drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: T.G.I.S. and the Advent of Teen-Oriented Series

Some of the first batch members of ‘T.G.I.S.’ as they appear in 1995. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

Yesterday would have been the 20th anniversary of ‘T.G.I.S.’

Premiering on July 8, 1995, ‘T.G.I.S.’ became a Filipino pioneer in the teen-oriented drama genre. While there were a few other dramas that featured teenagers as lead stars (e.g. Julie Vega’s ‘Anna Liza’ and Janice de Belen’s ‘Flordeluna’), ‘T.G.I.S.’ became the first to feature a cast dominated by teenage actors.

Before ‘T.G.I.S.’, some of the country’s rising young stars had made their mark through shows such as GMA’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang TV’. The two shows provided a venue for the youngsters to showcase their talents, but it was not enough.

Eventually, VIVA Television and GMA developed a plan that would give a new batch of young stars an avenue to expose their acting skills. Thus, ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched.

‘T.G.I.S.’ became an immediate hit soon after it premiered. The success of ‘T.G.I.S.’ led to a feature film that was released in 1997, as well as a spinoff series ‘Growing Up’ that aired from 1997-99.

The first batch of ‘T.G.I.S.’ were led by Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon, a.k.a. Wacks and Peachy, respectively. Other members of the first batch include Michael Flores, Red Sternberg, Raven Villanueva, Rica Peralejo, Onemig Bondoc, Jake Roxas, Bernadette Allyson and Maybelyn dela Cruz.

The first batch anchored ‘T.G.I.S.’ for two years, before giving way to a new cast of young stars. The second batch, which lasted another two years, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Antoinette Taus, alongside Polo Ravales, Kim delos Santos, Sunshine Dizon, Chubi del Rosario, Anne Curtis, Chantal Umali and Dino Guevarra.

Unknown to some, future newscasters Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal were also part of the ‘T.G.I.S.’ cast. Meanwhile, Ciara Sotto was part of both batches of ‘T.G.I.S.’, later joining ‘Growing Up’ upon her character’s graduation from high school.

‘T.G.I.S.’ paved the way for similar teen-oriented dramas that became a staple of weekend afternoon programming. Examples include ‘Gimik’ (later ‘G-Mik’), ‘Click’, ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Berks’.

In late 2012, another spinoff of ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched, called ‘Teen Gen’. Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon reprised their roles as Wacks and Peachy, alongside GMA’s new batch of young stars, but it only managed to air for over six months without success.

While ‘T.G.I.S.’ no longer airs today, it will still be remembered for changing the way teenage actors were exposed and promoted. They were a game-changer, and another reason why 1995 became a memorable year in Philippine television.

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30 thoughts on “1995 Flashback: T.G.I.S. and the Advent of Teen-Oriented Series

  1. James Ty III says:

    The problem today with youth-oriented shows is that program tastes have changed especially with the advent of reality shows. Luv U has been an exception, though. And GMA has been a victim of a lot of bad programming decisions that led to the end of Instadad.

    • Ever since Click left the airwaves, GMA was unable to create something that would emulate the success of Click. Outside factors such as reality shows really killed them, not to mention the recent lack of success within the Artist Center’s pool of artists.

      TGIS was a co-prod of VIVA and GMA, and VIVA lent their talents to that show. Both VIVA and GMA used to have a great relationship, which produced not only TGIS but also the original Anna Karenina. Nowadays GMA was left alone to shoulder the burden, and they have yet to replicate that success.

      • James Ty III says:

        Viva co-produced Bagets with TV5, which launched the career of Meg Imperial. She is now more identified with sexy roles.

      • They used to be a major presence on Philippine TV, not only with the co-prod agreements with GMA, but also through Viva TV on IBC-13. Now they’re simply a minor player on the small screen.

    • NN452 says:

      > Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal
      They currently share the same network — CNN Philippines.

      > Click
      StarStuck batch I alumni joined the cast in Click’s final months on air.

      > Teen Gen
      But before that Tween Hearts was the last GMA Sunday youth-oriented drama to last more than a year, due in part to some of its cast members having a sizable fanbase.
      Some of the younger cast members of Teen Gen have yet to acquire some popularity.

      The state of youth-oriented TV shows in the Philippines is currently at its new-ish low Luv U has managed to succeed in this difficult environment by being more of a sitcom and becoming a breeding ground for ABS-CBN’s future teen stars (the show headlining Goin’ Bulilit alumni does help).

      > Viva is also into cable TV
      Their latest cable TV channel is TMC (Tagalized Movies Channel), with its own voice actor lineup.

      And speaking of Tagalized movies they have took over Sunday afternoons with better ratings than youth-oriented shows.

      • True that for most of your observations. Menchu, under the name of Scarlet, was also a DJ before becoming a news anchor.

        TeenGen was never successful to begin with, since it was up against the now-popular Luv U, who benefited from the promotion of the Goin’ Bulilit alumni to the show (similar to what Growing Up did to the first batch of TGIS). As for VIVA, yes they have TMC, along with PBO and MTV Asia as their cable outfits. But like I said before, they are far from their glorious years in the 90s.

        Tagalized movies have stagnated the Sunday programming landscape, to be honest.

      • JRDV says:

        GMA and TV5 still airs Tagalized movies, while ABS airs them Mondays-Saturdays. Ralph, Viva owns MTV Pinoy, not MTV Asia, which was wholly-owned by Viacom.

  2. James Ty III says:

    Many Viva talents are now with ABS-CBN like Anne Curtis, Cristine Reyes, Meg Imperial and Yam Concepcion. Sarah Lahbati is now out of GMA and is under Viva.

  3. James Ty III says:

    Viva, in fairness, still produces movies. But the company does not produce that much good movies these days.

  4. JRDV says:

    VIVA also owns three radio stations, as well. Oomph Radio in Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga. I would like to see a VIVA FM station in Metro Manila (and hoping for Brigada to strengthen its signal, as well) by acquiring one of the Vera’s struggling stations.

    • Malayo pa ‘to, but it’s still possible.

      But going back to TGIS, maganda naman ang naging takbo ng careers ng ilan sa kanila. The first batch of Bobby and Angelu had decent careers after TGIS, but not that of superstar status. Yung batch ni Dingdong ang mas sumikat later on.

  5. ramones1986 says:

    As the Spanish-speaking people say, teen series like “T.G.I.S.” are another “semillero” (breeding ground) for future stars in the Philippine showbiz.

    BTW, remember its rivalry with ABS-CBN’s “Gimik”?

    • Yes indeed. After TGIS shot to popularity, ABS countered with Gimik. Both shows lasted until 1999, replaced first by G-Mik, then Click.

      The only difference though is that GMA did not have an Artist Center. All cast members of TGIS were with VIVA then, the co-producer of the show. ABS already established what later became Star Magic prior to Gimik’s premiere.

  6. James Ty III says:

    Right now, I see Luv U as the only stable youth-oriented show on the air now. It has already outrated the competition kaya Instadad ang nawala sa ere.

    • Actually, Wish Ko Lang ang pumalit sa timeslot ng Click then. And before Tween Hearts, may Love to Love, Boys Nxt Door, Dear Heart at Dear Friends pa. All of the youth-oriented shows I mentioned actually didn’t follow the same formula as TGIS and Click, and instead mas hango sa mga kilig-serye na pinasikat ng ABS later on.

  7. @James Ty III – meron pang POSH yung youth oriented drama series noon sa QTV-11 na ngayon GMA NTV-11 na co-produced ng Viva Entertainment TV Production at GMA Network at mga cast ng youth oriented drama series noon na Posh sa Ch.11 ng GMA ay mga GMA Talents at Viva Talents pinagsama like Iwa Moto, Gian Carlos, Vaness De Moral, Vivo Ouano, Rhea Nakpil, Megan Young if im not mistaken (mga GMA Talents) tapos si Benjamin Alves (formerly Vince Saldana), Nikki Bacolod, (mga Viva Talents yon). This was also launched the carrer of Benjamin Alves (formerly Vince Saldana).

    • POSH aired for like one season. But since it aired on a sister channel, it was largely forgotten, and some of the actors there toiled in relative anonymity.

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