Switching Channels
  • Sharon Cuneta (Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images)If it's true that Sharon Cuneta is moving to TV5 (the Inquirer's unconfirmed reports from the usual reliable sources state that she will be a Kapatid starting January 2012), ABS-CBN will probably not move heaven and earth to let her stay. Ratings play a major role in whether a show stays on the air or not and the main battlefield is the primetime segment where teleseryes of the three major networks are engaged in a fierce competition for audience share. Sharon's recent shows, which are few and far between and scheduled in the late evening, have not really figured prominently in the numbers game.

    Sharon has only appeared as a host on TV specials like the "The Biggest Loser: Pinoy Edition" and "Star Power, Sharon's Search for the Next Female Pop Superstar." She also hosts "Sharon At Home." a talk show on the network's Lifestyle Channel with a limited audience on cable. Before these, she had a weekly show which combined talk and music on ABS-CBN.

    This indicated to me that the Megastar no

    Read More »from What now, Sharon Cuneta?
  • Aga Muhlach (Marlo Cueto, NPPA Images)When Aga Muhlach moved to TV5, I thought the network would cast him in a format that exploited his considerable talents as an actor. I expected him to do a rom-com or a teleserye. I would have wanted him to tackle an offbeat role just as he did in "In the Name of Love." That was a long shot, of course, but I got the surprise of my life when Aga started doing a travel documentary called "Pinoy Explorer." This was not your typical tourist-oriented show like Susan Calo Medina's "Travel Time." The episodes I've watched so far (four of them) are patterned after the offerings of National Geographic and Discovery Channels.

    "Pinoy Explorer" has Aga doing reports on the Matanuska Glaciers in Alaska, the Wyoming Dinosaur Center and the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, the Humboldt Forest in Nevada, and the deserts of Dubai. What's disappointing, however, is that his stand-ups from those places account for a small percentage of the of the show's airtime. A large portion of "Pinoy Explorer"

    Read More »from Exploring Aga Muhlach and his TV5 debut
  • Ruffa Gutierrez (TV5 photo)

    I'm not a big fan of Ruffa Gutierrez, but in the November 12 episode of TV5's "Regal Shocker," she shone as a retired fashion stylist turned nasty fashion blogger. She spent most of the hour fending off an evil…no, not an aswang, a tiyanak or a manananggal but an evil pair of red shoes. True to her character, Ruffa goes through more than a dozen costume changes. She's wearing a different outfit in every sequence and is dressed to the nines even in her more terrifying scenes. More important, she was credible as a girl from a poor family who attains success as a fashion stylist. She then uses her newfound power to put down the affluent people who used to laugh at her.


    I must, however, chide producers TV5 and Regal Multimedia Inc. for not giving credit where credit is due. JM Costales is listed as episode writer and Rahyan Carlos as creative head but they forgot to include one important name, Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish author of the fairy tale "The Red Shoes." The

    Read More »from Ruffa shines in ‘Regal Shocker’ despite defective script
  • Asian High Heeled Warriors (Publicity photo)Universal Networks, the entertainment company responsible for cable channels Universal, Diva Universal and E!, has just come up with a psychographic study it calls "High Heeled Warriors." Right away, I thought of TV's women warriors such as Xena, the Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Maggie Q's Nikita and Jennifer Garner's Sydney Bristow in "Alias." In the Philippines, I thought of the networks' high-heeled warriors in top management positions such as ABS CBN president Charo Santos-Concio, GMA's vice president for entertainment Wilma Galvante and TV5's head of news and public affairs Luchi Cruz-Valdez.

    Then there's Christine Fellowes, newly-appointed managing director, Asia Pacific Universal Networks International. She recently replaced Pinoy expat Raymund Miranda, who has held the position since October 2007. Christine's appointment came after media conglomerate Comcast finally got approval for its purchase of NBC Universal early this year. She used to be managing director,

    Read More »from Pinays as ‘high-heeled warriors’
  • Patty and Kim who?

    Patti Grandidge (left) and Kim JonesPatti Grandidge and Kim Jones, that's who. They're the host and on-the-scene reporter, respectively, of "Etcetera" the latest local lifestyle show on ETC (RPN 9 and Sky Cable, Destiny, Ch. 14}, which premieres on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 7:45 p.m. I haven't seen this 15-minute show yet but if it's as lively and refreshing as these two young ladies, then "Etcetera" is something viewers can look forward to.

    Don't be fooled by their foreign family names. Both have Filipino blood. Both of their dads are Brits. Patti's mom is related to Jun Urbano, who's known to TV viewers as Mr.  Shooli in the political satire "Mongolian Barbecue." She has vague memories of appearing on that show when she was only nine years old. (She's 23 now.) When I told her that Jun was an award-winning director of commercials, a respected movie director and the son of National Artist Manuel Conde, she vowed to find out more about his Tito Jun from her mom.

    Kim's mom is half Filipino, half Spanish and the family spent some

    Read More »from Patty and Kim who?
  • Martin Nievera (Marlo Cueto, NPPA Images)Martin Nievera (Marlo Cueto, NPPA Images)Boy Abunda may be a great talk show host but the bottom line is, he is not the right person to interview Martin Nievera, who guested recently on his late evening show "The Bottom Line," on ABS-CBN.

    The ideal interviewer is one who's objective, asks tough questions and doesn't fawn over his subject. Well, Boy did ask some tough questions but how can he be objective when he used to be Martin's publicist and he admits he's a "loyal disciple" of the singer?

    Boy even gave Martin a glowing testimonial: "No one is like Martin Nievera. No one attacks a song the way Martin Nievera does. He sticks to who he is. He's comfortable with his contradictions. He's not afraid to contradict himself. He's not afraid sometimes to deny some things that he deserves. In one word, that's magic."

    Boy is probably sincere with his comments but that's not what a professional interviewer says to his subject.

    Martin, on the other hand, is the ideal guest. I've interviewed him several times and all it takes is one

    Read More »from The bottom line on Boy and Martin
  • Ryan Razon (Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images)…NOT Larry Martin. Sure, he had the highest weight percentage loss of 39.6 percent compared to the other members of the Fab Five: Art Mendoza, 37.83 percent; Raffy Tan, 34.84 percent; Angela Lupango, 33.63 percent and Hazel Chua, 33.01 percent. Because of his performance, he was declared the first Pinoy biggest loser and went home with one million pesos, a condo unit and other valuable prizes.

    In a previous blog, I predicted that Larry and Art would dispute the number one spot and I was dead on. I placed my bet on Art, who placed second.

    However, three of the 11 contestants who were eliminated in previous sessions had more impressive numbers. Ryan Razon, who won the at-home competition and got P200,000 for his effort, lost 40.61 percent of his initial weight of 293 lbs.  Alan Choachuy missed winning by a measly one pound with 40.45 percent. Eric Limatog's percentage loss was 40.07.

    The final weigh-ins of "The Biggest Loser: Pinoy Edition" (TBLPE) were aired live Saturday night on

    Read More »from And the first biggest loser, Pinoy edition is…
  • Governor Vilma Santos-Recto (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)Vilma Santos-RectoAs a confirmed TV addict, I have yet to watch a revealing biography, warts and all, of any local celebrity. That's true of TV5's feature on Vilma Santos on its late evening documentary, "Anggulo." Most of the revelations on the show are public knowledge -- how she got her first break as a movie star at age nine on "Trudis Liit," her thriving and multi-awarded showbiz career, her unsuccessful venture as movie producer, her failed marriage to Edu Manzano, her success as mayor and governor, etc. etc.

    Vilma's life is full of interesting details that TV5 would have uncovered if it did not limit its interviews to Ate Vi herself, Sen. Ralph Recto, their children Luis and Ryan Christian, Christopher de Leon, director Joey Reyes, her classmate, Aida Sagum and her loyal fan of 40 years, Yolly Santos.

    There are other personalities who could have given more insights into her life, her personality, her frustrations etc. After all, "Anggulo" purports to look at a person or issue from several angles

    Read More »from What I missed on TV5's bio on Vilma Santos
  • The Kitchen Musical cast (Contributed photo by Rhandie Herrera)The Kitchen Musical cast (Contributed photo)Imagine "the chef from hell," Gordon Ramsay and his trainees on "Hell's Kitchen" singing and dancing while working on their culinary delicacies or the cast of "Glee" doing a musical number in a school for chefs.

    That's basically the concept of a Pan Asian production of "The Kitchen Musical" which had its initial telecast last night on ABS-CBN Channel 2. Its regular run starts Oct. 8 on Studio 23. It will also be seen on NTV Malaysia, Metro TV Indonesia and AXN, which is available in 19 Asian countries.

    Using the technique successfully employed by "Glee" and "Moulin Rouge", the creative team behind the show rearranged existing pop songs to move the story along. When the musical opens, the characters are introduced via a song "Boom, Boom, Pow" from a group with a name related to food, Black Eyed Peas. It's a bouncy number the cast can dance to as their names are superimposed on the screen. The kitchen is rather small but the choreographer, Jason Coleman, manages to come up with a

    Read More »from ‘Glee’ in the kitchen
  • The Playboy Club (Publicity photo)The Playboy Club (Publicity photo)When I got invited to the press con for Second Avenue's "The Playboy Club" (Sundays, 10 p.m.), I was reminded of an old friend from my UP days.

    He was an avid fan of Playboy Magazine and collected every issue of the men's magazine from the time I met him in the early '60s to possibly the day he passed away several years ago. His room at the UP dormitory then was decorated with wall-to-wall copies of the "Playboy" centerfolds. Even the ceiling had nude playmates looking down on the entire room. He even showed me a copy of Volume No. 1, Number 1 of "Playboy" which came out in 1953. It had no date because Hugh Hefner wasn't sure there would be a second issue.  I looked it up on the internet and that issue is now selling for $3,000.I wonder who inherited his valuable collection. Probably some lucky relative.

    My friend, may he rest in peace, would probably be disappointed at "The Playboy Club" because it doesn't contain nude playmates. So would other male viewers who associate "Playboy"

    Read More »from Will ‘The Playboy Club’ grab viewers’ attention?


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