drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Responds to ABS-CBN’s Throwbackseryes

‘Bantatay’ will be re-aired on GMA starting November 10, replacing ‘Return of the Wife’. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The so-called ‘throwbackserye’ has taken over GMA as well.

After ABS-CBN decided to air re-runs of previous teleseryes in the mid-morning slot, GMA answered back with one of their own. The Kapuso network’s response was ‘Bantatay’, a drama-comedy-fantasy series starring Raymart Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Jennica Garcia and Carl Guevara.

‘Bantatay’ first aired from September 20, 2010 to February 25, 2011 on the then-extended GMA Dramarama sa Hapon (now Afternoon Prime) block. The series garnered high ratings throughout its run, despite facing intense competition from the likes of ‘Kokey @ Ako’ and ‘Sabel’.

Unfortunately for GMA, the timing for the rebroadcast of ‘Bantatay’ came at a not-so opportune time. The series’ lead star, Raymart Santiago, is currently enduring various issues involving himself and his estranged wife (and former GMA talent) Claudine Barretto, and re-airing ‘Bantatay’ may not be a good idea after all.

In fact, it would have been better if GMA extended its anime block to the 10:00 a.m. slot rather than responding to ABS-CBN’s own programming strategies. As far as they are concerned, it is the animes, no matter how repetitive they are to viewers, that are lifting GMA every morning.

Going back to ‘Bantatay’, the series proved to be one of the last GMA programs to date that rated well with viewers. Since ABS-CBN adopted Kantar as their ratings provider, the tables have turned to the latter’s favor, and have not looked back since.

In fact, in what used to be ‘Bantatay”s old timeslot preceding ’24 Oras’, the succeeding GMA teleseryes that followed have flopped consistently against ABS-CBN’s seemingly superior products. Whether it’s ‘Aryana’, ‘Annaliza’ or ‘Pure Love’, GMA seems to have no answers to ABS-CBN’s own fare.

That said, the sadness and shock that is permeating beneath the bosses in the corner of Timog Avenue and EDSA is undeniable. And now they are resorting to these responses just to keep themselves in the hunt, which is not a good idea.

‘Bantatay’ may be back, but for GMA, this is not the time for resorting to such a feeble call.

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entertainment, fantasy, Japan, Korea, Philippines, suspense, television

A Halloween Special: GMA’s Dark, Cruel, and Twisted Weekends

Call it one scary Halloween this year for the folks at GMA.

For much of 2014, GMA has been airing not one, but two horror series every weekend. Anyone who became a fan of both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ must have their hairs raised from all that fear.

Both series have one thing in common: they air nothing but Far Eastern (particularly Korean and Japanese) horror flicks. In addition, both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ occupy the mid-afternoon slots.

These two series were symbolic of how bad GMA’s programming has been through the past several years. Both ‘Tales of Horror’ and ‘True/Asian Horror Stories’ were considered inferior efforts on the part of GMA to stay relevant on weekends, and had no answers to rival ABS-CBN’s programs.

There was a time when GMA used to rule the weekends. Those who grew up in the ‘glory days’ of the network must have heard of shows like ‘Kakabakaba’ and ‘Wag Kukurap’, two locally-produced shows that once helped GMA win the ratings war against its ABS-CBN counterparts like ‘Oka Tokat’ and ‘Nginiig’.

That was then. Now, it looks like the ghosts of programs’ past are beginning to haunt them.

Case in point: the movie-infested daytime slot (e.g. ‘GMA Blockbusters’) on Sundays. Why? Because they are too repetitive and are overly dubbed in the Filipino language, in the process scaring away viewers at every turn.

For GMA executives, the fear of being upstaged by an archrival is real. Whereas before they had the ability to counter and outdo what ABS-CBN is doing, now it seems like they are hiding away from it.

As Halloween approaches, the mood inside the Timog headquarters appear dark and frightening. And for those who know all too well about GMA’s programming every weekends, there is always a reason to feel scared.

Announcement: From the Tube will take a break from October 31 to November 3, in observance of Halloween and All Saints’ Day. The U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 songs for November 8 will posted on November 4.

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cartoon, Philippines, religion, television

Superbook Now on ABS-CBN. Will The 700 Club Follow Suit?

‘Superbook”s Gizmo poses at the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City. (Photo credit: CBN Asia)

Young and old ‘Superbook’ fans must be surprised to see ‘Superbook’ on ABS-CBN. After all, the religious cartoon has been airing on GMA for seemingly like forever.

But in a strange twist of fate, CBN Asia, distributors of ‘Superbook’, decided to sign a deal with ABS-CBN to air the classic and revived editions of the program. Both versions started airing on the Kapamilya network on the weekend of July 12.

‘Superbook’, along with sister series ‘The Flying House’, were staples of GMA Network’s early morning programming during the ‘Where You Belong’ era. The said programs were also aired on ZOE-TV Channel 11, later known as GMA News TV, in the early 2000s.

With the move of ‘Superbook’ to ABS-CBN, does this mean ‘The 700 Club Asia’ will switch stations as well?

Like ‘Superbook’, ‘The 700 Club Asia’ is currently managed and produced by CBN Asia, whose parent company, the Christian Broadcasting Network, airs the original American version of ‘The 700 Club’.

The said program has also been a part of GMA’s programming for over 40 years, with the Asian version currently airing on GMA News TV during the late-night hours. But ‘The 700 Club Asia’ is not always synonymous with the Kapuso network.

‘The 700 Club Asia’ also aired on ABS-CBN’s sister network, Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action), during the early 2000s, as well as ABC-5 (now TV5). In 2006, GMA reclaimed the rights to the program and began airing it on QTV, which eventually became GMA News TV.

Although ‘The 700 Club Asia’ continues to air on News TV, there is a chance that the said religious program will jump back to ABS-CBN in the near future. If it does, then it will be a huge loss to GMA, whose financial and programming woes have been well-documented.

For now, ‘The 700 Club Asia’ will remain with the cash-strapped owners inside Timog Avenue. As for ‘Superbook’, new opportunities await in its new home at Mother Ignacia.

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