drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Because of You Premieres Monday, To Face On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ will have a third rival in a span of 17 days.

Its original rival, ‘My Faithful Husband’, ended with a whimper last November 13. Its next opponent, ‘Beautiful Strangers’, is also expected to bow out quietly tomorrow night.

After failing to beat ‘On the Wings of Love’ with a pair of heavy dramas, GMA decided to make things a little lighter. But instead of pitting up-and-coming stars against one another, they opted for a tried and tested formula: putting veterans on the spotlight anew.

‘Because of You’ is the network’s latest attempt in trying to curb the JaDine phenomenon. The series will be led by Carla Abellana and Gabby Concepcion, with Rafael Rosell acting as the third wheel.

The story will revolve around the three actors, in which Andrea (Carla) will try to deny her true feelings towards her ex-boyfriend Oliver (Rafael). Eventually she found Jaime (Gabby), whom she fell in love in an unlikely setting.

‘Because of You’ will also include the likes of Valerie Concepcion, Celia Rodriguez, Iya Villania, Joyce Ching, Enzo Pineda, Kuh Ledesma, Vaness Del Moral and Bettina Carlos in supporting roles. Mark Reyes will be at the helm of this light-hearted series.

For Carla, it will be her first series without her usual on-screen and off-screen partner Tom Rodriguez, who is currently paired with Megan Young on the second remake of ‘MariMar’. It is also Gabby’s first project with the Kapuso network, after making a comeback several years ago with ABS-CBN.

Still, the odds are not in favor of the Kapuso series heading into Monday’s premiere. ‘On the Wings of Love’ continued to exceed expectations, and the duo of James Reid and Nadine Lustre are fast becoming bankable stars, something GMA couldn’t manage with their younger talent.

That said, ‘Because of You’ will have its work cut out for them. For Carla and Gabby, they hope to remain relevant even in the midst of an ongoing youth movement that is giving GMA a lot of problems.

‘Because of You’ premieres this Monday after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Bubble Gang 20th Anniversary Special This Friday

The logo for the 20th anniversary season of ‘Bubble Gang’. The anniversary special airs this Friday on GMA. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The 20th anniversary of ‘Bubble Gang’ will be celebrated this Friday.

For this year, the annual ‘Bubble Gang’ anniversary special will be treated as a documentary, produced by none other than the GMA News and Public Affairs department. The documentary will highlight the rich history of the 20-year-old gag show, featuring interviews from past and present cast members, as well as behind-the-scenes personnel.

As always, the special will not be complete without the trademark sketches that have made ‘Bubble Gang’ so endearing. The skits will not only feature the current cast, but also some of the former mainstays as well.

Currently one of the country’s longest-running programs, ‘Bubble Gang’ first premiered on October 20, 1995. The show has attracted a loyal following over the years, and continues to gain new fans as technology and popular culture evolved.

One of the show’s driving forces is Michael V, who along with Antonio Aquitania, has been part of ‘Bubble Gang’ since its first episode. Bitoy is currently the show’s creative director, formulating most of the show’s endearing skits.

Just recently, Michael V released ‘The Bubble Bible’, a book that features humorous quotes from some of Bitoy’s memorable ‘Bubble Gang’ characters. In essence, ‘The Bubble Bible’ was considered a tribute to the entertainer who has made ‘Bubble Gang’ the country’s longest-running gag show, and a culmination of the show’s 20th year.

‘Bubble Gang”s other current cast members include Boy 2 Quizon, Betong Sumaya, Mikael Daez, Paolo Contis, Sef Cadayona, Rufa Mae Quinto, Chariz Solomon, Jackie Rice, Sam Pinto, Gwen Zamora, Max Collins and Andrea Torres. Supporting players include Diego Llorico, Mykah, Moymoy Palaboy, Denise Barbacena, RJ Padilla, Arny Ross, Joyce Ching, Jan Manual and Juancho Trivino.

To date, ‘Bubble Gang’ has aired 1,003 episodes during its 20-year history. The documentary this Friday will be the show’s 1,004th.

The hashtag for this year’s anniversary special will be #IMBG20. For those unaware of how ‘Bubble Gang’ started, this should help them understand how it all began, and how it evolved into the gag show it is today.

The ‘Bubble Gang’ 20th anniversary documentary airs this Friday after ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Last-Minute Timeslot Change for Little Nanay

Turns out ‘Little Nanay’ won’t be facing ‘On the Wings of Love’ after all.

Instead of pitting two light-hearted dramas against each other, GMA decided at the last minute to shake up the lineup of Telebabad. ‘Little Nanay’ will now air at 7:45 p.m., while ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will now be bumped to later timeslots.

This means that ‘Little Nanay’ now be up against the action-oriented ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will face ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘On the Wings of Love’ respectively. The decision came as a last resort for the network, who still couldn’t find a way to beat Coco Martin and the KathNiel and JaDine love teams.

Prior to the timeslot change, both ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ were not faring well against ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, respectively. The most recent national ratings report shows that the two GMA teleseryes were badly blown out by their ABS-CBN counterparts.

In making the timeslot change, GMA hopes that ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will fare at least a bit more decently than in their previous timeslots. Then again, they are still at a disadvantage, since they are up against the two hottest love teams in the country.

As for ‘Little Nanay’, it is a bit surprising to see the light-hearted drama go up against a more action-packed series in ‘Ang Probinsyano’. Nevertheless, even though they won’t be facing ‘On the Wings of Love’, they still have a daunting task coming, since Coco Martin has been able to thrive as twins in an adaptation of a Fernando Poe, Jr. classic.

That said, rough waters still lie ahead for GMA. Even with all the changes that took place, it’s still not easy defeating the ever-superior Primetime Bida of the Kapamilya network.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Rival for On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ is getting new competition starting this Monday.

For the past several months, James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s breakthrough series has been on a roll against its closest competitor, ‘My Faithful Husband’. Even though both series premiered on the same night (August 10), it is clear that GMA’s older generation of talents (Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo) are now a blip on the radar against ABS-CBN’s youngsters.

This Monday will be no exception, as they will once again emphasize experience over youth in their latest series, ‘Little Nanay’. The series will star Kris Bernal as an intellectually disabled 25-year-old mother, who will be taken care of by her own daughter, portrayed by Chlaui Malayao.

Speaking of experience, two Filipino showbiz legends will play major roles in ‘Little Nanay’. Nora Aunor will act as the rock star grandmother to Kris’ character, while Eddie Garcia will play the role of a rich and adoptive grandfather.

Other cast members of ‘Little Nanay’ include Bembol Roco, Mark Herras, Juancho Triviño, Keempee de Leon, Gladys Reyes, Hiro Peralta, Wynwyn Marquez, Sunshine Dizon, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Jinri Park, Paolo Contis and Renz Fernandez. Multi-awarded actor and director Ricky Davao will be at the helm.

In contrast to the more serious tone of ‘My Faithful Husband’, ‘Little Nanay’ will be presented in a mostly comedic manner. This was GMA’s response to the more light-hearted approach of ‘On the Wings of Love’, which in turn was a departure from the mostly mature dramas that ABS-CBN aired in the 9:15 p.m. timeslot.

By all accounts, this will be a tough challenge for ‘Little Nanay’. With ‘On the Wings of Love’ still winning in the ratings game, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Little Nanay’ will be able to keep up with the former.

That said, an imposing task awaits ‘Little Nanay’. It’s up to Kris Bernal to prove that GMA’s so-called ‘oldies’ are still goodies.

‘Little Nanay’ premieres this Monday at 9:15 p.m., right after ‘Beautiful Strangers’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, television

A Not-So ‘InTENse’ Premiere for Beautiful Strangers, My Faithful Husband

‘InTENse’ is not the kind of word that is expected in GMA’s new-look Telebabad.

Contrary to what GMA claims in the plugs (see video above) for the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’, the ‘inTENse’ moniker seems to apply more towards its two rival teleseryes on ABS-CBN. ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, for one, has been the obsession of many since episode one, and now they are joined by ‘On the Wings of Love’, another potential top-rater.

‘On the Wings of Love’ has been in every viewer’s radar since the project was announced last February, and now the can’t-miss series has been given the green light. It will be the first teleserye for the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre (a.k.a. JaDine), but for those familiar of their work, they should be no strangers to success.

After all, JaDine starred in the hit movies ‘Diary ng Panget’, ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead’, and more recently ‘My Hopeless Romantic’. The duo also starred in ‘Wansapanatym”s ‘My App Boyfie’, fueling their popularity even further.

But ‘On the Wings of Love’ will not be the only series that GMA needs to worry about. The ever-popular ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be bolstered further with the arrival of Bea Bianca, portrayed by Sarah Carlos, whose role is to be the third wheel in the Angelo-Yna (Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively) love affair.

Both ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’ should have their hands full facing KathNiel and JaDine, respectively. While the two series will have a good amount of star power (Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo), they are still at a disadvantage.

A one-two punch on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida awaits the two premiering series on GMA Telebabad. For a network that still lives in the past when it comes to its stars, this is a mismatch in hell.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Unable to Beat Kathniel and Pangako Sa ‘Yo, GMA Resorts to Its Old Reliables

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ took its toll on GMA once again.

Fifteen years after the original series took the then-Rainbow Network by surprise, the newly-revised version of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ again proved its lasting power in the era of social media. It showed that even with new actors, new technology and a tweaked script, the results will still be the same.

For rival ‘Let the Love Begin’, it was a total disappointment. GMA tried to concoct a new and promising love team with Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, but it never clicked with the viewers at all.

Whether it’s the ‘Forevermore’ duo of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, or ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the GabRu duo failed to match the chemistry and mass appeal of its rivals. And after 70 episodes by the end of Friday’s finale, their future as an on-screen duo is now in doubt.

Now GMA is going back to its old reliables in hopes of curtailing the momentum of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. Enter Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista of the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

In ‘Beautiful Strangers’, Heart and Lovi are billed as rivals, in contrast to their off-screen friendship. Heart plays the role of a kind-hearted plastic surgeon, while Lovi portrays the role of an interior designer with a dark past.

The two lead stars will be joined by Christopher de Leon, Benjamin Alves, Rocco Nacino, Dina Bonnevie, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Renz Valerio, Kier Legaspi, Dianne Medina, Djanin Cruz, Gab de Leon, Nar Cabico, Mariel Pamintuan and Lovely Rivero. ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Once ‘Beautiful Strangers’ premieres this Monday, it will be the second of three new dramas that GMA will introduce on the same day, as part of a month-long overhaul of Telebabad. But it remains to be seen if the new series will pose a more interesting challenge to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’.

One thing’s for sure: GMA still can’t make the most out of their younger talents and now resort to old-timers in hopes of gaining some relevance.

‘Beautiful Strangers’ airs starting August 10 at 8:30 p.m. after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad.

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