comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Not a Good Sign: The Declining Interest of Late-Morning Dramas on Philippine Television

‘Playhouse’ is only averaging around 13% in the ratings, a far cry from past late-morning teleseryes aired on ABS-CBN. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

There was a time when late-morning teleseryes on television were a thing in this decade.

It started in 2012 when the unlikely pairing of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap took off with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. The series became an immediate hit, reaching ratings of as high as 27%, and ran for over two years.

From then on, ABS-CBN kept the wheel rolling, airing either romantic comedies such as ‘Oh My G!’, ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ or kid-oriented tear-jerkers like ‘Ningning’ and ‘Langit Lupa’. ABS-CBN even tried to get serious for once with the triathlon-themed ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

But in the past several months, late-morning dramas began to lose viewer interest. By August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ slumped to around 13-15% in the ratings (this despite having Jodi and Richard in the series), and this decline only continued through its successor ‘Playhouse’.

Over on GMA, the network already waved the white flag at the start of the month. Their most recent local late-morning drama, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, was cancelled last November 2, and after only two weeks, GMA moved the Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ to an earlier timeslot due to poor ratings.

Prior to that, GMA tried to counter ABS-CBN with their own dramas that were either self-produced or under the TAPE Inc. production team. Unfortunately for GMA, each of their dramas backfired, with the likes of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ ending after only two or three months.

While ABS-CBN continues to claim victory over this timeslot, the declining ratings of ‘Playhouse’ is something that should cause a lot of concern to the network. If the 13% ratings are of any indication, then there must be something wrong.

Either that viewers are getting tired of watching too much of the same thing, that the story in itself lacked substance and originality, that the cast is boring, or that they just can’t wait for ‘It’s Showtime’ to start. Whatever the case, it is up to ABS-CBN to regroup and see what needs to be corrected.

It is too early to tell if this will spell the end for Filipino late-morning dramas. That said, one can only hope that a turnaround in fortune is imminent, but if this spell continues, then a programming reboot is necessary.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Back to Zero: Kapag Nahati ang Puso Exits with No Replacement in Sight

Consider this yet another epic series of failures for GMA in the late-morning slot.

On All Souls’ Day, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will air its final episode. But without a replacement in sight, all signs point to ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ taking over its soon-to-be-vacated timeslot.

‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, which starred Bea Binene, Benjamin Alves, Sunshine Cruz, Zoren Legaspi and Bing Loyzaga, first premiered on July 16, 2018. Unlike its predecessors ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ had a more serious and darker tone.

While it enjoyed a decent 80-episode run, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso”s overall performance did not inspire confidence from its audience. ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ averaged a mere 10% in the ratings, even though it came close on a few occasions to beat ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ and ‘Playhouse’.

Suffice to say, the change of strategy did not affect GMA’s fortunes in the late-morning slot. Once again, GMA management has to wonder why this timeslot continues to frustrate them at every turn.

Looking back at the three previous attempts at unseating the likes of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ and ‘Playhouse’, it was clear that GMA was scared to compete from the start. Let’s face it, both ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ were epic failures just by looking at its respective number of episodes.

If a drama series only finished at 38 and 50 episodes, then it is obvious that something is wrong. Either that GMA is not convinced enough that both are compelling or is not satisfied with the production.

Then again both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs which is infamous for short-run dramas. Still, its intent to air for a brief period is inexcusable considering the circumstances.

In fairness, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ ended with 80 episodes which is a slight improvement. Then again, its ratings were not that impressive and GMA realized that late-morning dramas are not their bread and butter.

Perhaps GMA should just stop this charade and go back to airing ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ in that timeslot. The network simply had no chance there; not even blocktimer TAPE can help them.

This Friday, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will conclude its run. But don’t expect GMA to give it a proper farewell because they are in no mood to do so.

Update: The Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ will replace ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ starting Monday. Still, this is a clear sign of GMA once again conceding to ABS-CBN when it comes to the late-morning slot.

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