news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

The Big Question: Is Atom Araullo Going Home to GMA?

The fallout surrounding Atom Araullo’s departure from ABS-CBN is still strong.

It has been a week since Atom bid farewell to ABS-CBN News in order to ‘explore new interests’. At the time, many thought that Atom will simply be a freelancer and make good on his promise of seeking different opportunities in the world of media.

However, within hours of the announcement, GMA teased everyone when Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez made mention of Atom’s name in the DZBB radio program ‘Sino?’. The rumors continued when GMA made the announcement on television of a ‘big reveal’ on ’24 Oras’ this Thursday night, with viewers again speculating that the man on the video is Atom Araullo himself.

Atom Araullo’s career as a host and journalist is a remarkable one. His initial foray into television is on the Probe Productions program ‘5 and Up’, but unlike fellow hosts Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and brothers Rayver and Rodjun Cruz, Atom chose to follow a career in journalism.

After a brief stint as a sports reporter on GMA’s ’24 Oras’, Atom moved to ABS-CBN in 2004 where his career really took off. While he was best known as one of the hosts of ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ and even had his own show in ‘Red Alert’, Atom’s best moment came in 2013 when he reported in Tacloban about Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) while braving the heavy rains and winds.

Earlier this year, Atom received his first acting role on ‘Citizen Jake’ while earning a bronze medal at the New York Festivals for his documentary ‘Warmer’. His final appearances on the ABS-CBN family of networks came last night in an episode of Lifestyle’s ‘The Crawl’.

If it is indeed true that Atom Araullo will move to GMA Network, the reaction could be a mixed one. ABS-CBN has had a ‘no-compete clause’ in their news personalities’ contracts which state that they should not move to another network until a year following their departure.

Then again, anything like a ‘no-compete clause’ is totally irrelevant at this point. Not only that, Atom’s departure from ABS-CBN is an amicable one, and as a free agent, he can choose his next destination anytime he wants.

Later tonight, the ‘big reveal’ will take place on GMA’s ’24 Oras’. But the question remains, is the man in the video indeed Atom Araullo? Find out in several hours’ time.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Thoughts on the Timeslot Change of Mulawin vs. Ravena and Alyas Robin Hood

It was a timeslot change that was unexpected and unfortunate.

Last Friday night, GMA announced a pair of scheduling changes that shook the primetime landscape. First, the returning series ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will now occupy the timeslot succeeding ’24 Oras’, and second, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will now air on the timeslot that was previously used by ‘My Love from the Star’.

The timeslot change meant that the long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will now have its sixth different opponent. As it nears its third year on the air, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has shown no signs of slowing down, earning ratings between 35-40% every night.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, which premiered on May 22, seemed to be a worthy opponent for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ when it first aired. However, the series was a disaster from the start, and through 60 episodes, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena averaged only 17-18% ratings-wise.

Meanwhile, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ showed some promise during its first season. Despite facing uncharacteristically weak Kapamilya competition in ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ still came away with consistent ratings of around 20-25%, showcasing its potential.

If ‘Alyas Robin Hood”s first season performance was of any indication, then GMA seemed to have made the right call. They think that the series will have a much-better chance against Coco Martin, and with some viewers no longer pleased with the endlessly long run of ‘Ang Probinsyano’, it could give GMA the opportunity to woo such viewers to watch Dingdong Dantes’ show.

Still, even if ‘Ang Probinsyano’ appears to be in a creative nadir, they are still a force to be reckoned with. That said, if the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ fails to duplicate if not surpass its first season performance, it could mean big trouble for the Kapuso network.

As for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena, the demotion could still become either a boon or a bust. While the series will no longer have the pressure of facing ‘Ang Probinsyano’, they still have to worry about KathNiel’s ‘La Luna Sangre’, whose ratings of 35% or better is just as impressive as the former.

Not only that, the series will have to contend with former ‘Mulawin’ star Richard Gutierrez. If in the past Richard made ‘Mulawin’ a popular series during the mid-2000s, now it will be up to him to take down its sequel.

Whether or not ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will thrive in their new surroundings remain to be seen. For now, let’s wish both shows good luck, otherwise expect another switcharoo coming up.

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news, Philippines, politics, television

Busy Day for Networks in a Marathon Senate Hearing on EJK

The Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings reached fever pitch Monday night.

The hearing began at 9:30 a.m., with Senator Richard Gordon presiding the proceedings. Senator Gordon and company presented the following witnesses that day:

  • SPO1 Vivencio Jumawan Jr.
  • PO3 Enrique Ayao
  • Ret. S. Supt. Dionisio Abude
  • SPO3 Arthur Lascañas

All four testified and questioned the validity of star witness Edgar Matobato’s statement. They claimed that they knew Matobato and they also denied the existence of a Davao Death Squad.

However, the highlight of the hearing took place deep into the evening. Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Gordon, Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao learned that star witness Edgar Matobato had left the building even before his scheduled testimony, with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV even telling Matobato to leave for security reasons.

This led to a word war between Senators Gordon and Leila de Lima. The two senators clashed over what Gordon claimed was ‘material concealment’ of information on de Lima’s part over Matobato’s kidnapping case in 2002, and it led to de Lima storming out of the Senate.

In the end, Senator Gordon announced that the hearing on extrajudicial killings will be suspended until further notice. Gordon then called for a caucus of committee members, which may take place today.

At around 12:00 p.m., the following major networks were covering the Senate hearings:

  • DZMM TeleRadyo (and DZMM Radyo Patrol 630)
  • ABS-CBN News Channel
  • CNN Philippines
  • GMA News TV
  • Super Radyo DZBB 594
  • AksyonTV
  • Radyo5 92.3 News FM
  • PTV-4

Save for TV5’s ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, there was no noontime newscast that day due to the hearings. However, for some unknown reason, AksyonTV and Radyo5 92.3 News FM chose to stop carrying the feed by 12:30 in favor of regular programming, a decision that did not sit well with the Kapatid faithful (the PBA coverage is excused, however).

At around 6:00 p.m. CNN Philippines ended the coverage in favor of ‘Network News’. Thirty minutes later, DZMM and DZBB concluded their coverage in order to carry ‘TV Patrol’ and ’24 Oras’ respectively.

By 6:45 p.m. ANC likewise ended their coverage in favor of regular programming. The network was unable to cover the heated confrontation between Senators de Lima and Gordon, however, and they deferred the coverage to DZMM TeleRadyo instead.

Overall, it was a very busy day for the networks at the Senate. In a hearing that lasts over 13 hours (with a suspension of over an hour), every action needs to be followed, and many of them tried their best to do so.

Now that the hearings are suspended until further notice, it is back to mostly regular programming for the networks. Still, it remains to be seen if the impending continuation of the hearings will be as action-packed as the last one.

 

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

Lip-Sync Battle Philippines Nears End

The end is getting closer for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’.

A few episodes remain for this franchised GMA celebrity talent show, whose finale will take place around September. A replacement, ‘Superstar Duets’, was officially announced by GMA a few days earlier (more on that in a future article).

In relation to that, Iya Villania-Arellano announced that she will take a maternity leave to prepare for the birth of her son with husband Drew Arellano. Thus she will leave behind not only her hosting duties with the ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, but also with ’24 Oras’.

The only question remains though, is whether or not GMA can ably replace Iya with another co-host for the final few episodes of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’. As it stands, host Michael V may have to do it all alone, which may either be a blessing in disguise or a bad case of overwork.

‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ first premiered on February 27, and it featured celebrities dressed as iconic singers lip-synching to their hit songs. It was GMA’s first franchised show since ‘Don’t Lose the Money’ two years ago.

Though the show had promise, they were unable to make an impact in the ratings.  For the entirety of its run, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ was pitted against ABS-CBN shows ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, each of which posted better ratings than the former.

To make matters worse, Michael V found himself overexposed in the first few months of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’. Prior to the show’s timeslot change on July 2, it was aired back-to-back with ‘Pepito Manaloto’, which also starred Bitoy.

Overall, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ was a good show. Notwithstanding its unimpressive ratings, the show was worth watching for those who know the art of lip-synching.

As the show comes to an end in September, one can only hope that it will make a final impression to its viewers. But it remains to be seen whether or not Michael V can hold the fort alone, that is unless GMA can find an able replacement for Iya.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

With Impending Encantadia Requel, GMA Goes for Broke

It’s official: ‘Encantadia’ is returning to GMA.

The announcement was made last night during the evening newscast ’24 Oras’. Throughout the newscast, the upcoming ‘requel’ (portmanteau of reboot and prequel) revealed its main cast members, which are as follows:

  • Glaiza de Castro (as Sang’gre Pirena, originally portrayed by Sunshine Dizon)
  • Kylie Padilla (as Sang’gre Amihan, originally portrayed by Iza Calzado)
  • Gabbi Garcia (as Sang’gre Alena, originally portrayed by Karylle)
  • Sanya Lopez (as Sang’gre Danaya, originally portrayed by Diana Zubiri)
  • Ruru Madrid (as Ybarro/Ybrahim, originally portrayed by Dingdong Dantes)
  • Rocco Nacino (as Aquil, originally portrayed by Alfred Vargas)

They will be joined by Marian Rivera, who will play Dawn Zulueta’s original role as the Inang Reyna.

In addition, the press conference announced the names of the supporting cast members. They are:

  •  John Arcilla (as Hagorn)
  • Rochelle Pangilinan (as Agane)
  • Vaness del Moral (as Gurna)
  • Pancho Magno (as Hitano)
  • Christian Bautista (as Apitong)
  • Carlo Gonzales (as Muros)
  • Kate Valdez (as Mira)
  • Mikee Quintos (as Lira)
  • Klea Pineda (as Muyak)
  • Migo Adecer (as Anthony)
  • Solenn Heussaff (as Cassiopeia)

Mark Reyes will be the director of the new ‘Encantadia’, and he revealed that a few changes will be made on the ‘requel’ without sacrificing the main story of the original series. That said, expect a fresher and more modern ‘Encantadia’ for the new generation.

The original ‘Encantadia’ aired on GMA during the mid-2000s, and spawned two sequels in ‘Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’. A planned reboot of ‘Encantadia’ (titled ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’) was announced in 2010, but was never materialized.

When it first aired, ‘Encantadia’ became one of GMA’s highly-rated series, thanks in large part to the popularity of the fantaserye during that time. But the production of ‘Encantadia’ and its two sequels took its toll on GMA financially, and they have never recovered since.

With the Kapuso network in a crisis of confidence, what chances will they have with the ‘requel’ of ‘Encantadia’? And how will this series be able to thrive amidst a more conservative approach in teleserye production?

Only time will tell.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Poor Señorita to Challenge Ang Probinsyano Starting Tonight

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, meet Coco Martin.

After easily disposing both ‘MariMar’ and ‘Little Nanay’, ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ now awaits a new opponent. This time, young stars will not be the focus of this new GMA teleserye, but rather, a still-relevant 40-year-old Asia’s Songbird

Yes, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid remains a visible figure after nearly three decades in the industry. Although she earned her stripes as a singer, she also had major success as an actress, and starting tonight, the latter aspect of her talents will be shown on the upcoming series ‘Poor Señorita’.

In ‘Poor Señorita’, Regine plays Rita, a successful yet obsessive-compulsive owner of a perfume company. After suddenly losing her wealth, she stumbled upon five children who would try to help her get back on her feet, and in the process, show her the true meaning of love and happiness.

Joining Regine on ‘Poor Señorita’ are Mikael Daez, Sheena Halili, Kevin Santos, Valeen Montenegro, Jaya, Ervic Vijandre, Jillian Ward, Miggs Cuaderno, Zymic Jaranilla, Caprice Cayetano, Ralph Noriega, Snooky Serna, Ayra Mariano and Elyson de Dios. For Ayra and Elyson, it will be their first project after winning ‘StarStruck’ season 6.

Playing special roles on ‘Poor Señorita’ are Ricky Davao and Dingdong Dantes. Dominic Zapata will be the series’ director.

‘Poor Señorita’ is the latest in a series of attempts by GMA Telebabad to make their dramas lighter and more family-friendly. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out, and the fact that ABS-CBN (with the help of Dreamscape and Star Creatives) succeeded with dramas that appeal to the everyday Filipino made it more difficult for GMA to thrive.

That said, a daunting challenge awaits ‘Poor Señorita’ on its very first week. With ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ on a roll, the former needs to prove that they can also keep up and make lighter series just as appealing to viewers.

‘Poor Señorita’ airs starting tonight after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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