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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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TV5 Continues its Rebuild

The painful rebuilding process continues for TV5, in an effort to earn a sizable audience.

Over half a year ago, TV5 established its ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’, and ‘Everyday All the Way’ blocks. However, as the calendar flipped to 2014, these programming blocks were deemphasized and it appears TV5 is not satisfied with how they turned out.

Through the first four months, TV5 gradually brought in new programs as part of its continuous restructuring process, which also included a relocation away from its old Novaliches headquarters in favor of the newly-opened TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong. The adjustment to a new location was difficult though, as the staff attempted to learn new digital-based methods in producing its programs.

In the news department came in Saturday night public affairs series ‘Kaya’ and ‘Yaman ng Bayan’, and the Thursday night program ‘Bigtime’. On the other hand, ‘Good Morning Club’ once again claimed its position as the only morning news program with a running time of under two hours, when management decided to cancel the ‘Good Morning Girls’ and ‘Good Morning MamuTin’ segments (which were taped as opposed to live broadcast on other programs), and renamed ‘GMC’ as ‘Good Morning Ser’.

In terms of entertainment, TV5 replaced ‘Madam Chairman’ with ‘Confessions of a Torpe’, while introducing another ‘tawaserye’ in ‘Beki Boxer’. On the other side of the spectrum, ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’ essentially replaced ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’, though the latter program remained on air until April, when it was finally cancelled in favor of the sitcom ‘One of the Boys’.

And finally, TV5 partially satisfied basketball fans by airing live PBA games almost every day in primetime, including an increase of Saturday broadcasts to two games. But with the network’s broadcast of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics (and potentially the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup) a few months away, it is expected that more adjustments will be made in terms of accommodating the network’s sports coverage.

That said, TV5 should not stand pat and continue improving its lineup for the long term. It is a difficult and painful process, but when done right, the network’s fortunes should pay off.

Now what to do with AksyonTV? The question will be answered in another article.

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The ‘New’ AksyonTV in 2014

The entry of ‘Juan Direction’ to AksyonTV virtually changed the landscape of the all-news network arm of TV5.

When AksyonTV decided to cease its 24-hour broadcast last December, there were hints that the network will revamp its programming and improve its reach. And as 2014 got underway, viewers were treated to a ‘different’ AksyonTV than in years past.

Gone were AksyonTV original programs ‘Cocktales’, ‘Wasak’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Dokumentado’, ‘Dong Puno de Kalibre’, and ‘Presinto 5’. The cancellation of these programs had an adverse effect on TV5. With the exception of the PBA replays, TV5 has been signing off after ‘Reaksyon’ on weeknights; their sign-off comes in much earlier than that of the government station PTV-4 and former blocktimer IBC-13.

As a result, the ‘new’ AksyonTV now features TV5 original programs, AKTV carryovers such as the PBA, NCAA and boxing events, Radyo5 simulcasts, newscasts such as ‘Aksyon’, ‘Pilipinas News’ and ‘Andar ng mga Balita’, and several remaining AksyonTV original programs. But perhaps the most radical example of the ‘new’ AksyonTV was ‘Juan Direction’, which is currently part of TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ slate of entertainment programs.

Despite claiming to be a ‘documentary-reality’, ‘Juan Direction’ is mostly entertainment-based, which is not what AksyonTV is. The fact that it airs on TV5’s entertainment block still bothers me. Would it be good to see a quintet of muscular Fil-Brits, all of which have showbiz potential, enjoy a trip around the country on an all-news network? I don’t think so, unless you watch GMA News TV and their movie blocks.

This year is an adjustment period for AksyonTV, as signal improvements, programming changes and the move to the Media Center in Mandaluyong are in progress. But without its core public affairs programs, the transition period of the network may be tougher than anyone can imagine.

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FTT Year 2013 in Review: TV5

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on TV5, which enjoyed a slow start before rebounding with a respectable fourth quarter.

The Positives

After it was suspended for a good part of last year because of the you-know-what, T3: Reload rebounded in 2013 with a more toned-down approach, yet maintaining the same ol’ nastiness that the Tulfo brothers constantly address to the bullies and anomalous officials. This year also saw Radyo5 welcome Ben Tulfo and his ‘Bitag sa Radyo’ program after its departure from UNTV, in the process uniting the three brothers on the same umbrella, with Erwin also co-anchoring ‘Punto Asintado’ with Martin Andanar and Raffy hosting ‘Wanted sa Radyo’ with Nina Taduran.

In September, TV5 hired Noel Lorenzana in an effort to overhaul its programming. The end result were three program blocks: ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’, and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’. This alternative programming approach would bear fruit by the end of the year, as several of its programs finished among the Top 15 in the Nielsen Media Research ratings. In addition, the network’s willingness to reach out to a younger audience also paid dividends, as programs such as ‘SpinNation’ were among the top trending topics on Twitter.

TV5 also scored big in its sports coverage, with the recent airings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals, and the Gilas Pilipinas games at the FIBA Asia Championship earning high viewership figures. And to cap off a resurgent finish to the year, TV5 officially christened the new TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong City.

The Negatives

Under Perci Intalan, TV5 tried to compete against more established powers GMA and ABS-CBN. However, it only resulted in revenue losses. None of TV5’s own teleseryes (‘Kidlat‘, ‘Undercover’, ‘Cassandra: Warrior Angel’, ‘Misibis Bay’, ‘Enchanted Garden‘, ‘Never Say Goodbye’) even made noise in the teleserye wars, and programs such as ‘Jeepney Jackpot’, ‘Kanta Pilipinas‘, ‘Alabang Housewives’ and ‘Boracay Bodies’ were critical failures.

But perhaps the most crucial reason behind the reformat was ‘Wowowillie‘. The noontime show, a symbol of the Intalan era, finally left the airwaves in October after three years, numerous controversies and massive losses. Host Willie Revillame would ‘retire’ shortly afterwards. In addition, TV5 originals ‘Face to Face’ and ‘Talentadong Pinoy‘ were also cancelled; its hosts Amy Perez and Ryan Agoncillo would secure new contracts with ABS-CBN and GMA respectively after departing.

TV5 also encountered numerous problems with its sports coverage. In May, they cut block-time ties with IBC-13, but were urged to stay until the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations. As a result the NCAA was forced to air its nightly games on AksyonTV; the long-delayed finals was aired on TV5 in the early afternoon. And to cap off, many PBA fans were angered when TV5 decided to air only the ‘marquee’ games of the ongoing Philippine Cup live during weeknights and Saturdays, leaving the signal-deficient AksyonTV to air the rest.

Outlook

The motto for TV5 this 2014 should be ‘There’s nowhere to go but up’. With Noel Lorenzana spearheading the rebuilding project, TV5 will continue its commitment to programs that are favorable to younger and socially active citizens. And as they open the TV5 Media Center, it appears that things are on the upswing.

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‘What’s Up Doods’ Preempted for Bieber Documentary

Pop musician Justin Bieber is in Tacloban recently to give cheers to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. TV5 will air the documentary tonight.

Tonight’s lineup of TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ will not see Edu Manzano interview various guests on his talk show ‘What’s Up Doods?’. Instead the Kapatid network will air a special documentary as part of its continuing relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

Titled ‘Give Love, Give Back Philippines‘, the documentary centers on a surprise visit by pop singer Justin Bieber to Tacloban in order to provide donations and relief goods to the typhoon victims. The one-hour documentary will feature Bieber in a different light, as he tries to remain humble amid his fame and give a more positive outlook to the victims. Also included is the exclusive full-length interview with Raymond Gutierrez that first aired on ‘Showbiz Police’ last week, along with a mini-concert for the victims.

Bieber’s #GiveBackPhilippines campaign raised over $1M in cash, and has also produced a limited edition t-shirt with the proceeds being given to TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation. The campaign donations were raised during his ongoing tour promoting his latest album ‘Believe’.

‘What’s Up Doods?’ aired a ‘Best of’ episode last week featuring interviews from Georgina Wilson, Jinri Park and Ramon Bautista, and with the program on hiatus for the holidays, it is only logical to have the Bieber documentary air tonight.

In the meantime, here is today’s late afternoon and evening schedule on TV5:

3:30 – PBA: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel vs. Alaska Aces

5:45 – Aksyon Weekend

6:15 – Showbiz Police

6:45 – Pinoy Explorer

7:45 – Tropa Mo Ko Unli

8:45 – Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman

9:45 – Give Love, Give Back Philippines: A Justin Bieber Special

10:45 – Juan Direction

11:15 – SpinNation

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Killer Karaoke Episode Abruptly Ended

TV5’s ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’ was about to air the final round of their second episode when it was abruptly cut off the air in favor of ‘Juan Direction’. And many viewers were shocked about the sudden change of programming.

At around 9:20 p.m., TV5 was on a commercial break when a plug of the succeeding episode of ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’ began to air. A few minutes later came the Parental Guidance advisory of the MTRCB, after which a new episode of ‘Juan Direction’ got underway. Following several complaints from netizens, host Michael V then tweeted that ‘technical difficulties’ caused the abrupt ending of ‘Killer Karaoke’, and then promised a re-airing of that episode in full.

The abrupt ending of ‘Killer Karaoke Pinoy Naman’ was just one blunder in an otherwise productive day for the Kapatid network, which began with a live PBA game before wrapping it up with a new music-oriented program called ‘SpinNation’. While TV5 promised a re-air of ‘Killer Karaoke’, it was indeed a learning lesson for the operators on the nuances of running a television program.

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