business, entertainment, fantasy, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

How Did Encantadia and Other Fantaseryes Hurt GMA in the Long Term?

GMA’s big investment on fantaseryes took its toll on the network’s long-term plans. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The upcoming requel of ‘Encantadia’ is worth watching, that is, if you’re really a die-hard Kapuso fan.

But while anticipation is high on the new ‘Encantadia’, the broadcasting and financial aspect of GMA leaves a lot to be desired. It’s already 2016, and yet GMA is still way behind its competitors as far as their broadcast standards are concerned.

Much of the blame was due to the numerous big-budget primetime fantaseryes that GMA produced in the mid to late 2000s. With so much money invested on these projects, their ability to spend on updated equipment, facilities and other production and talent matters was compromised in the long term.

From 2004 to 2011, GMA produced big-budget fantaseryes such as ‘Mulawin’, ‘Darna’, the ‘Encantadia’ trilogy, ‘Captain Barbell’ and ‘Dyesebel’, among others. They were able to succeed in the ratings, but the high costs of making these series soon took its toll on GMA.

Looking at how GMA currently stacks up with ABS-CBN and TV5, it is clear that they have a lot of catching up to do. In fact, there were some key factors present on ABS-CBN and TV5 that were absent on GMA, such as:

  • An independent sports division (Shakey’s V-League and Manny Pacquiao fights, among others, were co-produced by other outfits)
  • Experimental 16:9 HD broadcasts (GMA still airs its programs in 4:3 standard definition, save for recent imported programs and TAPE-produced ‘Princess in the Palace; GMA also lacks an HD channel of its own)
  • Sister digital TV channels (ABS-CBN has CineMo and Yey!, while TV5 has Catsup)
  • Cable and satellite TV subscription service (ABS-CBN has SkyCable, while TV5 has Cignal)
  • Video-on-demand, livestream and digital-exclusive online service (ABS-CBN has iWanTV, while TV5 has News5Everywhere and Digital5)

Factor in the ongoing problems within the Artist Center, GMA’s regional networks, sister station GMA News TV, GMA Films and the public relationship department, and you have a network that is now standing on just one leg. Poor GMA.

It’s a pity to see GMA struggle at almost everything in recent years, and now that they’ll produce a requel of ‘Encantadia’, more problems lie ahead. That said, if GMA continues its ongoing slide, they will be in for a rude awakening.

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drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

Pressure On for Second MariMar Remake

Don’t expect the second remake of ‘MariMar’ to be as successful as the first one.

The 2015 version of ‘MariMar’, starring Megan Young as the titular character and Tom Rodriguez as Sergio Santibañez, will officially air later tonight on the timeslot vacated by ‘Pari ‘Koy’. But unlike the 2007 version starring Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes, the new ‘MariMar’ will face tougher competition this time around.

When the 2007 adaptation hit the small screen, GMA was at the peak of its powers then, led by their successful mix of fantaseryes and Koreanovelas. The DongYan-led ‘MariMar’ topped the ratings in almost all of its episodes, eventually peaking with a 52.6% rating during its two-hour finale in March 2008.

The first remake of ‘MariMar’ skyrocketed the careers of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes as a love team. It eventually led to an off-screen relationship, culminated by their wedding late last year (mirroring the ‘live’ marriage of MariMar and Sergio in 2008).

Fast forward to this year, and a very different scenario awaits the new ‘MariMar’. ABS-CBN had overtaken GMA in the ratings, thanks in large part to the discovery of new talents, and stories that pay tribute to the Filipinos’ admirable qualities and values.

One such story is ‘Nathaniel’, ‘MariMar”s upcoming opponent. The value-oriented teleserye has been a consistent winner in its timeslot, even though it had to play a supporting role to both KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) in the Primetime Bida lineup.

That said, the new ‘MariMar’ will be under tremendous pressure to succeed against more formidable competition. The series has proven its charm in the past (both the original and 2007 adaptation earned high ratings), so it’s up to the viewers to decide if this is worth a second chance.

‘MariMar’ premieres starting today, August 24, and airs weeknights at 7:45 p.m. on GMA Telebabad.

Note: The first remake of ‘MariMar’ and the upcoming second remake had an eight-year gap between them. No stranger to producing a second teleserye remake within a short period of time, GMA has also produced second remakes of ‘Darna’ and ‘Captain Barbell’ within four and five years of the first adaptation, respectively.

This does not count another Mars Ravelo creation, ‘Dyesebel’, which aired on GMA in 2008 and later remade by ABS-CBN six years later.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Thoughts on Drama Remakes Airing on Different Stations

‘Baker King’ premieres on TV5 this Monday. The said series is a rare example of a remake that aired on a different station from the original. (Photo credit: PEP.ph)

Not all remakes of drama series ended up airing on the same station as the original.

Such was the case for three telenovelas starring Thalia: ‘MariMar’, ‘Maria la del Barrio’ and ‘Rosalinda’. The first two originally aired on RPN-9 in the mid-90s, briefly giving the struggling station a ratings boost.

GMA then re-aired ‘MariMar’ in the late 2000s, while creating two local remakes of it: one starring Marian Rivera in 2007, and another still under pre-production this year. ABS-CBN never re-aired the original ‘Maria la del Barrio’, but was able to produce a remake in 2011 starring Erich Gonzales.

The Kapamilya network also aired ‘Maria Mercedes’ and ‘Rosalinda’ later in the 90s. But while they managed to create a local version of the former with Jessy Mendiola two years ago, the latter wound up in the hands of the Kapuso network, not only re-airing the original, but also producing a remake starring Carla Abellana in 2009.

This phenomenon is not restricted to telenovelas alone. It also happens to local dramas as well.

For instance, GMA aired the original ‘Anna Liza’ starring Julie Vega in the early 80s. Then over two decades later, ABS-CBN remade the series (retitled ‘Annaliza’) with Andrea Brillantes, running for nearly a year.

Another example was ‘Dyesebel’, which was remade into a GMA teleserye in 2009, only to be rehashed again by ABS-CBN last year. The former starred Marian Rivera while the latter starred Anne Curtis.

Now TV5 is doing something unprecedented, as a remake of the popular GMA Koreanovela ‘The Baker King’ is expected to premiere on the network starting this Monday. That said, even Asianovelas are not safe in the said phenomenon.

The original version of ‘The Baker King’ aired on the Kapuso network in 2011, and starred Yoon Shi-yoon, Eugene and Joo Won. The series earned decently good ratings for GMA that year.

Despite the success, GMA chose not to hold on to ‘The Baker King’, let alone create a local version of it. Instead, TV5 acquired the rights for the possible remake last year.

The remake of ‘The Baker King’ will star Mark Neumann, Shaira Mae and Akihiro Blanco, and will air on weeknights starting May 18 after the ‘Wattpad Presents’ series.

It is rare for a drama series to have a remake air on a different station. Whether it is due to lack of revenue, loss of desire or motivation, or declining ratings, keeping the rights to a particular drama is a something TV stations cannot avoid at times.

That said, it is one station’s loss and another’s gain when these things fall into place. Regardless of the result, these stations should be proud to have tried their hand at remaking these classics.

After all, Philippine television is always a cautionary tale for a station’s decisions.

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