anime, drama, entertainment, Japan, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Astig Authority To Be Reduced In Favor of Heart of Asia Reruns

GMA’s anime fans should expect another rude awakening next week.

Starting this Monday, GMA’s Astig Authority block will be reduced to two hours. This will give way to yet another Heart of Asia rerun in ‘Secret Garden’.

The Koreanovela first aired on the Kapuso network four years ago via the Telebabad block. It starred Hyun Bin of ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’ fame, and Ha Ji Won of ‘Hwang Jini’ fame.

‘Secret Garden’ will relegate ‘Knock Out’ (known in Japan as ‘Hajime no Ippo’) to an earlier timeslot, while replacing ‘Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic’ in the morning lineup.

Over the years, GMA’s animes have been able to fare well against their ABS-CBN counterparts, despite being criticized for frequently re-airing them on a seemingly annual basis. Classic animes like ‘Ghost Fighter’ (known in Japan as ‘YuYu Hakusho’), the ‘Dragon Ball’ series and ‘Slam Dunk’ remain popular with anime fans, while new titles are also attracting new viewers.

This despite the fact that GMA rarely promotes the programs of the Astig Authority block at all, in contrast to ABS-CBN’s Umaganda.

The same cannot be said for their Asianovelas, though. While Heart of Asia had some decent success and heavy promotion, it never earned quite the same following as the animes of Astig Authority, especially when they were re-aired for a second time and beyond.

That said, it was a mistake for the Kapuso network to sacrifice Astig Authority in favor of a Heart of Asia rerun, especially with ABS-CBN a non-factor in the early morning hours. GMA’s success in the early mornings is due in part to its animes, and giving way for an Asianovela will definitely hurt their loyal anime fanbase.

For now, though, they are giving their Asianovela fans a second chance. If successful, they should look forward to either another or a new Asianovela, otherwise they will need to once again extend the Astig Authority block.

‘Secret Garden’ returns this Monday after ‘Knock Out’ and before ‘Two Mothers’.

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cartoon, comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, songs, television

More Programming Changes within GMA

This past week, GMA shook up its programming schedule in both weekday and weekend slots, in hopes of reversing the downward trend in terms of ratings. However, these changes do not seem to help the Kapuso network at all.

In the weekday morning slot GMA extended its anime block to nearly three hours. However, all they did was to re-air ‘Flame of Recca‘ and ‘Shaman King‘, which like ‘YuYu Hakusho‘ (Ghost Fighter) held a sentimental value to the network. Then ‘Kusina Master’, formerly a 30-minute ‘live’ program converted to a 15-minuter, airs shortly afterward. After Chef Boy Logro’s program, things seem to get interesting.

GMA’s extension of its anime block cost them two programs: the Mexican telenovela ‘Lola’ (original title Bella Calamidades), and the parent-child reality show ‘Anak Ko Yan’. The latter aired its series finale, with Jen-Jen Chubb crowned as the grand champion. The former, which replaced ‘With a Smile’ nearly two months ago, abruptly ended its run due to low ratings, even though more episodes were in the offing. In ‘Lola”s case, its abrupt cancellation has something to do with the viewers’ lack of interest towards Latin American drama series, which has fallen out of favor since the Asianovela invasion of the mid-2000s.

Meanwhile, the biography series ‘Tunay na Buhay‘ moved from the Saturday night slot to the weekday morning slot, to make way for another movie block called ‘Sabado Horror Night’. With the eight-part historical drama series ‘Katipunan’ currently airing, GMA had no room for ‘Tunay na Buhay’, thus moving it to the weekday morning slot. However, the ‘Sabado Horror Night’ block is deemed unnecessary, since GMA now has three movie blocks on Sundays and that ‘Katipunan’ runs for only a short period of time.

‘Sabado Horror Night’ also forced the variety show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman‘ out of its typical 12:00 a.m. timeslot. By all accounts, 12:00 a.m. is usually the best timeslot for German Moreno‘s program viewership-wise. But by forcing ‘Walang Tulugan’ out of its comfort zone, viewership losses are expected and many would be asleep by the time the show airs at 1:00 a.m.

Also this Saturday, the new game show ‘Picture! Picture!’, hosted by Ryan Agoncillo, will air after 24 Oras Weekend. In my previous blog, I wrote about GMA’s decision to pit ‘Picture! Picture!’ opposite wife Judy Ann Santos‘ game show ‘Bet on Your Baby’, and the reason why GMA wanted Ryan’s show to compete against Juday’s show is because of the poor ratings sustained by the children’s fantasy show ‘One Day Isang Araw’. Thus they answered with their own game show, which unlike ABS-CBN’s, is an original creation of the network.

And finally, GMA decided to cancel the docudrama series ‘Bingit’. The program, which is about stories of individuals surviving near-death experiences, aired its final episode last November 16, after which GMA decided to cease production of ‘Bingit’ out of respect to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

GMA’s programming changes were intended on improving its quality and viewership. However, with the kind of mediocre production they’re creating, it’s no secret why they were falling behind ABS-CBN in the ratings.

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cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Pokemon Returns to GMA, But…

A new season of Pokemon will be airing on GMA. However, it only adds to a weak morning lineup for the Kapuso network.

A program teaser was released by GMA earlier this morning to announce that the long-running anime Pokemon will return for a new season. The program is scheduled to replace YuYu Hakusho, better known to Filipinos as ‘Ghost Fighter’, in its timeslot. The program will also be dubbed in Filipino, as it was the case for the past few seasons.

While GMA will air a new season of Pokemon, I believe it was a definite shame to bring it back. Why? Because I never liked its editing and Filipino dubbing, even if GMA wanted it for the sake of ‘illiterate’ audiences. I liked it better when the show aired on Cartoon Network and Toonami in its original English dub. Just ask Ash, he seems more comfortable speaking in English than in Filipino. As it stands, I hope that Pokemon will be beat up by the poorly-edited ‘Mr. Bean‘ on ABS-CBN, whether GMA executives like it or not.

To be honest, the addition of Pokemon only worsens GMA’s morning lineup. Dragon Ball and Mojacko, since they have been airing repeatedly, have always been beaten by the more interesting lifestyle program ‘Kris TV‘. And while ‘One Piece’ and ‘Bleach’ continue to air with new seasons opposite ABS-CBN’s own anime, GMA’s repeat anime programs will always be a weak link. And Pokemon, despite the confirmation of a new season, is also worthy of being a weak link.

Sorry Pokemon fans, but this anime does not deserve to air on the Kapuso network, even if it has committed to do so since 1998. I would rather see this program on ABS-CBN, where better dubbers and editing skills can be useful to this anime.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

If ABS-CBN and GMA Traded Shows…

Mr. Bean will return to ABS-CBN, but the character may be better off showing his comedic artistry to the Kapusos at GMA 7.

While watching a Tagalized and ‘intentionally’ edited episode of ‘Spongebob Squarepants‘ on ABS-CBN, I saw a program advisory at the bottom promoting the return of the Mr. Bean series on the Kapamilya network. Ok, that’s a given, because they need a program to fill in the usually off-peak early morning schedules. But Mr. Bean? You got to be kidding.

Mr. Bean, as I know, has been the property of ABS-CBN for a decade now. It began airing on Studio 23 on Saturday nights, with the animated shows in the morning. Then it was moved to the main Channel 2, and aired sporadically on weekday mornings, regardless of the live or animated version. Before that it used to air on PTV 4 and ABC (now TV5).

I always don’t like the way ABS-CBN aired Mr. Bean. They tend to edit some skits and combine one from a particular episode with another from a different episode. Worse, they only allotted 15 minutes of airtime, as opposed to the 30 minutes in a full episode. The airing of Mr. Bean on the Kapamilya network is both an insult and a disgrace to loyal Mr. Bean faithful.

So what if ABS-CBN and GMA traded their morning programs for each other? It has been well-documented that a few shows would move from one station to another in order to either give way to other programs or to purchase airing rights for future production. I have seen several programs air on both Kapuso and Kapamilya stations; programs such as ‘Eat Bulaga‘, ‘Meteor Garden‘ and ‘Rosalinda’ come to mind. But if I were the boss of either networks, I would suggest that ABS-CBN must give up Mr. Bean and send it to GMA, and in return GMA will trade rights for the animes such as ‘Pokemon’, ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘Yu Yu Hakusho’ (Ghost Fighter), ‘Slam Dunk’ and others in exchange for ABS-CBN’s ‘Digimon’, ‘Naruto Shippuden‘ and others. Of course, I would like to see a different morning look in both the Kapuso and Kapamilya stations.

In the meantime, ABS-CBN and GMA will continue to air ‘boring’ programming during the off-peak morning hours. Unless they make up their minds and trade their programs for each other, weekday mornings will continue to remain that way: ‘boring’.

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cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ghost Fighter Again?

The first volume of the Yū Yū Hakusho Original...

For the hundredth time, GMA 7 airs YuYu Hakusho, emphasizing the fact that they’re short of funds in acquiring new anime titles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the early morning, while watching  Doraemon, I saw GMA‘s plug for its early morning Anime programs and noticed that they brought back YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter) to its rotation replacing Dragon Ball Z Kai. I’m getting too old for this. Why would they insist on re-airing this classic anime over and over again? It’s been aired repeatedly over a thousand times, can’t they move on and acquire new properties?

For those who didn’t know the story, YuYu Hakusho tells the story of a young junior high student named Eugene. He met his allies Alfred and Dennis (originally a female named Denise) along the way while feuding and later befriending Vincent. He also had a love interest named Jenny while Sherlene and Master Jerico became his confidants early in his adventures. Throughout the story he would be mentored by Master Jeremiah in an effort to defeat various villains, including his main adversary Toguro. His main weapon is the Ray Gun.

YuYu Hakusho, better known as Ghost Fighter in the Philippines, first aired on IBC-13 in the mid-1990s. In 1998 the rights for the anime were acquired by GMA 7 and was first aired at the height of the genre’s popularity in the country. It has been re-aired on a semi-frequent basis since.

For the nth time, GMA 7’s fortunes were focused mostly on producing elaborate teleseryes, top-notch live shows, and high-quality news programs. Which means acquiring new anime titles have been few and far between. ABS-CBN, for the most part, has been able to air new titles courtesy of its Hero channel, which is a subsidiary of the network, while TV5 has collaborated with Disney Channel, Toonami and Cartoon Network to air those network’s programs. As for GMA, they have little funds to allocate for new anime and other related programming, considering that their audience during the 8:00-10:00 a.m. timeframe is shrinking due to competition from cable networks.

With that in mind, GMA is definitely the one suffering. Without sufficient support from other companies (ABS-CBN and TV5 are owned by conglomerates), GMA 7 will continue to scramble for its early morning audience, if not the entire day’s audience. Reairing YuYu Hakusho and other past anime won’t help their cause; they would have to find a way to air another program in its slot.

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