drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: T.G.I.S. and the Advent of Teen-Oriented Series

Some of the first batch members of ‘T.G.I.S.’ as they appear in 1995. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

Yesterday would have been the 20th anniversary of ‘T.G.I.S.’

Premiering on July 8, 1995, ‘T.G.I.S.’ became a Filipino pioneer in the teen-oriented drama genre. While there were a few other dramas that featured teenagers as lead stars (e.g. Julie Vega’s ‘Anna Liza’ and Janice de Belen’s ‘Flordeluna’), ‘T.G.I.S.’ became the first to feature a cast dominated by teenage actors.

Before ‘T.G.I.S.’, some of the country’s rising young stars had made their mark through shows such as GMA’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang TV’. The two shows provided a venue for the youngsters to showcase their talents, but it was not enough.

Eventually, VIVA Television and GMA developed a plan that would give a new batch of young stars an avenue to expose their acting skills. Thus, ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched.

‘T.G.I.S.’ became an immediate hit soon after it premiered. The success of ‘T.G.I.S.’ led to a feature film that was released in 1997, as well as a spinoff series ‘Growing Up’ that aired from 1997-99.

The first batch of ‘T.G.I.S.’ were led by Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon, a.k.a. Wacks and Peachy, respectively. Other members of the first batch include Michael Flores, Red Sternberg, Raven Villanueva, Rica Peralejo, Onemig Bondoc, Jake Roxas, Bernadette Allyson and Maybelyn dela Cruz.

The first batch anchored ‘T.G.I.S.’ for two years, before giving way to a new cast of young stars. The second batch, which lasted another two years, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Antoinette Taus, alongside Polo Ravales, Kim delos Santos, Sunshine Dizon, Chubi del Rosario, Anne Curtis, Chantal Umali and Dino Guevarra.

Unknown to some, future newscasters Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal were also part of the ‘T.G.I.S.’ cast. Meanwhile, Ciara Sotto was part of both batches of ‘T.G.I.S.’, later joining ‘Growing Up’ upon her character’s graduation from high school.

‘T.G.I.S.’ paved the way for similar teen-oriented dramas that became a staple of weekend afternoon programming. Examples include ‘Gimik’ (later ‘G-Mik’), ‘Click’, ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Berks’.

In late 2012, another spinoff of ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched, called ‘Teen Gen’. Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon reprised their roles as Wacks and Peachy, alongside GMA’s new batch of young stars, but it only managed to air for over six months without success.

While ‘T.G.I.S.’ no longer airs today, it will still be remembered for changing the way teenage actors were exposed and promoted. They were a game-changer, and another reason why 1995 became a memorable year in Philippine television.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Homecoming for Jolina and Maxene That Further Hurts GMA

Jolina Magdangal returned to ABS-CBN after 12 years with GMA. Magdangal blossomed as a Kapamilya artist during her teen years. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN Official Facebook)

It only gets worse for GMA and its roster of artists.

Yesterday, ABS-CBN confirmed that homegrown star and former Kapuso talent Jolina Magdangal has rejoined the network for a reunion project with fellow ‘laking Kapamilya’ Marvin Agustin. Their project, ‘Flordeliza’, is expected to premiere on the first week of December as a late-morning romantic series.

This was after Magdangal teased a return to her original network back in July, when she visited the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

Magdangal blossomed under the watch of Star Magic’s Johnny Manahan, appearing in shows such as ‘Ang TV’, ‘Gimik’, ‘Labs Ko si Babe’ and ‘Arriba Arriba’, and in movies like ‘Hey Babe’, ‘Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?’ and ‘Gimik: The Reunion’. Her initial team-up with Marvin Agustin became highly popular among adoring fans.

But after departing ABS-CBN for GMA in 2002, Magdangal was gradually reduced to a mere bit player. While she was given major roles in shows like ‘I LUV NY’, ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Iglot’, she was increasingly upstaged by GMA’s own homegrown artists, particularly those who blossomed after ‘StarStruck’.

This was in contrast to another returning Kapamilya artist, who will be seen in an upcoming project late this year.

For Maxene Magalona, a return to ABS-CBN opened a new opportunity. After all, while she began her career as an ‘Ang TV’ kid, it was on GMA where her career truly blossomed, beginning with the long-running sitcom ‘Daddy Di Do Du’.

Maxene later proved her worth as a villain in various Kapuso teleseryes, particularly in the afternoon block. Her last project with GMA was ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’, which aired for much of last year.

Her recent guestings on shows like ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘The Singing Bee’ were simply a hint of things to come, though she has yet to specify which project she will work on.

The departures of both Magdangal and Magalona proved to be another blow on the part of GMA’s artist roster. For a network who’s becoming increasingly overdependent on its older but still serviceable stars, this is a bitter pill to swallow, considering the lack of development among its younger artists.

That said, expect more of GMA’s disgruntled stars to leave and find opportunities in other networks. And for the leadership group in both the entertainment and talent divisions, it is time for a change, all in hopes of regaining lost credibility among loyal viewers.

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