entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, Sports

Rio Olympics on TV5: A Review

TV5’s coverage of the Rio Olympics was not a good one, as their free TV outlets failed to commit themselves to full-blown coverage. (Logos courtesy of the MVP Group and the International Olympic Committee)

The Olympic season has come to an end.

The 2016 Rio Summer Olympics officially concluded yesterday with a colorful closing ceremony, followed by the turn-over of hosting rights to Tokyo, Japan. The close of the event capped off two weeks of unforgettable moments and problematic issues that tested Rio’s resolve and courage.

This year’s broadcast of the Rio Olympics was solely handled by TV5, and much like the games itself, it endured a lot of difficulties. Many expected TV5 to fill in most of their hours with Olympic coverage, yet they failed to do so.

Much of the blame is centered around their continued airing of TV shopping blocks, Tagalized movies and other entertainment programming during the two-week Olympic period (this does not include the PBA Governors’ Cup). TV5 should have preempted them just for the Olympics, but it never happened despite their best efforts.

Even sister station AksyonTV had its own share of issues, but to a lesser extent. While the Olympics were ongoing, they still showed the Philippine Super Liga finals, the PBA D-League playoffs, and the opening of the CESAFI basketball tournament, all of which were the network’s priorities.

However, during vacant hours, AksyonTV still showed a TV shopping block, ‘Relasyon’ and ‘Wanted sa Radyo’. They should have preempted them for Olympic highlights.

One thing in common about TV5’s free TV Olympic coverage was their inability to re-air events that were aired live in the wee hours of the morning. Rio’s time is similar to that of New York, and TV5’s failure to take account of the time difference and the lack of TV audience during that period proved to be their doom.

There were some positives in the network’s Olympic coverage, however. TV5, along with sister companies Cignal, PLDT and Smart, collaborated for a multi-platform broadcast that involved satellite and internet subscription.

Despite that, the free TV coverage of the Olympics remains important. Considering that not all people subscribe to Cignal, PLDT and Smart, TV5 should have prioritized their free TV platforms to benefit their competitors.

Overall, it was an F grade for TV5’s Olympic coverage this year. Their coverage was doomed from the start, and their poor planning effort was not what the viewers wanted to see from the so-called ‘Olympic Network’.

So where will the Olympic coverage in the Philippines go from here? The lack of suitable options will be biggest issue for the Philippine Olympic Committee, since a variety of issues hound all of the country’s free TV networks.

Regardless, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics is still four years away. That said, the POC will need to think about their options very well, and for the networks, good luck in trying to snatch the rights to the 2020 Games.

As for TV5, it was an opportunity that blew right before their very eyes. Now they should look forward for the long-awaited rebuilding process, one that should put them back on track.

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drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

Telenovelas Return Anew with TV5’s La Reina del Sur

The checkered recent history of the telenovela on Philippine television continues.

On Monday, August 22, TV5 will gamble on a Latin American drama to fill in the network’s sore spots. Enter ‘La Reina del Sur’, a hit 2011 telenovela which starred Kate del Castillo, Humberto Zurita, Rafael Amaya, Iván Sánchez, and Cristina Urgel.

‘La Reina del Sur’ was based on a novel written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The telenovela tells the story of a young Mexican woman who rose to become Southern Spain’s most notorious drug trafficker.

With a production budget of over $10 million, ‘La Reina del Sur’ was considered by home network Telemundo as its second most expensive telenovela ever produced. Despite the heavy costs, the series became a hit in the United States, dominating even some of the other programs on English-language networks, and went on to air 63 episodes.

In the Philippines, ‘La Reina del Sur’ will be the country’s first telenovela in over a year and a half. The most recent telenovela to air in the country was ‘Corazon Indomable’, which was aired on GMA early last year.

Considering the problems that faced more recent telenovelas, TV5 will be under pressure to air the entire 63-episode slate of ‘La Reina del Sur’. That said, barring any unnecessary edits to the series, telenovela fans can only hope that TV5 can stay committed to ‘La Reina del Sur’ for the duration of its run.

Otherwise, it will be another disgraceful exit for a genre that has seen better days in the Philippines. Good luck with that.

‘La Reina del Sur’ airs every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 5:15 p.m. on TV5.

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drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

Pressure On for Second MariMar Remake

Don’t expect the second remake of ‘MariMar’ to be as successful as the first one.

The 2015 version of ‘MariMar’, starring Megan Young as the titular character and Tom Rodriguez as Sergio Santibañez, will officially air later tonight on the timeslot vacated by ‘Pari ‘Koy’. But unlike the 2007 version starring Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes, the new ‘MariMar’ will face tougher competition this time around.

When the 2007 adaptation hit the small screen, GMA was at the peak of its powers then, led by their successful mix of fantaseryes and Koreanovelas. The DongYan-led ‘MariMar’ topped the ratings in almost all of its episodes, eventually peaking with a 52.6% rating during its two-hour finale in March 2008.

The first remake of ‘MariMar’ skyrocketed the careers of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes as a love team. It eventually led to an off-screen relationship, culminated by their wedding late last year (mirroring the ‘live’ marriage of MariMar and Sergio in 2008).

Fast forward to this year, and a very different scenario awaits the new ‘MariMar’. ABS-CBN had overtaken GMA in the ratings, thanks in large part to the discovery of new talents, and stories that pay tribute to the Filipinos’ admirable qualities and values.

One such story is ‘Nathaniel’, ‘MariMar”s upcoming opponent. The value-oriented teleserye has been a consistent winner in its timeslot, even though it had to play a supporting role to both KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) in the Primetime Bida lineup.

That said, the new ‘MariMar’ will be under tremendous pressure to succeed against more formidable competition. The series has proven its charm in the past (both the original and 2007 adaptation earned high ratings), so it’s up to the viewers to decide if this is worth a second chance.

‘MariMar’ premieres starting today, August 24, and airs weeknights at 7:45 p.m. on GMA Telebabad.

Note: The first remake of ‘MariMar’ and the upcoming second remake had an eight-year gap between them. No stranger to producing a second teleserye remake within a short period of time, GMA has also produced second remakes of ‘Darna’ and ‘Captain Barbell’ within four and five years of the first adaptation, respectively.

This does not count another Mars Ravelo creation, ‘Dyesebel’, which aired on GMA in 2008 and later remade by ABS-CBN six years later.

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drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Pasion de Amor Remake Coming Soon on ABS-CBN

A new teleserye is coming to ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

On Monday, May 4, the Kapamilya network released the intital teaser to ‘Pasion de Amor’, the localized adaptation of the Colombian telenovela ‘Pasion de Gavilanes’. The original first aired in Colombia in 1994, and was later broadcast on ABS-CBN a decade later.

In the teaser, three brothers – portrayed by Ejay Falcon, Jake Cuenca and Joseph Marco – sought revenge for the death of their sister by making three sisters from a rival family – portrayed by Ellen Adarna, Arci Munoz and Coleen Garcia – fall in love with them.

‘Pasion de Amor’ is scheduled to premiere within the month of June, with the possibility of moving no later than the third quarter of this year.

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drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: A Second MariMar Remake on GMA

Another local adaptation of ‘MariMar’ is now in the works.

GMA recently released a few teasers that hint towards a new version of the Thalia-starred telenovela. The original ‘MariMar’ became a surprise hit in the mid-90s on RPN, and was later remade by the Kapuso network in 2007 with Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes.

The two short teasers below were released within days of each other.

It is presumed that GMA decided to make a second adaptation of ‘MariMar’ in response to ABS-CBN’s upcoming remake of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. Both series are expected to premiere in either the third or fourth quarter of this year, depending on the flow of the production.

More information on the ‘MariMar’ remake will come in the next few months, so stay tuned.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Latin America, Philippines, television

GMA Shakes Up Weekday Morning Lineup Anew

A teleneovela and a long-overdue Koreanovela makes its way to GMA this Monday morning.

First on the menu is ‘Corazon Indomable’, otherwise known as ‘Wild at Heart’. The telenovela stars Ana Brenda Contreras and Daniel Arenas as lovers with contrasting roots.

‘Corazon Indomable’ first aired in 2013 throughout Mexico, and was a remake of the hit telenovela ‘Marimar’. The latter, first shown on RPN-9 and later re-aired and locally remade on GMA, took Philippine television by storm in the mid-1990s.

The entry of ‘Corazon Indomable’ will mark the latest attempt to rekindle the fading popularity of the telenovela. The genre has endured tremendous amount of abuse from the rightsholder in the last few years, as telenovelas like GMA’s ‘Lola’, ABS-CBN’s ‘Ana Manuela’, and IBC-13/ATC’s ‘The Two Sides of Ana’ and ‘La Teniente’ were either cancelled or shortened for various reasons.

It will be foolish for GMA to once again cut short another telenovela, considering the backlash that they endured upon cancelling ‘Lola’ due to low ratings. If they keep their heads calm, then ‘Corazon Indomable’ will be able to finish in full.

Immediately following ‘Corazon Indomable’ will be the Koreanovela ‘Women in the Sun’. It will star Kim Ji-soo, Lee Ha-na, Han Jae-suk, and Jung Gyu-woon.

‘Women in the Sun’ premieres in Philippine shores nearly seven years after it first aired in its native South Korea. In its original airing, the Koreanovela received an average rating of nearly 14% and won four KBS Drama Awards.

The long gap is uncharacteristic for any Koreanovela in the country, as GMA and ABS-CBN usually air their Koreanovelas within one or two years from its original Korean broadcast. Still, for any devoted follower of Asianovelas, ‘Women in the Sun’ should be worth the wait.

Now the question is, will they have a chance to make an impact against ‘The Singing Bee’? It is highly doubtful, since ‘The Singing Bee’ has had GMA’s number for the past few months, and not even the extended running time of the Astig Authority block can rattle its confidence.

That said, the onus is on GMA to make the two series as good as advertised. This is a make or break situation for them as far as their morning lineup is concerned, so good luck.

‘Corazon Indomable’ and ‘Women in the Sun’ airs starting February 2, right after Astig Authority and before ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

Note: The trailer for ‘Corazon Indomable’, which is now shown on GMA, is unavailable on YouTube as of this writing.

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