Philippine TV trends of 2012 (Part 3)

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

(Last of three parts. Read Part 1 / Part 2)

2. HASHTAG FEVER

While a world of its own, the Twitterverse has also become a second home for television—the Philippines included. Viewers take to social media to comment on shows they are watching, a number to support or bash the personalities starring in them.

Netizens use the # or hash sign to mark names, topics, or phrases dominating the online conversation.

Twitter hashtags in the Philippines for 2012: #salamatDolphy #itsmorefuninthePhilippines #TVPatrol25 #CJonTrial #GGV #KMJS #Amalayer #MissPHILIPPINESforMissUniverse2012 #PartyPilipinas #MYRVESMonopolizesDAVAO #XFactorPH #RatedK #rescuePH #ASAPRocks #Angelito2 #PrincessandI #MalingMali #PBBTeens #PinoyTrueStories #ProtegeShock #WalangPasok

At first these “hashtags” emerged during live TV events, such as the finales of reality shows like “Pinoy Big Brother”. The hashtags gain consensus among Twitter users before making the site’s “Trending Topics” list.

TV networks and shows soon put up Twitter handles of their own, opening a line of feedback to the public.

Since tweets with specific hashtags could be monitored, news organizations have used them for special coverages too. For instance, the #Harapan#Halalan and #Eleksyon2010 tags in 2010. In 2012, news orgs followed the Corona impeachment trial with hashtags like #CJonTrial. And newscast TV Patrol welcomed its 25th year in 2012 with #TVPatrol25.

By picking a particular hashtag, TV shows can track all tweets directed at them and gain exposure (and more viewers) when the hashtag trends.

2012 saw pre-recorded shows like soap operas, sitcoms and documentaries also jump on the hashtag bandwagon.

Some programs merely flashed the hashtag at the beginning or end of each segment. Others like live productions constantly showed their hashtags onscreen during the entire telecast. Shows like “Party Pilipinas” and “The X-Factor Philippines” even made distinct ones based on the themes of their weekly episodes.

But even as TV shows tried to direct the tweets, viewers still dictated what would trend. The best example for the year are the weekly trending topics based on the guests of the late-night comedy talk show “Gandang Gabi Vice”.

1. MEETING THE THIRST FOR NEWS

Viewers gained much in the way of news and information in 2012. TV news met reenergized content and new players, all in time for Filipinos to face the big events of the year.

Philippine Primetime weather anchors: Kim Atienza of TV Patrol; Nathaniel Cruz of 24 Oras; Lourd de Veyra of Aksyon; and Mai Rodriguez of Solar Network News

Primetime weather anchors: Kim Atienza of TV Patrol; Nathaniel Cruz of 24 Oras; Lourd de Veyra of Aksyon; and Mai Rodriguez of Solar Network News

The newscasts increased emphasis on weather reporting by acquiring advanced forecasting tools, updating their visuals, and even hiring meteorologists.

With services like Metra and Weather Central, weather reporters went beyond general temperatures to predict the likelihood of rain, the amount of rainfall, and specific conditions at different times of day.

The new tools came in handy as the country braved calamities like the Hagupit ng Habagat and Typhoon Pablo.

2012 was also the year of news channels, which stood out during the Corona impeachment trial.

The trial became the premiere for the new kid on the block—Solar News Channel. Free-to-air and all-English, Solar took off from its wall-to-wall coverage of the trial and slowly introduced newscasts into previous channel TalkTV.

In October, TalkTV rebranded into SNC and unveiled a slew of local news talk shows to complement its lineup of imported current affairs programs.

Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros at the Solar remote studio in the Senate during the Corona trial. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Magsaysay and Hontiveros at the Solar remote studio in the Senate during the Corona trial.

Solar News Channel is billed as a news service highlighting “news you can use” over the crime-and-entertainment offerings of other TV news organizations. It is helmed by veteran reporters Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros, both formerly with the ABS-CBN News Channel or ANC.

ANC lost other talents like Mai Rodriguez and Twink Macaraig to Solar and other networks last year. Macaraig moved to TV5, which is expected to put out its own English news channel.

Macaraig left ANC’s afternoon shift, which the channel replaced with a new block of newscasts with specific focuses. “News Now” covers breaking national stories at 2 p.m. and business stories at 3 p.m. “The Bureau” reports world news, while “@ANCalerts” reports the latest in technology and social media.

Even government-owned People’s Television Network (PTV 4) was revitalized with revamped programs, a new logo, and a bold slogan—“Telebisyon ng Bayan”.

Aiming to lessen its image as the administration propaganda arm, PTV still airs infomercials in the afternoon. But an ongoing congressional review of its charter promises the public channel less restrictions on its sources of funding, and an opportunity of going against the commercial channels.

Logos of Philippine TV news channels: ANC, Aksyon TV, DZMM Teleradyo, GNN, GMA News TV, RH TV, PTV 4, Solar News Channel

The Philippines’ news channels as of 2012

GMA News TV continues its streak as the most-watched news channel, while introducing entertainment programs such as classic movies to its lineup.

TV5’s Aksyon TV channel stepped up production of current affairs shows last year, after many of those airing on the main channel were replaced by a daily newsmagazine, “Reaksyon”.

As the networks focus on separate news channels, among the casualties are midday newscasts “Balitaang Tapat” of TV5 and “Iba-Balita Ngayon” of Studio 23, which went off the air this year.

But clearly media companies are recognizing that Filipinos are not only hooked to variety shows and teleseryes, and that there aren’t enough sources of news on TV.

*Read PART 1 & PART 2.

(Do you agree with this list or have your own idea of 2012’s top TV trends? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.)

——————

Related 2012 Yearenders online:

PinoyJournalist blog thumbnail 
  This blog’s Most-visited posts for 2012
 
 
ABS-CBN News.com logo 
  ABS-CBNnews.com’s Top stories for 2012
 
 
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility logo 
CMFR’s “The year that was in the news media” 
New players in the media landscape
 
 
Media newser Philippines logo The big news in TV news for 2012, according to MediaNewser Philippines.

Philippine TV trends of 2012 (Part 2)

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

*Read PART 1 here.

4. DAYTIME GOLD

During the past decade, locally-produced teleseryes vanished from the late morning lineup. Late examples were the GMA 7 series “Kirara”. The airtime between the morning cartoons and the lunchtime shows often went to animé, old movies and foreign soaps.

In 2004, ABS-CBN tried out game show “Game KNB?” on the slot, and in 2009, talent show “Showtime”. TV5 shook viewers in 2010 with its confrontational talk show “Face To Face”.

Then in 2012, ABS-CBN folded up “Happy Yipee Yehey,” its attempt against noontime champ “Eat Bulaga” after Willie Revillame left the show “Wowowee”. “Showtime” was moved and reformatted into a lunchtime variety show, leaving its old timeslot open.

Be Careful With My Heart title cardWith Korean soap “Two Wives” as a pre-program, ABS-CBN premiered “Be Careful With My Heart,” a light-hearted romantic comedy starring actress Jodi Sta. Maria and older newbie actor Richard Yap.

It was a gamble that paid off into 2012’s biggest hit.

Straight away, “Be Careful” topped the daytime ratings on its first week, with shares rivaling that of “Eat Bulaga” and even a number of primetime shows.

The storyline is not entirely original. “Be Careful” is a breezier “Wanted: Perfect Mother”. And romantic comedies are sure hits in the local cinema, but not yet on TV.

The untried casting of artists and a plot revolving on the secret feelings between the lead characters, boosted the show’s appeal. More so, the bright and cheery mood of the series was apt for the timeslot.

“Be Careful” was also a boost for ABS-CBN, which had long been looking for a lead in the daytime block dominated by GMA 7 and even TV5. And the thrust did not come from the traditional afternoon lineup.

GMA 7 tried countering the soap with a replay of its teen primetime series “One True Love”, and later with “Cielo de Angelina”, a short-lived teledrama produced for the slot. Finally the slot was left to cooking show “Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master”.

Later, ABS-CBN inserted the reality franchise “Master Chef” to successful ratings, and followed it up with the game show “Minute to Win It” in the former timeslot of “Be Careful”. Another romantic comedy series, “Kahit Konting Pagtingin,” is set to follow “Be Careful” to the afternoon block.

Meanwhile, the show that opened ABS-CBN’s daytime to numerous possibilities enters 2013 as ABS-CBN’s lunch-time offering and as a testing ground for other love teams.

3. MATURE THEMES ON PRIMETIME

In February 2012, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board or MTRCB rolled out the SPG rating as a final addition to its moves to standardize the introduction of television shows.

Short for “Strict Parental Guidance” or “Striktong Patnubay at Gabay” in Tagalog, the SPG rating alerts viewers to elements in the shows not suitable for children and may warrant the supervision of elders. The rating includes pointers of, namely, themes, language, violence, sex, horror and drugs.

MTRCB Strict Parental Guidance (SPG) advisory

MTRCB officials consider SPG a more realistic approach to TV ratings, since not all programs with the formerly all-encompassing “Parental Guidance” have the same gravity of material.

The rating can vary per episode. This means show generally rated PG could air episodes with stronger scenes, but only those in the bounds of MTRCB approval.

SPG would have been used for teleseryes like the suspense thriller “Nasaan Ka Elisa?”, which ended a month before the new rating system began airing. The networks usually avoided younger viewers by placing mature shows at the end of the nightly block.

With the SPG rating, the nightly lineups saw primetime shows with markedly-strong installments. Often the sensitive scenes were deemed crucial: a brutal killing that set off a family war saga in “Dahil sa Pag-ibig”, or intimate sequences in “My Beloved”.

Other 2012 soaps were not short in covering mature plotlines—usually relationships.

“Lorenzo’s Time” dealt with the complicated relationship between the protagonist, whose body has remained a boy, and his childhood sweetheart who has grown up. The stars of “Pahiram ng Sandali” struggle with “May-December” romances. And the local adaptation of Korean soap “Temptation of Wife” explores extra-marital affairs.

Nevertheless, the SPG rating has not stopped viewers from watching.

Composite of teleseryes with SPG episode ratings: GMA 7 Pahiram ng Sandali and Temptation of Wife, and ABS-CBN Walang HangganFor instance, an episode of “Walang Hanggan” controversially highlighted a scene where the female lead character Katerina was forced by her husband Nathan to have sex with him. The episode, which carried an SPG warning for themes, violence, and sexual content, won the most viewers that night, and did not deter “Walang Hanggan” from its run as 2012’s highest-rated show in all viewing markets.

The MTRCB touts SPG as an attention-getter for viewers, especially parents, to be vigilant over the viewing habits of minors. But the new rating raises concerns that TV networks might merely try to push the limit of what they could air instead of also being sensitive to younger viewers.

The introduction of SPG has not fundamentally changed the makeup of primetime though. Soaps targeting children or teens and starring actors of the same age bracket still air before and after the primetime newscasts, where wider audiences still watch.

The lineup has also gone all-local. Korean soaps have left the block, some for the afternoons, others to the late-night slots.

Only TV5 kept up counter-programming with game show “Wiltime Big Time” and the reality franchise “The Amazing Race Philippines”. But the channel closed 2013 by culling “Wiltime” from primetime to prop up its own teleseryes in the most-watched hours.

*The top 2012 TV trends on Part 3.

(Do you agree with this list or have your own idea of 2012’s top TV trends? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.)

——————

Related 2012 Yearenders online:

PinoyJournalist blog thumbnail 
  This blog’s Most-visited posts for 2012
 
 
ABS-CBN News.com logo 
  ABS-CBNnews.com’s Top stories for 2012
 
 
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility logo 
CMFR’s “The year that was in the news media” 
New players in the media landscape
 
 
Media newser Philippines logo The big news in TV news for 2012, according to MediaNewser Philippines.

On the tube: Philippine TV trends of 2012

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Television still occupies a comfortable high seat in Filipinos’ media consumption.

They spend more time watching TV than their Asian neighbors, what with the tube reaching 98.8 percent of the entire archipelago—the third widest reach in the world in 2010.

But the same Nielsen survey showed that Filipinos are increasingly watching video in platforms other than TV, beating other countries too. Enter the surge of social media and the accessibility of smart phones.

In 2012, Philippine TV networks continuously tried to adapt to this evolving landscape by finding ways to keep viewers glued even as they held second screens. New players entered the field to meet unaddressed programming needs.

Nostalgia also reigned as old formats and shows were resurrected, while experimenting with new lineups yielded surprise results.

All in all, viewers did not let go, awarding TV its biggest spikes in ratings for some time.

Here are the notable ways Philippine television made a mark on viewers in 2012:

7. BIG BROTHER MEETS THE NEWSCAST

Logo of CCTV Patrol Huli Cam 24 Oras Mel TiangcoNews footage courtesy of closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras is no stranger to the local newscasts. Being eyewitnesses to crimes, they save investigators time in reconstructing the act from scratch or pinpointing suspects.

In 2012, the use of CCTVs gained such prevalence that news shows reserved a place for them in their nightly lineups. Segments like “CCTV Patrol” on TV Patrol and “Huli Cam” on 24 Oras became fixtures this year, at times landing top stories when the video is riveting and the news day wanting.

CCTVs are also an expected extension of the video-dependent tabloid TV format Filipinos have been used to.

What’s not to like about CCTVs on TV? For one, they fulfill one TV news value—show the action as it happens—even without a news crew. They show how criminals operate, keeping citizens vigilant. They monitor traffic, saving transmission costs for the TV stations subscribed to their feeds.

Amid the constant presence of crimes in the nightly news, the perceived efficiency of CCTVs in crime-fighting is fueling demand for more of them. Quezon City has already mandated businesses to acquire CCTVs before they could secure business permits.

But the jury is still out on whether CCTVs merely solve crimes already committed rather than also act as crime-deterrents.

Another important aspect of CCTVs  hardly discussed is their effect on privacy, with hundreds of them installed by authorities in Metro Manila alone. While officials say the scope of government-monitored CCTVs can only go as far as public places, it might be unsettling for some that the price of security is the metro becoming one giant “Big Brother” house.

6. CURRENT AFFAIRS RETURNS TO AFTERNOONS

The late afternoons once belonged to current affairs, with shows like “Hoy Gising” and “Balitang K” playing hit lead-ins to TV Patrol. GMA 7 had animé , and later newsmagazine “Extra Extra”.

These shows were succeeded by the “guts and glory” block of shows like “Verum Est”, “Mission X” and “True Crime”, before giving way to reality shows and the Asianovela craze in 2003.

T3 hosts Raffy, Erwin and Ben Tulfo (Screenshot from TV5)

T3 hosts Raffy, Erwin and Ben Tulfo (Grab from TV5)

While dramas still dominate the afternoon lineups, 2012 saw the re-entry of current affairs shows to the 5:00 p.m. timeslot.

TV5 began the shift by prefacing their primetime newscast “Aksyon” with “T3”, a live public service show hosted by the Tulfo brothers. On T3, Ben, Erwin and Raffy Tulfo act on tips and reprimand abuses.

The show made noise last year after elder brother Mon Tulfo figured in a brawl at the airport with actress Claudine Barretto. Mon Tulfo’s brothers railed against Barretto and her husband Raymart Santiago on T3, prompting censors to suspend the show.

T3 returned on the air after a week, later airing exclusives such as the viral video of company executive Blair Carabuena berating a traffic enforcer.

ABS-CBN Pinoy True Stories logo / title cardAt the end of 2012, ABS-CBN unveiled a weekday current affairs block dubbed “Pinoy True Stories”. Each weekday was a show in itself—docu-dramas featuring aspects of day-to-day issues Filipinos face:

  • “Bistado” hosted by Julius Babao resolves abuses and modus operandi.
  • “Engkwentro” with Karen Davila goes to the barangay halls where residents sort out fights and scandals. 
  • “Saklolo” follows Dominic Almelor and Maan Macapagal as they join authorities in rescue operations.
  • On “Demandahan”, Anthony Taberna revisits civil suits decided by the higher courts to answer legal questions.
  • “Hiwaga” with Atom Araullo probes the paranormal.

The new generation of daytime public affairs is more fast-paced and reliant on the latest docu-style cinematography. Yet the shows touch on the same gritty issues and still reinforce the image of media as the public’s last resort.

But if the ratings are any indication, viewers have yet to prefer these real-life dramas over the afternoon soap operas.

5. SHAKE-UPS AND REVIVALS

Public affairs shows were not the only ones being overhauled in 2012.

The TV networks ditched other long-standing program lineups to revitalize stagnant viewership. Along with that, they thought it timely to resurrect hit shows from the past.

Logos / Title cards of GMA 7's 2012 revival shows: Magpakailanman & Extra Challenge

GMA 7 reshuffled its weekend public affairs shows, moving its Saturday night stalwarts “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” and “Imbestigador” to Sunday. Friday offering “Tunay na Buhay,” which already aired way after midnight, took “Imbestigador’s” place.

To fill the slot left by “Kapuso Mo,” GMA brought back its former weeknight drama anthology “Magpakailanman,” hosted by news anchor Mel Tiangco. The show again goes head to head with ABS-CBN’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya”, which it had once beat in the ratings game.

Reality TV pioneer “Extra Challenge” also returned as a weekend program on GMA. The show reshaped primetime programming in 2004, but later bowed out to “Pinoy Big Brother”, another reality show.

TV5, meanwhile, revived the ‘90s daytime telenovela “Valiente” for primetime. Unlike its predecessor that  extended five years, the new “Valiente” ran only a few months.

Composite logo of rerun cable channels Jeepney TV and FOX FilipinoOn Channel 2, vintage episodes of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” were re-aired as “MMK Klasiks” on the weekday afternoon block.

But the ultimate nostalgia trip of 2012 is the launch of new cable channels Jeepney TV and FOX Filipino.

FOX Filipino features defunct drama series and newsmagazines from recent years, among them the GMA 7 adaptation of “Marimar” and “Pinoy Abroad”.

Jeepney TV’s lineup is filled with reruns of past ABS-CBN shows and specials. Top draws are classic sitcoms like “Home Along Da Riles” and “Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata” that are now a rarity on Philippine TV.

*READ on to Part 2.

(Do you agree with this list or have your own idea of 2012’s top TV trends? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section.)

——————

Related 2012 Yearenders online:

PinoyJournalist blog thumbnail
  This blog’s Most-visited posts for 2012

ABS-CBN News.com logo
  ABS-CBNnews.com’s Top stories for 2012

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility logo
CMFR’s “The year that was in the news media”
New players in the media landscape

Media newser Philippines logo The big news in TV news for 2012, according to MediaNewser Philippines.

Losses and look-backs—PinoyJourn’s 2012 top posts

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Anjo solo editing PC Cateel - Shot by MelThe year 2012 was one big nostalgia trip in ways both fun and tragic.

As seen in the stories covered by this blogger, our nation dealt with death many times over, the lot of them persons of influence.

Their passing inadvertently brought us back pleasant memories of their heyday years. For one loss, we mused what might have been in the future.

2012 was also a good year for one personality, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. His role in the biggest political event of the year paved the way for many to revisit his controversial life.

But as a student and practitioner of media, the biggest commemoration of the year is the silver anniversary of the country’s longest-running primetime newscast, TV Patrol.

It’s a program I have been privileged to contribute to on a daily basis in the field. TV Patrol’s 25th year also allowed me a rare glimpse of the show’s evolving look and recent history as it was covered.

Among those historic events were calamities, which again began and ended 2012.

A little showbiz intrigue added to the visits to this blog, which jumped to the thousands per month. People came searching for Umagang Kay Ganda hosts Andrei Felix and Venus Raj, who went public with their relationship this year.

And as in 2011, a quaint book review also brought in visitors interested in a fictional Belgian detective.

But still, the big events and characters of the year—and also some scene-stealers—were what riveted PinoyJourn readers.

Again, with the fervent wish for more meaningful stories to tell, I hope for opportunities to write other pieces that go beyond behind the scenes.

A big thanks to the readers who help keep this blog running.

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