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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 22, 2011

Has Showbiz Oriented Talk Shows Lost Attraction to Viewers?

THERE ARE no showbiz-oriented talk shows today since it’s Black Saturday, but the people behind GMA-7’s “Startalk” and ABS-CBN’s “Entertainment Live” should really be alarmed since they’re not really rating that well. Has the interest of viewers in such entertainment shows waned? In contrast to them, the ratings of TV5’s Hollywood movies translated into Tagalog shown on that slot in their “Sabado Sineplex” are rating very high. Last Saturday, their Tagalized version of “Stuart Little” rated a high 6.4% at AGB Nielsen surveys, compared to only 3.6% of “Startalk” and the dismal 2.3% of “Entertainment Live”. And to think that last Saturday, it was even the special birthday presentations of Startalk host Ricky Lo and E Live host Luis Manzano, whose natal days are both on April 21. Ricky was greeted by the likes of Lea Salonga and Ogie Alcasid, while Luis had no less than his mom, the legendary Vilma Santos, as his guest in the studio who even interviewed him on air. Still, they were trounced in the ratings game by a film about a talking mouse.

Looks like there’s really a market among viewers for Tagalized Hollywood films. After “Stuart Little”, TV5 showed Ben Stiller’s “Night at the Museum” in Tagalog and it rated 6.6% versus GMA’s “Wish Ko Lang” that got 5.2% and ABS-CBN’s “Failon Ngayon” that only got a measly 2%. Even on primetime weekdays, they replaced the suspended “Willling-Willie” with Primetime SuperSine also featuring Tagalized Hollywood films and it’s rating even higher than Willie’s show. Their recent airing of “Snakes on a Plane” in Tagalog got a high 8.9%, something that Willie’s show doesn’t achieve anymore since it’s eclipsed in the ratings by “24 Oras” and “TV Patrol”. And mind you, the production cost of these canned Hollywood films is definitely much cheaper than that of producing expensive live shows like “Willing-Willie”, “Startalk” and “E Live”.

Don’t be surprised if other networks would soon also come up with their own Tagalized versions of foreign flicks. Full length local films also rate high when shown on TV but now that the production of new local films has dwindled to just one or two films a month, the networks have no choice but to just translate Hollywood blockbusters into Tagalog.