drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Postscript: Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka; Preview: My Special Tatay

From one advoca-serye to another.

Friday marked the final episode of ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’, an AIDS-themed drama that starred Yasmien Kurdi, Martin del Rosario, Jackie Rice and Mike Tan. The series ran for 132 episodes and posted decent ratings despite airing against ‘Hanggang Saan’ and ‘Araw Gabi’.

Even though ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ had a rather up-and-down run, its 132 episodes suggest that it was a success. The show fulfilled its purpose of showing one’s struggles of living with AIDS, a deadly disease that remains virtually incurable.

Still, with that kind of inconsistency in the ratings it is clear that GMA is still finding a cure for its afternoon mood swings. Which leads to the next series that will replace ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’.

‘My Special Tatay’, to be led by Ken Chan, will focus on mental illnesses. As the intellectually challenged father Boyet, Ken will portray a man who suffers from Mild Intellectual Disability with Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Despite his mental shortcomings and other people’s doubts, Boyet grew up as a kind-hearted man with a positive outlook. However, his life would turn upside down once he finds out that he has a child.

Also part of ‘My Special Tatay’ are Jestoni Alarcon, Teresa Loyzaga, Carmen Soriano, Lilet, Candy Pangilinan, Arra San Agustin, Rita Daniela, Jillian Ward, Bruno Gabriel, and JK Giducos. Initial episodes of the series will feature special guest appearances from Matt Evans, Empress Schuck, Valeen Montenegro, and Ashley Rivera.

Once again, GMA will use the power of advocacy as a weapon to send a message to its viewers. This time, the focus is on mental health problems and ‘My Special Tatay’ will take a look at how a person deals with intellectual disabilities.

However, it remains to be seen if ‘My Special Tatay’ will be more consistent in overcoming ‘Araw Gabi’. While GMA is working on a good cause, high viewer support remains a must and unless ‘My Special Tatay’ proves a point their hard work will go for nothing.

Directed by LA Madridejos and Conrado Peru, ‘My Special Tatay’ airs weekdays after ‘The Stepdaughters’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Match: Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw Ends Short Run This Friday

Not even close.

After only 38 episodes and nearly two months on the air, GMA decided to pull the plug on ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, the late-morning romantic comedy starring Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. And its performance was never strong to begin with.

Matched up against the ABS-CBN late-morning series ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ failed to catch up with the viewing public. The series premiere of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ only scored 8.8% against ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s 17.1%, setting the tone for the rest of its run.

Overall, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ managed a paltry 9% per episode. On the other hand, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ averaged 17%.

Even the total number of episodes was lower than the TAPE-produced blocktimers that formerly occupied the late-morning slot. That said, it was a shame for GMA to not even try to keep up with JoChard (the love team of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap) and Robin Padilla despite the insurmountable odds.

But to each network’s credit, both shows engaged a friendly rivalry even if ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ was cut short. In the lead-up to its premiere, Camille Prats and Jodi Sta. Maria wished good luck to each other on social media, clearly indicating that there are no hard feelings between them as far as competition goes.

Still, it would have been better if GMA kept on going with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’. Such a low number of episodes is considered a huge letdown by GMA’s standards and for a network with so many high expectations, it is very frustrating to see that happen.

Now that ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ is about to end, one can only hope that the series will end on a positive note. The least they can do now is salvage some measure of pride and make the most out of these last few episodes.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s New Rival to Sana Dalawa ang Puso Premieres Monday

GMA has a new series coming up to counter ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’.

After over a month of staying away from the dreaded love team that is Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between), GMA will once again look to defeat the popular tandem. This time, however, they will not have the benefit of TAPE Inc. as a blocktimer and production partner.

Instead, the new series ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be self-produced by the network, the first time they have done that in a pre-noontime show since ‘Cielo de Angelina’ in 2012. But unlike the latter which is more of a tear-jerker, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be done in the same way as ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: a romantic comedy.

‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be headlined by Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. Camille (as Ginny) and Neil (as Lance) are single parents still attached to their past, but with some common ground between them (e.g. living in the same condo, enjoy the same brand of coffee), it seems like a relationship is about to bloom.

Their lives will also intertwine with that of their children. Ginny’s daughter Marione (Ayra) and Lance’s son Benjie (Bruno) are also on the verge of falling in love, but it remains to be seen if either or both of their relationships will flourish.

GMA is no stranger to morning romantic series, having aired ‘With a Smile’ and ‘Dangwa’ in years past. Unfortunately, the presence of TAPE’s pre-noontime shows prevented GMA from seriously challenging ABS-CBN’s popular late-morning dramas, which led to both shows’ failure to make an impact.

The curse of ‘JoChard’ has become a long-standing dilemma for GMA ever since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ premiered in 2012. That said, GMA can only hope for the best with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, as this could be their last-ditch attempt to overcome the problem.

If they fail on this objective, it will not be a surprise to see the network return to a pupal state and fill the airtime with ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’. It is either all-out or stay out as far as GMA is concerned.

Directed by Tata Betita and Jojo Nones, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

G.R.I.N.D.: A New Breed of Teen-Oriented Series

‘G.R.I.N.D.’ stars Bruno Gabriel, Ayra Mariano, Jazz Ocampo and Benedict Campos look to make a name for themselves in GMA’s latest weekly teen series. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

There have been plenty of youth-oriented series on Philippine television.

Some of the more iconic ones include GMA’s ‘TGIS’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Gimik’. Later on, there was ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Click’, and more recently, ‘Luv U’ and ‘Teen Gen’.

These youth-oriented series were showcased during weekend afternoons to great success. But as social media and changing viewership tastes prevailed, these programs were deemphasized and soon fell off the map.

Then came last Saturday night. In an effort to bring the youth back to the small screen, GMA decided to launch a new youth-oriented program called ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ (Get Ready It’s a New Day), starring up-and-coming Kapuso stars Benedict Campos, Jazz Ocampo, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel.

‘G.R.I.N.D.’ features a story of four young millennials and their struggles to find their place in society. Carlo (Bruno) is a thriving manager in an advertising company, Solanj (Jazz) is an owner of a cafe and Carlo’s best friend, Lui (Ayra) is a breadwinner who juggles different jobs to support her family, and RK (Benedict) is a gay man who also shifts through various jobs.

In essence, ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ is GMA’s reintroduction into the weekly youth-oriented series that has long been forgotten in this day and age. But unlike those previous teen-oriented series of decades past, GMA elected to air the program during late Saturday nights in hopes of attracting teens and young adults who usually stay up late during weekends.

As unfathomable as it seems, GMA has no other choice. Their Saturday afternoon lineup is already loaded though complicated, while their Sunday afternoon slots are not conductive to programs like ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ due to lack of viewership and interest.

Now that ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ is underway, will it actually make an impact in a not-so popular late-night slot? Also, will GMA’s low-key approach to promote this program be either boon or bane? Only time will tell.

A production of Wizpher Mac Productions, ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ airs every Saturday after ‘I-Witness’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Fifth Opponent for Doble Kara

 

Add ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ to the list of victims that ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ left in its wake.

For the past 74 episodes (running from July 18 to October 27), ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ tried its best to rattle the confidence of the no. 1 afternoon drama in the country. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain, as ‘Doble Kara’ continued its dominance in the national ratings.

To make matters worse, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ failed to receive adequate promotion from GMA’s entertainment group. This has become a constant pattern for the network’s Afternoon Prime block, even as its Telebabad counterparts began to redeem themselves.

It was a humiliating fact that cast a spell on the series’ two lead stars in Rhian Ramos and Rafael Rosell. Although the two tried their best to present their more mature and sensual roles for ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’, it was not enough, as GMA simply gave up promoting the show for whatever reason.

‘Sinungaling Mong Puso”s finale will take place later today. On a related note, GMA announced its replacement.

Starting this Monday at 3:20 p.m., it will be the reunited tandem of Joyce Ching and Kristoffer Martin who will try to best Julia Montes. Their newest series, ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’, will be a more mature project for the duo.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’, according to GMA Network, will ‘revolve around the repeating fates of a mother and her child who both had to bear the agony of not being able to be with the man they truly love because of the struggles and conflicts they encounter in winning the approval of their family’. The series will center around a Chinese Filipina named Rachel (Joyce) and her love interest Junjun (Kristoffer).

The supporting cast will include Eula Valdes, Ariel Rivera, Snooky Serna, Thea Tolentino, Chinggay Alonso, Marc Abaya, Jett Pangan, Marina Benipayo, Renz Valerio, Mona Louise Rey and Bruno Gabriel. It will be directed by Don Michael Perez.

Going up against a still-strong ‘Doble Kara’ will be a tough challenge for ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’, considering the former’s high ratings. GMA’s inability to sell its afternoon dramas will also be a major focus, and if they want ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ to be successful, they must give ample promotion time to the series in order to pump some life into it.

A new challenger awaits ‘Doble Kara’. Now ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ must go all out to give the former all they can handle, otherwise another victim comes ‘Doble Kara”s way.

 

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