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ABS-CBN Shakes Up Weekend Lineup with Entry of I Can See Your Voice

Changes are indeed aplenty on ABS-CBN this weekend.

Last weekend marked the season 3 finale of ‘Bet on Your Baby’. The 36th and final episode was aired last Sunday and it featured a reunion of original ‘Mara Clara’ stars Judy Ann Santos and Gladys Reyes.

Although ‘Bet on Your Baby’ enjoyed impressive ratings throughout its run, the game show faltered in its final few episodes, prompting ABS-CBN to shelve it for the time being. Initially, ‘Bet on Your Baby’ was to be replaced by ‘I Can See Your Voice’, but ABS-CBN made a drastic move and placed the program on primetime starting this weekend.

Hosted by Luis Manzano alongside judges Angeline Quinto, Alex Gonzaga, Kean Cipriano, Wacky Kiray and Andrew E, ‘I Can See Your Voice’ is the first Kapamilya franchised program to originate from Korea. For more information on its game play, click this link.

‘I Can See Your Voice’ will air every Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sunday after ‘Rated K’. All told, ABS-CBN will bring back the game/talent/reality show format at the 9:30 p.m. slot, something that was not seen since ‘I Can Do That’ ended.

The premiere of ‘I Can See Your Voice’ casts some doubt on the fate of ‘Lethal Weapon’. The Tagalized American action series aired its 14th episode last Saturday, and according to some knowledgeable sources, the first season of ‘Lethal Weapon’ still had four more episodes to go.

However, no teaser for the next episode was aired, and for some unexplained reason, ABS-CBN effectively canceled ‘Lethal Weapon’ before its season really ended. This despite the fact that the program enjoyed good ratings during its short run.

As for the vacated slot of ‘Bet on Your Baby’, ABS-CBN decided to fill the Saturday slot with a rerun of the ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ anthology series. Then on Sundays, ABS-CBN opted to extend ‘Kapamilya Weekend Blockbusters’ instead of adding another program to its slate.

It will be interesting to see how these changes will affect ABS-CBN’s weekend lineup. But for those who await to see ‘I Can See Your Voice’ on the small screen, good luck and have fun.

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The Trouble With Last Saturday’s TV Programming

Last Saturday on television was memorable for both the right and wrong reasons. There was a PBA doubleheader, a double-overtime NBA thriller, a boxing event, and a dance contest featuring elementary school students. It also witnessed a pair of programming changes, and a slew of programs that ran way behind schedule.

On this article, the focus of attention will be on the programming problems that plagued the ‘Big 3’ networks last Saturday. Here is how I looked at the programming that took place last March 22, and how they need to be rectified.

ABS-CBN

The Oklahoma City-Toronto NBA game lasted until the second overtime, and as a result ‘It’s Showtime’ began later than usual, at around 12:45-1:00 p.m. The highlight of the variety show was the grand finals of the ‘Stars on 45’ talent contest, where Haydee Manosca emerged the winner. ‘It’s Showtime’ lasted until 4:00 p.m., affecting other programs’ start times for the remainder of ABS-CBN’s operating day.

Perhaps the Kapamilya network’s Saturday schedule would have served better if ‘It’s Showtime’ airs from 12:30-3:30, making it a three-hour program similar to the Saturday edition of its competitor ‘Eat Bulaga’. In addition, the airing of ‘Saturday Specials: Shake, Rattle and Roll’ is unnecessary, and should be removed in favor of making ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’ into a pair of hour-long programs.

GMA

‘Eat Bulaga’ took place at Resorts World Manila, where the grand finals of ‘Junior Pinoy Henyo”s cheerdancing competition was held. However, it was the broadcast of another movie on the ‘GMA Blockbusters’ block following ‘Laban ng Lahi’, and the transfer of ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ which affected its programming for the remainder of the day. Poor German Moreno and his ‘Walang Tulugan’ variety show.

To keep Kuya Germs and his loyal viewers happy and awake, ‘GMA Blockbusters’ should be restricted to just one movie or event rather than the unnecessary two. That way, the succeeding programs can be aired at a more comfortable timeslot.

TV5

Gone are the AksyonTV simulcasts of the PBA, and as a result, TV5 was compelled to air every PBA game for the rest of the season. The first Saturday doubleheader aired on the network was not without any complications, however. ‘Aksyon Weekend’ was slotted in between the doubleheader, much to the dismay of the league owners, while the programs that followed the PBA aired later than usual, with the live broadcast of ‘SpinNation’ taking place at a rather unfavorable time of 11:20 p.m.

The only Saturday program that was affected by the change was ‘Juan Direction, which now air on Sunday nights. It would have been better, however, if ‘Kaya’ was included in the move, since that particular program became expendable with the increase of PBA airtime. In addition, ‘Aksyon Weekend’ should be aired after the PBA games are finished.

March 22, 2014 should be remembered as one of the most infamous dates in Philippine television. The programming last Saturday proved to be excruciating and frustrating for the viewers, mostly due to some programs that aired way beyond their usual start times. Unless the executives make some more favorable changes in their respective networks’ programming, things will only get worse from here.

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‘It’s Showtime’ Extends Airtime on Saturdays

With ‘The Singing Bee’ now moved to weekday mornings, Saturday editions of ‘It’s Showtime’ are now extended to nearly four hours.

This week, ‘The Singing Bee’ moved from its original Saturday afternoon slot to the weekday morning slot. And contrary to what I wrote in a previous article, ‘The Singing Bee’ will only be seen on weekdays rather than six times a week as originally predicted. As a result, there was a vacancy to fill on ABS-CBN’s Saturday afternoon lineup, but viewers need not to worry.

The top-rated noontime variety show ‘It’s Showtime’ will now be extended to at least 3 1/2 hours every Saturday, effective March 1. By all accounts, the extended airtime was necessitated by the lack of available programs that would have filled the 3 p.m. slot. In addition, the extension allowed the program to air a few more segments and concert performances that would keep viewers interested. But there is another reason behind the extension.

Rival ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA usually starts its Saturday broadcasts at 11:30 a.m. With the NBA games still airing at this point, ‘It’s Showtime’ had no choice but to air 30 or 45 minutes later, and at the time ‘The Singing Bee’ aired on Saturdays, the runtime of ‘It’s Showtime’ was only 2 3/4 to 3 hours, compared to Eat Bulaga’s 3 to 3 1/2 hour duration. Despite that, ‘It’s Showtime’ still rated better than ‘Eat Bulaga’ based on Kantar’s ratings, but the need for extended airtime was too good to pass up.

Fortunately for ‘It’s Showtime’, the longer airtime will be more beneficial, since the final hour only competes against ‘GMA Blockbusters’. And with additional segments and musical performances on the menu, expect ‘It’s Showtime’ to create more memorable and entertaining moments in an expanded Saturday format.

UPDATE: Contrary to what I posted on this article, ‘It’s Showtime’ will not be extending its runtime every Saturday, although it may still extend beyond 3 p.m. in order to finish each segment. Instead ABS-CBN will air ‘Sabado Specials: Shake, Rattle & Roll’, featuring more recent short films taken from the ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ franchise. The first shortie to air this Saturday will be ‘Poso’ from the 2005 installment, starring Ai Ai de las Alas.

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