drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

Kambal Karibal Starts Tonight, Seeks to Topple La Luna Sangre

KathNiel, meet BiGuel.

It seems like nothing can stop ABS-CBN’s ‘La Luna Sangre’. After all, since it premiered last June it became the second most-watched teleserye in the Philippines behind only ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

Three times GMA has tried to curb the dominance of ‘La Luna Sangre’, and three times they miserably failed. After striking out with ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2, they decided to go fire with fire by going with a supernatural theme and a love team.

Their response is a teleserye titled ‘Kambal Karibal’, starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. In the series, twin sisters Crisanta and Criselda (Bianca) battle for the love of both her family and Diego (Miguel), with the already dead Criselda consumed by Crisanta’s increasing affection for Diego and her mother.

The story begins with the death of Criselda from a rare disease, leaving her spirit behind that only appears to Crisanta. But after Crisanta gains the favor of Diego and her mother, Criselda decides to inhabit another person’s body in an attempt to stop Crisanta from getting the love that she deserves.

‘Kambal Karibal’ also stars Jean Garcia, Marvin Agustin, Alfred Vargas, Carmina Villarroel, Gloria Romero, Christopher De Leon, Jeric Gonzales, Pauline Mendoza, Rafa Siguion Reyna, Sheree, Racquel Montessa, and Kyline Alcantara. Katrina Halili and Gardo Versoza will also play special roles in the series.

If ‘La Luna Sangre”s ratings of over 30% and a disparity of over 15% are any indication, then ‘Kambal Karibal’ is in for a rude awakening. The powerhouse cast of ‘La Luna Sangre’, led by Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Kapuso castoffs Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez, continues to wreak havoc, and it will be very difficult for BiGuel to overcome KathNiel.

Nevertheless, the battle between ‘La Luna Sangre’ and ‘Kambal Karibal’ should be an interesting one. Not only will this be a competition between love teams, it will also be a fight between vengeful vampires and possessed spirits.

Directed by Don Michael Perez, ‘Kambal Karibal’ airs weeknights after ‘Super Ma’am’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wish I May Ends Tomorrow

‘Wish I May’ is down to its final episode.

The GMA Afternoon Prime series, whose story focuses on a rare genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’, will conclude tomorrow afternoon after a run of 88 episodes. It will be replaced by ‘Magkaibang Mundo’, starring Louise delos Reyes and Juancho Triviño.

Named after a hit song by fellow Kapuso star Alden Richards, ‘Wish I May’ starred Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, along with Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez and Rochelle Pangilinan, among others. It was co-directed by Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz.

‘Wish I May’ was originally announced in October of last year to coincide with the AlDub phenomenon, but the premiere of the highly-anticipated series was delayed by a three-month extension of its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’. It finally hit the airwaves on January 18, however, the long wait took its toll.

Not only did ‘Wish I May’ fail to make an impact, but its low ratings came at the same time as the decline of AlDub’s popularity. By the time the series aired, viewers were once again switching to ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ to watch the revival of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ instead of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Kalyeserye’.

Even worse for ‘Wish I May’ is the impressive performance of rival series ‘Doble Kara’. Ratings for both series consistently favor the latter, and as ‘Wish I May’ continued to fall short of expectations, it came to a point that GMA decided to lessen the promotion of the series by early April.

Suffice to say, it’s a decision that justified ‘Wish I May”s inability to succeed. The series whose premiere had been long overdue to begin with is about to end with a whimper.

‘Wish I May’ may be unique thanks to its focus on ‘chimerism’, but its long-delayed premiere will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. That said, it’s going to be a long day at the office for GMA management, wondering what might have happened if ‘Wish I May’ premiered as originally scheduled.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Is ‘Wish I May’ Too Late the Hero?

‘Wish I May’ has been given the go-signal by GMA.

After a long and tenuous delay, the series, named after a popular song by Alden Richards, will finally make its debut. The question is, will ‘Wish I May’ be worth the wait?

The journey of ‘Wish I May’ began in October of last year, when GMA released a pair of short teasers for the series. Regularly played during commercial breaks, many thought the series would premiere within that month, given its release at the height of the AlDub phenomenon.

Unfortunately, it never materialized. Already penciled in as a lead-out program to ‘Eat Bulaga’ (whose Kalyeserye featured the AlDub tandem), ‘Wish I May”s premiere was postponed when its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’ was given a three-month extension.

The series was also considered for Telebabad, but GMA chose to air ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ instead. Eventually, GMA revealed the premiere date of ‘Wish I May’ in the teaser video below, which premiered before the end of 2015.

Which leads to today’s long-awaited premiere. ‘Wish I May’, although named after Alden’s hit song, will not feature Alden himself nor his Kalyeserye partner Maine Mendoza, for obvious reasons.

Instead, the lead stars of the series will be Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, popularly known as the BiGuel tandem. The premise of the series will involve two teens (Bianca and Miguel) falling in love with each other amid tumultuous circumstances involving their families, brought about by the genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’.

Also starring in ‘Wish I May’ are Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Glydel Mercado, Rochelle Pangilinan, Mark Herras, Alessandra de Rossi, Neil Ryan Sese, Juan Rodrigo, Marni Lapuz, Ash Ortega, Sancho delas Alas and Prince Villanueva. Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz will direct the series.

The premiere of ‘Wish I May’ comes at a time when the AlDub phenomenon was presumed to have winded down. While ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye continues to rack up millions of tweets with each episode, ratings for the show were on the decline, as viewers find the skit boring, repetitive and uninspiring of late.

Although GMA was able to capitalize on AlDub’s success by placing ‘Wish I May’ after ‘Eat Bulaga’, having endured a lengthy delay may not help the show’s cause at all. Had it premiered during the height of AlDub’s popularity (‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ presentation, to be specific), they may have had a chance to succeed.

Still, GMA’s hopes were on ‘Wish I May’ to flourish in the same way its predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’ did. However, it remains to be seen if the series will be worth watching after several months of hype.

‘Wish I May’ airs weekdays at 2:35 p.m. on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

On the Wings of Love Extended Till Early 2016

More JaDine madness is coming to the small screen.

ABS-CBN has announced that ‘On the Wings of Love’ will run until the first quarter of 2016. This means that the series will go beyond the norm of 80 episodes by the time it finishes.

‘On the Wings of Love’ has consistently ranked among the top ten programs in the country, with ratings of over 20% in both AGB Nielsen’s NUTAM and Kantar. The show’s popularity also translated into high merchandising sales, strong overseas viewership among OFWs, regular trending topics on Twitter, and most views on iWanTV.

It only shows that the tandem of James Reid and Nadine Lustre have come a long way since debuting together in the movie ‘Diary ng Panget’. Their popularity has now spread like wildfire, and fans took notice.

The overwhelming success of ‘On the Wings of Love’ proved to be a serious problem for GMA’s ‘My Faithful Husband’. Even though it premiered on the same day (August 10) as ‘On the Wings of Love’, it was never able to capture the hearts of viewers the same way the former did.

And with ‘On the Wings of Love’ now extended, ‘My Faithful Husband’ may not even end at the same time as its rival. Which is why GMA immediately went back to work and decided to go younger once again, hoping to prove themselves once more.

They called upon the youthful BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) tandem to star in the upcoming series ‘Wish I May’, whose teasers were released recently. The series premiere is still to be determined, but there is a possibility that it could replace ‘My Faithful Husband’ on the primetime slot.

Let’s just hope that GMA will figure out a way to curb the overwhelming popularity of ‘On the Wings of Love’. The Kapamilya series is on a roll, and it’s up to GMA to deal with it.

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