drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

LizQuen Letdown: Disappointing Bagani to End Run Friday

Fantasy remains one of ABS-CBN’s weakest points.

After all, the network is not used to creating big-budgeted fantasy dramas on a daily basis. Unlike rival GMA, they usually produce their teleseryes conservatively, letting the story become the emphasis and not on special effects or gaudy costumes.

But in the case of ‘Bagani’, they decided to be big spenders for once. Unfortunately, not even the power of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil can turn this costly series into a humongous draw.

Even before ‘Bagani’ premiered on March 5, 2018, the series became shrouded with controversy. Not only did it drew unfair comparisons to ‘Encantadia’, it also drew flak for its casting choices (Liza and co-star Matteo Guidicelli were part-Filipino) and its alleged misuse of the term ‘Bagani’.

Despite that, ‘Bagani’ came out strong from the start, earning ratings in the 30s during its first few months. By July, however, the series struggled to get to 30%, mainly because viewers grew tired of the plodding storyline and the fact that ‘Kambal Karibal’ became a strong threat.

Nevertheless, ‘Bagani’ continued to win its timeslot in spite of these difficulties. Still, the series’ unsatisfactory finish has left LizQuen fans with a bitter taste in their mouths; after all, they expected a lot more from this love team after the runaway success of ‘Forevermore’ and ‘Dolce Amore’.

Overall, ‘Bagani’ will wrap up with a total of 118 episodes to its credit. The reason why ABS-CBN decided to end the series now than to extend it further is for Liza Soberano can devote her energies to her first project (film or television) without Enrique Gil, which is ‘Darna’.

In the end, ‘Bagani’ became a total disappointment regardless of its performance. The story became a slow-developing one and the characters simply did not have enough progression to convince viewers.

It was one series that LizQuen fans would like to forget. No disrespect for them but for a big-time draw that is LizQuen, it was a letdown.

They can only hope that ‘Bagani’ will finish on a graceful note come this Friday. After that, move on and let bygones be bygones.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Despite Wins, Primetime Bida’s Second Slot On a Slump

The second slot of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida used to be as dominant as the first.

In a span of nearly two years, the second slot was given to either KathNiel, the love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, or LizQuen, the love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. The run began with the latter’s ‘Forevermore’, followed by the former’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and concluded with ‘Dolce Amore’, also of the latter.

These three dramas consistently earned 30% or better ratings during their respective runs. On some occasions, they also reached 40% or better, which is around 20% more than the opposing teleserye that GMA pits against.

But on August 29, the fortunes of Primetime Bida’s second slot began to change. That night marked the premiere of JaDine’s (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) ‘Till I Met You’, which was the first series not to star either KathNiel or LizQuen in the 8:45 slot since ‘Ikaw Lamang’ in 2014.

The said series entered the scene with high expectations, and considering the smashing success of both KathNiel and LizQuen, many looked forward to a similarly dominant performance from JaDine. However, despite beating GMA Koreanovela ‘Descendants of the Sun’ in the ratings, their average mark of 26% is a far cry from the teleseryes of KathNiel and LizQuen.

Three weeks later, ‘Till I Met You’ was demoted to the third slot, where JaDine has had success in the past. Its replacement ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ fared no better, earning only a 25% average rating as of September 20.

To make matters worse, the opposing GMA series began to close the gap. The final week of the Koreanovela ‘Descendants of the Sun’ averaged well over 22%, and the succeeding series ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, seemingly benefiting from the backlash that tagged them as an ‘Arrow’ copycat, earned an average of 21% through its first two episodes.

As victorious as ABS-CBN is, the recent slump in form for Primetime Bida’s second slot should give them a reason to worry. The fact is, people are getting tired of the repetitive formulas that the Kapamilya network use, and as such, have no motivation to continue watching their series.

Still, tagging the second slot of ‘Primetime Bida’ as ‘past its prime’ is premature. If ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ can somehow create some interesting and heart-wrenching scenes in future episodes, the dominant showing of the past could resurface sooner or later.

One can only hope that ABS-CBN pushes the right buttons in order to return to their past dominance. Otherwise, GMA could end up as the winner if this slump continues.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Struggling JaDine Demoted; Magpahanggang Wakas to Face Alyas Robin Hood

Two weeks in, and ‘Till I Met You’ is not living up to expectations.

Even though it is the third most-watched show in Kantar’s national ratings, ‘Till I Met You’ is only averaging 26% through its first eight episodes. This was a far cry from the consistent 30% or better marks enjoyed by KathNiel’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and LizQuen’s ‘Forevermore’ and ‘Dolce Amore’.

To make matters worse, the GMA Koreanovela ‘Descendants of the Sun’ closed the gap to within 3% as it airs its final few episodes. With the controversial series ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ nearing its premiere, it is clear that JaDine is in real trouble.

Thus, ABS-CBN decided to demote ‘Till I Met You’ to the third slot in hopes of giving JaDine less pressure to succeed. Though the duo is used to the slot during the time of ‘On the Wings of Love’, it is an entirely different story since the demotion clearly affected the morale of not only JaDine, but also their fans.

With the move of ‘Till I Met You’ to the third slot, it will now be a battle of two debuting series starting this Monday. Going toe-to-toe with ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will be ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, the new Kapamilya series starring Jericho Rosales, Arci Muñoz, and John Estrada.

In ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, Jericho (as Waldo) and Arci (as Aryann) will play two young lovers who were tightly connected to one another. However, Waldo was accused of a crime that was accidental, and after his release, he appeared to have been murdered by the brother of Aryann’s would-be rapist.

Soon after, Aryann moved on and found a new love interest in Tristan (John). But after realizing that Waldo is alive, a series of complicated events begin to take place between the three.

‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ will also star Gelli De Belen, Rita Avila, Danita Paner, Liza Lorena, Lito Pimentel, Justin Cuyugan, Marco Gumabao, Maika Rivera, and Jomari Angeles. It will be directed by FM Reyes.

It will be interesting to see how the unexpected move to the second slot will affect ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’. The fact that it is a mature and sexually-charged series may not be worth a shot, considering the recent tradition of the second slot that involves young love teams.

Then again, as proven by ‘Pasion de Amor’ when it was slotted to the early evening slot, it will not be a hindrance. Still, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ will have its hands full as they face the ever-motivated ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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LizQuen Returns via Dolce Amore

LizQuen is back, on the small screen that is.

The celebrated love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil has a new drama series coming up this Monday, as ABS-CBN launches ‘Dolce Amore’. The said series will take over the timeslot of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, who ironically replaced the LizQuen-starred ‘Forevermore’ nearly ten months earlier.

In ‘Dolce Amore’, Liza (as Serena) and Enrique (as Tenten) were raised without the guidance of their real parents. Serena grew up in Italy by her adoptive parents, while Tenten’s youth was spent in an orphanage.

Their worlds would soon collide once Serena landed in the Philippines. While searching for answers regarding her origins, she unexpectedly met Tenten, and the pair’s lovely adventures would soon take off.

Also joining the cast of ‘Dolce Amore’ are Matteo Guidicelli, Cherie Gil, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Edgar Mortiz, Rio Locsin, Kean Cipriano, Sunshine Cruz, Andrew E and Frenchie Dy. Mae Cruz Alviar and Cathy Garcia-Molina will direct the series.

Based on the love team’s success in ‘Forevermore’ and in the movies ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Everyday I Love You’, ‘Dolce Amore’ is expected to become a hit anew for ABS-CBN. This should pose a problem for its upcoming rival, GMA’s ‘That’s My Amboy’, which has struggled out of the gate since its first week.

But while the series is poised to continue the recent winning streak of other ABS-CBN dramas, it will also face a lot of scrutiny. Just last month, an open letter addressed to co-director Cathy Garcia-Molina accused her of cursing and disrespecting two ‘Forevermore’ cast members, a accusation she denied.

Expectations aside, ‘Dolce Amore’ should give the LizQuen tandem an opportunity to expand their repertoire as actors. After breaking out in ‘Forevermore’, a more experienced and mature Liza and Enrique awaits viewers come this Monday.

‘Dolce Amore’ premieres February 15 after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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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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Unable to Beat Kathniel and Pangako Sa ‘Yo, GMA Resorts to Its Old Reliables

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ took its toll on GMA once again.

Fifteen years after the original series took the then-Rainbow Network by surprise, the newly-revised version of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ again proved its lasting power in the era of social media. It showed that even with new actors, new technology and a tweaked script, the results will still be the same.

For rival ‘Let the Love Begin’, it was a total disappointment. GMA tried to concoct a new and promising love team with Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, but it never clicked with the viewers at all.

Whether it’s the ‘Forevermore’ duo of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, or ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the GabRu duo failed to match the chemistry and mass appeal of its rivals. And after 70 episodes by the end of Friday’s finale, their future as an on-screen duo is now in doubt.

Now GMA is going back to its old reliables in hopes of curtailing the momentum of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. Enter Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista of the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

In ‘Beautiful Strangers’, Heart and Lovi are billed as rivals, in contrast to their off-screen friendship. Heart plays the role of a kind-hearted plastic surgeon, while Lovi portrays the role of an interior designer with a dark past.

The two lead stars will be joined by Christopher de Leon, Benjamin Alves, Rocco Nacino, Dina Bonnevie, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Renz Valerio, Kier Legaspi, Dianne Medina, Djanin Cruz, Gab de Leon, Nar Cabico, Mariel Pamintuan and Lovely Rivero. ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Once ‘Beautiful Strangers’ premieres this Monday, it will be the second of three new dramas that GMA will introduce on the same day, as part of a month-long overhaul of Telebabad. But it remains to be seen if the new series will pose a more interesting challenge to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’.

One thing’s for sure: GMA still can’t make the most out of their younger talents and now resort to old-timers in hopes of gaining some relevance.

‘Beautiful Strangers’ airs starting August 10 at 8:30 p.m. after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad.

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