2019 is about to end. But before the calendar flips to the sweet 2020, let’s look back at what happened in Philippine television in 2011 and 2015. In this part, we’ll look back at the rollercoaster moments of GMA-7 during those 2 years.
This year, GMA claimed that it has become No. 1 nationwide, when in fact their ratings sharply began to decline, due to uninteresting stories and costly production measures. They started the year with Dwarfina with Heart Evangelista and Dennis Trillo and Machete with Aljur Abrenica which failed to click. The return of Captain Barbell followed suit, with Richard Gutierrez taking over the lead role.
In May, they had Amaya, an epicserye set in the pre-colonial period of the 1500s. Though Marian Rivera was cast as the lead, there were some people who criticized management for casting a mestiza in the lead role. There was also the family drama Munting Heredera which marked Gloria Romero’s return to the Kapuso network.
Drama aside, they took entertainment to the next level. March witnessed the launch of Spooky Nights, a show that combined horror and comedy in its inital months, but in October became a straight-up horror anthology. Then-Representative Manny Pacquiao also had his own game show entitled Manny Many Prizes. Their production of kid-friendly programming continued, with the likes of Sabadabadog, I-Shine Talent Camp, Amazing Cooking Kids and My Chubby World. During mornings, they had a revival of Family Feud with Edu Manzano hosting it, as well as the short-lived talk show StarBox, with Ali Sotto and the Magno Twins as hosts.
Their Sunday slot continued to capture viewers’ attention, most especially with Party Pilipinas and Tween Hearts along the way. In addition, the latter show was extended to introduce a bigger cast, with some new additions.
The Artist Center also attempted to create their own ball at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati, and it was also the launch of the short-lived PROFILES Magazine. but since then, their only kind of ball was their Thanksgiving Party.
On the news aspect, in late February, they launched their own news channel, GMA News TV. This was a response to the public clamor for a news channel on free TV. From QTV, GMA News TV has received warm support from its audience. The channel’s approach on News, public affairs, features, lifestyle, sports and entertainment was proven effective and successful even if the channel didn’t reach its first year mark.
Talent Newsmakers of 2011
September marked the launch of Protege, an all-original singing talent search wherein music icons become mentors for each contestant from a certain place in the Philippines. Krizza Neri, under her mentor Ice Seguerra, emerged as the winner of its initial season.
In November, it was a wedding month as their then-personalities like Jolina Magdangal and Kyla got married to their longtime boyfriends. At the same time, Party Pilipinas mainstay Regine Velasquez-Alcasid gave birth to her first child. Months before her birth, she announced in April her pregnancy and took a break from her performing duties, and also left I Heart You, Pare where she reunited with Dingdong Dantes. Iza Calzado took over Regine’s role.
It was the year they celebrated their 65th year of operation, but was mostly defined as a poor year in terms of performance and quality, yet they had their own share of positives. GMA News TV nearly lost 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. On the bright side though, in November, the APEC 2015 Summit was successfully covered on Strata 2000, despite of the main channel’s apathy to cover.
On April 5, Colgate-Palmolive commercials returned within each commercial break after six years of exclusivity to its rival ABS-CBN.
During the summer season in April, sans its seasonal station ID, four regional offices were closed: 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 temporarily closed down but this time in Iloilo City.
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 and Jennylyn Mercado), was tagged for infidelity. The third, under Afternoon Prime, Destiny Rose, portrayed by Ken Chan, is contested due to the sexuality of the protagonist. The former may not have reached the same success as MHL.
In June, 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. At the same time, 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.
The biggest yet unexpected moment of the year happened on July 4, 2015, when Maine Mendoza, the Dubsmash Queen, was introduced 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, the “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.
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.
Despite of a fresh identity, StarStruck opened its sixth season after six years of waiting. This season marked the first time since its second season (2004-05) that the show ran only on weekdays and its first time that the show runs as the first program for the Telebabad than on the traditional late night, not like its early editions (2003-04 to 2006-07). However, the ratings were not satisfied as their rival’s Pasion de Amor trumped them out. And this was the first time Regine Velasquez judged a talent search before Idol Philippines.
Startalk would have been 20 by October but by September 12, the entertainment news and talk show finally took a bow with a look back on the show’s history. Like what happened to The Buzz on ABS-CBN, the show ended due to the change of provider and viewer’s taste.
Problems plagued GMA News and Public Affairs as they created programs unrelated to news stories, such as To the Top (a boy band search), Alamat (a children’s show) and Dangwa (a morning drama). Such responsibility, in the eyes of its defenders, believed that the news department had a good standing in finances and in goodwill than the entertainment department.
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-7 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.
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.
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.
GMA also 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.
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
The stars who made headlines this year include Ken Chan, whose first lead role was in Destiny Rose before becoming immensely popular for her loveteam with Rita Daniela, and then, Maine Mendoza who shot to fame via Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye segment. The sixth season of StarStruck made stars out of Klea Pineda, Migo Adecer, Ayra Mariano and Arra San Agustin, while To The Top created the boyband Top One Project.
Ai-ai de las Alas returned from ABS-CBN, and a month later, 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).
Conclusion and Outlook for the Following Year
For 2012, GMA is expected to roll out teleseryes that have original concept (Biritera, Legacy, My Beloved, Broken Vow, The Good Daughter, Hiram na Puso), meaning no remake of any film or comic at all. They are also expecting a second season of Protege, albeit next year will be similar to StarStruck.
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. Finally, there were speculations online that the sequel of the early 2000s fantaserye Encantadia is expected to revive after few years of abandonment. Although it may sound exciting, the costs of producing it would be problematic because it causes layoffs of regional personnel, shutdown of more regional stations and relegation of their respective transmitter’s status.