comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

It’s Showtime Has a More Appropriate Rival, and It’s Not Eat Bulaga

Consider ‘Eat Bulaga’ in the past tense as ‘It’s Showtime”s archrival.

While the two noontime shows have been at each other’s throats since ‘It’s Showtime’ moved to its current timeslot in 2011, recent events suggest that ‘Eat Bulaga’ may no longer consider itself a true rival of the former. Instead, another variety show (albeit on a later timeslot) has taken its place as ‘It’s Showtime”s arch-nemesis.

Enter ‘Wowowin’, the late-afternoon variety show hosted by Willie Revillame and is currently on the air for the past three years. For whatever reason, the ‘relationship’ between ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’ can be summed up in one word.

Take it away, Spongebob Squarepants.

Throughout the year, most episodes of ‘It’s Showtime’ have run past its allotted three-hour period mainly due to Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering on ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’. As a matter of fact, one of its more recent episodes concluded at around 4:00 p.m., by far a record time for the noontime show.

GMA is usually strict when it comes to running time, but for some unexplained reason, they did not implement such strictness when it comes to ‘Wowowin’. In the event that ‘It’s Showtime’ goes overtime, GMA countered by allowing ‘Wowowin’ to go past its normal 90-minute duration so that both ’24 Oras’ and ‘TV Patrol’ can start at the same time.

Different timeslots, similar objectives. This is essentially a Willie Revillame and Vice Ganda thing.

Willie, for his part, was the master of working overtime, back when he was still on TV5 for ‘Willing Willie’, ‘Wil Time Big Time’ and ‘Wowowillie’. However, GMA made certain conditions when Willie signed a contract with the network three years ago, such as ‘Wowowin’ only airing on a ‘taped as live’ basis and running for only 90 minutes.

Suffice to say, GMA sort of unleashed the wild side of Willie this year. Which leads to Vice Ganda, who probably learned a thing or two from his frenemy Willie about talking too much.

And for whatever reason, ABS-CBN is simply letting him do the talking for as long as he wants. As a consequence, some of ABS-CBN’s afternoon and primetime programs began to suffer in the ratings, mainly because Vice spoke a little too long.

Perhaps the two can someday have a show of their own that combines the elements of both ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’. But then again, they are not usually the best of friends, such as when Vice poked fun over Willie’s tirade a few years ago.

Still, wouldn’t it be great if the two variety show greats appear in public together and talk every once in while? That should make people forget about their excesses.

Either way, both ABS-CBN and GMA should do (and I mean DO) something about this ‘overtime’ thing. This is simply a time-waster and viewers are fed up with it.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Blood Sisters to Conclude Friday

Erich Gonzales’ ‘three-in-one’ had a mixed run.

The good news for her is that ‘The Blood Sisters’ still reigned on its timeslot. But unlike its predecessor ‘Wildflower’, it failed to win big and make a noticeable impact.

First aired on February 12, 2018, ‘The Blood Sisters’ tells the story of triplets Erika, Carrie and Agatha (all portrayed by Erich). The series had a strong debut, hitting the 25% mark on its first episode.

‘The Blood Sisters’ would go on to hit the 20% mark on several other occasions during its run. Overall, however, the series never caught on with the viewers the way Ivy Aguas/Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) did on ‘Wildflower’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Blood Sisters’ wound up airing twenty minutes later than usual because of ‘It’s Showtime”s incessant streak of going overtime. Whenever Vice Ganda and company go beyond its limit, the worst-case scenario that ‘The Blood Sisters’ had was a 6:10 p.m. start which is way past its normal start time of 5:45-5:50 p.m.

That of course threw some viewers off and ‘The Blood Sisters’ ratings were affected by it. While the series still got the better of competing program ‘Wowowin’, the small gap between the two suggests that ‘The Blood Sisters’ was indeed beatable.

Still, the series managed to air 132 episodes when it is all said and done. Not bad for a series that had plenty of expectations yet could not get the job done.

If there was one consolation for ‘The Blood Sisters’, it is that Erich Gonzales continued her maturation as an artist. Having to portray three different characters is no easy task, but Erich was able to effectively pull it off with Erika, Agatha and Carrie.

Still, those shortcomings ‘The Blood Sisters’ had outweighed the positives. Had ABS-CBN put a leash on Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering, ‘The Blood Sisters’ would have raked in more viewers.

Either way, ‘The Blood Sisters’ was still a good series to watch even with all the concerns put into them. May this series enjoy a graceful exit this Friday.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Video on Board: Buses Tune In to ABS-CBN Shows But Avoid Afternoon Koreanovelas

A bus bound for Quiapo showing ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’. (Photo courtesy of the author)

Sometimes life is unfair.

Such is the case for airconditioned buses that ply the streets of Metro Manila. These buses offer more than just relief from the sweltering heat, they also provide riders with a show or movie to watch while going from one destination to another.

Most airconditioned buses are equipped with a television set that hangs atop the windshield. At first, the viewing experience was severely limited thanks to poor signal reception (most buses opt to air movies from their USB outlets or pirated DVDs due to these conditions), but the launch of the ABS-CBN TVPlus made it much better for riders to watch a show comfortably.

As a commuter I can attest to the varying trends of television viewership inside airconditioned buses. Prior to the launch of TVPlus, the preferred channel of Metro Manila buses is GMA Network due to its clearer signal and greater reach.

But as TVPlus became readily available to the public, bus companies began to take advantage of it by equipping their sets with these devices. As a result, more and more buses were tuning in to ABS-CBN programs especially  during ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘TV Patrol’ and ‘Ang Probinsyano’, simply because Channel 2 is always the first to open on TVPlus.

However, there is still one GMA show with which these buses would rather tune in to. In one of my more recent in-city trips, I looked at some of the buses that ply the metro during the late afternoon, and surprisingly, these buses were tuning in to ‘Wowowin’ instead of a Koreanovela from ABS-CBN.

Simply put, these bus drivers and conductors are not Koreanovela fans. They would rather tune in to Willie Revillame and his antics with sexy women instead of cheesy love scenes from Korean actors because it seems like they are boring

Not to mention that it is rush hour for people going home. If they are tuning in to a Koreanovela on the way home on a slow-moving afternoon, chances are they could be put to sleep.

While viewership inside buses do not influence ratings performance (at least for now), the general trend is clear. ABS-CBN is the most preferred network among airconditioned buses all-day long, but on the late-afternoon rush hour, GMA’s ‘Wowowin’ is the most preferred show.

Unfair as it sounds, but the best entertainment while inside the bus is when things either become tense and gut-wrenching (as in the case for teleseryes) or humorous and fun (as in the case for variety shows). It is what bus rides are made of, and keeping riders awake and invested in entertainment is a bus company’s way of making themselves comfortable.

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

New Trend: GMA Responds to It’s Showtime Going Overtime

Looks like a new trend in primetime newscasts has begun.

In response to ‘TV Patrol’ now airing at around 6:40 p.m. due to ‘It’s Showtime’ exceeding beyond its allotted time, GMA countered by having rival newscast ’24 Oras’ air 10-20 minutes later than its previous timeslot. To do that, GMA intentionally allowed one of its programs to go past its duration.

That turned out to be the teleserye ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, which usually airs for only 45-50 minutes at best. But Wednesday afternoon (see episode hashtag below) saw ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ go beyond its usual running time and air for 80 minutes, uncharacteristically long for a teleserye.

GMA’s version of Vice Ganda and company excessively talking for minutes came by way of long commercial breaks. But much like what ABS-CBN allowed (whether intentional or not) ‘It’s Showtime’ to do, isn’t this a little too much for viewers to take?

Consider this: ‘It’s Showtime”s archrival ‘Eat Bulaga’ is only given 2 1/2 hours of airtime by GMA from Monday to Friday due to its blocktimer status. GMA can’t obviously loosen this rule because even Antonio Tuviera is strict enough to enforce such a ruling.

They also cannot allow ‘Wowowin’ to go past its allotted time and go live because of Willie Revillame’s past controversies. The onus fell on one of GMA’s afternoon teleseryes, and that turned out to be its highest-rated program ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

This is definitely a bad case of ‘fight fire with fire’. The recent shenanigans of ABS-CBN and GMA dragged its other programs down, and it also affected the airtimes of the respective networks’ late-night newscasts in ‘Bandila’ and ‘Saksi’.

If this game of one-upsmanship continues, both ‘TV Patrol’ and ’24 Oras’ might end up airing at an uncharacteristically late timeslot of 7:00 p.m. Not a good way to kick off the primetime slate.

But at least there are earlier primetime newscasts that viewers can tune in to. The choices include PTV-4’s ‘PTV News’ (if viewers can tolerate Erwin Tulfo’s biased reporting), CNN Philippines’ ‘News Night’, Net 25’s ‘Mata ng Agila’, UNTV’s ‘Ito ang Balita’ and even ‘Top Story’ of the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Apologies to T5N’s ‘Aksyon Prime’, but its timeslot inconsistencies are too much to handle. But regardless of that, alternatives in primetime news are worth the time and money.

Still, ABS-CBN and GMA should know all too well that time is precious. They could at least adjust this new trend in primetime programming, but they need to stop allowing its programs to go overtime so as not to compromise the patience of viewers.

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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

In 100 Words: Legend of the Blue Sea Impresses Despite Limited Reach

Talk about quashing some pressing concerns.

Last Monday’s premiere of ABS-CBN’s newest afternoon Koreanovela ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ defied expectations and scored an impressive victory on its first try. This despite the fact that most regional networks receive localized versions of ‘TV Patrol’ in the afternoon instead of the Koreanovela.

Via ABS-CBN PR (source courtesy of Kantar Media Philippines):

Fans tuned in to the pilot episode of “Legend of the Blue Sea” starring Lee Min Ho as it scored a national TV rating of 15.5%, compared to “Wowowin” with only 11.8%.

Affected areas can still watch ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’ at 9:30 a.m. the next day. If not, subscribe to iWant TV to watch the Koreanovela within hours of original broadcast.

As for the primetime Koreanovela ‘Goblin’, it scored a 12.1 % rating on its first night, six better than fellow Koreanovela ‘Scarlet Heart’. Not bad.

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