entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

In 100 Words: GMA Teased Upcoming Season of StarStruck on Facebook

Even GMA is itching to find a new star.

As ABS-CBN’s ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ continues to look for future artists among its housemates, GMA teased its audience by updating the Facebook page of ‘StarStruck’, implying that a new season will come around very soon.

‘StarStruck”s most recent season came in 2015 when it crowned Klea Pineda and Migo Adecer as the Ultimate Female and Male Survivor respectively. However, that season of ‘StarStruck’ was a disaster as it endured poor ratings while airing in the early primetime slot.

It remains to be seen if GMA will indeed produce another season of ‘StarStruck’. Considering how bad last season turned out, it will not be a surprise if viewers have seen the last of the country’s original ‘artista search’ program.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Worst

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 worst moments in Philippine television this year.

GMA Scraps Sunday TV Mass

On January 4, GMA decided to cease its broadcast of the Family TV Mass organized by the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI), replacing it with the movie block ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’. The Sunday Mass of SVD-MCFI returned to its old home in IBC-13 a week later.

Poor ratings of the Sunday Mass was among the reasons behind the cancellation. Despite the claims of many that GMA is promoting apathy and not favoring the Catholic religion, they still managed to cover (albeit not as dedicated as other stations) the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines, as well as produce a religiously-themed teleserye ‘Pari ‘Koy’ starring Dingdong Dantes.

Gone Too Soon for KISPinoy and Misterless Misis

‘KISPinoy’ and ‘Misterless Misis’ aired for only three episodes each during the third quarter of 2015. The former was axed in late July, while the latter received a postponement (or possibly a cancellation) notice the following month.

Both events paved the way for VIVA to take over TV5’s entertainment department, with Vic del Rosario replacing Wilma Galvante.

PBB, It’s Showtime Summoned by MTRCB

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘It’s Showtime’ were each summoned by the MTRCB for offending viewer sensibilities. The former was for the so-called ‘bromance’ involving teen housemates Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez, while the latter was for the alleged ‘pimping’ of ‘Pastillas Girl’ Angelica Yap in the ‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ skit.

Both shows eventually complied by imposing self-regulatory measures, among other rulings. MTRCB also summoned GMA’s ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ for strong language inappropriate to viewers.

GMA’s Finances Put Into Question

Despite an increase in revenue, GMA’s financial capabilities were on the hot seat anew this year. The increased revenue was done at the expense of the network’s ‘streamlining’ efforts which featured, among others, the closure of regional networks and programs, and the termination of long-time employees.

Felipe Gozon’s reluctance to sell a part of the network’s shares was also a major issue. Talks between him and Ramon Ang collapsed in August (with the latter later accusing Gozon of estafa), and a few months later, Gozon rejected offers from Chavit Singson and Manny Pacquiao to purchase a part of the network.

Pope Francis, SONA and APEC Coverage Issues

Not all news networks were able to cover the three biggest news events of the year. GMA News TV received major heat for their lack of coverage in both the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines and the State of the Nation Address, while AksyonTV was criticized for their non-coverage of the APEC Summit.

The two embattled news networks deserved a lot of blame this year. Speaking of AksyonTV,…

AksyonTV’s Identity Crisis Continues

Admit it or not, AksyonTV really needs a makeover. No longer the 24/7 all-Filipino free TV news channel of years past, the network is now increasingly littered with sports coverage, ranging from major leagues like the PSL to more low-scale ones like the PCBL.

Perhaps the time is now for the network to bring back the AKTV name it once used as a blocktimer on IBC-13. After all, AksyonTV’s glory days are behind them.

StarStruck’s Disaster

The return of ‘StarStruck’ proved to be a glorified failure, as ratings and a questionable timeslot doomed the reality show’s sixth season. It was also long overdue, and it would have made a big difference for the network had it been placed opposite ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’.

That said, there may never be another season of ‘StarStruck’ after this. So much for hype gone wrong.

Goodbye Showbiz Talk Shows As We Know It

Easter Sunday of this year marked the final episode of the 16-year-old ‘The Buzz’. Seven months later, ‘Startalk’ took a bow as well after 20 years on air.

A change in viewer’s taste was a key reason behind the demise of both shows. Although ‘CelebriTV’ replaced ‘Startalk’, and ABS-CBN planned to revive ‘The Buzz’ in the future, it won’t be easy adapting to a new audience.

CNN Philippines Not Living Up to Expectations

Launched last March 15, CNN Philippines was supposed to be a local version of its parent network. However, a lot of issues surfaced from the beginning.

Whether it’s due to the revolving door of anchors and reporters, an overemphasis on Nancy Grace or the lack of round-the-clock news coverage, it is clear that CNN Philippines is still a work in progress. That said, Nine Media will need to make a lot of changes to ensure that this venture between them and CNN won’t end quickly.

NBA on ABS-CBN Demoted to the Studio

Since February, NBA coverage on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action has been purely local, handled in-studio by Boom Gonzalez, TJ Manotoc, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras. But to the surprise of many, only Manotoc traveled to the United States to cover the NBA Finals, and ABS-CBN opted to call the games in-studio rather than on location.

Delayed broadcast of the NBA games were a primary reason behind ABS-CBN’s questionable decision. Still, with digitization looming, and the migration to HD underway, it seems like this is a more logical solution for the network to save costs.

In tomorrow’s year-end special, From the Tube will look back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this 2015.

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GMA’s Post-StarStruck Response is a Koreanovela, Plus No Miss World Telecast

A new Koreanovela will kick things off for GMA Telebabad.

Tonight will be the premiere of ‘The Producers’, a recently-aired Korean drama series starring Kim Soo-hyun, Cha Tae-hyun, Gong Hyo-jin and IU. The series is produced by the same group who created another hit Korean drama in ‘My Love from the Star’.

This brings the total number of current Asianovelas on GMA to three. Two of them (‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’) form part of the network’s Heart of Asia Mornings block.

Unfortunately for GMA, ‘The Producers’ will be up against ‘Pasion de Amor’, the ABS-CBN teleserye that continues to heat up the ratings with each intense scene. Combined with waning interest in the Koreanovela genre, and a programming mismatch ensues between the two shows.

That said, it will be a very tough challenge for GMA and ‘The Producers’ to rekindle the once-popular Koreanovela genre. Whether or not they will accomplish that remains to be seen.

‘The Producers’ airs weeknights at 5:50 p.m., before ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

No Televised Broadcast of Miss World

The 2015 Miss World was held last Saturday, with Spain’s Mireia Lalaguna winning the crown. The Philippines’ Miss World representative, Hillarie Parungao, finished in the top ten.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of ‘MariMar’ star and 2013 winner Megan Young as one of the pageant’s hosts, this year’s Miss World was not televised at all in the Philippines. The reason: GMA’s concurrent live broadcast of ‘StarStruck: The Final Judgment’, won by Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda.

There was also no delayed broadcast of the said pageant the following day, as GMA realized it was not worth it given the country’s Miss World bet only made the top ten. News reports were also absent on GMA News programs within days of the event; the only Miss World-related report is of Parungao’s return to the country.

With GMA unable to air this year’s Miss World (even though they aired the Miss World Philippines pageant two months earlier), it may be a better idea for the organizers to find a new network for subsequent Miss World and Miss World Philippines pageants. GMA’s non-commitment to a Miss World broadcast is not a good sign for their relationship, and worse, a black eye for the embattled network.

That said, next year’s Miss World will provide a lot of questions to prospective coverors. Will there ever be another broadcast of Miss World in the Philippines? Only time will tell.

Postscript: Speaking of beauty pageants, congratulations to Pia Wurtzbach for winning the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, albeit with the help of a premature announcement of Miss Colombia’s victory by host Steve Harvey. The victory of the Philippines’ Wurtzbach should help spike the event’s ratings on ABS-CBN this week. 

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

StarStruck Ends This Saturday

The Ultimate Male and Female Survivor will be crowned this Saturday, as ‘StarStruck’ presents ‘The Final Judgment’. (Photo credit: GMA Network/StarStruck Official Facebook)

The most forgettable season in ‘StarStruck’ history is finally coming to a close.

On Saturday, December 19, ‘StarStruck”s Final Four, consisting of Klea Pineda, Migo Adecer, Elyson de Dios, and Ayra Mariano, will vie for the Ultimate Male and Female Survivor crowns in front of a nationwide audience. As it has been the case in past seasons, ‘StarStruck”s season finale will be dubbed ‘The Final Judgment’.

The season finale of ‘StarStruck’ will also feature a special guest. Former ‘StarStruck’ reject-turned-rising star Alden Richards will make a special appearance on the show, joining hosts Dingdong Dantes and Megan Young alongside ‘StarStruck’ segment hosts and judges.

Saturday’s finale will mark the only time that the sixth season of ‘StarStruck’ aired an episode on a weekend. This is surprising for the reality show, considering that past seasons always featured a weekend edition (typically elimination nights that lead up to the coronation of that season’s male, female and sole survivors).

But not this year, as elimination nights took place on a Friday.

Overall, the sixth season of ‘StarStruck’ failed to recapture the aura of past seasons, thanks to a poor choice of timeslot and the lack of a weekend edition. Losing to ‘Pasion de Amor’ and avoiding ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ proved to be two sins that this season’s ‘StarStruck’ were not able to avoid.

With ‘StarStruck’ not performing up to expectations, an uncertain path awaits this season’s survivors and avengers. Staying with GMA may be a risky course for some, but moving over to ABS-CBN or other outfits may still help them enhance their skills.

It remains to be seen whether or not the ‘StarStruck’ finale will finish strong. But one thing’s for sure: it’s make or break for ‘StarStruck’ this Saturday.

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StarStruck Finally Returns, But Problems Persist

The long-awaited return of ‘StarStruck’ is underway.

After a five-year absence, the original and most iconic reality talent search show on Philippine television is back with a new season and a new hope. A total of 35 hopefuls will have the chance of a lifetime to become a GMA star and an Ultimate Survivor.

But there are some problems that should concern the returning ‘StarStruck’.

GMA announced that ‘StarStruck’ would air weekdays at 5:50 p.m. starting today. The problem is that the timeslot is way too early for a reality show of this caliber, and based on recent trends, Filipino reality talent shows usually air in mid-to-late evenings to take advantage of bigger audiences.

In the first five seasons of ‘StarStruck’, GMA placed the show after the local teleseryes and before Koreanovelas on the network’s Telebabad block. At the time, it helped ‘StarStruck’ earn high ratings for the network, right in the midst of the Koreanovela and fantaserye fever.

Those seasons of ‘StarStruck’ also had a weekend edition (which also rated well), something that the new season won’t have (unless GMA changes its mind). But until then, the new ‘StarStruck’ will have to endure a different and more radical approach than in past seasons.

‘StarStruck’ will also have to worry about ‘Pasion de Amor’. The ABS-CBN drama series continues to stay hot in its timeslot, winning over its GMA counterparts on a consistent basis.

That said, GMA will have its hands full once ‘StarStruck’ comes in. ‘Pasion de Amor’ is a tough nut to crack for the Kapuso network, especially considering the single-digit failures of previous opponents ‘My Mother’s Secret’ and ‘Reply 1997’, thus GMA has to pull all the stops if ‘StarStruck’ wants to return to form.

It’s just too bad that they didn’t place the show against the continuously declining ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ (thank you ‘Legendary Women’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ for closing that timeslot). Had they placed ‘StarStruck’ against PBB (or earlier at best), the show would have fared better.

But as it stands, ‘StarStruck’ is in for a rude awakening. Without any options, GMA has no choice but to place the returning ‘StarStruck’ into a timeslot they’re not used to, which is a daunting challenge to this point.

Is ‘StarStruck’ worth the wait, or an immediate afterthought? We’ll see.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

PBB Premiere Nears, StarStruck Still Out of Commission

It appears that the much-anticipated clash between ‘StarStruck’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ may not happen after all.

ABS-CBN announced that the latest season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will officially launch this June at a still-unspecified date. The new season will be titled ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’, and as of today, six unnamed housemates have been confirmed on the show’s official Facebook.

The new season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will be the 12th overall and sixth regular season in the reality’s show’s history. It will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of the franchise, which first saw the light of day back in 2005.

But while ‘Pinoy Big Brother”s season premiere is drawing near, ‘StarStruck”s plans for a comeback appear to have been stalled. Their most recent teaser (see video below) was aired back in March, after which GMA pulled the plug for reasons unknown.

The new season of ‘StarStruck’ has been in the works since September of last year, with auditions having taken place during that time. GMA even confirmed that Megan Young and Dingdong Dantes will host the said reality show.

That said, the countdown to the return of ‘StarStruck’ should have started at this point. After all, GMA had worked so long and hard for the show to come back that fans cannot wait to see it coming.

Instead, GMA can only watch helplessly as its rival from Mother Ignacia made final preparations for the return of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

The rivalry between ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ and ‘StarStruck’ should have been an interesting one, especially with the latter attempting to resuscitate GMA’s fortunes in the reality show genre. But with the long and tedious process still affecting ‘StarStruck”s comeback plans, all signs now point for PBB to continue its dominance.

It remains to be seen if GMA would heed its promise and launch ‘StarStruck’ in the soonest possible time. For now, though, they will have to endure painful and sleepless nights against the popular yet controversial ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

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