anime, cable TV, cartoon, lifestyle, Philippines, reality show, television

New Name for Lifestyle, Plus Toonami Gets the Ax

Lifestyle (Network) has a new name.

On April 2, 2018, Lifestyle was renamed and rebranded as the Metro Channel. Named after the high-end lifestyle magazine of the same name, Metro Channel will feature almost the same content as its predecessor, with a focus on food, fashion and travel programs.

Some of the programs that will air on Metro Channel include locally-produced shows such as ‘The Crawl’, ‘Casa Daza’, ‘At the Table’, ‘G Diaries’ and ‘Pia’s Postcards’. It will also feature foreign canned programs such as ‘Masterchef’, ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and ‘The Great British Bakeoff’.

Operated by ABS-CBN affiliate Creative Programs Inc., Metro Channel was originally launched on July 24, 1999 as the Lifestyle Network. It was later rebranded as ‘Lifestyle’ in 2015 with increased emphasis towards programs concerning food, fashion and travel.

Metro Channel will continue to air on SkyCable channel 52 and on high definition channel 174. It is also available on SkyDirect channel 31 and on select cable operators in the Philippines.

Easter weekend also saw the demise of Toonami, a cable channel operated by Turner Broadcasting. After nearly six years on the air, Toonami was officially shut down on March 31, 2018.

A sister channel of Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Toonami was known to air a selection of anime and American action cartoon series. Among the notable programs that were aired on Toonami include ‘Batman’, ‘Teen Titans’, ‘Ben 10’, ‘Inazuma Eleven Go’, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’, ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ and ‘Dragon Ball Z’.

The shutdown of Toonami had huge repercussions to Filipino anime fans who still mourn the loss of local anime channel Hero. At the time it was taken off the air, Toonami was broadcasting the ongoing ‘Dragon Ball Super’ series which has yet to be launched on Filipino free TV.

It remains to be seen if Cartoon Network will be able to revive the Toonami primetime block to accommodate its displaced programs. But for anime fans who are looking for other ways to watch their favorite programs, there are other options such as cable channels Animax and AniPlus, as well as anime streaming websites.

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anime, Japan, Philippines, television

Doraemon Stays on GMA

Japan’s most beloved robotic cat is back on GMA.

Starting tomorrow, the popular anime ‘Doraemon’ will be seen anew on the Kapuso network. But instead of the regular series, GMA will air ‘Doraemon’ theatrical movies every weekdays, each encompassing three to four 25-minute parts.

The first ‘Doraemon’ movie that will be aired on GMA is ‘Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Kingdom’. Released in 2002, the movie tells the story of an empress of the Robot Kingdom, whose aim is to capture robots and strip them of their emotion.

While the return of ‘Doraemon’ should give nostalgic fans some excitement, it came at the expense of another popular anime. ‘Yo-Kai Watch’, the newest hit Japanese anime, had been on the air for only six weeks, and with ‘Doraemon’ taking over its timeslot, it seems like its run would be suddenly cut short.

As of today, GMA has yet to announce its updated schedule for its Astig Authority block. Whether or not ‘Yo-Kai Watch’ will remain or not is yet to be determined, so stay tuned for further updates.

Going back to ‘Doraemon’, it can be recalled that the most recent movie ‘Doraemon: Stand by Me’ was aired on rival ABS-CBN. When it was broadcast in late March, many thought the series will find a new home on Mother Ignacia.

But like ‘Dragon Ball Z’ (its recent full-length movies ‘Battle of Gods’ and ‘Resurrection F’ were aired on the ABS-CBN family of networks), GMA has no intention of giving up on ‘Doraemon’. And thus, Nobita and his trusted blue robotic cat remain Kapuso property, with the blessing of Fujiko Fujio of course.

For all its criticisms and poor ratings, GMA’s animes remain a strong point. That said, whether critics like it or not, GMA has no intention of relinquishing its rights to beloved anime franchises such as ‘Doraemon’,  and as long as viewers continue to fall in love with it, they will keep it.

‘Doraemon’ theatrical movies air weekdays at 7:55 a.m. on GMA’s Astig Authority.

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entertainment, Philippines, talk show, television

No Talk Show Rivalry for GMA, Again

‘Yan ang Morning’ will not go up against ‘Magandang Buhay’ after all.

GMA made that clear when it announced its new morning lineup last Monday. And with the premiere of ‘Yan ang Morning’ this Monday, this is how their current lineup looks like:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Astig Authority block
    • ‘Shaman King’
    • ‘Yo-Kai Watch’
    • ‘Bleach’
    • ‘Dragon Ball Z’
    • ‘Knock Out’
  • 10:00 a.m. – ‘Mako Mermaids’
  • 10:45 a.m. – ‘Yan ang Morning’

That’s right, 10:45 a.m. For some reason, GMA decided not to have ‘Yan ang Morning’ face ‘Magandang Buhay’ head-to-head (the latter currently airs at 7:30 a.m.), and instead air the former in a timeslot that was traditionally occupied by previous long-running talk shows (e.g. ‘Today with Kris Aquino’, ‘SIS’).

There are some good and bad news on this decision. The good news is that despite some good reviews and strong showing in social media, ‘Magandang Buhay’ has not been able to make an impact in the ratings (much like ‘Kris TV’ before it), losing to the entire Astig Authority block by a wide margin.

As far as GMA is concerned, their anime block is doing just fine, even if they continue to air reruns of several beloved animes. For them, there is no point in sacrificing Astig Authority’s timeslot in favor of another program since the block continues to have a strong following.

The bad news? After Astig Authority, ratings for GMA in the morning slip predictably, as ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ kickstart a momentum swing for ABS-CBN that would continue for the rest of the day.

That said, GMA’s ratings woes after Astig Authority will put significant pressure on ‘Yan ang Morning’. Considering that their previous talk show ‘Basta Every Day Happy’ did not fare well, ‘Yan ang Morning’ could have a hard time making an impact in its current timeslot.

Would GMA be better off if ‘Yan ang Morning’ go one-on-one with ‘Magandang Buhay’? We’ll never know, but then again, anything can happen, and if ‘Yan ang Morning’ is able to thrive in its current timeslot, that could help GMA’s morale.

Hopefully they win, otherwise another failure of a talk show is in the offing.

Hosted by Marian Rivera, with Boobay as her sidekick, ‘Yan ang Morning’ airs weekdays starting May 2 at 10:45 a.m. on GMA.

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