Switching Channels

Will counter-programming work for TV 5?

That's what a network does when it feels it cannot go head to head against its competitors with the same program format.

ABS-CBN and GMA both offer variety shows, "ASAP" and "Party Pilipinas," on their noontime slots on Sundays. These shows claim a vast majority of the audience during the lunchtime hour so TV5 has come up with a game show in hopes that viewers who are tired of song and dance formats will shift to the Kapatid network.

The result is "Game 'n Go," with main hosts Joey de Leon and Edu Manzano and co-hosts Shalani Soledad-Romulo, Arnell Ignacio and Gelli de Belen. Shalani was sick last Sunday so Monica Santamaria subbed for her. The show started out on the wrong foot when Joey and Edu cracked jokes about the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. What saved the opening segment were the Caucasian dancing girls who looked like they came from Las Vegas.

As far as the as the games were concerned, I found some of them entertaining and the others lacking in excitement.

Interesting games

One of the games I enjoyed was "Game and Gocery" set in a Robinsons supermarket which featured two couples given three minutes to shop for a grocery list provided by guest Amy Perez.

The contest ended in a tie with the couples getting three items each so they went to a tiebreaker. The two couples were asked to get a product provided by the following clues: "Ang main ingredient nito ay itlog. Madalas itong ginagamit na palaman o dressing." The correct answer was mayonnaise and the winning couple went home with  P20,000.

The other game I found interesting was "Singgaling Go" where two singers have to outdo each other in making "birit." The one who reaches the higher note wins.

A visual delight was "Tsistinelasin Kita" where contestants donned giant slippers to stomp out giant insects.

Games of luck

I've never liked games that depend more on luck than skill or intelligence. "True or Fall" featured five groups of three students each trying to guess the correct answer from three choices before hearing the question. They indicated their choices by standing on a trap door that opened up if the answer was wrong. The contestants came from different universities and some were even scholars but the game did not require academic excellence.

The five who got the correct answers qualified for the jackpot round. This time, the questions were answerable by true or false. Again luck was involved because the questions were extremely difficult. Losers fell into the pit until only one was left.

The last person standing, a UE student, could win P50,000 if she answered the jackpot question correctly. The question was "Ang Bikini Atoll ay matatagpuan sa Marianas Island." She said true but she was wrong so she fell into the pit. The correct answer was Marshall Islands.

How the hosts fared

Edu is more competent than Joey in the hosting department. The latter seems to be overexposed on TV as he is also seen on the daily noontime show "Eat Bulaga" six times a week. He tends to call attention to himself by trying to be funny each time he opens his mouth.

Edu is more likeable in that he does not deviate from the game and times his jokes at the right moment. It's also fun to watch Arnell with his easygoing manner and his facility at adlibbing.

So will counterprogramming work for the Kapatid network?

For sure, there will be viewers who will shift to TV5 on the Sunday noontime slot but will it affect the ratings of ASAP and "Party Pilipinas"? I doubt it very much. The variety shows have big name stars that appeal to a wider audience. "GnG" cannot match the star power of its competitors.

However, if the show adds more interesting games that offer bigger prizes for studio contestants as well as the home audience, "GnG" may just steal away more viewers from ABS-CBN and GMA.

Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this blog.

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