drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Ipaglaban Mo”s Return a Throwback to 90s Weekend TV Habits

This Saturday, ABS-CBN’s legal drama series ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ returns after a 16-year absence. And for older viewers, the comeback of ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ harkens back to the days when weekend drama anthologies filled the airwaves in the 1990s.

Back then, numerous drama anthologies were aired after noontime shows such as ‘Eat Bulaga’, ‘Sa Linggo Napo Sila’, ‘GMA Supershow’, ‘Salu-Salo Together’ and others. These anthologies feature only one story per episode, which means that viewers would be able to watch an entire story develop for over an hour. Examples of weekend drama anthologies include ‘Lovingly Yours, Helen’, ‘Coney Reyes on Camera’, and ‘GMA Telesine Specials’, and ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, all of which lasted deep into the latter part of the decade.

By the late 90s, anthologies gradually fell out of favor, and were replaced by weekend afternoon drama series. These featured a continuous storyline that takes place in each succeeding episode, typical of today’s teleseryes. ‘Anna Karenina’, produced by both GMA and VIVA Television, aired for nearly six years, and set the stage for other weekend drama series to follow. Another example was ABS-CBN’s ‘Tabing Ilog’, which aired for four years.

The next decade witnessed the decline of the weekend drama series in the Philippines. ‘Startalk”s move to Saturday afternoons in 1998 helped them earn high ratings in their new timeslot. On the other hand, ABS-CBN struggled with dramas such as ‘Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako’, and in 2003 they decided to create their own showbiz programs, beginning with ‘S2: Showbiz Sabado’. Teen-oriented series then took over Sunday afternoons, and in 2013, GMA and ABS-CBN experimented with horror-themed programs.

This year, ABS-CBN brought back a program that was once a staple every weekend. ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, hosted by Atty. Jose Sison, aired for nine years on the Kapamilya network, and its success led to two Star Cinema-produced films. Like the original, the new ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ will feature a particular court case that is dramatized on TV. This time around, Atty. Sison will be joined by his son, Jopet Sison, while the country’s top directors will be assigned to different episodes.

The new ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ airs this Saturday after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN. The show should not only attract a new generation of viewers, but also increase awareness towards a wide variety of legal cases in the country.

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