Channel 5 revamp goes for a heavier dose of local flavour

The MediaCorp English channel will roll out new programmess from January 2015

Channel 5 revamp goes for a heavier dose of local flavour
Chua Enlai and Yasminne Cheng, the hosts of the upcoming 'The 5 Show'.

With the New Year will come a revamped Channel 5. Starting 1 January 2015, the MediaCorp English channel will roll out a string of brand new shows that are more relevant to viewers in Singapore.

“We know for a fact that our local content generally rates higher and sells better, and that is why we are going with this local upsize strategy,” said Bernard Lim, Managing Director of MediaCorp TV, at the announcement of the refurbishment this afternoon. “At present, the local content on Channel 5’s primetime slot consists of about 30%, but come July 2015, we hope to increase that to 60%.”

The overhaul kicks off with The 5 Show, a live info-tainment program, that addresses current affairs, topics and issues that local viewers can relate to in a more light-hearted and interactive way, as opposed to how they would be reported on by the proper news channels. Celebrities who are in town or making waves at the moment may also be invited for an interview on the show.

Channel 5 revamp goes for a heavier dose of local flavour
Managing Director of MediaCorp TV, Bernard Lim.

“What we want to do is reflect on the news we’ve heard in the previous days and discuss these things,” explained Chua Enlai, who will be hosting The 5 Show with Class 95FM deejay Yasminne Cheng. “The news reports the news, then people talk about it – it’s like we are bringing their debates to a live show on air.”

That said, it will not be in the same vein as Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show or The Ellen Degeneres Show, which fall into the comedy category, and it certainly won’t be anything like satirical hit The Noose, also featuring Enlai, which is set to make a return on 24 June 2015. “We want to keep it entertaining and a bit funny, but at the end of the day, it should be conversational.”

At the event, it was also revealed that Enlai has signed on as a MediaCorp artiste while continuing to be managed by FLY Entertainment, effective today. Both Enlai and Bernard did not comment further on the specifics of the contract.

“[Taking on The 5 Show] was just one of the catalysts,” said Enlai when we asked about his reasons for joining. “But I’ve been working [with MediaCorp] on a lot of shows already so it just made sense to kick off this partnership, and honestly, I’m going to be in the office everyday anyway, you know!”

Channel 5 revamp goes for a heavier dose of local flavour
Jojo Joget (Suhaimi Yusof) and Andre Chichak (Alaric Tay) can't believe that "Jacques Ooi" (Enlai's character on The Noose) is "moonlighting" on another Channel 5 show.

Also coming up is reality TV competition The 5 Search, which aims to find the next big thing in acting and hosting, on 4 January 2015. The show will be hosted by Class 95FM deejay Jean Danker, and will feature Tay Ping Hui, Bryan Wong and Selena Tan as mentors.

Then, in June, Channel 5 will launch its very first long-running serial drama consisting of 199 half-hour episodes. Keeping in line with the increase in local flavour, the series will incorporate up-to-date topics into its script by being filmed very close to its air dates. The cast and title of the drama have not yet been revealed.

“We can build in local messages that resonate with viewers – for example, if there is haze in Singapore, we can have the father bringing home masks and teaching his children how to wear them. These are social responsibilities that we want to share,” said Bernard.

Other changes in the overhaul include an increase in existing Current Affairs and Info-tainment shows like On The Red Dot and Talking Point, News 5 moving from 9.30pm to 9pm and the launch of a weekday pre-school belt. Viewers can also look forward to the return of home-grown favourites like Code of Law 3 (5 January), Spouse for House 2 (1 April), Zero Calling 2 (20 April), Mata Mata 3 (23 November 2015), and many more.


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