drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Maynila Turns 20

One of GMA’s longest-running programs is celebrating a milestone.

‘Maynila’, a drama anthology hosted by former Manila mayor and now congressman Lito Atienza, will enter its 20th year on television this month. The show recently premiered a three-part series last Saturday with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid in a starring role.

‘Maynila’ first aired on November 23, 1998. At the time, the show served as a vehicle for then-mayor Atienza to promote the city he headed back then, while providing inspirational and value-laden stories that young individuals can understand.

Initially aired on weekday afternoons, ‘Maynila’ moved to Saturday mornings in 2002 where they remain to this day. Over its 20-year history, ‘Maynila’ received numerous accolades including an Anak TV Seal award in 2006 and a special award in the 2017 PMPC Star Awards for being one of the longest-running drama anthologies.

In contrast to more serious drama anthologies like ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and ‘Magpakailanman’, ‘Maynila’ is generally considered as more light-hearted in tone. But in some instances such as the three-part series with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid, ‘Maynila’ may dwell into a darker route if necessary.

Still, it does not prevent the show from presenting stories that are deemed helpful and motivational to the youth. Which is exactly what Lito Atienza wanted on ‘Maynila’: a show that can help young ones, not only in Manila but in other cities as well, to be positive role models.

Twenty years after it first aired, ‘Maynila’ is still going strong. That said, viewers can only hope that the show will continue to provide stories that are worth learning for.

‘Maynila’ airs every Saturday at 9:45 a.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

The Kids’ Choice Fails to Deliver Despite Good Ratings

Call it a win that actually isn’t.

For ‘The Kids’ Choice’, it is true that they are winning in the ratings. But in hindsight, it is more of a moral defeat than an actual victory because the numbers tell more of a losing battle.

While Kantar figures suggest that last Sunday’s finale of ‘The Kids’ Choice’ was a success, in reality it is not. Its 26.8% rating was a major drop-off from the second season finale of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ which hit 45.6%.

In terms of overall performance from start to finish, ‘The Kids’ Choice’ failed to deliver as well. None of its episodes cracked the 30% barrier, with its highest-rated episode being the first which received 29%.

Again, this was a huge step back from ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ which routinely hit the 30% mark or higher in its run. To make matters worse, GMA took advantage of ‘The Kids’ Choice”s ineptitude, as ‘The Clash’ came to within 1% of the latter in its finale last month.

With such a pitiful performance in spite of the show’s good ratings, it is no secret why ABS-CBN pulled the plug on ‘The Kids’ Choice’ after only 20 episodes. The concept may be original, but in the eyes of the viewers, the Just Kids League is simply too raw and too young to process some serious critical thinking.

Not even the shift from ordinary kids to celebrities last month made the difference. Overall, ‘The Kids’ Choice’ had potential written all over, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

To ABS-CBN’s credit, however, they at least gave it a try. A round of applause should dim all the pain.

Still, much like the ill-fated GMA talent show ‘Anak Ko Yan’ a few years ago, only a few will reminisce about ‘The Kids’ Choice’. This is one forgettable show that ABS-CBN would like to get rid of, and for good reason: it simply did not resonate with the masses.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Faith Restored: Halik’s High Ratings a Godsend for ABS-CBN Primetime Bida

ABS-CBN finally got it right.

It turns out ‘Halik’ was the series ABS-CBN needed to resuscitate the fortunes of its much-maligned fourth slot on Primetime Bida. The October 25 episode of ‘Halik’ garnered a series-high 27.1% rating according to Kantar, besting rival series ‘Pamilya Roces’ by 16.5%.

The episode in question featured an intense confrontation between Lino (Jericho Rosales) and Ace (Sam Milby) over the latter’s act of cheating. During that scene, Lino caught Ace and Jade (Yam Concepcion) cheating on him and Jacky (Yen Santos), leading to a fight between Lino and Ace.

‘Halik’ also became the most-viewed program on iWant TV, reaching over two million views per week. Thursday’s episode also trended on Twitter and memes related to the aforementioned confrontation scene also spread on social media.

In many ways, this episode of ‘Halik’ encapsulates what the fourth slot of Primetime Bida is all about. For Kapamilya audiences here and abroad, this timeslot always tingle their senses whenever they see scenes of confrontation, jealousy, anger, sensuality and desire.

No offense to the lighter-themed dramas that were aired on the fourth slot (e.g. ‘On the Wings of Love’, ‘A Love to Last’), but it is obvious that viewers wanted something that will keep them awake and tense deep into the night. And if ‘Halik”s ratings are of any indication, they are probably right in their assessment.

First aired on August 13, ‘Halik”s ratings have been on a gradual upswing from the start. The series started with an 18.2% rating during its debut, reached 20% by the end of August, and peaked at 27.1% last Thursday.

That said, it will not be a surprise to see ‘Halik’ reach 30% in the near future. This series has been by far ABS-CBN’s best offering in the fourth slot and if it continues to please audiences, it might as well enjoy a long and fruitful run.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Back to Zero: Kapag Nahati ang Puso Exits with No Replacement in Sight

Consider this yet another epic series of failures for GMA in the late-morning slot.

On All Souls’ Day, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will air its final episode. But without a replacement in sight, all signs point to ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ taking over its soon-to-be-vacated timeslot.

‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, which starred Bea Binene, Benjamin Alves, Sunshine Cruz, Zoren Legaspi and Bing Loyzaga, first premiered on July 16, 2018. Unlike its predecessors ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ had a more serious and darker tone.

While it enjoyed a decent 80-episode run, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso”s overall performance did not inspire confidence from its audience. ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ averaged a mere 10% in the ratings, even though it came close on a few occasions to beat ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ and ‘Playhouse’.

Suffice to say, the change of strategy did not affect GMA’s fortunes in the late-morning slot. Once again, GMA management has to wonder why this timeslot continues to frustrate them at every turn.

Looking back at the three previous attempts at unseating the likes of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ and ‘Playhouse’, it was clear that GMA was scared to compete from the start. Let’s face it, both ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ were epic failures just by looking at its respective number of episodes.

If a drama series only finished at 38 and 50 episodes, then it is obvious that something is wrong. Either that GMA is not convinced enough that both are compelling or is not satisfied with the production.

Then again both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs which is infamous for short-run dramas. Still, its intent to air for a brief period is inexcusable considering the circumstances.

In fairness, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ ended with 80 episodes which is a slight improvement. Then again, its ratings were not that impressive and GMA realized that late-morning dramas are not their bread and butter.

Perhaps GMA should just stop this charade and go back to airing ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ in that timeslot. The network simply had no chance there; not even blocktimer TAPE can help them.

This Friday, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will conclude its run. But don’t expect GMA to give it a proper farewell because they are in no mood to do so.

Update: The Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ will replace ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ starting Monday. Still, this is a clear sign of GMA once again conceding to ABS-CBN when it comes to the late-morning slot.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko Looks to Make Saturdays Relevant Anew

As stubborn as they come.

Even in a losing cause GMA continues to defy the norm. Their insistence comes in the form of one afternoon drama that airs from Monday to Saturday.

Initially they only used this formula for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, by far their most successful afternoon drama in the recent past. But later dramas such as ‘Contessa’ and ‘Ika-5 Utos’ proved to be flukes as neither show was able to keep viewers tuned in six times a week.

And after only 36 episodes, GMA demoted ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to a later timeslot to make way for yet another ‘kabitserye’. As far as the new series ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ is concerned, there is no need to explain, not even the story itself.

(Spoiler alert: one of the lead characters is a gay man who underwent sexual reassignment surgery ala Jake Zyrus to become a woman)

For those who still want to check in on the plot, just click this link. Enough said.

Anyway, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will be led by Kris Bernal, Rayver Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jason Abalos. The supporting cast will include Lotlot de Leon, Devon Seron, Annalyn Barro, Caprice Cayetano, Jean Saburit, Ricardo Cepeda, Maricris Garcia, Matthias Rhoads, and Phil Noble.

While ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ has some recognizable names and an intriguing yet familiar storyline, the challenge now for the show is its ability to keep viewers glued to their seats from Monday to Saturday. Considering its opponent is ‘It’s Showtime’, it is not going to be an easy task, especially on Saturdays.

That said, GMA can only hope that ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will give Vice Ganda and company a lot more than they can chew. If not, then it will not be a surprise to see GMA demote this series and try a new strategy every Saturday.

Directed by Mark Sicat dela Cruz, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ airs every Monday to Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Demoted: Ika-5 Utos to Move to Second Slot of Afternoon Prime

After only 36 episodes, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ will move to a new timeslot next week and will no longer air on Saturdays as it continues to underachieve in the ratings. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

Talk about ending a relationship before it even started.

Starting Monday, October 23, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ will air in the second slot of GMA’s Afternoon Prime to make way for the upcoming series ‘Karibal Ko ang Asawa Ko’ (more on that later this week). The series will take over the timeslot that will be vacated by ‘The Stepdaughters’.

‘Ika-5 Utos’ was initially placed in the leadoff slot of Afternoon Prime when it first premiered last September 10. The spiritual successor of the successful ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, many expected ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to be as competitive and as formidable as its sister series.

Instead, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ never lived up to the hype. Its premiere episode only scored 10% while ‘It’s Showtime’ managed 16.2%.

From that point forward, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ barely hit the 10% mark in some of its episodes while ‘It’s Showtime’ scored around 15% or better. However, things only got worse once Saturday arrived.

On average, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ only scored 6% less than ‘It’s Showtime’ every Saturday; in contrast, its weekday episodes average 4-5% less. Considering these factors, it is clear that viewer fatigue is starting to set in and they grew disinterested with another episode on Saturdays.

Overall, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ will have aired 36 episodes by the time the show moves to a new timeslot next week. The good news for the series moving forward is that there will be no more Saturday episodes, a day in which ‘Ika-5 Utos’ tends to underachieve more.

It will also mean a new opponent for ‘Ika-5 Utos’. Instead of getting humiliated by Vice Ganda, the series will now have to face Beauty Gonzalez, Dimples Romana, Adrian Alandy and Albert Martinez of ‘Kadenang Ginto’.

But this does not mean the end of ‘Ika-5 Utos” troubles. If the pilot episode is of any indication, then ‘Kadenang Ginto’ could become a difficult hurdle for ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to overcome.

Next week will be a new place and a new time scenario for ‘Ika-5 Utos’. But can a change of scenery help ‘Ika-5 Utos’ reverse its fortunes?

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