drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ika-6 na Utos Premieres Today on GMA Afternoon Prime

Sunshine Dizon is indeed a loyal and distinguished star.

Amid a string of talents who switch back and forth between network giants ABS-CBN and GMA, there was Sunshine Dizon. It had been two decades since she rose to stardom via the original ‘Anna Karenina’, and yet despite the ascension of younger stars in recent years, Sunshine stayed loyal to GMA, willing to play a role when necessary.

After her character Adhara was killed off in the 2016 version of ‘Encantadia’, Sunshine was given a new role in the upcoming series ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. The upcoming GMA Afternoon Prime series was a perfect fit for her, considering the recent issues that followed her separation with then-husband Timothy Tan.

In ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, Sunshine plays Emma, a sweet and cheerful souvenir merchant. She was married to a refined pilot named Rome (Gabby Concecpion), but their marriage was disapproved by Rome’s mother Margarita (Carmen Soriano) due to Emma’s poor upbringing.

As a result, Rome had no choice but to fall in love with another woman, a sexy and ambitious interior designer named Georgia (Ryza Cenon). Upon learning her husband’s fate, Emma vows to fight for the right to love her husband, and force Rome to stay away from Georgia.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ also stars Mike Tan, Rich Asuncion, Daria Ramirez, Marco Alcaraz, Mel Martinez, and Arianne Bautista. The series is directed by Laurice Guillen.

If the story of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ seems familiar, it is that the series is just another ‘kabitserye’, a subsection of the Filipino teleserye which centers on husbands or wives getting cheated by another man or woman. While most ‘kabitseryes’ air during the late evenings, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is a unique exception, in that it airs in the early afternoon.

That said, it will be interesting to see how a ‘kabitserye’ like ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will fare in an unfamiliar timeslot. Considering that ‘It’s Showtime”s popular ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment also airs during this time period, a tough challenge awaits ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, so good luck to the people behind this series.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Ipaglaban Mo”s Return a Throwback to 90s Weekend TV Habits

This Saturday, ABS-CBN’s legal drama series ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ returns after a 16-year absence. And for older viewers, the comeback of ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ harkens back to the days when weekend drama anthologies filled the airwaves in the 1990s.

Back then, numerous drama anthologies were aired after noontime shows such as ‘Eat Bulaga’, ‘Sa Linggo Napo Sila’, ‘GMA Supershow’, ‘Salu-Salo Together’ and others. These anthologies feature only one story per episode, which means that viewers would be able to watch an entire story develop for over an hour. Examples of weekend drama anthologies include ‘Lovingly Yours, Helen’, ‘Coney Reyes on Camera’, and ‘GMA Telesine Specials’, and ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, all of which lasted deep into the latter part of the decade.

By the late 90s, anthologies gradually fell out of favor, and were replaced by weekend afternoon drama series. These featured a continuous storyline that takes place in each succeeding episode, typical of today’s teleseryes. ‘Anna Karenina’, produced by both GMA and VIVA Television, aired for nearly six years, and set the stage for other weekend drama series to follow. Another example was ABS-CBN’s ‘Tabing Ilog’, which aired for four years.

The next decade witnessed the decline of the weekend drama series in the Philippines. ‘Startalk”s move to Saturday afternoons in 1998 helped them earn high ratings in their new timeslot. On the other hand, ABS-CBN struggled with dramas such as ‘Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako’, and in 2003 they decided to create their own showbiz programs, beginning with ‘S2: Showbiz Sabado’. Teen-oriented series then took over Sunday afternoons, and in 2013, GMA and ABS-CBN experimented with horror-themed programs.

This year, ABS-CBN brought back a program that was once a staple every weekend. ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, hosted by Atty. Jose Sison, aired for nine years on the Kapamilya network, and its success led to two Star Cinema-produced films. Like the original, the new ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ will feature a particular court case that is dramatized on TV. This time around, Atty. Sison will be joined by his son, Jopet Sison, while the country’s top directors will be assigned to different episodes.

The new ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ airs this Saturday after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN. The show should not only attract a new generation of viewers, but also increase awareness towards a wide variety of legal cases in the country.

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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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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, talk show, television

FTT Year 2013 in Review: GMA

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the GMA Network, which had a rather abysmal performance this year.

The Positives

There have been a few bright spots for the Kapuso network. ‘Bubble Gang‘, ‘Eat Bulaga‘ and ‘Startalk‘ continued to impress in the ratings on their 18th year. ‘Pepito Manaloto‘ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho‘ became social media stars, and ‘I-Witness’ racked up nominations on various international award-giving bodies. They even gained notoriety by unveiling eight-year-old child star Ryzza Mae Dizon as host of her eponymous talk show.

But perhaps GMA’s most important contribution of the year was ‘My Husband’s Lover’, whose same-sex relationship storyline was both praised and derided by critics during its run. The network also scored big with Megan Young‘s victory at the 2013 Miss World and Manny Pacquiao‘s win over Brandon Rios.

GMA’s other network News TV 11 branched into the teleserye genre with ‘Bayan Ko’ and ‘Titser’, with both series earning critical and commercial acclaim. Despite the fact that both programs were uncharacteristic of a typical all-news network, its political and socially conscious storylines made it an appropriate choice to air on the said network.

The Negatives

Teleseryes like the revived ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Indio’, ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ and ‘Love & Lies’ didn’t even last at least six months, and despite the success of ‘My Husband’s Lover’, none of the other teleseryes clicked with viewers. GMA also tried to place a kiligserye (‘With a Smile’) in the morning slot, but it didn’t work out either.

On weekends, ‘Party Pilipinas‘, ‘Extra Challenge‘, ‘Teen Gen‘, ‘Dormitoryo’, ‘Hot TV’, ‘One Day Isang Araw’, and ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To’ became victims of GMA’s continued purging of that slot. Eventually GMA resorted to airing four movie blocks on weekends in order to save costs. But the truth is, a majority of GMA programs have been extremely lackluster of late, and as a result of declining ratings and ad sales, its revenue declined from last year.

Worse, GMA programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘Unang Hirit’, ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ were summoned by the MTRCB for indecent episodes. Even sister network News TV 11 suffered thanks to repetitive public affairs programs and unconventional movie blocks.

Outlook

So what’s next for GMA? They are expected to unveil a trio of new teleseryes starring Jennylyn Mercado (‘Rhodora X’), Marian Rivera (‘Carmela’) and Louise delos Reyes (‘Kambal Sirena’) in the new year. However, with its rival continuing to push the envelope thanks to its younger roster of stars and newly-acquired television franchises, GMA is again under pressure to improve its lackluster 2013 showing. And with its lack of purpose and ability to adapt and change haunting them, it looks like GMA is poised for another down year.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

Double Serving of GMA’s New Teleseryes

 

In only three weeks, the GMA Telebabad lineup debuted three new teleseryes. That is a turnover of over a half from its previous lineup.

Just last Friday, two GMA teleseryes aired their series finales. ‘Binoy Henyo’, a story of a wonder kid with an impoverished life, finished its run with the titular character Binoy (David Remo) reuniting with his real parents Agnes (Sheena Halili) and Francis (Luis Alandy), only after Agnes was acquitted of all charges filed against her by Emily (Gwen Zamora). Likewise ‘Anna Karenina‘, a story of three girls trying to solve the mystery of the real Anna Karenina, ended its run after it was revealed that Anna (Barbie Forteza) was the real Anna Karenina.

And yesterday GMA debuted a pair of new teleseryes: the kiligserye ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’, starring the love team of Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal, and ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’, starring Julie Ann San Jose and Kristoffer Martin. The former tells the story of Princess, an orphaned young woman who nevertheless showed determination and hard work. She eventually fell in love with Nick, but only after they cross paths once more after first meeting in an orphanage. The latter tells the story of Leandro and Pauline, born handicapped and out of poverty but eventually fell in love through music, but only after a series of family squabbles threatened their love for each other.

Air times for ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ and ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ are currently sandwiched between GMA’s early evening newscast ’24 Oras’, occupying the slots vacated by ‘Binoy Henyo’ and ‘Anna Karenina’, respectively. GMA’s two new offerings are also aired opposite ABS-CBN’s highly-rated series ‘Annaliza’ and ‘Juan de la Cruz‘, whose ratings have remained highly consistent even as GMA continues to search for answers regarding their low ratings in the late afternoon/early evening timeslot.

After ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ ended its run and was replaced by ‘Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas’, followed by the aforementioned new teleseryes, GMA has turned over half of its ‘Telebabad’ lineup, a sign that the network is still searching for stability on primetime. Nevertheless, Kapuso fans hope that with fresh blood comes a better ratings return for the Kapuso network.

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entertainment, Philippines

Another New Sunday Concept for GMA

GMA 7 is set to launch ‘Sunday All Stars’ on June 16. But will this show become an audience favorite? (Logo courtesy of GMA Sunday All Stars Facebook Page)

I wrote a prior article regarding GMA 7’s inability to beat ABS-CBN on Sunday afternoons. Then came those teasers for the upcoming Sunday variety show ‘Sunday All Stars’. They announced that the new show will debut on June 16. But how did it all started?

Since ‘Party Pilipinas‘ aired for the last time, GMA 7 aired Filipino movies and teleserye reruns in the vacated timeslot while ‘Sunday All Stars’ await its debut. I have previously written about the need for sports programming to be aired on GMA 7, but the executives themselves had no clue on how to temporarily fill the timeslot vacated by ‘Party Pilipinas’. So instead they aired those cheesy movies, and recently they aired the first-week rerun of ‘Anna Karenina’. The latter I think is not that important; they should have aired the final week of ‘Love and Lies’ instead of ‘Anna Karenina’ for the reason that the climax of a series is the more dramatic than that of the beginning, which would interest audiences. As expected, ASAP emphatically beat GMA 7’s rerun programming in the weeks following the demise of ‘Party Pilipinas’.

Which brings me to ‘Sunday All Stars’. Unlike ‘SOP‘ and ‘Party Pilipinas’, the upcoming program is said to combine elements of traditional concert-based variety shows and weekday game shows like Eat Bulaga. Apparently it is not a new concept; TV5 once used this approach in their P.O.5 (Party on 5). Like its predecessors, the performers will come from the stable of the GMA Artist Center, along with veteran stars Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, and Jaya. The show is a fresh and modern concept designed to attract a younger and more energetic audience. However it took weeks to develop before the teasers finally start rolling.

Now that the show is about to debut, the question is, will it be able to stay at par with ASAP? We’ll find out. Also there’s still no word on the new Sunday afternoon showbiz talk show that GMA is planning as a replacement for HOT TV, so keep an eye on that.

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