2018 is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2019, let’s look back at what happened in Philippine television in 2010 and 2014. This part, we’ll travel to what happened on GMA during those 2 years.
This year was a milestone year for them: it was their 60th anniversary. It was marked by a major concert at the Araneta Coliseum where they looked back at GMA’s history. Then they also made innovative programming: 1st musical drama (Diva), 1st reality sitcom (Pepito Manaloto) and 1st comedy bar on TV (Comedy Bar).
It was during those times that their programming gradually became on the rocks. ‘SIS’ and ‘SOP’ were cancelled due to declining ratings and they also lost the rights to air the Binibining Pilipinas pageant to ABS-CBN. They tried its best to make their programming formidable with the launch of a new variety show in ‘Party Pilipinas’ and the ‘Click’-esque ‘Tween Hearts’. The latter showcased the acting roles of their young artists back then.
Their sister channel, ‘Q’, brought back its mass appeal with the slogan ‘Buhay Q Kumpleto!’, and they received awards by winning 15 titles in the PMPC Star Awards and they had no title during the KBP Golden Dove Awards because they have left the organization 7 years earlier.
This year was characterized by inconsistency in programming. On the public affairs side, ‘Reporter’s Notebook’ moved to Saturdays, and weekday late night public affairs programs were shifted to the late afternoons in order to compete against ABS-CBN.
GMA Telebabad was still an underwhelming performer for them, the mini-series ‘Ilustrado’ was the late 1990s classic ‘Jose Rizal’ reimagined as a soap opera. With the pre-AlDub Alden Richards taking the title role, the show failed to make an impact. Despite their claims as having won against AGB Nielsen, they were never a hit with the viewers.
Their weekend programming had a purge that wasn’t as tense as the previous year. The variety show ‘Sunday All Stars’ had a gradual retreat and changed timeslots from 12nn to 2pm. It was a sign that GMA has been scared of defeating ‘their rival’s ASAP’. ‘Startalk’ underachieved with its poor performance which is why they changed timeslots too. Trying to respond to ABS-CBN’s strategy, they re-aired ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘Coffee Prince’ as well as ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’ but these reruns flopped. They produced the likes of ‘Marian’, ‘Don’t Lose the Money’, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘Basta Every Day Happy’ just to counter ABS-CBN only to have produced negative results.
But at the positive side, they brought back the Sunday TV Mass after 3 years. They got the services of the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI) to broadcast the weekly Mass every Sunday morning just for the network’s mass appeal, only to have been removed before the year ended. In terms of news, Vicky Morales was added to ’24 Oras’, joining the 10-year-old tandem of Mike Enriquez and Mel Tiangco. Pia Arcangel replaced Morales as Arnold Clavio’s co-anchor on ‘Saksi’.
The positives in entertainment? GMA Afternoon Prime emerged as a top performer every weekday afternoons. Comedies like ‘Bubble Gang’ and ‘Pepito Manaloto’ continued to sustain its loyal following. They produced another realistic drama entitled ‘Sa Puso ni Dok’ with Dennis Trillo and Bela Padilla, which earned critical praise.
This year was a homecoming for Iya Villania, who happened to be one of their teen royalties during the early 2000s. Upon signing a contract in November to join her then-recently married husband, she was given a stint on ‘Sunday All Stars’. And also, Willie Revillame was on the verge of reviving his hosting career, having made negotiations between Joey de Leon and Mike Enriquez to place his show every early weekday primetime, only to have came to fruition a year later, to high reception with the masses.
And the veteran celebrities which became their primary focus in Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes eventually tied the knot, whereas Jennylyn Mercado received an award at the Metro Manila Film Festival for Best Actress. The latter was also invited to perform at their ‘SOP’-esque New Year party at the SM Mall of Asia.
The most important negative of the year: it was Ramon Ang who made a negotiation with Felipe Gozon for the latter to sell the network for good. A month after the deal, Ang was able to grab 30% of the network’s stocks but exercised the influence by November. Plus controversies plagued them this year. Bong Revilla was arrested on the charges of malversation of funds as he was the first to be tagged on the PDAF swindle last June, hence ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ was cancelled. Aljur Abrenica and GMA’s news talents under the name ‘Talents Association of GMA’ filed lawsuits against the network for various complaints.
Overall, 2010 was still a lucky year for GMA, celebrating its 60th anniversary. Making a milestone was what they were proud of. With their then-precious assets like Regine and Ogie Alcasid having been married before the year ended, one must know that they have another chance against ABS-CBN as 2011 arrives. And Q-11 has been on the rocks as of late amid a new campaign, due to lower advertising revenue, and a news channel getting in the way called ‘GMA News TV’.
As for 2014, it was an abysmal year for them in terms of ratings, financial performance and quality standards. As ‘Second Chances’ went underway, things seemed like they still at least gave Felipe Gozon and company a second chance to survive. Everything remained to be seen if their offerings on the entertainment side would recover and regain the viewers’ interest, especially ‘StarStruck’ which also returns in 2019.
And another thing is that Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix, Ruru Madrid and co. have a long way to go before being at par with Kathryn Bernardo, James Reid, Daniel Padilla and etc. as to become their promising young artists.