Monday, December 26, 2011

Year In Review: Ten TV Thoughts

As 2011 comes to a close, I'll share a series of "Year in Review" posts and first up is my observation on local TV this year

1. This is a very big year for Eat Bulaga. The longest running noontime show in the country had a banner year once again and I felt like they are more popular than ever. This could be an aftermath of ABS CBN losing Wowowee where I suspect a lot of its former viewers defected to EB but then again the show's Pinoy Henyo and Sugod Bahay/Juan for All, All for Juan segments are just brilliant, that you really can't help but fall for its charms. This is truly a legendary show, come on 30 years and counting and you're hitting another peak in popularity again? Amazing! Eat Bulaga sort of became "no network war" zone with a lot of its hosts doing projects with other networks (shows in TV5 and movie collaborations with ABS CBN).

2. For the past decade ABS CBN News Channel [ANC] was the sole local news channel in the country but this year we didn't get just one but two more local news channel. GMA wisely junked the hodgepodge channel that was Q11 and launched GMA News Channel and TV5 also launched Aksyon TV Channel 41 (the former home of MTV Philippines in the early 2000s). I think it's a great development since news and current affairs shows have been put in the back burner in their respective networks by airing in the late night/early morning timeslots and now with their own channels, we can now see the shows (mostly well-produced) on a good time slots. Plus we now have different options with media coverage plus it's also a good alternative programming if you're sick with the local soaps and reality shows dominating primetime. Also coming in the airwaves next year is Solar Entertainment's very own local news channel. These are exciting times for the broadcast journalism industry.

3. The most anticipated TV comeback this year was the Magandang Gabi Bayan's Halloween special. Although technically they didn't use the MGB name but instead had the title of "Kababalaghan" but it was the same team who produced the MGB specials anyway and most importantly it was hosted by Noli De Castro. The excitement for its return was fascinating as it was a testament how huge MGB's impact was. It was a communal experience for us back then. We grew up watching those specials and even in hindsight some of the stuff shown was not really scary, it was really fun looking back. As for the "Kababalaghan" special it was a mixed bag. It started promising but petered out in the end. It's really hard to match the 90s specials but hopefully they can do better next time :)

4. If there's one formula that was successful in the local telenovela scenes this year was the child-centric soap from Mutya to Munting Heredera to Daldalita to 100 Days to Heaven, soaps with children as leads has become reliable and staple programming for the local networks, with those shows anchoring the network's primetime blocks. Simply put that kids have this certain charm that watching them is a delight. I guess the innocence is just endearing and warms our heart.

5. Speaking of soaps, the two shows that I believe define the year are Mara Clara in ABS CBN and Amaya in GMA. The former was a remake of 90s classic that was able to match the popularity of the original. That's a rare feat I must say. I myself watched that soap and admittedly the story went to ridiculous route towards the end but it was simply addicting and compelling to watch. The latter on the other hand was risky move on the network to start a historical drama but it paid off. It's good to know that the local audience is interested to watch a show about our local heritage. After all, Korean historical dramas Jewel in the Palace and Jumong were such big hits here so it was about time that a local historical soap shines.

6. TV5 was more aggressive than ever this year and I must say that they are quite successful. While they are still the #3 network and they still have a long way to go to reach #2, TV5 is now seen as a viable player and is now taken seriously in the industry. I personally find them that they are rushing to be a top network and that they need to slow things down but I have to commend MVP's leadership for bringing out the potential in the old ABC 5. It's really good that there are now three major players in the broadcasting industry. Competition brings out the best in everyone. Although I hope it would be a mature competition because let's face it the network war that has been going between ABS CBN and GMA is silly because the way they promote loyalty and personal attacks. Sadly I think TV5 is trying to play the same game too (hello Cristy Fermin!) but I wish they do a different approach next time. They have the potential to be something different and be a trailblazer

7. Talent shows and reality show franchises are losing steam. The popularity of Showtime, Pilipinas Got Talent and Talentadong Pinoy dwindled this year while the current editions of Pinoy Big Brother and Survivor Philippines are off to shaky starts and they don't seem to have the buzz that they used to enjoy. Is it viewer burnout or the producers are not able to inject a fresh take on their respective shows?

8 Sports coverage on TV improved a lot this year. Everyone from Solar Sports to ABS CBN sports and the newbie TV5's AKTV sports channel at IBC 13 stepped up. Even GMA 7 is doing sports coverage too (not just a collaboration with Solar) via their GMA News Channel. The fact that the SEA Games this year was covered by both ABS CBN and AKTV was a good sign. I really hope the younger generation (yikes I feel old) would be more involved with sports and just play computer games. I think what I like about the sports coverage in broadcast media this year that it was not only limited to basketball and boxing but there was football, volleyball, tennis, baseball, martial arts among others. I hope the Palarong Pambansa and other various regional meets would get ample media coverage as well as to further promote various sports in the country. We are lagging behind our ASEAN neighbors when it comes to sports and getting the public exposed to sports via the media will help us in the long run because it will nurture interest and eventually involvement.

9. With online streaming and torrent downloading rampant these days, cable channels [ETC, Jack TV, Star World, Fox Asia] are now adapting to it by airing some of their acquired US programming close to their original airdate in the US . Sure, they are still hours or days ahead but it's a big improvement when we used to get shows a season or two behind. This won't stop downloading per se but it at least make these channels competitive and relevant. Believe it or not, a good segment of the viewing population still prefer to watch TV programs on actual TV sets. Who knows in the future we could get legal streaming/downloading from these channels as well.

10. Social networking is now a big part for the broadcast networks. Through Twitter and Facebook the networks are reaching their audience closer than ever before. It's more interactive but one of the downsides though is that because of the fast transmission of information people tend to digest it at face value. Sometimes people are so gullible that they don't bother to verify or even question the information they received. The tendency to be the first one to know leads to people not thinking critically anymore. On the good side though through these social networking sites, people are able to share their insight and also gauge public opinion. And most importantly people can reach out through these avenues. Remember Lola Aurelia? That's a good example how the fusion of social network and broadcast media can bring good things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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