news, Philippines, public affairs, television

ABS-CBN Regional Cancels Agri Tayo Dito, MagTV Na

Not even the largest regional television network group in the Philippines is spared from the inevitable.

Just recently, ABS-CBN Regional announced the cancellation of its two weekend morning programs ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’. The former, which was hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ winner Ruben Gonzaga, had been on the air for six years, while the latter, starring various hosts in different regional networks, had been running for a decade.

Both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ earned Anak TV citations for being child-friendly programs. They also won several KBP Golden Dove and UPLB Gandingan Awards among other accomplishments.

No reason was given behind the cancellation of both programs. However, it is likely that ABS-CBN Regional pulled the plug for cost-cutting purposes, given the need to improve and strengthen all of its regional outlets and bring it to a high definition-ready standard of its Metro Manila flagship.

It is also possible that ABS-CBN Regional will not field in a replacement for both shows due to these aforementioned reasons. Instead, they are expected to show ‘Kapamilya Swak na Swak’ and ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ direct from Metro Manila.

The cancellation of ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ came months after the shutdown of the ABS-CBN Regional Channel last January. It is clear that ABS-CBN Regional is eyeing toward the future, and considering that its stations are still not up to par with Metro Manila’s, they had no choice but to cut some operating expenses.

The fate of the shows’ hosts and staff will also come into play. Given their loyal service to ABS-CBN, they could either be given an honorable discharge or a new role within the company.

Still, it remains to be seen what plans will ABS-CBN Regional bring to the table next. But for the Kapamilya viewers in the provinces, both ‘Agri Tayo Dito’ and ‘MagTV Na’ will be sorely missed.

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anime, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, Sports, television

Animes Return to ABS-CBN, But Problems Still Persist

ABS-CBN’s Team Animazing was dealt a huge blow with the pullout of ‘Haikyuu!!’. A new timeslot for the said anime is still to be determined. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN Animation Official Facebook)

ABS-CBN’s Team Animazing is back, but more problems await them.

Just one week into its run, ABS-CBN abruptly decided to remove the volleyball-themed anime ‘Haikyuu!!’ from the Umaganda lineup. In its place was the re-run of ‘Wansapanatym”s ‘My App Boyfie’, which currently airs as part of the seasonal version of ‘Wansapanatym’ called ‘WansapanaSummer’.

The pullout of ‘Haikyuu!!’ leaves ‘Naruto Shippuden’ as the lone remaining anime on the Umaganda block. The latter now airs after ‘Kris TV’, displacing the Filipino-dubbed Nickelodeon cartoon ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ in the process.

This sudden decision by ABS-CBN left anime fans boiling with anger. Reactions were overwhelmingly negative on social media, with some netizens questioning the motives behind ABS-CBN’s puzzling move.

Though ABS-CBN did promise to air ‘Haikyuu!!’ on a new timeslot soon (along with a new season of ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’), the bad blood over the pullout remains fresh from the minds of the Kapamilya anime fans. It was an unwise move on the part of ABS-CBN, simply because of the wrong timing surrounding the change.

The ‘Haikyuu!!’ row was the latest in a series of discouraging decisions involving ‘Team Animazing’. Just recently, ABS-CBN temporarily pulled out ‘Team Animazing’ in favor of Japanese adaptations of classic stories such as ‘Princess Sarah’, Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe’ and ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’.

For Kapamilya anime fans, the situation is simply demoralizing.

Things will only get worse once the NBA playoffs begin. ABS-CBN is expected air some playoff games on a delayed basis within the next two months, so anime fans will have to wait a little bit longer.

Right now, though, the pain of ‘Haikyuu!!’s sudden disappearance will have to be endured. Fans can only hope that the pain will dissipate once the Kapamilya network announces a new schedule for the said anime.

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action, anime, cartoon, entertainment, Japan, Philippines, television

The Decline of ABS-CBN’s Team Animazing

Animes on ABS-CBN are suddenly out of commission with the re-airing of classic adapted Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ and ‘Cedie’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Hard-hitting animes on ABS-CBN are now a thing of the past.

With new seasons of ‘Naruto Shippuden’ and ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’ still months away from their premiere, ABS-CBN decided to re-air their popular 1990s Japanese adaptations of classic novels on the said block. This despite the fact that they have the backing of sister channel Hero to bring in new animes.

It is clear that Team Animazing, once a formidable rival to GMA’s Astig Authority block, is on the decline. And here are some reasons why.

It all started when ABS-CBN took advantage of ‘Princess Sarah”s renewed popularity on social media by re-airing the series in October. Then in a more desperate move, the Kapamilya network re-aired ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’, ‘Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe’ and ‘Dog of Flanders’, much to the dismay of their anime fans.

Worse, ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ continued to air on the said block, even though it is clear no one is in the mood to watch the Nickelodeon icon in Tagalized and heavily edited form.

As a result, Astig Authority overwhelmed Team Animazing in the ratings, even though they were frequently criticized for re-airing old animes regularly. But Team Animazing’s problems go beyond low ratings.

Unlike Astig Authority, which runs for over three hours, Team Animazing is only given half of what the former is allotted. This leads to fewer programs, and worse, heavily edited episodes, which does not bode well with viewers and the anime community in general.

And if there’s anything the Kapamilya anime fans want to blame, it is the presence of Kris Aquino in the mornings. ‘Kris TV’, which is now airing for four years but is struggling for ratings, continue to be honored by the network thanks to Kris’ ‘ironclad’ contract demands.

Team Animazing’s recent slump is only one of several problems that concern ABS-CBN today. That said, for the Kapamilya anime community, it is unfair for ABS-CBN to not commit towards new animes.

What’s the use of Hero if ABS-CBN won’t do favors to their anime fans? This definitely makes no sense.

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anime, cartoon, entertainment, Japan, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN Takes the GMA Route in Re-Airing Princess Sarah

Once a rival, always a rival.

ABS-CBN recently announced that the popular children’s anime ‘Princess Sarah’ (Filipino title ‘Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa’) will be re-aired on the Animazing block starting October 13. The series, based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel ‘A Little Princess’, was first aired in Japan in 1985, and was later picked up by ABS-CBN in the early 90s.

The rebroadcast of ‘Princess Sarah’ was intended to capitalize on the recent popularity of internet memes that are related to the series. Most of the memes focus on Sarah, Becky, and potatoes.

In addition to ‘Princess Sarah’, ‘Marcelino Pan Y Vino’ will also be re-aired on Animazing. The two shows’ timeslots will be announced within the weekend.

In a reversal of roles, ABS-CBN is beginning to copy rival GMA’s own style of re-airing old animes in the early morning slot. And a lot of it has to do with their lack of success in this particular viewership period.

Whether it is Kantar or AGB Nielsen, ABS-CBN always falls prey to a more unconventional approach that GMA employs in this slot (sorry ‘Kris TV’ viewers). Even though GMA’s rebroadcasts of old animes deserve a whole lot of criticism, the fact that anime loyalists continue to enjoy such shows over and over again attests to their continued success.

On the other hand, new animes (or new seasons of existing animes) on ABS-CBN failed to garner any viewership, mainly due to constant preemptions in favor of events like the recently concluded 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Worse, the Tagalized ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ and ‘Mr. Bean’ are heavily edited, giving additional reason for viewers to tune out.

As a result, ABS-CBN decided to do the most unthinkable way possible, by re-airing ‘Princess Sarah’ and ‘Marcelino Pan Y Vino’. In doing so, they realized that in order to win back viewers in this timeslot, they need to copy someone else’s style and re-air some of their classic animated series, something that GMA has always been doing for years.

Whether or not they will succeed in the imitation of another station’s style remains to be seen. But for ABS-CBN, desperation is starting to sink in.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

If ABS-CBN and GMA Traded Shows…

Mr. Bean will return to ABS-CBN, but the character may be better off showing his comedic artistry to the Kapusos at GMA 7.

While watching a Tagalized and ‘intentionally’ edited episode of ‘Spongebob Squarepants‘ on ABS-CBN, I saw a program advisory at the bottom promoting the return of the Mr. Bean series on the Kapamilya network. Ok, that’s a given, because they need a program to fill in the usually off-peak early morning schedules. But Mr. Bean? You got to be kidding.

Mr. Bean, as I know, has been the property of ABS-CBN for a decade now. It began airing on Studio 23 on Saturday nights, with the animated shows in the morning. Then it was moved to the main Channel 2, and aired sporadically on weekday mornings, regardless of the live or animated version. Before that it used to air on PTV 4 and ABC (now TV5).

I always don’t like the way ABS-CBN aired Mr. Bean. They tend to edit some skits and combine one from a particular episode with another from a different episode. Worse, they only allotted 15 minutes of airtime, as opposed to the 30 minutes in a full episode. The airing of Mr. Bean on the Kapamilya network is both an insult and a disgrace to loyal Mr. Bean faithful.

So what if ABS-CBN and GMA traded their morning programs for each other? It has been well-documented that a few shows would move from one station to another in order to either give way to other programs or to purchase airing rights for future production. I have seen several programs air on both Kapuso and Kapamilya stations; programs such as ‘Eat Bulaga‘, ‘Meteor Garden‘ and ‘Rosalinda’ come to mind. But if I were the boss of either networks, I would suggest that ABS-CBN must give up Mr. Bean and send it to GMA, and in return GMA will trade rights for the animes such as ‘Pokemon’, ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ (Ghost Fighter), ‘Slam Dunk’ and others in exchange for ABS-CBN’s ‘Digimon’, ‘Naruto Shippuden‘ and others. Of course, I would like to see a different morning look in both the Kapuso and Kapamilya stations.

In the meantime, ABS-CBN and GMA will continue to air ‘boring’ programming during the off-peak morning hours. Unless they make up their minds and trade their programs for each other, weekday mornings will continue to remain that way: ‘boring’.

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cartoon, Philippines, television

No Fairly OddParents on ABS-CBN

The omission of ‘The Fairly OddParents’ on the Nick on ABS-CBN block is not good for Nick fans.

Since 2009, select Nickelodeon programs have been airing on both ABS-CBN and Studio 23. All of the Nick programs are dubbed in Filipino. However, one noticeable omission took my notice, and that is the fact that Nickelodeon’s second most popular series ‘The Fairly OddParents‘ is not airing on either network.

The omission of ‘The Fairly OddParents’ dates back to the years when TV5 had the rights to Nickelodeon programs. At the time, the most recognizable programs on Nick were aired on the Kapatid network; namely Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues, Danny Phantom and CatDog, among others. When the rights moved to ABS-CBN, Spongebob and Dora were retained, after which new series such as Wonder Pets, Back at the Barnyard, El Tigre, Planet Sheen and Ni Hao Kai Lan began to air. Despite that, neither network wanted to air ‘The Fairly OddParents’, despite its long history and critical acclaim.

The omission of ‘The Fairly OddParents’ really caught me by surprise. I really wanted to see Timmy Turner, Cosmo and Wanda, Vicky and the Pixies speak in Filipino. Very funny and interesting, right? But the management at ABS-CBN never wanted a part of ‘The Fairly OddParents’, either because dubbing the high-pitched and fast lines in Filipino may be difficult for the voice actors, or that the program’s rights may be more expensive, since they already have Spongebob and Dora at their disposal. Regardless, the omission of the popular ‘The Fairly OddParents’ is not a good one for viewers who cannot afford cable TV and have no business watching Nickelodeon’s second-tier animated series.

In the past, I have criticized ABS-CBN for cutting too many scenes on their Nickelodeon programs. For example, a lot of Spongebob episodes have so many scenes cut off that I tuned out for good. This was not the case when TV5 still handled the programs. What ABS-CBN did should be derided and frowned upon; you have no business in editing some funny scenes.

If ABS-CBN finally decided to air ‘The Fairly OddParents’ in the near future, it should satisfy the viewers’ hunger for an animated series featuring magic, moral lessons, and humor. If not, blame the Kapamilya network for not airing it at all.

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