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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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‘Confessions of a Torpe’ Rerun a Mere Stopgap for TV5

From December 8 onwards, ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ was re-aired on TV5 during weekday primetime. (Photo credit: TV5)

Season 2 of ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’ is now in the books, and TV5 was expected to make a worthy replacement.

Instead, ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ was re-aired anew, much to the disappointment of loyal Kapatid viewers.

From December 8 onwards, the rerun of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ took over the 9:30 p.m. slot, which is not a good place for a re-airing program in the primetime slot. Considering the amount of pressure and scrutiny surrounding it, TV5’s decision to place a re-run on primetime rather than daytime proved to be a risky decision.

In fact, it would have been better for TV5 to air a new, or better yet, a long-overdue drama series in order to keep their loyal viewers interested. Remember their shelved projects ‘The Gift’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’?

Yes, both programs have been planned by TV5 since Noel Lorenzana took over. And yet, for reasons unknown, production of both programs were halted for the time being.

The long-term postponement of ‘The Gift’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’ proved to be a public relations disaster for TV5. With the announcement of new and returning programs on its 2015 agenda, Lorenzana and company now hope that the mistakes which befallen ‘The Gift’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’ will never happen again.

Going back to ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, TV5’s intentions were clear. Rather than quickly debuting a new program, they decided to make a stopgap move with this series, all in hopes of starting 2015 with a bang.

That said, they were left with no options but to re-air ‘Confessions’, whether it’s for their own good or not.

Now viewers must hope that TV5 begins 2015 with something different. Otherwise, they would be stuck with the same old product all over again (save for their habit of airing Tagalized foreign movies, of course).

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TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ Revisited

‘Wow Mali’, now under the ‘Lakas ng Tama’ tagline, is one of three ‘Weekend Do It Better’ programs on TV5 that are still on the air today. (Title card courtesy of TV5)

It’s been over a year since TV5 decided to change the network’s programming approach.

Under the leadership of president Noel Lorenzana, the Kapatid network overhauled its programming lineup in a way that it would favor a younger and a more active audience. These initiatives resulted in the ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’ and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ blocks.

The first of these blocks debuted in September of last year. The first block, ‘Weekend Do It Better’, initially consisted of the following programs:

  1. ‘Showbiz Police’
  2. ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’
  3. ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’
  4. ‘What’s Up Doods?’
  5. ‘Pinoy Explorer’
  6. ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
  7. ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’
  8. ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’

Of the eight, only ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ (now ‘Tropa Mo Ko Nice Di Ba’), ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ (now ‘Wow Mali Lakas ng Tama’) remain on the air. The three shows were the only ‘Weekend Do It Better’ stalwarts to survive TV5’s most recent transformation, that of the ‘Happy Ka Dito’ era, and their success and viewer loyalty were a testament to that.

On the other hand, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were cancelled just before the end of last year due to low viewership numbers. Then in the first half of this year, ‘Showbiz Police’, ‘Pinoy Explorer’ and ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’ were also cancelled, with the first two having moved to new timeslots in the middle of their run.

The ‘Weekend Do It Better’ title would be deemphasized by February 2014, but in the minds of the Kapatid network, it was only the beginning of further experimentation and constant rebuilding. New programs would be unveiled within the next few months, with the hope of making TV5’s weekend lineup even more formidable.

Today, the experiment continues, but for TV5, ‘Weekend Do It Better’ marked the start of bigger and brighter things for the still-No. 3 network, one that would carry them for the next few years.

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TV5’s First New Shows of 2014

TV5’s ‘Obsession’ follows the same blueprint used in ‘Positive’, this time tackling the issue of cosmetic surgery.

Next week on ‘Everyday All the Way’, TV5 will unveil a new weekly drama series in ‘Obsession’. Like ‘Positive’, ‘Obsession’ will tackle issues concerning the health of the human body. This time, the series divulges into the world of cosmetic surgery, where the main character obsessed with her former lover assumes a new post-surgical identity. The series will be headlined by Bianca King, Neri Naig, Marvin Agustin and Martin Escudero, and will replace ‘For Love or Money’ at the 8:00 p.m. slot.

Cycle 2 of ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ will also be seen on TV5. The Asian adaptation of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ will have a pair of Filipinos in Jodilly Pendra and Katarina Rodriguez compete against 14 other aspiring models in hopes of becoming the next top model. The series airs starting tonight replacing ‘Positive’ at 9:00 p.m.

In addition, TV5 has also unveiled a mix of new and returning programs that will be seen over the next few months. Returnees include ‘Talentadong Pinoy’ (albeit without original host Ryan Agoncillo), ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’, and ‘The Million Peso Money Drop’. Upcoming titles will include ‘For All the Boys’, ‘My Pirated Family’, ‘Minamahal’, ‘The Baker King’, ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Jasmine’, ‘One Boy’, ‘Beki Boxer’, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’. Details of the new shows should arrive once the teasers are revealed.

And even as TV5 unveiled new programs, some existing ones had to go. Both ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were presumably cancelled by management for ‘not living up to expectations’. And there is also the uncharacteristically early sign-offs on nights without PBA games, after AksyonTV original programs like ‘Cocktales’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Wasak’ and ‘Chef vs. Mom’ were cancelled. Simply put, the management handled by Noel Lorenzana and Wilma Galvante have a long way to go before stabilizing the network’s programming.

Nevertheless, both ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Obsession’ should give TV5 something to look forward to this year. They may still be in the experimental stage, but with the way viewers have responded, it appears that this experiment is headed in the right direction.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, which enjoyed a slow start before rebounding with a respectable fourth quarter.

The Positives

After it was suspended for a good part of last year because of the you-know-what, T3: Reload rebounded in 2013 with a more toned-down approach, yet maintaining the same ol’ nastiness that the Tulfo brothers constantly address to the bullies and anomalous officials. This year also saw Radyo5 welcome Ben Tulfo and his ‘Bitag sa Radyo’ program after its departure from UNTV, in the process uniting the three brothers on the same umbrella, with Erwin also co-anchoring ‘Punto Asintado’ with Martin Andanar and Raffy hosting ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ with Nina Taduran.

In September, TV5 hired Noel Lorenzana in an effort to overhaul its programming. The end result were three program blocks: ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’, and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’. This alternative programming approach would bear fruit by the end of the year, as several of its programs finished among the Top 15 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. In addition, the network’s willingness to reach out to a younger audience also paid dividends, as programs such as ‘SpinNation’ were among the top trending topics on Twitter.

TV5 also scored big in its sports coverage, with the recent airings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals, and the Gilas Pilipinas games at the FIBA Asia Championship earning high viewership figures. And to cap off a resurgent finish to the year, TV5 officially christened the new TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City.

The Negatives

Under Perci Intalan, TV5 tried to compete against more established powers GMA and ABS-CBN. However, it only resulted in revenue losses. None of TV5’s own teleseryes (‘Kidlat‘, ‘Undercover’, ‘Cassandra: Warrior Angel’, ‘Misibis Bay’, ‘Enchanted Garden‘, ‘Never Say Goodbye’) even made noise in the teleserye wars, and programs such as ‘Jeepney Jackpot’, ‘Kanta Pilipinas‘, ‘Alabang Housewives’ and ‘Boracay Bodies’ were critical failures.

But perhaps the most crucial reason behind the reformat was ‘Wowowillie‘. The noontime show, a symbol of the Intalan era, finally left the airwaves in October after three years, numerous controversies and massive losses. Host Willie Revillame would ‘retire’ shortly afterwards. In addition, TV5 originals ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy‘ were also cancelled; its hosts Amy Perez and Ryan Agoncillo would secure new contracts with ABS-CBN and GMA respectively after departing.

TV5 also encountered numerous problems with its sports coverage. In May, they cut block-time ties with IBC-13, but were urged to stay until the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations. As a result the NCAA was forced to air its nightly games on AksyonTV; the long-delayed finals was aired on TV5 in the early afternoon. And to cap off, many PBA fans were angered when TV5 decided to air only the ‘marquee’ games of the ongoing Philippine Cup live during weeknights and Saturdays, leaving the signal-deficient AksyonTV to air the rest.

Outlook

The motto for TV5 this 2014 should be ‘There’s nowhere to go but up’. With Noel Lorenzana spearheading the rebuilding project, TV5 will continue its commitment to programs that are favorable to younger and socially active citizens. And as they open the TV5 Media Center, it appears that things are on the upswing.

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Leila de Lima’s Announcement and Subsequent TV Coverage

It only took around 45 minutes, but Department of Justice secretary Leila de Lima swiftly announced the filing of plunder, malversation of public funds, bribery, and graft and corruption charges against Pork Barrel mastermind Janet Napoles, senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and 34 others. Seconds after the charges were filed, media reporters rush in to grab documents of the said cases.

Even before the announcement was made, Senator Enrile had been rushed to the hospital after complaining of difficulty in urinating. It was also reported that once the charges against him were announced, he immediately proclaimed his innocence. Let’s face it, Enrile is an ailing 89-year old man, and accusing him of plunder at his advanced age is not what I want to see. The accusations against him would only hasten his already failing health, and may lead to his eventual death.

Senator Estrada had been accused of plunder before, when he and his father, former President and Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, were both charged relating to the Jose Velarde scandal twelve years earlier. Senator Revilla had also been involved in prior legal cases, both during his acting and ongoing political career. While both denied the accusations, Senator Estrada has said he is prepared to face the charges, while Senator Revilla said that the people should not judge him and his co-accusers this early in their ordeal.

In terms of television coverage, all of the major networks aired the live press conference of de Lima’s announcement. While GMA News TV, DZMM Teleradyo and the ABS-CBN News Channel were able to carry the live press conference, TV5 was forced to carry the announcement as sister station AksyonTV carried the live NCAA games. TV5’s live coverage of the announcement affected their programming; their ‘Sine Ko Singko’ program was delayed for several minutes, while another rerun of ‘Face to Face’ significantly cut the airtime allotted for the public service program ‘T3: Reload’. The Tulfo brothers’ program was reduced to 10 minutes rather than the standard 30, and time constraints prevented any complainants from voicing some of their complaints on national TV. If I were News5 head Luchi Cruz-Valdes, I would tell TV5 president Noel Lorenzana to stop airing reruns of ‘Face to Face’ and instead replace it with any of News5’s public affairs programs, or the live simulcast of Radyo5 92.3 News FM‘s ‘Cristy FerMinute’, because it is becoming too annoying.

Meanwhile, the trial for the plunder case against Napoles and 37 other co-conspirators will be announced soon, and is expected to be carried live by all of the major networks.

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