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Action-Packed Imbestigador Returns

‘Imbestigador’ marked its 15th year with a return to the classic action-packed format and a ten-part election series ‘Isyu ni Juan’. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Last Saturday marked the return of the ‘old’ ‘Imbestigador’.

The 15-year-old investigative public service program kicked off the new year with a bang, as they revived the action-packed approach that addresses a variety of complaints from the public. Gone is the more recent format that featured dramatizations from GMA’s pool of artists.

In addition, ‘Imbestigador’ launched ‘Isyu ni Juan’, a ten-part special election series. Host Mike Enriquez sat down for an exclusive interview with the country’s top presidential aspirants, as they try to address various national issues and present their campaign platforms for the upcoming elections.

The return to the classic format of ‘Imbestigador’ was enthusiastically welcomed by the public, who have criticized the show for its watered-down approach. While recent episodes continued to focus on investigating various crimes, it somehow shifted to solving murderous acts, something that rival ABS-CBN show ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ is doing these days.

Making matter worse is the emphasis to include actors in dramatizing the scene of the crime. As a result, ratings for ‘Imbestigador’ declined while public clamor to revive its old format intensified.

Thankfully, both Mike Enriquez and the show’s producers realized their shortcomings with the drama-focused approach. Thus, ‘Imbestigador’ was reborn, back to what it used to be.

Now that ‘Imbestigador’ is back to doing things their own way, expect more action and intensity from the longest-running investigative program in the country. While its ratings may no longer be as high as it used to be, getting back to the classic format should satisfy the demands of not only long-time viewers, but also new ones.

‘Imbestigador’ continues to air every Saturday at 5:15 p.m. on GMA.

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Imbestigador Moves Back to Saturdays; Kap’s Amazing Stories Cancelled

Mike Enriquez’s long-running program ‘Imbestigador’ will now be aired on Saturday afternoons. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

After three years, ‘Imbestigador’ returns to its most comfortable perch, sort of.

GMA has announced that ‘Imbestigador’ will return to the Saturday slot starting July 12. But instead of airing in the evenings, as it has been the case since 2000, it will now be seen in the afternoons.

During its three-year run on Sunday nights, ‘Imbestigador’ saw its ratings sharply decline. This was mainly due to the popularity of opposing program ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and its shift from a reality documentation format to a dramatization-based format. It also didn’t help that ‘Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho’, its preceding program for the past several years, was extended from 60 to 90 minutes.

The move to Saturday afternoons should give ‘Imbestigador’ less pressure to perform. Instead of facing Vice Ganda, it will now face ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’, whose format may have inspired ‘Imbestigador”s new approach, and ‘Failon Ngayon’, whose format was similar to the ‘Imbestigador’ of old.

Still, it remains to be seen if the new timeslot will result in better ratings for Mike Enriquez’s long-running program.

Kap’s Amazing Stories Finally Cancelled

With host Bong Revilla still incarcerated for his role in the PDAF scam, GMA has decided to cancel ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ after nearly seven years.

The cancellation of ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ is intended to avoid any negative publicity in the light of Bong Revilla’s involvement in the PDAF scam. The senator was arrested on June 20, but ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ continued to air reruns until July 6.

But instead of creating a similar program on Sundays, GMA decided to add a fourth movie block in its timeslot. This new movie block will feature animated movies, and in typical GMA fashion, it will be dubbed in Filipino.

Clearly, GMA has shown a lack of proper direction in their programming. With five movie blocks and a pair of horror-based series, it is understandable why advertising has sharply declined for the network. And it didn’t help that rival ABS-CBN’s dominant weekend lineup has become a huge burden to GMA’s.

Unless they get rid of these movie blocks one by one, and replace them with more reliable programs, GMA’s programming problems will only continue. And Ramon Ang’s minority ownership won’t help matters.

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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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Has ‘Imbestigador’ Run Its Course?

Recently, ‘Imbestigador’ tried a new format that emphasizes mostly on dramatizations. However, it did little to change its fortunes.

GMA’s long-running public affairs program ‘Imbestigador’ is currently in its 14th year. However, in recent years, ‘Imbestigador’ has been overwhelmed by the popularity of ABS-CBN’s ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and as a result, changed its format to emphasize mostly on murder-related stories and dramatizations.

Which begs the question, ‘Has ‘Imbestigador’ Run Its Course?’

In the beginning, ‘Imbestigador’ was a weekly 30-minute late-night program that aired after GMA’s newscasts. Then it moved to Saturday nights with a one-hour format in hopes of attracting more viewers, before moving to its current Sunday timeslot. By all accounts, ‘Imbestigador”s placing on the Sunday slot seem unusual, considering its rival programs ‘Bitag’ and ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ air on Saturdays.

‘Imbestigador”s peak of popularity came during the mid-2000s. At a time when neither Twitter nor TNS Kantar existed, ‘Imbestigador’ was producing high ratings for the Kapuso network, even rivaling those of ABS-CBN’s other programs. ‘Imbestigador’ proved to be so popular that it led to the cancellation of the long-running ‘Magandang Gabi, Bayan’ (which by then was no longer hosted by Noli de Castro), and the move of ‘XXX: Eksklusibong, Explosibong Expose’ to Monday nights.

However, thanks to ABS-CBN’s insertion of reality shows and the sudden popularity of ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, ‘Imbestigador”s ratings began to decline. Eventually, this forced the program to deviate away from its trademark reality documentation of various crimes to mostly dramatizations in the mold of rival program ‘SOCO’. The former were now being handled by another GMA public affairs program ‘Alisto’.

To be honest, ‘Imbestigador”s new format only proved that the show is no longer a viable asset to Sunday night programming. While still averaging around 16% in terms of ratings, it was not enough to put ‘Imbestigador’ back on the hump, as evidenced by the advent of social media and the continued popularity of ABS-CBN’s programs.

Perhaps a move back to Saturdays may help its cause. Or better yet, in the afternoon slot, against ABS-CBN’s ‘SOCO’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’.

Whatever the cause, it is clear that ‘Imbestigador’ had run its course. A change in format and a change in timeslot is what the show needed to breathe some new life, otherwise its days of hunting down criminals through the watchful eyes of Mike Enriquez are being numbered.

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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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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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