comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ogie Added to Home Sweetie Home, Now Up Against Bitoy Every Saturday

From co-stars to opponents.

Ogie Alcasid and Michael V were the faces of ‘Bubble Gang’ for a majority of the show’s run. Many of ‘Bubble Gang”s most memorable skits were focused on the two men, whether it is Yaya and Angelina, Cheche Bureche, Pickup Lines or the Sexballs boy group.

However, Ogie moved on from ‘Bubble Gang’ and GMA in 2013, and after a three-year spell with the then-TV5, he joined ABS-CBN last year. Yet despite gaining prominence as an occasional performer on ‘ASAP’, as well as composer and judge on several ABS-CBN talent shows, the itch to rekindle those comedic chops soon got the best of him.

Earlier this week, ABS-CBN announced that Ogie Alcasid would be added to the cast of the sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Ogie’s role in the sitcom will be similar to what Jodi Sta. Maria (‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’) and Erich Gonzales (‘The Blood Sisters’) do: that of playing at least two different characters.

In ‘Home Sweetie Home’, Ogie plays fraternal twins Ireneo (or Neo) and Irenea. Neo is the childhood friend of Julie (Toni Gonzaga) who soon invests on the Walang Kapares pastry shop and restaurant, while Irenea becomes JP’s (Piolo Pascual) love interest.

With the addition of Ogie Alcasid to ‘Home Sweetie Home’, a very interesting subplot develops. ‘Home Sweetie Home”s archrival ‘Pepito Manaloto’ stars Michael V, and his former ‘Bubble Gang’ co-stars in Ogie and Rufa Mae Quinto now find themselves on the opposite side of the fence.

But don’t expect this rivalry to be a fierce one. In fact, off the camera, Ogie, Bitoy and Rufa Mae remain friendly to each other despite their different network allegiances.

Already one of ABS-CBN’s top-rated programs on Saturday nights, ‘Home Sweetie Home’ could only get better with the entry of one of the Philippines’ most versatile talents. Still, it will be interesting to see how Ogie’s addition will spice up this popular sitcom.

comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s New Rival to Sana Dalawa ang Puso Premieres Monday

GMA has a new series coming up to counter ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’.

After over a month of staying away from the dreaded love team that is Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between), GMA will once again look to defeat the popular tandem. This time, however, they will not have the benefit of TAPE Inc. as a blocktimer and production partner.

Instead, the new series ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be self-produced by the network, the first time they have done that in a pre-noontime show since ‘Cielo de Angelina’ in 2012. But unlike the latter which is more of a tear-jerker, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be done in the same way as ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: a romantic comedy.

‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be headlined by Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. Camille (as Ginny) and Neil (as Lance) are single parents still attached to their past, but with some common ground between them (e.g. living in the same condo, enjoy the same brand of coffee), it seems like a relationship is about to bloom.

Their lives will also intertwine with that of their children. Ginny’s daughter Marione (Ayra) and Lance’s son Benjie (Bruno) are also on the verge of falling in love, but it remains to be seen if either or both of their relationships will flourish.

GMA is no stranger to morning romantic series, having aired ‘With a Smile’ and ‘Dangwa’ in years past. Unfortunately, the presence of TAPE’s pre-noontime shows prevented GMA from seriously challenging ABS-CBN’s popular late-morning dramas, which led to both shows’ failure to make an impact.

The curse of ‘JoChard’ has become a long-standing dilemma for GMA ever since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ premiered in 2012. That said, GMA can only hope for the best with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, as this could be their last-ditch attempt to overcome the problem.

If they fail on this objective, it will not be a surprise to see the network return to a pupal state and fill the airtime with ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’. It is either all-out or stay out as far as GMA is concerned.

Directed by Tata Betita and Jojo Nones, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

Still Undisputed: Gandang Gabi Vice Claims Another Victim

‘Bossing & Ai’ was cancelled by GMA after only 20 episodes and low ratings opposite ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Once again, no one can stop ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’.

The latest victim of this ABS-CBN Sunday night talk show was ‘Bossing & Ai’, a game show/talk show hosted by Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas. Following its last episode on February 4, GMA quietly cancelled the program without any explanation.

First premiered on September 24, ‘Bossing & Ai’ marked Vic Sotto’s first foray into late-night television after years of producing primetime sitcoms. It also became his first television project with Ai-ai delas Alas following a string of box-office films.

From the moment it first aired, however, it became clear that ‘Bossing & Ai’ was destined to fail. The program only mustered an average of 6% in the Kantar ratings whereas ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ scored around 11%.

The mismatch between ‘Bossing & Ai’ and ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ was of no surprise considering that ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘It’s Showtime’ are also running in the same vein in recent years. It can also be said that Vice Ganda has had Vic Sotto’s number on television unlike in the Metro Manila Film Festival where the two comedy legends seem to be evenly matched.

Overall, ‘Bossing & Ai’ only aired a total of 20 episodes. While it was still eight episodes better than ‘Pare & Pare’ and nine more than ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To’, the run of ‘Bossing & Ai’ remains short by GMA’s standards.

After the cancellation of ‘Bossing & Ai’, GMA reverted back to airing ‘Sunday Night Box Office’ opposite ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ (with occasional airings of Manny Pacquiao’s drama anthology ‘Stories for the Soul’ in between). Perhaps this is their last resort considering the numerous shows that failed against Vice Ganda’s talk show.

It remains to be seen whether or not GMA will once again try to beat ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ with a program of their own. But if ‘Bossing & Ai’ is definitely the last straw, then what a way to wave the white flag of surrender and concede to an unbeatable opponent.

comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

A Look Back at TAPE’s Pre-Noontime Programs

With the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ earlier this February, TAPE decided to cease production of pre-noontime shows after nearly five years. (Photo credit: TAPE Inc. and GMA Network)

Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.

It all started with this love team, and it all ended with this love team. The duo forever changed the pre-noontime landscape.

Yet one production outfit tried to make things a little more interesting. That outfit happens to be Television and Production Exponents Inc., better known by the acronym TAPE Inc.

The producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to take a crack at the Jodi-Richard love team by premiering a pre-noontime talk show hosted by a then-seven-year-old Ryzza Mae Dizon. In April 2013, GMA and TAPE launched ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, and for nearly two years, it engaged with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in a tough battle for ratings supremacy.

Yet ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to roll, and so did its successors ‘Give Love on Christmas’, ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘Ningning’. When TAPE realized that ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ has outlived its usefulness, they decided to replace the talk show with a light drama in ‘Princess in the Palace’, starring Ryzza alongside Eula Valdes and Aiza Seguerra.

But the move to a drama format did not change its fortunes, and neither did a sitcom in ‘Calle Siete’. Meanwhile, another ABS-CBN series in ‘Be My Lady’ extended the network’s reign in the timeslot.

In October 2016, GMA and TAPE canceled ‘Calle Siete’ and in its place came a coming-of-age light drama in ‘TROPS’, starring the That’s My Bae quintet of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia. The said series also ended Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run in the pre-noontime slot amid her physical changes and the emergence of AlDub.

Unfortunately, ‘TROPS’ also failed to make a difference in the ratings. Over at ABS-CBN, their dominance continued with ‘Langit Lupa’ and ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

In a last-ditch effort to make an impact in the pre-noontime slot, TAPE and GMA returned to the talk show format in September 2017 with ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by the lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros). It couldn’t have come at a worst possible time, as AlDub was no longer a difference-maker by the time this show premiered.

Sadly, the return of Jodi and Richard (plus Robin Padilla) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ put an end to TAPE’s pre-noontime aspirations. As a result, TAPE cancelled ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ after 95 episodes on February 2, 2018, and ceased production of pre-noontime shows.

Give TAPE and GMA a lot of credit for trying to give ABS-CBN a run for its money. But at the end of the day, the latter’s superiority in the pre-noontime slot became too much to overcome, especially with the unlikely duo of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap giving plenty of ‘kilig’ to its viewers.

Now that TAPE ends its production of pre-noontime shows, time will only tell when GMA decides to strike on its own. But for now, the competition is over and GMA will have to live and die with Tagalized movies as a way to wave the white flag.

comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Revenge of the Morning Romantic Comedy: ABS-CBN Premieres Sana Dalawa ang Puso

The ‘kilig’ is back on ABS-CBN’s late-morning slot.

This Monday, the Kapamilya network will launch its latest weekday morning romantic comedy series. ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will mark the reunion of ‘Be Careful with My Heart”s Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap, but now they are joined by Robin Padilla who will be the third banana in this light-hearted saga.

Jodi will play two different roles in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: Lisa, the hardworking and strict boss of the Laureano Group of Companies, and Mona, a collector of bets in cockfights. According to Jodi, playing two characters will not be an easy task but it will also be an exciting one and added that this will be one of her more challenging roles in her career.

In ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, Lisa is forced by her father Juancho (Christopher de Leon) to marry their rival’s son Martin (Richard), and in order to run away from this responsibility, she decides to hide and live with Leo (Robin), one of the company’s workers. Meanwhile, Mona struggles to save his own father from peril after he was involved in a networking scam.

Along the way, Mona and Lisa cross paths and seek to solve each other’s problems. But it remains to be seen if they are able to sort all kinds of issues.

After going the more serious route with ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’, ABS-CBN realized that the late-morning slot is better off with light-hearted series in order to give the audience something to laugh and love. After all, the network already has too many dark, mature and tear-jerking dramas that overloading these could burn out viewers.

And what better way to reboot than the Jodi-Richard tandem, whose prior success in the slot should bode well for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. Still, it remains to be seen if the series will be just as successful as ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, but if the addition of Robin Padilla is of any indication, it should do just fine.

‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s PrimeTanghali.

comedy, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

My Korean Jagiya to Quietly End Tomorrow Night

No thrills, no fanfare, no anything.

Simply put, Friday’s conclusion of GMA’s ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will be a quiet one. After 105 episodes, the series will officially come to an end with very little promotion whatsoever.

‘My Korean Jagiya’ starred the unlikely pairing of Heart Evangelista and Korean actor Alexander Lee. First airing on August 21, 2017, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ became the first Filipino drama series to feature a few scenes taped in Korea.

The series was initially pitted against ‘A Love to Last’ during its first month on air. Not surprisingly, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ struggled, getting around 9-10% in the ratings versus the 18-20% that ‘A Love to Last’ earns.

‘My Korean Jagiya”s ratings improved somewhat once ABS-CBN premiered the more serious drama ‘The Good Son’. Still, despite improving its average by around 1 or 2%, it was not enough to win their timeslot.

It also didn’t help that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ received very little support of late outside of GMA’s commercial breaks. While its teasers were present on the GMA Drama Facebook page, GMA management has apparently stopped uploading such videos on its official YouTube page (despite its claim of over four billion views and counting).

Despite the lack of support and its overall performance, it was still worth noting that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ was able to make it past the 100th episode. Reaching 100 episodes was not bad, but GMA would have celebrated such a milestone had the series rated well (at least there was a sizable population of Korean expats watching the show).

Much like its predecessor ‘I Heart Davao’, promoting a particular culture became quite a theme for ‘My Korean Jagiya’. Uniting Filipinos and Koreans in one roof, the series helped expand the unlikely yet fruitful love affair between Filipinos and the Korean lifestyle.

That said, regardless of its shortcomings, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ was a terrific show to watch. Any Korean drama fan in the Philippines would love to appreciate this one-of-a-kind drama.

Come tomorrow night, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will look to leave one final imprint to its fans. It will be an interesting ending to see, so find out what fate awaits the love story between Gia (Heart) and Kim (Alexander).