entertainment, fantasy, Japan, Korea, Philippines, suspense, television

A Halloween Special: GMA’s Dark, Cruel, and Twisted Weekends

Call it one scary Halloween this year for the folks at GMA.

For much of 2014, GMA has been airing not one, but two horror series every weekend. Anyone who became a fan of both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ must have their hairs raised from all that fear.

Both series have one thing in common: they air nothing but Far Eastern (particularly Korean and Japanese) horror flicks. In addition, both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ occupy the mid-afternoon slots.

These two series were symbolic of how bad GMA’s programming has been through the past several years. Both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ were considered inferior efforts on the part of GMA to stay relevant on weekends, and had no answers to rival ABS-CBN’s programs.

There was a time when GMA used to rule the weekends. Those who grew up in the ‘glory days’ of the network must have heard of shows like ‘Kakabakaba’ and ‘Wag Kukurap’, two locally-produced shows that once helped GMA win the ratings war against its ABS-CBN counterparts like ‘Oka Tokat’ and ‘Nginiig’.

That was then. Now, it looks like the ghosts of programs’ past are beginning to haunt them.

Case in point: the movie-infested daytime slot (e.g. ‘GMA Blockbusters’) on Sundays. Why? Because they are too repetitive and are overly dubbed in the Filipino language, in the process scaring away viewers at every turn.

For GMA executives, the fear of being upstaged by an archrival is real. Whereas before they had the ability to counter and outdo what ABS-CBN is doing, now it seems like they are hiding away from it.

As Halloween approaches, the mood inside the Timog headquarters appear dark and frightening. And for those who know all too well about GMA’s programming every weekends, there is always a reason to feel scared.

Announcement: From the Tube will take a break from October 31 to November 3, in observance of Halloween and All Saints’ Day. The U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 songs for November 8 will posted on November 4.

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entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA’s Weekend Nightmares Continue

I have been saying this over and over again: GMA’s weekend programming lineup is the most uncertain of them all. In a prior article, I wrote about how GMA failed to outdraw ABS-CBN on Sundays with shows such as Party Pilipinas, TeenGen, Showbiz Central and HOT TV, all of which were cancelled due to declining viewership figures, and I have also written about how cluttered their programming schedules are on weekends. And now GMA is trying shake things up again in hopes of reversing their weekend fortunes.

GMA’s main slate of Saturday programs are fully loaded from Eat Bulaga to Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman. So why did they add another public service program to the mix? As announced in the teaser below, the upcoming public service program will be entitled ‘Bingit’, which is basically a program featuring stories of survival and inspiration. The said program’s timeslot remains uncertain, though I think the program will be placed either near Wish Ko Lang, or Tunay na Buhay. The problem with the addition of this program is that it will bump other GMA programs in its stead, so the only way they can fix that is to remove the all-martial arts block ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ off the lineup in order to accompany the new program. Worse, Alisto failed in its Saturday timeslot, so what more will ‘Bingit’ bring against either ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ or ‘Failon Ngayon’?

As previously mentioned, GMA’s Sunday lineup is a total wreck, so much so that they have four movie blocks aired on Sundays (Kapuso Movie Festival, Kapuso Blockbusters, Sunday Night Box Office). The Kapuso Blockbusters segment basically filled the programming vacated by TeenGen and HOT TV. However, the network finally decided to fill in the blanks and replace one of the Kapuso Blockbusters with a Sunday suspense series called ‘Dormitoryo’, which is basically their answer to ABS-CBN’s teen-oriented comedy program ‘Luv U‘. Ok, so they’re trying to revive ‘Oka Tokat’ on a Sunday, but is this the right move? Not so, unless they gain a needed fanbase.

Once again GMA is pulling out all the stops in hopes of improving their viewership on weekends. Unfortunately, with the continuous addition of what I think are mediocre products, GMA’s fortunes regarding their ratings will only get worse.

Meanwhile, the list of other upcoming programs by the Kapuso network can be viewed below.

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