action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Cain at Abel: Ang Probinsyano’s 11th Challenger

Coco Martin finds a familiar challenger yet again.

The last time Dingdong Dantes took on Coco Martin”s top-rating series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, he was unable to overcome said juggernaut. Dingdong’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ (season 2) only lasted a month before it was demoted to a later timeslot.

Now he teams up with Dennis Trillo in a new primetime series ‘Cain at Abel’. And in the lead-up to the series premiere, Dingdong himself conceded that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is in a different league altogether and his only objective for ‘Cain at Abel’ is to keep loyal Kapuso viewers happy and excited regardless of ratings performance.

From GMA’s Public Relations team:

“‘Cain at Abel’ is an action-family drama about two brothers, Daniel (Dingdong) and Miguel (Dennis), who grew up in two very different worlds. As children, they were separated by fate. Daniel was raised comfortably in the city by his father. Miguel, on the other hand, was taken by his mother who later changed his name to Elias. They relocated to a poor fishing village where they struggled to make ends meet.

Years later, Daniel and Miguel/Elias were drawn together by their mutual affections: the father who brought them apart, the mother they yearn for, and the woman they both love.”

Solenn Heussaff (Abigail) and Sanya Lopez (Margaret) will play the respective love interests of Daniel and Miguel/Elias. The rest of the cast includes Eddie Gutierrez, Chanda Romero, Dina Bonnevie, Ronnie Henares, Tommy Abuel, Bing Pimentel, Renz Fernandez, Ervic Vijandre, Marc Abaya, Carlo Gonzalez, Boy 2 Quizon, Pauline Mendoza, Vince Vandorpe, Shyr Valdez, Leandro Baldemor, and Euwenn Aleta.

For the first few episodes of ‘Cain at Abel’, Yasmien Kurdi, Diana Zubiri, Gio Alvarez, Rafael Rosell, David Remo, Seth dela Cruz, and Ashley Cabrera will appear as younger versions of the lead characters. It will be directed by Don Michael Perez, Toto Natividad, and Mark Reyes.

If Dingdong’s prognostication were to be believed, it is clear that defeating ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is out of the question. The long-running series, as Dingdong said, is ‘in a different league’ now and for ‘Cain at Abel’ the aim now is to just make Kapuso viewers entertained.

So much for the ‘rivalry’. Anyway, good luck to ‘Cain at Abel’ as it gets underway this Monday.

‘Cain at Abel’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Tough Act to Follow for Contessa

From ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to ‘Contessa’.

Following the successful year-long run of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, GMA will now look to fill in the big shoes that the former left. They decided to replace ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ with a series that reminded viewers of another successful teleserye from a rival network.

From the moment ‘Contessa”s teaser was aired, netizens immediately compared the series to ABS-CBN’s ‘Wildflower’ due to their similar storylines of revenge. But ‘Contessa’ lead star Glaiza de Castro had a different take, saying that her upcoming show focuses more on a woman’s constant quest for justice.

In ‘Contessa’, Glaiza is initially known as Bea, a woman who is accused and imprisoned for a crime she never committed. Determined to seek revenge and reclaim those who were taken away from her, she assumes a new identity, that of Contessa.

Throughout the series, ‘Contessa’ will feature some important characters who will be crucial to the story of Bea/Contessa. Marco (Mark Herras) is a writer and Bea’s long-time boyfriend whose gruesome murder will be central to the evolution of Bea into Contessa.

Marco’s brother Gabriel (Geoff Eigenmann) is a successful OFW who returns to the country following his murder. Meanwhile, Bea’s best friend Jong (Jak Roberto) is a secret admirer of hers who hopes to love him back.

The Imperial family, led by the matriarch Charito (Chanda Romero) and her children Vito (Gabby Eigenmann) and Daniella (Lauren Young), will serve as a major obstacle to Bea/Contessa’s plans for justice. In typical villainous fashion, the Imperials are considered manipulative, influential, sophisticated and powerful individuals who will do whatever is necessary to destroy the protagonist.

Completing the rest of the cast are Tetchie Agbayani, Leandro Baldemor, Dominic Roco, Bernadette Allyson, Melissa Mendez, Tanya Gomez, Karel Marquez, Phytos Ramirez, Denise Barbacena and Will Ashley. ‘Contessa’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Replacing a top-rating series in ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will be a daunting one for ‘Contessa’. In order for viewers to commit to this new series in the long term, some interesting bits and pieces are needed to make ‘Contessa’ worth watching, a task that is difficult to fill considering it will go head-to-head with ‘It’s Showtime”s ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment.

With all things considered, GMA should only hope for the best with ‘Contessa’. It may never be able to replicate the ratings of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, but if it all goes well, who knows what will happen next.

‘Contessa’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A New Opponent for The Better Half One Week Into Its Run

After only five episodes, ‘The Better Half’ finds itself with new competition.

The now-ongoing ABS-CBN afternoon drama series premiered last Monday against the GMA Afternoon Prime series ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’. As it turned out, however, ‘The Better Half’ did not have enough time to warm up, as GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ would end during that week.

Nevertheless, ‘The Better Half’ premiered strongly with a 16.8% national rating, which is 3.1% higher than ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat”s 76th episode. While figures for the remainder of the week remain unavailable at the moment, it is safe to say that ‘The Better Half’ got the best of the departing ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Next up for Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, Denise Laurel and JC de Vera will be the upcoming GMA afternoon drama series ‘Legally Blind’. The series will mark the return of Janine Gutierrez to the small screen, several months after starring in the ill-fated primetime series ‘Once Again’ with Aljur Abrenica.

In ‘Legally Blind’, Grace (Janine) is an aspiring lawyer who lost her sight after she was raped by an unknown culprit. After successfully earning her stripes as a lawyer, she met Edward (Mikael Daez), a rich businessman who not only helps her in the search for justice, but also falls in love with her.

Along the way, Grace’s plans will be put to the test by people who doubt and despise her. Whether it’s her envious younger sister Charie (Lauren Young) or her ex-boyfriend Joel (Rodjun Cruz), Grace’s hopes for attaining justice will not be easy.

The series will also star Lauren Young, Marc Abaya, Rodjun Cruz, Chanda Romero, Therese Malvar, Lucho Ayala, Ashley Rivera and Camille Torres. It will be directed by Ricky Davao.

For the rest of the first quarter and deep into the second, ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Legally Blind’ will go up against each other. But for the latter, beating the former will not be easy given its potential track record after just five episodes.

That said, GMA’s brass can only hope that Janine Gutierrez will redeem herself after a so-so performance in her last series. For ‘Legally Blind’, it is all about finding the right formula for Janine to thrive on.

‘Legally Blind airs weekdays after ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Once Again to Challenge LizQuen Starting Monday

‘Dolce Amore’ will have a new opponent next week.

After taking care of business against ‘That’s My Amboy’, the ABS-CBN drama series will now go up against ‘Once Again’. The upcoming GMA series will be topbilled by Janine Gutierrez and Aljur Abrenica, and will premiere this coming Monday.

In ‘Once Again’, Janine and Aljur portray two different characters whose fates will both intertwine through the power of reincarnation. Janine will play Reign and Des, while Aljur will play Edgar and Aldrin.

Reign, a rich girl, and Edgar, a meek baker, fell in love with each other, but Reign’s family objected and she was forced to marry an elite bachelor named Lukas (Joko Diaz). While trying to overcome these obstacles, both Reign and Edgar met their demise – Edgar during a fight, and Reign after a horrific accident.

Twenty years later, they met anew, but as Des and Aldrin and in a different place. Though they were different people, they still shared the same love and passion that Reign and Edgar once showed.

Joining Janine and Aljur in ‘Once Again’ are Jean Garcia, Sheryl Cruz, Chanda Romero, Emilio Garcia, Timmy Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jeric Gonzales, with special participation from Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco, Irma Adlawan, Sharmaine Arnaiz and Phytos Ramirez. The series will be directed by Don Michael Perez.

‘Once Again’ should have its hands full as they face the established love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. With GMA’s recent unwillingness to promote their teleseryes*, the series may find themselves in a tough spot against ‘Dolce Amore’, especially with the latter posting consistent ratings of over 30% nationally.

If Janine and Aljur were to stand a chance against LizQuen, they need to prove their worth chemistry-wise and talent-wise. Given the success of LizQuen, it will not be easy, but if they can somehow click, that will help ‘Once Again”s chances.

With all obstacles thrown at them, it will be interesting to see how can ‘Once Again’ play a big factor. That said, the first week of this series will be very crucial, and if they can survive, it will be a huge help to their confidence.

‘Once Again’ airs starting this Monday after ‘Poor Señorita’ on GMA Telebabad.

*Exceptions are upcoming series, such as ‘Once Again’.

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TV5/VIVA Partnership Updates

‘Tasya Fantasya’ is one of several TV5 and VIVA-produced programs lined up this year. (Photo credit: TV5)

The partnership between TV5 and VIVA Entertainment is off to a flying start.

Four programs will highlight the first few months of the TV5/VIVA collaboration. They are: ‘Born to Be a Star’, ‘Ang Panday’, ‘Tasya Fantasya’, and ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’.

‘Born to Be a Star’ is VIVA’s latest attempt in discovering future talents. Premiering February 6, the talent search show will be hosted by Ogie Alcasid, alongside Yassi Pressman and Mark Bautista.

Judges for ‘Born to Be a Star’ are Pops Fernandez, Aiza Seguerra, Andrew E and Christian Bautista. The show held auditions recently, with the hope of finding the most promising voices in the country.

‘Ang Panday’, starring Richard Gutierrez, is the latest made-for-TV adaptation of the Carlo J. Caparas classic. It will also star Bangs Garcia, Alonzo Muhlach, Regine Tolentino, Jack Reid, Christopher de Leon and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, with its premiere date still to be determined.

‘Ang Panday’ is no stranger to both film and television. Fernando Poe, Jr., Bong Revilla and Janno Gibbs have starred in the film adaptations, while Jericho Rosales starred in the TV adaptation that ABS-CBN once aired.

‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ marks the return of Claudine Barretto to teleserye genre in nearly a decade. The upcoming series is a made-for-TV remake of the 1985 film starring Chanda Romero, Tommy Abuel and Janice de Belen.

Also included in ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ are Cesar Montano, Meg Imperial, Diether Ocampo, Dindi Gallardo, Roxanne Barcelo, Samantha Lopez, Bernard Palanca, Janelle Jamer, Bret Jackson, Issa Pressman, Mariel de Leon and Nathalie Colipano. The series is scheduled to premiere February 15.

And finally, ‘Tasya Fantasya’ will introduce viewers to budding VIVA star Shy Carlos. Like ‘Panday’, it was created by Carlo J. Caparas, and has also been made into a film and TV series, starring Kris Aquino and Yasmien Kurdi respectively.

‘Tasya Fantasya’ will also star Mark Neumann in his latest project for the network. Also included in the series, which premieres February 6, are AJ Muhlach, Ara Mina, John Lapus, Candy Pangilinan, Donnalyn Bartolome, Giselle Sanchez, Malak So, Arvic Romero, Jasmine Hollingworth, and Kim Molina.

Aside from the programs, VIVA and TV5’s satellite TV affiliate Cignal also joined forces in the launch of the Sari-Sari Network. The said channel features purely entertainment content, and also handles production responsibilities for TV5’s entertainment group.

It will be a very busy period for Vic del Rosario and company as far as content is concerned. That said, it’s up to TV5 to try and make an impact this year.

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More Than Words Concludes, Pari ‘Koy Commences This Monday

Fresh from his marriage to Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes makes his return to the small screen.

His new project, ‘Pari ‘Koy’, will star ‘Dong in a role of a priest with an unconventional preaching approach. The main plot of the story will focus on Dingdong’s character being sent to Barangay Pinagpala in order to put his unorthodox style to the test in a seemingly pessimistic and corrupt community.

Joining ‘Dong on ‘Pari ‘Koy’ are Sunshine Dizon, Gabby Eigenmann, Chanda Romero, Luz Valdez, Dexter Doria, Rap Fernandez, JC Tiuseco, Carlo Gonzales, Jillian Ward, Jeric Gonzales, Lindsay de Vera, Hiro Peralta, and David Remo.

In the initial teaser to the upcoming teleserye, Dingdong’s priest character was portrayed as a drummer, not knowing he was actually a priest with the vestments under his jacket. Later teasers showed the antagonists doing corrupt practices in Barangay Pinagpala, and more recently, ‘Bubble Gang’ cast members were shown giving their thoughts on ‘Pari ‘Koy’.

‘Pari ‘Koy’ premieres this Monday on GMA Telebabad, replacing this teleserye.

Yes, ‘More Than Words’ will air its final episode tomorrow. The love story of Hiro (Elmo Magalona) and Ikay/Katy (Janine Gutierrez) has seen its ups and downs throughout the series’ run, and as it enters its final two episodes, an emotional ending is in store for both of them.

Premiering on November 17, 2014, ‘More Than Words’ went up against ABS-CBN’s ‘Dream Dad’, coincidentally featuring Elmo’s sister Maxene Magalona, for a majority of its run. The series enjoyed mixed success according to AGB Nielsen, but struggled against its opponent as far as Kantar’s ratings were concerned.

As it turned out, the pairing of Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo proved to be stronger and more compelling than the duo of Elmo and Janine.

Now ‘Dream Dad’ will await the challenge of ‘Pari ‘Koy’, GMA’s latest attempt in the value-oriented teleserye. It will be interesting to see how a series with a radical priest will go up against another featuring a single father and his adopted daughter in the ratings game.

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