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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not 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.

HOT: La Luna Sangre

The tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla returned to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida in June to star in ‘La Luna Sangre’, which also starred Angel Locsin (initially in a special participatory role as Lia before returning full-time as Jacintha) and another comebacking star in Richard Gutierrez. The series became an immediate hit scoring well over 30% in the nationwide ratings.

The success of ‘La Luna Sangre’ also revitalized the third slot of Primetime Bida following the lukewarm reception of predecessors ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’. But while KathNiel did not lose their magic upon returning to the small screen, the same cannot be said for another popular love team.

NOT: AlDub and More

Good news: AlDub did not need to face KathNiel as ‘Destined to Be Yours’ ended weeks before ‘La Luna Sangre’ premiered. Bad news: 63 episodes is more than enough to justify the lack of success of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the first primetime series to star Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together.

Things only got worse for the duo from that point on. In late November, Maine revealed on social media that she and Alden are only friends in real life and that she ‘deserves all the hate in the world’ for being a ‘coward’ and a ‘selfish little brat’.

Perhaps the pressure and the expectations are starting to take its toll on Maine. Much like her harrowing portrayal of a depressed workaholic in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ made-for-TV film ‘Love Is…’, somebody should help her overcome these stresses.

HOT: Ika-6 na Utos and Afternoon Prime

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ premiered late last year to lukewarm reviews. But thanks to some campy moments that elicit plenty of laughter from its viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became unexpectedly popular, so much so that GMA decided to add Saturday episodes starting in April to capitalize on its success.

The series also boosted the fortunes of Afternoon Prime which had been left for dead earlier in the year. By August, succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were winning over their ABS-CBN counterparts thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

NOT: The Entire Kapamilya Gold Post-Doble Kara

Led by back-to-back ‘kabitseryes’ in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, Kapamilya Gold lost ground to Afternoon Prime that by the late third quarter of 2017, it was the latter that stood tall. Not even ‘The Greatest Love”s critically-acclaimed run saved the block from its sudden fall from grace.

The end of ‘Doble Kara”s year-long run in February foreshadowed a decline in Kapamilya Gold’s performance. Soon after, Afternoon Prime closed the gap and overtook Kapamilya Gold in the ratings for the rest of the year, much to the dismay of Kapamilya viewers everywhere.

HOT: Wildflower

Also in February, ‘Wildflower’ premiered on Primetime Bida’s pre-newscast slot. It didn’t take long for the series to make an impact as it constantly registered ratings of over 20 to 25%, putting it among the top five programs in the country.

The success of ‘Wildflower’ also spawned numerous memes on social media, some of which depict the various confrontations between Ivy/Lily (Maja Salvador) and Emilia (Aiko Melendez). With that kind of impact, ‘Wildflower’ truly turned viewers’ heads upside down whenever these two go at it.

NOT: Kapamilya Game Shows

The slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’ does not apply to ABS-CBN game shows. That said, ‘Minute to Win It’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ continued to alienate audiences by utilizing celebrities more often than ordinary people throughout their runs this year.

Luckily all three shows’ seasons came to an end this year: ‘Minute to Win It’ in February, ‘Family Feud’ in May and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ in September. Perhaps ABS-CBN should stop producing game shows and defer these to ‘It’s Showtime’ since they do not even have a clue how to utilize the power of the viewing public.

Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ika-6 na Utos Reaches the One-Year Mark

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is now a year old.

The top-rating GMA afternoon teleserye will officially celebrate its first anniversary on television today. In doing so, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will join the likes of ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, ‘The Half-Sisters’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ as the only teleseryes this decade to air for more than a year.

First premiered on December 5, 2016, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ came in to GMA Afternoon Prime as a replacement for ‘Oh My Mama’. At the time of its debut, ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ was still the highest-rated afternoon drama, and like all GMA teleseryes back then, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ struggled to find its footing.

But once ‘Doble Kara’ ended its year-long run in February 2017, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ began to make some headway. By March, the series assumed its current perch as the highest-rated afternoon drama in the country.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became so popular that GMA even added a Saturday episode beginning April 1. Although there were some concerns regarding GMA’s decision, namely possible burnout among viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos” performance remained top-notch averaging around 16-18% in the ratings.

The popularity of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ also improved the standing of succeeding GMA dramas. By August, thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, GMA Afternoon Prime constantly outperformed ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold in the ratings.

As of December 5, 2017, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will have aired 295 episodes in all. The series is expected to reach 300 episodes by next week.

So what made ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ so popular? Perhaps these scenes may explain why.

No wonder the campy nature of the series endeared with the viewers. Still, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ remained mostly serious and straightforward, but with some elements of humor in every encounter involving Emma (Sunshine Dizon) and Georgia (Ryza Cenon), there is no doubt why this series has earned many fans in its year-long run.

Now a part of teleserye immortality, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will now look forward to even bigger things come 2018. The question is, can they keep the momentum up?

Starring Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ airs after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Maine Takes LOA from Eat Bulaga; Pastillas Girl Resurfaces on FHM

Remember the infamous yet short-lived rivalry between “Yaya Dub” Maine Mendoza and “Pastillas Girl” Angelica Yap?

Last week, the two noontime ladies were in the headlines anew for various reasons. First off, the most obvious one.

‘Eat Bulaga’ co-host Maine Mendoza recently posted an open letter thanking her fans for all the support. She then clarified that she and on-screen partner Alden Richards were just friends in real life and not in a relationship.

The open letter elicited some negative responses from other netizens. Soon after, Maine posted this tweet.

Maine was last seen on ‘Eat Bulaga’ on November 27, and has apparently left the show in the wake of her social media outrage. Netizens were quick to speculate regarding her future in entertainment, with some even going as far as spreading rumors that she would transfer to ABS-CBN.

Regardless, some fans still kept the faith, and they showed that by staging a “white rally” outside Broadway Centrum last November 30. However, with ‘Eat Bulaga’ currently struggling behind ‘It’s Showtime’ in the ratings and support for the AlDub tandem continuing to wane, how will the show be affected by Maine’s absence?

Speaking of noontime, “Pastillas Girl” Angelica Yap resurfaces with a new name and a new image. The bubbly girl that was a fixture of ‘It’s Showtime”s ‘Nasaan Ka, Mr. Pastillas’ segment two years ago is now sexier and stronger than ever.

FHM released its December 2017 issue featuring Yap and model Debbie Garcia. Like most FHM covers, these two women are photographed in lingerie and other revealing attire.

Yap first gained notoriety through the ‘Nasaan Ka, Mr. Pastillas’ segment (mostly forgotten now due to ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’), where ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts tried to find a man that would help her move on from a break-up. She has since reconciled with the man who broke up with her and are now engaged.

In the years leading up to her FHM cover debut, Yap gradually shed her innocent image by posting sexy and provocative images on social media. Though out of the limelight for some time, Yap signed up with Viva Entertainment and she even started a YouTube account with her fiance.

Perhaps posing for FHM is just the tonic Angelica Yap needs to restart her career. One can only hope that the former “Pastillas Girl” will embrace the small screen and possibly the big screen in the near future.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

In 100 Words: With All Due Respect, Joey

Joey de Leon is actually trending, but for the wrong reason.

Last Thursday’s episode of ‘Eat Bulaga’ saw a ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ winner discuss about her mother’s long battle with depression. What happens next proved to be sensitive for even the most concerned of viewers.

Within minutes, people started talking about this segment. Many praised Maine Mendoza for taking the issue seriously while at the same time criticized Joey de Leon for mocking said condition.

‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment is no stranger to tackling real-life issues among its winners. And while some portions of the segment feature the usual sense of humor among its hosts, reality continues to be the focal point, something that the show should always take seriously.

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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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The End of Destined to Be Yours

AlDub needs improvement, period.

This has been a recurring theme for the tandem ever since ‘Destined to Be Yours’ premiered on February 27, 2017. The onus was that Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza are not ready to be certified primetime stars just yet, either because the expectations are too overwhelming or that the tandem still has a lot of work to do chemistry-wise and skills-wise (particularly Maine, who obviously lacked prior acting experience).

Indeed, the intent of GMA is to run ‘Destined to Be Yours’ as short as possible, and that is exactly what happened. Only 63 episodes of ‘Destined to Be Yours’ will have aired once it concludes this Friday, thus putting them in a dubious list of short-lived teleseryes that fail to reach the typical 80-episode threshold.

Still, even with an uncharacteristically short run, ‘Destined to Be Yours’ should have been winning according to AlDub loyalists, right? Considering that AlDub enjoyed a tremendous crossover appeal in both social media and on the small screen, the series should have had a winning streak in the ratings and trending topics game.

Instead, a child actress by the name of Nayomi ‘Heart’ Ramos’ (joined alongside Coney Reyes, Ria Atayde, Zanjoe Marudo and Bela Padilla) overwhelmed AlDub. The fact that the ABS-CBN drama series ‘My Dear Heart’ constantly defeated ‘Destined to Be Yours’ in the ratings does not sit well with AlDub fans.

Unfortunately, that is the reality of it all. Alden and Maine together are simply not primetime material for the moment.

With the impending conclusion of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, there is plenty more work to do for AlDub. While they will still be an integral part of ‘Eat Bulaga’ for years to come, GMA should start working on their skills and chemistry in hopes of elevating the duo to the same heights as KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine.

Unfortunately, they will not have someone like Cathy Garcia Molina to guide them. That said, GMA must look for someone with equal capabilities as the former in order to turn AlDub to a success story, and that alone is not easy.

For now, rest easy AlDub. After that, it’s time to get back to business.

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