The Buzz

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.

(more…)

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Philippine television through the 2nd Aquino years (2010-16)

PNoy and Digong

IN AND OUT. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (right) is the apparent successor of the outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III (left) after winning the May 9 election with less than 40% of the votes.

THE FILIPINO has decided; Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the apparent winner of this election and will become the 16th President of the Philippines come June 30.

Before we move on to the next chapter of Philippine history, we will look how our channels on free-to-air television progressed so far throughout the six years of the outgoing administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III. (more…)

#PHTvzg2015: GMA

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.

Addendum
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.

#PHTVzg2015: ABS-CBN

[Author’s note: #PHTVzg2015 stands for Philippine Television Zeitgeist 2015, a five-part year-ender series.]

Another year has come and gone, but before we enter the sweet 2016, the Turf looks back on the roller-coaster moments of ABS-CBN.

Star-studded for the Papal Visit (January). Five Kapamilya stars (Lyca Gairanod, Angeline Quinto, Jed Madela, Darren Espanto & Erik Santos) performed in different venues of the itinerary of Pope Francis’ five-day visit. The Voice Kids Season 1 champion, Lyca Gairanod, performed “Tell the World of His Love” before the main program of Encounter with Families at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Quinto, Madela and Espanto performed during the Encounter with the Youth at the University of Santo Tomas and Erik Santos sang the Responsorial Psalm at the Concluding Mass at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.

Trashing film tourism (February to May). Success does not need to trash the wondrous creation but the aftermath of such in teleserye “Forevermore” and the film “That Thing Called Tadhana” came with the attention of collateral damage in Cordillera. Located in Tuba, Benguet, the filming location of LizQuen’s primetime drama became a hit tourist destination but its watershed contributed significant damage. The criticism is not noticed until May, just as their program is about to end, a writ of kalikasan was issued from the Court of Appeals and thus, forcing the cancellation of the farewell concert there. On the other hand, Angelica Panganiban and JM De Guzman’s indie flick is located in Sagada. Because of immense popularity, the swarming of tourists there left their trashes behind and netizens made rounds of criticism.

The Declining and the Denial (February-present). ASAP reached 20 this year but the longevity of the institution paid the decline of its domestic base as viewers at home are fed up with repetitive dance movements and its lack of innovation. When its Kamuning neighbor decided to scrap the cowardice Sunday All Stars in favor of the comedic Sunday PinaSaya, they try to compete with the comedic opening but the main host, Martin Nievera, was disappointed with the setup by a tweet. SPS won the ratings game from August and ASAP is decided to shorten their airtime to two hours and again, Nievera remained in denial.

Onward towards DTV. After five years of trial and error, the ABS-CBN TVPlus, nicknamed as the “Mahiwagang Black Box,” is released commercially to selected markets since February 11, with new sub-channels such as Yey! and Cine Mo and existing ones from cable such as Knowledge Channel and DZMM Teleradyo. Nine months later, the high-definition feed of the mainstream channel, ABS CBN HD, is released in selected cable operators (Oct 3).

This Success Sounds Familiar (March to December). Hosted by Billy Crawford, Your Face Sounds Familiar, a new game show franchise, where celebrities impersonates music icons, became a hit for viewers during weekend prime time, not once but twice.

The End of the Buzz (April 5). Easter Sunday this year marked the new life but for Boy Abunda, it marked the death of his showbiz show, The Buzz. Though they would be come back soon, the return is remote from being materialized, thanks to social media. However, the show was posthumously awarded as the Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show on the 29th PMPC Star Awards.

Duo Dynami-nation (May and August). Primetime Bida for 2015 is mostly significant for the two love teams for social media. KathNiel’s “Pangako Sa ‘Yo” (since May 25) and JaDine’s “On The Wings of Love” (since August 10) hyped up the national Twitter trending list during weekdays.

S+A going full capacity (June 20). From that day, NCAA aired on its new home on ABS-CBN Sports + Action since UAAP was moved to September. The decision of covering the oldest (but not popular) collegiate athletic association would not simply make their Sports Division very busy year-round but astonish their technological advancement to sportscasting.

Pinoy Big Bromance? (June 20). Pinoy Big Brother commemorated its 10th anniversary this year with a new hybrid edition, “PBB 737.” During the early run, when the teens entered the Bahay ni Kuya, the show drew fire over bromance and the action of one housemate, Ryan James Bacalla. Because of this, the 24/7 live cable streaming was pulled out until the teens’ part ended after seven weeks of stay.

It’s Showtime’s immorality segments (August to October). As the Kalyeserye on the Kamuning neighbor became successful, It’s Showtime attempted to counter it with Twerking Girls but it drew fire by a solid Kapamilya netizen. After the controversial celebrity competition, they replaced it with “Nasaan Ka, Mr. Pastillas” featuring Angelica “Pastillas Girl” Yap. However, netizens are unamused by the content as it acts as the antithesis of the norms of traditional Filipino courtship exemplified by its rival. Not only that, the girl herself was also the butt of the joke with one of her old videos posted containing dirty language spreading online with degrading reactions in return. The segment was also compared it to an American reality dating show, “The Bachelorette” and called it “Bugawserye.” Such complaints drew Gabriela Partylist’s attention to call MTRCB and to summon the show’s creators.

Krissy decides to tone down (August-September). (Soon-to-be-outgoing) Presidential sister and veteran Kapamilya, Kris Aquino, narrowly escapes stroke after filming “Etiquette for Mistresses.” Because of the traumatic health effect, she decided to leave “Aquino and Abunda Tonight” and decided to remain only on KrisTV in order to achieve a “healthy work and life balance.”

Hisses from the two entities (August and September). During the Iglesia ni Cristo rally in EDSA in late August, social media blared up messages of the network’s bias against the Church. Few members of INC made a rash payback by mauling one of its camera operators covering the situation. Two weeks later, during a students’ forum in UP Los Banos with Vice President Jejomar Binay, a news writer mistakenly heard the crowd shouting “trapo” (traditional politician) instead of “sample.” Despite of netizens’ praise for the student body’s fearless inquiry over current issues thrown against him (i.e. overpricing infrastructures and making under-the-table deals in Makati City as mayor), the student council demanded the broadcaster’s apology.

Big shot coming from a single bullet (September 28). After Coco Martin’s portrayal as a commando of PNP Special Action Force that was part of the Fallen 44 tribute on MMK, he became the lead role of the TV drama adaptation of the 1997 action film, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

ANC prepares for APEC. As the Philippines hosted APEC 2015, cable news channel ANC decided to reinstate Cathy Yang as the business news anchor. On October 26, ANC freshened up their identity.

Advertising jealousy (November). With AlDub’s* exponential success, it stripped their endorsers from the last Kapamilya talents (such as McDonalds’ chicken meals from Toni Gonzaga and Nino Muhlach, Hapee toothpaste from Angel Locsin and Rejoice shampoo from Kim Chiu). Because of that phenomenon, according to an insider, some advertisers decided not to renew their contract with ABS-CBN. Hence, the network issued a memo to advertisers that they have a right not to air any commercials that is associated with the rival’s programs, indirectly or directly. Hence, their intentional acts of not airing it, reducing it, splitting Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards apart or omitting Maine whatever possible. Kapamilya fans, belonging to the AlDub* nation, sees it as a form of bitterness (jealousy) and endorsement protectionism, calling both as unfair, as KathNiel and JaDine’s commercials on GMA were aired in full.

Gone from the news, stay for Sunday nights. Despite of departure on TV Patrol and DZMM for her news delivery, Korina Sanchez still maintains Rated K every Sunday night. The said program and the presenter won the Best Magazine Show and Host respectively on the Star Awards.

Talent Newsmakers of 2015

New and shining talents

  • Jana Agoncillo of Dream Dad and Ningning
  • Marco Masa of Nathaniel
  • Elha Mae Nympha of the Voice Kids 2
  • Bailey May and Ylona Garcia (BaiLona) of PBB 737 Teens
  • Tommy Esguerra and Miho Nishida (ToMiho) of PBB 737 Regulars
  • Xymon Ezekiel Pineda (Onyok) of Ang Probinsyano

Migrants from other networks:

  • From GMA: Sarah Lahbati and Elmo Magalona
  • From TV5: Wendell Ramos and Vin Abrenica

Outlook for 2016

Financial and operation wise, the corporation will remain profitable and the transition for digital television as feasible for 2016.

However, the Turf issues a RED ALERT for Mother Ignacia for the New Year.

Despite the revenues of political advertisement making up less percentage of their consolidated revenue, they will go in hot water for favoring former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, the second Aquino administration’s anointed successor, over their flagship news programs and its senatorial lineup would be promoted through their life stories on MMK.

*The AlDub phenomenon will be discussed continuously in the next Zeitgeist (GMA 7).

Addendum: UFC will no longer be under ABS-CBN Sports’ hands this 2016.

Pope Francis in the Philippines: Of free TV’s preparations and the itinerary’s response

[This post marks the second part of the Papal Visit special. ]

The official logo of the Papal Visit with the theme.

The official logo of the Papal Visit with the theme.

WITH THE GAUDY announcement of the visit of Pope Francis from the national Catholic hierarchy, anticipation incites not just the public and the Government, but also of the media — particularly, on national television.

The two remaining questions the Turf asked on the first part of the Papal Visit special will be unraveled.

  (more…)

The Turf’s TV Zeitgeist 2014: GMA

THE NEW YEAR will be handed over in 6 days but before we bid adieu to 2014, here is the look back of what happened over the boob tube on GMA and its sister channel, GMA News TV. (more…)