drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Love in the Moonlight Marks Return of Asianovelas to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida

For the first time in nearly two years, a Koreanovela will occupy the penultimate slot on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

Tonight will mark the premiere of the popular Korean series ‘Love in the Moonlight’, starring Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung. The series enjoyed an impressive run in its native Korea, and it won a number of awards such as Best Couple, Best Excellent Actress, and Best Actor awards in the 2016 KBS Drama Awards.

Prior to ‘Love in the Moonlight’, Primetime Bida has not had a Korean drama since ‘My Lovely Girl’, whose last episode was aired in June 2015. In between, two seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ (737, Lucky 7), the teleserye ‘You’re My Home’, and the American series ‘Jane the Virgin’ were aired on that slot.

‘Love in the Moonlight’ is just one of several Korean dramas whose rights were acquired by ABS-CBN a few weeks ago. Others in the pipeline include  ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’, ‘Hwarang’, ‘Goblin’, ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo’, ‘W’ and ‘Doctors’.

In premiering ‘Love in the Moonlight’, ABS-CBN crushed the notion that Asianovelas on Channel 2 were essentially extinct. Their last Korean drama was ‘My Love Donna’ last year, and many thought the network finally moved on from the genre once sister channel CineMo began to import its own set of Koreanovelas later that year.

Instead, ABS-CBN surprised many, including Koreanovela fans, by acquiring the aforementioned hit Korean dramas. And considering how rival GMA loaded themselves up with more Asianovelas (including those airing on sister station GMA News TV), ABS-CBN made it clear that they are still indeed the ‘First and True Home of Asianovelas’.

The question now is whether or not ‘Love in the Moonlight”s success in Korea will translate over to the Philippines. With ABS-CBN having not aired a Koreanovela on primetime in nearly two years, this will be a huge test to see if their decision to bring them back is all worth it.

‘Love in the Moonlight’ airs weeknights after ‘A Love to Last’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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cable TV, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN Koreanovelas Find a New Home

Koreanovelas on ABS-CBN find a new partner in CineMo!. After ‘Blood’, the second Koreanovela on CineMo!, ‘You’re All Surrounded’, begins this Sunday. (Publicity photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

The relocation of Koreanovelas on ABS-CBN is now underway.

With the flagship Channel 2 no longer committed to broadcast Koreanovelas due to various critical factors (e.g. low ratings, heavily edited content), ABS-CBN decided to move them to another platform. Fortunately, an exclusive channel of the network’s TVPlus platform came to the rescue.

Enter CineMo!, whose foray to the Koreanovela genre began May 1 with the series ‘Blood’. After ‘Blood’ aired its final episode last Sunday, CineMo! followed it up with another Koreanovela, titled ‘You’re All Surrounded’, which will air starting July 10.

If viewers on ABS-CBN were not happy with their harsh treatment of Koreanovelas, then they should feel relieved with CineMo!’s more relaxed approach. Unlike the weekday airing of Koreanovelas on Channel 2, CineMo!’s Koreanovelas air once a week, and on a near-uninterrupted and unedited basis.

This means that viewers will enjoy a more complete, unadulterated and free-flowing Koreanovela experience, something that Channel 2 cannot guarantee due to its stricter programming rules. More importantly, their entry should appease more consumers to purchase the ABS-CBN TVPlus digital box.

ABS-CBN’s most recent Koreanovela on the main Channel 2 was ‘My Love Donna’, which was either cancelled or concluded last April after a run of nearly one month. After the humiliating experience of ‘My Love Donna’, it was clear to ABS-CBN that Koreanovelas, like animes before them, are no longer a good fit to Channel 2’s current plans.

With the presence of digital channels such as CineMo!, ABS-CBN was able to accommodate some of their imported programming to their new digital counterparts. That way, Channel 2 can air more local programming which should satisfy viewers’ appetites.

As far as ABS-CBN is concerned, flexibility matters in this digital age. Now that Koreanovelas on ABS-CBN move to their digital partners, the network’s future becomes brighter than ever, and with a greater emphasis on local programming, expect them to continue their consolidation as the premier broadcast network in the Philippines.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

End of the Line for The Millionaire’s Wife

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is down to its final two episodes.

Led by Andrea Torres in what GMA calls her most mature series yet, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will officially conclude its 67-episode run tomorrow afternoon. All series long, viewers were able to witness the life of single mother-turned-rich wife Luisa (Andrea), and her struggles to deal with two things: money, and love and compassion for others.

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, which also starred Robert Arevalo, Mike Tan, Jaclyn Jose, Sid Lucero, Ina Raymundo and Rich Asuncion, first premiered on March 14 as a replacement to ‘Destiny Rose’. Initially, the series started strong, registering a 12.5% national rating; in contrast, rival ABS-CBN Koreanovela ‘My Love Donna’ only earned a 9.1% mark on its own premiere day.

The dominance of ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ soon led to the cancellation of the poorly-performing ‘My Love Donna’. Then on April 11, the Kapamilya network placed ‘Tubig at Langis’ opposite ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, and from that point on, the momentum turned in the former’s favor.

While ‘Tubig at Langis’ carried its average ratings of 15% or better to its new timeslot, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ continued to score 12% with each passing episode; only this time, they were on the losing end. The former’s confrontational scenes involving Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Clara (Isabelle Daza) proved to be a hit, and it doomed the latter.

Notwithstanding its impressive start early in its run, it was clear that ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ finally met its match in ‘Tubig at Langis’. While Andrea Torres was able to make the most of her evolving artistic repertoire, ABS-CBN still had the edge in terms of storytelling, and this gave ‘Tubig at Langis’ the advantage.

Now that ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will come to an end, let’s just hope that the final episodes of this series will bring a lasting impression to its viewers. Otherwise, it may end up as the latest in a string of GMA teleserye letdowns.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: The Millionaire’s Wife Premieres Today

Andrea Torres returns to drama with the upcoming series ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

The series, which also stars the likes of Mike Tan, Robert Arevalo, Sid Lucero, Ina Raymundo and Jaclyn Jose, tells the story of a woman who had to choose between two things: love or money, in order to save her life. ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will be directed by Albert Langitan, with Roy Iglesias serving as its creative director.

Replacing ‘Destiny Rose’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is expected to have a great start to its run, considering its opponent is an ABS-CBN Koreanovela in ‘My Love Donna’ (some areas will receive ‘Game ng Bayan’ instead). Still, it remains to be seen whether or not Andrea Torres’ return to drama will pay off.

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ airs weekdays at 4: 15 p.m., after ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Koreanovelas Return to ABS-CBN

What’s going on, ABS-CBN?

In an extremely unusual move, the Kapamilya network decided to bring back Koreanovelas after an eight-month absence. Their newest Koreanovela, ‘My Love Donna’ will air starting this Monday, and will replace ‘And I Love You So’ on the Kapamilya Gold block.

‘My Love Donna’ stars Joo Jin-Mo and Kim Sa-Rang. It will be the first Koreanovela since ‘Let’s Get Married’ and ‘My Lovely Girl’ to air on ABS-CBN.

Bringing back Koreanovelas on ABS-CBN doesn’t make sense. They already have the resources and technology to produce more local programming, so why do they still need to import foreign series when in fact interest in Koreanovelas are declining and there are some Star Magic artists who are waiting for opportunities to shine.

In addition, ABS-CBN is infamous for cutting a lot of good scenes when it comes to foreign dramas, so much so that their runs are shorter than originally indicated (remember ‘Ana Manuela’?). The fact that these dramas are short-term in nature doesn’t help ABS-CBN at all, and it only hurts their viewership whenever they are present.

By bringing ‘My Love Donna’ to Kapamilya Gold, ABS-CBN has made the wrong decision and the wrong time to bring back a Koreanovela. On the same day ‘My Love Donna’ premieres, GMA will bring in a new teleserye, the Andrea Torres-starred ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, on the very same timeslot (more on that this Monday).

Remember, the Kapuso network only airs Koreanovelas in the morning and evening slots, and on Mondays to Thursdays as well. The presence of ‘Wowowin’ and longer teleseryes means that there is no place for them to add Koreanovelas in the afternoon.

That said, expect ABS-CBN to lose in the ratings with their newest Koreanovela. This is a definite mismatch for the Kapamilya network, and thus, it won’t help them at all.

What was thought to be the ‘end of an era’ for Koreanovelas on the network turned out to be false hope. Yes, ABS-CBN brought back a Koreanovela, but it won’t be long before they stopped airing them anew.

Other Notes: Speaking of Koreanovelas, GMA will have Korean movies every Monday to Thursday at 10:00 p.m. as part of the ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ series. It will replace ‘Temptation’ starting March 14.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Destiny Rose, And I Love You So End Tomorrow

Another ‘Battle of the Finales’ takes place tomorrow afternoon.

ABS-CBN’s ‘And I Love You So’ and GMA’s ‘Destiny Rose’ will officially conclude after their respective runs of 70 and 130 episodes. The two series have been on a collision course since December of last year, with both shows exchanging ratings victories on numerous occasions.

‘Destiny Rose’ premiered on September 14, 2015, and was the latest GMA series to tackle LGBT issues (similar to ‘My Husband’s Lover’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’). The series starred Ken Chan as a transwoman, and was joined by Fabio Ide, Katrina Halili, Manilyn Reynes, Michael de Mesa and Joko Diaz, among others.

Replacing ‘Healing Hearts’ on Afternoon Prime, ‘Destiny Rose’ initially struggled in the ratings when it premiered, but soon managed to win the hearts of viewers with the transformation of Ken’s character into a woman. Like the two prior LGBT-themed GMA series, its story received numerous praise from critics.

‘And I Love You So’, on the other hand, premiered on December 7, 2015, and it starred Julia Barretto and Miles Ocampo as rivals turned stepsisters. They were joined by Dimples Romana, Tonton Gutierrez and Angel Aquino, among others.

Premiering as a replacement to the short-lived Kapamilya series ‘Walang Iwanan’, ‘And I Love You So’ proved that it can keep up with ‘Destiny Rose’ in the ratings. But unlike their fellow Kapamilya Gold dramas ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’ and ‘Tubig at Langis’, ‘And I Love You So’ was unable to dominate, which should bother the cast given the potential of both Julia and Miles.

In any event, this should be an exciting ‘Battle of the Finales’. For ‘And I Love You So’ and ‘Destiny Rose’, it’s all about finishing on a right note, and tomorrow afternoon, viewers will find out how their stories conclude.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN and GMA have announced replacements for the two series. The Kapamilya network will go back to airing Koreanovelas with ‘My Love Donna’, while the Kapuso network will counter with ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

More on that in upcoming articles.

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