action, entertainment, Philippines, television, United States

Lethal Weapon: ABS-CBN’s Latest Tagalized American Series

ABS-CBN has once again imported an American series and dubbed it in Filipino.

Unfortunately, viewers will not get to see a third season of ‘Jane the Virgin’, whose first two seasons were aired by the network last year with lukewarm results. Instead, ABS-CBN will premiere another American TV series which, based on the title, should be familiar to moviegoers worldwide.

Remember the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series of films? Between 1987 and 1998, the franchise released four films starring Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh, each of which were commercially successful.

Fast forward to 2016, and the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise now has its own TV series. This time, the roles of Martin and Roger were given to Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans respectively.

The ‘Lethal Weapon’ series also stars Jordana Brewster, Keesha Sharp, Kevin Rahm, Johnathan Fernandez, Michelle Mitchenor, Chandler Kinney and Dante Brown. Recurring cast members include Floriana Lima, Richard Cabral, Tony Plana, Hilarie Burton and Thomas Lennon.

In the United States, ‘Lethal Weapon’ premiered on September 21, 2016, and was aired on FOX. The series was renewed for a second season following a strong performance in the ratings.

But as ‘Lethal Weapon’ makes its way to Philippine free TV, there are some doubts as to whether or not this series will fare well with most Filipino viewers. For starters, the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series is currently aired on Warner TV Philippines, which means some are already familiar with the story.

And considering their unenthusiastic response to ‘Jane the Virgin’, ABS-CBN may have taken a huge risk with this move. While ‘Lethal Weapon’ is only a mere filler for the network in anticipation for yet another franchised reality show (the first season has 18 episodes in total), it only defies the fact that ABS-CBN wanted nothing more than to dominate every chance they get.

That said, the next several Saturdays could see ABS-CBN slip up a bit after a long reign atop the ratings game. ‘Lethal Weapon’ may only be a temporary fix, but a period of losing could be in the offing.

‘Lethal Weapon’ airs every Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ on ABS-CBN.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television, United States

Jane the Virgin About to Conclude, Says ABS-CBN

Apparently ABS-CBN does not realize the difference between American and Filipino series.

Such is the case for ‘Jane the Virgin’, the Tagalized American comedy-drama series that premiered in the Philippines last March 28. The series, which starred Gina Rodriguez as the titular Jane, was recently renewed by the American cable network The CW for a third season.

Yet ABS-CBN insists that ‘Jane the Virgin’ will come to an end soon. A teaser for its presumed conclusion was recently released by ABS-CBN and has been airing on the network during commercial breaks (see trailer video below).

If the ABS-CBN management were smart enough, they should know the difference between a typical Filipino teleserye and an American series. Look at these contrasts.

American series

  • A season consists of at least 20 episodes
  • An American television season lasts from October to May
  • An American series airs weekly, with a few preemptions for special events in between
  • If successful, they are usually renewed for another season, otherwise they can be cancelled

Filipino series

  • A season ranges from at least 60 episodes to at most 160 episodes, usually divided by ‘book’
  • There is no such thing as a Filipino television season; programs air year-round
  • A Filipino series airs five times a week, except during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
  • Cancellations rarely happen in Filipino series, but renewals to extend its run take place

From the perspective of ABS-CBN, it appears that the reason why ‘Jane the Virgin’ is about to ‘end’ is because of ratings and a desire for another experiment. As it currently stands, ‘Jane the Virgin’ averages around 7% per episode, which is good enough to beat a GMA Asianovela but not against comedy programs ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘Bubble Gang’.

This means that based on ratings alone, ABS-CBN might not bring back ‘Jane the Virgin’ in the foreseeable future. Even though a third season is expected to air in the United States this October, there is a possibility that it may not be aired at all in the Philippines.

If this is indeed the end for ‘Jane the Virgin’ in the Philippines, expect nothing less than an impressive finish. Hopefully ABS-CBN can reconsider its so-called ‘decision’ on this beloved American series, otherwise they will have to regroup.

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