drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN Raises the ‘Daring’ Stakes, Plus GMA’s Inability to Respond

The trend towards mature and dark subject matter on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida continues with ‘Bridges of Love’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Tonight’s premiere of ‘Bridges of Love’ on ABS-CBN has From the Tube wondering: Why is GMA not responding to the increasingly ‘daring’ route of Primetime Bida?

Mature and dark relationship-oriented themes have virtually become a norm on Primetime Bida’s 9:15 p.m. slot. Last year, ‘The Legal Wife’ became a rousing success due to the seemingly shocking portrayal of jealousy and infidelity involving the love triangle of characters portrayed by Jericho Rosales, Maja Salvador and Angel Locsin.

And just recently, viewers were treated to a similar display of deception and envy in the adaptation of the Koreanovela ‘Two Wives’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’, the series involved a love triangle, this time between the characters portrayed by Jason Abalos, Kaye Abad and Erich Gonzales.

Although ABS-CBN has trended in the right direction with the more mature-oriented teleseryes, it all began, however, with one bold move from its rival in Timog: ‘My Husband’s Lover’.

The 2013 GMA drama starring Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo made the same-sex relationship a must-see during its run. Running from June to October 2013, ‘My Husband’s Lover’ briefly provided a boost to the sagging ratings of Telebabad.

Unfortunately, the Kapuso network failed to create a successful follow-up to ‘My Husband’s Lover’. The teleseryes that followed MHL (‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’, ‘Rhodora X’, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Second Chances’) didn’t feel up to the task of elevating the dark and moody themes to a new level.

As a result, the 9:15 slot of Telebabad returned to its old sinking ways, while Primetime Bida continued to increase its gap. Worse for the Kapuso network, ‘The Legal Wife’ and later ‘daring’ Kapamilya dramas became a local and international social media sensation.

That said, GMA’s regression back to more wholesome and ‘tweener’ stories in the latter part of Telebabad became its undoing. And it only gets worse.

Next on ABS-CBN’s ‘daring’ list is ‘Bridges of Love’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’, a love triangle will be involved in the series, only this time, it’s between two men fighting for the love of one woman.

‘Bridges of Love’ will be led by Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. The story will feature two brothers (Echo and Paulo) who were separated by guilt and hatred, but were bridged together by love through one woman (portrayed by Maja).

The upcoming Kapamilya series should pose a big threat to its Kapuso counterpart ‘Second Chances’. The latter series failed to keep up with the success of ‘Two Wives’ during its first two months, and it won’t be a surprise if its new opponent makes a similar impact.

Now GMA should start revisiting the very theme that made ‘My Husband’s Lover’ a success. A new strategy should be in store for Telebabad if they still want to keep in step with Primetime Bida, otherwise there will be more trouble for the embattled block.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Disappointing Run for ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’

‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ is ending with a whimper.

The drama series starring Bea Alonzo and Paulo Avelino will officially conclude their run later tonight. ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ will be replaced by the Filipino adaptation of the Korean series ‘Two Wives’.

Premiering on June 16 amid high expectations, ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ failed to replicate or even surpass the success of its predecessor ‘The Legal Wife’. This despite the fact that the show is a constant trending topic on Twitter, and a ratings winner according to Kantar.

The high point of the series came on the September 19 episode. The kissing scene between Emmanuelle (Alonzo) and Patrick (Avelino) not only became a top trending topic on Twitter nationally, but also globally.

The momentum continued on the September 24 episode, where Emmanuelle finally confessed to Patrick that she is indeed his ‘dead’ wife Rose. Like the September 19 episode, it trended both nationally and globally on Twitter.

Still, despite its social media success, ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ only managed to score a 15-20% rating in every episode, a far cry from the 25-30% that ‘The Legal Wife’ managed during its run.

Making matters worse, rival ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ began to turn things around. The recently concluded GMA series gave ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ a scare, both on Kantar and AGB Nielsen.

Even though they recaptured the momentum with the entry of ‘Hiram na Alaala’, the damage has been done. ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ proved to be a letdown from the success of ‘The Legal Wife’.

Now ABS-CBN hopes that ‘Two Wives’, starring Erich Gonzales, Jason Abalos and Kaye Abad, will be a huge improvement over ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’. The upcoming teleserye, as mentioned earlier, is an adaptation of a Korean series that aired in 2012.

As for ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’, it was a good series, but not a great one that would rank among the Kapamilya network’s greatest teleseryes. Indeed, they are a disappointment.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ Ends Tomorrow

GMA’s controversial teleserye ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ will end on September 19. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The book will officially close on ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’.

The controversial drama series, starring Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe and Maricel Soriano, will air its final episode tomorrow night. ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ will finish its run with a total of 80 episodes in 16 weeks.

Replacing the equally controversial but low-rated ‘Rhodora X’ on June 2, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ had a slow start to its four-month run. The series premiered just as ABS-CBN’s blockbuster series ‘The Legal Wife’ was about to finish.

The ratings for ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ had a 20% or better ratings disadvantage against ‘The Legal Wife’, causing a whole lot of concern on the GMA camp.

Things would turn around for the series, however. After ‘The Legal Wife’ was replaced by ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ slowly gained ground, and on July 28, the show made some headlines.

The said date’s episode saw Millet (Soriano) slap Anthony (Dantes) 23 times. Even before the episode was aired, however, behind-the-scenes snippets of the confrontation began to circulate on social media, creating a huge buzz that culminated with the highly-publicized airing of the said scene.

That episode proved to be the high point of ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real”s run, as it not only trended on Twitter, but also gave ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ a scare in the ratings. And while they fell short in Kantar’s count, they managed to earn a victory in AGB Nielsen.

But despite giving ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ a good fight, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ lacked advertising support to remain viable, airing only 10 ads or better compared to over 30 for their rivals. Still, the series continued to defy all odds up until the series finale.

Overall, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ enjoyed a good run. While it will never earn a place among GMA’s most successful teleseryes, the series’ tense moments and the aforementioned slapping spree of Millet on Anthony will always be etched in teleserye lore, not to mention the bigamy storyline that is novel to the small screen.

‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ will be replaced by ‘Hiram na Alaala’, starring Dennis Trillo, Kris Bernal, Lauren Young and Rocco Nacino. The upcoming teleserye will air starting September 22.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Mrs. Real’ Has a New Rival

‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ replaced the highly-rated series ‘The Legal Wife’ last Monday. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ is off to a poor start, but fortunately for them, their erstwhile rival ended its run the previous week. However, a new challenger awaits.

‘The Legal Wife’ finished its run last Friday to the tune of a 36.2% rating. That stat, according to Kantar, was more than quadruple than that of ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, which finished a paltry 8.8%. In addition, topics related to the program were among the most trended on Twitter.

‘The Legal Wife’ also beat ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ in the AGB Nielsen ratings. The former drew a 32.3% while the latter managed a 12.8% nationally.

The finale saw Monica (Angel Locsin) and Adrian (Jericho Rosales) separate and enter a new chapter of their lives. Their separation came after several tumultuous years of marriage, which only intensified after Nicole (Maja Salvador), Monica’s friend, got into an affair with Adrian.

With ‘The Legal Wife’ now a thing of the past, ABS-CBN is now banking on its replacement to deliver similar, if not higher, numbers that the former achieved throughout its run. Enter ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’, which premiered on the vacated timeslot of ‘The Legal Wife’ last night.

The new series marked the return of Bea Alonzo into the primetime spotlight. In her first television series since ‘A Beautiful Affair’ over a year ago, Alonzo will be playing two different roles in the series. First, she is Rose, a woman who was accused for a crime she did not commit. Then as the series go on, she undergoes plastic surgery in order to assume the role of Emmanuelle, a feisty lawyer with a mission for revenge.

Joining Alonzo will be Paulo Avelino, Albert Martinez, Dina Bonnevie, Maricar Reyes, Tonton Gutierrez, Eddie Garcia, Anita Linda, and Susan Roces. Jerome Pobocan and Trina Dayrit will direct the series.

While it is still early to predict the amount of viewers that the program will receive, it is expected that the series will become a highly-rated one, although not as highly-rated as its predecessor ‘The Legal Wife’. And based on ABS-CBN’s recent track record of airing highly-rated series, ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ is assured to be a ratings winner.

On the other hand, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ is facing an uphill battle. After an unimpressive 8.8% performance last Friday, the the directors of the series will now have to devise some strategies in hopes of not repeating this performance again. Otherwise, an easy victory for ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ will await the former.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Rhodora X’ Exits With a Whimper

Throughout its four-month run, ‘Rhodora X’ has been consistently upstaged by ‘The Legal Wife’ despite boasting an interesting storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’.

GMA’s suspense-filled drama series ‘Rhodora X’ will bid goodbye this Friday, to be replaced by ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. And despite an original and enticing storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, the ratings of the said program were not as well-received as they intended to.

‘Rhodora X’, along with the recently-concluded series ‘Carmela’, debuted strongly last January 27. But from the beginning, it was clear that ABS-CBN’s teleseryes were still the most-watched in the country. In only its first week, ‘Rhodora X’ had a 15.8% Metro Manila rating, and an 11% national rating according to AGB Nielsen. Meanwhile its competing program and fellow debutante ‘The Legal Wife’ got a 23.9% and a 21 %. The TNS Kantar figures were also won by ‘The Legal Wife’, who bested ‘Rhodora X’ 21% to 11%.

‘The Legal Wife”s promising start would set the tone for the rest of ‘Rhodora X”s run. In fact, ‘The Legal Wife’ got even more attention on Twitter thanks in part to the memorable lines, serious physical confrontations, and over-the-top sexual encounters between the characters of Angel Locsin, Maja Salvador and Jericho Rosales. Meanwhile, the first few episodes of ‘Rhodora X’ trended on Twitter, before disappearing altogether just as the split personalities of Jennylyn Mercado’s character began to materialize.

To be honest, ‘Rhodora X’ was a good series. It may not have been a ratings winner throughout its run, but it did raise awareness on ‘DID’ in a more dramatic manner. The series also showcased the versatility of Jennylyn Mercado as both a good girl and a bad girl, the latter of which I hoped to see in future teleseryes involving the former ‘Starstruck’ alumnus. And the portrayal of Yasmien Kurdi as the estranged sister of Jennylyn’s character shows that her acting prowess remains top-notch, and a huge follow-up to her comeback in ‘Anna Karenina’.

With ‘Rhodora X’ about to leave the airwaves, the pressure is now on ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. The series, starring Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe and Maricel Soriano, is essentially a version two of ‘The Legal Wife’, except that Dingdong’s character is a man marrying two women. ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, which begins on June 2, will be ‘The Diamond Star”s true comeback project, after appearing in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ Lenten special ‘Kulungan Kanlungan’.

But for now, ‘Rhodora X’ is saying goodbye. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

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