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

Thoughts on Drama Remakes Airing on Different Stations

‘Baker King’ premieres on TV5 this Monday. The said series is a rare example of a remake that aired on a different station from the original. (Photo credit: PEP.ph)

Not all remakes of drama series ended up airing on the same station as the original.

Such was the case for three telenovelas starring Thalia: ‘MariMar’, ‘Maria la del Barrio’ and ‘Rosalinda’. The first two originally aired on RPN-9 in the mid-90s, briefly giving the struggling station a ratings boost.

GMA then re-aired ‘MariMar’ in the late 2000s, while creating two local remakes of it: one starring Marian Rivera in 2007, and another still under pre-production this year. ABS-CBN never re-aired the original ‘Maria la del Barrio’, but was able to produce a remake in 2011 starring Erich Gonzales.

The Kapamilya network also aired ‘Maria Mercedes’ and ‘Rosalinda’ later in the 90s. But while they managed to create a local version of the former with Jessy Mendiola two years ago, the latter wound up in the hands of the Kapuso network, not only re-airing the original, but also producing a remake starring Carla Abellana in 2009.

This phenomenon is not restricted to telenovelas alone. It also happens to local dramas as well.

For instance, GMA aired the original ‘Anna Liza’ starring Julie Vega in the early 80s. Then over two decades later, ABS-CBN remade the series (retitled ‘Annaliza’) with Andrea Brillantes, running for nearly a year.

Another example was ‘Dyesebel’, which was remade into a GMA teleserye in 2009, only to be rehashed again by ABS-CBN last year. The former starred Marian Rivera while the latter starred Anne Curtis.

Now TV5 is doing something unprecedented, as a remake of the popular GMA Koreanovela ‘The Baker King’ is expected to premiere on the network starting this Monday. That said, even Asianovelas are not safe in the said phenomenon.

The original version of ‘The Baker King’ aired on the Kapuso network in 2011, and starred Yoon Shi-yoon, Eugene and Joo Won. The series earned decently good ratings for GMA that year.

Despite the success, GMA chose not to hold on to ‘The Baker King’, let alone create a local version of it. Instead, TV5 acquired the rights for the possible remake last year.

The remake of ‘The Baker King’ will star Mark Neumann, Shaira Mae and Akihiro Blanco, and will air on weeknights starting May 18 after the ‘Wattpad Presents’ series.

It is rare for a drama series to have a remake air on a different station. Whether it is due to lack of revenue, loss of desire or motivation, or declining ratings, keeping the rights to a particular drama is a something TV stations cannot avoid at times.

That said, it is one station’s loss and another’s gain when these things fall into place. Regardless of the result, these stations should be proud to have tried their hand at remaking these classics.

After all, Philippine television is always a cautionary tale for a station’s decisions.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Responds to ABS-CBN’s Throwbackseryes

‘Bantatay’ will be re-aired on GMA starting November 10, replacing ‘Return of the Wife’. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The so-called ‘throwbackserye’ has taken over GMA as well.

After ABS-CBN decided to air re-runs of previous teleseryes in the mid-morning slot, GMA answered back with one of their own. The Kapuso network’s response was ‘Bantatay’, a drama-comedy-fantasy series starring Raymart Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Jennica Garcia and Carl Guevara.

‘Bantatay’ first aired from September 20, 2010 to February 25, 2011 on the then-extended GMA Dramarama sa Hapon (now Afternoon Prime) block. The series garnered high ratings throughout its run, despite facing intense competition from the likes of ‘Kokey @ Ako’ and ‘Sabel’.

Unfortunately for GMA, the timing for the rebroadcast of ‘Bantatay’ came at a not-so opportune time. The series’ lead star, Raymart Santiago, is currently enduring various issues involving himself and his estranged wife (and former GMA talent) Claudine Barretto, and re-airing ‘Bantatay’ may not be a good idea after all.

In fact, it would have been better if GMA extended its anime block to the 10:00 a.m. slot rather than responding to ABS-CBN’s own programming strategies. As far as they are concerned, it is the animes, no matter how repetitive they are to viewers, that are lifting GMA every morning.

Going back to ‘Bantatay’, the series proved to be one of the last GMA programs to date that rated well with viewers. Since ABS-CBN adopted Kantar as their ratings provider, the tables have turned to the latter’s favor, and have not looked back since.

In fact, in what used to be ‘Bantatay”s old timeslot preceding ’24 Oras’, the succeeding GMA teleseryes that followed have flopped consistently against ABS-CBN’s seemingly superior products. Whether it’s ‘Aryana’, ‘Annaliza’ or ‘Pure Love’, GMA seems to have no answers to ABS-CBN’s own fare.

That said, the sadness and shock that is permeating beneath the bosses in the corner of Timog Avenue and EDSA is undeniable. And now they are resorting to these responses just to keep themselves in the hunt, which is not a good idea.

‘Bantatay’ may be back, but for GMA, this is not the time for resorting to such a feeble call.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Final Week for Mirabella; Lovers in Paris Airs in the Morning

The final episode of ‘Mirabella’ will air this Friday, July 4.

ABS-CBN’s ‘Mirabella’ enters its final week.

Just as GMA is beginning to warm up with the debut of ‘My BFF’ later today, ABS-CBN has decided to pull the plug on Julia Barretto’s debut teleserye. The final episode of ‘Mirabella’ is scheduled this Friday, July 4.

‘Mirabella’, a series that featured Barretto in two contrasting roles, debuted on March 24. The daughter of Marjorie Barretto played Mira, a woman with a strange wood-like skin, and as the series progressed, she morphed into her beautiful alter ego in Bella.

Both characters would later attract the attention of Jeremy, played by Enrique Gil, who soon became the subject of her affection.

In its four months on air, ‘Mirabella’ was unable to maintain the high level of success attained by its predecessor ‘Annaliza’. Nevertheless, the series averaged better than 20% in the TNS Kantar ratings, which is not bad even though it is the lowest-rated teleserye on the ‘Primetime Bida’ block.

However, in the GMA-dominated AGB Nielsen ratings, ‘Mirabella’ only averaged less than 15%, while rival series ‘My Love from the Star’ was a hit, averaging over 20% per episode.

Even though ‘Mirabella’ was a decent hit by ABS-CBN standards, its uncharacteristically low 20% rating only justifies that the series will be a mere short-term fix. Still, it was a good debut for Julia Barretto, and it will only give her greater amounts of exposure.

‘Mirabella’ will be replaced by ‘Pure Love’ this July 7.

Lovers in Paris Rerun Today

Meanwhile, ‘Lovers in Paris’ will be placed in the mid-morning slot. The re-run of the successful Koreanovela replaces ‘Kapamilya Kiddie Blockbusters’ starting today on the ‘Umaganda’ block.

Because ‘The Heirs’ will continue to air this week, the rivalry between ‘Lovers in Paris’ and ‘Jewel in the Palace’ will not happen anytime soon, if not altogether. Instead, ‘Lovers in Paris’ will be up against ‘Return of the Wife’, the third sequel to GMA’s highly successful ‘Temptation of Wife’, which has been airing since late May.

‘Lovers in Paris’ starred Park Shin-Yang and Kim Jung-Eun as Carlo and Vivian, respectively. The series was a hit when it first aired in 2005, and its success eventually led to an equally successful Filipino adaptation starring KC Concepcion and Piolo Pascual in 2009.

 

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Tries to Take Advantage with My BFF

 

‘My BFF’ hopes to sustain the momentum that its predecessor ‘My Love from the Star’ generated during its run.

The last time GMA aired a local teleserye before ’24 Oras’, they were rocked in the ratings. But with ABS-CBN’s ‘Mirabella’ not living up to expectations, GMA has decided to take advantage.

Starting June 30, ‘My BFF’ will take on ‘Mirabella’ on the timeslot preceding the news. The series, starring Jillian Ward, Mona Louise Rey, Janno Gibbs and Manilyn Reynes, will replace the highly successful and competitive ‘My Love from the Star’.

This will be GMA’s first local teleserye in the 5:45-6:30 p.m. slot since ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’. The series, starring Kristoffer Martin and Kim Rodriguez, performed poorly in the midst of ‘Annaliza”s dominance. As a result, GMA shied away from producing a local series in that timeslot for over two months.

During that span, two programs were aired: ‘GMA Sinebabad’ and ‘My Love from the Star’. The latter series was a success, outplaying ‘Mirabella’ in the AGB Nielsen ratings while staying competitive in the TNS Kantar ratings. The popularity of ‘My Love from the Star’ prompted the network to re-air the program every Sunday.

Meanwhile, ‘Mirabella’ is struggling to sustain the momentum that ‘Annaliza’ gained throughout its run. The 20% rating of ‘Mirabella’ is less than the 25-30% ratings that ‘Annaliza’ managed in its 10 months on air. The low ratings of ‘Mirabella’ is uncharacteristic of ABS-CBN’s recent string of dominance on primetime, where ‘Dyesebel’, ‘Ikaw Lamang’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ became their strongest suits.

Simply put, ‘My Love from the Star”s success gave GMA some momentum, and now they hope to capitalize with ‘My BFF’. The latter, with its light-hearted story and emphasis on family and friendship, should give ‘Mirabella’ a difficult time attracting viewers. And if ‘My BFF’ wins, it will be a huge victory for the Kapuso network.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, television

GMA Answers Meteor Garden with Two Asianovelas

With ‘Meteor Garden’ maintaining its popularity despite its status as a re-run program, GMA has decided to offer something else for its disenchanted viewers. And it comes in pairs, too.

Last Monday, GMA introduced the Asianovelas ‘Mischievous Kiss’ and ‘My Love from the Stars’, both of which were produced in Korea. The two Asianovelas took over the timeslot vacated by the short-lived movie block ‘GMA Sinebabad’.

As it turned out, GMA challenged ABS-CBN’s decision to move ‘Meteor Garden’ at a later timeslot. Just a week into its re-broadcast, ‘Meteor Garden’ was moved to the 4:30 slot to take advantage of GMA airing old movies in the late afternoons. And based on the ratings, the strategy seems to work for the Kapamilya network.

In response, GMA placed two new Asianovelas opposite ‘Meteor Garden’ in order to attract a different set of viewers. The fact is, not every individual is a fan of F4, and for some who are clamoring for a fresh product, GMA’s new programs offer a more viable alternative.

It also helps that ‘Mirabella’ is currently the Kapamilya network’s lowest-rated primetime drama series, with ratings averaging over 10% less than its predecessor ‘Annaliza’. By placing an Asianovela opposite ‘Mirabella’, GMA hopes to finally win in the 5:45-6:30 timeslot, something they have not done in nearly a decade.

It remains to be seen whether or not the two new Asianovelas will translate to better ratings for GMA’s afternoon block. But for the Kapuso network, it seems that they have scored a winner in its late afternoon timeslot.

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