comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Happy Truck Becomes Happinas Happy Hour

‘Happy Truck’ No More: TV5 will relaunch ‘Happy Truck HAPPinas’ as a gag show entitled ‘Happinas Happy Hour’. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

‘Happy Truck HAPPinas’ has a new format and a new name.

Starting tonight, the one-time Sunday afternoon variety show will be relaunched as a gag show entitled ‘Happinas Happy Hour’. Taped as live, it will air every Friday at 9:00 p.m. after the PBA games.

‘Happinas Happy Hour’ will feature virtually the same cast as its predecessor, led by Ogie Alcasid and Janno Gibbs. Other cast members include Gelli de Belen, Tuesday Vargas, Mark Neumann, Eula Caballero, Ella Cruz, Kim Idol and Alwyn Uytingco.

 

In contrast to ‘Happy Truck”s ‘Eat Bulaga’-like approach, ‘Happinas Happy Hour’ will employ a setting similar to ABS-CBN’s ‘Banana Sundae’. This means that the presentation of the show will be made in front of a live audience, similar to those seen in comedy bars and on live stand-up comedy concerts.

‘Happinas Happy Hour’ will be TV5’s first gag show since’ Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, and the first under the VIVA regime. It is expected to draw comparisons with GMA’s ‘Bubble Gang’, but neither show will directly compete with each other (‘Bubble Gang”s first 20-30 minutes will be up against ‘Happinas Happy Hour”s final 20-30 minutes).

While ‘Happy Truck Happinas’ (and its predecessor ‘Happy Truck ng Bayan’) was not bad of a variety show, it still suffered due to the intense two-way battle between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘Sunday PinaSaya’. As a result, TV5 and VIVA decided to play it safe and converted ‘Happy Truck’ into a gag show, along with a change of timeslot so as not to directly with compete with programs of similar genres.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Happinas Happy Hour’ can become a viable alternative to the teleseryes of ABS-CBN and GMA. But even if the viewers fall in love with ‘Happinas Happy Hour’, it is still up to TV5 on whether or not they will be able to sustain the show, considering their penchant for cutting promising shows short.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, hits, humor, live events, music, news, Philippines, reality show, songs, Sports, talent show, talk show, television

TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ Revisited

‘Wow Mali’, now under the ‘Lakas ng Tama’ tagline, is one of three ‘Weekend Do It Better’ programs on TV5 that are still on the air today. (Title card courtesy of TV5)

It’s been over a year since TV5 decided to change the network’s programming approach.

Under the leadership of president Noel Lorenzana, the Kapatid network overhauled its programming lineup in a way that it would favor a younger and a more active audience. These initiatives resulted in the ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’ and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ blocks.

The first of these blocks debuted in September of last year. The first block, ‘Weekend Do It Better’, initially consisted of the following programs:

  1. ‘Showbiz Police’
  2. ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’
  3. ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’
  4. ‘What’s Up Doods?’
  5. ‘Pinoy Explorer’
  6. ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
  7. ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’
  8. ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’

Of the eight, only ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ (now ‘Tropa Mo Ko Nice Di Ba’), ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ (now ‘Wow Mali Lakas ng Tama’) remain on the air. The three shows were the only ‘Weekend Do It Better’ stalwarts to survive TV5’s most recent transformation, that of the ‘Happy Ka Dito’ era, and their success and viewer loyalty were a testament to that.

On the other hand, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were cancelled just before the end of last year due to low viewership numbers. Then in the first half of this year, ‘Showbiz Police’, ‘Pinoy Explorer’ and ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’ were also cancelled, with the first two having moved to new timeslots in the middle of their run.

The ‘Weekend Do It Better’ title would be deemphasized by February 2014, but in the minds of the Kapatid network, it was only the beginning of further experimentation and constant rebuilding. New programs would be unveiled within the next few months, with the hope of making TV5’s weekend lineup even more formidable.

Today, the experiment continues, but for TV5, ‘Weekend Do It Better’ marked the start of bigger and brighter things for the still-No. 3 network, one that would carry them for the next few years.

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education, game show, Philippines, television

Throwback: Battle of the Brains in 1994

Before David Celdran toured the world in a suit on ANC’s ‘Executive Class’, he was a young and fresh-faced host of one of the longest-running quiz shows on Philippine television.

The 1990s will always be remembered for ‘Battle of the Brains’, a quiz show pitting public and private students from the elementary, high school, and college levels. The program was a fixture on RPN-9 every Saturday morning, and the now-defunct retail giant Uniwide Sales was its major sponsor.

The popularity and success of the program led to an equally successful parody called ‘Battle of the Brainless’. The skit was featured on ABC-5’s ‘Tropang Trumpo’, and was later revived on the renamed TV5 via the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko (Unli/Nice Di Ba)’.

Back in 1994, the college grand finals of ‘Battle of the Brains’ was held at the Philippine International Convention Center. The contestants were Giovanni Claveria of Don Bosco Technical School, Oliver Tungol of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and Alfonso Gonzales of the University of the Philippines-Los Banos.

The three-part series of videos, the entirety of which run for over 45 minutes, can be viewed below.

‘Battle of the Brains’ would survive into the new millennium, albeit with a new sponsor in AMA Computer College and a new network in PTV-4, before leaving the airwaves in 2001. Meanwhile, David Celdran became a news anchor on the ABS-CBN News Channel, and as mentioned earlier, he is currently the host of ‘Executive Class’.

Unfortunately, programming changes, changing demographics and budget concerns would take the steam out of this type of game show. The last of these programs, GMA’s ‘Digital LG Quiz’, bowed out in 2004.

Although Eat Bulaga attempted to revive this format with the elementary, high school and college editions of the popular ‘Pinoy Henyo’ game, they were essentially segments of the long-running noontime variety show, and not standalone programs like ‘Battle of the Brains’ and ‘Digital LG Quiz’.

No one knows when will this type of game show returns, considering the frequency of the big stations to air Tagalized movies and teleserye re-runs. But one thing is for sure: ‘Battle of the Brains’ was a great show, and will never be replaced.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

By Popular Demand, More PBA Games on TV5

TV5 will now air at least seven live PBA games per week with the addition of a Monday playdate and the second game of a Saturday doubleheader.

After the highly successful broadcast of the Philippine Cup playoffs, the PBA and TV5 have agreed to make some changes to the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup schedule beginning today.

Mondays will now be a regular part of the PBA schedule, with a special Tuesday playdate scheduled for March 25. Previously the Monday and Tuesday playdates were utilized only when necessary and during the playoffs. But with the PBA already running behind schedule, and with preparation time a must for the Gilas players, the addition of a Monday playdate is an absolute necessity for the league to devote to the national cause.

In addition, TV5 will now air both doubleheaders on Saturdays, as opposed to only one during the Philippine Cup and early in the Commissioner’s Cup. As a result, TV5 will now have at least seven live games per week as opposed to only five in the original setup.

But while the Kapatid network will broadcast two games live on weekends, the original weekday format will remain the same, with only the second game airing live at 8:00 p.m., and the first game airing ‘via satellite’ at 11:10 p.m. AksyonTV will still carry all the games live.

Thanks to the addition of a second Saturday game, TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ schedule will now be as follows:

Saturdays

2:45 – PBA first game

4:45 – Aksyon Weekend

5:15 – PBA second game

7:15 – Tropa Mo Ko Unli

8:15 – Celebrity Dance Battle

9:15 – Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman

10:15 – Kaya

11:15 – SpinNation

Sundays

3:00 – PBA doubleheader

7:15 – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

8:15 – Wow Mali Pa Rin

9:15 – Sunday Sineplex

10:45 – Juan Direction

11:15 – Pilipinas News

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup will be taking a break from April 3-6 to give way to the All-Star Game, which is expected to bring back the PBA All-Stars vs. Gilas format of the previous year. The single-round nine-game eliminations will end on April 20.

 

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Coming Soon: Confessions of a Torpe, Plus Other TV5 Updates

Both Ogie Alcasid and Alice Dixson will be part of ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, slated to launch this March 3.

Last October, TV5 decided to distinguish themselves from its competitors by airing a more light-hearted primetime comedy and drama series ‘Madam Chairman’. This March, the Kapatid network is set to introduce a similarly-themed series as a worthy follow-up.

Enter ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, a series topbilled by Ogie Alcasid, Bayani Agbayani, Gelli de Belen, Wendell Ramos, Plita Corrales, Alice Dixson, Jojo Alejar, Albie Casino, and Mark Neumann. This will be Alcasid’s first weeknight primetime series as a Kapatid; his intended first series ‘The Gift’ was shelved for the time being. Alcasid, de Belen and Ramos are also part of the gag show ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, while Neumann and Dixson recently starred in the Studio5 original ‘Lady Next Door’. ‘Confessions of a Torpe’ debuts this March 3.

The departure of ‘What’s Up Doods?’ enabled News5 to fill the 10:30 slot with a pair of documentaries. First aired was ‘Kaya’, hosted by News5 executives Patrick Paez and Luchi Cruz-Valdes. The two-parter, aired last February 8 and 15, tackled issues such as stem cell treatment and the impending worldwide disaster that may affect the Earth. Tonight, another documentary called ‘Yaman ng Bayan’ will focus on the country’s natural resources and the responsibility that comes through it. The documentary will be hosted by Interaksyon.com editor-in-chief Roby Alampay.

And on the ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ block, ‘Bigtime’ will take over the slot vacated by ‘Dayo’. Aired every Thursday before ‘Pilipinas News’ and hosted by Twink Macaraig, ‘Bigtime’ will focus on various individuals as they share their hard work and triumph, as well as secrets to their success.

Meanwhile, starting February 24, ‘Aksyon’ and ‘Pilipinas News’ will now be broadcast inside a newly-built virtual studio at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. In addition, the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be aired Monday midnight on TV5 and its affiliates. And finally, the U.S. NCAA March Madness is coming to TV5 this March, with further details coming in future articles.

It has been said that the only way TV5 can be relevant today is when they introduce alternatives to already established norms in television viewership. So far, it has paid off despite committing several missteps. And with more alternative programs coming in the succeeding weeks, expect TV5 to expand its effort in bringing a different kind of programming to more knowledgeable viewers.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, television

The Inconsistency of MTRCB’s SPG Rating

The ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ rating was implemented by the MTRCB on February 9, 2012. However, its usage remains inconsistent.

In the last few episodes, GMA gag show ‘Bubble Gang’ carried the blue PG (Parental Guidance) rating instead of the red SPG rating. Despite the downgrade of its rating, the show continued to feature some instances of serious themes and profanity that are deemed too inappropriate for younger audiences. With that in mind, why is the SPG rating remains underutilized by the MTRCB?

The ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (‘Striktong Patnubay at Gabay’ in Filipino) rating was first used on February 9, 2012. SPG is implemented to programs which contain the following: strong themes, profane languages, violence, sex, horror and drugs, and as a result, they are forced to air the 30-second SPG advisory twice unlike those rated G (General Patronage) or PG. Initially used on a per-episode basis, SPG’s usage became widely known in programs such as ‘Temptation of Wife’ and ‘My Husband’s Lover’, where its tackling of extremely serious issues led to its full implementation of SPG.

However, its usage remains spotty at best. For example, fellow gag shows ‘Banana Split’ and ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ are currently rated SPG by the MTRCB, while ‘Bubble Gang’ has seen its rating downgraded to PG despite the fact that it continues to tackle serious themes. SPG is also utilized in some episodes of both ‘Magpakailanman’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, both of which are predominantly PG-rated. And the now-defunct talk show ‘What’s Up Doods?’ initially carried an SPG rating before it was later downgraded to PG when it started to air reruns.

SPG remains the most underutilized classification rating in Philippine television because of two factors:

1. Only a few programs are willing to push the envelope towards more sensitive topics that may be unsuitable for children

2. Teleseryes have a tendency to feature episodes with more violent scenes, followed by more light-hearted events, and vice versa

If the MTRCB can start using the SPG rating on a per-program basis, then it will benefit both producers and viewers alike in creating new ideas for various programs. The SPG rating is created in order to give producers much-needed input towards creating series with more serious issues, in the process informing the family about the consequences of airing such scenes. Without it, then how will such scenes affect the future of younger individuals?

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