action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Erich X 3: The Blood Sisters on ABS-CBN Starting Monday

If two-in-one is not enough, why not three-in-one.

This is exactly what ABS-CBN will look to do starting this Monday when Erich Gonzales portrays three different characters in ‘The Blood Sisters’. But for older viewers, an actor playing a trio of characters is nothing new.

During the late 1990s, another Kapamilya drama pulled the same stunt when ‘Saan Ka Man Naroroon’ saw Claudine Barretto play three characters of differing personas. Considering the difficulty of this maneuver, the three-in-one storyline was rarely replicated, until now.

In ‘The Blood Sisters’, Erich is the one in three-in-one. First, she is Erika, a bar dancer and a doting mother whose profession keeps her son alive amid his battle with a chronic illness.

A gruesome murder at the bar leads to a chase that nearly costs Erika’s life. Along the way, however, she finds out that she has two twin sisters: Carrie and Agatha, both of whom will be crucial in realizing the truth about their upbringing.

The triplets were raised by a surrogate mother and were separated after an agreement their parents made fell through. Once they reunite, they will look to find the truth amid the dangers in their lives.

Also part of ‘The Blood Sisters’ are Enchong Dee, Ejay Falcon, AJ Muhlach, Cherry Pie Picache, Dina Bonnievie, Jestoni Alarcon, Ruby Ruiz, and Pamu Pamorada. It will be directed by Jojo Saguin and is under the production of Dreamscape Entertainment.

For Erich Gonzales, the 5:45 slot is nothing new to her, having previously starred in ‘Katorse’ and ‘Tanging Yaman’. But ‘The Blood Sisters’ is drastically different from all the previous dramas she participated in, as it will mark the entry of a more sexier and sultrier Erich.

Considering how ‘Wildflower’ raised expectations for the said timeslot, the bar is definitely much higher for ‘The Blood Sisters’ to scale. Still, it remains to be seen if a new-look Erich Gonzales will deliver the same if not better-than-impressive ratings for her new drama as she did a few years ago.

The floor is now hers to take. Good luck.

‘The Blood Sisters’ airs weeknights before ‘TV Patrol’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

VIVA-TV5 Partnership a Bust So Far

‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ will conclude tomorrow night, part of a series of problems that plague the VIVA-TV5 partnership in the initial months of the deal. (Photo credit: Philstar.com)

The VIVA-TV5 deal is off to a slow start.

The partnership which oversaw the premiere of three new series (‘Ang Panday’, ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’, ‘Tasya Fantasya’), a talent singing search show (‘Born to Be a Star’) and ‘MTV Top 20 Pilipinas’ has not paid dividends for the Kapatid network. In fact, ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ will conclude tomorrow night, with low ratings a key factor.

And if that’s not enough, VIVA had to deal with the PBA’s overwhelming presence for much of TV5’s primetime schedule, especially with the Commissioner’s Cup playoffs now well underway. Such a shame.

When VIVA announced their partnership with TV5 a few months ago, many hoped that the deal will revitalize the network’s moribund entertainment department. After all, VIVA had a great reputation for breeding successful talent and producing impactful programs and movies, which showed in prior partnerships with IBC-13, GMA and ABS-CBN.

Unfortunately for VIVA and TV5, that has not bore fruit. VIVA’s new programs made little impact in the ratings, and the supposed comeback of once-popular stars such as Richard Gutierrez and Claudine Barretto failed to deliver the desired results.

Even worse for VIVA is the fact that they are having a hard time scheduling their programs. Both ‘Ang Panday’ and ‘Bakit Manipis ang Ulap?’ aired during non-PBA game days, but as the playoffs got underway, VIVA had no choice but to move the two dramas to a later timeslot.

The same can also be said for ‘Born to Be a Star’. Originally airing every weekend, it now only airs every Sunday, thanks in large part to the timeslot changes for both ‘#ParangNormal Activity’ and ‘Sports360’.

With so many dilemmas to begin with, it seems like the glory days of VIVA Entertainment on television has long deserted them. Still, the partnership has a long way to go, but first, they need to consult with both Sports5 and News5 in order to solve whatever issues they have right now.

Consider this a bump on the road. Hopefully VIVA can work out these problems as soon as possible, so that their partnership will not go down in vain.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Responds to ABS-CBN’s Throwbackseryes

‘Bantatay’ will be re-aired on GMA starting November 10, replacing ‘Return of the Wife’. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

The so-called ‘throwbackserye’ has taken over GMA as well.

After ABS-CBN decided to air re-runs of previous teleseryes in the mid-morning slot, GMA answered back with one of their own. The Kapuso network’s response was ‘Bantatay’, a drama-comedy-fantasy series starring Raymart Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Jennica Garcia and Carl Guevara.

‘Bantatay’ first aired from September 20, 2010 to February 25, 2011 on the then-extended GMA Dramarama sa Hapon (now Afternoon Prime) block. The series garnered high ratings throughout its run, despite facing intense competition from the likes of ‘Kokey @ Ako’ and ‘Sabel’.

Unfortunately for GMA, the timing for the rebroadcast of ‘Bantatay’ came at a not-so opportune time. The series’ lead star, Raymart Santiago, is currently enduring various issues involving himself and his estranged wife (and former GMA talent) Claudine Barretto, and re-airing ‘Bantatay’ may not be a good idea after all.

In fact, it would have been better if GMA extended its anime block to the 10:00 a.m. slot rather than responding to ABS-CBN’s own programming strategies. As far as they are concerned, it is the animes, no matter how repetitive they are to viewers, that are lifting GMA every morning.

Going back to ‘Bantatay’, the series proved to be one of the last GMA programs to date that rated well with viewers. Since ABS-CBN adopted Kantar as their ratings provider, the tables have turned to the latter’s favor, and have not looked back since.

In fact, in what used to be ‘Bantatay”s old timeslot preceding ’24 Oras’, the succeeding GMA teleseryes that followed have flopped consistently against ABS-CBN’s seemingly superior products. Whether it’s ‘Aryana’, ‘Annaliza’ or ‘Pure Love’, GMA seems to have no answers to ABS-CBN’s own fare.

That said, the sadness and shock that is permeating beneath the bosses in the corner of Timog Avenue and EDSA is undeniable. And now they are resorting to these responses just to keep themselves in the hunt, which is not a good idea.

‘Bantatay’ may be back, but for GMA, this is not the time for resorting to such a feeble call.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, movies, music, Philippines, television

The Decline of the GMA Artist Center

Aljur Abrenica and other GMA Artist Center talents have seen their careers take a dip in recent years, owing to the problems that surround the GMAAC. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

Low ratings, financial struggles, and futile programming changes. These attributes have become the standard of the GMA Network in recent years.

And the GMA Artist Center is sharing a part of the blame.

While the Artist Center has been known for making stars out of Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo and others, they also had a fair share of missteps along the way. Missed opportunities, underdeveloped and disgruntled talents, and even poor acquisitions have played a role in the GMAAC’s recent history.

For instance, Jolina Magdangal’s recent visit to ABS-CBN has hinted reports of a possible return to the network. Once one of the most promising talents to come out of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic, her career gradually went downhill after moving to GMA in 2002.

The Artist Center also acquired other former Star Magic talents such as Heart Evangelista, Christian Bautista, Michelle Madrigal and Claudine Barretto. But while Madrigal became a full-fledged star with GMA, the same cannot be said of the careers of Evangelista and Barretto, who were on the decline by the time they signed with the GMAAC. This despite the likes of Tom Rodriguez receiving a career boost with GMA after lingering under Star Magic.

On the contrary, several former GMAAC artists blossomed under Mr. M’s watch. For example, Cristine Reyes, Jake Cuenca, Coco Martin, Paulo Avelino, and more recently Ellen Adarna were considered raw and underdeveloped talents on GMA, but upon transferring to ABS-CBN, their careers were given a new lease on life.

Even several established former GMAAC stars managed to maintain a high profile after moving to ABS-CBN. Angel Locsin, formerly the lead star of ‘Darna’, ‘Mulawin’ and other fantaseryes, gave a good account of herself with a critically-acclaimed performance on ‘The Legal Wife’. Ditto recent Kapuso-to-Kapamilya transferee Iza Calzado, who currently play the lead role in ‘Hawak Kamay’ after starring in several GMA series such as ‘Encantadia’.

If GMA wants to get back on track, look no further than the GMA Artist Center. Since Ida Henares resigned as head of the GMAAC in 2012, the agency is currently run by various personnel, neither of which share the multi-faceted vision and mission of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic. The GMAAC clearly needs a multi-purpose leader, not a by-committee leadership group with clashing personalities, in order to develop and manage talents well.

In the end, much of GMA’s fortunes will begin and end with the GMA Artist Center. The success and failure of the network depends on how the GMAAC manages their talents. But right now, the GMAAC is a mess, and its sudden and gradual decline mirrors that of GMA’s. Time to fix a wrecked system, otherwise things will only get worse.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s ‘Kambal Sirena’ Answers ABS-CBN’s ‘Dyesebel’

Louise delos Reyes will play the role of a mermaid in her newest series ‘Kambal Sirena’.

I would like to correct my previous post regarding Louise delos Reyes‘ preparations for her role as a mermaid. Delos Reyes will not appear in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Carmela’, starring Marian Rivera. Instead she is preparing for a more prominent role in her upcoming teleserye ‘Kambal Sirena’.

By all accounts ‘Kambal Sirena’ can be considered as GMA’s response to ABS-CBN‘s own version of ‘Dysebel’, whose previous version starring Marian Rivera aired on GMA in 2009. While the storyline has yet to be revealed, the cast members are now being revealed piece by piece. In addition to delos Reyes, Wyn Marquez is committed to play a villainous role in the series, while Mike Tan will now play delos Reyes’s love interest.

For delos Reyes, it will be her third lead role in a drama series after ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘Alakdana‘. The selection of delos Reyes to play a mermaid was not surprising, considering that her recent performance in ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ gave viewers a glimpse of her capability to be a primetime player.

This was not the first time that the Kapuso network responded with their own mermaid series. In 2004, GMA released ‘Marinara‘ in response to ABS-CBN’s ‘Marina’. ‘Marinara’, the first so-called ‘kwelanovela’, starred sexy comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto, while ‘Marina’ was played by Claudine Barretto. Despite the fact that GMA responded with their comedic parody of an ABS-CBN teleserye, it was a fantaserye in ‘Mulawin‘ that overwhelmed ‘Marina’ in the ratings, at a time when GMA’s fantaseryes were the talk of television.

‘Kambal Sirena’ is set to be released in the first quarter of 2014, as part of a new wave of teleseryes on the GMA Telebabad block that included ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’.

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