entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Thoughts on Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show

A filler show to end all filler shows.

With the 2018 remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ set to air right before ‘TV Patrol’ starting this Monday (more on that later this week), ABS-CBN decided to fill the void with a transitional show on the timeslot normally occupied by its Asianovelas. And this is no ordinary show.

Back in April, ABS-CBN announced a worldwide audition tour called ‘Star Hunt: The Kapamilya Grand Auditions’. The tour began in Manila on the weekend of April 20, after which the network hosted further auditions in both the Philippines and abroad.

Their purpose is to find aspirants that will become part of various ABS-CBN talent and reality shows. Examples include ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, ‘I Can See Your Voice’, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, ‘Dance Kids’, ‘Little Big Shots’, ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and the soon-to-be-launched ‘World of Dance Philippines’.

Beginning Monday, ABS-CBN will air highlights from these auditions as part of ‘Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show’. Hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ alums Kim Chiu, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga and Melai Cantiveros, the program will take a look at some of the aspirants and their backstories.

This is perhaps a mere short-term solution for ABS-CBN. After all, there are high hopes surrounding the remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ that airing the Asianovela on its normal afternoon timeslot may hinder its viewership due to the ‘TV Patrol’ regional newscasts in the provinces.

Not wanting to risk a loss of viewers, ABS-CBN decided to place ‘Meteor Garden’ on the leadoff slot of Primetime Bida. This leads to ‘Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show’ taking over the regular Asianovela timeslot of Kapamilya Gold.

Honestly, it makes perfect sense for ABS-CBN to produce a filler show on a timeslot where not all areas will receive it. With regional versions of ‘TV Patrol’ being plugged into this timeslot, ABS-CBN realized that a filler show like ‘Star Hunt’ will be much better than, let’s say a teleserye, because ratings are of no concern to the program and it only serves as a stopgap.

With that, good luck to ABS-CBN for this temporary endeavor. Regardless of how it performed, the most important part is that it served its purpose.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Finally: ABS-CBN Newscasts Move to High Definition

Here is some good news for Kapamilya viewers.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, newscasts on ABS-CBN Channel 2 began to air on 16:9 high definition. The conversion began with the 10:00 a.m. ‘News Patrol’, followed by the network’s flagship newscasts ‘TV Patrol’ (both weekend and weeknight editions) and ‘Bandila’ (both DZMM TeleRadyo and ABS-CBN editions).

Here is a comparison of ‘News Patrol’ in standard definition (pre-April 1) and in high definition (since April 1) in the following videos.

News Patrol in 4:3 standard definition (courtesy of ABS-CBN News)

News Patrol in 16:9 high definition (courtesy of ABS-CBN News)

The full implementation of ABS-CBN newscasts in HD marked the latest step in the network’s ongoing conversion to this new television technology. However, the changeover was not an easy one.

When ABS-CBN launched its 16:9 high definition feed in October 2015, only its entertainment programs were able to adopt this new technology. As such, ABS-CBN News programs remained in 4:3 standard definition, and whenever it was shown on ABS-CBN HD, black pillarboxes can be seen.

However, the news division was given a glimmer of hope in March 2016 when the ABS-CBN News Channel premiered its own HD feed. This enabled ABS-CBN News to utilize some of its newly-purchased HD cameras for live reports.

Despite that, Channel 2’s newscasts remained in 4:3 SD, mainly to compensate for the regional outlets’ slow adoption to HD technology. But as the impending switch to high definition became imminent, ABS-CBN realized the need for a change.

Thus came the launch of ABS-CBN’s high definition newscasts on Easter Sunday. It was an odd move to say the least, but it was perfect timing for the network since its news operations on television and radio resume around this time.

As mentioned earlier, ‘News Patrol’, ‘TV Patrol’ and ‘Bandila’ are now seen in 16:9 high definition, but they are not the only newscasts that made the move. Even DZMM TeleRadyo’s ‘Headline Pilipinas’ was also converted to 16:9 HD.

But not all newscasts changed over to the new standard. ‘TV Patrol”s regional versions continue to air in 4:3 SD, as are a majority of ABS-CBN Regional programs and even DZMM TeleRadyo.

Still, there is plenty of time for ABS-CBN to implement the new high definition standard to DZMM and the network’s regional affiliates. But for now, enjoy watching ‘TV Patrol’, ‘Bandila’ and all ABS-CBN newscasts in crystal clear 16:9 HD.

ABS-CBN HD is available exclusively on SkyCable channel 167 and to premium access subscribers on iWant TV. ANC HD is available exclusively on SkyCable channel 182 and to premium access subscribers on iWant TV.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Legend of the Blue Sea to Reair on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida

Another Koreanovela rerun will take place on ABS-CBN this week.

Beginning Monday, ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ will take over the timeslot of ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ on the network’s Primetime Bida block. The Koreanovela previously aired from May 8 to July 14 on the Kapamilya Gold block.

With this announcement, ABS-CBN’s slate of Koreanovelas now consist entirely of reruns. In an ironic twist of fate, ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ was succeeded by the rerun of ‘Love in the Moonlight’, and now the two reairing series share the spotlight.

‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ stars Korean pop star Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun, with a story centering on a con artist and a mermaid who traveled across the ocean to find him. The series earned six SBS Drama Awards, spawned a soundtrack album and aired in various countries around the world.

Although the initial run of ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ was a success in the ratings, the series faced some obstacles. Since it was assigned to Kapamilya Gold’s 5:00 p.m. ‘death slot’, only a few select areas received the Koreanovela largely due to ABS-CBN Regional’s ‘TV Patrol’.

To make matters worse, the 9:00 a.m. next-day airing of ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ in these affected areas was often preempted due to the 2017 NBA Playoffs last May and June. The end result were skipped episodes that left some viewers with a bitter taste in their mouths.

For the most part, it was a good thing for ABS-CBN to reair ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ on primetime to benefit those affected by the preemptions. After all, the series is too popular and too good to be interrupted, and they owed these viewers every single episode of it.

Still, for those who have watched every single episode of ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’, is it worth a second look? Probably, but considering the fervent fanaticism of Filipino Koreanovela fans, ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ truly deserves another go-round.

‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ airs after ‘A Love to Last’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, television, variety show

GMA’s Own 5:00 P.M. Regional Programming Issue

ABS-CBN is not the only major television network with a regional programming problem.

Archrival GMA also endures its fair share of issues when it comes to regional programs. Similar to what ABS-CBN experiences, GMA’s biggest concern is at the 5:00 p.m. slot where regional news programs are aired in the provinces in lieu of shows relayed straight from Metro Manila.

Just last Monday, GMA’s Mindanao-based channels began to air a new regional newscast titled ‘One Mindanao’. The program is anchored by longtime Mindanao-based GMA anchors Tek Ocampo, Sarah Hilomen-Velasco and Real Soroche, and is aired on weekdays at 5:00 p.m.

Like ‘Balitang Amianan’ (Dagupan and Ilocos) and ‘Balitang Bisdak’ (Cebu), ‘One Mindanao’ preempts the first 30-40 minutes of ‘Wowowin’, the GMA afternoon game show hosted by Willie Revillame. But as far as GMA is concerned, this was just a minor inconvenience.

Consider the following factors:

  1. Most GMA regional networks are now mere relay outlets following the closure of most stations and the layoff of its employees.
  2. ‘Wowowin’ is still aired after the newscasts, thus no need to reair the show the following morning.
  3. ‘Wowowin’ more often than not beats an ABS-CBN Koreanovela (only a few relay areas receive such programs due to regional ‘TV Patrol’) in the ratings game regardless of either Kantar or AGB Nielsen.

With that in mind, it was clear to GMA that they are undeterred about the overall programming disparity between Greater Manila Area and regional areas. However, with the entry of ‘One Mindanao’ in the Mindanao area, they now have every reason to worry since ‘Wowowin”s audience will be reduced significantly.

Issues among ABS-CBN and GMA’s regional network programs are in dire need of a resolution. The 5:00 p.m. slot, usually a haven for regional networks to produce their newscasts, is one example of what each network needs to do to make things all the more parallel.

But since GMA currently has less regional stations than ABS-CBN, their own concern may be revisited once they decide to resuscitate some of these stations. For now, GMA can only hope that their regional networks’ standing will be improved with each step.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Love in the Moonlight Rerun Adds to ABS-CBN’s Death Slot Problems

The mess that is ABS-CBN’s 5:00 p.m. weekday slot continues.

Beginning today, the Kapamilya network will re-air the Koreanovela ‘Love in the Moonlight’ in its so-called ‘death slot’. The series originally aired on Primetime Bida from March 6 to May 5, 2017, spanning 43 episodes.

Unlike its original run which was seen in every household in the country, ‘Love in the Moonlight”s rebroadcast will only be seen in Metro Manila, select regional areas and on digital, cable and satellite subscription services. The rest of the country will receive regional versions of ‘TV Patrol’ while the Koreanovela airs at 9:30 a.m. the next day.

The problems surrounding ABS-CBN’s 5:00 p.m. slot has been well-documented in this blog. While ‘TV Patrol”s regional versions are only a part of the issue, there are other concerns that jeopardize this timeslot.

As stated earlier, programs that are affected by the broadcast of regional ‘TV Patrol’ are aired the following morning at around 9:00 or 9:30 a.m. Unfortunately, not all shows were aired in full.

In the last two Junes, both ‘We Will Survive’ and ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ saw numerous episodes preempted due to the NBA Finals. To make matters worse, those preempted episodes were never aired at all in ABS-CBN’s regional stations, leaving non-iWanTV subscribers perplexed and unsatisfied

If ABS-CBN were smart enough to realize these issues, they would have done these three things:

  1. Air ‘O Shopping’ as permanent filler.
  2. Bring News and Current Affairs shows back to the 5:00 p.m. slot (with a replay after ‘Bandila’ to satisfy the rest of the country).
  3. Produce a Metro Manila version of ‘TV Patrol’.

But as it stands, ABS-CBN is simply too stubborn to resist change in its approach. They somehow rectified that with a rerun of the Koreanovela ‘Love in the Moonlight’ (as reruns are considered filler), but still, it would mean sacrificing success in favor of short-term fixes.

There is still time for ABS-CBN to correct whatever issues they face every weekday afternoon. That said, viewers can only hope for the best, no matter how slim it may be.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Sad News for All LOTBS Viewers in Regional Areas

This writer recently voiced his concern about the skipped episodes of the Koreanovela ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ in most ABS-CBN regional stations due to the NBA playoffs. Here are his concerns on the matter.

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