drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Long Overdue: JoshLia Stars in Ngayon at Kailanman

Call it an ‘I wish they should have done this a long time ago’ moment.

The love team of Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto have been in the headlines for as long as fans can remember. But while they made some noise in films like ‘Unexpectedly Yours’, ‘Vince and Kath and James’ and ‘Love You to the Stars and Back’, their chemistry has yet to be tested on television.

To their credit, Joshua and Julia already starred in a few teleseryes individually (most recently Julia was included in ‘A Love to Last’ while Joshua last appeared in ‘The Good Son’). However, the incoming teleserye ‘Ngayon at Kailanman’ will mark the first series in which the two are on the same script.

Via ABS-CBN PR:

“Ngayon at Kailanman” is an ode to classic Filipino teleseryes about star-crossed lovers, who must fight the odds to be together. It stars Joshua as Inno, an heir of the powerful Cortes clan, and Julia as Eva, a streetwise girl who grew up in the slums.

Though they are from different worlds, destiny will bring them together but also tear them apart. While their love will be tested by the Cortes family and the mystery surrounding the identity of Eva, it is up to them to decide what they are willing to risk for their love.

‘Ngayon at Kailanman’ will also mark the return of legendary actress Rosemarie Gil on the small screen as the matriarch to the Cortes clan. Completing the entire cast are Rio Locsin, Iza Calzado, Christian Vasquez, Alice Dixon, Ina Raymundo, Dominic Ocha, TJ Trinidad, Jameson Blake and Joao Constancia.

For all their success in film, Joshua and Julia will have their hands full connecting with the ever-demanding world of primetime television. After all, ‘Ngayon at Kailanman”s predecessor ‘Bagani’ failed to make an impact in spite of its impressive ratings, which only puts great pressure on JoshLia to succeed.

That said, the expectations to excel will be of huge importance to ‘Ngayon at Kailanman’. The series should be more than satisfied in reaching 30% ratings or better during its run, but if it goes below that on a regular basis, then it will be trouble for ABS-CBN.

Directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar and Elfren Vibar, ‘Ngayon at Kailanman’ airs after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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China, drama, entertainment, Philippines, Taiwan, television

Will the New Meteor Garden Be as Successful as the Original?

A familiar series with a new twist.

On Monday, August 20, ABS-CBN will bring the Chinese remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ to Filipino audiences. But the question is: can it equal if not surpass the success of the original?

The new version of ‘Meteor Garden’ will star Darren Cheng, Dylan Wang, Connor Leong, and Caesar Wu as F4. Darren, Dylan, Connor and Caesar will play Hua Ze Lei (originally by Vic Zhou), Dao Ming Si (originally by Jerry Yan), Mei Zuo (originally by Vanness Wu), and Xi Men (originally by Ken Chu) respectively.

Shan Cai, a character popularized by Barbie Shu in the original ‘Meteor Garden’, will now be played by Shen Yue. According to series producer Angie Chai, the cast were selected based on their personalities that were similar to the original F4.

‘Meteor Garden’ began airing in China last month, and so far the series has performed well in its home country. ‘Meteor Garden’ currently ranks in the top 10 of the most-watched Chinese television programs.

The original ‘Meteor Garden’ was first aired in the Philippines back in 2003 and became a smashing success. It helped turn F4 (or JVKV for copyright purposes) into superstars and at the height of the show’s popularity, the group even held a concert in Manila in front of their adoring fans.

ABS-CBN has since re-aired the original series multiple times, most recently in 2014. But while ABS-CBN will forever be the network associated with ‘Meteor Garden’ in the Philippines, archrival GMA Network also aired the said Asianovela in 2007, albeit in a different dub and with mixed success.

Looking ahead, one must wonder how can this new version of ‘Meteor Garden’ be able to permeate the Filipino viewing public the same way the original did. Considering the lofty heights that came with the 2003 version of ‘Meteor Garden’, it will not be easy for the new series to make an impact with both loyal and new viewers.

Not only that, a few alterations to the original story could affect its performance. That said, ABS-CBN should keep expectations low and hope that somewhere down the road viewers will appreciate this new take on ‘Meteor Garden’ with gusto.

‘Meteor Garden’ airs weeknights before ‘TV Patrol’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Thoughts on Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show

A filler show to end all filler shows.

With the 2018 remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ set to air right before ‘TV Patrol’ starting this Monday (more on that later this week), ABS-CBN decided to fill the void with a transitional show on the timeslot normally occupied by its Asianovelas. And this is no ordinary show.

Back in April, ABS-CBN announced a worldwide audition tour called ‘Star Hunt: The Kapamilya Grand Auditions’. The tour began in Manila on the weekend of April 20, after which the network hosted further auditions in both the Philippines and abroad.

Their purpose is to find aspirants that will become part of various ABS-CBN talent and reality shows. Examples include ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, ‘I Can See Your Voice’, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, ‘Dance Kids’, ‘Little Big Shots’, ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and the soon-to-be-launched ‘World of Dance Philippines’.

Beginning Monday, ABS-CBN will air highlights from these auditions as part of ‘Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show’. Hosted by former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ alums Kim Chiu, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga and Melai Cantiveros, the program will take a look at some of the aspirants and their backstories.

This is perhaps a mere short-term solution for ABS-CBN. After all, there are high hopes surrounding the remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ that airing the Asianovela on its normal afternoon timeslot may hinder its viewership due to the ‘TV Patrol’ regional newscasts in the provinces.

Not wanting to risk a loss of viewers, ABS-CBN decided to place ‘Meteor Garden’ on the leadoff slot of Primetime Bida. This leads to ‘Star Hunt: The Grand Audition Show’ taking over the regular Asianovela timeslot of Kapamilya Gold.

Honestly, it makes perfect sense for ABS-CBN to produce a filler show on a timeslot where not all areas will receive it. With regional versions of ‘TV Patrol’ being plugged into this timeslot, ABS-CBN realized that a filler show like ‘Star Hunt’ will be much better than, let’s say a teleserye, because ratings are of no concern to the program and it only serves as a stopgap.

With that, good luck to ABS-CBN for this temporary endeavor. Regardless of how it performed, the most important part is that it served its purpose.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Back to the Serious Stuff: Halik Premieres Monday

It is back to the more serious and daring stuff on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida this Monday.

After not getting the much-needed results with the light-hearted romantic series ‘Since I Found You’, ABS-CBN will use the fourth slot for an intense and more tantalizing drama. But can ‘Halik’ recapture the magic of prior daring teleseryes?

‘Halik’ stars Jericho Rosales and Yen Santos as Lino and Jacky respectively. Once childhood lovers, they were separated when Jacky’s parents disapprove of Lino who is a son of one of their workers, only to renew acquaintances years later.

At this point, however, Lino is married to Jade (Yam Concepcion), an ambitious and headstrong woman, while Jacky lives together with Ace (Sam Milby), a rich man whose sweetness hides a secret. Neither Jade nor Ace are committed and trusty spouses, so it will be up to Lino and Jacky to rekindle their love that was once lost.

‘Halik’ also stars Amy Austria, Alan Paule, Precious Lara Quigaman, Romnick Sarmenta, Cris Villanueva, Almira Muhlach, Christian Bables, Hero Angeles, Chai Fonacier, JC Alcantara, Jane De Leon, and Gab Lagman. The series will be directed by Cathy Camarillo and Carlo Po Artillaga, and is under the Ruel S. Bayani (RSB) drama unit.

Traditionally speaking, the fourth slot of Primetime Bida has long been the domain of mature and daring dramas. This is the slot where ‘The Legal Wife’ became a huge hit, and more recently, this is where ‘The Good Son’ thrived and kept viewers’ senses awake with each captivating scene.

But as ‘Halik’ enters the fray, it remains to be seen if they will be able to follow the footsteps of its more serious predecessors. The series may have the star power bar none, but a rarely-used commodity like Yen Santos could set viewers back a bit.

That said, it will take some time for ‘Halik’ to make its presence felt. Realistically, the opening few weeks of this series should hover within the 17-19% range as far as ratings go, but if they are lucky enough, they might as well surpass the 20% mark.

‘Halik’ airs weeknights after ‘Bagani’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Araw Gabi: The Return of PHR to ABS-CBN

Remember the ‘Precious Hearts Romances Presents’ series?

Between 2009 and 2013, ABS-CBN produced 13 different series based on the Precious Hearts Romances pocketbooks. The last such series, ‘Paraiso’, was aired from November 2012 to April 2013.

Five years after the last ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ series, ABS-CBN announced the revival of the franchise with ‘Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Araw Gabi’. This upcoming Kapamilya drama will be led by PHR veteran JM de Guzman and up-and-coming star Barbie Imperial.

In ‘Araw Gabi’, Michelle (Barbie) is a bright and optimistic young woman who aims to bag the Tranquila Resort account. That resort, in turn, is owned by Adrian (JM), whose grave sin he committed 18 years ago made him a pariah in his home town.

Both Michelle and Adrian eventually cross paths but at first, Adrian rejects Michelle’s proposals that would have helped her advance her career. This leads to a daunting research project where Michelle learns more about Adrian’s past life and the mystery behind the lighthouse that she is dreaming of.

Also starring in ‘Araw Gabi’ are Rita Avila, Vina Morales, Ara Mina, Raymond Bagatsing, RK Bagatsing, Jane Oineza, Phoebe Walker, Paolo Angeles, Ysabel Ortega, Victor Silayan, Arlene Muhlach, Eric Nicolas, and Joshua Colet. The series will be directed by Theodore Boborol, Don Cuaresma, and Mylah Ajero Gaite.

Throughout the history of ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ on television, mature, daring and sensual scenes became the norm. ‘Araw Gabi’ is no exception, and for the likes of Barbie Imperial, Jane Oineza and Ysabel Ortega, the opportunity to shed more skin is a way of elevating their respective acting careers to new heights.

For JM de Guzman, ‘Araw Gabi’ is a reward for the continued perseverance he showed in the years since returning from drug rehabilitation. It is also a homecoming of sorts for the now 29-year-old actor, having starred in three PHR series in its initial run.

As for ‘Araw Gabi’ itself, it remains to be seen if this series will be able to make an impact like its successors. That said, it’s either boon or bust for the revived PHR.

‘Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Araw Gabi’ airs weekdays after ‘Asintado’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Since I Found You to Air on Primetime Bida Tonight

It seems like romantic comedies on Primetime Bida are a bad fit.

Over the last two years, the fourth slot of Primetime Bida was dominated by romcoms, yet despite winning in the ratings, viewers were left unsatisfied and bored over the direction ABS-CBN took. One commenter even went so far as labeling these evening romantic comedies as ‘antok-seryes’.

Last year, ABS-CBN went the more serious route and aired ‘The Good Son’ on the fourth slot. Somehow it worked; the series averaged around 20% and viewers were once again invested into its heart-wrenching and heavy storyline, a far cry from the romance and good vibes of its predecessors.

However, ABS-CBN decided to replace ‘The Good Son’ with yet another romantic comedy. Only this time, it will feature an unlikely love team.

Remember the movie ‘Kita Kita’ starring Empoy and Alessandra de Rossi? After the surprising success of the film, ABS-CBN will look to capitalize on the popularity of AlEmpoy by giving them a more prominent role in the upcoming series ‘Since I Found You’.

Also starring Piolo Pascual, JC de Vera and Arci Muñoz, ‘Since I Found You’ features the story of five individuals whose lives soon change in a heartbeat. The lead characters are as follows:

  • Nathan (Piolo), an accomplished businessman and boss of a construction company, is charismatic and good-looking yet employees are scared of his strict leadership.
  • Dani (Arci), the company practicumer, soon falls in love with Nathan.
  • Ginno (JC), Nathan’s assistant, becomes Dani’s own boss, but later on shows some affection for her.
  • Janice (Alessandra), Nathan’s secretary, also expresses her feelings towards Nathan.
  • James (Empoy), the company driver and comic relief, has a crush on Janice even as she constantly rejects him.

The cast of ‘Since I Found You’ will also include Carmi Martin, John Lapus, Vivoree Esclito, Isabel Oli, Cholo Barretto, and Michael de Mesa. It will be directed by Antoinette Jadaone.

If the performance of more recent primetime romantic comedies is of any indication, then ‘Since I Found You’ is in for a real challenge. Anything more than 20% in the ratings is vindication for the genre, but anything less than that is deemed a failure even if it still wins.

The ball is now on ABS-CBN’s court to prove its doubters wrong. Good luck.

‘Since I Found You’ airs weeknights after ‘Bagani’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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