Timow’s Turf Opening Salvo & Outlook for 2017


WELCOME to the first work and school day of 2017 and for President Rodrigo Duterte, it’s his first full calendar year in office.

Time is not just simply marking the ending and the beginning but also the continuity. We closed the book of 2016 and we just opened and wrote the first two pages of the New Year as we wrote our constantly-improving strokes in the critical (post-truth) era.

General happenings in January by recurrence

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Every year, we are looking on the first month of the year towards the festivities and traditions:

  • Traslacion on the Feast of Black Nazrene every 9th in Manila
  • Sinulog on the 15th in Cebu,
  • The President’s Vin D’Honneur or a simple Toast for the New Year, somewhere whether in Malacanang or in Panacanang in Davao, and
  • for this year, the Lunar New Year (the Year of the Fire Rooster) will fall on the 28th

Once in every four years, we, as globally concerned citizens, will witness history from across the Pacific as Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in Washington, D.C. on the 20th.

Once in a generation, we will once again host a prestigious pageant on the 30th with the 65th Miss Universe — which we will discuss it in a sneak.

The network outlook

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Last month, the Big 3 and CNN Philippines held their respective trade launches — intentionally to woo advertisers — to promote their shows expected to be aired throughout the year.

Their offering for this New Year will still be myopic with teleseryes on weekdays. Keep in mind that not all of the shows enlisted will be materialized throughout the 12-month period.

Specifically, two articles from PEP found out why some local shows — whether original yet in repetitive tried-and-tested model or a remade from a K-Drama they air — are shelved, even from the pre-production stage. Four common reasons why they don’t promise as they market include:

  • Extension of popular shows (e.g. FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano),
  • Concentration on bankable love teams (for the young) and on workable tandems (for the mid-age),
  • Slated stars reject their roles due to better opportunities or their inherent limits, and
  • Giving too much commitment and concentration for other genres, especially sports.

Inasmuch as teleseryes are detestable in the eyes and taste of millennials, neither ABS nor GMA will even budge to reduce their airing from every weekday to twice a week and go back to their diverse programming grid like in the ’90s.

But let’s see what’s in store for ’17 for each group?

The Big 3

ABS-CBN will have no worries with being an absolute advantage of everything — despite their questionable business ethics and breaking their guiding principles based on their slogan for profiteering — but what fears them will be their writing on the wall, i.e. their franchise expiration in 2020. Focusing on this year, their flagship newscast, TV Patrol, will turn 30. In their entertainment side, PBB Lucky 7 will wrap up with the Big Night this month and Ogie Alcasid, the new Kapamilya, will be one of the judges for Your Face Sounds Familiar — both the first Kids edition (confirmed) and the third regular edition.

After the smashing success of the Encantadia requel, GMA’s reviving their greatest fantaserye in early 2000s, Mulawin. Aside from the speculated revival, three teleseryes are now officialy announced:

  • After the long wait, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (AlDub) will finally take the lead on their first primetime project with Destined To Be Yours.

  • Barbie Forteza will not meet just one leading lad but four — PBB alumnus Ivan Dorschner, Jak Roberto, Ken Chan & newcomer Addy Raj — for Meant to Be. (premiering this Monday)

  • Finally, the localized remake of Koreanovela My Love from the Star will still apply the “old guns first” policy with Jennylyn Mercado but the leading man will be his first time as a thespian, Filipino-Spanish model Gil Cuerva.

In the corporate aspect, Atty. Felipe Gozon and associates are open to sell their controlling shares this year. The question is: When will these myopic and arrogant honchos ever materialize?

TV5 will see both the fresh and the revival but critics are bothered with the materiality, due to new management yet held and influenced by the same magnate, and thus, they’re given the benefit of the doubt. On the fresh side — though they no longer produce their own entertainment program — they announced two locally produced programs: the new Philippines Next Top Model and Brillante Mendoza Presents. On the other hand, they announce the revival of AniMEGA after the full year hiatus. So far, their titles in the roster include:

  • KanColle: Kantai Collection
  • Uta no Prince-Sama Maji Love 2000%
  • Knights of Sidonia
  • Myriad Colors Phantom World, and
  • Attack on Titan Junior High

New US shows — to be dubbed in Filipino — include Quantico and Supergirl. In their movie library, they’ll include animated flicks from Dreamworks.

However, as a warning, TV5 might go back to its usual ways and might be too helpless if they’re giving in too many to sports like their master, MVP. So far, they’re the official broadcaster for this year’s SEA Games in Malaysia. If the warning’s right, Chot Reyes’ resolution to increase revenue and to diversify the programming grid on the network will be a daunting task.

Aside from TV, Radyo5 management’s getting their head replaced;  According to Ben Tulfo, The Philippine Star president and CEO Miguel Belmonte will succeed Gladys Lana-Lucas. The wishlist for the new chief’s obvious: Give a better news coverage on the breaking issues the day.

Minor players

If there are major players, we should also not forget the minor ones.

CNN Philippines proved in 2016 to be an improvement; it will be proven once again in 2017. Some programs announced on their trade launch include:

  • The Insider (weekly political program) with Gilbert Remulla,
  • Trippies, hosted by columnist and book author Jessica Zafra and filmmaker Pepe Diokno,
  • Harvest (food program) featuring international chef and restaurateur Margarita Forés,
  • My Philippines (a half-hour local travel program), and
  • an untitled daily entertainment program and a business newscast.

A mini-documentary by American sports journalist Rafe Bartholomew will be dedicated about the fascination of basketball with Hoop Nation.

PTV will be People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) very soon but in the meantime, their big event they’ll look forward is the ASEAN Golden Jubilee and what more to commemorate it is the hosting of the ASEAN Summit — held twice a year — and a separate East Asia Summit (EAS). However, Duterte’s own RTVM show, Mula sa Masa, Para sa Masa, has yet to be materialized.

As of press time, after 10-11 years, PTV Sports dissolved their stand-alone program following the changes in leadership of the said government media.

IBC 13 — the VHF network that’s still lying under the rock — is awaiting so long who will be the lucky bidder. Last week, Chavit Singson joined the bidding game with Ramon Ang and Eric Canoy. If they haven’t been privatized or no bid was legally qualified, PCO Sec. Martin Andanar and his team will use this channel for dedicated to Muslims and Lumads as promised by his boss in the first State of the Nation Address. However, the Turf believed that the pledged Muslim/Lumad channel should be a digital sub-channel to PTV — as we are about to enter the digital TV age — and give the old frequency to new players.

Euphoria post-revelry

Now that we set the outlook on the VHF, it’s time to delve in what we’re euphoric about even the New Year revelry just ended.

After 22 editions, Miss Universe is coming back to the Philippines. Initially exclusive for Solar Entertainment (specifically ETC) on January 30 in the early morning, it will be a partnership with the Big 3 since the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. This will be the second edition that goes off the recently concluding calendar year (first being held 2015 for 2014); thus, the press should use the ordinal form instead of the year — in this case, this will be the 65th Miss Universe.

Regardless of who the successor will be, we will witness the final walk of Pia Wurtzbach to wrap up her tenure in her native country, symbolizing the peaceful transfer of the crown. The Turf will delve more in deep detail on its special edition a few days before coronation night (day).

Final thing

One final thing before the last statement, for DBS 35: Well, their regular test broadcasts in 2016 they received were worsening time after time but the question remains: WHEN WILL THEY EVER FORMALLY RELAUNCH? They say, it’s this month but the Turf remains skeptical: “Do you think it’s just too late to launch or will they break their promises like a usual politician?”

What comes in this 2017 is what our strokes direct us as we contact them in the mysterious blank pages.

Like Timow’s Turf on Facebook.

Photo credits:

  • Black Nazarene: International Business Times
  • Sinulog: Philippine Star
  • Archbishop Pinto & President Duterte: Veritas 846
  • Donald Trump: Washington Star News
  • Lunar New Year in Binondo: GMA Network
  • 65th Miss Universe entrants: Starmometer
  • Ogie Alcasid: Philippine Music Registry
  • Jennylyn Mercado & Gil Cuerva: Manila Bulletin
  • Brillante Mendoza: Rappler
  • Jessica Zafra: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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