drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television, variety show

It’s Showtime Going Overtime Not a Good Sign for ABS-CBN

Overtime has become a trend for ‘It’s Showtime’ of late.

The ABS-CBN noontime show normally runs for three hours at best. But in recent episodes, ‘It’s Showtime’ went beyond that allotted time duration and ended up lasting for another 20-30 minutes (see most recent episode video below).

As a result, the rest of ABS-CBN’s lineup wound up airing at a later timeslot than they usually do. Not a good sign for a network that prides itself for excellence and consistency from morning till night.

Take for instance, ‘TV Patrol’. ABS-CBN’s flagship newscast usually begins at 6:28 p.m., but because of ‘It’s Showtime”s extended run, it was now pushed to 6:45 p.m.

While its ratings were not affected at the moment, many feared that the late start of ‘TV Patrol’ could push more viewers to switch to GMA’s ’24 Oras’. And worse, the longer-than-expected run of ‘It’s Showtime’ could give GMA Afternoon Prime (or at a lesser extent ‘Eat Bulaga’) a much-improved spike in its ratings.

‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ may be ‘It’s Showtime”s most popular segment right now (and the one that essentially ended AlDub as a formidable tandem), but the unnecessary banter could drag the noontime show’s viewership down. And the fact that ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ runs opposite ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is perhaps the biggest concern coming out of ABS-CBN management.

No offense to Vice Ganda and company, but the trio of Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion is having ‘It’s Showtime”s number, particularly once ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ takes place. One thing ABS-CBN would like to do is to eliminate most of the talking and focus solely on the singing itself in order to save a lot of time and viewers.

In doing so, ‘It’s Showtime’ will return to its normal three-hour duration and perhaps add motivation to a struggling Kapamilya Gold. Not only that, ‘TV Patrol’ will be able to start on time and save whatever grace it has left.

But the decision to reduce some of the talk on ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will only depend on management convincing Vice Ganda and company to lessen all the banter. Which is not an easy thing to do considering Vice’s mass appeal.

Still, preventing the inevitable loss of viewership is a must for ABS-CBN, particularly when it comes to ‘It’s Showtime’. They may be the No. 1 network in the country ratings-wise, but even ABS-CBN has its own weaknesses that needs to be addressed.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN’s Ika-6 na Utos Problem

It seems like ABS-CBN is having a problem with ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

Since late March, the GMA Afternoon Prime drama has earned an average rating of 17% per episode (via Kantar Media), a far cry from the unimpressive 11% average it enjoyed in its first month. Saturday episodes of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ (introduced April 1) were just as strong, scoring around 15%.

Much of the spike in popularity has something to do with a combination of factors, such as:

  1. Memorable scenes and interactions between the characters Georgia (Ryza Cenon), Emma (Sunshine Dizon) and Rome (Gabby Concepcion)
  2. Lack of interest in ‘It’s Showtime”s Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids
  3. ‘Eat Bulaga”s continued decline post-Kalyeserye

The stunning success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ left ABS-CBN dumbfounded and perplexed as to what happened. While they still rule most timeslots every day, it is against ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ that they are noticeably struggling at this point.

So why is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ giving ABS-CBN fits? Here are the three possible factors to look at.

It’s Showtime”s Long Running Time

‘It’s Showtime’, unlike ‘Eat Bulaga’, runs for over three hours six times a week (in contrast to ‘Eat Bulaga’ running 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday and three hours on Saturday). That said, a total of 18 hours per week can be totally draining for both the hosts and the audience.

Coupled with a recent streak of uninspiring pre-Tawag ng Tanghalan segments, and ‘It’s Showtime’ is left to lick their wounds amid the surge of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Cutting it to 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday may be the best way to remain efficient while maintaining its top-notch ratings.

Resistance to Change

In the past, ABS-CBN aired three teleseryes in the afternoon to counter GMA’s own set of three. Since reducing the amount to only two, the tables seem to have turned in the Kapamilya network’s favor, that is until ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ came along.

Sticking to what seems best might not be a good idea for ABS-CBN at this point. With a surplus of upcoming teleseryes in the pipeline, it is best for them to counter ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ with another teleserye (probably not a ‘kabitserye’) in hopes of reversing its momentum.

A New Trend: Saturday Teleseryes

Before ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, a typical Filipino teleserye only airs from Monday to Friday. That has changed since April 1, when GMA extended ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturday afternoons, in a move reminiscent of Latin American telenovelas.

The sudden move caught ABS-CBN off-guard, as ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ began to struggle against the surging ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Still, the extension is only four weeks old so anything can happen in the long run.

With ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ now a major dilemma for ABS-CBN, drastic changes should be in the offing. But unless they figure out a way to overcome this popular Kapuso drama, their overall dominance will become nothing more than a punchline.

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Ika-6 na Utos Extends to Saturday Afternoons

GMA gets even more desperate.

Due to so-called ‘insistent public demand’, the network announced that the teleserye ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will now air on Saturday afternoons as well. In doing so, GMA made some history by becoming the first TV network to air a new episode of a weekday teleserye on a weekend.

The upcoming Saturday episodes of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will replace the short-lived and poorly-rated crime and investigation series ‘Case Solved’, which only lasted six episodes from February 18 to March 25. But can this risky move work?

According to the national Kantar Media ratings, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ trails ‘It’s Showtime’ by around 3-4% since its premiere on December 5, 2016. While the former’s ratings were on the upswing of late (they even defeated ‘It’s Showtime’ by 0.3% on March 2), they still failed to topple the latter since the popular ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment airs at the same time.

As ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ goes deep into Saturday afternoon, they face an even tougher test. The legal drama ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ made mincemeat of ‘Case Solved’ during the past month, and with the latter raking in around 20% ratings in recent episodes, chances are ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is in for a reality check.

To make matters worse for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, the viewers’ demands for a sixth episode every weekend could prove too much to ask for. Let’s face it, the need for variety on television is obvious here, and GMA’s desperate move to extend ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturday afternoons could easily tire out even the most demanding of viewers.

That said, GMA’s daring move to extend ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturdays may come back to haunt them. After all, everybody wants a break from watching teleseryes each and every weekend, but for GMA, all roads lead to disaster simply because of a needless opportunity to boost ratings.

Sorry GMA, but this is not going to work, regardless of what the viewers say.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

Star Circle Quest Returns as Segment of It’s Showtime

‘Star Circle Quest’ returns soon as a segment of ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’. (Screenshot and logos courtesy of ABS-CBN)

Remember ‘Star Circle Quest’?

Before ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ became the so-called ‘instant ticket’ to stardom for some of ABS-CBN’s top stars, there was the reality talent search show called ‘Star Circle Quest’. Between 2004 and 2011, two teen and three kids editions of SCQ were produced, and several of its alumni made their mark in the business.

While ‘Star Circle Quest’ proved to be no match for ‘StarStruck’ in terms of popularity and star factor, it was nevertheless credited for discovering stars that soon became mainstays on ABS-CBN programming. Here is a look at some of the network’s most memorable personalities whose careers began as Questors on the show:

  • Sandara Park
  • Joross Gamboa
  • Roxanne Guinoo
  • Melissa Ricks
  • Michelle Madrigal
  • Nash Aguas
  • Sharlene San Pedro
  • Erich Gonzales
  • Jason Abalos
  • Arron Villaflor
  • Bugoy Carino
  • Izzy Canillo
  • Xyriel Manabat

Six years after its last edition aired, ABS-CBN announced that ‘Star Circle Quest’ will be revived as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. Auditions for the segment commenced last month, with teenagers aged 13 to 19 years old trying to impress the judges with their dancing, singing and acting skills.

As SCQ will now be relegated into a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’, reality show elements will be minimized due to the live nature of the program. Nevertheless, for the many people who became fans of SCQ from the beginning, the prospect of its revival is an exciting one to say the least.

ABS-CBN has yet to announce the start date of the competition, so stay tuned for further updates.

In a related development, a kids’ edition of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will take the place of the just-concluded adult edition starting today. Auditions for the competition were well underway, and will follow the same format as the original.

And finally, a second installment of ‘Funny One’ will also begin soon. Auditions for ‘Funny One’ began last month alongside SCQ, with the aim of discovering the country’s next great comedian.

The resurgence of ‘It’s Showtime’ following the Pastillas Girl-Kalyeserye debacle is a breath of fresh air for ABS-CBN. And following the success of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, expect a lot more from the show once it unveils ‘Star Circle Quest’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids’ and ‘Funny One’ to its menu.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

It’s Showtime Brings Back Tawag ng Tanghalan

‘It’s Showtime’ has promised to do things their way this year.

No longer having the desire to oppose the popular Kalyeserye of ‘Eat Bulaga’, ‘It’s Showtime’ decided to clean house to begin the year. One of the changes they implemented was the revival of the iconic ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ singing competition as its main segment.

The original ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ was initially a radio program of the original Bolinao Electronics Corporation (forerunner of ABS-CBN) before making a successful jump to television. During its run in the 1950s and 1960s, the show discovered some of the industry’s future icons, such as Nora Aunor, Pepe Pimentel and Bobot Mortiz.

In the new ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, four contestants face off in hopes of impressing the audience and the judges. The winner will receive P25,000 and may defend his/her crown against other contestants in subsequent episodes, while the runners-up will receive P5,000 as consolation.

In the event that a singer goes out of tune, a gong will be hit to signal the end of their performance. The gong will be operated by Jhong Hilario.

‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ on ‘It’s Showtime’ kicked off last Saturday, with Michelle Arcain of Davao emerging as the first winner of the revived competition. Arcain returned during Monday’s episode, but lost to Israel Alano of Batangas.

The segment is hosted by Vice Ganda, Amy Perez and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla. The latter two were recently introduced as new co-hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’, and are no stranger to hosting variety shows.

Judges on ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will vary each week. This week’s episodes will feature Rey Valera, Rico J. Puno, Bobot Moritz, Nyoy Volante and Yeng Constantino as judges.

After a tough 2015 where ‘It’s Showtime’ plummeted to new lows following the emergence of AlDub, they now begin 2016 with a clean slate. The hope of entertaining the ‘madlang pipol’ the only way they can is something they need to address, and the revived ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ is a good way to start.

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