drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Better Half Nears Its All-or-Nothing Finale

Call it the ‘All-or-Nothing’ finale.

On Friday, September 8, ABS-CBN’s long-running afternoon drama ‘The Better Half’ will air its final episode. The series, starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, has been on the air since February 13, and even though it was a great series, there were some bumps on the road they had to endure.

When it first premiered, ‘The Better Half’ was following in the footsteps of ‘Doble Kara’, an ABS-CBN afternoon drama series that lasted over a year. However, ABS-CBN tempered expectations for the former, realizing that it’s not going to be easy following a series that was overwhelmingly long and successful.

Four different opponents from GMA’s Afternoon Prime faced ‘The Better Half’. Between February 13 and April 21, ‘The Better Half’ was slotted in Kapamilya Gold’s leadoff position and fared particularly well against ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ and ‘Legally Blind’.

But from April 24 onwards, ABS-CBN moved ‘The Better Half’ to the second slot in order to accommodate ‘Pusong Ligaw’. Despite the change of timeslot, ‘The Better Half’ maintained its dominance, dispatching the rather short-lived GMA afternoon series ‘D’Originals’ in the process.

‘Haplos’ then became the fourth and final opponent of ‘The Better Half’, and at first, the latter’s winning ways continued. However, a late August slump drastically changed ‘The Better Half”s fortunes, prompting ABS-CBN to finally pull the plug.

While ‘The Better Half’ was mostly dominant in a run that spanned 147 episodes, the recent decline it endured made it clear that it has seen better days. ABS-CBN would have been wise to end ‘The Better Half’ while still on a roll, but alas, they allowed the series to stay too long and fall from its wheels.

Regardless of how it finished, the Kapamilya network should be proud of what ‘The Better Half’ was able to do. The series may have enhanced the reputations of established lead actors Shaina Magdayao, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, but for Carlo Aquino, the return to the star-studded limelight was worth the price of admission.

Come this Friday, a shocking finish awaits viewers of ‘The Better Half’. But it remains to be seen if it will end with either a bang or a whimper.

 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Hahamakin ang Lahat to End This Friday

‘Doble Kara”s final opponent will bid farewell this Friday.

GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ will air its final episode on February 17. The announcement came just days after ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ concluded its 382-episode run.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ premiered on October 31, 2016 and will have a total of 80 episodes once it ends. Unfortunately for the show, it had a hard time breaking past the ever-popular ‘Doble Kara’, despite featuring a stellar cast that features Joyce Ching, Kristoffer Martin, Eula Valdes, Snooky Serna, Thea Tolentino and Ariel Rivera.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ will be replaced by ‘Legally Blind’, which will star Janine Gutierrez, Mikael Daez and Lauren Young.

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Premiere of The Better Half & Wildflower Further Complicates ABS-CBN’s Afternoon Schedule

Seems like ABS-CBN has not learned from its 5:00 p.m. issues.

Several months ago, From the Tube made an article about ABS-CBN’s 5:00 p.m. scheduling problems. Three issues were raised in this topic; namely the presence of the ABS-CBN Regional-produced ‘TV Patrol’, the RNGs’ airing of the affected program at around 9:00 a.m. the next day, and its expected poor performance in the Kantar ratings.

Now, ABS-CBN is once again in a bind thanks to a pair of teleseryes that will premiere today. On Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Better Half’ will replace ‘Doble Kara’, while on Primetime Bida, ‘Wildflower’ will become the first teleserye to air at 5:50 since ‘We Will Survive’.

This leaves the game show ‘Minute to Win It’ in a precarious position. With the premiere of ‘Wildflower’ on Primetime Bida, the former has no choice but to move to 5:00 p.m., leaving themselves vulnerable to not only the regionals’ broadcast of ‘TV Patrol’, but also to rival GMA game show ‘Wowowin’.

That said, only the first 30 minutes of ‘Minute to Win It’ will be preempted, leaving the last 15 or 20 minutes for the viewers in the regions to watch. So where will the regional network viewers go to with regards to this predicament?

The most obvious answer is the iWanTV app, which is readily available and has episodes of a majority of ABS-CBN programs uploaded within hours of original broadcast. The only problem with this app though is that not all people have a mobile device, computer or tablet.

Which leaves ABS-CBN with three options to solve this problem. Either they:

  1. Place the O Shopping or MYX block at 5:00 p.m. and move ‘Minute to Win It’ to before ‘Langit Lupa’
  2. Produce a ‘TV Patrol’ that focuses solely on Mega Manila and move ‘Minute to Win It’ to before ‘Langit Lupa’
  3. Cut ‘It’s Showtime”s last 30 minutes and return to a three-teleserye Kapamilya Gold

For all their dominance in the ratings game, the 5:00 p.m. slot is and will always be ABS-CBN’s weak point (this does not include their early morning programs). Unless they do something about it, the affected program’s viewership will remain compromised.

As for ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Wildflower’, this will be an opportunity to sustain ABS-CBN’s winning ways. It’s a challenge that ‘The Better Half”s Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, and ‘Wildflower”s Maja Salvador and Joseph Marco should welcome despite the network’s scheduling issues.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Long-Running Doble Kara Enters Final Week

After 382 episodes, ‘Doble Kara’ is finally bowing out.

The ABS-CBN afternoon drama series will officially conclude its stellar run as daytime’s top drama this coming Friday. And for fans of Julia Montes, ‘Doble Kara’ will forever be remembered as the series that catapulted her to the top of the afternoon circuit.

‘Doble Kara’ first came on the air on August 24, 2015. At first, the series was originally planned to replace ‘Flordeliza’, but at the last second, ABS-CBN hastily premiered ‘Doble Kara’ amid the dominance of another long-running drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

One week later, ‘Doble Kara’ was placed opposite ‘The Half-Sisters’, and following a slow start, the former gradually displaced the latter as the Philippines’ top afternoon drama. Along the way, rivals such as ‘Wish I May’, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ came along, but none were able to topple ‘Doble Kara’.

It was during the run of ‘Doble Kara’ that ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block eventually overtook GMA’s Afternoon Prime as the most-watched daytime drama block in the country. The overwhelming success of ‘Doble Kara’ was later felt on succeeding dramas such as ‘All of Me’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ .

But perhaps the most important legacy of ‘Doble Kara’ is the growth of Julia Montes as an actress. Portraying twin characters Sara and Kara, Julia’s dual role proved to be the most challenging of her career, but through it all, she managed to pull it off effectively.

To sum it all up, Julia owed her success with ‘Doble Kara’ to the many viewers that have stuck with her for the past year. In a statement during the show’s final press conference, she said,

Every day, you warmly welcome me into your homes. I am beyond thankful for the memories and the people I met throughout this journey. Thank you because you made me feel that I am not alone, that I am part of one family.

Come this Friday, ‘Doble Kara’ will have its curtain call. And when it’s all said and done, this series should earn its well-deserved round of applause.

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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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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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