For the past year, ABS-CBN‘s ‘Be Careful with My Heart‘ has been rolling over the competition in the late morning/noontime slot. GMA’s response has been, well, little. They tried to answer ‘Be Careful…’ with ‘Ang Mga Mata ng Angelita’ and ‘Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master‘ in that timeslot, but neither were able to solve the popularity that ‘Be Careful…’ has endured in nearly a year. And now GMA is attempting their own version of a ‘kiligserye’.
Enter ‘With a Smile’. The new program debuted this past Monday, and it starred up-and-comers Andrea Torres and Mikael Daez. The show also saw a rare acting appearance from singer Christian Bautista, whose previous acting role was in ‘The Kitchen Musical‘. Like ‘Be Careful…’, ‘With a Smile’ focuses on a female commoner trying to gain the attention and the love of a businessman. In addition, the latter tries to take advantage of the former’s lighthearted style, by minimizing drama in favor of humorous love scenes and encounters. It was this approach that helped ‘Be Careful…’ become one of the most talked-about programs on television, so it remains to be seen whether ‘With a Smile’ can capitalize on the success of the former.
While GMA finally managed to give ‘With a Smile’ the go-ahead signal, they were unable to place it on the same timeslot as ‘Be Careful…’. This is because at the time of its debut, ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, hosted by the diminutive up-and-coming child star Ryzza Mae Dizon, was locked into that timeslot, and the program usually airs live as a lead-in to ‘Eat Bulaga’. Had they put ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ on a much earlier timeslot, they would have been able to place ‘With a Smile’ head-on with ‘Be Careful…’. However, the former’s production outfit TAPE, Inc. would not allow that in the condition that Ryzza’s grade school education be prioritized. For now, ‘With a Smile’ will need to earn a following in the mid-morning slot where there is not much competition.
The show is still three episodes old, so we’ll see if the chemistry of greenhorns Torres, Bautista and Daez would click in a similar manner as Jodi Sta. Maria as ‘Maya’ and Richard Yap as ‘Ser Chief’. And we’ll also see if GMA’s new offering would likewise gain a trending topic on Twitter. Good luck.