comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Staying Light: Playhouse to Premiere Monday on ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is keeping things light and loose every weekday mornings.

While GMA took on a more serious route with ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, ABS-CBN continues its tradition of romantic comedies and child-oriented dramas to the 11:15 a.m. slot. And their newest series ‘Playhouse’ is no exception.

‘Playhouse’ will star Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo as Patty and Marlon, two college lovers who will eventually get married only to split up after a series of struggles. The rest of the main plot are as follows.

Via ABS-CBN PR:

After of a long time living separately, the two meet again as Patty files for an annulment to formally separate with Marlon. But just when they think everything is over between them, an unfortunate tragedy will change their lives forever.

Their friends Emily and Brad will get into an accident, leaving their child Robin (Justin James Quilantang) behind. As the kid’s legal guardians, Patty and Marlon will be forced to stay together under one roof to take care of Robin and make sure he gets the love he needs. This gives Marlon the opportunity to patch things up with Patty, despite her constant disapproval.

Will Robin be the key to giving Patty and Marlon a second chance?

Also part of ‘Playhouse’ will be up-and-coming teen stars Donny Pangilinan and Kisses Delavin, who will play enemies-turned-lovers Zeke and Shiela. The rest of the cast will include Kean Cipriano, AC Bonifacio, Ariella Arida, Dexter Doria, Nadia Montenegro, Ingrid Dela Paz, Jomari Angeles, Malou De Guzman, Smokey Manaloto, and Maxene Magalona.

Here is a little spin on the formulas that ABS-CBN uses for its late-morning dramas. While ‘Playhouse’ is for the most part a romantic comedy, it is also a child-oriented series since child actor Justin James Quilantang will play a vital role here as the child that Patty and Marlon are forced to take care of.

That said, it will be interesting to see how this hybrid format will work in this increasingly competitive late-morning slot. In spite of ABS-CBN’s success on that timeslot, ‘Playhouse’ will still have its work cut out here and if they win right away it will boost its confidence.

‘Playhouse’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Sana Dalawa ang Puso to Conclude Friday

‘End it while you still can!’

This is probably the message that ABS-CBN management sent to the producers of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, the romantic comedy series that starred Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Yap and Robin Padilla. After all, the network did not want a repeat of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in which the show ran for far too long that viewers grew tired of it.

‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ was the second television project of the JoChard tandem after the aforementioned ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. In hopes of making it more interesting, the series added Robin Padilla as the third wheel while it gave Jodi a chance to play two different characters.

First premiered on January 29, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ made an immediate impact in its first few weeks, scoring around 16-20%. The series was so popular that it led to the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ and forced GMA to produce its own drama shows in the late-morning slot.

Even though ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s ratings dipped to around the 14-17% mark by March, it still won its timeslot on a consistent basis. At this point GMA began to produce its own dramas in response, but short-lived series in ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ were unable to solve JoChard and Robin.

However, by late August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s magic started to wear off. The series was no longer a top-10 show, and with paltry ratings of around 13% (even though they still won over ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’), ABS-CBN realized that enough was enough.

Overall, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will have a total of 163 episodes once they conclude Friday. But like ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, ABS-CBN made the costly mistake of keeping ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ for far too long which led to a huge dip in its ratings.

Still, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ was considered a success by ABS-CBN’s standards. Regardless of how it turned out the series should continue the streak of good fortune for ABS-CBN in the late-morning slot, and for JoChard, it only proves that they are still a formidable love team.

On Friday, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will bow out. One can only hope that it will be a graceful exit.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

It’s Showtime Has a More Appropriate Rival, and It’s Not Eat Bulaga

Consider ‘Eat Bulaga’ in the past tense as ‘It’s Showtime”s archrival.

While the two noontime shows have been at each other’s throats since ‘It’s Showtime’ moved to its current timeslot in 2011, recent events suggest that ‘Eat Bulaga’ may no longer consider itself a true rival of the former. Instead, another variety show (albeit on a later timeslot) has taken its place as ‘It’s Showtime”s arch-nemesis.

Enter ‘Wowowin’, the late-afternoon variety show hosted by Willie Revillame and is currently on the air for the past three years. For whatever reason, the ‘relationship’ between ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’ can be summed up in one word.

Take it away, Spongebob Squarepants.

Throughout the year, most episodes of ‘It’s Showtime’ have run past its allotted three-hour period mainly due to Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering on ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’. As a matter of fact, one of its more recent episodes concluded at around 4:00 p.m., by far a record time for the noontime show.

GMA is usually strict when it comes to running time, but for some unexplained reason, they did not implement such strictness when it comes to ‘Wowowin’. In the event that ‘It’s Showtime’ goes overtime, GMA countered by allowing ‘Wowowin’ to go past its normal 90-minute duration so that both ’24 Oras’ and ‘TV Patrol’ can start at the same time.

Different timeslots, similar objectives. This is essentially a Willie Revillame and Vice Ganda thing.

Willie, for his part, was the master of working overtime, back when he was still on TV5 for ‘Willing Willie’, ‘Wil Time Big Time’ and ‘Wowowillie’. However, GMA made certain conditions when Willie signed a contract with the network three years ago, such as ‘Wowowin’ only airing on a ‘taped as live’ basis and running for only 90 minutes.

Suffice to say, GMA sort of unleashed the wild side of Willie this year. Which leads to Vice Ganda, who probably learned a thing or two from his frenemy Willie about talking too much.

And for whatever reason, ABS-CBN is simply letting him do the talking for as long as he wants. As a consequence, some of ABS-CBN’s afternoon and primetime programs began to suffer in the ratings, mainly because Vice spoke a little too long.

Perhaps the two can someday have a show of their own that combines the elements of both ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’. But then again, they are not usually the best of friends, such as when Vice poked fun over Willie’s tirade a few years ago.

Still, wouldn’t it be great if the two variety show greats appear in public together and talk every once in while? That should make people forget about their excesses.

Either way, both ABS-CBN and GMA should do (and I mean DO) something about this ‘overtime’ thing. This is simply a time-waster and viewers are fed up with it.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Since I Found You

Glad that’s over.

In many ways, ‘Since I Found You”s final week is a merciful end to a series that has never found its footing from day one. And while this romantic comedy series outplayed its competition, it failed to impress viewers left and right.

‘Since I Found You’ first set foot on April 16, 2018 replacing the tearjerking family drama ‘The Good Son’. The series marked the first television project for the ‘Kita Kita’ tandem of Empoy Marquez and Alessandra de Rossi, and they were joined by Piolo Pascual, Arci Muñoz and JC de Vera.

While ‘Since I Found You’ came out firing by averaging in the 20s its first two weeks, it failed to sustain its magical start the rest of the way. Since then, ‘Since I Found You’ hovered between 16 and 19%, and ABS-CBN management wondered if a romantic comedy on primetime is indeed a curse.

But despite its unimpressive ratings, ‘Since I Found You”s opponent failed to take advantage of its lukewarm audience reception. Neither ‘The One That Got Away’ nor ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ provided the necessary impact that should have given ‘Since I Found You’ a scare, even though the latter came within 1% in one of its episodes.

Notwithstanding the lack of recognition by the audience, ‘Since I Found You’ was still good enough to produce 85 episodes, which is close to the norm of a typical teleserye. Still, it was clear that viewers yawned over a primetime romantic comedy that felt out of place.

With all due respect to Dreamscape, the producer of ‘Since I Found You’, this is one of the weakest efforts that this entertainment division has ever made. For all its success and appeal (see ‘Asintado’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’), not all of their creations are destined to give audiences something worth watching.

In the end, ‘Since I Found You’ is a waste of time for ABS-CBN. Romantic comedies have no place on Primetime Bida and this series is one of a few mistakes that ABS-CBN ever made.

One can only hope that ‘Since I Found You’ will end with a lasting impression. But for a series that is boring from the start, expect a silent treatment from the audience.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, television

Endangered Specie: Celebrity Bluff’s Status in Doubt

Is this the end for ‘Celebrity Bluff’?

Last Saturday marked the season finale of this celebrated GMA game show. But ‘Celebrity Bluff’ as it truly was effectively ended two years ago following its first four years on the air.

The first run of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ began on November 17, 2012 and ended on February 20, 2016. The original trio of Eugene Domingo, Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo immediately clicked with viewers, and ‘Celebrity Bluff’ became a worthy and oftentimes popular adversary amid the dominance of franchised reality and talent shows from ABS-CBN.

Even as Wally was replaced by Boobay and Isko ‘Brod Pete’ Salvador and Jose left for other commitments, ‘Celebrity Bluff’ remained a force to be reckoned with on Saturday nights. The show also received some accolades along the way, including two PMPC Star Awards for Best Game Show.

The death of director Uro dela Cruz in February 2016 forced ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to take a long break after 12 consecutive seasons on the air. Then on June 3, 2017, the 13th season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ got underway, this time with Edu Manzano as one of the ‘bluffers’ and Rico Gutierrez as the director.

Unfortunately, this latest season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ failed to capture the magic of the previous 12 seasons. Once averaging around 12-13% in the ratings during its first four years, the most recent incarnation of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ only managed ratings of around 6-7% per episode.

It also did not help that Edu Manzano was a bad fit to the ensemble. In March, Manzano left ‘Celebrity Bluff’ in order to join ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’, leaving Eugene, Boobay, Brod Pete and some guest ‘bluffers’ to hold the fort.

Suffice to say, the 13th season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ was doomed to fail this time around. The once-colorful game show had lost its luster.

So what does the future hold for ‘Celebrity Bluff’? Considering the poor performance of its most recent season, perhaps GMA should just retire the show for good and concentrate on a new concept.

If they intend to resuscitate ‘Celebrity Bluff’ in the near future, the only recourse is to convince Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo to return to the show. After all, ‘Celebrity Bluff’ reached its peak with Eugene, Wally and Jose at the forefront.

But for all intents and purposes, consider ‘Celebrity Bluff’ an endangered specie that borders between cancellation and renewal. For now, the show is on hiatus, and unless GMA decides to give it another shot, this hiatus may become permanent after all.

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action, comedy, drama, entertainment, fantasy, movies, Philippines, suspense, television

Blurring the Lines: Is CineMo Finally Ready to Accept Drama and Romance Films?

The movie ‘Ikaw na Sana’ was aired on CineMo as part of the CineKomedya block, but was classified as a romantic drama film. (Photo courtesy of Video48 and Viva Films)

Talk about a tone shift.

CineMo, an ABS-CBN digital TV channel, has been on the airwaves for the past seven years. However, its content has stayed basically the same, airing comedy, action, suspense, sexy and fantasy films from the get-go.

But in the past few weeks, movies from the romance and drama genres began to air on CineMo as well. Such films were aired on the channel’s CineKomedya block, but for whatever reason they do not feel like comedy films at all.

Take for instance the recent airing of the film ‘Ikaw na Sana’. The movie was an adaptation of the television series that aired on GMA some 20 years ago, and it starred Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon alongside Gladys Reyes and Jake Roxas.

Unfortunately for CineMo, ‘Ikaw na Sana’ was labeled as a romantic drama film. And considering the film did not have any funny jokes or comedic bits, it was not appropriate for it to air on the CineKomedya block.

There were also other films that aired on CineKomedya that do not appear to be humorous at all. Some of these films foreshadowed the modern romantic comedy drama series that air on ABS-CBN these days, but for the most part tears were shed more than laughs.

With that in mind, is it the perfect time for CineMo to accept romance and drama films to the fold? Considering that they have been repeatedly airing most of the same films over and over again, perhaps it is the right time to do so.

CineMo could launch new drama and romance blocks titled CineDrama and CineRomansya on timeslots normally reserved to action and comedy flicks. That way, films from the romance and drama genres can be aired without any confusion and concern from the viewer.

Not only that, CineMo will have a deeper reservoir thanks to these films. That said, having romance and drama films on the channel does help in attracting the young and feminine audience more, even though the channel is more catered to working-class males.

The ball is now on CineMo’s court to score. One can only hope that the channel will dig deep and go beyond their comfort zone with these tearjerkers.

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