entertainment, news, Philippines, talk show, television

Startalk Moving Back to Saturdays is a Bad Move

The move of ‘Startalk’ back to Saturdays was basically intended to avoid competing against old friends Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda.

Tomorrow, GMA’s long-running showbiz talk show ‘Startalk’ will move back to Saturday afternoons after a near five-month experiment with a Sunday timeslot. However, the return of ‘Startalk’ to the Saturday slot is just one of several moves made by the network’s management in hopes of reinvigorating its weaker weekend lineup, one in which I will discuss in another article.

Now here’s the big question: Did GMA make the right call in moving ‘Startalk’ back to Saturdays, or did they make a serious mistake?

Back in January, ‘Startalk’ was moved to Sundays in order to challenge ABS-CBN’s ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. GMA hoped that the move of ‘Startalk’ to Sundays will give ‘Buzz ng Bayan’, then formerly known as ‘The Buzz’, some serious challenge, as GMA’s previous Sunday showbiz talk shows like ‘S Files’, ‘Showbiz Central’, and ‘HOT TV’ were unable to match the success of ‘The Buzz’.

Then on May 18, the Kapamilya network decided to bring back ‘The Buzz’ in time for the show’s 15th anniversary. In addition, original hosts and ‘Startalk’ alumni Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda returned to host the show, and were joined by Toni Gonzaga. For the first time ever, the two original ‘Startalk’ hosts in Boy and Kris were up against the program they used to host, now with Butch Francisco, Joey de Leon, Ricky Lo and Lolit Solis as the hosts.

But after just two weeks, GMA decided to move ‘Startalk’ back to its familiar Saturday slot, effective May 31. Perhaps it is the fear of getting upstaged by Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, whose egos are as big as their hosting skills. Or perhaps it is because ‘The Buzz’ had been a consistent ratings winner against ‘Startalk’ in its timeslot, even during the period where some viewers were upset about the format and the hosts of the now-defunct ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. But whatever the reason, ‘Startalk’ seems to be at its best on Saturdays, and for GMA, they seem fine with it.

And while some folks agreed that moving ‘Startalk’ earlier would give them a head-start in reporting the latest showbiz news, the fact is, ‘Startalk”s departure leaves a big hole in GMA’s Sunday afternoon lineup. Not even the upcoming dance show hosted by Marian Rivera, as some of the tabloids have reported, would seriously contend against ‘The Buzz’ or any other Kapamilya show on Sundays.

In short, it was a big mistake for GMA management to place ‘Startalk’ back to the Saturday slot. They not only refused to compete against Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda’s show (in the process surrendering to them too soon), but also left its Sunday afternoon slot prone to ABS-CBN’s consistent dominance.

The decision to move ‘Startalk’ back to Saturdays is something that GMA would like to regret. Instead of giving ABS-CBN a more competitive program, they simply retreated. Where is the ‘Puso ang Una (Heart comes First)’ that the station talks about?

In the end, this only shows that GMA, despite the fact that they are called the ‘Kapuso network’, have little heart whatsoever in making their programs as competitive as possible. Now whether or not ‘Startalk’ will be better off airing on Saturdays remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure: as long as Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino are with ‘The Buzz’, ‘Startalk’ will never go head-to-head with that said program.

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entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA’s Weekend Nightmares Continue

I have been saying this over and over again: GMA’s weekend programming lineup is the most uncertain of them all. In a prior article, I wrote about how GMA failed to outdraw ABS-CBN on Sundays with shows such as Party Pilipinas, TeenGen, Showbiz Central and HOT TV, all of which were cancelled due to declining viewership figures, and I have also written about how cluttered their programming schedules are on weekends. And now GMA is trying shake things up again in hopes of reversing their weekend fortunes.

GMA’s main slate of Saturday programs are fully loaded from Eat Bulaga to Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman. So why did they add another public service program to the mix? As announced in the teaser below, the upcoming public service program will be entitled ‘Bingit’, which is basically a program featuring stories of survival and inspiration. The said program’s timeslot remains uncertain, though I think the program will be placed either near Wish Ko Lang, or Tunay na Buhay. The problem with the addition of this program is that it will bump other GMA programs in its stead, so the only way they can fix that is to remove the all-martial arts block ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ off the lineup in order to accompany the new program. Worse, Alisto failed in its Saturday timeslot, so what more will ‘Bingit’ bring against either ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ or ‘Failon Ngayon’?

As previously mentioned, GMA’s Sunday lineup is a total wreck, so much so that they have four movie blocks aired on Sundays (Kapuso Movie Festival, Kapuso Blockbusters, Sunday Night Box Office). The Kapuso Blockbusters segment basically filled the programming vacated by TeenGen and HOT TV. However, the network finally decided to fill in the blanks and replace one of the Kapuso Blockbusters with a Sunday suspense series called ‘Dormitoryo’, which is basically their answer to ABS-CBN’s teen-oriented comedy program ‘Luv U‘. Ok, so they’re trying to revive ‘Oka Tokat’ on a Sunday, but is this the right move? Not so, unless they gain a needed fanbase.

Once again GMA is pulling out all the stops in hopes of improving their viewership on weekends. Unfortunately, with the continuous addition of what I think are mediocre products, GMA’s fortunes regarding their ratings will only get worse.

Meanwhile, the list of other upcoming programs by the Kapuso network can be viewed below.

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