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The Weekend Shuffle on ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5

The return of ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’ last Sunday left Toni Gonzaga (left) with four programs on the same day. As a result of the over-exposure, Toni’s sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’ was moved to Saturday nights.

Just in time for the homestretch of summer, the ‘Big Three’ networks made noticeable changes in their weekend lineup. But while GMA and TV5 made a few tweaks, ABS-CBN decided to clean house and revamp theirs.

Last Sunday, ‘The Buzz’ made a grand return to ABS-CBN. However, one of the program’s hosts, Toni Gonzaga, had three other shows on Sundays; namely ‘ASAP’, ‘Home Sweetie Home’, and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’.

The addition of ‘The Buzz’ proved to be a case of overexposure for the host, and as a result, ABS-CBN decided to move one of her shows to another day. And ‘Home Sweetie Home’ proved to be the odd one out. However, another of ABS-CBN’s programs needed to move as well.

‘Home Sweetie Home’ was moved to Saturday nights, while ‘Wansapanatym’ was moved to Sunday nights. This is a homecoming of sorts for the latter, as it used to air on Sundays during its initial run in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Meanwhile, instead of facing Michael V’s highly-rated ‘Pepito Manaloto’, ‘Home Sweetie Home’ will now have to compete against Vic Sotto’s ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ in its new timeslot.

On Saturday afternoons, both ‘Failon Ngayon’ and ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ exchanged timeslots, with the former now airing at 4:00 p.m., and the latter at 4:45 p.m. Also in a few weeks’ time, ABS-CBN will bring back the legal drama series ‘Kapag May Katwiran, Ipaglaban Mo!’, which is expected to be placed on the timeslot preceding ‘Failon Ngayon’. And finally, ‘The Voice Kids’ debuted last night, and will air every weekend thereafter.

Over at GMA, the network started to air classic films via the ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’ block. Like the old QTV program ‘Ginintuang Telon’, the movie block showcases films made during the 1950s and 1960s. It was placed in the early Sunday morning slot opposite religious programs such as the live Sunday TV Mass.

Meanwhile, GMA also decided to end its broadcast of Dr. Charles Stanley’s ‘In Touch Ministries’ after a six-year run, effective last April. This leaves ‘Jesus the Healer’ of the Jesus is Lord Movement as the network’s sole religious program on Sundays.

And over at TV5, Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s self-titled drama and suspense program will premiere next Sunday. ‘JasMINE’ is a series that revolves around Curtis and her rise to fame being threatened by a stalker named ‘Mascara’, whose role is to make things miserable for the young actress. The series was supposed to premiere in March, but due to the network’s decision to shorten the ongoing PBA season, its premiere was delayed for three months.

In addition to Curtis, Vin Abrenica, Matt Padilla, Carlo Orosa, Gerard Sison, Marvelous Alejo, Nicole Estrada, Cai Cortez, and Alwyn Uytingco will also play key roles in the series. ‘JasMINE’ the series is scheduled to premiere after ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ this June 1.

To all the parties involved, good luck in trying to keep viewers happy with these programs.

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GMA News TV Needs to Get Rid of the Movies

If there is one thing to describe about GMA News TV, it’s the fact that they earned a reputation for being the most cluttered of the four major news networks in the country. And airing movies, Filipino or foreign, only add insult to injury.

This week, GMA News TV brought back its much maligned ‘Takilya Blockbusters’ movie block, featuring classic films. This time around, the movie block aired starting at 6:00 a.m., an uncharacteristic choice of hour for movies on free TV.

Honestly, it is a bad decision by News TV to air movies at 6:00 a.m. People who usually wake up at this hour always begin their day by watching the news, and for News TV to air movies in the early morning, it is a slap to the face for the network that GMA always claims to be the ‘no. 1 news network in the country’.

What made it worse is that News TV already has a poor history of replacing and replaying shows at 6:00 a.m. They attempted a hook-up with Super Radyo DZBB 594 for ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, followed by a morning show in ‘Kape at Balita’, before making a decision to simply replay classic documentary programs. They could have simulcast ‘Unang Hirit’ in a similar way that rivals ABS-CBN News Channel and AksyonTV simulcast their VHF channel’s morning programs, but since GMA 7 is also a VHF channel, News TV wanted no part of simulcasting GMA’s morning program.

GMA News TV needs to stop airing these movies. They do not deserve to air on a news channel like News TV, and are more applicable to specialized channels like ABS-CBN Sports + Action. News TV needs to go back to what they do best: news reporting and public affairs programming, which is what their rivals are doing.

But with the way things are going, I doubt if News TV will ever eschew these movie blocks. After all, they have been suffering from an identity crisis, as they aired not only movies, but also classic programs from predecessor QTV. And as they continue to press on by making questionable programming decisions, it may just be a matter of time before GMA executives finally pull the plug on News TV.

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GMA News TV Brings Back QTV as Last Resort

Two of the three logos used by the now-defunct QTV. In recent weeks old QTV programs were brought back by its successor GMA News TV in hopes of providing more ‘informative’ programming.

GMA News TV is taking a step back, and its latest lineup of programs showed how gradual their regression has been.

In an apparent sign of a rebrand or a relocation taking place, News TV is bringing back its predecessor QTV, albeit partially. Some of the programs that previously aired on QTV include: ‘May Trabaho Ka’, ‘At Your Service: Star Power’, ‘DoQmentaries’, ‘Here Comes the Bride’, ‘Ka-Blog!’, ‘Kids on Q’, ‘Proudly Filipina’, ‘Sana’y Muling Makapiling’, and ‘Secrets of the Masters’. Before that, when News TV debuted in February 2011, some of the QTV programs such as ‘Ang Pinaka’, ‘Balitanghali’ and ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’ were carried over to the then newly-established network.

The return of old QTV programs coincided with the third anniversary of GMA News TV this month. But despite recent claims that they are still the top-rated news network in the country, the last few months have been troublesome for the embattled network. Some of its programs were moved to GMA, while others were cancelled in favor of extended news programs. In addition, the network received some backlash from viewers when they aired classic movies in the afternoon slot, something uncharacteristic for a news channel.

Fortunately the network decided to cancel its classic movie blocks, but in its place came some of the previous programs from the old QTV. As a result, News TV is taking a ‘one step forward, two steps back’ approach in an attempt to appease its viewers. Unfortunately, replaying old QTV programs is not the answer.

If GMA management is seriously not willing to improve News TV, they should start considering two things: to reformat or relocate the network. That way, they can save themselves from further embarrassment. In the end, however, it is the management’s decision, not the viewers, so it’s up to them to make this decision. But right now, GMA News TV’s days as a news network are being numbered.

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GMA News TV Needs to Reformat or Move

GMA News TV is a network with so many issues. Whether it is the airing of classic films, the continuous airing of old public affairs programs, or the reluctance to air more live sports events and press conferences, the network is clearly at a disadvantage. And as a result, the network’s ability to compete with more established players is put into question.

Unlike AksyonTV and ABS-CBN Sports + Action, GMA News TV receives very little support from its parent network. Other than the live news programs, News TV offers mostly repeats of former GMA public affairs programs, classic films, and Filipino-dubbed documentaries. In addition, part of the channel’s shares are still owned by ZOE TV, hence the airing of ZOE programs like ‘Jesus the Healer’ and ‘Diyos at Bayan’.

Having said that, GMA seriously needs to reformat News TV, if not move it to another channel. The current programming content does not speak to the name of the network, and more akin to its previous name QTV-11. Perhaps renaming the network back to QTV, albeit with a more balanced programming catered to both genders, may be the right thing to do. But the reformat will only possible if the GMA bosses are extremely committed to support Channel 11.

If that does not work, another option for the network is to sell the shares of Channel 11 back to ZOE and move its operations to the inactive Channel 27, in order to save money. However, the second option may only be possible once the network is sold to another corporation, and if the network promises to avoid the same mistakes that hounded its previous occupant Citynet 27.

To be honest, there is no need for a ‘GMA News TV’. That network is a redundant piece of junk that needs to be disposed. A news channel requires a majority of its content to be news that is constantly updated, and public affairs programming that is adept to the modern times. Unfortunately, GMA News TV does not adhere to such standards.

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Jojo A is Back, But Edu Manzano is Not

The last time viewers saw Jojo Alejar on television, TV5 was on the verge of a programming makeover. The Kapatid network revamped its lineup last September in hopes of attracting younger and socially conscious audiences. And one of the programs that were victims of the shakeup was ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ Tonight, the said program returns to a new home.

Jojo Alejar’s late night talk show will air on the GMA Network every weeknights. This is the show’s second stint with the Kapuso group, having first aired on QTV (now GMA News TV) from 2007-08. It also brought Jojo Alejar back to his original network, having first starred as a cast member of German Moreno’s variety show ‘That’s Entertainment’ in the late 1980s.

Like the previous incarnations, the show will feature the All the Way Band, which has backed up Alejar’s late night show from its RJTV 29 years. However, the program will only run for 30 minutes, unlike the customary one hour it was allotted during its previous stop at TV5, due to the presence of another late night talk show in ‘The Tim Yap Show’.

But while Jojo Alejar is returning with his late night talk show, Edu Manzano’s ‘What’s Up Doods?’ looks to be on the way out. Most viewers pointed out that a sudden change in format and schedule, lack of advertising money and low viewership figures were the reasons why ‘What’s Up Doods?’ was being considered a candidate for cancellation.

Edu Manzano’s talk show started off on a promising note, as it aired after ‘Killer Karaoke’. In its first few episodes Manzano interviewed the likes of Georgina Wilson, Jinri Park and Ramon Bautista, not to mention several players of La Salle and UST at the height of the UAAP Finals. In addition, the early episodes of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ included gags pitting Manzano and a special guest lampooning various aspects of pop culture and society.

However, the new PBA season and the entry of the British-Filipino quintet called ‘Juan Direction’ bumped ‘What’s Up Doods?’ to a late-night timeslot. Eventually the show abandoned its skits and decided to concentrate mainly on interviews with special guests. As a result, it alienated some viewers and caused advertisers to pull out. And for the past few weeks, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ was pre-empted for other programs and aired reruns.

‘What’s Up Doods?’ was a decently good concept for ‘Weekend Do It Better’. But it lacks the energy and liveliness that ‘Medyo Late Night’ enjoys. And with ‘Juan Direction’ and ‘SPINNation’ enjoying high viewership numbers, it appears that Edu Manzano’s talk show will be axed soon in favor of both programs airing back-to-back.

As for ‘Medyo Late Night’, good luck with the show’s re-debut on GMA. I’m sure Jojo A will enjoy his homecoming on the Kapuso network.

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