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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 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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