[Author’s note: Timow’s Turf will issue five year-end free TV reviews in particular order: (1) ABS-CBN, (2) GMA, (3) TV5, (4) the Media ng Bayan and 9TV, and (5) the UHF TV networks.]
THE NEW YEAR will be handed over in 10 days but before we bid adieu to 2014, here is the look back of what happened over the boob tube on ABS-CBN and its sister channel, ABS-CBN Sports + Action.
Play Hard. ABS-CBN blasted 2014 with the end of Studio 23 and the start of ABS-CBN Sports + Action. The reformat ended non-sports and non-action programming albeit for a few weeks, including the Family Rosary Crusade and Friends Again.
Showtime hosts’ ‘curses’. The year began with Vhong Navarro’s beating in Bonifacio Global City after calling the witnesses of Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo for the alleged rape of the Showtime host. The scoop trended a stronghold in favor of Navarro with trump of ratings on TV Patrol days later. Rival major networks (GMA and TV5) and even PTV 4 jumped the bandwagon. A jellyfish stung Anne Curtis last April during the taping of Dyesebel. Netizens called it “karma” after yelling against Sam Concepcion for not being “classy,” thanks to her drunken party escapades. In July, the MTRCB summoned Vice Ganda over an “armpit humor,” deeming it inappropriate for children. On September 7, Billy Crawford was arrested under the influence of liquor into the police station, hours after the Star Magic Ball accompanying his girlfriend, Coleen Garcia.
Year of the “Wives.” The year 2014 became the year of the “wives” with two controversial teleseryes. The Legal Wife, top billed by Jericho Rosales, Angel Locsin and Maja Salvador, became a controversial teleserye and well-known of its weird promo prize of Uni-Pak sardines. TLW’s ending was unique among other teleseryes: no happy ever after series but a happy scene of poetic justice made by Locsin. Two Wives is based on the SBS Korean drama five years ago, starring Kaye Abad, Jason Abalos, Erich Gonzales and Patrick Garcia.
Sensationalized and unconfirmed. Last February 24, the weekday late night news program Bandila delivered the unconfirmed news item on the communicable “mysterious flesh-eating disease” in Pangasinan which triggered mass panic and prayer on national trends. The Department of Health declared the victims have symptoms of (non-communicable) pyoderman gangrenosum and psoriasis and are under quarantine, nontheless, the item triggered tourism loss in the province due to the scare.
Drama with a long period. Ikaw Lamang, topbilled by Coco Martin, Kim Chiu, Jake Cuenca, Julia Montes and KC Concecpcion, was the only teleserye that spanned more than six months on primetime TV this concluding year (7.5 months to be exact). The program belongs to the period drama with the plot of half a century in a small town of Negros. The intra-year average duration of teleserye on Mother Ignacia is calculated 4 and half months.
Throwback time. 2014 became a throwback of two genres. The first, the Asianovela’s Meteor Garden and Lovers in Paris got their upper hand on weekday afternoons. Since October, Princess Sarah returned on the screen with memes spreading over social media about the title character, Becky and potatoes with Marcelino Pan Y Vino. After Marcelino, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer became the replacement.
PBB: All In, Controversies All Over. In April, Pinoy Big Brother: All In‘s housemate selection drew flak by netizens, trending with #PBBScripted. During the four-month stay, there are issues provoking within the Big Brother house including the intimidation of a nude painting challenge. In the end, on August 24, the latecomer Daniel Matsunaga was crowned the Big Winner.
The Voice of the poor kid. Last July 27, The Voice Kids judges and the plebs chose Lyca Gairanod as the winner instead of Darren Espanto due to her pitiful socioeconomic background.
Sportscasting fiasco. In March, WWE fans cried foul over the missing Wrestlemania XXX, thinking it was just one special will be skipped. However, it was confirmed that WWE has been moved to Fox Sports, thinking that the new Sports + Action will focus on real action on sports (hence, UFC was retained) and not mostly entertainment on sports (where WWE devotes more on discourse and less on value-added activity). In June, the coverage of all five NBA Finals games of San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat delayed in favor of Kris TV. Netizens, particularly those who can’t afford cable, cried foul and redressed their grievances online. Three months later, the FIBA World Cup in Spain was accredited but the Gilas games are delayed by an average of a day than TV5’s live coverage. Netizens cried foul over few delayed Azkals matches last November due to priority of NBA games.
Homecoming queens. Jolina Magdangal and Maxene Magalona returned to their first home in TV career after 12 years of projects on GMA. Mrs. Magdangal-Escueta began her TV career in 1992 of her home network as a pioneer Ang TV teen. Ms. Magalona returned to her first home as April Mae of Dream Dad after 19 years of departure to the rival network, except her 2005 stint in ASAP. Like Jolina, Maxene started her career as an Ang TV kid on the second season.
Going beyond the mile. “Be Careful with My Heart”, ended last November 28, broke the record of the longest late morning teleserye decade-to-date with 2 years, 4 months and 19 days. The ratings were well received against three shows on the rival network (Kusina Master, Cielo de Angelina and The Ryzza Mae Show).
Deja vu. Last December 3, during the banter segment on TV Patrol, Korina Sanchez was once again in the spotlight of controversy when she prayed that the Typhoon Ruby will swerve to Japan despite of the assured chances of landfall of the typhoon based on all weather bureaus’ models. This quip drew ire from netizens who have relatives from Japan and fans of the country, particularly its culture. On Sunday morning, December 7, Atom Araullo once again braced his bravery on the intense effect of the typhoon in Samar on DZMM Teleradyo. As the typhoon diminished into a tropical depression, sparing Metro Manila, Kim Atienza explained during the interview on Aquino & Abunda Tonight (where it began last January) that the strong Amihan monsoon was credited for the weakening of the typhoon.
Outlook for 2015
ABS-CBN will once again banner in both aspects (show business operations and financial performance) this New Year despite of hiding their motives and lack of priorities as exposed by critics.
For the first month, where the network will carry the periodically irrelevant edition of Miss Universe pageant in Florida, on a Monday morning but expect the obvious programming priority to hinder the demand of live coverage. Not only that, expect a hype of KathNiel over Twitter when the tandem will appear on the remake of the 2000 ABS-CBN hit “Pangako Sa ‘Yo” after their stint in “Got to Believe.”
The next part will devote on GMA 7 on Friday, December 26, 2014.