Another year has come and gone, but before we enter the sweet 2016, the Turf looks back on the rollercoaster moments of GMA.
Strata 2000’s near strikeout (January to November). GMA News TV nearly loses their unreliability towards the three committed news coverage for the year. GNTV drew fire for lacking the most coverage of five-day Papal Visit last January. On July 27, the same channel did nothing to cover the PNoy’s last SONA — unlike her main channel — and to carry on with the regular programming. Last November, the APEC 2015 Summit was successfully covered on Strata 2000, despite of the main channel’s apathy to cover.
Regional Network genocide (April and November). During the summer season, sans its seasonal station ID, four regional offices were closed on April: Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Ilocos and Naga City. The network justified the closure as a “strategic streamlining of programs and manpower in its provincial stations to ensure business competitiveness.” Not only the closure of offices but also Cebu and Davao’s regional programming are also severely affected by the said decision. Seven months later, another regional office closes down but this time in Iloilo City.
Forgive and forget (May 10). Willie Revillame leaped back into TV action with Wowowin on that day but for viewers who have been victimized but have remembered him on his past hosting stints have chills of the spine as they have an instinct of repeating his antics. Originally, the taped show was purely block timer and aired at 3:30 p.m. every Sunday. But with the premiere of Sunday PinaSaya three months later, Wowowin finally moved to 2 p.m. time slot, became a co-production with GMA and raised up the numbers in the ratings game. Last October, the Court of Appeals ordered the arrest of Revillame after affirming the 2013 complaint in connection to the child abuse case in 2011. Nevertheless, his show won the Best Game Show on the PMPC Star Awards and himself won the Best Game Show Host (together with Luis Manzano).
Moral controversy galore (May 11 to present). Three teleseryes produced by GMA Entertainment TV Group stirred controversy on conservative groups. The first one, The Rich Man’s Daughter was topbilled by Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro and Luis Alandy; the first Telebabad teleserye was seen as a complement to My Husband’s Lover in 2013. The second replacement teleserye, My Faithful Husband (Dennis Trillo, Jennylyn Mercado and Mikael Daez), was tagged for infidelity. The third, under Afternoon Prime, Destiny Rose, portrayed by Ken Chan, is contested due to the sexuality of the protagonist.
TAG goes back to work (June 25). The 2014 case filed by 52 members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) was finally resolved by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) and was finally reinstated as regular employees.
AlDub you! (July to present). July 4, 2015 marked the introduction of Maine Mendoza, the Dubsmash Queen, as Yaya Dub to Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) but on July 16 at 1:47 p.m., during the Eat Bulaga’s segment of Juan for All! All for Juan!, Maine Mendoza accidentally met Alden Richards on the split-screen. Thus, the term “AlDub” was born and KalyeSerye replaced the Problem Solving portion.
Ever since the KalyeSerye regained the relevance of Eat Bulaga’s 36-year broadcast, this affect the news programs over the network (including GMA News TV) include the recap of the KS during the entertainment segment. Other neighboring networks, except ABS-CBN, made the elements of a live soap opera parody an inspiration from motivational mnemonic on TV5 to a piece of satire on PTV. Yet, with the excessive spotlight over the couple, other exclusive talents began losing their opportunity to shine in their projects and lose their attention. One of such victims is Elmo Magalona; he moved out to the neighbor in order to join with his sister, Maxene.
Since September, advertising endorsements were offered over the couple and they somehow accepted it. This exponential acceptance envied ABS-CBN and thus, they deliberately edited and/or shortened out of jealousy.
On October 24, “Sa Tamang Panahon” concert at the Philippine Arena did not only break the viewership record for the year but also breaks the all-time record on Twitter with 41 million real and organic tweets. Days later, the phenomenal couple sprouted over on magazines (e.g. Yes!, Preview & Reader’s Digest Asia), on international television (e.g. BBC & Bloomberg) and on social news sites like BuzzFeed.
Breaching bad (August-September). Following the prima facie of financial difficulty found on the preceding paragraphs, the decision of Gozon to call off Ramon S. Ang’s deal for the network’s minority interest last year drew the ire of the latter party to charge the network’s management for estafa. Ang demanded to return PHP 1 billion down payment from Gozon and company and the latter responded a month later with the San Miguel Corporation CEO’s decision to withdraw the complaint.
Wrong responsibility center (July to present). What does To the Top (a boy band search), Alamat (a children’s show) and Dangwa (a morning drama) have in common? It was produced by GMA News and Public Affairs and not by GMA Entertainment Group. Such responsibility, in the eyes of its defenders, believed that the former had a good standing in finances and in goodwill than the latter.
From cowardice to comedic (August 2 and 9). Sunday All Stars waved the white flag on August 2 after realizing their cowardice of the show to compete against ASAP 20. A week later, the comedic Sunday PinaSaya was able to trump out the longest-running musical variety show. This show, produced by APT Entertainment (a subsidiary of TAPE, Inc), acts as a Sunday extension of Eat Bulaga with Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden Richards belong to the gang. The launch of the said show occurred at the growth stage of KalyeSerye.
End of Startalk (September 12). Startalk would have been 20 by October but on that day, the entertainment news and talk show finally took a bow with the look back of the show. Like the Buzz on the preceding ZG, the show ended due to the change of provider and viewer’s taste.
Return of Starstruck (September 14 to December 19). Despite of a fresh identity, Starstruck opened its sixth season after six years of waiting. This season marks the first feats that the show runs only on weekdays and runs as the first program for the Telebabad than on the traditional late night. However, the ratings were not satisfied as the rival’s “Pasion de Amor” trumped them out.
A change of TAPE’s two-course meal (September 21). When Ryzza Mae Dizon received a script and a small director’s chair on her 10th birthday at the Ryzza Mae Show on June 12, a speculation concluded that a drama series from the producer, TAPE Inc., would be aired here. Three months later, the talk format was finally replaced and the drama was subtitled “Princess in the Palace.” Marking the return of teleserye venture for the producer since Daisy Siete, the drama was also topbilled by Aiza Seguerra and Eula Valdez.
GMA gets a new home shopping block (November 30). The main network remained the only mainstream network that does not have a home shopping block to compete until that day. From then, Shop TV premiered as the last program for the broadcast day and is currently airing every weekday.
Beyond the bend for Barbie. The Half Sisters, the daytime drama after Eat Bulaga, reached more than a year as the first program of their Afternoon Prime. Topbilled by Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino, the teleserye won the Best Daytime Drama Series on the PMPC Star Awards, emulating the successful factor once hold by ABS-CBN’s “Be Careful with My Heart” last year.
News correspondent departures. Throughout 2015, four news correspondents from Kamuning departed due to their new venture and/or other personal reasons: Claire Delfin, Hadji Rieta, Dante Perello and Michael Fajatin.
Institutional milestones. GMA made the year 2015 very memorable as they marked the 20th anniversary of its weekly comedy show, Bubble Gang and its late night news program, Saksi.
Impartiality vs stability. Former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson and Sarangani representative Manny Pacquiao seek to buy their shares of the network last October but on December 9, Gozon rejected the offer as they are “focused on growing the business.” Defenders see this as a way of protecting their integrity and impartiality from being influenced by politicians as the national election draws near.
Talent Newsmakers of 2015
New and shining talents
- Ken Chan of Destiny Rose
- Maine Mendoza
Migrant from other network
- Ai-ai de las Alas from ABS-CBN
Outlook for 2016
For 2016, GMA will still eye for credibility on the News and Public Affairs for covering the coming national polls. However, the coverage will certainly be separate between Channels 7 and 11. Financial stability will be improved for that year, as political ads will compose more percentage in revenue than its rival is.
Establishing sports division or re-establishing live-streaming will still give no attention for Gozon and associates but according to Business World, the network will venture into digital TV innovation. Such innovation should need increasing and continuing flow of revenue (by not considering the political advertisements) to maintain the safe transition.
Meanwhile, on the entertainment side, the afternoon drama “Wish I May” — named after a popular and successful love song by Alden Richards — will replace the veteran “The Half Sisters” this January. However, because of the immense popularity of the latter that gave the last extension, the upcoming teleserye topbilled by Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali (BiGuel), would see it as downhill due to a ground of delay.
There are speculations online that the sequel of the early 2000s fantaserye Encantadia would revive after few years of abandonment. Although it sounds exciting, the costs of producing it would be problematic because it will cause layoffs of regional personnel, shutdown of its stations and relegation of their respective transmitter’s status.
On April 5, Colgate-Palmolive commercials were finally aired after six years of exclusivity.
On December 19, Miss World 2015 was not aired after realizing the disappointing result for the Philippine representative and causes the contractual chagrin between Cory Quirino (the pageant manager) and Atty. Gozon.