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, fantasy, Philippines, television

With Impending Encantadia Requel, GMA Goes for Broke

It’s official: ‘Encantadia’ is returning to GMA.

The announcement was made last night during the evening newscast ’24 Oras’. Throughout the newscast, the upcoming ‘requel’ (portmanteau of reboot and prequel) revealed its main cast members, which are as follows:

  • Glaiza de Castro (as Sang’gre Pirena, originally portrayed by Sunshine Dizon)
  • Kylie Padilla (as Sang’gre Amihan, originally portrayed by Iza Calzado)
  • Gabbi Garcia (as Sang’gre Alena, originally portrayed by Karylle)
  • Sanya Lopez (as Sang’gre Danaya, originally portrayed by Diana Zubiri)
  • Ruru Madrid (as Ybarro/Ybrahim, originally portrayed by Dingdong Dantes)
  • Rocco Nacino (as Aquil, originally portrayed by Alfred Vargas)

They will be joined by Marian Rivera, who will play Dawn Zulueta’s original role as the Inang Reyna.

In addition, the press conference announced the names of the supporting cast members. They are:

  •  John Arcilla (as Hagorn)
  • Rochelle Pangilinan (as Agane)
  • Vaness del Moral (as Gurna)
  • Pancho Magno (as Hitano)
  • Christian Bautista (as Apitong)
  • Carlo Gonzales (as Muros)
  • Kate Valdez (as Mira)
  • Mikee Quintos (as Lira)
  • Klea Pineda (as Muyak)
  • Migo Adecer (as Anthony)
  • Solenn Heussaff (as Cassiopeia)

Mark Reyes will be the director of the new ‘Encantadia’, and he revealed that a few changes will be made on the ‘requel’ without sacrificing the main story of the original series. That said, expect a fresher and more modern ‘Encantadia’ for the new generation.

The original ‘Encantadia’ aired on GMA during the mid-2000s, and spawned two sequels in ‘Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’. A planned reboot of ‘Encantadia’ (titled ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’) was announced in 2010, but was never materialized.

When it first aired, ‘Encantadia’ became one of GMA’s highly-rated series, thanks in large part to the popularity of the fantaserye during that time. But the production of ‘Encantadia’ and its two sequels took its toll on GMA financially, and they have never recovered since.

With the Kapuso network in a crisis of confidence, what chances will they have with the ‘requel’ of ‘Encantadia’? And how will this series be able to thrive amidst a more conservative approach in teleserye production?

Only time will tell.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Encantadia to Return Soon

The original ‘Encantadia’ became a hit for GMA a decade ago, helping popularize the fantaserye genre. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The fantaserye that briefly put GMA on top is about to return.

GMA recently announced that ‘Encantadia’ will be among the few new shows that will premiere next year. It is yet to be determined whether or not it will be reboot or a continuation of the original series.

For much of the late 2000s, ‘Encantadia’ and its sister series ‘Etheria’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’ helped GMA take the lead over ABS-CBN in the ratings. But the cost of making such an elaborate series took its toll on the network’s finances.

A fourth sister series, ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’, was supposed to premiere in 2010 but was scrapped even before production began. That said, it is still a question of if and when with regards to the latest version of ‘Encantadia’.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

StarStruck Finally Returns, But Problems Persist

The long-awaited return of ‘StarStruck’ is underway.

After a five-year absence, the original and most iconic reality talent search show on Philippine television is back with a new season and a new hope. A total of 35 hopefuls will have the chance of a lifetime to become a GMA star and an Ultimate Survivor.

But there are some problems that should concern the returning ‘StarStruck’.

GMA announced that ‘StarStruck’ would air weekdays at 5:50 p.m. starting today. The problem is that the timeslot is way too early for a reality show of this caliber, and based on recent trends, Filipino reality talent shows usually air in mid-to-late evenings to take advantage of bigger audiences.

In the first five seasons of ‘StarStruck’, GMA placed the show after the local teleseryes and before Koreanovelas on the network’s Telebabad block. At the time, it helped ‘StarStruck’ earn high ratings for the network, right in the midst of the Koreanovela and fantaserye fever.

Those seasons of ‘StarStruck’ also had a weekend edition (which also rated well), something that the new season won’t have (unless GMA changes its mind). But until then, the new ‘StarStruck’ will have to endure a different and more radical approach than in past seasons.

‘StarStruck’ will also have to worry about ‘Pasion de Amor’. The ABS-CBN drama series continues to stay hot in its timeslot, winning over its GMA counterparts on a consistent basis.

That said, GMA will have its hands full once ‘StarStruck’ comes in. ‘Pasion de Amor’ is a tough nut to crack for the Kapuso network, especially considering the single-digit failures of previous opponents ‘My Mother’s Secret’ and ‘Reply 1997’, thus GMA has to pull all the stops if ‘StarStruck’ wants to return to form.

It’s just too bad that they didn’t place the show against the continuously declining ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ (thank you ‘Legendary Women’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ for closing that timeslot). Had they placed ‘StarStruck’ against PBB (or earlier at best), the show would have fared better.

But as it stands, ‘StarStruck’ is in for a rude awakening. Without any options, GMA has no choice but to place the returning ‘StarStruck’ into a timeslot they’re not used to, which is a daunting challenge to this point.

Is ‘StarStruck’ worth the wait, or an immediate afterthought? We’ll see.

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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

Kambal Sirena, Dyesebel Won’t Begin Simultaneously

GMA’s Kambal Sirena begins its run a week ahead of ABS-CBN’s Dyesebel. (Photo courtesy of Bida Kapamilya)

The so-called ‘Sirena Wars’ on Philippine television will have to wait for another two weeks, as both GMA and ABS-CBN set their final episode dates for ‘Adarna’ and ‘Honesto’.

‘Adarna’, the fantaserye starring Kylie Padilla, airs its final episode tomorrow. Airing since November 18, 2013, ‘Adarna’ was supposed to revive GMA’s tried and tested fantaserye genre that has worked for them in the mid-2000s. Unfortunately, the show failed to surpass expectations, due to the fact that a rival teleserye is superbly dominant in its timeslot.

That teleserye happened to be ‘Honesto’, which has been consistently atop the primetime ratings since its debut. Its superior ratings also translated into high trending figures in social media, with hashtags related to the show leading Twitter’s trending topics. The Raikko Mateo-starred series first aired on October 28, and will air its final episode on March 14.

The two series will be replaced by ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ respectively. The former, an original concept of the Kapuso network, will star Louise delos Reyes, while the latter, acquired by the Kapamilya network from Mars Ravelo’s estate, will star Anne Curtis.

Hype between the two series began last December, as both networks revealed the initial teasers for their respective mermaids. But while GMA began to heavily promote ‘Kambal Sirena’ during the months of January and February, ABS-CBN was slow to promote ‘Dyesebel’ as it continued to focus on its highly-rated programs ‘Honesto’ and ‘Got to Believe’. Nevertheless, viewers were salivating at the prospect of two mermaid-based series facing each other on primetime.

Both ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ will feature an equally stellar supporting cast. In ‘Kambal Sirena’, Aljur Abrenica will star as the leading man, while Wynwyn Marquez serves as the main villain. The series will also star Mickey Ferriols, Angelika dela Cruz, Gladys Reyes, Tessie Tomas, Mike Tan, Pancho Magno, Polo Ravales, Lotlot de Leon, Rich Asuncion, and Chanda Romero.

In ‘Dyesebel’, Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson will play the leading men, while Andi Eigenmann takes on a villainous role. Portraying supporting roles in the series will be Dawn Zulueta, Eula Valdes, Gabby Concepcion, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Bangs Garcia, David Chua, Ai Ai delas Alas, Neil Coleta, Young JV and Ogie Diaz.

While ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ won’t begin at the same time, the rivalry between the two mermaid-based series will be something to look forward to. And it should add spice to what has been an already heated rivalry between the two major networks.

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