entertainment, news, Philippines, television

No Surprise: Aljur Abrenica Joins ABS-CBN

It was a transfer three years in the making.

On Monday, July 31, former GMA contract artist Aljur Abrenica officially joined ABS-CBN in a deal that was of no surprise to everyone. Welcoming him on the Kapamilya camp are ABS-CBN executives and producers Laurenti Dyogi, Deo Endrinal and Cory Vidanes.

A GMA contract artist and a ‘StarStruck’ alumnus for 11 years, Aljur’s tenure with the network has had some ups and downs. While the early part of his career was a fruitful one with a few successful projects, the last few years saw his stock drop dramatically.

In 2014, Aljur filed a petition to rescind his contract with GMA Network in hopes of restarting his career. Although Aljur and GMA settled the dispute nearly two years later, it was clear that his popular appeal was waning.

Proof of that was Aljur’s final GMA project ‘Once Again’. Paired alongside Janine Gutierrez, Aljur’s swan song turned out to be a bust, as ‘Once Again’ lasted only 59 episodes and was completely overwhelmed by the LizQuen-starred ‘Dolce Amore’.

Aljur was given no further projects by the network following the failure of ‘Once Again’, and his contract officially expired in March 2017. A few months later, speculation run rampant when Aljur suddenly appeared inside the ABS-CBN compound, hinting at the possibility of joining the network.

Although Aljur has yet to ink an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN, the network said a few projects and appearances are lined up for the actor. That said, it is likely that Aljur will be seen on ABS-CBN noontime shows ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘ASAP’, and talk shows such as ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ while his upcoming projects are being planned.

There is also a possibility that Aljur and brother Vin will be seen together, but that will be for another time. In any case, Aljur’s decision to join the network should help resurrect his career, given that ABS-CBN has had a reputation of reviving an artist’s declining fortunes.

It remains to be seen if Aljur will be the latest in a series of Kapamilya reclamation projects, but with the right mindset, he could be on the path back to success. Good luck.

Advertisements
Standard
documentaries, lifestyle, Philippines, public affairs, television

Gina Lopez’s G Diaries This Sunday on ABS-CBN

Gina Lopez has come home.

After a controversial 10-month run as environment secretary, Lopez embarks on a new role, that of a television personality. Her 13-episode series, ‘G Diaries’, serves as a platform of her past experience, as she dives deep into the country’s most scenic locations while continuing to advocate environmental protection.

As previously mentioned, ‘G Diaries’ is a homecoming of sorts for Lopez. Prior to her stint as environment secretary, Lopez served a variety of roles within the ABS-CBN family, most notably as managing director of the Lingkod Kapamilya foundation.

In ‘G Diaries’, Lopez pays a visit into some of the country’s must-see attractions, and along the way she will meet new friends and talk about preserving the environment. According to Lopez herself,

“‘G Diaries’ seeks not only to entertain viewers and promote the Philippines as a majestic travel destination but also to inform and incite action, for everyone to be part of the collective effort to preserve the environment and bequeath it in its healthiest state to the next generation.”

All 13 episodes of ‘G Diaries’ will be directed by esteemed Hollywood director, producer and writer Wil Harper. The series will kick off with a signature prelude film featuring celebrities such as Sharon Cuneta, Eddie Garcia and Charo Santos-Concio.

While ‘G Diaries’ may be just another travel program, there is one aspect of the show that is worth looking at. Not only will viewers see some new destinations, but they will also look at the environmental and aesthetic aspect that each locale presents.

That said, awareness of one’s surroundings is put to a premium in this series. And for those who want to become environmentalists someday, this show is worth watching.

The premiere episode of ‘G Diaries’ will air this Sunday before ‘ASAP’, after which it will air every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. on ABS-CBN. The series will also be seen on Lifestyle Network and the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Standard
entertainment, game show, Philippines, talent show, television

Overexposed Luis Manzano Finally Gets a Break

Luis Manzano had a three-year stretch of near non-stop hosting commitments which made him overexposed on TV for a long period. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Thank goodness it’s over.

For much of the last three years, Luis Manzano became a part of every household thanks to a multitude of hosting commitments he accepted during that span. Whether it’s a game show or a talent show, it seems like viewers can’t get enough of this popular Kapamilya host.

Luis’ lengthy run began on October 26, 2014, when he joined Toni Gonzaga to host ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ season 2. The season ran for 36 episodes, concluding on March 1, 2015.

At the tail end of ‘The Voice of the Philippines” run, Luis accepted the job as host of the new season of ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’. Running from February 9, 2015 until March 4, 2016, the fifth season of ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ aired a total of 278 episodes.

Next up for Luis was ‘The Voice Kids’ season 2, which ran from June 6 to August 30, 2015. A total of 26 episodes were aired during that season.

On November 14, 2015, Luis replaced Billy Crawford as host of ‘Celebrity Playtime’, and was present for the game show’s final 41 episodes. Then on January 23, 2016, Luis and Billy joined forces to host the fifth season of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, which ran for 35 episodes until May 22, 2016.

By that point, signs of overexposure become more evident for Luis. Unfortunately for the viewers, ABS-CBN is not yet finished with him.

April 9, 2016 saw Luis take over as host of the newly-acquired ‘Family Feud’ franchise, and he presided on all of its 111 episodes. A few months later, on July 18, 2016, Luis returned to host the second season of ‘Minute to Win It’, adding another 208 episodes to his resume.

And if that is not enough, another run as host of ‘The Voice Kids’ awaited Luis. From May 28 to August 28, 2016, Luis was the presenter on all 28 episodes of ‘The Voice Kids” third season.

Finally on April 16, 2017, Luis accepted another hosting stint within ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ franchise. This time, he became the host of ‘The Voice Teens’, which has now aired seven episodes and counting.

This does not include his additional responsibility as one of the hosts of ‘ASAP’. That said, for all intents and purposes, ‘ASAP’ will not be added in this count.

It was clear that ABS-CBN is paying the price for their overreliance on Luis Manzano. Overall, the host accumulated a total of 770 episodes within nine shows (as of May 7, 2017) in a span of 925 days, which speaks of how ABS-CBN became too dependent on this star hosting-wise.

While ratings for Luis’ nine shows were not a problem, it is ABS-CBN’s utilization that became a dilemma. Let’s face it, they have a deep plethora of talent who can be just as proficient in hosting, yet they stuck with Luis for some reason because, he’s the only guy they can depend on to deliver a good show.

Now that Luis is freed of the burden of hosting too many shows on a daily basis, the time is definitely now for ABS-CBN to develop more hosts. After all, there are plenty in the pipeline so why not breed at least one or two of them to relieve some pressure on the veterans.

For now, Luis Manzano can breathe easily. A period of less strenuous activity is all he needs at this point.

Standard
entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Ex-SOP Stars Take Over ASAP Stage

The long and storied rivalry between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘SOP’ has been well-documented.

For 13 years, the two Sunday variety shows duke it out for not only high ratings, but also the best performance. While ‘SOP’ managed to become successful, it failed to sustain the momentum that the now 21-year-old ‘ASAP’ enjoys nowadays.

Successor GMA variety shows in ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’ followed suit, but neither proved to be a match to ‘ASAP’. As a result, GMA abandoned the purely musical variety format in favor of ‘Sunday PinaSaya”s comedy-infused approach, which was initially successful but now struggles to regain form.

With ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ employing a new cast and a new outfit in APT Entertainment, the performers that were once part of GMA’s past variety shows were forced to look elsewhere. Eventually, it led them to ‘ASAP’, and their performances on the said show felt like a throwback to many who watched ‘SOP’ for years.

While Kyla, Jay-R, Jolina Magdangal and Jona Viray were the first former ‘SOP’ stars to join ‘ASAP’, the biggest surprise came in July, when long-time ‘SOP’ cornerstone Ogie Alcasid stepped into the ‘ASAP’ stage for the first time. Not long after, Jaya came aboard, and last Sunday, a tribute for Ogie included a reunion between the two ‘SOP’ icons.

Backstage, another former ‘SOP’ mainstay paid a visit to the ABS-CBN studio. Ogie’s wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, who remains under contract with GMA, was at the dressing room reuniting with her old ‘SOP’ pals.

From @patty_mayoralgo Happy Sunday indeed with friends @reginevalcasid @jona_viray @mariajolina_ig

A post shared by Jaya Ramsey Gotidoc (@jaya) on

The reunion of former ‘SOP’ stars became a much-needed boost to ‘ASAP’, as it defeated ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ by 1.6% that day. Despite that, many are still hoping for a full reunion, as Regine remains a GMA talent while another former ‘SOP’ cornerstone in Janno Gibbs was nowhere to be found.

With so many performers in tow, how much longer can ‘ASAP’ sustain this high-quality trend? Only time will tell, but for now, enjoy this reunion of old rivals.

Standard
entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Pinoy Big Brother Needs Fill-In Hosts Amid Toni and Mariel Pregnancy Leave

Toni Gonzaga-Soriano and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla are both pregnant.

Both are expected to take a maternity leave, and as a result, they have no choice but relinquish their hosting duties on ‘Pinoy Big Brother’: Lucky 7. That said, ABS-CBN must figure out a way to spread the hosting workload for the reality show while Toni and Mariel are tending to their soon-to-be offspring.

With the two out of the picture, only Robi Domingo and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal are left to shoulder the burden. So where will ABS-CBN go at this point?

They could consider Toni’s sister Alex Gonzaga to fill in for her. After all, she had hosting experience of her own, having hosted ‘ASAP’ on a regular basis, and more recently played the same role on season 2 of ‘The Voice Kids’.

They could also use Billy Crawford as well, whose prior hosting experience may be an asset. Or they may consider Anne Curtis, whose only hosting job at this point is on ‘It’s Showtime’.

Overall, ABS-CBN has a vast reservoir of talents who can also be capable host. But it will be up to them to decide on who will fill in for both Toni and Mariel.

Meanwhile, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’: Lucky 7 introduced a new set of teen housemates shortly after returning to Manila earlier this week. They are:

  • Maymay Entrata
  • Rita Gabiola
  • Kisses Delavin
  • Edward Barber
  • Aizan Perez
  • Vivoree Esclito
  • Marco Gallo
  • Christian Morones
  • Fenech Velloso
  • Yong Mujahil
  • Kristine Hammond
  • Heaven Peralejo

The 12 teen housemates join the ‘Lucky 2 Stars’ Jinri Park and Hashtags McCoy de Leon and Nikko Natividad inside the refurbished Big Brother house in Quezon City. Over time, however, some of the teen housemates will either be evicted or leave for personal reasons to make way for the regular ones, which will be announced soon.

‘Pinoy Big Brother’ season 7 currently airs weeknights after ‘Born for You’, Saturdays after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sundays after ‘Rated K’ on ABS-CBN. An afternoon edition also airs weekdays after ‘Tubig at Langis’, except for select regional areas.

Standard
comedy, concerts, entertainment, humor, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

One Year After Debut, Sunday PinaSaya Struggles to Remain Relevant

Seems like viewers still favor musical numbers over comedic skits in a Sunday variety show.

It has been a struggle lately for GMA’s ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ as they enter their first anniversary this week. The APT-produced variety show was off to a strong start when it first aired, but like ‘Eat Bulaga”s AlDub phenomenon (Alden Richards happens to be a cast member of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’), its momentum soon faded as the calendar turned to 2016.

On the contrary, ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’, now on its 21st year, returned to the top of the game thanks to its improved production values and new segments. The show also got a boost when it added former Kapuso performers Kyla, Jay-R and most recently Jona Viray.

Ratings for the two shows clearly indicate how things quickly change on the Sunday noontime scene. ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ was able to dominate early on because viewers were curious about this new comedy-centric variety show, but as the months wore on, it was obvious that they still prefer the music and dance numbers of ‘ASAP’.

It was also evident that the AlDub phenomenon dictated the early success of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, especially since Alden Richards was a cast member and Maine Mendoza made a few appearances. Unfortunately, even AlDub is bound to lose sometime, and when bandwagon fans grew bored of the love team, the ratings of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ soon plummeted.

The improvements on ‘ASAP’ should cause a lot of concern to the people behind ‘Sunday PinaSaya’. The show overall was not bad, but they need to understand that they should not rest on their laurels and make some tweaks every once in a while.

That said, the priority of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ at this point is to possibly add new cast members and create new skits that will further engage its viewers. If done properly, they could regain the momentum that they lost at the beginning of the year.

As ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ celebrates its first anniversary, one thing is certain: they want to go back on top. But it remains to be seen whether or not they will be able to make some improvements in hopes of regaining their lost viewership.

Standard