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FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

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 ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

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Controversial PBB Season to End Sunday; StarStruck to Revive Anew

Good news for the critics of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’, by far ranked as one of the most controversial seasons in the history of the series, will end its run by crowning a grand winner at this Sunday’s ‘Big Night’ inside Resorts World Manila. Prior to the event, however, there will be another eviction night on Saturday to determine the final four contestants, that is if Big Brother can make yet another twist.

As of August 21, only five contestants remain inside the Big Brother house. They are: Jane Oineza, Loisa Andalo, Maris Racal, Vickie Rushton, and Daniel Matsunaga.

All of the remaining contestants, save for Matsunaga, were part of the original cast of housemates that were introduced on April 27. Meanwhile, Matsunaga only entered as a housemate on May 17.

The latest season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will always be remembered for some of these moments:

1. Netizens’ cries of ‘scripted’ amid the selection of celebrities for ‘All In’

2. The Jayme Jalandoni nude painting task that drew the ire of the MTRCB and various women’s groups

3. Fifth Pagotan’s bisexual revelation

4. Alex Gonzaga’s journey from host to housemate and then to houseguest

5. Nichole Baranda’s controversial ‘middle finger’ photo

6. Overrealiance on houseguests (e.g. ex-housemates Robi Domingo, John Prats) for ratings purposes

7. Cess Visitacion’s forced eviction for numerous violations

Overall, the latest season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ has controversy written all over it. Still, except more shocking twists and turns as ‘All In’ wraps up this Sunday.

Meanwhile…

GMA Plans Another Season of StarStruck

‘StarStruck’, long considered to be ‘dead’ thanks to the emergence of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, is currently being revived by GMA Network for a sixth season.

The reality talent search series was last seen in 2010,  when the group of Sarah Lahbati, Rocco Nacino and Sef Cadayona led the way. However, that proved to be ‘StarStruck”s last season to date, as ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ and other reality shows on ABS-CBN began to gain headway over GMA’s later reality programs.

Then in August of this year, teasers for ‘StarStruck’ began to air on the network during commercials, featuring the phrase ‘DBS AGAIN’. Clearly, they are referring to ‘StarStruck”s slogan which is ‘Dream, Believe, Survive’.

Anyone who grew sick and tired of ‘Pinoy Big Brother”s antics and twists will look forward to ‘StarStruck”s return. After all, they were the original reality artista search on Philippine television. Not even PBB can attest to ‘StarStruck”s reputation in building future stars.

‘StarStruck’ is definitely a great first step in restoring the reputation of the GMA Artist Center, which has been severely rocked by numerous rumors and controversies. But first, they must restructure GMAAC’s management in order to make it run efficiently, otherwise the upcoming season of ‘StarStruck’ will be a total joke.

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