action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Bouncing Back: Julia Montes Returns in Asintado

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold badly needs a boost.

For months, the block has struggled against a resurgent GMA Afternoon Prime. It was clear that Kapamilya Gold has gone stale with a repetitive ‘kabitserye’ formula, and as a result, viewers tuned away in favor of series that had campy scenes (‘Ika-6 na Utos’), one actress playing two contrasting personalities (‘Impostora’), and allusions to the supernatural (‘Haplos’).

This Monday, Kapamilya Gold will try to return to relevance with a familiar face and a new attitude. Enter ‘Asintado’, the newest afternoon series starring daytime drama’s undisputed queen in Julia Montes.

In ‘Asintado’, Julia is Ana, a member of a rescue team who looks to make her adoptive family proud. After saving Gael (Paulo Avelino) from a mining accident, she became his personal nurse and eventually fell in love with each other.

But just as their relationship blooms, Gael’s ex-girlfriend Samantha (Shaina Magdayao) returns to try to win back his heart, even if it means killing Ana. Fortunately, Ana was saved by Xander (Aljur Abrenica), only to find out later on that Gael and Samantha are about to get married.

Just as Ana is plotting her revenge, she finds out that Samantha was her long-lost sister. Samantha, as it turned out, was lost in the fire that killed their parents.

The search for love and justice in ‘Asintado’ will also involve a veteran supporting cast consisting of Lorna Tolentino, Cherry Pie Picache, Lito Pimentel, Agot Isidro, and Nonie Buencamino. The series will be directed by Onat Diaz and Lino Cayetano.

If Julia’s previous series ‘Doble Kara’ helped Kapamilya Gold reclaim the ratings lead from Afternoon Prime, then ABS-CBN should look for ‘Asintado’ to do the same. Still, the series will be up against a formidable foe in ‘Impostora’, and battling a tested star in Kris Bernal will not be a walk in the park.

But considering Julia Montes’ star power, facing such an obstacle is no big deal. That said, it will be up to her to lead Kapamilya Gold back to where it wants to be.

‘Asintado’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Surprising ‘Bagito’ Premieres on Primetime Bida

An unexpected selection from ABS-CBN takes over Primetime Bida tonight.

In a last-minute decision, the Kapamilya network announced Friday afternoon that ‘Bagito’ will air on the slot that was vacated by the recently-concluded ‘Pure Love’. The upcoming coming-of-age teleserye premieres later this afternoon.

Like more recent Kapamilya dramas, young and emerging talents will be the focus of attention on ‘Bagito’. The series will be topbilled by Nash Aguas and Alexa Ilacad, with fellow young actress Ella Cruz providing a supporting role.

Also joining the series are veterans Agot Isidro, Ariel Rivera and Angel Aquino. Completing the cast are Paolo Santiago, Alex Diaz and Gimme 5 members Joaquin Reyes, John Bermundo, Grae Fernandez and Brace Arquia.

‘Bagito’ focuses on a teenage boy who suddenly takes on the responsibility of being a father. The series will look at how the boy ended up impregnating a fellow teenager and how he will shoulder the burden of nurturing a child at a young age.

Before becoming a teleserye, ‘Bagito’ was first written as a Wattpad story by well-renowned author Noreen Capili. The entry soon gained popularity among Wattpad readers, with reads of over 100,000 as of today.

Initially an afterthought when it was first promoted, ‘Bagito”s unexpected entry into Primetime Bida came as a huge surprise to viewers. After all, much of the focus has been on the three returning Kapamilyas in Maxene Magalona, Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin, stars of ‘Dream Dad’ and ‘Flor de Liza’ respectively.

In fact, ABS-CBN had already been prepared to replace ‘Pure Love’ with ‘Dream Dad’, and even went as far as unveiling the full trailer of the series Thursday night.

But that all changed Friday afternoon.

The full trailer of ‘Dream Dad’ was taken down from ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube account. Soon after, a trailer for ‘Bagito’ was aired later that night, and then it was announced that ‘Dream Dad’ would premiere on November 24, this time replacing ‘Hawak Kamay’.

Even with a stunner of an entry, ‘Bagito’ should pose little problems in attaining decent, if not high viewership numbers. With GMA using this timeslot for the replay of the Koreanovela ‘Coffee Prince’, expect ‘Bagito’ to lord it over in the ratings against an inferior opponent.

It may have been a last-minute decision from ABS-CBN management, but should ‘Bagito’ succeed in the ratings, it will be all worth it.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Marian Rivera Returns to Primetime

Marian Rivera (left, with Alden Richards) will return to the primetime scene with ‘Carmela’. (Courtesy GMA Network)

Marian Rivera is making a long-awaited television comeback. After winning FHM Philippines’ ‘Sexiest Woman’ title and announcing herself as the calendar girl for Ginebra, the long-time GMA contract artist will resume her leading lady role in a teleserye that will take her career to another level.

The project will be called ‘Carmela’. Originally named ‘Catarina’, the title was changed to ‘Carmela’ because Rivera thought the latter sounded sweeter than the former. The series, currently in the pre-production stage, will be Rivera’s first teleserye since ‘Temptation of Wife‘, and Alden Richards, nine years her junior, will be her leading man.

In a related report, Louise delos Reyes is now undergoing rigid training sessions to prepare for her role as a mermaid. Delos Reyes will play a more supporting role in ‘Carmela’ as opposed to her lead role in ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’. Other stars confirmed to play supporting roles in the series include Agot Isidro, Roi Vinzon, Rochelle Pangilinan, Ina Feleo, Max Collins, and Jennica Garcia.

The upcoming drama series will be released in the first quarter of 2014. Given that GMA’s primetime television ratings have been in the red of late thanks to ABS-CBN’s younger stable of talents, the re-entry of Marian Rivera to the primetime scene should give the Kapuso network a boost they desperately need.

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