news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

The Big Question: Is Atom Araullo Going Home to GMA?

The fallout surrounding Atom Araullo’s departure from ABS-CBN is still strong.

It has been a week since Atom bid farewell to ABS-CBN News in order to ‘explore new interests’. At the time, many thought that Atom will simply be a freelancer and make good on his promise of seeking different opportunities in the world of media.

However, within hours of the announcement, GMA teased everyone when Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez made mention of Atom’s name in the DZBB radio program ‘Sino?’. The rumors continued when GMA made the announcement on television of a ‘big reveal’ on ’24 Oras’ this Thursday night, with viewers again speculating that the man on the video is Atom Araullo himself.

Atom Araullo’s career as a host and journalist is a remarkable one. His initial foray into television is on the Probe Productions program ‘5 and Up’, but unlike fellow hosts Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and brothers Rayver and Rodjun Cruz, Atom chose to follow a career in journalism.

After a brief stint as a sports reporter on GMA’s ’24 Oras’, Atom moved to ABS-CBN in 2004 where his career really took off. While he was best known as one of the hosts of ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ and even had his own show in ‘Red Alert’, Atom’s best moment came in 2013 when he reported in Tacloban about Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) while braving the heavy rains and winds.

Earlier this year, Atom received his first acting role on ‘Citizen Jake’ while earning a bronze medal at the New York Festivals for his documentary ‘Warmer’. His final appearances on the ABS-CBN family of networks came last night in an episode of Lifestyle’s ‘The Crawl’.

If it is indeed true that Atom Araullo will move to GMA Network, the reaction could be a mixed one. ABS-CBN has had a ‘no-compete clause’ in their news personalities’ contracts which state that they should not move to another network until a year following their departure.

Then again, anything like a ‘no-compete clause’ is totally irrelevant at this point. Not only that, Atom’s departure from ABS-CBN is an amicable one, and as a free agent, he can choose his next destination anytime he wants.

Later tonight, the ‘big reveal’ will take place on GMA’s ’24 Oras’. But the question remains, is the man in the video indeed Atom Araullo? Find out in several hours’ time.

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news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Unang Hirit Extended, Responds to Umagang Kay Ganda

GMA extended ‘Unang Hirit’ for another 30 minutes in response to ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’, whose recent dominance in the early mornings became a cause of concern. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The morning rivalry between ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ gets a little more interesting.

Two weeks after ABS-CBN’s ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ received a 30-minute extension, GMA responded Monday by giving ‘Unang Hirit’ an additional 30 minutes of their own. This means that the two rival morning shows now air from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

The 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. slot is nothing new to ‘Unang Hirit’. In the show’s early years, GMA aired it on the exact same timeslot, only to cut it to 2 1/2 hours and shuffle between start times of 5:00 a.m., 5:15 a.m. and 5:30 a.m in later years.

Unfortunately, the extended run of ‘Unang Hirit’ proved to be a consequence to the Astig Authority block. By adding 30 minutes to ‘Unang Hirit, GMA managed to sacrifice 30 minutes of anime programming, and considering that their animes are currently their strongest suit, this will not suit well with their anime fans.

And neither are viewers of ‘Yan ang Morning’. GMA would have had an opportunity to move the low-rating ‘Yan ang Morning’ to an earlier timeslot (in the process cutting ‘Unang Hirit’ to only two hours and giving it a head-start over ‘Magandang Buhay’), but it is clear that GMA’s marquee morning program is in no mood to give way.

Looking at the ratings between ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’, it is obvious that GMA would have been better off doing a little bit of cost-cutting for the former. In recent years, ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ has had the upper-hand, winning by a small margin on most days.

Let’s face it, after nearly 17 years on the air, ‘Unang Hirit’ is clearly wearing down. Their core lineup of hosts are showing their age, and if there is any chance for the show to survive much longer, they need a lot of tweaks to fit in with a younger generation of viewers.

As far as GMA News is concerned, there is a lot more to do in order to resuscitate the declining ratings of ‘Unang Hirit’. And extending the show by another 30 minutes is not a good idea.

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anime, cartoon, drama, entertainment, fantasy, lifestyle, Philippines, talk show, television

Uncertain Mornings on ABS-CBN

With ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ ending this November, ABS-CBN now has an unenviable task of filling the show’s shoes, along with rebuilding the rest of its morning lineup. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

A state of uncertainty has finally reached ABS-CBN as far as their weekday morning shows are concerned.

A change in programming took place earlier this morning. Popular classic animes ‘Princess Sarah’ and ‘Marcelino Pan Y Vino’ began to re-air in place of ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’ and ‘Naruto Shippuden’, both of which took a brief season hiatus.

In addition, a re-run of ‘Da Adventures of Pedro Penduko’ replaced the recently re-aired ‘Precious Hearts Romances: Midnight Phantom’. As a result, three of ABS-CBN’s old programs now occupy the network’s mid-morning slot.

Coupled with the announcement that the final episode of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ will be on November 28, ABS-CBN will now have the daunting task of rebuilding its programming schedule on weekday mornings. Easier said than done.

While ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ remained a popular show, at least according to Kantar’s totals, it is clear that the viewers’ patience are beginning to run thin. As a result, some have begun to tune out in favor of ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, who suddenly proved to be more formidable than GMA’s previous efforts.

It would have made sense if ABS-CBN ended ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ at its peak. Instead, the show is expected to end with a whimper, unless a memorable and well-written ending is made to finish the show the same way they started: as a big hit with viewers.

Filling the shoes of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ will be very complicated, so good luck to the Kapamilya network in trying to sort this out.

Going through the rest of ABS-CBN’s weekday morning lineup post-‘Umagang Kay Ganda’, there are more problems to consider. With the exception of ‘The Singing Bee’, all other programs seem not up to par with the standard of excellence that ABS-CBN is trying to create.

‘Kris TV’, for example, has not been a success ratings-wise. While it is obvious that Kris Aquino does not want the show’s schedule to move considering her endless amount of demands in her contract, it would be of the best interest for ABS-CBN and herself to change ‘Kris TV”s timeslot to something more viewer-friendly, that is, if Kris finally loosens the grip.

As for the re-runs, it is still puzzling to see why ABS-CBN decided to re-air them, despite the presence of Jeepney TV and Hero on SkyCable. They could have used this time period to air a new Koreanovela or some new anime, but instead they meekly go throwback mode in the same manner as GMA’s overt dependence on classic animes.

That said, the time to rebuild weekday mornings is now for ABS-CBN. It may be very difficult considering the circumstances, but it’s the best that they can do in hopes of earning some respect in this timeslot.

So good luck to them in making this work.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

GMA, ABS-CBN Tied for Best TV Station at the 2013 PMPC Star Awards

Marian Rivera and Coco Martin (tied with Richard Yap) won the top acting awards for drama in the 2013 PMPC Star Awards for TV.

In the recently concluded PMPC Star Awards for TV, both ABS-CBN and GMA shared honors for best TV station this year. And even though both stations were tied for the top television award, it was ABS-CBN who grabbed a lion’s share of awards thanks to some of their highly-rated programs and impressive performances from its stars.

ABS-CBN earned 31 of the 56 awards in the recent event. Among the winners were Kapamilya stars Coco Martin and Richard Yap (Best Drama Actor), KC Concepcion (Best Drama Supporting Actress), Arjo Atayde and Arron Villaflor (Best Drama Supporting Actor), and Nikki Gil (Best Single Performance for an Actress). Programs such as Juan dela Cruz (Best Primetime Drama Series), Be Careful with My Heart (Best Daytime Drama Series), Showtime (Best Variety Show), ASAP (Best Musical Variety Show), Umagang Kay Ganda (Best Morning Show) and Kris TV (Best Celebrity Talk Show) were also cited.

Not to be outdone, GMA stars such as Marian Rivera (Best Drama Actress), Rufa Mae Quinto (Best Comedy Actress) and Michael V (Best Comedy Actor) were also honored. In addition, GMA programs such as Pepito Manaloto (Best Comedy Show), Bubble Gang (T-Best Gag Show), Celebrity Bluff (Best Game Show), Startalk (Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show), Magpakailanman (Best Drama Anthology), and the now-defunct Extra Challenge (Best Reality Competition Program) also won their respective awards. Sister network GMA News TV also left victorious thanks to wins by State of the Nation (Best News Program), Biyahe ni Drew (Best Travel Show), I Juander (Best Magazine Show), and Fashbook host Solenn Heussaff (Best Lifestyle Show Host).

While ABS-CBN and GMA dominated the proceedings, some of the minor TV networks were also cited. TV5 walked away with three awards, winning Best Children’s Show for Batibot, Best Talent Search Program for Talentadong Pinoy, and Best Female Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host for Ang Latest host Cristy Fermin. And the lone award won by a UHF television station came from Net 25, whose program Convergence won Best Lifestyle Show.

The PMPC Star Awards were held last November 24 at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, and were hosted by the Gutierrez twins (Richard and Raymond) and the Gonzaga sisters (Toni and Alex). The entire awards ceremony will be seen this Sunday on ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best‘. And for the entire list of awardees, click here

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news, Philippines, public affairs, talk show, television

Cancellation of Kape at Balita on GMA News TV

GMA News TV’s ‘Kape at Balita’ aired its final episode on August 16, 2013, finishing its 10-month run.

From August 19 onwards, many viewers of GMA News TV noticed a change in the early morning timeslot. Instead of the early morning newscast ‘Kape at Balita‘, the said network have been airing repeats of documentaries such as ‘Hamon ng Kalikasan’ and ‘Misteryo‘. No explanation was given regarding the cancellation.

The second incarnation of ‘Kape at Balita’ started to air on October 22, 2012 as an alternative program to the big networks’ morning shows such as ‘Umagang Kay Ganda‘, ‘Good Morning Club‘, and ‘Unang Hirit‘. The program’s basic fare featured mostly current news events, spiced up with commentaries and interviews from various sources. In short, ‘Kape at Balita’ was more akin to the morning news and commentary shows on radio such as ‘Kabayan: Kapangyarihan ng Mamamayan, Balita at Talakayan’ and ‘Saksi sa Dobol B‘.

This was GMA News TV’s second attempt at a morning show. Previous to that they aired a simulcast of DZBB‘s ‘Saksi sa Dobol B’, before giving way to ‘Kape at Balita’. Morning shows on television were usually the most difficult and expensive to produce, and with the domination of the morning shows on the big networks, the others struggled to keep pace. One example is Studio 23‘s defunct morning show ‘Breakfast’, which struggled with viewership because the format is more akin to middle and upper class viewers.

These days both ABS-CBN and TV5 simulcast their morning shows on their sister news networks. ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ is also seen on the all-English cable network ABS-CBN News Channel, while ‘Good Morning Club’ is simulcast on the UHF AksyonTV. GMA would have loved to do the same thing with ‘Unang Hirit’, but since their sister network GMA News TV is also a VHF channel, it is very unlikely.

At the moment it is unclear whether or not GMA News TV will produce another morning show. For now, they revert back to airing past documentaries, something the network will never want to do after all my criticisms against the network.

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