Switching Channels
  • Iya Villania, Jericho Rosales and Melai Cantiveros (Marlo Cueto, NPPA Images)Iya Villania, Jericho Rosales and Melai Cantiveros (Marlo Cueto, NPPA Images)When I watched the plugs for ABS-CBN's "I Dare You," I expected the Kapamilya talents to shed blood, sweat and tears in accomplishing their challenges. (Well, maybe shedding blood was asking too much.) I watched the episode hosted by Iya Villania, Melai Cantiveros and  Jericho Rosales with Gab Valenciano and Alessandra De Rossi as guests. It fell short of my expectations.

    The intro centered around Jericho's life before he became a big star. He tried many backbreaking jobs such as working at a wet market and as a barker for jeepneys. So the episode opened at the Nepa Q Mart where Echo reminisced about his days selling fish at four in the morning. Then Gab and Alex came in wearing masks with Gary V's son carrying Melai in a mermaid costume. Not really an effective way to start a show.

    Hiding the identity of the two guests did not add to the show's entertainment value. Echo had an easy time guessing their identities. Just one side comment, Gab came in T-shirt really dressed for hard work

    Read More »from ‘I Dare You’ not daring enough
  • Winnie Monsod (Photo courtesy of GMA Network)Winnie Monsod (Photo courtesy of GMA Network)Winnie Monsod is, first and foremost, a renowned economist and economics professor but she is better known today as one of the TV industry's leading opinion makers. What sets her apart from many commentators is that she backs her ideas with cold, hard facts. What's more, she doesn't mince words and calls a spade a dirty shovel when it's needed and its needed most of the time. You only have to watch her on "Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie" (Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on GMA News TV) to appreciate her work.

    On June 29, she tackled the issue of cigarette smoking and its effects on a person's health as well as the nation's economy. She interviewed a medical doctor who enumerated the dangers of nicotine addiction. It could lead to a non-severe ailment called COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which refers to "a group of conditions that block airflow and make breathing more difficult." These include "emphysema, breathlessness caused by damage to the air sacs and chronic bronchitis,

    Read More »from Mareng Winnie tackles the dangers of cigarette smoking
  • Kris Aquino (Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images)Kris Aquino (Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images)When Kris Aquino first appeared on TV at the age of 14 on the late Inday Badiday's "See True," her guesting attracted the highest rating ever for that show biz talk show. Eventually, she would become one of the country's most popular entertainment personalities scoring high ratings on her TV shows and generating massive box office revenues for her movies.

    During her brother Noynoy's presidential campaign, Kris vowed to leave her TV shows and devote her time to helping her brother in public service, if he won.  When Noynoy swept the presidential elections, Kris announced she was leaving "The Buzz" and everyone thought she was going to fulfill her campaign promise.

    Months later, she would be one of the co-hosts of "Pilipinas Win na Win" which was trying desperately to compete with "Eat Bulaga." Kris's appearance on "PWNW" didn't do anything to increase the show's ratings and after a while, she was removed as one of the co-hosts.

    Kris surfaced later in a game show, a format that she had

    Read More »from Is Kris Aquino losing her magic touch?
  • Vice Ganda (Photo by Marlo Cueto/NPPA Images)Vice Ganda (Photo by Marlo Cueto/NPPA Images)Earlier this year, I wrote this about Vice Ganda's performance in "Showtime": "I don't know where he gets the energy and gift of repartee but it is his performance as a host and a judge that keeps this show moving. That's hard to do considering that "Showtime" runs for close to three hours and he is on screen most of the time. He is a whirling dervish and easily outshines co-hosts Vhong Navarro, Kim Atienza and Anne Curtis. "Showtime" might as well be renamed "The Vice Ganda Show." He is a great singer too.

    With his exceptional performance on "Showtime," ABS-CBN has rewarded Vice Ganda a Sunday evening show. It's called "Gandang Gabi, Vice" which is basically a variety show like "ASAP" and "Party Pilipinas." However, unlike those two noontime shows which feature continuous musical numbers and boring interviews, Vice's version has more to offer.

    For one, "GGV" has a structure, something rare in a variety show where anything goes. Although much of the production is extemporaneous, it's

    Read More »from Vice Ganda goes solo in evening show
  • Sukanya Roy (AP Photo)Sukanya Roy (AP Photo)I certainly can't but 14-year-old Sukanya Roy, a Grade 8 student from Scranton, Pennsylvania, did and topped the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee aired live on ESPN last week. She prevailed over a field of 275 contestants, ages 8 to 15, from the US and its territories and eight other countries. The eighth-grader won a $30,000 cash prize, an engraved trophy, a $2,500 US savings bond, a complete reference library, a $5,000 scholarship and $2,600 in reference works and other prizes. By the way, "cymotrichous" means having wavy hair.

    Neither can I spell "caciocavallo" (an Italian cheese similar to provolone), "zwischenspiel" (any composition. having the character of an interlude or intermezzo), "rapakivi" (a form of granite) and "sarangousty" (waterproof stucco) but Laura Newcombe, 12, Dakota Jones, 14, Arvind Mahankali, 11, Joanna Ye, 14 along with Sukanya breezed through these and many other obscure words in the final round. One of the words was the Filipino card game "panguingue"

    Read More »from Can you spell ‘cymotrichous’?
  • (NPPA Images)(NPPA Images)"The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition" is fast becoming another teleserye with the amount of tears that have been shed on the reality show. Consider the back stories of some of the contestants: Art Mendoza and his wife split up a year ago; Raffy Tan's loved ones were murdered; Angela Chico-Lupango cannot have a baby because she is overweight; some do not have romantic relationships; all of them have very low self-esteem because of their excess weight.

    Even the host, Sharon Cuneta, had her own sob story to tell: "When I turned 40, I went through a mid-life crisis. I was very angry. I was everybody's sweetheart. Then, all of a sudden everybody changed. I lost all desire to look good."

    At first, I felt that these stories were being given too much airtime. I wanted the show to start showing the contestants going through the many grueling activities for them to lose weight. I wanted to know who would be eliminated.

    The Kapamilya network had other ideas. Since "BLPE" was going to be aired daily,

    Read More »from Local ‘Biggest Loser,’ a teleserye in the making?
  • Photo by NPPAThe early morning hours used to be non-performing assets of the TV networks until some executive realized that there are people who are awake at that time -- mothers preparing their kids for school, employees getting ready for work and other individuals who follow the early to bed, early to rise regimen—and turn on their TV at 5 a.m.

    Pretty soon, advertisers got convinced that there were enough consumers at that time of day to justify the airing of their commercials.

    That's why shows like ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" and GMA's "Unang Hirit" are respectable money earners for the two networks.

    On Wednesday last week, for instance, I monitored "UKG," which airs weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and counted close to one-hour of commercials. Assuming a conservative figure of P150,000 for a 30-seconder, that comes up to P1.8 million a day or about P30 million a month contrasted with the presumably low production cost.

    I was still groggy at 5 a.m. when I started watching the show but the

    Read More »from Starting the day on the right note
  • Pete Lacaba receives the Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)Pete Lacaba receives the Gawad Urian Lifetime Achievement Award (Voltaire Domingo, NPPA Images)Recently, I found myself still awake at three in the morning. I decided to watch TV in hopes that a boring movie or infomercial would lull me to sleep. I chanced upon Boy Abunda interviewing Pete Lacaba on "Inside the Cinema." over Cinema One. Close to two hours later, I was still wide awake. It was an interesting feature on a person I really admire and I couldn't bring myself to turn off the TV.

    Pete, of course, is one of the country's distinguished screenwriters with award-winning works like "Sister Stella L," "Jaguar," "Segurista," and "Kapit Sa Patalim: Bayan Ko," Last week, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments.

    What  was surprising about his guesting was that no network has ever devoted that much airtime to a non-star. Show biz talk shows like "The Buzz" and "Showbiz News Ngayon (SNN) are more interested in the private lives of celebrities, who's doing what to whom, whose marriage is on the rocks, which macho actor is

    Read More »from Losing sleep over screenwriter Pete Lacaba
  • Willie Revillame and Shalani Soledad in "Wil Time Bigtime" (Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images)Willie Revillame and Shalani Soledad in "Wil Time Bigtime" (Jerome Ascano, NPPA Images)After all the hue and cry over the Jan-Jan Suan incident in social networks and mass media, the 30-day suspension imposed by the MTRCB, moves from the DSWD and the Commission on Human Rights to charge Willie with child abuse, TV5 has chosen to resurrect "Willing Willie" under a new name, "Wil Time, Bigtime."

    It is interesting to note that in response to the complaints against Willie, the station came up with self-regulatory measures like coming up with more stringent screening process for children and appointing an internal Ombudsman who will "ensure that performances are age appropriate." The station also voluntarily stopped airing the show on April 11. (That's not self-regulation. The network had no choice. Major sponsors had pulled out of the show.)
    These measures, however, do not address the root of the problem. It was not the screening process that led to Jan-Jan's maltreatment. It was not the program that was offensive. It was Willie and yet I have not seen any statement from TV

    Read More »from Will major advertisers return to Willie’s show?
  • Sharon Cuneta (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)Sharon Cuneta (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)Sharon Cuneta admits that her weight problem limits her choice of roles on television and in the movies. The Megastar made that candid comment on last Sunday's ABS-CBN special, "Bigating Pinoy: The Biggest Loser Primer." As everyone knows by now, she is hosting the Philippine edition of  "The Biggest Loser," a game show that features overweight and obese  participants competing  to lose weight through diet and exercise.

    She adds, "Some people have judged me unfairly because of my weight. Pero pag inisip mo, may katwiran naman sila. I started as a leading lady. Mga love stories. That's how the audience, my fans, came to love me. Mas matagal ang panahon ko sa show business na payat ako. Now that I've gained weight, it really affects me. It limits my choice of roles. I want to do love stories pero hindi pa puwede. I have to wait. Siyempre gusto mo naman mukha kang leading lady."

    Hurtful comments

    Shawie gets hurt when people comment about her figure ("Tao lang ako, ano?") but when she

    Read More »from Sharon Cuneta opens up on her weight problem


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