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, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Tado Tribute Week on Philippine TV

This week, the major television stations pay tribute to the late Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez through various programs.

On February 7, the Philippine showbiz industry lost comedian Arvin ‘Tado’ Jimenez, who was killed in a bus accident at Mountain Province while documenting his travels via the ’40 Mountains’ project. As the community continues to mourn Tado’s death, the big TV networks are paying tribute this week to the long-haired comedian and political activist, whose unique brand of humor made him an icon of the indie scene.

Last Sunday, GMA News TV re-aired an episode of ‘Reel Time’ called ‘Misteryo sa Paraiso’. In the one-hour mini-documentary, Tado (along with co-host Patani) toured various spots in Camarines Norte, including a trip to the Boracay-like sandy beaches, the world’s oldest Rizal monument, and the oldest lighthouse in Palaui.

The next day, sister network GMA re-aired an episode of ‘Tunay na Buhay’, hosted by Rhea Santos. The episode, aired last September, focused on Tado’s personal life and his rise from an impoverished nomad to a famous comedian and activist. It marked one of only a few remaining TV appearances for Tado before his untimely death.

This afternoon, it is ABS-CBN’s turn to pay tribute to Tado. In the upcoming episode of ‘My Puhunan’, Karen Davila visited Tado’s ‘LimiTado’ store, where the comedian sells statement t-shirts and other memorabilia. The episode will also take a look at Tado’s tattoo shop ‘LimiTattoo’.

Then on Saturday, GMA News TV’s ‘Day Off’ will air Tado’s final television appearance. The episode, taped a few days before Tado’s fateful trip to Mountain Province, will showcase his unique brand of humor for the last time with hosts Pekto and Maey Bautista.

And next Sunday, TV5’s ‘Philip Lifestyle Guy’ will feature another of Tado’s final television appearances. In the episode, host Philip Abadicio joined Tado as they toured the city of Marikina and discovered the various hotspots within the city. It will also take viewers to a trip down Tado’s humble abode.

It is only fitting that for this week, each of the three major networks will set aside their differences and pay tribute to one of the pillars in the independent entertainment scene. Tado’s demise is a huge loss to the industry, and one that may never be replaced. Just ask buddy and fellow ‘Strangebrew’ host Angel ‘Erning’ Rivero, who will always say to her lost friend, ‘TAMA!’

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drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, television

What’s Wrong with GMA Telebabad?

Last night, ‘Genesis’ officially aired its debut episode. However, the entry of the new teleserye came at a not-so opportune time. ‘Genesis’ was supposed to replace ‘My Husband’s Lover’ this week, but ‘MHL”s finale was moved to October 18, for unknown reasons. With the entry of ‘Genesis’, GMA Telebabad now airs six teleseryes for this week, which does not bode well with viewers.

ABS-CBN, for its part, ends its teleserye block at around 10:30-10:40 p.m., after which the late night newscast ‘Bandila‘ goes on air. At around this time, ‘My Husband’s Lover’ is still airing, and with either ‘The Innocent Man‘ or ‘Bubble Gang’ still on the schedule, most viewers hungry for the news have no choice but to switch to ‘Bandila’. By the time ‘Saksi‘ airs, ABS-CBN’s newscast is finished, putting GMA‘s late night newscast at a disadvantage.

One particular reason behind GMA’s later airing of its teleseryes is the long broadcast hours allotted to ‘24 Oras‘. The said newscast begins around the same time as ‘TV Patrol‘. However, ’24 Oras’ usually ends at around 8:00-8:10 p.m., while ‘TV Patrol’ wraps up at around 7:30-7:40 p.m. The longer broadcast of ’24 Oras’ may be attributed to the more deliberate news delivery of anchors Mike Enriquez and Mel Tiangco, and coupled with the greater amount of commercials and stories, ’24 Oras” running time seems longer for a regular newscast. In contrast, ‘TV Patrol’ delivers at a much quicker pace, aided by its three-anchor team of Noli de Castro, Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon.

My suggestion for ’24 Oras’ is to add a third anchor; names such as Ivan Mayrina, Rhea Santos or Jiggy Manicad are worth considering. They also need to air less commercials, report news stories at a fast pace, and deemphasize on soft news stories. That way, GMA’s teleseryes can compete fairly against ABS-CBN’s, and more importantly, shorten the newscast to an hour to better compete with ABS-CBN’s.

GMA executives messed things up by rushing ‘Genesis’ into the airwaves instead of waiting for ‘My Husband’s Lover’ to end. Thus with the six teleseryes and ’24 Oras’ for this week, GMA will definitely have a hard time competing against its Kapamilya counterparts. If they can improve GMA Telebabad to compete fairly against ABS-CBN’s ‘Primetime Bida’ by using these suggestions, that would be better, but only if they agree on this.

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