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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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Greatest Love’s Last Week, Plus D’Originals’ Premiere Week

For one week only, it will be ‘The Greatest Love’ versus ‘D’Originals’.

This week will mark the last for ‘The Greatest Love’, the top-rating afternoon drama that starred Sylvia Sanchez as a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The series first premiered on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block on September 5, 2016, and will finish its 163-episode run this Friday afternoon.

‘The Greatest Love’, which also starred Dimples Romana, Andi Eigenmann, Matt Evans, Arron Villaflor, Ellen Adarna and Nonie Buencamino among others, was also a constant trending topic on social media. Its inspiring and tear-jerking storyline gripped the nation and the world, giving them greater awareness to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other side of the spectrum, GMA’s Public Affairs team will once again try to salvage whatever shortcomings the Entertainment team has had of late. Their latest project is a sexy comedy drama series, ‘D’Originals’, which will premiere today.

‘D’Originals’ (click its synopsis here) will be the network’s replacement to the short-lived ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, whose brief 53-episode run concluded last Holy Wednesday. ‘D’Originals’ will also be LJ Reyes’ second project in a row on the afternoon slot after starring as Angeli in ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’.

Also part of ‘D’Originals’ cast are Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Kim Domingo, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, Mark Herras, Meg Imperial, Archie Alemania, Lovely Abella, Mikoy Morales, Arny Ross, Elyson De Dios, and Chlaui Malayao. The director of the series is Adolf Alix Jr.

If ‘The Greatest Love”s impressive ratings are of any indication, then ‘D’Originals’ is in for a rude awakening. Recent GMAPA-produced entertainment shows (see ‘Dangwa’, ‘To the Top’, ‘#Like’) have failed to make a desirable impact, thus putting tremendous pressure on ‘D’Originals’ to defy all expectations.

With the dominance of ABS-CBN in the afternoon slot (save for the surprisingly popular ‘Ika-6 na Utos’), this is one battle that ‘D’Originals’ must win. Saving the reputation of both GMA Entertainment and GMA Public Affairs is a must for the series, otherwise the blame game should continue for both departments.

It’s either win or give up for ‘D’Originals’ and GMA Public Affairs. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Dangwa Concludes; Heart of Asia Mornings Extended

The drama series ‘Dangwa’ is currently on its final week.

Airing since October 26, 2015, the story of ‘Dangwa’ has been focused on Rosa (Janine Gutierrez), the flower vendor who gave roses to men who hope to find their true love. At the same time, her own love story took hold, thanks to two men, Baste (Mark Herras) and Lorenzo (Aljur Abrenica), who try to gain her attention.

While ‘Dangwa’ has featured guest appearances from Kapuso artists each week, the finale solely focused on the conclusion of the love triangle between Rosa, Baste and Lorenzo. That said, viewers will have to tune in to see what fate awaits the threesome.

‘Dangwa’ had been well-hyped to begin with, thanks to a series of viral videos that revealed Janine Gutierrez as the so-called ‘Dangwa Girl’. However, ratings for the series proved to be unimpressive, as ‘Dangwa’ can only muster national ratings of 7-8% , whereas ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ average 2% percent higher.

With the not-so successful returns from its morning drama, GMA has decided to once again extend its Heart of Asia Mornings starting this Monday. The newest Koreanovela, ‘Carmina’, will be added to the block.

‘Carmina’ stars Kim So-yeon, Jung Kyung-ho and Yoon Hyun-min. The story of the Koreanovela will involve Carmina (Kim) as a secretary of a big company, Derek (Jung) as her fiance, and James (Yoon) as her boss.

Fate soon intervened in Derek’s life when he died, and his heart was removed and placed into James’ chest during his heart transplant. The once-strict James soon had a change of heart, and eventually fell in love with Carmina.

‘Carmina’ will take over the 11:00 a.m. timeslot of ‘Dangwa’. This means that the Heart of Asia Mornings block will once again have three Koreanovelas: ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’, and ‘Carmina’.

As GMA reverts back to Koreanovela mode just before noontime, the question is, will they ever be able to produce another local morning drama? Considering their lack of success, it is unlikely that the network will make another one, and Koreanovelas will be here to stay.

Tomorrow is ‘Dangwa”s last, and after that, ‘Carmina’ takes over. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Tries Another Weekday Morning Drama with Dangwa

Seems like GMA hasn’t learned anything from past failures.

After a two-year absence, GMA decided to pursue another local weekday drama series in the morning. They called upon Janine Gutierrez to star as the mysterious ‘Dangwa Girl’, in the series known simply as ‘Dangwa’.

Mystery shrouded the streets of Manila earlier this month when university belt students posted photos and videos of a girl giving out roses to various strangers in social media. The mysterious encounter quickly became viral on social media, and eventually, the then-unknown ‘Dangwa Girl’ was revealed to as Janine Gutierrez.

‘Dangwa’ will feature the story of Rosa, a beautiful flower vendor who would change the lives of men who bought flowers from her. While the story of Rosa will be the focus of the series, a new love story between two individuals will be featured each week, all of which begin with a chance encounter with Rosa herself.

As for Rosa, she will also have a love story of her own. Two men named Baste (Mark Herras) and Lorenzo (Aljur Abrenica) would gain the attention of Rosa’s heart, but as they discovered, she is something else to behold.

The first week of ‘Dangwa’ will also star Barbie Forteza and Ruru Madrid. This will be followed by starring roles from Carla Abellana and Rafael Rosell, Rhian Ramos and Geoff Eigenmann, Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, and Pauleen Luna and Gerald Napoles.

‘Dangwa’ will be the latest series produced by the GMA Public Affairs group. But as everyone learned, the involvement of GMA Public Affairs in the series is simply a way to bail out an Entertainment department that has not had success in recent years.

There is also a question about the series’ viability in the morning. Considering that the last two GMA morning dramas (‘Cielo de Angelina’, ‘With a Smile’) were ratings failures, a very tough task awaits ‘Dangwa’ in their hopes of reversing a recent trend.

That said, it will be interesting to see if ‘Dangwa’ lives up to the hype. After the success of the viral posts, the series now hopes to turn them into good, if not impressive ratings.

‘Dangwa’ premieres this Monday at 11:00 a.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Half-Sisters Extended Anew

‘The Half-Sisters’ has been extended until January 2016, after GMA initially reported that the series would end this October. (Photo credit: GMA Network/The Half-Sisters Official Facebook)

The longest-running afternoon drama today just doesn’t seem to end.

Director Mark Reyes has confirmed that ‘The Half-Sisters’ will be extended until January 2016. Counting the prior 17 months, the series will now have a total of 20 months on its current tenure.

In addition, Reyes confirmed that a new story arc is in the works. He teased that this arc will be edgier and more controversial, but did not disclose any further details because it needs the approval of a variety of sectors, from network management to the cast.

Considering that lead stars Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino are maturing as actresses, this may be the best course of action for the series. But then again, it’s up to the two young stars to convince themselves that they are ready for the next step.

Since debuting in June 2014, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been one the Philippines’ top-rated programs. Its lengthy run has been very impressive, so much so that veteran actors Gloria Romero, Eula Valdes, Cherie Gil and Eddie Garcia have made special appearances at one point, all with the intent of adding more flavor to the story.

But while ‘The Half-Sisters’ remained a hit with viewers, they seem to show signs of decline in recent months. The entry of ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’, in particular, has given ‘The Half-Sisters’ its toughest rival yet, since the former starred Julia Montes, a very successful primetime drama performer.

As a result, GMA made an announcement earlier this month that ‘The Half-Sisters’ would be down to its last four weeks, in hopes of ending the series on a high note. This report was later retracted, however, and no further mention of its impending conclusion was made in later episode previews.

Its presumed replacement, ‘Dangwa’, was then moved to a late-morning timeslot. And when director Mark Reyes made the confirmation, ‘The Half-Sisters” run will officially go on for an even longer period.

Now that ‘The Half-Sisters’ will continue until the new year, expect even further twists and turns in a series that has featured many of them. But how much longer will the viewers stick around? Only time will tell.

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