THE NEW YEAR will be handed over in 5 days but before we bid adieu to 2014, here is the look back of what happened over the boob tube on TV5 and its sister channel, AksyonTV.
Sportscasting bonanza (Feb-Sep) and preoccupation. This year, TV5 said many “yeses” to sports coverage from Super Bowl, the 2014 Winter Olympics, March Madness, Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, FIBA Asia Cup, FIBA World Cup, Nanjing Youth Olympics and Incheon Asian Games. However, if not for PBA games, the primetime intermezzo between each sporting event was preoccupied with MovieMax 5 and reruns of local programs because of inability to place new ones.
Taking the Gutz in Gutierrez (Jul 5). Last June, the Southeast Asian Twitterverse trended the Gutierrez family due to the hit cable reality show, “It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez” on E! At home, though netizens were critical about the series for copying the style of “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” the Gutierrezes are real actors while the Kardashians are mere nuisance or in Filipino, pang-eepal. Because of this, TV5 made an extraordinary decision to air the cable show on Saturday evening until it was replaced with Trenderas.
The “Last Home” Scam (Jul 22). The most embarrassing moment of TV5 happened on that day. PLDT HOME: The Last Home Stand was supposed to be a charitable basketball game between Gilas Pilipinas and NBA players in Smart Araneta Coliseum. Manny V. Pangilinan initiated the idea as part of his philanthropic 68th birthday and the event was organized by East-West Private LLC. That same evening, spectators at the Big Dome were excited for the game but the NBA players were in dilemma of facing fines if they will play with Gilas. Instead of a five-on-five game, drills became the main attraction and fans jeered, walked out and demanded refunds. Memes and puns on this swindle sums up from one of TV5’s infamous program: Wow Mali!
NCAA’s Heidi moments (Jul 14 and Sep 22). On July 14, while the Lyceum and Mapua were playing on the last three minutes of the game as part of the elimination stage of NCAA’s men basketball, the broadcast was cut to give way to President Benigno S. (PNoy) Aquino’s impromptu national address regarding the recent unconstitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The remaining broadcast continued on AksyonTV, the mother channel did not. However, the Heidi moment revived two months later on the same sporting event; Mapua faced Emilio Aguinaldo College but the game of hoops ended with a brawl. Even though the fight subsided, the game decided to end prematurely and AksyonTV once again carry the after effects as TV5 carried on to Aksyon Prime.
Reviving AniMEGA? (Dec 1). When Channel 5 revived in 1992 as ABC, it became a home of new anime against the giants’ classics. Even the network name has changed to present 16 years later, the AniMEGA block was conceived even in the change of management from Tony Boy Cojuangco to the early years of Manny V. Pangilinan. Last 2013, Gundam 00 was the last anime to be aired on TV5 before Wowowillie took over. Last May, the Turf was asked about the reaction of AniMEGA’s missing with several (mostly flawed) reasonings. The network from Reliance carried Marvel Comics cartoon block in the afternoon in the early 4Q this year but the hardheaded anime fans wanted their demands. On that day, the Kapatid Network aired “Infinity Nado” in order to decrease their tensions but the fans researched and felt “betrayed” as the program is based on China or Vietnam and not from and on Japan.
Faced the endings, jumped on the beginnings. Gone are Weekend Do It Better and Everyday All The Way blocks for Channel 5; Face the People, Confessions of a Torpe, Let’s Ask Pilipinas are just some of the programs of the so-called “Happy” Network that are shelved this year. However, the loss was nearly fully compensated with Richard Gomez’s Quiet Please! Bawal ang Maingay and Wattpad Presents.
Deserted Area (Channel) 41. Cancellation of newscasts and original programs on AksyonTV became a shock for observers. Avoiding becoming a dead air crater in Channel 41, AksyonTV became the relay or the continuing station for sportscasting activities for TV5. The channel acted as a filler of reruns of News5 programs and documentaries.
News5 Nowhere? The Aksyon brand became universal last July 21. Even though there is the revival of noon news (Aksyon sa Tanghali), Media Newser slammed it for news viewers can snooze. Ed Lingao returned as the anchor of Aksyon Tonite, replacing Paolo Bediones due to the video scandal. On that week, T3 of the Tulfo brothers was moved to early afternoon from late before the main evening news. Not only Aksyon branding that cause problems with news credibility, there are also entertainers masquerading as journalists (EMAJs) — the term coined by the same TV news watchdog; Jun Sabayton on Aksyon sa Umaga is one of them, according to critics. Current affairs programming on TV5 was lesser than the Big Two this year as the Karunungan, Balita and Opinyon (KBO) block was functionally dissolved thanks to their program reruns.
Veterans on the verge of departure. Veteran actors Sharon Cuneta and Nora Aunor departed TV5 and became freelancing artists. Cuneta hosted “The Mega and the Songwriter” and starred as “Madam Chairman” but Aunor had lesser or no project for her this year but her vying candidacy to the National Artist roster was killed when the President Aquino cannot “tolerate” any candidate that has linked with illegal drugs. Freelancers are better alternative than exclusive contracts, according to observers and monitors, in order to cut cost of talent maintenance so that it reaches the bottom line.
Outlook for 2015
TV5 will take another year of stagflation not just financially but on programming decision. Reliance’s new programs in their recent trade show were unveiled but the Turf felt the doubt of success and materialization due to excessive preoccupation of sportscasting commitments. If they failed to materialize a local franchise for Pretty Little Liars for the closing year, then what more for entertainment programming even if it’s weekly and short-lived?
Rabid AniMEGA fans who wanted their beloved block back, it would mark another annus horribilis like the impending end of the year.
Tomorrow, the Turf will tackle on the TV Zeitgeist 2014 on the Media ng Bayan (PTV and IBC) and 9TV.