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

Endangered Specie: Celebrity Bluff’s Status in Doubt

Is this the end for ‘Celebrity Bluff’?

Last Saturday marked the season finale of this celebrated GMA game show. But ‘Celebrity Bluff’ as it truly was effectively ended two years ago following its first four years on the air.

The first run of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ began on November 17, 2012 and ended on February 20, 2016. The original trio of Eugene Domingo, Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo immediately clicked with viewers, and ‘Celebrity Bluff’ became a worthy and oftentimes popular adversary amid the dominance of franchised reality and talent shows from ABS-CBN.

Even as Wally was replaced by Boobay and Isko ‘Brod Pete’ Salvador and Jose left for other commitments, ‘Celebrity Bluff’ remained a force to be reckoned with on Saturday nights. The show also received some accolades along the way, including two PMPC Star Awards for Best Game Show.

The death of director Uro dela Cruz in February 2016 forced ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to take a long break after 12 consecutive seasons on the air. Then on June 3, 2017, the 13th season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ got underway, this time with Edu Manzano as one of the ‘bluffers’ and Rico Gutierrez as the director.

Unfortunately, this latest season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ failed to capture the magic of the previous 12 seasons. Once averaging around 12-13% in the ratings during its first four years, the most recent incarnation of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ only managed ratings of around 6-7% per episode.

It also did not help that Edu Manzano was a bad fit to the ensemble. In March, Manzano left ‘Celebrity Bluff’ in order to join ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’, leaving Eugene, Boobay, Brod Pete and some guest ‘bluffers’ to hold the fort.

Suffice to say, the 13th season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ was doomed to fail this time around. The once-colorful game show had lost its luster.

So what does the future hold for ‘Celebrity Bluff’? Considering the poor performance of its most recent season, perhaps GMA should just retire the show for good and concentrate on a new concept.

If they intend to resuscitate ‘Celebrity Bluff’ in the near future, the only recourse is to convince Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo to return to the show. After all, ‘Celebrity Bluff’ reached its peak with Eugene, Wally and Jose at the forefront.

But for all intents and purposes, consider ‘Celebrity Bluff’ an endangered specie that borders between cancellation and renewal. For now, the show is on hiatus, and unless GMA decides to give it another shot, this hiatus may become permanent after all.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Return of Alyas Robin Hood

This is not a rerun.

On Monday, August 14, GMA announced the return of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ to the small screen. The second season (or Book 2 in teleserye lingo) will bring back almost the same cast with the addition of new actors to spice up the series.

Continuing the same series after a lengthy hiatus is nothing new to Philippine television. In 2007, ABS-CBN’s ‘Maging Sino Ka Man’ received a second season after a break of six months; take note that this does not include sequels of a particular series such as the ‘Encantadia’ trilogy or the ‘Lobo’ franchise.

The new season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will once again be headlined by Dingdong Dantes as Pepe, the former vigilante-turned-lawyer. New challenges await the protagonist, such as the kidnapping of his mother, the revelation of some of his secrets, and a powerful evil force that threatens the city.

Andrea Torres will reprise the role of Venus, Pepe’s ally and love interest. But instead of bringing back Megan Young’s character Sarri for season 2, GMA brought in Solenn Heussaff to portray Pepe’s other love interest, Iris.

Also returning for season 2 will be Ms. Jaclyn Jose, who will once again breathe life to Pepe’s mother Judy. Rounding out the mix of returning and new cast members are Ruru Madrid, Edu Manzano, Gary Estrada, Paolo Contis, Jay Manalo, Rey ‘PJ’ Abellana, Gio Alvarez, KC Montero, Lindsay de Vera, Dave Bornea, Rob Moya, Antonette Garcia and Luri Nalus.

The first season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ ran from September 19, 2016 to February 24, 2017. The series, while a decent performer with 115 episodes in total, could not get past ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’ in the ratings.

On its second season, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will go up against the KathNiel-led series ‘La Luna Sangre’. Considering that the latter is raking in at least 35% in the national ratings of late, ‘Alyas Robin Hood”s task became even more difficult now that they face the popular tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla (not to mention former GMA star Richard Gutierrez).

Still, for loyal followers of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ who stuck through the difficult times, the return of the series is like a breath of fresh air. With GMA keeping the faith, one can only hope that the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will last just as long as the first.

Directed by Dominic Zapata, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ airs weeknights after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

Last Episodes for I Can Do That, Plus Celebrity Bluff Returns

Two weekend shows are about to hit the crossroads.

On ABS-CBN, ‘I Can Do That’ will enter its final weekend tomorrow night and Sunday night. In these two episodes, the final four iCandidates in Cristine Reyes, Daniel Matsunaga, Gab Valenciano and Wacky Kiray are expected to perform their riskiest and most death-defying acts imaginable.

Judges Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and Boy Abunda will have the enviable task of evaluating each iCandidates’ performance. Not only that, the viewers will also play a key role in determining the show’s ‘Greatest Entertainer’, who will walk away P1 million richer by virtue of combined scores from the judges and the viewers.

First premiered on March 11, 2017, ‘I Can Do That’ was the latest reality show franchise acquired by ABS-CBN. The program has had contrasting ratings fortunes throughout its 25-episode run; despite averaging a decent 15%, only ‘I Can Do That”s Saturday episodes were consistent winners.

That said, the decent but unsatisfactory performance may be considerable enough for ABS-CBN to relinquish its rights after only one season. The network may have had some successful foreign franchised shows, but ‘I Can Do That’ is not one of them.

Which leads to its one-night-only opponent for tomorrow night. After a season break that lasted over a year, GMA announced the return of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ for its 13th season.

Eugene Domingo will reprise her role as host of this long-running Kapuso game show. She will not be alone though as Edu Manzano will now join Eugene as a special bluffer, while Boobay and resident boyband One Up will also ramp up the entertainment factor even further.

A typical episode of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ is as follows (via GMA Public Relations):

“Celebrity Bluff features three pairs of celebrity contestants as they attempt to outsmart one another by answering questions to be able to advance to the jackpot round, where the winning team could take home half a million pesos.”

Guest bluffers will also be on hand to make fun of this week’s celebrity players. For instance, the premiere of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ season 13 will see Alden Richards and Brod Pete play the role of bluffer.

With its predecessors’ failures to make an impact, the onus is on ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to change GMA’s declining fortunes ever Saturday night. Otherwise, its comeback may turn out to be a dud.

‘Celebrity Bluff’ returns this Saturday after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Teleserye Alert: The Greatest Love and Someone to Watch Over Me

Two new teleseryes premiere today on ABS-CBN and GMA respectively.

On the former’s Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Greatest Love’ will finally make its long-awaited debut. The series will star veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez in what is perhaps her most definitive starring role yet.

In ‘The Greatest Love’, Sylvia will play the role of Gloria, a mother of four who is determined to have a happy and lovely family. But a terrible secret soon broke the bond between Gloria and her children, and what remained of her are memories of her problematic past.

As the story goes on, Gloria begins to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a crippling disorder that could erase her memories. As a result, she must find a way to reunite with her children before her condition proves too much to overcome.

Gloria’s children will be portrayed by Dimples Romana (as Amanda), Matt Evans (as Andrei), Arron Villaflor (as Paeng), and Andi Eigenmann (as Lizelle). The supporting cast of ‘The Greatest Love’ will consist of Joshua Garcia, Nonie Buencamino, Rommel Padilla, Tonton Gutierrez, Ejay Falcon, Ellen Adarna, Junjun Quintana, Aleck Bovick, Luis Alandy, Bobby Andrews, Alex Medina, Mercedes Cabral, and Guji Lorenzana.

It will be interesting to see how ‘The Greatest Love’ fares on its first week. But as far as ABS-CBN is concerned, the recent streak of good fortune on Kapamilya Gold should be more than enough to ease the pressure on the newcomer.

Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, Mervyn Brondial, and Dado Lomibao, ‘The Greatest Love’ airs weekdays after ‘Doble Kara’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

Over on GMA’s Telebabad block, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will mark the full return of more serious dramas on primetime. The series will be headlined by Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Max Collins.

Like ‘The Greatest Love’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will explore the harsh effects of Alzheimer’s disease. In the upcoming series, TJ (Tom) is an office worker who is married to his wife Joanna (Lovi), but after TJ begins to suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, Joanna decides to take care of her ailing husband.

Soon after, Irene (Max), TJ’s ex-girlfriend, is allowed by Joanna to enter their home. After that, things begin to change as TJ loses memory of Joanna and instead recognizes Irene as his true love.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will also include Edu Manzano, Jackie Lou Blanco, Isay Alvarez, Ronnie Lazaro, Boy 2 Quizon, Ralph Noriega, and Frances Makil. The series will be directed by Maryo J. delos Reyes.

It will be interesting to see how this upcoming GMA drama will fare against ‘Born for You’. With the latter series on a roll, and with GMA’s talent problems already well-documented, this is going to be a difficult journey for Lovi, Tom, Max and company.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ airs weeknights after ‘Descendants of the Sun’.

 

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, television, United States

Family Feud Moves to ABS-CBN

The Filipino franchise of ‘Family Feud’ is going Kapamilya.

Just recently, ABS-CBN announced that they will acquire the rights to produce and broadcast the hit game show ‘Family Feud’. The said game show is the latest in the Kapamilya network’s series of foreign franchise acquisitions dating back to 2005.

Soon after, it was revealed that Luis Manzano will host the said game show. Afterwards, he announced on the March 20 episode of ‘ASAP’ that the premiere date of ‘Family Feud’ will be on April 9, Saturday, and will air on weekends.

The Filipino franchise of ‘Family Feud’ joins a rare list of programs that were aired on three different networks. The original version, hosted by Ogie Alcasid, aired on ABC 5 (now TV5) from 2001-02, then the subsequent editions, hosted by Richard Gomez, Dingdong Dantes and Edu Manzano, aired on GMA from 2008-11.

In addition, ‘Family Feud’ is the third game show franchise to air on both ABC 5/TV5 and ABS-CBN. The others are ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘The Price is Right’.

‘Family Feud’ on ABS-CBN will replace ‘Celebrity Playtime’, another game show hosted by Luis Manzano. Its timeslot is yet to be determined.

It will be interesting to see how ABS-CBN’s own take on ‘Family Feud’ will live up to the standards set by both ABC 5 and GMA. But considering the streak of success that ABS-CBN has enjoyed of late, getting some good viewership should not be a problem.

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drama, entertainment, game show, movies, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, talk show, television

So Long, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’

TV5’s ‘Face the People’, along with ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’, bid adieu on November 21, 2014. (Photo credit: TV5)

The last remnants of the original ‘Everyday All the Way’ block are gone.

On Friday, November 21, 2014, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ aired for the final time on TV5. Three days later, ‘Movie Max 5’ took over the slot vacated by both programs.

And in a related development, both ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’ and ‘T3: Enforced’ were once again cut to 30 minutes. This was in anticipation of the latter program’s year-end reports that are slated to air during Christmas and New Year’s week.

‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ returned with a second season on July 7, albeit on the late morning slot rather than the afternoon and early evening slots, respectively. The move to new timeslots paved the way for TV5 to air two PBA games on weekdays beginning in mid-October.

As a result, ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ served as an appetizer to TV5’s noontime newscast ‘Aksyon sa Tanghali’, which debuted the following week.

The two shows also carried new hosts; ‘Face the People’ mainstays Gelli de Belen and Tintin Bersola-Babao were joined by Edu Manzano, while Ogie Alcasid replaced Aga Muhlach on ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’.

In all, 100 episodes were aired on both ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’ during their second seasons, which was not a bad run.

‘Face the People’ marked the swan song of Edu Manzano on the Kapatid network. On September 14, it was announced that Manzano will rejoin ABS-CBN following the completion of his obligations with TV5.

Meanwhile, Gelli de Belen and Ogie Alcasid will have new projects come next year, as TV5 recently announced its upcoming slate of programs for 2015. As for Tintin Bersola-Babao, it is unclear if she will stick with TV5 or move to another network.

With the cancellation of both ‘Face the People’ and ‘Let’s Ask Pilipinas’, TV5 now has an opening for any of their upcoming programs. For now, though, the same ol’ boring Tagalized movies on ‘Movie Max 5’ will take over the slot, albeit temporarily.

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