entertainment, Philippines, talk show, television

Is ‘Medyo Late Night’ Returning to TV5?

Signs of ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.”s return to TV5 were first revealed on the show’s Facebook account. (Photo credit: The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A. Official Facebook)

It’s been awhile since ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ went on air.

Jojo Alejar’s late-night show was last seen on GMA in December of last year, before taking its supposed periodical season hiatus. However, GMA decided not to renew its blocktime deal with JojoATV Productions, producers of the said show, without giving any reason behind it.

The departure of ‘Medyo Late Night’ from GMA leaves ‘The Tim Yap Show’ as the only remaining late-night weekday talk show of the network (the latter also airs on a seasonal basis). Meanwhile, the whereabouts of ‘Medyo Late Night”s new home were being revealed early this month.

On the Facebook page of ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’, clues regarding the show’s possible return to TV5 were given in the cover photo. Hints of a red necktie and the word ‘Kapatid’ suggest that TV5 may once again play host to Jojo Alejar’s talk show.

The possibility of a return to TV5 was also fueled by the fact that Alejar continues to appear on the said network’s shows despite ‘Medyo Late Night”s brief stint with GMA. Alejar currently appears on the sitcom ‘Mac and Chiz’.

If it’s true that ‘Medyo Late Night’ will return to TV5 this year, the development should help the network’s programming a lot. The former Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon (KBO) block has been airing reruns for the past several months, and with irrelevance and repetition creeping over TV5’s late-night slot, it is time for a change of direction.

Replacing the defunct KBO block with ‘Medyo Late Night’ may be the tonic TV5 desperately needed in order to improve its shallow late-night lineup. And it should benefit them.

It remains to be seen if ‘Medyo Late Night’ will indeed rejoin TV5, but for a network so desperate to get rid of something irrelevant, this is the way to do it.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

‘Banana Nite’ Absent from ABS-CBN Last Night

The popular ‘Ihaw Na’ skit featuring Jayson Gainza in a parody of Boy Abunda did not air as ‘Banana Nite’ was ‘replaced’ by ‘O Shopping’.

It was around 11:15 p.m., and ABS-CBN was about to wrap up their late night newscast ‘Bandila’. I was expecting to see ‘Banana Nite’ go on-air. But instead something else happened on the Kapamilya network.

Last night the spinoff to the popular gag show ‘Banana Split’ did not air as expected, and was replaced by the ‘O Shopping’ infomercials. ABS-CBN did not specify the reason as to why ‘Banana Nite’ was replaced by ‘O Shopping’ in its timeslot.

The reported absence of ‘Banana Nite’ coincided with rival GMA welcoming the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ to its fold. Jojo Alejar’s show runs back-to-back with ‘The Tim Yap Show’ every late night, though because of GMA’s public affairs programs, they were not able to air opposite the timeslot that ‘Banana Nite’ typically occupies. In addition, its absence also came at a not-so opportune time; female cast members Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco and Jef Gaitan were featured in FHM Philippines’ January 2014 issue.

Apparently, despite rave reviews on the skit ‘Ihaw Na’ starring Jayson Gainza in a parody of ‘Bandila’ anchor Boy Abunda, ‘Banana Nite’ has not been faring well in the ratings, although it has nothing to do with its timeslot. Let’s face it, ABS-CBN did a great job moving their current affairs programs (now ‘Pinoy True Stories’) to the late afternoon slot. And while GMA’s public affairs programs have been beating ‘Banana Nite’ in its timeslot, when compared to ‘Pinoy True Stories’, the numbers favor the latter.

‘Banana Nite’ was a wonderful experiment for ABS-CBN with regards to late night entertainment. Unfortunately, its unscheduled absence remains a mystery.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

Jojo A is Back, But Edu Manzano is Not

The last time viewers saw Jojo Alejar on television, TV5 was on the verge of a programming makeover. The Kapatid network revamped its lineup last September in hopes of attracting younger and socially conscious audiences. And one of the programs that were victims of the shakeup was ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ Tonight, the said program returns to a new home.

Jojo Alejar’s late night talk show will air on the GMA Network every weeknights. This is the show’s second stint with the Kapuso group, having first aired on QTV (now GMA News TV) from 2007-08. It also brought Jojo Alejar back to his original network, having first starred as a cast member of German Moreno’s variety show ‘That’s Entertainment’ in the late 1980s.

Like the previous incarnations, the show will feature the All the Way Band, which has backed up Alejar’s late night show from its RJTV 29 years. However, the program will only run for 30 minutes, unlike the customary one hour it was allotted during its previous stop at TV5, due to the presence of another late night talk show in ‘The Tim Yap Show’.

But while Jojo Alejar is returning with his late night talk show, Edu Manzano’s ‘What’s Up Doods?’ looks to be on the way out. Most viewers pointed out that a sudden change in format and schedule, lack of advertising money and low viewership figures were the reasons why ‘What’s Up Doods?’ was being considered a candidate for cancellation.

Edu Manzano’s talk show started off on a promising note, as it aired after ‘Killer Karaoke’. In its first few episodes Manzano interviewed the likes of Georgina Wilson, Jinri Park and Ramon Bautista, not to mention several players of La Salle and UST at the height of the UAAP Finals. In addition, the early episodes of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ included gags pitting Manzano and a special guest lampooning various aspects of pop culture and society.

However, the new PBA season and the entry of the British-Filipino quintet called ‘Juan Direction’ bumped ‘What’s Up Doods?’ to a late-night timeslot. Eventually the show abandoned its skits and decided to concentrate mainly on interviews with special guests. As a result, it alienated some viewers and caused advertisers to pull out. And for the past few weeks, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ was pre-empted for other programs and aired reruns.

‘What’s Up Doods?’ was a decently good concept for ‘Weekend Do It Better’. But it lacks the energy and liveliness that ‘Medyo Late Night’ enjoys. And with ‘Juan Direction’ and ‘SPINNation’ enjoying high viewership numbers, it appears that Edu Manzano’s talk show will be axed soon in favor of both programs airing back-to-back.

As for ‘Medyo Late Night’, good luck with the show’s re-debut on GMA. I’m sure Jojo A will enjoy his homecoming on the Kapuso network.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

TV5’s New Programs for October (Part I)

Last month, TV5 brought in its first wave of new and returning programs as part of its restructuring process. These programs began to air on the weekend of September 14-15 on what became known as ‘Weekend Do It Better’. This October, TV5 will continue its restructuring with the introduction of new programs on the weeknight slot, with the hopes of attracting younger and more socially conscious viewers. For Part I, I will discuss News5‘s newest programs.

The new News5 programming block will be dubbed as ‘KBO’ (Karunungan, Balita, Opinyon), which will start airing on October 14 at 10:00 p.m.. On Mondays, Paolo Bediones will host ‘Demolition Job’, a program which he will challenge and refute some commonly accepted facts. On Tuesdays, Cheryl Cosim will host ‘Numero’, a program similar in scope with the former but with the use of statistics as proof. On Wednesdays, Lourd de Veyra will host ‘History’, a program which will feature history lessons as told by Lourd himself. On Thursdays, Atty. Teresa Licaros will host ‘Dayo’, a program which will tell stories about the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers. And on Fridays, Paolo Bediones returns to host ‘Astig’, a program featuring interesting sports stories.

The ‘KBO’ block will be followed by the late night news broadcast ‘Pilipinas News‘ with anchors Paolo Bediones, Cheri Mercado and Jove Francisco, and ‘Reaksyon’ with News5 head Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

One program that was axed to make way for these news programs happen to be the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’. The program, through its various incarnations, has been airing on TV5 since 2009. However, with the anticipated programming shakeup, Jojo Alejar and his All the Way Band finally decided to bid goodbye to their loyal viewers last September 27, after a four-year run. Following the final airing of ‘Medyo Late Night’, AksyonTV original programs began to air on TV5 primarily to fill in programming hours, but will only been seen on an interim basis while the aforementioned ‘KBO’ block is being prepared for launch. As for ‘Medyo Late Night’, it remains to be seen whether it will be brought back sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, the morning news program ‘Good Morning Club‘ will also be revamped to include new hosts and segments. The new hosts will include Radyo5’s ‘Punto Asintado’ tandem of Erwin Tulfo and Martin Andanar, ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ star Tuesday Vargas, and News5 anchor Twink Macaraig. The newly-reformatted ‘GMC’ will also be shortened to two hours as opposed to three on the other competing morning shows, and will be divided into segments in order to provide information to a specific audience, and not just to the general public.

These new program offerings of News5 are also expected to air on sister network AksyonTV, though it has not been confirmed at the moment. In the meantime, TV5’s new entertainment programs will be discussed in Part II.

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entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

Face to Face Ending Soon?

Reruns of TV5’s ‘Face to Face’ have been airing the past two weeks, fueling speculation that the program is about to be cancelled.

If you were tuning in to TV5 the last two weeks, you may notice that ‘Face to Face‘, one of the network’s original programs following the rebrand from ABC 5 five years earlier, has been airing repeat episodes over the last two weeks. No apparent reason was given for the re-airing of the program’s prior episodes, but it has been rumored that ‘Face to Face’ is about to be axed from the network’s program lineup in favor of new programs aimed for a younger audience.

The last new episode of ‘Face to Face’ came on July 19, and if you were there to watch the program, the teaser for the next episode never aired as TV5’s coverage of the State of the Nation Address took place on July 22. After the SONA, I thought ‘Face to Face’ would air new episodes. Instead, they started to air reruns of prior episodes, all of which had the teasers for future episodes cut off at the end. During those two weeks either the episodes hosted by the original host Amy Perez or the ones hosted by substitute Gelli de Belen were being aired alternately.

It is clear that ‘Face to Face”s days were being numbered. As a matter of fact TV5 started its housecleaning last week by cancelling its daily showbiz program ‘Ang Latest‘, which also explains why the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ is being aired much earlier than usual. The cancelling of ‘Ang Latest’ was just the beginning of TV5’s cost-cutting moves that may benefit them in the future, and in the process, spare them from the intensity of the competition that was the rivalry between ABS-CBN and GMA.

While ‘Face to Face’ is about to end soon, it’s legacy and revolutionary program format will endure in the years to come. It was with this program which inspired GMA News TV to air ‘Personalan‘, a talk show featuring a similar format as ‘Face to Face’. In the near future similar programs in the vein of ‘Face to Face’ will come around soon, but for now, loyal fans of the show should be proud and happy of what the program has achieved over the years, despite constant changes in its timeslot and attempts to remain modest amid the MTRCB‘s stringent reforms on television programming.

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comedy, entertainment, Philippines, television

Late Night Shows in the Philippines

Jojo Alejar’s late night show is bred from the tradition of American late night shows, and its classic late night approach made it a hit with viewers.

Just last night, I caught up with TV5’s late-night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’, and from the looks of it, the show always gives a lasting impression on its viewers through its monologues, special guests and musical performances. Jojo Alejar, the show’s titular host, always has the penchant to deliver the latest national news and other social trends in the most comic way possible, similar to his American counterparts Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman and Jay Leno. So why is it only rare to have a Filipino late night talk show like ‘Medyo Late Night’?

First off, the history of late night talk shows in the Philippines have been rather shaky. Although there have been some which lasted quite a while and enjoyed respectable audience figures (e.g. Oh no, It’s Johnny!, Martin Late@Nite), late night programming in the country was recently dominated by public affairs programs. This year, ABS-CBN tried a different approach in late night programming when they started to air ‘Banana Nite’, a spin-off of their popular program ‘Banana Split‘. Like its parent, the program features basically a mixture of gag sketches and stand-up comedy, features used on various programs of the American cable network ‘Comedy Central‘.

GMA also tried a different approach in late night programs. ‘The Tim Yap Show’, hosted by Tim Yap, features interviews with the most-followed celebrities on Twitter. Too bad Tim Yap only gets 15 minutes of fame with his program, so nothing is definitely offered here.

To be honest, I think the most relevant late night program today has to be ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ No other show comes close to the tradition of late night programming than that of ‘Medyo Late Night’. Jojo Alejar is a great host because he delivers his monologues with perfect timing and gives interviews in a hard-hitting but comedic manner. ‘Medyo Late Night’ is the perfect program for late nights, especially for those weary of the long hours at the office.

One can wonder if someone can rival the success of ‘Medyo Late Night’. Who knows, maybe one day late night programs will have the same vigor and energy as that of Jojo A.

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