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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not 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.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

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

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My Dear Heart’s ‘Last Heartbeats’

This is indeed the ‘Last Heartbeat’.

The impending conclusion of ‘My Dear Heart’ saw ABS-CBN promote its final episodes as the ‘Last __ Heartbeats’. And if this is indeed the last heartbeat for Heart Ramos and company, what a way to go.

‘My Dear Heart’ made its way to Primetime Bida’s lineup on January 23, 2017. Although the series is considered a family drama in the mold of other classic series such as ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’ and ‘Honesto’, the popularity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ in the early primetime slot forced ABS-CBN to bump ‘My Dear Heart’ to a later time.

Nevertheless, ‘My Dear Heart’ proved to be a ratings success in its own right. The series averaged 28% in the Kantar ratings, with some episodes peaking at 30% or better.

While ‘My Dear Heart’ began its run against the Dingdong Dantes-starred ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, it was against the AlDub-starred ‘Destined to Be Yours’ that defined its tenure. Facing the seemingly formidable love team of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, ‘My Dear Heart’ dominated the former with relative ease, shocking the entire AlDub Nation in the process.

The final few weeks of ‘My Dear Heart’ saw the series compete against the Filipino adaptation of ‘My Love from the Star’. But like Alden and Maine, the duo of Gil Cuerva and Jennylyn Mercado could not overcome Heart’s determination to survive.

Overall, ‘My Dear Heart’ will have logged a total of 103 episodes by the time it ends this Friday. The episode count was very impressive considering the series worked behind ‘Ang Probinsyano’ in the pecking order.

Come this week, all eyes are on child star Heart Ramos, whose role as a coma-stricken daughter and angelic spirit captivated viewers throughout the country and around the world. The final episodes of the series will also see how the characters of Bela Padilla, Zanjoe Marudo, Coney Reyes, Ria Atayde and Eric Quizon react to Heart’s life-or-death struggle.

The ‘Last Heartbeat’ for ‘My Dear Heart’ is on. As for Heart Ramos, her budding career as a child star has just begun.

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An Untimely Entrance for My Love from the Star

Heart has a new opponent, albeit for a short time.

Beginning Monday, GMA will premiere the Philippine remake of the hit Korean drama ‘My Love from the Star’. The adaptation will be led by Jennylyn Mercado, who will portray Jun Ji-hyun’s role as Steffi, and Gil Cuerva, who takes on Kim Soo-hyun’s role as Matteo.

The original version of ‘My Love from the Star’ first made waves in the Philippines back in 2014, as it became a top-rating Koreanovela on GMA’s late afternoon slot. GMA then re-aired the Koreanovela during early 2015, but failed to rekindle its past success.

Despite that, GMA decided to push through with the Filipino adaptation of ‘My Love from the Star’. While Jennylyn Mercado was confirmed to play Steffi, the role of Matteo remained a mystery for several months until little-known Gil Cuerva got the nod.

Completing the cast of ‘My Love from the Star’ are Gabby Eigenmann, Christian Bautista, Glydel Mercado, Renz Fernandez, Jackie Rice, Migo Adecer, Melissa Mendez, Spanky Manikan, Nar Cabico, Analyn Barro, Valentin, Moi Marcampo and Pauline Mendoza. Director Joyce Bernal will be at the helm of the series, plus Rhian Ramos will have a special role as Steffi’s rival.

The premiere of ‘My Love from the Star’ comes at a not-so fortunate time. ABS-CBN recently announced that ‘My Dear Heart’ is nearing its conclusion, with the finale of the series to take place around June.

This means that Jennylyn, Gil and company will not have enough time to prove themselves against ‘My Dear Heart”s quintet of Heart Ramos, Bela Padilla, Zanjoe Marudo, Coney Reyes and Ria Atayde. However, with ‘La Luna Sangre’ expected to replace ‘My Dear Heart’ once it ends, ‘My Love from the Star’ should have a big headstart against KathNiel this early.

It remains to be seen if the Filipino remake of ‘My Love from the Star’ can either equal or exceed the success of the original Korean series. With plenty of expectations from both Koreanovela and Kapuso fans, the series can only hope that they will deliver even if the odds are against them.

‘My Love from the Star’ airs weeknights after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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The End of Destined to Be Yours

AlDub needs improvement, period.

This has been a recurring theme for the tandem ever since ‘Destined to Be Yours’ premiered on February 27, 2017. The onus was that Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza are not ready to be certified primetime stars just yet, either because the expectations are too overwhelming or that the tandem still has a lot of work to do chemistry-wise and skills-wise (particularly Maine, who obviously lacked prior acting experience).

Indeed, the intent of GMA is to run ‘Destined to Be Yours’ as short as possible, and that is exactly what happened. Only 63 episodes of ‘Destined to Be Yours’ will have aired once it concludes this Friday, thus putting them in a dubious list of short-lived teleseryes that fail to reach the typical 80-episode threshold.

Still, even with an uncharacteristically short run, ‘Destined to Be Yours’ should have been winning according to AlDub loyalists, right? Considering that AlDub enjoyed a tremendous crossover appeal in both social media and on the small screen, the series should have had a winning streak in the ratings and trending topics game.

Instead, a child actress by the name of Nayomi ‘Heart’ Ramos’ (joined alongside Coney Reyes, Ria Atayde, Zanjoe Marudo and Bela Padilla) overwhelmed AlDub. The fact that the ABS-CBN drama series ‘My Dear Heart’ constantly defeated ‘Destined to Be Yours’ in the ratings does not sit well with AlDub fans.

Unfortunately, that is the reality of it all. Alden and Maine together are simply not primetime material for the moment.

With the impending conclusion of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, there is plenty more work to do for AlDub. While they will still be an integral part of ‘Eat Bulaga’ for years to come, GMA should start working on their skills and chemistry in hopes of elevating the duo to the same heights as KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine.

Unfortunately, they will not have someone like Cathy Garcia Molina to guide them. That said, GMA must look for someone with equal capabilities as the former in order to turn AlDub to a success story, and that alone is not easy.

For now, rest easy AlDub. After that, it’s time to get back to business.

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Analyzing the Possible Timeslot of My Dear Heart

There is still no timeslot for ‘My Dear Heart’.

Although the inspirational family drama is expected to replace ‘Till I Met You’ come this Monday, ABS-CBN has yet to reveal its official timeslot as of today. There are three factors as to why the network is having a hard time figuring out its upcoming timeslot.

1. Ang Probinsyano Continues to Rate Well In the 7:50 Timeslot

Traditionally, ABS-CBN’s value-oriented family dramas are placed after ‘TV Patrol’, which is around 7:50 p.m. Series such as ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’, ‘Honesto’ and ‘Nathaniel’ attracted huge audiences during their respective runs, mainly because it is catered to all audiences and families.

However, ABS-CBN broke the mold when the action-oriented ‘Ang Probinsyano’ premiered on September 28, 2015. The break from tradition did not affect the viewership at all, as ‘Ang Probinsyano’ constantly scored ratings of 35% or better during its ongoing run.

2. Second Slot on Downward Trend

Looking at the second slot post-‘Dolce Amore’, it is clear that the slot is on a downward trend ratings-wise. Neither ‘Till I Met You’, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ nor ‘A Love to Last’ reached the 30% mark, citing various formulas that keep on repeating itself.

If ABS-CBN places ‘My Dear Heart’ to the second slot, they can only hope that it breaches past 30% right away. After all, the series is expected to be just as hugely popular as previous dramas like ‘May Bukas Pa’, but with ‘Ang Probinsyano’ blocking the first slot, there is no way to go but second.

3. Primetime Bida’s Third Slot is For Teens and Adults Only

The third slot of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida does not bode well for ‘My Dear Heart’. Viewership at the 9:20 slot is typically lower (around 10-15%) at this point since most young children either go to bed or finish their studies to prepare for the following school day.

That said, the third slot is usually reserved for either light dramas (see ‘On the Wings of Love’) or more sensual series (see ‘The Legal Wife’). There is no way ABS-CBN will place ‘My Dear Heart’ at the third slot given its family-friendly tale.

With all these factors in play, the most logical timeslot for ‘My Dear Heart’ will be the second slot after ‘Ang Probinsyano’, after which ‘A Love to Last’ will move to the third slot. ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is already a lock for the leadoff position, and with the desire for the second slot to regain its past luster, ‘My Dear Heart’ appears to be the perfect fit.

Still, this is only a prediction. It will be up to ABS-CBN to decide the timeslot of ‘My Dear Heart’.

‘My Dear Heart’ will star Heart Ramos, Bela Padilla, Zanjoe Marudo, Ms. Coney Reyes, Joey Marquez, Loisa Andalio, Sandino Martin and Rio Locsin, among others. It will be directed by Jerome Chavez Pobocan and Jojo Saguin.

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Ang Probinsyano, One Year Later

The ‘One-Year Teleserye Club’ has inducted another member.

Last night marked the first anniversary of ‘Ang Probinsyano’, the cop-themed action drama starring Coco Martin and was a TV adaptation of the Fernando Poe Jr. classic. The series, which first premiered on September 28, 2015, has aired a total of 253 episodes as of yesterday (two dates were preempted due to Holy Week, and one due to Halalan 2016 coverage).

‘Ang Probinsyano’ became the first Primetime Bida series in over six years to reach the one-year mark. The last such series to make the grade was ‘May Bukas Pa’, which reached the mark in its final week.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ joining the first anniversary club, ABS-CBN now has two ongoing teleseryes that have reached the one-year plateau. Nearly a month earlier, ‘Doble Kara’ also turned a year old, and like ‘Ang Probinsyano’, is a top-rater in its timeslot.

Speaking of top-raters, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has been a ratings leader from the start. Its premiere garnered a 41.6% national rating (according to Kantar), and has consistently hit or come close to this mark ever since.

Along the way, four rivals fell. First came the 2015 version of ‘MariMar’, then came the move of ‘Little Nanay’ to GMA Telebabad’s leadoff spot, followed by ‘Poor Señorita’, and now the new version of ‘Encantadia’.

Much of ‘Ang Probinsyano’s success comes from its police-oriented storyline. In an era where the fight against drugs, corruption and other crimes are common in primetime newscasts, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ takes cue from such news, and in the process, gives viewers a lesson in fighting crime.

While ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was a runaway success, it also weathered numerous casting changes during its first year. The most notable of these changes include the departures of Bela Padilla and Maja Salvador, and the entry of Yassi Pressman.

Overall, the first year of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ became memorable in more ways than one. Even PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa was impressed with the show, saying that it helps restore the Filipino’s trust in the Philippine National Police.

As tribute to its first anniversary, a thanksgiving concert will take place on October 8. Now that it concludes its first year, one can only hope that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will continue to provide some memorable moments as it enters its second year.

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