Eat Bulaga

It’s The Most Werpaful Time of the Year (Philippine TV Christmastime 2017-18 Insights)

INDEED.

The most wonderful time of the year is here, but Filipino…

Per tradition, Timow’s Turf heralds the annual holiday programming primer for the fifth time, spanning from today (December 6, 2017) until possibly January 2, 2018.

As it is the first Christmas in the age of Trump, this year, it will be classified according to appropriate categories but not necessarily on periods as in previous editions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eves both fall on Sunday this year, primetime lineups will definitely have to adjust, especially to ABS-CBN on both cases and GMA on the latter as PTV 4’s main Lotto Draw are forced to be scheduled early at 2:30 p.m.

During this span, teleseryes will normally be scheduled but there are usually no finales and its premieres during the very Christmas/New Year festivity fortnight while trade launches from the South Triangle Duopoly (S.T.D.) and CNN Philippines are happening for the upcoming year (as long as they keep their promises or else).

What else is in store? Jump in for more.

NOTE: Inaccuracies and updates can happen throughout this post.

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Why Are Our Late Night Talk Shows Afraid to Take A Dig on Our Politics?

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is written in anticipation of U.S. President Donald Trump meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte from tomorrow until Tuesday (November 12-14). This is also a comprehensive response to Joshua Jimenez’s Banat entry last July 21. Due to expected vitriol, readership discretion is SERIOUSLY ADVISED.]

 

From tomorrow until Tuesday, US President Donald Trump will meet President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines after APEC Vietnam 2017.

 

LAST APRIL, the news and opinion site Vox tackled about comedians, particularly in late night shows, becoming “rock stars” for chiding incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictable predicaments and praised them for outsmarting free-to-air and cable news reporters for their low tolerance of bull.

For the internationally conscious rising Filipinos, one can admire the shade throwing of John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers with less effort via YouTube — if they cannot afford monthly cable or any video-on-demand subscriptions. Some wished it could happen here with the similar-minded leadership and similar-minded hyperpartisan divisiveness but many asked why it barely or never happens in reality.

In America, the jurisdiction of concerned agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is clearly defined and unattached, thus, independently attached from any branch of government. Hence, it’s not easy for Trump to just revoke the license of NBC after getting butthurt over a late night show and demanding “equal time” in his mere personal tweet.

Our counterpart, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is under the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT) – which the term “independent agencies” is legally nonexistent here – but the functions are similar to those in the U.S.

However, the primary answer to the question on where our similarities end and a difference begin would be — as few libertarians would say — our near-absolute historically shaping government/State intervention that leads us to cowardice and unconditional submission.

This is why our talk shows decided to interview most, if not all, showbiz celebrities and non-politician newsmakers and taking digs is diminished as a segment just like the reinstated Word of the Lourd on then-balanced TV5 as its offshoot standalone program, Kontrabando didn’t last.

Imagine if ABS-CBN’s Gandang Gabi Vice was like HBO’s Last Week Tonight, President Duterte would get even more insane to spew more threats of non-renewal of the network’s franchise without end; even though, he did not know he was, ironically and ungratefully, the guest of that show back in 2015 just before his candidacy. (This can also apply to Trump’s ungratefulness to NBC during The Apprentice.)

 

Banat mentioned diminishing audience interest after the initial huge following but notice that the demographic trends are assertively changing and rising (from our millennial generation onwards) – choice seems to be their consensual plea over networks’ profit.

Another question that might be asked if there is enough supply of comedians that takes any dig. To be honest, we do have enough supply – slightly oversupplied — but we don’t see all of them on TV taking such a magnitude of verbal slay.

We don’t hear Allan K talk on that specific topic in Eat Bulaga because of his fear of the admin ally Senator Tito Sotto; Boobay could but can’t due to her regular commitment as a bluffer on Celebrity Bluff (which is not a talk show) while Ethel Booba – the Charot Queen – is barely seen on TV but she’s actively slaying up on Twitter.

Sadly, the last resort of roast throwing would possibly be on comedy sketch programs.

In the past, we do have political spoofing, ironically, in a government-owned network with The Sic O Clock News but not much externally and internally nowadays. Last year, GMA’s Sunday PinaSaya made a spoof of Duterte (portrayed by Jose Manalo) meeting with Trump (portrayed by Mike “Pekto” Nacua).

However, its rival, Banana Sundae, was not able to duplicate it.

Why is it easy for Americans to do them?

Simply, Americans are natural risk-takers; we are not.

While their presidential administrations come and go, their shows still go on despite different presenters once the new season — not necessarily coterminous with their term — kicks in; ours tend to cut short due to their butthurt reactions and spewing threats of the ax before their term ends.

Don’t get it wrong, our comedians can be great talk show hosts to chide as Vice Ganda would but its internal conservative mindset and the eternal network war culture hinders them to take bigger possibilities (i.e. diversity of programming for the networks and diversity of the comedian’s portfolio).

That being said, let’s not give the prospectively returning Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A. any ideas on his new home on PTV this month as unconditional compliance is still king over defiance. Not to mention, his show might be disrupted in favor of their true star.


Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach


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Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN

Easier Said than Done: Looking on the Philippine TV’s Undelivered 2017 Offers

[Dedicated to Ed Ching, Anjho Ezekiel Reyes and Jason Aquino]

TWO MONTHS remain now in 2017. For individual persons, they are rushing in to live up their own resolutions, plans or goals whatever they have written for the said year.

For television execs, that is a different story. Some backlogged programs were: (1) returned to its original configuration, (2) delayed to another year, (3) substituted with another similar program or (4) may be scrapped.

With the trade launch season coming; let’s look back on four (4) major TV networks and their own current backlogs.

ABS-CBN

The ticket to stardom before PBB would have become a segment of It’s Showtime this year but Tawag ng Tanghalan still eclipsed it.

Batang 2Ks will remember Star Circle Quest (2004-11) as an instant ticket to stardom before Pinoy Big Brother wrestled it out. Last March, they pledged to revive SCQ as a segment of It’s Showtime. Despite the setup and the auditions, months even before that announcement, their efforts and dreams were down to drain as they just continue with Tawag ng Tanghalan.

MNL48 inks with ABS-CBN for their first Talent Search but the network’s intervention in the music material would prove its fate.

Another aspiring ticket that is on their bucket list is the MNL48 talent reality search. However, the audition process disappointed the fans of 48 girl groups (48GGs); aspirants must require performing within the allowed music material (containing most, if not all, of their network’s current exclusive talents). With that damage done, some of them might reconsider the audition and worse (or better for their standpoint), it might be scrapped, as it is easily forgettable in favor of masa-induced programs.

Pilipinas Got Talent (season 6) is highly unlikely to catch up in the final months of the calendar due to I Can See Your Voice and Little Big Shots but it may carry on in 2018 like the previous season (in 2016 for 2015) since auditions began to kick in (hopefully) and find whoever current show would finally wind down the earliest and call it a season.

Unfortunately, it’ll be a slim to no dice for Team Animazing block to resume, considering their unresolved 5 o’clock crisis and the advancement of viewer demographic and technological trends.

GMA

Celebrity Bluff was part of their program goals and did resume on the airwaves last June 3 but it maintained on the regular Saturday night lineup and not on a daily basis as promised because of the masa’s solidified base in Wowowin.

Other than that, Eat Bulaga dabarkad Ryan Agoncillo was to have his own show titled Ryan’s Playlist but instead it was given to the Lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros) for The Lola’s Beautiful Show.

Other series that were left behind in Kamuning/Timog include Text Serye and Project Achieved. The former might sent to failure and the latter was not achievable yet the closest substitute they currently broadcast would be GRIND: Get Ready, It’s A New Day.

Lip Sync Battle Philippines would have been on the third season but with exclusive stars defected to the other network due to non-renewal of contract or their displeasure in service, it may not continue to set sail, not even next year.

TV5

Brillante Mendoza, the famous indie film director, already aired Brillante Mendoza Presents in the first half of the year. However, its awaited masterpiece, Amo, a series focusing on both sides of the relentless Drug War, has been consistent in promotion but its premiere kept on delaying from August and then to September but not a single episode was aired as of this moment.

Other than him, Bloggers TV and Travel 360 were supposed to be premiered on late July weekend but instead, Manindigan and Turning Point took its places. According to Mitch Isip, a representative from The Bloggers Magazine, they had to reshoot in order to produce the best quality they want to emanate. So far, not a word of promotion was emanated both in the small screens and in the social media.

However, with the deal with ESPN — as ESPN5 — solidified last month, it can easily drown out any of the said programs without recourse.

CNN Philippines

Lastly, the sole news channel on free TV has some backlogs as well. Media Newser Philippines (MNP) has detailed an article about the upcoming programs this 2017 last December.

So far, all of their nominal programs were aired according to plan — including Political Insider where it was axed after its host, Gilbert Remulla, engaged in an unprofessional Twitter battle — except My Philippines, a local travel program, which has yet to be promoted and to be materialized.

Unnamed programs mentioned in MNP would be a standalone daily entertainment program and a business newscast.

The former could not be developed due to the simple, single reason: their entertainment news policy is more on Hollywood and less on exclusive stars predominantly found on the networks of South Triangle Duopoly (STD). While the latter can be easily figured with three reasons:

  • It cannot find their “A” person —  a matching challenger — to compete against ANC’s Cathy Yang.
  • They have to sacrifice both the morning version and the afternoon (Global) of Newsroom to coincide with the opening and closing bells of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
  • Given the unexpected predicaments from political engagements, its patchy political coverages could hamper the flow of the said newscast.

Conclusion

With 2018 looming into the horizon, the four — or three abled — networks should revise their plans to keep its promise before their respective trade launches take place so that its loyal and prospective advertisers have the best worth of their money and earn a goodwill or it will end up merely in what Ed Ching believes to be “false hopes.”


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Photo courtesy of:

  • Philippine Showbiz Republic (psr.ph)
  • Hallo Hallo Entertainment, Inc.

Timow’s Open Pit No. 2: PHTV@64: Of Living Legends & Legacies

TODAY, October 23, 2017 marks the 64th anniversary of Philippine television and here on Timow’s Turf, we opened the second Open Pit on a matter related to the very significance of the number.

The number 64 is a perfect square number – in this case, a square of 8 (a number that is very auspicious in East Asia). In games, it’s the total number of squares of a board in chess and checkers. Baby Boomers have The Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four” and the Batang 90s have a Nintendo 64. In personal computers, some of them run on a 64-bit architecture.

On this article, we will discuss about our program’s living legends and legacies.

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11 Shows GMA News TV Should Have Really Never Aired

NOT BEARING any further grudges, GMA News TV is supposed to be a news channel at par with veteran ANC and the younger CNN Philippines.

However, during the past 6.5 years, our expectations are far from materialization as critics began to see the flaw and became irritated with the inclusion and expansion non-essential programming composition in the middle-aged channel as if they are comparable to a tabloid newspaper than a broadsheet. Some of us called it QTV 2.0, GMA Balitakilya TV or GMA Sari-Sari TV than the current (mislabeled) name.

While most – but not all — newscasts, public affairs programs, and documentaries whether made for that channel or carried over from its older sister channel after original airing are essential, few of the programs and the non-essential genre should be relocated or terminated – at least, gradually.

Aside from the movie blocks, home shopping and Koreanovelas that are finished in Channel 7, here are the 11 specific shows GNTV should have never aired (as of press time).

NOTE: The list is not sorted in a particular order and is excluding programs produced and provided from ZOE/Light Network, as they are contractually committed.

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Moving Out of Broadway is the Hardest Thing to Do…

Broadway Centrum has been the home of Eat Bulaga for 22 years.

(This post is dedicated in memory of my paternal grandmother, Nanay Miriam Paragas, who passed away last Wednesday night.)

LAST MAY, my paternal family went to Antipolo for the annual summer outing. We passed over Broadway Centrum to and from the destination and it triggered me about a discussion of a transfer from it for a noontime variety show last year on PHTV Facebook Group where I am currently sitting in as an administrator.

In time for the 38th anniversary of Eat Bulaga, Timow’s Turf will neither discuss about the current trends of their segments nor their dabarkads but on the fate of the studio building that housed it and its difficulty of letting it go. (more…)

Pabasa ng Philippine TV for Holy Week 2017

Ecce Homo (1871) by Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891)

IT’S SO HARD to believe that Holy Week is next week — the first on the nine-month-old Duterte administration and yes, the Turf understands it as a political aspect of Calvary we’re harnessing.
Anyway, in this penultimate and pious week of Lent, many words emanate to our psyche: reflection, journey, sacrifice, panata and self-penitence.

As part of the countdown to 500 years of Christianity, this year (2017) is designated for the Year of Parish as the Communion of Communities.

As part of the preparation of the Quincentennial of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, each year within the nine-year novena (since 2012-13) has a certain designation. This year is dedicated as the Year of the Parish as the Communion of Communities. So, expect this theme to be integrated throughout the following days.
During the week, operating hours on malls and establishments are expected to be reduced — if not closed — on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday but they may resume full-time on Black Saturday.
On television, particularly, free to air, some networks either reduced to special programming or signed off. In the Turf’s annual tradition of heralding the events, the whole week will be divided into four (4) chronological groups with six (6) specific periods. In this distinctive insight, some channels and programs within the week will give notice if they’re in conflictin need of attention and something to watch out for.
Bear in mind that such insights are unpredictable.

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Countdown to Coronation (Part II): The Current Arrangements

This Timow’s Turf special report will be dedicated on the 65th Miss Universe where the Philippines will host the grand coronation this Monday, January 30. The views and opinions expressed in this second and concluding installment of two-part special do not reflect those of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO).

President Duterte posed with DOT Secretary Wanda Teo and the fourth batch of the 65th Miss Universe candidates Monday. Maxine Medina, the Philippine contingent, is on the far right.

President Rodrigo Duterte posed with Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and the fourth batch of the 65th Miss Universe candidates Monday during the courtesy call in Malacanang. Maxine Medina, the Philippine contingent, is on the far right.

ON THE FIRST part, we tripped down memory lane on the past two editions of Miss Universe in 1974 and 1994. In this second of two parts, we will tackle the highly anticipated current event.

Just like the Papal Visit and the APEC Summit back in 2015, the first major event of 2017 involving high-profile foreign dignitaries must need a high profile security in which indeed President Rodrigo Duterte practiced religiously as he trusts too defensively to the military and the police.

But how did the organization for the third hosting came to be and how is the progress of broadcasters concerned?

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The Quest of Lost Broadcasts and Archiving

IN A BLINK of an eye, the year’s 2017.

If you’re reading this right now, you probably read it on the trinity of mobile technology that you own at least one — laptop, smart phone and/or tablet. Whenever you watch your favorite shows, just turn on the WI-Fi and you’re good to go. However, not all shows are provided to suit your needs, especially when you visit the wayback (or throwback) machine.

Throughout 64 years of television in the Philippines, some shows have episodes — fragmented or comprehensive — that are no longer found for public exhibition. Personally, as a TV enthusiast and researcher, it’s really lamenting how such important programs at their time were no longer around to see but let us list down the significant roles that lost their own reels.

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#ZG16: The Turf’s 16 Philippine TV Memories of 2016

zg16

ANOTHER YEAR will come to a wrap — two days to be exact but 2016 was not sweet as it meant to be but it tasted too sour and too bitter — be it in the aspect of entertainment, sports and local & global politics.

And the Turf understands about it but before we say “good riddance” or any uttering to release such frustrations from this annus horribilis, let’s all recall the top 16 moments that transpired over television in the Philippines.

Hold on to your judgments because it’s a hell of a bumpy ride.

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