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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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

‘Confessions of a Torpe’ Rerun a Mere Stopgap for TV5

From December 8 onwards, ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ was re-aired on TV5 during weekday primetime. (Photo credit: TV5)

Season 2 of ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’ is now in the books, and TV5 was expected to make a worthy replacement.

Instead, ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ was re-aired anew, much to the disappointment of loyal Kapatid viewers.

From December 8 onwards, the rerun of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ took over the 9:30 p.m. slot, which is not a good place for a re-airing program in the primetime slot. Considering the amount of pressure and scrutiny surrounding it, TV5’s decision to place a re-run on primetime rather than daytime proved to be a risky decision.

In fact, it would have been better for TV5 to air a new, or better yet, a long-overdue drama series in order to keep their loyal viewers interested. Remember their shelved projects ‘The Gift’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’?

Yes, both programs have been planned by TV5 since Noel Lorenzana took over. And yet, for reasons unknown, production of both programs were halted for the time being.

The long-term postponement of ‘The Gift’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’ proved to be a public relations disaster for TV5. With the announcement of new and returning programs on its 2015 agenda, Lorenzana and company now hope that the mistakes which befallen ‘The Gift’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’ will never happen again.

Going back to ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, TV5’s intentions were clear. Rather than quickly debuting a new program, they decided to make a stopgap move with this series, all in hopes of starting 2015 with a bang.

That said, they were left with no options but to re-air ‘Confessions’, whether it’s for their own good or not.

Now viewers must hope that TV5 begins 2015 with something different. Otherwise, they would be stuck with the same old product all over again (save for their habit of airing Tagalized foreign movies, of course).

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Philippines, radio, Sports, television

A Full-Time Return to TV5 for the PBA

The defending grand slam champions Purefoods Star Hotshots (formerly San Mig Super Coffee Mixers) and 11 other teams will once again wage war as the PBA kicks off its 40th season on the TV5 family of networks. (Photo credit: Purefoods Star Hotshots official Facebook)

The Philippine Basketball Association is definitely back on TV5.

Starting with the 2014-15 season, all games of the PBA will now be seen on the flagship TV5 network every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Kapatid network last aired a full slate of PBA games during the 2007-08 season, when it was still under the ABC branding.

As a result of the PBA’s full-time return to TV5, here is the new schedule that will be implemented during weekday games:

4:15 p.m. – PBA first game

6:30 p.m. – Aksyon Prime

7:00 p.m. – PBA second game

9:15 p.m. – Wattpad Presents

9:45 p.m. – The Amazing Race Philippines 2

There will be no changes to the schedules on Saturdays and Sundays, as the PBA games usually occupy the more vacant slots.

In addition, Radyo5 92.3 News FM will now air a majority of the PBA games for its radio listeners. As a result, here is the weekday schedule for Radyo5 during PBA game days:

6:00 a.m. – Orly Mercado All Ready

7:30 a.m. – Punto Asintado

9:00 a.m. – Bitag Live

10:00 a.m. – Aksyon Solusyon

11:00 a.m. – Cristy FerMinute

12:30 p.m. – Relasyon

2:00 p.m. – Wanted sa Radyo

4:15 p.m. – PBA first game

6:30 p.m. – Aksyon Prime

7:00 p.m. – PBA second game

9:15 p.m. – Remoto Control

Radyo5 will also air Sunday games in lieu of its all-music program ‘Sunday By Heart’. However, it remains to be seen if they will also carry Saturday playdates, since the majority of these games will be held in the provinces.

In a related development, Sports5 announced that AksyonTV will once again simulcast the PBA games. Last season, AksyonTV carried the bulk of the PBA schedule, which unfortunately, brought not only criticism but also confusion from the viewing public.

This time around, however, the simulcast of the PBA games on AksyonTV seem more like a need rather than an option for the embattled station. Following the demise of AKTV and the integration of Sports5 events to AksyonTV, the station has been criticized for airing too many re-runs whenever there are no sports events to cover, since the ‘AksyonTV originals’ were cancelled just for this move.

For cable subscribers, Fox Sports Asia will continue to air the PBA games on Wednesdays, with English-language commentary from Sports5 announcers. They will also air the cup finals in its entirety.

Hyper will also air replays of the PBA games, albeit exclusive only to Cignal subscribers. And finally, for online subscribers, the PBA can now be seen via livestreaming on the official PBA on Sports5 website.

In two days, the 2014-15 PBA Philippine Cup gets underway. For the 12 teams participating, and to the TV5 family of networks, good luck in giving the fans a whole lot of basketball action all season long.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, news, Philippines, reality show, television

TV5’s First New Shows of 2014

TV5’s ‘Obsession’ follows the same blueprint used in ‘Positive’, this time tackling the issue of cosmetic surgery.

Next week on ‘Everyday All the Way’, TV5 will unveil a new weekly drama series in ‘Obsession’. Like ‘Positive’, ‘Obsession’ will tackle issues concerning the health of the human body. This time, the series divulges into the world of cosmetic surgery, where the main character obsessed with her former lover assumes a new post-surgical identity. The series will be headlined by Bianca King, Neri Naig, Marvin Agustin and Martin Escudero, and will replace ‘For Love or Money’ at the 8:00 p.m. slot.

Cycle 2 of ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ will also be seen on TV5. The Asian adaptation of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ will have a pair of Filipinos in Jodilly Pendra and Katarina Rodriguez compete against 14 other aspiring models in hopes of becoming the next top model. The series airs starting tonight replacing ‘Positive’ at 9:00 p.m.

In addition, TV5 has also unveiled a mix of new and returning programs that will be seen over the next few months. Returnees include ‘Talentadong Pinoy’ (albeit without original host Ryan Agoncillo), ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’, and ‘The Million Peso Money Drop’. Upcoming titles will include ‘For All the Boys’, ‘My Pirated Family’, ‘Minamahal’, ‘The Baker King’, ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Jasmine’, ‘One Boy’, ‘Beki Boxer’, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’. Details of the new shows should arrive once the teasers are revealed.

And even as TV5 unveiled new programs, some existing ones had to go. Both ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were presumably cancelled by management for ‘not living up to expectations’. And there is also the uncharacteristically early sign-offs on nights without PBA games, after AksyonTV original programs like ‘Cocktales’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Wasak’ and ‘Chef vs. Mom’ were cancelled. Simply put, the management handled by Noel Lorenzana and Wilma Galvante have a long way to go before stabilizing the network’s programming.

Nevertheless, both ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Obsession’ should give TV5 something to look forward to this year. They may still be in the experimental stage, but with the way viewers have responded, it appears that this experiment is headed in the right direction.

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