drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

The Return of the Telenovela to Philippine Free TV

Telenovelas, or the more distinguishable term Latinovelas, are making a comeback to free TV in the Philippines.

The genre, once dominant in the afternoon and evening drama blocks of the major networks, were essentially an endangered species once ‘Meteor Garden’ and other Asianovelas began to invade the small screen. Then in late 2011, the Telenovela Channel was introduced, giving dramas from Latin America a new lease on life.

Since the creation of the Telenovela Channel, several free TV networks have attempted to resuscitate the fading popularity of the telenovela. In 2013, GMA aired the Colombian series ‘Lola’ (or ‘Bella Calamidades’) . Unfortunately for the Kapuso network, low ratings forced the management to stop airing the telenovela before it can be finished.

Also that same year, Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports+Action) aired the original version of the hit ABS-CBN teleserye ‘Nasaan Ka, Elisa?’. Titled ‘Donde Esta Elisa?’, the original series aired during the first half of 2013.

Then in June of this year, IBC-13 and Asian Television Content Corporation aired ‘The Two Sides of Ana’ and ‘La Teniente’ on the ‘ATC @ IBC’ block. Unlike GMA’s unexpected pullout of ‘Lola’, both IBC and ATC were more than willing to finish both series, despite their low ratings in a competitive primetime environment.

Two months later, ABS-CBN decided to bring the telenovela back to their lineup. The Brazilian drama ‘Ana Manuela’, scheduled to air starting August 18, will be the network’s first telenovela since ‘Frijolito’ in 2011.

While ABS-CBN has enjoyed ratings success over the past couple of years, the reintroduction of the telenovela is considered to be their biggest gamble yet. Nevertheless, the network hopes that ‘Ana Manuela’, like the other programs on ‘Kapamilya Gold’, will perform very well in the ratings.

The telenovela, once considered endangered on free TV thanks to Asianovelas, are relevant once again. Now the question is, how long will they remain in the minds of the viewers? Only time will tell.

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21 thoughts on “The Return of the Telenovela to Philippine Free TV

  1. I must say that its better alternative than the now becoming regular movie block. But im afraid if it can sustain high ratings. It looks like its ABSCBN turn to cost cut especially in the afternoon since next week the Kapamilya Gold will have somewhat a weird format without an original drama in its lineup

  2. ramones1986 says:

    Interesting fact:
    The male lead of “A Vida da Gente” (Ana Manuela) is one of the protagonists of Brazilian pink film “Do começo ao fim” (From beginning to end).

  3. rj says:

    From 1996 to 2011 telenovelas is trend to d philippine television.in fairness ang dami ng pinoy adoptations ng mga telenovelas lahat ng thalia telenovelas n revive n at lahat nag rate.better to c telenovelas than to re-run asianovelas sk isa p nakakaumay n rin asianovela at least now u have something new to watch.

  4. GG0055 says:

    ABS-CBN opted to air “A Vida da Gente” under the title “Ana Manuela” maybe because the latter (a possible feminine name in real life) is a shout-out to the classic ABS-CBN drama “Mara Clara”.

  5. ramones1986 says:

    I sensed that the version shown on Studio 23 (now S+A) was the one made in Miami by Telemundo, not the original Chilean version.

  6. noline says:

    I was watching The Two Sides of Ana, suddenly after weekend i cannot watch it on IBC 13 7pm is the airing but i cannot see or watch it no more? Why? What happen? Please i love that telenovela

    • ATC and IBC decided to cut ties without even making a public announcement. Blame the low ad rates and lack of new programming for the sudden pullout of ATC.

      Sayang nga, big things are expected for this blocktime deal, tapos they decided to cut ties after only two months. It only shows that IBC is becoming less and less reliable.

  7. JAS says:

    me too.. favorite ko yung TWO SIDES of ANA then suddenly bigla na lng nawala.. sana i franchise (tama ba ang term) na lng ito ng ABS CBN…?

    • Good. At least ATC still had their integrity intact after infamously pulling out their shows (The Two Sides of Ana, La Teniente) from IBC. Akala ko kasi hindi magiging committed itong ATC.

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