drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

PBB: 737 Gold Cancelled; All of Me Replaces Flordeliza

Turns out there won’t be any congestion on Kapamilya Gold after all.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ was cancelled following last Friday’s episode. The cancellation gave way to the premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, starring Julia Montes.

The afternoon edition of the ongoing ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ has been under hot water from the beginning, receiving an SPG warning from the MTRCB after the infamous ‘bromance’ issue between Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez. Though it was later removed, ABS-CBN eventually decided to cancel PBB: 737 Gold out of respect to younger viewers.

Thus, for the first time in the reality series’ history, only one edition of PBB will be seen on free TV on a daily basis. Past seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ had an afternoon and evening (sometimes late night) edition on weekdays, and in the early years of the franchise, sister station Studio 23 even aired a supplementary broadcast of the series.

Meanwhile, ‘Flordeliza’ is down to its final week. The comeback series of Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin has been on the air for eight months now, but despite its surprisingly long run, it failed to dampen the success of afternoon’s top drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

Now it’s up to another comebacking Kapamilya, JM de Guzman, to give ‘The Half-Sisters’ a much-needed challenge. After returning to the limelight with the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’, JM returns to the small screen via ‘All of Me’.

In ‘All of Me’, JM and veteran actor Albert Martinez will share the role of Manuel, whose near-death experience led to his transformation back to his younger self. Older Manuel, a widowed doctor, settled with his new love interest Lena (Yen Santos), and after transforming into his younger self and traveling into the future, was faced with seeking revenge on Lena’s husband Dr. Henry Nieves (Arron Villaflor), or moving on to a new life.

The upcoming series will also star Angel Aquino, Ina Raymundo, Neri Naig, Ana Capri, Micah Munoz, Jordan Herrera, Sue Ann Ramirez, and Akira Morishita. Dondon Santos will be the director.

One can only hope that JM will rekindle the success that he had on ‘Angelito: Batang Ama’. It won’t be easy though, given that ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been on fire in the afternoon for months now.

Still, it’s worth a challenge, and an opportunity to revive his showbiz career further. Good luck.

‘All of Me’ premieres this Monday, August 31, after ‘It’s Showtime’ on Kapamilya Gold.

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action, anime, cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Remembering Action Kids on ABS-CBN Sports+Action

 

ABS-CBN Sports+Action once aired animated programs under the ‘Action Kids’ block until late last year. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

There was a time when animated programs used to air on ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

Dubbed as ‘Action Kids’, the morning block featured animated programs, both from the United States and Japan. The block usually aired in the early mornings whenever there are no sporting events on tap.

Some of the most notable programs on the block include sports-themed animated series like ‘Supa Strikas’, Nickelodeon educational programs like ‘Dora the Explorer’, and animes such as ‘Metal Fight Beyblade’. Marvel animated series like ‘Avengers Assemble’ and ‘Spider-Man Unlimited’ were also aired during ABS-CBN’s contract deal with Marvel.

‘Action Kids’ was essentially carried over from the animated shows that aired on predecessor Studio 23.  However, in late 2014, the ‘Action Kids’ block was taken off the air for unknown reasons, and Sports+Action soon shifted its focus towards live-action programs, sporting highlights and general information shows, most notable of which were NBA replays.

Thing is, ABS-CBN Sports+Action was aimed at a predominantly male adult audience. ‘Action Kids’ didn’t conform to the channel’s tastes.

Some of the programs that aired on ‘Action Kids’ were moved to the newly-launched ‘Yey!’ channel, which is currently available on SkyCable and on the newly-launched ABS-CBN TVPlus digital TV box. Others were moved to the cable-only Hero TV.

For a station that prides itself in airing sporting events and action-packed programming, ABS-CBN Sports+Action’s brief spell into animated shows was something to forget. While it did provide a bit of action and adventure for younger audiences, it is not what they really have in mind.

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education, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: The Boom of Educational TV Shows

Led by the award-winning ‘SineSkwela’, educational programs in the Philippines received a big boost in 1995. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

It’s back to school for students across the Philippines.

School year 2015-16 is now underway in every public school in the country, with private institutions starting theirs the week after. For big-name tertiary schools such as UP, Ateneo, La Salle and UST, opening of classes would come a few months later, as part of their alignment with the academic calendars of other countries.

Back in school year 1995-96, a surge in educational TV programs took place. The said school year saw the establishment of two different series of educational programs: ABS-CBN’s ETV (Educational Television), and PTV-4’s CONSTEL (Continuing Education via Television).

ABS-CBN’s ETV series initially consisted of the following programs:

SineSkwela – the flagship program of the ETV series which tackles a variety of topics related to elementary science, health and technology.

Hiraya Manawari – focuses on fantasy stories with lessons on good values and morals.

Bayani – discusses historic Filipino heroes through a dramatic retelling of their struggles and triumphs.

The ETV series introduced three other programs a few years later, consisting of:

Math-Tinik – features lessons related to elementary mathematics.

Epol/Apple – examines the proper use of elementary English in everyday conversations.

Pahina – analyzes classical Filipino literature through dramatization of said stories.

The ETV series initially aired on ABS-CBN during weekday mornings for much of the mid-90s. The debut of Knowledge Channel in 1999 soon prompted the network to move the ETV programs to the said channel, leading to a change in ABS-CBN’s early-morning landscape that remains to this day.

The ETV programs also aired on Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action). Videotapes and DVDs of the said programs were also sold and donated to schools through ABS-CBN Foundation.

Meanwhile, PTV-4’s CONSTEL series consisted of the following programs:

Science Made Easy – a telecourse for elementary students that features lessons on basic science.

Chemistry in Action – a telecourse for high school students that features lessons on chemistry.

Physics in Everyday Life – a telecourse for college students that features lessons on physics.

CONSTEL English – introduced a few years later, the series was a telecourse for high school students that features lesson on English language and grammar.

PTV-4’s CONSTEL series was produced by the network in cooperation with what is now the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Foundation for the Upgrading of Standards in Education (FUSE). The series continues to air on a sporadic basis, even during the time PTV-4 was known as NBN under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The CONSTEL series was also picked up by Knowledge Channel and is currently airing on a recurring basis.

While ‘Fun with Math’ was also introduced around this time, it was not considered part of the CONSTEL series. Nevertheless, the program served a similar purpose in promoting education through television.

The resurgence of educational TV programs was a big moment in Philippine television in 1995. Today, these programs continue to benefit teachers in any way possible, and influence a young generation of students everywhere.

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Philippines, Sports, television

With NCAA Out, TV5 Focuses on International Multi-Sport Events

Coverage of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games will be held exclusively by Sports5. (Photo credit: Interaksyon.com)

The loss of NCAA rights did not stop TV5 from pursuing other sporting events.

Starting today, TV5’s family of channels will have a live and exclusive coverage of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. The SEA Games will be aired on three different platforms: VHF channel TV5, UHF channel AksyonTV 41 and livestreaming site Sports5.ph.

A majority of the coverage will be dedicated to the Philippine national teams, with major focus on the country’s basketball, volleyball and football teams. Sports5 will also provide highlights to the country’s other teams, such as athletics, boxing and swimming.

While the opening ceremonies will take place on June 5, preliminaries of events such as football, netball and table tennis will get underway today. Both the opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the Singapore National Stadium, which will also host the athletics and football events.

In the previous SEA Games at Myanmar two years ago, the Philippines endured its worst performance of the event, finishing a paltry seventh in the medal round. Much of the blame is centered on Myanmar’s inclusion of indigenous sports in lieu of other well-known disciplines, forcing the country to send a smaller-than-expected delegation.

The poor performance of the country was further justified by the lack of extensive coverage by previous coveror ABS-CBN Sports (via Studio 23), who only covered basketball, football and boxing. The reluctance and eventual unwillingness of ABS-CBN Sports to extensively cover the event marked the low point of the SEA Games on Philippine television.

With ABS-CBN Sports now focusing more on college sports such as the UAAP and the recently-acquired NCAA, TV5 decided to further its portfolio towards international multi-sporting events. And the SEA Games became their latest coup.

The acquisition of the SEA Games, along with prior additions such as the Olympics and the Asian Games, gave Sports5 the three most important events in the calendar of the Philippine Olympic Committee. Not since the early 2000s had the rights to these three events belonged to one network.

That said, it is now up to TV5 to bring back a sense of pride and honor to the Filipino athlete. This year’s SEA Games should be a proving ground for the Philippines to regain its place among Southeast Asia’s best.

The 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore will be held from June 5-16.

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Philippines, Sports, television

Remembering the NCAA on TV5

Adios, NCAA on TV5.

In one month, the 91st season of the NCAA will get underway. The league will have a new (or old) media partner going forward, as they joined forces with ABS-CBN Sports beginning this season.

But before we look ahead to the league’s return to the Kapamilya group, let us reflect on the three-year relationship between the NCAA and TV5.

Ambitious Beginnings

The NCAA joined forces with Sports5 prior to Season 88. The games were first broadcast on the AKTV on IBC-13 block, with a Monday-Thursday-Saturday schedule and a 4:00 p.m. start time.

The league also held a pair of provincial playdates in an effort to attract new fans. But to fans’ dismay, neither of the out-of-town games were aired on AKTV, a predicament that continued the next season with AksyonTV.

AKTV also employed full-time sideline reporters as opposed to student representatives/OJTs used by ABS-CBN Sports. They also deviated from ABS-CBN’s practice of showing cheering squads at halftime, and instead used the time to read netizens’ tweets and talk to fans of opposing schools.

And of course, a new partner means a new broadcast staff. Sports5 elected to employ a younger cast of announcers, as opposed to a more veteran-laden team during the ABS-CBN era, in hopes of connecting to younger fans.

Brewing Troubles and Change of Stations

The first sign of trouble for the NCAA on Sports5 took place in the Season 88 Finals. Game 3 of the San Beda-Letran series was aired on TV5 but on a more unfavorable early afternoon slot, a scenario that was repeated in the following year’s finals between the same two teams.

Then in May 2013, Mediaquest and TV5 decided to end their blocktime deal with IBC-13. This forced Sports5 to move the league’s games to AksyonTV, a decision that didn’t sit well with the viewers due to the station’s poor reach and accessibility.

Worse, the lack of an online livestreaming platform only exacerbated the situation, especially during heavily prioritized live news events such as the State of the Nation Address. Although Sports5 managed to provide a livestreaming platform by Season 90, the damage was already done at that point.

A Last-Ditch Effort By TV5

Season 90 saw a select number of games aired on the flagship TV5, in hopes of addressing the need for wider access. Still, a few games that ran overtime were cut off TV5 in favor of Aksyon Prime (a decision known as the ‘Heidi Moment’), something that was not experienced when ABS-CBN Sports (via Studio 23, now ABS-CBN Sports+Action) had the rights.

The TV5 games also featured the infamous Moneyball game that was first implemented during the network’s PBA coverage. The presence of Moneyball took away the school spirit aspect of the game, as it prevented the league’s fans from watching the performance of the cheering squads at halftime.

Even though TV5 aired a select number of games that season, AksyonTV still had a major presence on the NCAA coverage. The addition of TV5 did little to increase attention to the league’s games, despite a major promotional campaign that signified the NCAA as ‘Ang Larong Tunay’ (A True Game).

Aftermath

In the end, the ambitious plans of TV5 for the NCAA backfired. The demise of AKTV proved too much, as it affected whatever grand plans the Kapatid network has had in making the NCAA more competitive and attractive to viewers.

Promotion of the league was also a problem, as Sports5 continues to prioritize the PBA. Furthermore, the constant change in channels, along with the use of unorthodox gimmicks such as Moneyball, the lack of modern technologies, and the use of full-time reporters as opposed to student representatives, only hastened the decline.

The final straw for the NCAA on TV5 took place once their regular on-air announcers were elevated to the PBA. In hindsight, it was clear that TV5 has had enough; even though they tried to offer an extension, the NCAA felt the time to move on was now.

And so it did. From now on, it’s ABS-CBN Sports’ turn once more. And the NCAA couldn’t be happier.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television, United States

‘The Amazing Race’ U.S. Returns to the Philippines

Fort Santiago (incorrectly referred to in the show as ‘Fort San Diego’) was the final pit stop of ‘The Amazing Race”s 25th season. However, no eliminations occurred and the teams were asked to continue racing. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Just two weeks ago, ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’ officially wrapped up its second season. A short time earlier, its American counterpart aired the first of two episodes shot in the Philippines during the spring.

This marked the first time since Season 5 (2004) that ‘The Amazing Race’ visited the Philippines. This time around, however, the teams were further immersed into Filipino culture, featuring tasks that involve building a tricycle, racing a pedicab, and tilling a rice field for a hidden clue with an ox (the latter was a ‘switchback’ task from Season 5).

At the end of last Friday’s (U.S. time) episode, four teams still remain. Unlike before where only three teams raced in the final leg, host Phil Keoghan decided that there would be no elimination, and instead, the remaining four teams would continue racing to Los Angeles, with one of them getting the boot midway through the season finale.

The four teams left are (by order of arrival):

1. Brooke & Robbie (#TheWrestlers)

2. Adam & Bethany (#SoulSurfers)

3. Misti & Jim (#TheDentists)

4. Amy & Maya (#SweetScientists)

Sadly, though, only cable subscribers were able to watch the Philippine leg of ‘The Amazing Race”s 25th season through AXN. In the past, Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action) aired ‘The Amazing Race’ from its maiden season, only to stop prior to its transition to the ‘IbaKabarkada’ era.

Still, the two episodes shot in the Philippines were definitely worth watching. From the teams’ reactions to the country’s standard of living to the exhausting Roadblock in the streets of Divisoria, the return of ‘The Amazing Race’ to Philippine shores was definitely a memorable one.

*The 25th season finale of ‘The Amazing Race’ will be aired Saturday, December 20, at 8:10 p.m., on AXN Philippines. Contact your local cable operator for details.

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