entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Thoughts on Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show

A filler show to end all filler shows.

With the 2018 remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ set to air right before ‘TV Patrol’ starting this Monday (more on that later this week), ABS-CBN decided to fill the void with a transitional show on the timeslot normally occupied by its Asianovelas. And this is no ordinary show.

Back in April, ABS-CBN announced a worldwide audition tour called ‘Star Hunt: The Kapamilya Grand Auditions’. The tour began in Manila on the weekend of April 20, after which the network hosted further auditions in both the Philippines and abroad.

Their purpose is to find aspirants that will become part of various ABS-CBN talent and reality shows. Examples include ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, ‘I Can See Your Voice’, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, ‘Dance Kids’, ‘Little Big Shots’, ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and the soon-to-be-launched ‘World of Dance Philippines’.

Beginning Monday, ABS-CBN will air highlights from these auditions as part of ‘Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show’. Hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ alums Kim Chiu, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga and Melai Cantiveros, the program will take a look at some of the aspirants and their backstories.

This is perhaps a mere short-term solution for ABS-CBN. After all, there are high hopes surrounding the remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ that airing the Asianovela on its normal afternoon timeslot may hinder its viewership due to the ‘TV Patrol’ regional newscasts in the provinces.

Not wanting to risk a loss of viewers, ABS-CBN decided to place ‘Meteor Garden’ on the leadoff slot of Primetime Bida. This leads to ‘Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show’ taking over the regular Asianovela timeslot of Kapamilya Gold.

Honestly, it makes perfect sense for ABS-CBN to produce a filler show on a timeslot where not all areas will receive it. With regional versions of ‘TV Patrol’ being plugged into this timeslot, ABS-CBN realized that a filler show like ‘Star Hunt’ will be much better than, let’s say a teleserye, because ratings are of no concern to the program and it only serves as a stopgap.

With that, good luck to ABS-CBN for this temporary endeavor. Regardless of how it performed, the most important part is that it served its purpose.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

ABS-CBN Regional Cancels Agri Tayo Dito, MagTV Na

Not even the largest regional television network group in the Philippines is spared from the inevitable.

Just recently, ABS-CBN Regional announced the cancellation of its two weekend morning programs ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’. The former, which was hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ winner Ruben Gonzaga, had been on the air for six years, while the latter, starring various hosts in different regional networks, had been running for a decade.

Both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ earned Anak TV citations for being child-friendly programs. They also won several KBP Golden Dove and UPLB Gandingan Awards among other accomplishments.

No reason was given behind the cancellation of both programs. However, it is likely that ABS-CBN Regional pulled the plug for cost-cutting purposes, given the need to improve and strengthen all of its regional outlets and bring it to a high definition-ready standard of its Metro Manila flagship.

It is also possible that ABS-CBN Regional will not field in a replacement for both shows due to these aforementioned reasons. Instead, they are expected to show ‘Kapamilya Swak na Swak’ and ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ direct from Metro Manila.

The cancellation of ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ came months after the shutdown of the ABS-CBN Regional Channel last January. It is clear that ABS-CBN Regional is eyeing toward the future, and considering that its stations are still not up to par with Metro Manila’s, they had no choice but to cut some operating expenses.

The fate of the shows’ hosts and staff will also come into play. Given their loyal service to ABS-CBN, they could either be given an honorable discharge or a new role within the company.

Still, it remains to be seen what plans will ABS-CBN Regional bring to the table next. But for the Kapamilya viewers in the provinces, both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ will be sorely missed.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show

Lip-Sync Battle Philippines Return, But on a New Day and Timeslot

This is not an April Fools’ joke.

Nearly two years after its original run ended, GMA announced the return of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ to the small screen. This time, however, the program will be aired on a different day and timeslot.

The third season premiere of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ will take place later tonight, replacing ‘All-Star Videoke’ whose 28-episode run ended last Sunday. Like in the first two seasons, the show will be hosted by Michael V and Iya Villania-Arellano.

In case you missed the general format of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, click this highlighted link for more information. But like all reality, talent and game shows, expect some new twists and turns in the program’s format come its third season.

Seasons 1 and 2 of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ were aired from February 27 to August 27, 2016 on GMA’s Sabado Star Power block. However, the program failed to make an impact in the ratings, losing to the likes of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

It also didn’t help that concerns regarding Michael V’s overexposure on television affected the performance of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’. This was because the program’s entire first season and part of the second was aired after ‘Pepito Manaloto’, another one of Bitoy’s long-running shows.

Good thing GMA addressed this concern and placed ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ to an early Sunday night slot. The bad news, however, is that it will have to contend once more with the highly popular ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ which is currently on its sixth season.

Notwithstanding these concerns, it is still great to see ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ grace the small screen once again. The third season may have been delayed due to Iya’s maternity break, but for viewers who tuned in to the show every week the first time around, it should be worth the wait.

‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ airs every Sunday after ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA.

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action, anime, dance show, drama, entertainment, fantasy, game show, live events, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talent show, talk show, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

GMA Tries Again with Bossing & Ai + The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

‘Never stop trying!’

It has been the motto for GMA these past several years. The odds have not always been great for the network, but give them credit for continuing to compete despite these insurmountable obstacles.

Remember the time when ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ was so unbeatable that GMA had no choice but to stop competing against it? For years, the ABS-CBN late-night variety show proved to be GMA’s Achilles heel, and each time GMA tried to answer with a show of their own, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ always shoves them out of the door.

But it seems like ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ has seen better days of late due to the presence of ABS-CBN’s reality and talent shows (e.g. ‘Pinoy Big Brother’). Sensing that the show’s ratings is on a downward trend, GMA decided to create a new show in ‘Bossing & Ai’ in an attempt to finally bring down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ from its perch.

‘Bossing & Ai’ premiered last night and is a game show starring Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas as leaders of two groups of contestants. They are joined by Jose Manalo, Tart Carlos and game master Oyo Sotto.

In essence, ‘Bossing & Ai”s competition with ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ is an extension of the ‘Eat Bulaga’-‘It’s Showtime’ rivalry, of which Vic Sotto and Vice Ganda are the respective hosts. Still, it remains to be seen if ‘Bossing & Ai’ will live up to its promise of taking down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ for good.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’, the d’Explorer sisters of ‘Kalyeserye’ will have a talk show of their own. Beginning today at 11:30 a.m., Jose Manalo (as Lola Tinidora), Paolo Ballesteros (as Lola Tidora) and Wally Bayola (as Lola Nidora) will host ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

The new talk show will replace ‘TROPS’, the coming-of-age drama series starring ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘BAES’ (Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia). ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will mark TAPE’s first venture into the talk show genre since ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ from 2013-15.

But unlike ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be pre-taped as Jose, Paolo and Wally also serve as on-location hosts of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment. This means there will be no live transition from one show to the next.

‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ would have been a perfect show to compete against the ABS-CBN morning talk show ‘Magandang Buhay’, especially now that GMA’s slate of animes are declining in popularity. Instead, the talk show will be placed as part of TAPE’s mandated 11:30-2:30 p.m. block and will go up against ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Whether or not ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be a factor in the game remains to be seen. But as far as GMA, M-ZET and TAPE are concerned, there’s nothing wrong about continuing to try despite the odds.

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anime, entertainment, Japan, Philippines, television

GMA’s Astig Authority a Sinking Ship Thanks to Magandang Buhay

How the mighty have fallen.

The past few days have not been kind to GMA’s Astig Authority block, and it showed in the recent ratings posted by the more ‘national’ Kantar firm. As seen in these figures below, it is clear that the block has lost the interest of the public while rival ‘Magandang Buhay’ is beginning to gain momentum with each passing episode.

February 27, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.1%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.9%) / Pokemon Xy (6.7%) / Bleach (7.3%)

March 6, 2017

Magandang Buhay (7.5%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.9%) / Pokemon Xy (6.7%) / Bleach (7.1%)

March 13, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.2%) vs. Ghost Fighter (6.3%) / Pokemon Xy (6.9%) / Bleach (7.5%)

March 14, 2017

Magandang Buhay (8.3%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.8%) / Pokemon Xy (6.5%) / Bleach (6.9%)

March 15, 2017

Magandang Buhay (7.8%) vs. Ghost Fighter (5.7%) /  Pokemon Xy (6.9%) / Bleach (6.7%)

So what is the common denominator in these five episodes? Basically ‘Magandang Buhay”s guests came from ABS-CBN’s three top-rated shows in ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and the recently concluded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and the constant top-notch performances of the three shows carried over to the former.

On the other hand, anime’s declining interest on free-to-air television is hitting Astig Authority hard. The fact that Filipino anime fans are moving over to cable and internet for their anime needs, not to mention GMA’s constant overreliance on old anime, is something that the network has yet to realize at this point.

One can only look at ABS-CBN’s controversial decision to cease airing anime in June of last year. The only difference here is that ABS-CBN has the digital TV channel Yey! and the cable channel Hero to back them up, whereas GMA doesn’t have the benefit of sister cable channels to constantly commit to a variety of anime.

Speaking of relying too much on reruns, GMA just announced that a long-awaited Filipino redub of ‘Voltes V’ (voiced by young GMA stars) will hit the airwaves next Monday. This should only make things worse for Astig Authority, as the classic Japanese mecha anime has been re-aired multiple times since 1977.

That said, unless GMA plans a new programming strategy, the slumping fortunes of Astig Authority may continue to last for a longer period. For a network once proud of bringing successful anime titles to the Filipino mainstream, this is unacceptable to say the least.

In the end, GMA must accept reality and move on, because airing anime on free TV is no longer a thing at this point (unless you’re TV5 and you’re willing to bring new animes with it). No offense, but the time is now for GMA to have something else to offer every weekday morning.

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