news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Another Revamp for ABS-CBN’s NCA Programs

If there is one department that ABS-CBN needs to improve, it’s the News and Current Affairs department.

Starting this week, the NCA afternoon block, formerly known as ‘Pinoy True Stories’, will have a new look. Four new programs will make their debut on the newly-revamped block, with only ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ retained from the previous group.

The new programs are:

Mission Possible

Hosted by Julius Babao, ‘Mission Possible’ will showcase inspiring stories from struggling individuals, no matter the circumstances. At the end of the program, a surprise gift will await the featured person.

‘Mission Possible’ airs every Monday.

3 in 1

Hosted by Karen Davila, K Brosas and Atty. Claire Castro, ‘3 in 1’ will discuss a wide variety of topics, from news to general interest stories. The talk show will be seen live every week.

‘3 in 1’ airs every Tuesday.

RealiTV: Mga Bidyong Nakakabilib

Hosted by Atom Araullo, ‘RealiTV: Mga Bidyong Nakakabilib’ will feature death-defying home videos from various parts of the world. Warning: this program is not for the faint of heart.

‘RealiTV: Mga Bidyong Nakakabilib’ airs every Wednesday.

Sports U

Hosted by Dyan Castillejo, ‘Sports U’ will profile the lives of Filipino athletes from various sports. The program will be a spinoff to the long-running ‘Sports Unlimited’.

‘Sports U’ airs every Thursday.

The four programs will replace ‘Bistado’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’ and ‘Red Alert’. It is the third such revamp on the NCA block since it moved to the afternoon slot nearly three years earlier.

This latest turnover clearly shows the lack of consistency within ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs department. While news programs such as ‘TV Patrol’ made the said department one of the most credible, it is their public affairs programs that still need some work, both in terms of storytelling and longevity.

For the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, establishing these attributes begin with these four new programs and ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’. If GMA proved that with their award-winning public affairs programs, so can ABS-CBN, and it all starts now.

The ABS-CBN NCA block airs weekdays after ‘Fated to Love You’ on Kapamilya Gold, available only on select areas nationwide.

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country, documentaries, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, talk show, television

GMA Reformats Afternoon Prime with the Addition of Public Affairs Programs

Starting with ‘Alisto’ last May 26, GMA’s Public Affairs programs began to air on the teleserye-dominated ‘Afternoon Prime’ block.

Nearly two years ago, ABS-CBN decided to place their news and current affairs programs (a.k.a. ‘Pinoy True Stories’) in the afternoon slot. Soon after, they placed ‘Banana Nite’ in an earlier timeslot following their late-night telecast ‘Bandila’. At the time, I derided their decision to place ‘Banana Nite’ following their news program, simply because ABS-CBN’s late night public affairs programs do not measure up to the standards set by GMA’s award-winning counterparts.

As time wore on, however, the Kapamilya network’s decision appears to have paid off. ‘Pinoy True Stories’, which today consists of ‘Bistado’, ‘Mutya ng Masa’, ‘My Puhunan’, ‘Tapatan ni Tunying’ and ‘Red Alert’, enjoyed ratings of 10% or better, mainly due to higher viewership in the afternoon compared to the late night hours. In addition, the equally high ratings of ABS-CBN’s teleseryes are also helping the program’s cause.

The success of ‘Pinoy True Stories’ prompted GMA to make their own changes in the ‘Afternoon Prime’ block, something I first envisioned in an article back in December. The end result is a reformatted ‘Afternoon Prime’ that now includes five public affairs programs: ‘Alisto!’, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, ‘Power House’, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, and ‘Love Hotline’. The newly-reassigned programs started airing last May 26, beginning with ‘Alisto!’.

On Mondays, ‘Alisto!’, hosted by Arnold Clavio, tackles various crimes, natural disasters, man-made accidents, and other life-threatening incidents. On Tuesdays, ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos, features famous individuals and their real life stories. Then on Wednesdays, ‘Power House’, hosted by Kara David, documents the lives of powerful people by showcasing their properties and their prized possessions while talking about their normal lives.

On Thursdays, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’, hosted by Jiggy Manicad and Maki Pulido, investigates a wide variety of stories that affect the Filipino society. And on Fridays, ‘Love Hotline’, hosted by Jean Garcia, spotlights individuals in the need of love advice.

GMA’s afternoon public affairs programs should give viewers a welcome break from the tear-jerking drama series of years past. But more importantly, it should help these programs gain some much-needed exposure from a bigger audience, considering the likes of ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ were regular winners in various international award-giving bodies.

It remains to be seen whether or not these programs will help GMA return to form in the afternoons. But for now, this is a good decision for GMA to bring them out of late nights and into the viewer-rich afternoon slot.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

‘Banana Nite’ Absent from ABS-CBN Last Night

The popular ‘Ihaw Na’ skit featuring Jayson Gainza in a parody of Boy Abunda did not air as ‘Banana Nite’ was ‘replaced’ by ‘O Shopping’.

It was around 11:15 p.m., and ABS-CBN was about to wrap up their late night newscast ‘Bandila’. I was expecting to see ‘Banana Nite’ go on-air. But instead something else happened on the Kapamilya network.

Last night the spinoff to the popular gag show ‘Banana Split’ did not air as expected, and was replaced by the ‘O Shopping’ infomercials. ABS-CBN did not specify the reason as to why ‘Banana Nite’ was replaced by ‘O Shopping’ in its timeslot.

The reported absence of ‘Banana Nite’ coincided with rival GMA welcoming the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ to its fold. Jojo Alejar’s show runs back-to-back with ‘The Tim Yap Show’ every late night, though because of GMA’s public affairs programs, they were not able to air opposite the timeslot that ‘Banana Nite’ typically occupies. In addition, its absence also came at a not-so opportune time; female cast members Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco and Jef Gaitan were featured in FHM Philippines’ January 2014 issue.

Apparently, despite rave reviews on the skit ‘Ihaw Na’ starring Jayson Gainza in a parody of ‘Bandila’ anchor Boy Abunda, ‘Banana Nite’ has not been faring well in the ratings, although it has nothing to do with its timeslot. Let’s face it, ABS-CBN did a great job moving their current affairs programs (now ‘Pinoy True Stories’) to the late afternoon slot. And while GMA’s public affairs programs have been beating ‘Banana Nite’ in its timeslot, when compared to ‘Pinoy True Stories’, the numbers favor the latter.

‘Banana Nite’ was a wonderful experiment for ABS-CBN with regards to late night entertainment. Unfortunately, its unscheduled absence remains a mystery.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Reformatting GMA’s Afternoon Prime

Award-winning documentary programs such as ‘I-Witness’ will greatly benefit from the move to GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’.

Desperate times need desperate measures. And for GMA, it’s all about trying to reverse an ongoing ratings slide.

Already suffering from a decline in viewership in the Telebabad slot, the Kapuso network’s fortunes in the afternoon slot took a turn for the worse after ABS-CBN‘s post-‘Showtime’ afternoon ratings improved, largely due to the success of programs such as ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’,  ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’, ‘Pinoy True Stories‘, and ‘Princess Hours‘. As a result, GMA responded with their own movie block in ‘GMA Blockbusters’, which like its ABS-CBN counterpart, will feature more recent films from the GMA Films library.

But is the movie block really the answer for their ratings slide? As far as I’m concerned, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ is not the solution to the network’s problems. In fact, it would have been better if they moved their award-winning documentary programs out of the midnight slot. Why? Because the awards that shows like ‘I-Witness‘ earned would be worthless if no one is watching. By placing them into the afternoon slot it will help them attract more viewers, in the same way that ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy True Stories’ accomplished a few months earlier.

Aside from the GMA documentary programs, I also liked to see ‘Love Hotline’ move from GMA News TV to the mother network. ‘Love Hotline’, a love advice program hosted by Jean Garcia, has been airing on weeknights since it debuted last October, opposite the main networks’ newscasts. Moving ‘Love Hotline’ to GMA’s afternoon slot will greatly benefit the program, as it will now go head-to-head against TV5’s ‘Face the People’ on the same timeslot.

With that, here is what I think should be the best lineup for GMA’s ‘Afternoon Prime’:

2:30 p.m. – Villa Quintana

3:20 p.m. – Magkano Ba ang Pag-Ibig

4:10 p.m. – I-Witness/Reporter’s Notebook/Born to Be Wild/Alisto/Out of Control

5:00 p.m. – Love Hotline

With ABS-CBN pushing the right buttons for the past few years, perhaps it is time for GMA to do the same. And shuffling its afternoon slot should help.

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