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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Celebrity Kids to Take Over New Season of Your Face Sounds Familiar

The kids are coming to ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ this weekend.

Season 3 of the ABS-CBN reality talent show will have a new twist, as the child stars of the Kapamilya network take center stage in one of the cutest and most entertaining seasons yet. The eight kids who will be part of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar: Kids’ are:

  • AC Bonifacio – the ‘Dance Sweetheart’
  • Alonzo Muhlach – the ‘Bibong Child Wonder’
  • Awra Briguela – the ‘Breakout Child Star’
  • Elha Nympha – the ‘Big Shot Belter’
  • Justin Alva – the ‘Musikerong Charmer’
  • Lyca Gairanod – the ‘Young Diva ng Masa’
  • Sam Shoaf – the ‘Talented Cutie’
  • Xia Vigor – the ‘Daytime Princess’

Each of these young stars will undergo serious vocal, acting and dance training, as well as a makeup transformation, in order to perform like the idol that they will imitate. Every episode will see a winner crowned via a point tally, and he/she will earn a specific cash prize, half of which goes to the charity of their choosing.

By the end of this season, the grand winner will join Melai Cantiveros and Denise Laurel in the winner’s circle. Overall, the format of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ remains the same, save for the ages of the contestants.

The new season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ will also have a new face in the panel of judges. Enter Ogie Alcasid, the recently-acquired Kapamilya talent who has long been renowned for his musical prowess.

Ogie will join holdovers Sharon Cuneta and Gary Valenciano in the judges’ table. As for the presenter of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’, it will still be Billy Crawford.

The first two seasons of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ proved to be runaway hits thanks to the unique approach that the show took. As the kids take center stage this weekend, one can only hope that the third season will be just as exciting and entertaining as the first two.

‘Your Face Sounds Familiar: Kids’ airs every Saturday after ‘Home Sweetie Home’, and every Sunday after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’.

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GMA Brings Lip-Sync Battle to the Philippines

One of America’s surprise viral hits is coming to the Philippines.

‘Lip-Sync Battle’, the popular American reality TV program, will have a Filipino franchise that will air on GMA starting this Saturday. Titled ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, the show will be hosted by Michael V and Iya Villania, and will pit GMA’s top celebrities against each other in hopes of impressing the audience with their lip-synching skills.

The upcoming show will mark the first time since ‘Don’t Lose the Money’ that GMA has a franchised program on their lineup. It will also be Iya’s first full-time program on Channel 7 since ‘Sunday All-Stars’ (not including her role as Chika Minute reporter on ’24 Oras’).

‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ will have two rounds of competition: Strip Down and Full-Blown Concert. Celebrities can lip-sync any song of their choosing, and after two rounds, the crowd will determine the winner, who will receive a championship belt.

While GMA is usually reluctant to acquire foreign media franchises, they decided to take a risk on ‘Lip-Sync Battle’. Realizing how much of a hit the American version was, they now hope that the show’s success in America will carry over to the Philippines.

However, in the weeks leading up to its premiere, the timeslot of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ became a big issue for the network. Initially, the show was slated to air after ‘Magpakailanman’, but in the end, GMA decided to place ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ after ‘Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento’.

One possible reason for the last-minute change is that GMA wanted to see how can ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ match up with ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’. The latter show had been a high-rating show on ABS-CBN, and if the former can overcome PGT, it should boost GMA’s morale.

The problem with this change, however, is that Michael V is also a regular cast member on ‘Pepito Manaloto’, and giving him back-to-back shows is a bad case of overexposure. Just ask Billy Crawford, who had to give up hosting duties on ‘Celebrity Playtime’ (during its short-lived late-evening stint) in favor of the recently-concluded ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’.

That said, GMA needs to figure out a way to fit ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ into their scheme of things. The concept may be engaging, but unless it has a good timeslot to thrive on, things may turn ugly quick.

‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ premieres this Saturday on GMA.

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In 150 Words: Banana Sundae Impressive, But Not Enough

The move to Sunday afternoons somewhat benefited ‘Banana Sundae’.

The final airing of ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ last November 7 only garnered a 3.9% rating in Kantar, which is clearly affected by the presence of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’. Upon moving to Sunday afternoons, however, the newly-rebranded ‘Banana Sundae’ showed some improvement, as they managed ratings of 14.4 and 12.7% in its first two weeks.

This was not enough to beat GMA’s ‘Wowowin’, though, as Willie Revillame’s game show earned ratings of 14.9 and 14.1%. The same can be said for AGB Nielsen in Mega Manila, as ‘Wowowin’ defeated ‘Banana Sundae’ in each of those weeks (20% and 16.6% vs. 9.8% and 8.3%, respectively).

Despite the defeat, ABS-CBN seems impressed with ‘Banana Sundae’. Nevertheless, Martin Nievera and a few other netizens did not approve of the network’s decision to move ‘Banana Split’ and cut ‘ASAP”s airtime, but let’s face it, it’s clear ABS-CBN needed something to perk things up since ‘ASAP’ is losing big time to ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Change is clearly in the offing for ABS-CBN on Sunday afternoons, and ‘Banana Sundae’ is one of them.

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New Host, New Timeslot for Celebrity Playtime

In addition to ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’, Luis Manzano will now host ‘Celebrity Playtime’, replacing Billy Crawford. Luis debuts on the show starting this Saturday at 10:30 p.m. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

‘Celebrity Playtime’ is on the move.

Starting this Saturday, ‘Celebrity Playtime’ will now be seen at 10:30 p.m., right after ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’. The timeslot change meant that the show will go up against GMA’s ‘Celebrity Bluff’, a game show that ABS-CBN tried to at least emulate when they conceived ‘Celebrity Playtime’.

Its original timeslot will now be occupied by ‘Dance Kids’, a new kid’s talent show hosted by Alex Gonzaga and Robi Domingo. Meanwhile, ‘Celebrity Playtime’ will take over the timeslot of ‘Banana Split’, who moved to Sunday afternoons under the new name of ‘Banana Sundae’.

That is not the only change for the show, however. Due to ABS-CBN’s policy of not allowing its talents to appear on consecutive programs, erstwhile host Billy Crawford has decided to relinquish his duty as host of ‘Celebrity Playtime’, and cede the role to Luis Manzano.

The decision makes sense, since Crawford is already hosting ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’, the show that precedes ‘Celebrity Playtime’. Appearing in consecutive programs may not be helpful to viewers at all for fear of overexposure, hence a strict rule that is implemented by ABS-CBN to all its talents.

Here is the new schedule on ABS-CBN every Saturday night:

6:15 p.m. – Dance Kids

7:00 p.m. – Home Sweetie Home

7:45 p.m. – Maalaala Mo Kaya

9:30 p.m. – Your Face Sounds Familiar

10:30 p.m. – Celebrity Playtime

11:00 p.m. – The Bottomline with Boy Abunda

Now that ‘Celebrity Playtime’ is moving to a later timeslot, viewers should look forward to its long-awaited rivalry with ‘Celebrity Bluff’. The latter show is now on its third year, and has survived competition from ABS-CBN’s reality and talent shows despite the huge odds.

That said, viewers of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ should finally welcome a more equally imposing challenger. ‘Celebrity Playtime’ may be fairly new to many, but it’s also gaining its own following the same way that ‘Celebrity Bluff’ is doing, so let’s see if they’re up to the task of keeping up with the latter.

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Banana Sundae to Answer Sunday PinaSaya Next Week

‘Banana Split’ will be rebranded as ‘Banana Sundae’ starting this Sunday, airing alongside ‘ASAP’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

The second longest-running active gag show on Philippine television is moving to a new timeslot.

Starting this Sunday, ‘Banana Split’ will now be renamed as ‘Banana Sundae’. Its gag show in front of a live audience approach will be retained, except that it will now be seen on a more viewer-accessible Sunday afternoon slot.

Most of the show’s cast will be carried over from ‘Banana Split’, with a few additions. Jessy Mendiola and Pokwang will now join ‘Banana Sundae’ alongside established mainstays such as Angelica Panganiban, Jason Gainza, John Prats, Pooh and Ryan Bang.

Even though ‘Banana Split’ was holding its own every Saturday night for the past several years, it is clear that the show’s appeal was severely affected by the reality and talent shows that preceded it. For example, ‘Banana Split”s final Saturday episode was aired a few minutes before midnight, due to the lengthy first-part finale of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’.

Even worse for ABS-CBN was the success of ‘ASAP”s latest rival ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, whose new comedic approach provided a livelier alternative to ‘ASAP”s concert-based format. As the long-running ‘ASAP’ lost ground to a new, more entertaining rival, plus the recent lack of attention towards ‘Banana Split’, ABS-CBN decided to make a move.

Thus came the rebrand of ‘Banana Split’ into ‘Banana Sundae’. With the move to Sunday afternoons, ABS-CBN hopes that ‘Banana Sundae’ will appease the demands of viewers who crave for a comedy show that will answer ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

‘Banana Sundae’ is not expected to directly compete with ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ though, as ABS-CBN has no plans of moving ‘ASAP’ to a later timeslot the same way GMA did with ‘Sunday All-Stars’. The most likely destination of the show is the timeslot currently occupied by ‘Kapamilya Mega Blockbusters’, unless ABS-CBN slightly changes its plans.

Either way, ‘Banana Split’ will now move to Sunday afternoons. And loyal viewers should get more excited now that it airs on a more accessible timeslot.

‘Banana Sundae’ airs every Sunday starting November 15, with the timeslot to be determined.

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