comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

A Look Back at TAPE’s Pre-Noontime Programs

With the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ earlier this February, TAPE decided to cease production of pre-noontime shows after nearly five years. (Photo credit: TAPE Inc. and GMA Network)

Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.

It all started with this love team, and it all ended with this love team. The duo forever changed the pre-noontime landscape.

Yet one production outfit tried to make things a little more interesting. That outfit happens to be Television and Production Exponents Inc., better known by the acronym TAPE Inc.

The producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to take a crack at the Jodi-Richard love team by premiering a pre-noontime talk show hosted by a then-seven-year-old Ryzza Mae Dizon. In April 2013, GMA and TAPE launched ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, and for nearly two years, it engaged with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in a tough battle for ratings supremacy.

Yet ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to roll, and so did its successors ‘Give Love on Christmas’, ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘Ningning’. When TAPE realized that ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ has outlived its usefulness, they decided to replace the talk show with a light drama in ‘Princess in the Palace’, starring Ryzza alongside Eula Valdes and Aiza Seguerra.

But the move to a drama format did not change its fortunes, and neither did a sitcom in ‘Calle Siete’. Meanwhile, another ABS-CBN series in ‘Be My Lady’ extended the network’s reign in the timeslot.

In October 2016, GMA and TAPE canceled ‘Calle Siete’ and in its place came a coming-of-age light drama in ‘TROPS’, starring the That’s My Bae quintet of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia. The said series also ended Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run in the pre-noontime slot amid her physical changes and the emergence of AlDub.

Unfortunately, ‘TROPS’ also failed to make a difference in the ratings. Over at ABS-CBN, their dominance continued with ‘Langit Lupa’ and ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

In a last-ditch effort to make an impact in the pre-noontime slot, TAPE and GMA returned to the talk show format in September 2017 with ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by the lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros). It couldn’t have come at a worst possible time, as AlDub was no longer a difference-maker by the time this show premiered.

Sadly, the return of Jodi and Richard (plus Robin Padilla) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ put an end to TAPE’s pre-noontime aspirations. As a result, TAPE cancelled ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ after 95 episodes on February 2, 2018, and ceased production of pre-noontime shows.

Give TAPE and GMA a lot of credit for trying to give ABS-CBN a run for its money. But at the end of the day, the latter’s superiority in the pre-noontime slot became too much to overcome, especially with the unlikely duo of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap giving plenty of ‘kilig’ to its viewers.

Now that TAPE ends its production of pre-noontime shows, time will only tell when GMA decides to strike on its own. But for now, the competition is over and GMA will have to live and die with Tagalized movies as a way to wave the white flag.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

GMA Tries Again with Bossing & Ai + The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

‘Never stop trying!’

It has been the motto for GMA these past several years. The odds have not always been great for the network, but give them credit for continuing to compete despite these insurmountable obstacles.

Remember the time when ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ was so unbeatable that GMA had no choice but to stop competing against it? For years, the ABS-CBN late-night variety show proved to be GMA’s Achilles heel, and each time GMA tried to answer with a show of their own, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ always shoves them out of the door.

But it seems like ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ has seen better days of late due to the presence of ABS-CBN’s reality and talent shows (e.g. ‘Pinoy Big Brother’). Sensing that the show’s ratings is on a downward trend, GMA decided to create a new show in ‘Bossing & Ai’ in an attempt to finally bring down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ from its perch.

‘Bossing & Ai’ premiered last night and is a game show starring Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas as leaders of two groups of contestants. They are joined by Jose Manalo, Tart Carlos and game master Oyo Sotto.

In essence, ‘Bossing & Ai”s competition with ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ is an extension of the ‘Eat Bulaga’-‘It’s Showtime’ rivalry, of which Vic Sotto and Vice Ganda are the respective hosts. Still, it remains to be seen if ‘Bossing & Ai’ will live up to its promise of taking down ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’ for good.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’, the d’Explorer sisters of ‘Kalyeserye’ will have a talk show of their own. Beginning today at 11:30 a.m., Jose Manalo (as Lola Tinidora), Paolo Ballesteros (as Lola Tidora) and Wally Bayola (as Lola Nidora) will host ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

The new talk show will replace ‘TROPS’, the coming-of-age drama series starring ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘BAES’ (Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia). ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will mark TAPE’s first venture into the talk show genre since ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ from 2013-15.

But unlike ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be pre-taped as Jose, Paolo and Wally also serve as on-location hosts of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment. This means there will be no live transition from one show to the next.

‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ would have been a perfect show to compete against the ABS-CBN morning talk show ‘Magandang Buhay’, especially now that GMA’s slate of animes are declining in popularity. Instead, the talk show will be placed as part of TAPE’s mandated 11:30-2:30 p.m. block and will go up against ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Whether or not ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ will be a factor in the game remains to be seen. But as far as GMA, M-ZET and TAPE are concerned, there’s nothing wrong about continuing to try despite the odds.

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action, comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, radio, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

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

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.

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

The Return of Tawag ng Tanghalan

‘It’s Showtime’ was on the brink of waving the white flag when rival ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye segment (starring AlDub) became wildly popular in the second half of 2015. So in order to get back on track, they decided to revive a singing competition that was successful in the era of black and white television.

Thus on the second day of 2016, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ was brought back as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. The segment would set the tone for ‘It’s Showtime”s renaissance, as it recaptured the ratings lead from ‘Eat Bulaga’ by the third week of January.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’…

Kalyeserye Concluded, Revived, Then Concluded Again

The long-running Kalyeserye segment had been on a roll since its debut on July 16, 2015. Unfortunately, the return to form of ‘It’s Showtime’, coupled by the presumed seven-month suspension of Paolo Ballesteros (a.k.a. Lola Tidora) and fans’ apparent frustration over repetitive and predictable storylines, led to a decline in popularity for the segment.

Along the way, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza took time off to record and promote the film ‘Imagine You and Me’. With the desire to push the duo to new territory, ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to end Kalyeserye on September 3, although they revived the skit from October 15 to December 17 with a new chapter.

Both Alden and Maine are scheduled to star in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Destined to Be Yours’ beginning next year, putting Kalyeserye’s future in doubt.

KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine’s Reign on Primetime Continues

ABS-CBN’s ‘Big Three’ love teams continued to roll in 2016. The year began with ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, reigning on the 8:40 timeslot, followed by its replacement ‘Dolce Amore’, starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, which debuted on February 15.

Unfortunately, although James Reid and Nadine Lustre began the year with the highly successful ‘On the Wings of Love’, they failed to keep the momentum going when ‘Till I Met You’ premiered on August 29 to a rather lukewarm reception in the ratings. As a result, on September 19, ABS-CBN moved the series’ timeslot to 9:30 p.m., which eventually paid off.

But for every successful pairing, there are some love teams that did not click at all, as seen in this next entry.

AnBie, AlNine and ElNella: The Lost Love Teams

Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras were paired in the long-running afternoon drama ‘The Half-Sisters’, which finally came to an end on January 15. Two weeks later, they received a primetime push with ‘That’s My Amboy’, but the series ended in late April with just 68 episodes and little fanfare.

Its successor, Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez’s ‘Once Again’, did not even come close, clocking at only 59 episodes from May to July. Over at ABS-CBN, Janine’s ex-boyfriend Elmo Magalona was paired with Janella Salvador in ‘Born for You’, but the series made little impact either, lasting 65 episodes from June to September.

It remains to be seen if the three love teams will have a chance to redeem themselves next year. But in the meantime, let’s move on.

Sexy Time in 2016

The trend towards sensually mature programs continued in 2016. On ABS-CBN, ‘Pasion de Amor’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ stood out, with Coleen Garcia, Ellen Adarna, Arci Muñoz, Isabelle Daza and Cristine Reyes emerging to showcase their newfound abilities in a more raunchy setting.

Over on GMA, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ provided a new dimension for stars Rhian Ramos, Andrea Torres and Joyce Ching to show their chops. But perhaps their greatest contributions were ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ and ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, both of which feature a mix of comedy and sensuality.

If 2016 set the tone for more sexual themes with SPG ratings all over the place, then what else is in store come 2017? Find out soon.

In the meantime, Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Kalyeserye Now an Independent Segment of Eat Bulaga

A subtle change took place this week on ‘Eat Bulaga’.

Last Friday, viewers took notice of a new Kalyeserye opening billboard. That’s right, for the first time ever, Kalyeserye is credited with its own segment and in the process, no longer considers itself a sub-segment of Juan for All, All for Juan.

The change became official in time for the ‘wedding’ special the following day. After that, the independence continued once the storyline shifts into the married lives of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards’ characters.

During Kalyeserye’s initial run, ‘Eat Bulaga’ credited the skit under the Juan for All, All for Juan name, despite the fact that it was an entirely different segment with its own logo. At first, Kalyeserye took place in the beginning and end of the Juan for All, All for Juan segment, before it was given its own spot in the show.

Although Kalyeserye became a separate portion of the show, the Juan for All, All for Juan opening billboard remained in use. This confused viewers for the most part, since the Juan for All, All for Juan segment refers entirely to the ‘sugod-bahay’ and ‘bayanihan’ portions of it.

The confusion continued once Kalyeserye was revived with the ‘marriage’ storyline. Again, ‘Eat Bulaga’ credited the skit under the Juan for All, All for Juan name, and in its initial episodes, Kalyeserye was slotted at the beginning of the skit; only this time, there is no break for the ‘sugod-bahay’ and ‘bayanihan’ portions, which air afterwards.

In the end, upon realizing the chaos that they were presenting, ‘Eat Bulaga’ finally relented and gave Kalyeserye it own opening billboard. Afterwards, it was placed in the second part of the show, leaving Juan for All, All for Juan to occupy the final portion.

The change also enabled Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros to play the roles of Tinidora, Nidora and Tidora during Kalyeserye, and then change into their regular selves for Juan for All, All for Juan. Pretty clever indeed.

With Kalyeserye now an independent production of ‘Eat Bulaga’, one can only hope that this setup will continue as long as the viewers love it. After all, the show is about ‘bayanihan’, and putting things in orderly fashion is a perfect way to satisfy the viewers’ demands.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

It’s Showtime’s Fall and Rebirth Amid the AlDub Saga

What a difference a year makes.

Back on July 16, 2015, viewers of the then-hit noontime show ‘It’s Showtime’ were suddenly stunned to see the debut of the popular AlDub tandem on ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Kalyeserye’ segment. Thanks to the split-screen magic between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, ‘Eat Bulaga’ was able to win by just 0.2% in the national ratings that day.

The surprising love team took not only the nation, but the entire world by storm. Twitter went abuzz as Alden and Maine exchanged Dubsmash replies through song each and every day, while Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola) tried to play it as if it is only fictional in nature.

While the AlDub phenomenon was hitting its stride, ‘It’s Showtime’ tried its best to keep up. They answered the AlDub love team by trying to give Angelica Yap (a.k.a. Pastillas Girl) a new partner in the skit ‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’, which did not work out.

The peak of the AlDub fever took place on October 24, when ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ charity concert at the Philippine Arena drew not only 50,000 or so fans, but also millions of viewers around the world. The national ratings reflected that success as well, as ‘Eat Bulaga’ scored a 40.1% rating over ‘It’s Showtime”s 10.2%.

The lopsided ratings could have ended ‘It’s Showtime’ as viewers know it. Instead, they persevered and finally came up with a segment that took the steam out of AlDub.

Enter ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’, the 1950s classic singing competition that returned as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’ on January 2. The premise of the segment was simple: singers must perform well to win, then defend the title the next day against other aspirants from around the country.

Thanks to the presence of the revived TNT, the show gradually rebounded, and by January 11, ‘It’s Showtime’ overtook ‘Eat Bulaga’ for good in the ratings. The aura that once enveloped AlDub on ‘Kalyeserye’ disappeared.

Many factors were given as to why ‘Kalyeserye’ suddenly fell flat. But perhaps the most notable of these was the fact that Maine Mendoza, whose real voice had been withheld from the public for months (except for an interview on ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’), was finally ‘given’ an ability to talk fluently during the ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ concert.

Skits soon became predictable and repetitive, and as a result, viewers who were once part of the AlDub fever were switching back to ‘It’s Showtime’. Even after the July 16 episode in which Alden and Maine celebrated their first anniversary as a couple, ‘Eat Bulaga’ was unable to recapture past glory.

On the other hand, ‘It’s Showtime’ was back to its old entertaining self. They not only have the hit ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment, but also ‘TrabaHula’, a skit where players had to guess the real worker among the four in the audience.

Indeed, the recent dominance of ‘It’s Showtime’ in the first half of the decade is manifesting itself once again. And for Vice Ganda and company, they have no intention of letting it go.

So what’s next for this noontime rivalry? One can only hope that ‘Eat Bulaga’ can find a way to regroup their ‘Kalyeserye’ strategy, otherwise, ‘It’s Showtime’ and TNT will continue to assert their place atop the noontime charts.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wish I May Ends Tomorrow

‘Wish I May’ is down to its final episode.

The GMA Afternoon Prime series, whose story focuses on a rare genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’, will conclude tomorrow afternoon after a run of 88 episodes. It will be replaced by ‘Magkaibang Mundo’, starring Louise delos Reyes and Juancho Triviño.

Named after a hit song by fellow Kapuso star Alden Richards, ‘Wish I May’ starred Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, along with Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez and Rochelle Pangilinan, among others. It was co-directed by Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz.

‘Wish I May’ was originally announced in October of last year to coincide with the AlDub phenomenon, but the premiere of the highly-anticipated series was delayed by a three-month extension of its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’. It finally hit the airwaves on January 18, however, the long wait took its toll.

Not only did ‘Wish I May’ fail to make an impact, but its low ratings came at the same time as the decline of AlDub’s popularity. By the time the series aired, viewers were once again switching to ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ to watch the revival of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ instead of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Kalyeserye’.

Even worse for ‘Wish I May’ is the impressive performance of rival series ‘Doble Kara’. Ratings for both series consistently favor the latter, and as ‘Wish I May’ continued to fall short of expectations, it came to a point that GMA decided to lessen the promotion of the series by early April.

Suffice to say, it’s a decision that justified ‘Wish I May”s inability to succeed. The series whose premiere had been long overdue to begin with is about to end with a whimper.

‘Wish I May’ may be unique thanks to its focus on ‘chimerism’, but its long-delayed premiere will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. That said, it’s going to be a long day at the office for GMA management, wondering what might have happened if ‘Wish I May’ premiered as originally scheduled.

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