airing at 7:00 p.m. followed by ‘Madam Chairman’ at 7:30 p.m. As of today TV5 management have yet to make an announcement regarding ‘The Gift’.

And for basketball fans in the Philippines, the 2013-14 NBA season gets underway this Wednesday morning. The Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers square off to begin the NBA season at 7:00 a.m. on Basketball TV. Over at Studio 23, the defending champion Miami Heat will raise their banner and begin their quest for a third straight title against the returning Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls at 8:00 a.m. And at BTV, the Hallway Series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers concludes opening night at 10:40 a.m. Both the Heat-Bulls and Clippers-Lakers matchups will also be aired live on NBA Premium TV.

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TV5’s New Programs for October (Part II)

TV5 recently unveiled new weeknight programs to be aired starting tomorrow. In Part I, I discussed the news programs under the Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon block, along with changes on ‘Good Morning Club’. For Part II, I will discuss the programs under the ‘Everyday All the Way’ block.

At 4:30 p.m., ‘Face the People’ tries to solve personal problems and conflicts with the help of the audience. The program replaces ‘Face to Face‘ and will be hosted by Gelli de Belen and Tintin Bersola-Babao. After ‘T3: Reload‘ and ‘Aksyon‘, TV5 continues ‘Everyday All the Way’ with ‘Madam Chairman’, a dramatic comedy teleserye starring Sharon Cuneta as a barangay chairman/loving mother and wife struggling to cope up with both politics and family life.

Originally ‘The Gift’ was scheduled to debut tomorrow, but is rescheduled after the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. Starring Ogie Alcasid and Joshen Bernardo, the teleserye tells the story of a musician who adopted an orphaned son of his lover. The game show ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ is a local franchise of ‘Let’s Ask America‘, and host Aga Muhlach challenges homeviewers to win P500,000 by answering various question using only laptops, tablets or other mobile devices. The game show was supposed to air at 8:00 p.m., but due to the postponement of ‘The Gift’, it was moved to 7:00 p.m. bumping ‘Madam Chairman’ to the 7:30 p.m. slot.

TV5’s ‘Sine Ko Singko’ movies will continue to air at 8:30 p.m., but on Thursdays, it will give way to a pair of weekly miniseries. ‘Positive’ stars Martin Escudero as a call center agent infected by the HIV virus, and whose life will revolve around tracing the person who infected him. It will be followed by ‘For Love or Money’. The series, starring Derek Ramsay, Ritz Azul and Alice Dixson, will be a story about a decision-changing move involving both wealth and relationships.

In only two months TV5 has made a pair of game-changing moves that catered to a younger and more educative audience. Weekend Do It Better proved to be a hit, and now the Kapatid Network will try to do the same with the ‘Karunungan, Balita, Opinyon’ (KBO) block and the ‘Everyday All the Way’ block.

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