action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Cain at Abel: Ang Probinsyano’s 11th Challenger

Coco Martin finds a familiar challenger yet again.

The last time Dingdong Dantes took on Coco Martin”s top-rating series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, he was unable to overcome said juggernaut. Dingdong’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ (season 2) only lasted a month before it was demoted to a later timeslot.

Now he teams up with Dennis Trillo in a new primetime series ‘Cain at Abel’. And in the lead-up to the series premiere, Dingdong himself conceded that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is in a different league altogether and his only objective for ‘Cain at Abel’ is to keep loyal Kapuso viewers happy and excited regardless of ratings performance.

From GMA’s Public Relations team:

“‘Cain at Abel’ is an action-family drama about two brothers, Daniel (Dingdong) and Miguel (Dennis), who grew up in two very different worlds. As children, they were separated by fate. Daniel was raised comfortably in the city by his father. Miguel, on the other hand, was taken by his mother who later changed his name to Elias. They relocated to a poor fishing village where they struggled to make ends meet.

Years later, Daniel and Miguel/Elias were drawn together by their mutual affections: the father who brought them apart, the mother they yearn for, and the woman they both love.”

Solenn Heussaff (Abigail) and Sanya Lopez (Margaret) will play the respective love interests of Daniel and Miguel/Elias. The rest of the cast includes Eddie Gutierrez, Chanda Romero, Dina Bonnevie, Ronnie Henares, Tommy Abuel, Bing Pimentel, Renz Fernandez, Ervic Vijandre, Marc Abaya, Carlo Gonzalez, Boy 2 Quizon, Pauline Mendoza, Vince Vandorpe, Shyr Valdez, Leandro Baldemor, and Euwenn Aleta.

For the first few episodes of ‘Cain at Abel’, Yasmien Kurdi, Diana Zubiri, Gio Alvarez, Rafael Rosell, David Remo, Seth dela Cruz, and Ashley Cabrera will appear as younger versions of the lead characters. It will be directed by Don Michael Perez, Toto Natividad, and Mark Reyes.

If Dingdong’s prognostication were to be believed, it is clear that defeating ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is out of the question. The long-running series, as Dingdong said, is ‘in a different league’ now and for ‘Cain at Abel’ the aim now is to just make Kapuso viewers entertained.

So much for the ‘rivalry’. Anyway, good luck to ‘Cain at Abel’ as it gets underway this Monday.

‘Cain at Abel’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Victor Magtanggol Completes Mission This Friday

“’Victor Magtanggol’ has completed its full intended run.

This is exactly what GMA Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Magno told Pep about the fate of ‘Victor Magtanggol’, the primetime action/fantasy series starring Alden Richards. The series will officially bow down after its 80th episode on Friday, but while ‘Victor Magtanggol’ had a decent run, it still failed to deliver.

‘Victor Magtanggol’ first premiered on July 30, 2018, but before the series even began, it was littered with controversy over its supposed similarities with Marvel’s Thor. Much like ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ failed to escape the wrath of the critics for allegedly plagiarizing another Marvel character.

In response, GMA executives defended the series saying that it was inspired from millenia-old Norse mythology. Still, a negative light had been cast on ‘Victor Magtanggol’, no matter what the executives say.

As expected, GMA placed ‘Victor Magtanggol’ opposite ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the results did not look good for the former from the get-go. Much like the previous nine opponents that took on ‘Ang Probinsyano’, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ fell victim to Cardo Dalisay’s (Coco Martin) onslaught, losing by around 30% in most of its episodes.

Not even the supposed star power of Alden Richards helped ‘Victor Magtanggol’. In many ways, the series seemed to have taken a hit in Alden’s popularity, and it did not help that it went up against Coco Martin, by far the most popular star in primetime right now.

In Alden’s defense, he was still satisfied with how ‘Victor Magtanggol’ turned out. Not even its shortcomings prevented Alden from being thankful to the producers for giving him a project that expands his range of skill and physical will.

Still, it would have helped Alden if ‘Victor Magtanggol’ enjoyed a few wins. But regardless, it was worth a try.

On Friday, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ will take its last ride. Unfortunately for GMA, the series will only be remembered as yet another addition to ‘Ang Probinsyano”s list of victims.

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entertainment, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television, variety show

The Inevitable: Moving to ABS-CBN Might Rejuvenate Regine Velasquez’s Career

From Kapuso… to Kapamilya?

The future of Regine Velasquez’s career has been hanging in the balance over the past month. As Regine’s contract with GMA is set to expire, there were reports of her moving to ABS-CBN to join her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Those rumors escalated further when Regine unexpectedly showed up at the ABS-CBN Ball Saturday night despite making an appearance on ‘The Clash’ for its final weekend (Saturday’s episode was pre-taped while Sunday’s episode was aired live). With all things considered, is Regine of no use to GMA and would be better off joining ABS-CBN?

First things first, let’s look back at recent history. Back in 2015, Regine was a host and performer on ‘Sunday All-Stars’, but low ratings and changing timeslots forced GMA to give up the show and allow APT Entertainment to take over the Sunday noontime slot with ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Regine did not join ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ because of a perceived ‘lack of familiarity’ and from that point on her career with GMA stalled. Her two acting projects in ‘Poor Señorita’ and ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ failed to beat Coco Martin”s long-running series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while a primetime variety show in ‘Full House Tonight’ ran for only four months.

While Regine remained visible as an on-air talent via the cooking show ‘Sarap Diva’, it was clear that her days with GMA are being numbered. The fact is, Regine is no longer that relevant as a Kapuso star with all those recent projects that did not work out.

It only got worse when her one-time co-performers on ‘SOP’ (namely Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Kyla, Jay-R and Janno Gibbs) found a new outlet in former rival ‘ASAP’. With GMA lacking any capable recording artists to keep up with ABS-CBN’s, Regine finds herself helpless to cope with the dearth in talent.

Which is why moving to ABS-CBN might help rejuvenate her career. Not only will she expected to make appearances with her former ‘SOP’ brethren on ‘ASAP’, she will also have an opportunity to become a judge in one of ABS-CBN’s upcoming talent shows (rumor has it that she might join ‘The Voice’ as a judge).

More importantly, Regine’s love for performing will be rekindled within Kapamilya walls, especially during ‘ASAP’. That alone may be a long shot given the abundance of performers on ABS-CBN, but given Regine’s track record that may be too good to pass up.

Still, it will be up to Regine Velasquez to decide the next phase of her career. Let’s just hope that she chooses something that will be best for her.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Before Ang Probinsyano: A Look Back at Nathaniel

It had been over three years since a teleserye not named ‘Ang Probinsyano’ aired after ‘TV Patrol’.

So many dramas have aired on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida during that span, including a combined seven teleseryes that starred the Big Three love teams in KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine. But at the end of the day, there was still one constant, and that was the Coco Martin-starred action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

After all, the series will turn three on the final week of September and will be closing in on 800 episodes by October. But lost amid the hoopla and the longevity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was its long-forgotten predecessor ‘Nathaniel’, the last series to air on ABS-CBN’s 7:50 p.m. slot before Coco Martin and his entourage took over.

‘Nathaniel’ starred Marco Masa in the title role, and his parents were played by Gerald Anderson and Shaina Magdayao. The supporting cast of ‘Nathaniel’ also included Isabelle Daza in her debut project with ABS-CBN.

The series ran from April 20 to September 25, 2015 and aired a total of 115 episodes. Not only that, ‘Nathaniel’ dominated the ratings game as it won past ‘Pari Ko’y’ and the 2015 remake of ‘MariMar’ in its timeslot.

So where are the series’ stars now? ‘Nathaniel”s lead protagonist Marco Masa has not had a major project since then but he did host ‘Team Yey’ for a short time and recently appeared on the second season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’.

Shaina Magdayao is currently part of the Kapamilya afternoon series ‘Asintado’. And as for Gerald Anderson, he was recently seen on ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with former on-screen partner Kim Chiu and is now playing semi-pro basketball with the MPBL’s Marikina Shoemakers.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ reaching high episode levels not seen since the original ‘Mara Clara’ in the 1990s, it is easy to forget that it succeeded one of ABS-CBN’s most popular family-oriented dramas. That said, revisiting a gem like ‘Nathaniel’ will help viewers look back at a time when child stars used to rock Primetime Bida’s leadoff slot.

All episodes of ‘Nathaniel’ are currently available on iWant TV.

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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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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Since I Found You

Glad that’s over.

In many ways, ‘Since I Found You”s final week is a merciful end to a series that has never found its footing from day one. And while this romantic comedy series outplayed its competition, it failed to impress viewers left and right.

‘Since I Found You’ first set foot on April 16, 2018 replacing the tearjerking family drama ‘The Good Son’. The series marked the first television project for the ‘Kita Kita’ tandem of Empoy Marquez and Alessandra de Rossi, and they were joined by Piolo Pascual, Arci Muñoz and JC de Vera.

While ‘Since I Found You’ came out firing by averaging in the 20s its first two weeks, it failed to sustain its magical start the rest of the way. Since then, ‘Since I Found You’ hovered between 16 and 19%, and ABS-CBN management wondered if a romantic comedy on primetime is indeed a curse.

But despite its unimpressive ratings, ‘Since I Found You”s opponent failed to take advantage of its lukewarm audience reception. Neither ‘The One That Got Away’ nor ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ provided the necessary impact that should have given ‘Since I Found You’ a scare, even though the latter came within 1% in one of its episodes.

Notwithstanding the lack of recognition by the audience, ‘Since I Found You’ was still good enough to produce 85 episodes, which is close to the norm of a typical teleserye. Still, it was clear that viewers yawned over a primetime romantic comedy that felt out of place.

With all due respect to Dreamscape, the producer of ‘Since I Found You’, this is one of the weakest efforts that this entertainment division has ever made. For all its success and appeal (see ‘Asintado’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’), not all of their creations are destined to give audiences something worth watching.

In the end, ‘Since I Found You’ is a waste of time for ABS-CBN. Romantic comedies have no place on Primetime Bida and this series is one of a few mistakes that ABS-CBN ever made.

One can only hope that ‘Since I Found You’ will end with a lasting impression. But for a series that is boring from the start, expect a silent treatment from the audience.

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