entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

StarStruck Finally Returns, But Problems Persist

The long-awaited return of ‘StarStruck’ is underway.

After a five-year absence, the original and most iconic reality talent search show on Philippine television is back with a new season and a new hope. A total of 35 hopefuls will have the chance of a lifetime to become a GMA star and an Ultimate Survivor.

But there are some problems that should concern the returning ‘StarStruck’.

GMA announced that ‘StarStruck’ would air weekdays at 5:50 p.m. starting today. The problem is that the timeslot is way too early for a reality show of this caliber, and based on recent trends, Filipino reality talent shows usually air in mid-to-late evenings to take advantage of bigger audiences.

In the first five seasons of ‘StarStruck’, GMA placed the show after the local teleseryes and before Koreanovelas on the network’s Telebabad block. At the time, it helped ‘StarStruck’ earn high ratings for the network, right in the midst of the Koreanovela and fantaserye fever.

Those seasons of ‘StarStruck’ also had a weekend edition (which also rated well), something that the new season won’t have (unless GMA changes its mind). But until then, the new ‘StarStruck’ will have to endure a different and more radical approach than in past seasons.

‘StarStruck’ will also have to worry about ‘Pasion de Amor’. The ABS-CBN drama series continues to stay hot in its timeslot, winning over its GMA counterparts on a consistent basis.

That said, GMA will have its hands full once ‘StarStruck’ comes in. ‘Pasion de Amor’ is a tough nut to crack for the Kapuso network, especially considering the single-digit failures of previous opponents ‘My Mother’s Secret’ and ‘Reply 1997’, thus GMA has to pull all the stops if ‘StarStruck’ wants to return to form.

It’s just too bad that they didn’t place the show against the continuously declining ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ (thank you ‘Legendary Women’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ for closing that timeslot). Had they placed ‘StarStruck’ against PBB (or earlier at best), the show would have fared better.

But as it stands, ‘StarStruck’ is in for a rude awakening. Without any options, GMA has no choice but to place the returning ‘StarStruck’ into a timeslot they’re not used to, which is a daunting challenge to this point.

Is ‘StarStruck’ worth the wait, or an immediate afterthought? We’ll see.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

My Mother’s Secret Reprieved for Another Week

‘My Mother’s Secret’ will now end on August 7 with an additional four episodes ordered. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

‘My Mother’s Secret’ has lived to fight another week.

The series was supposed to end Friday, July 31. But with the State of the Nation Address extending beyond its allotted time of two hours, last Monday’s episode of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ was preempted and aired the next day.

Not wanting to end the series on the following Monday, GMA acted on the matter and added another week (or four more episodes) to ‘My Mother’s Secret’. Thus, the series finale will now air next Friday, August 7, and the six-pack Koreanovela plan of the Kapuso network will have to wait.

As noted in a prior article, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ had been a ratings failure for the network, fluctuating within the 10% mark in both AGB Nielsen’s NUTAM and Kantar Media. The series couldn’t beat ABS-CBN’s ‘Pasion de Amor’, whose sexy and lustful theme propelled it to success.

Despite the extension, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will still fall short of the typical 80 episodes a teleserye takes these days. The series will end with 54 episodes produced, which is not respectable enough by teleserye standards.

With ‘My Mother’s Secret”s extension, its successor ‘Reply 1997’ will now air starting next Monday, August 10. It was supposed to begin this Monday, August 3, and was aimed at an August 4 premiere date if not for ‘My Mother’s Secret”s reluctant extension.

For the viewers of ‘My Mother’s Secret’, this is their last chance to see what fate awaits the actress-turned-reluctant mother (played by Gwen Zamora) and her daughter (played by Kim Rodriguez). The final week of the series should be an interesting one, albeit only for the few and the loyal.

The now-official finale week of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ airs this Monday to Friday at 5:50 p.m., right before ’24 Oras’.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Koreanovela Overload Continues on GMA

Add a sixth Koreanovela to GMA’s weekday lineup.

In what seems like a new record in Philippine television history, GMA will air six Koreanovelas every weekday beginning this Tuesday, August 4. The latest addition is ‘Reply 1997’, a Koreanovela that reminisces on the good times of teenage life.

The story focuses on six high school buddies who reunite for a dinner after 15 years apart, two of whom would announce their marriage. Throughout the story, flashbacks of their teenage lives will resurface throughout the conversation, switching back and forth between their 18-year-old selves in 1997, and their present selves 15 years later.

‘Reply 1997’ stars Jung Eun-ji, Seo In-guk, Hoya, Shin So-yul, Eun Ji-won, and Lee Si-eon. The series was one of the most popular dramas in Korean television.

The entry of ‘Reply 1997’ continues a downward trend for GMA in terms of programming quality and creativity. As mentioned earlier, GMA will air six Koreanovelas starting this Tuesday, the list of which are as follows:

  1. The Master’s Sun (re-run; airing at 9:40 a.m., replacing Secret Garden)
  2. Two Mothers (airing at 10:10 a.m.)
  3. The King’s Doctor (airing at 10:50 a.m.)
  4. Birth of a Beauty (airing at 5:15 p.m.)
  5. Reply 1997 (airing at 5:50 p.m. starting this Tuesday)
  6. Pinocchio (airing at 9:55 p.m. on Mondays-Thursdays)

With six Koreanovelas at their disposal, it is clear that GMA’s creative nadir is now at its worst point. The inability to produce formidable local programming and their overreliance on importing other countries’ programs are taking its toll on the creative staff.

Worse, ‘Reply 1997’ will face a tough opponent in ABS-CBN’s ‘Pasion de Amor’. The local adaptation of the original Colombian telenovela has been on a ratings tear, and it left its soon-to-be-departing opponent ‘My Mother’s Secret’ in the dust.

The breaking point is now near for GMA. Six Koreanovelas on a weekday won’t help their cause.

Note: ‘My Mother’s Secret’ was scheduled to end tomorrow, July 31. But due to a preemption that was caused by the State of the Nation Address last Monday, the series is now scheduled to finish on Monday, August 3. ‘Reply 1997”s premiere will be moved to Tuesday, August 4.

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