comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Not a Good Sign: The Declining Interest of Late-Morning Dramas on Philippine Television

‘Playhouse’ is only averaging around 13% in the ratings, a far cry from past late-morning teleseryes aired on ABS-CBN. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

There was a time when late-morning teleseryes on television were a thing in this decade.

It started in 2012 when the unlikely pairing of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap took off with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. The series became an immediate hit, reaching ratings of as high as 27%, and ran for over two years.

From then on, ABS-CBN kept the wheel rolling, airing either romantic comedies such as ‘Oh My G!’, ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ or kid-oriented tear-jerkers like ‘Ningning’ and ‘Langit Lupa’. ABS-CBN even tried to get serious for once with the triathlon-themed ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

But in the past several months, late-morning dramas began to lose viewer interest. By August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ slumped to around 13-15% in the ratings (this despite having Jodi and Richard in the series), and this decline only continued through its successor ‘Playhouse’.

Over on GMA, the network already waved the white flag at the start of the month. Their most recent local late-morning drama, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, was cancelled last November 2, and after only two weeks, GMA moved the Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ to an earlier timeslot due to poor ratings.

Prior to that, GMA tried to counter ABS-CBN with their own dramas that were either self-produced or under the TAPE Inc. production team. Unfortunately for GMA, each of their dramas backfired, with the likes of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ ending after only two or three months.

While ABS-CBN continues to claim victory over this timeslot, the declining ratings of ‘Playhouse’ is something that should cause a lot of concern to the network. If the 13% ratings are of any indication, then there must be something wrong.

Either that viewers are getting tired of watching too much of the same thing, that the story in itself lacked substance and originality, that the cast is boring, or that they just can’t wait for ‘It’s Showtime’ to start. Whatever the case, it is up to ABS-CBN to regroup and see what needs to be corrected.

It is too early to tell if this will spell the end for Filipino late-morning dramas. That said, one can only hope that a turnaround in fortune is imminent, but if this spell continues, then a programming reboot is necessary.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

A Look Back at TAPE’s Pre-Noontime Programs

With the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ earlier this February, TAPE decided to cease production of pre-noontime shows after nearly five years. (Photo credit: TAPE Inc. and GMA Network)

Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.

It all started with this love team, and it all ended with this love team. The duo forever changed the pre-noontime landscape.

Yet one production outfit tried to make things a little more interesting. That outfit happens to be Television and Production Exponents Inc., better known by the acronym TAPE Inc.

The producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to take a crack at the Jodi-Richard love team by premiering a pre-noontime talk show hosted by a then-seven-year-old Ryzza Mae Dizon. In April 2013, GMA and TAPE launched ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, and for nearly two years, it engaged with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in a tough battle for ratings supremacy.

Yet ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to roll, and so did its successors ‘Give Love on Christmas’, ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘Ningning’. When TAPE realized that ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ has outlived its usefulness, they decided to replace the talk show with a light drama in ‘Princess in the Palace’, starring Ryzza alongside Eula Valdes and Aiza Seguerra.

But the move to a drama format did not change its fortunes, and neither did a sitcom in ‘Calle Siete’. Meanwhile, another ABS-CBN series in ‘Be My Lady’ extended the network’s reign in the timeslot.

In October 2016, GMA and TAPE canceled ‘Calle Siete’ and in its place came a coming-of-age light drama in ‘TROPS’, starring the That’s My Bae quintet of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia. The said series also ended Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run in the pre-noontime slot amid her physical changes and the emergence of AlDub.

Unfortunately, ‘TROPS’ also failed to make a difference in the ratings. Over at ABS-CBN, their dominance continued with ‘Langit Lupa’ and ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

In a last-ditch effort to make an impact in the pre-noontime slot, TAPE and GMA returned to the talk show format in September 2017 with ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by the lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros). It couldn’t have come at a worst possible time, as AlDub was no longer a difference-maker by the time this show premiered.

Sadly, the return of Jodi and Richard (plus Robin Padilla) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ put an end to TAPE’s pre-noontime aspirations. As a result, TAPE cancelled ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ after 95 episodes on February 2, 2018, and ceased production of pre-noontime shows.

Give TAPE and GMA a lot of credit for trying to give ABS-CBN a run for its money. But at the end of the day, the latter’s superiority in the pre-noontime slot became too much to overcome, especially with the unlikely duo of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap giving plenty of ‘kilig’ to its viewers.

Now that TAPE ends its production of pre-noontime shows, time will only tell when GMA decides to strike on its own. But for now, the competition is over and GMA will have to live and die with Tagalized movies as a way to wave the white flag.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kimerald’s Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin Relegated to Late Mornings

Seems like the reunited Kimerald will have to pay their dues in the late mornings.

Once a successful duo on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, the tandem of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson will now take their act to the 11:30 a.m. slot with a new series that centers around the world of triathlon. This new series is called ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Starring alongside another tandem in Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ centers around childhood friends Bianca (Kim) and Gabriel (Gerald), both of whom aspire to become successful triathletes in order to support their families.

Along the way, the duo encounter some obstacles that will test their love for each other. ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will feature the following storylines:

  • Bianca distances herself from Gabriel in hopes of saving her father’s life
  • After a long period of separation, Bianca and Gabriel met anew in a triathlon event headlined by Carlos (Jake), a top triathlete in the country
  • Carlos hires Bianca as an endorser of Tigershark, then falls in love with her to the dismay of his ex-girlfriend Isabelle (Coleen)
  • Carlos and Gabriel become archrivals in both triathlon and in Bianca’s heart, but some secrets from the past soon threaten their lives

‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will also star Gina Pareño, Bing Loyzaga, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Michael De Mesa, Daniel Fernando, Dante Rivero, Nicco Manalo, Ivan Carapiet, Andrea Brillantes, and Grae Fernandez. The series will be directed by Dan Villegas and Onat Diaz.

Unlike previous romantic late-morning series in ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ and ‘Be My Lady’, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will have a more serious tone that is uncharacteristic for the slot. The storyline would have been a perfect fit for primetime, but with no slots available at the moment, ABS-CBN has no choice but to place this series before noontime.

Still, considering the past success of the Kapamilya network at the said slot, ratings should not be a problem for ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’. That said, the network only hope to see the viewers fall in love with this pensive drama.

‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s PrimeTanghali.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, hits, humor, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, Sports, talent show, television

FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

Pinoy Boyband Superstar Answers To the Top

Last year, GMA created its own reality talent show for up-and-coming Filipino boybands, ‘To the Top’. This year, ABS-CBN struck back by bringing the ‘La Banda’ franchise to the Philippines under the name ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’.

Unfortunately for GMA, the popularity of ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ far exceeded ‘To the Top’. The former constantly gained ratings of 30% or better while airing at a more convenient timeslot of 6:50 p.m., whereas the latter only mustered around 7-8% ratings while airing at a not-so attractive timeslot of 9:45-10:00 p.m.

Despite the success of ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’, it remains to be seen if BoybandPH can become a more popular boyband than Top One Project ever was. That said, the key to both boybands at this point is to outsell each other in order to win the hearts of fans.

Delamar Leaves RX 93.1’s The Morning Rush

‘The Morning Rush’ on Monster RX 93.1 is an institution in Philippine FM radio, having aired continuously for over two decades. So when Delamar Arias decided to leave both the show and the station on July 29, listeners, or ‘rushers’, were stunned.

After all, Delamar, along with long-time partner Chico Garcia and recent addition Gino Quillamor, were instrumental in the show’s success, with the ‘Top 10’ segment becoming the most popular segment. Her departure left a glaring hole on ‘The Morning Rush’, one they have struggled to fill since.

Delamar was not the only high-profile departure from the station. A few weeks later, Bea Fabregas left RX to focus on hosting FOX Sports Philippines’ ‘Fox Sports Minute’ and ‘The GOAT’, while Karen Bordador was arrested for alleged drug possession and was de facto removed from the station.

The Launch of PBA Rush, Plus UFC on TV5 and Olympic Coverage

If Solar Entertainment has NBA Premium TV, then TV5 has its own channel for the PBA in PBA Rush. Launched prior to the 2016 Governors’ Cup, PBA Rush is considered the Filipino version of NBA TV, featuring live and archived PBA games plus special programs dedicated to the league.

The timing of PBA Rush’s launch couldn’t have come at an important time, as that year’s Governors’ Cup saw Barangay Ginebra San Miguel end an eight-year title drought at the expense of the Meralco Bolts. Ginebra’s win would have concluded PBA’s run with TV5, but instead the partnership between the two was renewed in time for the ongoing Philippine Cup.

TV5 also made a high-profile acquisition when it purchased the broadcast rights to the UFC, promising it to air live on its HYPER channel. Unfortunately, TV5’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics was a difficult one, as the network struggles to deal with its decline in programming quality.

Other Sports Stories on TV

ABS-CBN Sports replaced the UFC by focusing on local and regional mixed martial arts, namely the Alvin Aguilar-led URCC, and the Southeast Asia-based One Championship. They also brought in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) as part of its continued commitment to local and regional sports.

Solar Sports dabbled into collegiate basketball by airing the NAASCU, while IBC-13 and AksyonTV aired the UCBL and CESAFI tournaments respectively. However, the biggest draws remain the NCAA and the UAAP, where the San Beda Red Lions and the De La Salle Green Archers won their respective championships.

Finally, in women’s volleyball, ABS-CBN Sports acquired the rights to the Shakey’s V-League, beginning a contentious rivalry between the V-League and the TV5-aired Philippine SuperLiga.

Be My Lady Reigns, Ryzza Mae’s Run Ends

‘Be My Lady’, topbilled by real-life couple Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga,was the top draw at the pre-noontime slot for much of this year. Airing for 221 episodes from January 18 to November 25, the series earned ratings of nearly 20%, besting the competition in the process.

The aforementioned competition included a pair of shows starring Ryzza Mae Dizon: ‘Princess in the Palace’, and ‘Calle Siete’. But with Ryzza already entering the pre-teen stage of her life, it was clear that she was no longer the charmingly cute presence of years past.

In the end, TAPE decided to cease starring her on the pre-noontime slot beginning October 24, and gave the BAES (along with Taki Sato) of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a lead role in ‘TROPS’.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Finale Week for Be My Lady

Christmas came early for ‘Be My Lady’.

The popular ABS-CBN daytime series will air its final episode this Friday morning, ending an impressive 221-episode run. It will be replaced by ‘Langit Lupa’ starting next week.

The lengthy near year-long run of ‘Be My Lady’ began on January 18, 2016. The series centered around the lifelong relationship between Brazilian-Japanese bachelor Phil (Daniel Matsunaga) and conservative Filipina Pinang (Erich Gonzales), which mirrored the real-life partnership between the two.

From the very first episode, it was clear that ‘Be My Lady’ was a hit show in the making. Over the course of its ten-month run, the series averaged around 19% in the Kantar national ratings, beating rivals ‘Princess in the Palace’, ‘Calle Siete’ and ‘TROPS’ in the process.

The ratings success of ‘Be My Lady’ also translated into social media, where each episode is usually a trending topic. The high points of the series came during the airing of the ‘Tatlong Bibe’ scenes, and more recently, the much-awaited wedding of Phil and Pinang.

Despite its success, a lot of expectations came ‘Be My Lady”s way. Considering that the series is in the same mold as ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, many think that ‘Be My Lady’ could last a year or more.

Eventually, ABS-CBN decided to pull the plug on ‘Be My Lady’ while at its peak. Knowing that the kiligserye could lose interest if it lasts for more than a year (based on the experiences of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’), it was only right for ABS-CBN to end the series while still enjoying a strong following.

Although ‘Be My Lady’ will come to an end this Friday, it will not be the end of the road for Daniel and Erich. Future projects are in the offing for the two, and soon, another kiligserye will come knocking at the door.

As for the series, enjoy these final four episodes. It will surely be an unforgettable ending.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Be My Lady Extended, Princess in the Palace Concludes

The gap between ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Princess in the Palace’ continues to widen.

As the rainy season began, it is clear that the odds were not in favor of ‘Princess in the Palace’. While Ryzza Mae Dizon has shown to be a capable actress, it was not enough to catapault her past the love team of Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga, whose chemistry on ‘Be My Lady’ mirrors that of their real-life relationship.

And ratings for the two shows speak for themselves. On Thursday, June 2, ‘Be My Lady’ (18% rating per episode) won the day with a 20% rating, the second time it ever hit the mark, while ‘Princess in the Palace’ (8.5% rating per episode) only earned 8.7%.

The constantly outstanding ratings of ‘Be My Lady’ led to another extension just recently. The ABS-CBN pre-noontime series will now run until October, which means that it will have a ten-month run, the longest for a pre-noontime show since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’.

On the other hand, TAPE and GMA announced that the week of June 6 will be the last for ‘Princess in the Palace’. Running since September 21, 2015 (a total of 188 episodes by June 10), it was Ryzza Mae Dizon’s first venture as a character actress, and it also starred Eula Valdes, Aiza Seguerra, Boots Anson Roa and Christian Vasquez, among others.

Though ‘Princess in the Palace”s run was just as impressive, the series was unable to overcome the constant success of ABS-CBN’s pre-noontime shows. Both ‘Ningning’ and the aforementioned ‘Be My Lady’ posted ratings that were at best 10 points higher than ‘Princess in the Palace’.

Nevertheless, Ryzza Mae Dizon should be proud of herself. Regardless of the show’s underwhelming ratings, she proved to the world that she can cry and laugh with the best of them, and working with industry veterans is worth the experience.

Despite the fact that ‘Princess in the Palace’ is about to conclude, don’t expect to see the last of Ryzza Mae Dizon every pre-noontime. A new comedy-drama series starring her is currently in the works, and it will premiere on the former’s timeslot next Monday, June 13.

Still, it’s hard to overcome a timeslot that is dominated by ABS-CBN in the last half-decade. That said, best of luck to TAPE and GMA on that new series starring Ryzza Mae Dizon next week.

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