Dingdong Dantes's comeback TV series Alyas Robin Hood aired its pilot episode today, August 14, on the first slot of GMA Telebabad after 24 Oras.
The timeslot was formerly occupied by the fantasy series Mulawin vs. Ravena, which moved to the second slot.
During the first run of Alyas Robin Hood in 2016, it was placed on the second slot of the Kapuso network.
This was the first time after many years that a show on GMA-7's primetime line-up moved timeslots.
In an exclusive interview, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked GMA Senior Vice President for Entertainment Lilybeth G. Rasonable what prompted the network to change the timeslot of their shows.
She exlplained, "Well it's a collective decision of the program committee.
"Maganda naman silang back to back but siguro, we wanted Alyas Robin Hood to be in the first slot in its pilot para marami ang nakapanuod dahil bago siya.
"Yung Mulawin vs. Ravena, meron na yan, may audience na 'yan talaga so a little push with the next slot which is actually an ideal slot also kasi diyan rin naman nilalagay yung ibang telefantasya, so it’s a programming move."
Some were speculating that they did this move in order to improve the TV ratings of the programs.
However, Lilybeth said that they still very happy about the ratings performance of Kapuso shows.
She stated, "Until now, GMA is still number one so we cannot complain."
PEP.ph spoke to Lilybeth during the press conference of the upcoming Kapuso series My Korean Jagiya earlier today, August 14, at K-Pub Restaurant in TriNoma Mall, Quezon City.
BEATING THE COMPETITION. In a separate interview with PEP.ph during Alyas Robin Hood's press conference last August 9, director Dominic Zapata admitted that he is aware that other shows in the rival network are performing well in the ratings game.
Back then, it was believed that Alyas Robin Hood's rival would be the ABS-CBN top-rating show La Luna Sangre, starring Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, and former Kapuso Richard Gutierrez.
Because of these timeslot changes, Alyas Robin Hood now competes against Coco Martin's Ang Probinsyano, which has been airing on television for two years since September 2015.
Direk Dominic chooses to look at the positive side things despite the stiff competition between the two networks.
He admitted, "I don't mind losing out to competition sa kabilang network. If we put up a good fight, these two networks, if we put up a good fight, people will still watch you.
"Huwag ka lang yung kulelat na kulelat. Kung kulelat na kulelat ka, aasa na lang sila sa network na nanalo.
"And if that disappoints, they will stop watching it.
"I like good competition. Iron sharpens iron so let's both do a good job and in that way, we're able to safeguard our industry."
The director of Kapuso breakthrough projects such as Mulawin (2004), My Husband's Lover (2013), and The Rich Man's Daughter (2015) has a different way of responding to the tough competition on primetime.
He pointed out, "Okay sa akin yun, if the network's objective is to beat competition, then I will gladly oblige.
"But if I do so, when I beat competition, I don't try to look what their weak points are, to be honest.
"What I look at are my weak points, saan ako mahina. Kung feeling ko, ang galing ko na, ibig sabihin, you're being too self-absorbed into thinking that there is no room for improvement.
"That's why I ask around, anong pangit. I don’t want to find out kung anong nagustuhan mo sa show, sabihin mo sakin kung ano yung pangit."
He also admitted that it is tough doing a sequel for Alyas Robin Hood since it performed strongly during its six-month run.
The first installment aired from September 2016 to February 2017.
"When we were doing Robin Hood 1, we pulled out all the stops, we do everything we possibly could without knowing that there will be a second installment. And then, a second installment comes along.
"When you're the type of person who pushes the boundaries, siyempre, there's no other way but to outdo yourself!
"How could you imagine outdoing yourself when you've already pulled out all the stops you possibly could just a few months back?!
"I'd rather outdo a competition and see what they did na, 'Ah kaya kong talunin yan! I'll just outdo this.'
"Ito ginawa mo lahat, ito na yung sinagad yung sarili mo, wasak na wasak ka, tapos tatalunin mo pa!"
Despite these challenges, Direk Dominic is ready to take on the challenge of doing sequels.
He said with a smile, "Parang medyo experimental in a way, that we do a second season, if it works out, then maybe we can do something that they do in the States and then parang may off season and back season, I think it's great kasi makakakasa ka ulit ng magagandang scenes.
"If you're able to go off season for a while and still have the audience follow you after that, that would be great for everyone!"