drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Long-Running Doble Kara Enters Final Week

After 382 episodes, ‘Doble Kara’ is finally bowing out.

The ABS-CBN afternoon drama series will officially conclude its stellar run as daytime’s top drama this coming Friday. And for fans of Julia Montes, ‘Doble Kara’ will forever be remembered as the series that catapulted her to the top of the afternoon circuit.

‘Doble Kara’ first came on the air on August 24, 2015. At first, the series was originally planned to replace ‘Flordeliza’, but at the last second, ABS-CBN hastily premiered ‘Doble Kara’ amid the dominance of another long-running drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

One week later, ‘Doble Kara’ was placed opposite ‘The Half-Sisters’, and following a slow start, the former gradually displaced the latter as the Philippines’ top afternoon drama. Along the way, rivals such as ‘Wish I May’, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ came along, but none were able to topple ‘Doble Kara’.

It was during the run of ‘Doble Kara’ that ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block eventually overtook GMA’s Afternoon Prime as the most-watched daytime drama block in the country. The overwhelming success of ‘Doble Kara’ was later felt on succeeding dramas such as ‘All of Me’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ .

But perhaps the most important legacy of ‘Doble Kara’ is the growth of Julia Montes as an actress. Portraying twin characters Sara and Kara, Julia’s dual role proved to be the most challenging of her career, but through it all, she managed to pull it off effectively.

To sum it all up, Julia owed her success with ‘Doble Kara’ to the many viewers that have stuck with her for the past year. In a statement during the show’s final press conference, she said,

Every day, you warmly welcome me into your homes. I am beyond thankful for the memories and the people I met throughout this journey. Thank you because you made me feel that I am not alone, that I am part of one family.

Come this Friday, ‘Doble Kara’ will have its curtain call. And when it’s all said and done, this series should earn its well-deserved round of applause.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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Nasaan Ka Ends Tomorrow; Walang Iwanan to Premiere This Monday

‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ officially bids farewell.

The series will come to a close tomorrow afternoon following its 193rd episode. Starring Jane Oineza, Loisa Andalo and Joshua Garcia, alongside Vina Morales, Denise Laurel, Christian Vasquez, and Jerome Ponce, ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ told the story of a daughter who searched for her lost father, and was based from the 1986 film of the same name.

‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on January 19 alongside ‘Flordeliza’, as part of ABS-CBN’s attempt to rejuvenate Kapamilya Gold. The series initially had a slow start, but soon gained momentum and won the ratings battle consistently against GMA’s ‘Yagit’, ‘Healing Hearts’ and ‘Buena Familia’.

Come this Friday, expect the finale of ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ to be as intense and as epic, not to mention inspiring. It will be the viewers’ last chance to see how love conquers all regardless of the challenges.

In the meantime, a replacement for ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ has been confirmed. Titled ‘Walang Iwanan’, the series will take over the former’s timeslot.

‘Walang Iwanan’ features the network’s five rising child stars: Louise Abuel, Micko Laurente, Jon Michael, Raikko Mateo and Karla Cruz. They will be joined by Roxanne Guinoo, Jhong Hilario, John Estrada, Beauty Gonzales, and Nicco Manalo.

The series is based from a real-life survival story of Jose Bautista and his seven siblings, which was retold on ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’. The story focuses on five siblings who will try to survive on their own after the disappearance of their parents.

With momentum on Kapamilya Gold’s side, it will be a huge task for ‘Walang Iwanan’ to make an immediate impact. But based on ABS-CBN’s recent success with child talent, it should not be a problem.

‘Walang Iwanan’ should be a very inspiring series, much like its predecessor, and viewers should look forward to it. The series airs weekdays after ‘All for Me’ starting this Monday.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Julia Montes vs. The Half-Sisters Starting Today

‘The Half-Sisters’ now finds itself facing a more formidable rival.

The long-running GMA afternoon teleserye, now over a year on the air, will face ‘Doble Kara’ starting today. The upcoming episode of ‘Doble Kara’ will mark the series debut of Julia Montes, after the teleserye’s first week saw young actress Avery Balasbas play the younger versions of Julia’s twin characters Sarah and Kara.

Despite not featuring Julia in its opening week, ‘Doble Kara’ managed to beat the competition from the moment it debuted on ABS-CBN. Last Monday’s premiere episode scored a 16.9% rating (based on Kantar’s figures), besting rival show ‘Buena Familia’s 13.1%, and continued its momentum throughout the week.

It became clear, however, that ‘Doble Kara’ needed worthier competition. This is where ‘The Half-Sisters’ come to the picture.

For most of this year, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been afternoon’s top teleserye, winning in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen on a consistent basis. While the series is being led by underrated GMA talents in Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino, a strong supporting cast and an unpredictable storyline has kept viewers glued to this series regularly.

‘The Half-Sisters’ proved too much for ‘Flordeliza’ to overcome, even though the latter managed to gain some momentum in its final few weeks. Still, ABS-CBN was not satisfied with how the series fared, despite the fact that it was hyped as the comeback series of returning Kapamilyas Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin.

‘Flordeliza’ was supposed to be replaced by ‘Doble Kara’, but the latter’s premiere date was moved a week earlier than expected. The declining ratings of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ forced ABS-CBN to cancel the show in order to make way for ‘Doble Kara’, which first premiered opposite ‘Buena Familia’.

Following the conclusion of ‘Flordeliza’, ABS-CBN initially advertised ‘All of Me’ as the former’s replacement. But instead, the itch to beat ‘The Half-Sisters’ can no longer be tolerated, and they finally decided to move ‘Doble Kara’ to the leadoff spot in the network’s Kapamilya Gold block.

It does make sense for ABS-CBN to pit ‘Doble Kara’ against ‘The Half-Sisters’. After all, they have a proven performer in Julia Montes, who has been successful in the Primetime Bida block through starring roles in ‘Mara Clara’, ‘Walang Hanggan’, ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, and more recently ‘Ikaw Lamang’.

Now the sole lead star and playing two characters at once, it’s up to Julia to continue her momentum. But whether or not her presence will lift ‘Doble Kara’ past an afternoon power in ‘The Half-Sisters’ remains to be seen.

Still, it’s a good test for Julia and her expanding range of skills. Good luck.

‘Doble Kara’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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PBB: 737 Gold Cancelled; All of Me Replaces Flordeliza

Turns out there won’t be any congestion on Kapamilya Gold after all.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ was cancelled following last Friday’s episode. The cancellation gave way to the premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, starring Julia Montes.

The afternoon edition of the ongoing ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ has been under hot water from the beginning, receiving an SPG warning from the MTRCB after the infamous ‘bromance’ issue between Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez. Though it was later removed, ABS-CBN eventually decided to cancel PBB: 737 Gold out of respect to younger viewers.

Thus, for the first time in the reality series’ history, only one edition of PBB will be seen on free TV on a daily basis. Past seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ had an afternoon and evening (sometimes late night) edition on weekdays, and in the early years of the franchise, sister station Studio 23 even aired a supplementary broadcast of the series.

Meanwhile, ‘Flordeliza’ is down to its final week. The comeback series of Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin has been on the air for eight months now, but despite its surprisingly long run, it failed to dampen the success of afternoon’s top drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

Now it’s up to another comebacking Kapamilya, JM de Guzman, to give ‘The Half-Sisters’ a much-needed challenge. After returning to the limelight with the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’, JM returns to the small screen via ‘All of Me’.

In ‘All of Me’, JM and veteran actor Albert Martinez will share the role of Manuel, whose near-death experience led to his transformation back to his younger self. Older Manuel, a widowed doctor, settled with his new love interest Lena (Yen Santos), and after transforming into his younger self and traveling into the future, was faced with seeking revenge on Lena’s husband Dr. Henry Nieves (Arron Villaflor), or moving on to a new life.

The upcoming series will also star Angel Aquino, Ina Raymundo, Neri Naig, Ana Capri, Micah Munoz, Jordan Herrera, Sue Ann Ramirez, and Akira Morishita. Dondon Santos will be the director.

One can only hope that JM will rekindle the success that he had on ‘Angelito: Batang Ama’. It won’t be easy though, given that ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been on fire in the afternoon for months now.

Still, it’s worth a challenge, and an opportunity to revive his showbiz career further. Good luck.

‘All of Me’ premieres this Monday, August 31, after ‘It’s Showtime’ on Kapamilya Gold.

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A Congested Schedule Coming Up for Kapamilya Gold

An extremely congested schedule looms on Kapamilya Gold next week.

From August 24-28, a total of six programs will be seen on Kapamilya Gold from 2:30 to 5:50 p.m. This is due to the hasty premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, an upcoming teleserye starring Julia Montes.

‘Doble Kara’ was supposed to replace ‘Flordeliza’ once the latter finishes on August 28. But due to the continuous success of GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’ (who are airing for over a year now), the former is now scheduled to air after ‘Flordeliza’ instead, after which it will air once ‘It’s Showtime’ concludes.

As a result, at least for next week, three local teleseryes will be bunched together on Kapamilya Gold for the first time in nearly two years. After which, though, the said block will revert back to airing two local dramas every weekday afternoon.

‘Doble Kara’ stars Julia Montes as twins Sarah and Kara, who were separated by their mother after Kara was diagnosed with leukemia. Both twins went on to enjoy different lives, but fate soon intervened that will eventually bring them back together.

The series also stars Edgar Allan Guzman, Anjo Damiles, Carmina Villarroel, Ariel Rivera, Mylene Dizon, Gloria Sevilla, John Lapus, Allen Dizon, and Alora Sasam, with a special appearance from Alicia Alonzo. Emmanuel Palo and Jon Villarin will serve as the series’ directors.

With ‘Doble Kara’ premiering next week, here is how Kapamilya Gold’s schedule will look like from August 24-28:

2:30 p.m. – Flordeliza

3:05 p.m. – Doble Kara

3:40 p.m. – Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita

4:15 p.m. – Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold

4:50 p.m. – News and Current Affairs Block (Mission Possible, My Puhunan, Red Alert, Sports U, Tapatan ni Tunying)

5:15 p.m. – Kapamilya Deal or No Deal

Waiting for ‘Flordeliza’ to end would have served ABS-CBN and ‘Doble Kara’ well. Instead, they are now forced to compensate for airing six programs in nearly 3 1/2 hours (commercial breaks included).

A risky programming decision is uncharacteristic of ABS-CBN’s well-planned programming schemes. But who knows? Perhaps beating ‘The Half-Sisters’ with a proven Julia Montes in ‘Doble Kara’ may be a blessing in disguise after all.

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