drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

Resolving ABS-CBN’s 5 O’Clock Problem

Weekdays at 5:00 p.m. has spelled trouble for ABS-CBN.

And it has been that way since mid-April, when ‘We Will Survive’ was demoted from Primetime Bida to Kapamilya Gold to make way for ‘My Super D’. Now that both series will end this Friday, ABS-CBN must resolve this ongoing problem that is the 5:00 p.m. slot as soon as possible.

Looking at the root of this situation, it is clear that by the time the clock strikes 5:00 p.m. (17:00 in military terms), not every area in the country will receive the same program. Instead, what most provincial areas receive is their dialect-based version of ‘TV Patrol’, which focuses on news in a particular region or province.

The affected program (currently ‘We Will Survive’) was then aired the next morning at 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, during the network’s broadcast of the 2016 NBA Finals in June, the series was preempted at times, and those without iWanTV subscription were left scratching their heads wondering why those episodes never aired.

To make matters worse, by the time ‘Magandang Buhay’ was bumped to 8:00 a.m. on June 21, the final 30 minutes of the talk show was preempted just to make way for the said affected program. Something is not quite right.

The end result of this was that ‘We Will Survive’ endured inconsistent ratings since its demotion to Kapamilya Gold. That said, with this timeslot considered a trouble spot, teleseryes should be off-limits going forward.

As of today, ABS-CBN has confirmed that the returning ‘Minute to Win It’, to be hosted by Luis Manzano, will take over the soon-to-be vacated timeslot of ‘My Super D’. Which leaves the 5:00 p.m. slot up for grabs, and for ABS-CBN to resolve this problem, one program would be better off airing.

Enter the ‘O Shopping’ program block. Usually airing during the wee hours of the morning, the said program should pose no threat to ABS-CBN’s overall programming when it airs at 5:00 p.m., simply because it is merely a filler show.

That said, its presence will mean a lot to ABS-CBN in the long-term. ‘Magandang Buhay’ will now be aired for a full 90 minutes in all areas, while preempting a program for ‘TV Patrol’ in the regions will no longer carry a risk factor ratings-wise.

Still, it is up to ABS-CBN management to convince themselves of a change in strategy. If they decided to once again air a teleserye at 5:00 p.m. (‘The Greatest Love’ is being pegged as a replacement for ‘We Will Survive’), then good luck in trying to be more consistent in the ratings.

Hopefully ABS-CBN does something right here. This is one important issue to address.

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drama, entertainment, game show, movies, Philippines, television

Wowowin Out for Two Weeks

Willie Revillame is on vacation, and so is ‘Wowowin’.

Both the host and the game show will take a two-week break starting today, in order to recharge and plan for ‘Wowowin”s upcoming first anniversary*. The vacated timeslot will be filled by ‘GMA Blockbusters’ until May 13.

In the meantime, ‘Wowowin”s new studio will be used temporarily by GMA News and Public Affairs for its ‘Eleksyon 2016’ coverage, which will kick off on May 9. Afterwards, a refurbished set is expected to be unveiled once ‘Wowowin’ returns on May 16.

The temporary hiatus of ‘Wowowin’ may benefit ABS-CBN in the short term. ‘We Will Survive’, in particular, has been slumping since its demotion to Kapamilya Gold, with ratings in the 10s on most days.

The brief absence of ‘Wowowin’ might put ‘We Will Survive’ back on track. Still, with the series not airing in select areas thanks to regional ‘TV Patrol’, it will not be easy for ‘We Will Survive’ to win without ‘Wowowin’ to oppose them.

The other series opposing ‘Wowowin’, ‘My Super D’, may be winning in the ratings, but the margin remained small. That said, the absence of the former may help ‘My Super D’ pull away, even if it’s only for a short moment.

As for GMA, this is an opportunity for the network to sustain the momentum in ‘Wowowin”s absence. Airing more recent hit movies on ‘GMA Blockbusters’ may do the trick, even as a few of their regional networks continue to air local news in place of the show’s first 45 minutes.

This is going to be an interesting two weeks for both GMA and ABS-CBN. Let’s see how the brief hiatus of ‘Wowowin’ will affect the fortunes of both networks from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

*‘Wowowin”s actual first episode was aired on Sunday, May 10, 2015. The show has been airing on weekdays since February 1, with the first 90-minute episode airing two weeks later.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

We Will Survive’s Ratings on a Tailspin After Change of Timeslot

‘We Will Survive’ found itself in a tough spot upon moving to a new timeslot, thanks in large part to the show’s delayed broadcasts in the regional networks. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

‘We Will Survive’ is in a crisis.

The ABS-CBN drama series is off to a slow start in its new 5:00 p.m. timeslot, registering ratings of 10.7% (April 18), 10.9% (April 19), 9.8% (April 20) and 9.9% (April 21) during a four-day span. This was in contrast to the show’s 13% average ratings in its original timeslot of 5:45 p.m.

Clearly, ABS-CBN has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to ‘We Will Survive”s low ratings. Regional networks are unable to air the series at the same time as Metro Manila due to the presence of local ‘TV Patrol’, and instead, it is aired the following day at 9:00 a.m. in place of ‘Naruto Shippuden’.

This predicament easily led to ‘We Will Survive’ losing to GMA’s ‘Wowowin’ in a majority of the regional areas. And it didn’t help that the delayed broadcasts are being aired in a timeslot that is also not viable ratings-wise.

It is a painful truth that the regional networks of ABS-CBN have no choice but to commit to 30-45 minutes’ worth of ‘TV Patrol’ in their respective dialects. However, it also hurts that the network decided to place a teleserye in a timeslot that is not expected to draw viewers from the provinces.

Considering ABS-CBN’s reputation for successful teleseryes, this is a strategy that does not work at all. And it is also not good that the network decided to fill almost 2/3s of their lineup with teleseryes; excluding ‘TV Patrol’, ABS-CBN’s lineup from 3:15-10:45 p.m. features a streak of seven teleseryes and an imported series.

That said, for Pokwang, Melai Cantiveros and the show’s braintrust, this is a battle that they cannot survive from. Positive messages notwithstanding, ABS-CBN should consider closing the book on ‘We Will Survive’ as soon as possible, knowing that it would be consequential to viewers in the provinces, as well as viewers who are tired of watching teleseryes for many hours straight.

If not, find a way to get a better timeslot for the show. After all, it is for the network’s own good.

 

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