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FTT Year 2014 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, who made the transition from a mainstream to an alternative station this year.

The Positives

2014 was a year of change for TV5. And some changes were for the better.

A heavily-criticized coverage of the previous PBA season led to several tweaks in TV5’s current schedule. Initially made to benefit the NCAA, the FIBA World Cup, the Youth Olympics and the Asian Games, this was then implemented for the PBA, which was welcomed by fans after expressing their disgust with last season’s coverage.

The year also saw TV5 broadcast other major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, the U.S. NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and the Winter Olympics. Furthermore, they aired the games of the ‘Batang Gilas’ in the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, keeping in step with the moves made by ABS-CBN Sports.

TV5 viewers also witnessed the premieres of highly-praised weekly series ‘JasMine’ and ‘Trenderas’, as well as a new game show in ‘Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay’. TV5 also collaborated with both E! and Wattpad to broadcast ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’ and ‘Wattpad Presents’, respectively, to good reviews.

And finally, News5 garnered some awards from various bodies, particularly in the programs ‘T3: Enforced’, ‘History with Lourd’, ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ and ‘Bigtime’. ‘It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez’, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ were also honored.

The Negatives

The transformation of TV5 was not without some obstacles, however.

When TV5 revealed its programming lineup for 2014, one of the upcoming programs mentioned was a Philippine adaptation of ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Unfortunately for the network, the project never materialized, even as they denied rumors that it was ‘shelved’.

Not all of TV5’s programs under Noel Lorenzana’s new initiative paid off. The programs that were cancelled in his first full year in charge include the likes of ‘SpinNation’, ‘What’s Up, Doods’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’, ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

TV5’s sports coverage was also not spared. Early this year, the Kapatid network introduced ‘Moneyball: Dribol op da Pipol’ to its PBA and NCAA coverage, much to the dismay of the more informative and knowledgeable viewers; eventually TV5 relented by moving ‘Sports5 Center’ to the livestream format (as ‘Sports 360’).

AksyonTV, TV5’s sister network, was severely crippled by News5’s programming changes, particularly after the cancellation of its original programs and newscasts ‘Andar ng mga Balita’ and ‘Balitang 60’. As a result, the network became overly dependent on TV5’s programming, which is not a good sign for a news/sports channel like AksyonTV.

The sex scandal involving News5 anchor and Rescue5 leader Paolo Bediones in September also demoralized the network. While he left ‘Aksyon Tonite’ in the midst of the controversy (he was later replaced by Ed Lingao), he did return to host ‘Demolition Job’ and Rescue5 short videos once the impact of his scandal dissipated.

But perhaps the biggest news coming out of TV5’s camp was the departure of Sharon Cuneta. A P1 billion signee of the network a few years ago, Sharon joined TV5 with high expectations, but shows such as ‘Sharon: Kasama Mo Kapatid’, ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ and ‘Madam Chairman’ failed to deliver.

And finally, there is the annual issue of TV5’s overreliance on Tagalized foreign movies, as well as reruns of local programs.

Outlook

TV5 has already unveiled a list of new and returning programs for 2015, which will be discussed in detail very soon.

It was not a bad year for TV5, even with all the changes that took place. With a new year looming, Lorenzana and company now hope to build on these gains even further, though changes are still to be made as the year progresses.

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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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By Popular Demand, More PBA Games on TV5

TV5 will now air at least seven live PBA games per week with the addition of a Monday playdate and the second game of a Saturday doubleheader.

After the highly successful broadcast of the Philippine Cup playoffs, the PBA and TV5 have agreed to make some changes to the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup schedule beginning today.

Mondays will now be a regular part of the PBA schedule, with a special Tuesday playdate scheduled for March 25. Previously the Monday and Tuesday playdates were utilized only when necessary and during the playoffs. But with the PBA already running behind schedule, and with preparation time a must for the Gilas players, the addition of a Monday playdate is an absolute necessity for the league to devote to the national cause.

In addition, TV5 will now air both doubleheaders on Saturdays, as opposed to only one during the Philippine Cup and early in the Commissioner’s Cup. As a result, TV5 will now have at least seven live games per week as opposed to only five in the original setup.

But while the Kapatid network will broadcast two games live on weekends, the original weekday format will remain the same, with only the second game airing live at 8:00 p.m., and the first game airing ‘via satellite’ at 11:10 p.m. AksyonTV will still carry all the games live.

Thanks to the addition of a second Saturday game, TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ schedule will now be as follows:

Saturdays

2:45 – PBA first game

4:45 – Aksyon Weekend

5:15 – PBA second game

7:15 – Tropa Mo Ko Unli

8:15 – Celebrity Dance Battle

9:15 – Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman

10:15 – Kaya

11:15 – SpinNation

Sundays

3:00 – PBA doubleheader

7:15 – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

8:15 – Wow Mali Pa Rin

9:15 – Sunday Sineplex

10:45 – Juan Direction

11:15 – Pilipinas News

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup will be taking a break from April 3-6 to give way to the All-Star Game, which is expected to bring back the PBA All-Stars vs. Gilas format of the previous year. The single-round nine-game eliminations will end on April 20.

 

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Martinez Documentary, New ‘Kaya’ on TV5 and Other News

The Olympic journey of Michael Christian Martinez will be featured in the documentary ‘Hero on Ice’ tonight on TV5.

Tonight after ‘Aksyon Weekend’, TV5 will air a special 30-minute documentary called ‘Hero on Ice’. The documentary will focus on Michael Christian Martinez’s life, career, and journey that took him from the small SM rinks to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Along the way, viewers will be treated to an all-access look at Martinez’s trip to Sochi and his preparations for the event. Interviews with family and friends, as well as highlights of his Winter Olympics ice skating routines will also be featured.

As a bonus treat to viewers, the documentary will also look back at Martinez’s triumphant homecoming, followed by the press conference and a skating exhibition at the Mall of Asia rink. ‘Hero on Ice’ is hosted by Chiqui Roa-Puno, and will pre-empt ‘Magic Gimik Revealed’ in its timeslot.

Also on TV5, the documentary series ‘Kaya’ returns with a brand new episode, after giving way to ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ last week. In this episode entitled ‘Tindog’, DJ Sta. Ana will take a look at the rebuilding of Tacloban following its destruction from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). The series airs after ‘Juan Direction’.

With regards to ‘SpinNation’ which is currently airing on repeats, the second season premiere of the program is currently being delayed by Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s taping schedule for her upcoming self-titled suspense/drama series ‘JasMINE’. The series is scheduled to begin this March 25 at 8 p.m., and will also star the likes of Alwyn Uytingco, Matt Padilla, and Vin Abrenica. Along with the weeknight comedy/drama series ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, the two series will highlight another busy month for the Kapatid network, which will also include the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and the US NCAA March Madness.

Speaking of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the conference begins on March 5, a week after the end of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. But contrary to what Commissioner Chito Salud had assured, and despite the recent high ratings of the recently concluded Philippine Cup playoffs, the airing schedule from the Philippine Cup eliminations will continue in the upcoming conference, with only the second game of the weekday doubleheaders, first game of Saturday doubleheaders, and both games of Sunday doubleheaders airing live on TV5. However all of the games will be shown live on AksyonTV.

And finally, the US NCAA March Madness will begin in mid-March, and like the preceding Winter Olympics, coverage of the games will be shared by TV5, AksyonTV, Hyper and Cignal HD. With that, good luck to TV5 and its affiliate stations on a busy month to come.

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PBA Quarterfinals Scheduling Quirks

Today will mark the start of the PBA Philippine Cup playoff rounds. As is the case the past two seasons, the playoff games will be played on a daily basis up until the Semifinals. However, there are some scheduling quirks which may baffle some viewers.

Tuesday’s doubleheader will have Petron vs. Barako Bull, and Talk N’ Text vs. San Mig Super Coffee. However, the former will not be shown live on TV as AksyonTV is slated to air weekly United Football League doubleheaders. Instead it will shown on a delayed basis over at TV5 after ‘Reaksyon’. The latter will also not be seen on AksyonTV, but will have a live broadcast on TV5.

For Wednesday’s doubleheader featuring Rain or Shine vs. Globalport, and Barangay Ginebra vs. Alaska, the first game will be a live broadcast on AksyonTV and a delayed broadcast on TV5, while the second game will be aired live on both networks. However, there will be no games on Thursday as TV5 is scheduled to air the pilot episode of the weekly drama series ‘Obsession’.

Friday’s doubleheader featuring the four teams that played on Tuesday will follow the same broadcast pattern as Wednesday’s doubleheader. But should both Wednesday doubleheader brackets extend to a do-or-die match, the first game will be shown live on both AksyonTV and TV5, while the second game will be seen only on AksyonTV. Now here’s the dilemma: TV5 does not air the second game on Saturdays, but because ‘What’s Up Doods?’ is presumably cancelled, they may move both ‘SPINNation’ and ‘Pilipinas News Weekend’ to that timeslot to allow the second PBA quarterfinals game to air.

Finally, the Sunday games will have Game 3 of either one or two series that played on Friday, and will be seen on TV5 and AksyonTV. In short, Sports5 is following virtually the same broadcast script that have been followed since the start of the eliminations.

With that, good luck to all the teams in the playoffs, and good luck to all the viewers trying to watch a PBA game on TV.

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Jojo A is Back, But Edu Manzano is Not

The last time viewers saw Jojo Alejar on television, TV5 was on the verge of a programming makeover. The Kapatid network revamped its lineup last September in hopes of attracting younger and socially conscious audiences. And one of the programs that were victims of the shakeup was ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ Tonight, the said program returns to a new home.

Jojo Alejar’s late night talk show will air on the GMA Network every weeknights. This is the show’s second stint with the Kapuso group, having first aired on QTV (now GMA News TV) from 2007-08. It also brought Jojo Alejar back to his original network, having first starred as a cast member of German Moreno’s variety show ‘That’s Entertainment’ in the late 1980s.

Like the previous incarnations, the show will feature the All the Way Band, which has backed up Alejar’s late night show from its RJTV 29 years. However, the program will only run for 30 minutes, unlike the customary one hour it was allotted during its previous stop at TV5, due to the presence of another late night talk show in ‘The Tim Yap Show’.

But while Jojo Alejar is returning with his late night talk show, Edu Manzano’s ‘What’s Up Doods?’ looks to be on the way out. Most viewers pointed out that a sudden change in format and schedule, lack of advertising money and low viewership figures were the reasons why ‘What’s Up Doods?’ was being considered a candidate for cancellation.

Edu Manzano’s talk show started off on a promising note, as it aired after ‘Killer Karaoke’. In its first few episodes Manzano interviewed the likes of Georgina Wilson, Jinri Park and Ramon Bautista, not to mention several players of La Salle and UST at the height of the UAAP Finals. In addition, the early episodes of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ included gags pitting Manzano and a special guest lampooning various aspects of pop culture and society.

However, the new PBA season and the entry of the British-Filipino quintet called ‘Juan Direction’ bumped ‘What’s Up Doods?’ to a late-night timeslot. Eventually the show abandoned its skits and decided to concentrate mainly on interviews with special guests. As a result, it alienated some viewers and caused advertisers to pull out. And for the past few weeks, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ was pre-empted for other programs and aired reruns.

‘What’s Up Doods?’ was a decently good concept for ‘Weekend Do It Better’. But it lacks the energy and liveliness that ‘Medyo Late Night’ enjoys. And with ‘Juan Direction’ and ‘SPINNation’ enjoying high viewership numbers, it appears that Edu Manzano’s talk show will be axed soon in favor of both programs airing back-to-back.

As for ‘Medyo Late Night’, good luck with the show’s re-debut on GMA. I’m sure Jojo A will enjoy his homecoming on the Kapuso network.

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