action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ang Probinsyano’s Latest Threat: PNP and DILG

It has been a mostly smooth-sailing run for ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’, until now.

Earlier this week, the Philippine National Police, led by Director General Oscar Albayalde, criticized ‘Ang Probinsyano’ for its supposed unfair portrayal of the police force. This led to the PNP withdrawing any further support to the long-running ABS-CBN action series.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also sided with the PNP’s opinion on the show and considered filing legal charges against the producers of ‘Ang Probinsyano’. In response, ABS-CBN issued this statement.

“FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” assures the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the characters, places, and incidents in the program are purely fictitious as stated in the disclaimer aired at the start of the show every night. There is no intention to smear the reputation of any organization or portray any person in a negative light.

The program has also portrayed its main character, Cardo, as a hardworking police officer dedicated to saving lives and serving his fellowmen. As in the past years, “FPJAP” has highlighted that good shall always triumph over evil and has shared valuable lessons and family values that have resonated with viewers.

— Kane Errol Choa

Head, Integrated Corporate Communications

Senator Grace Poe, Gabriela, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and the group Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI) sided with ABS-CBN over the matter and chided the PNP and DILG over its perceived censorship of the series. Meanwhile, DILG secretary Eduardo Año would seek a meeting with the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives regarding the matter.

As of November 16, 2018, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has aired 813 episodes and is the highest-rated primetime series in the country with an average of 40% in the ratings. But with this latest issue facing the show, it appears as though its dominance may soon taper.

At this point, viewers of the show can only hope against the inevitability of cancellation should the PNP and DILG file and perhaps win its case against ‘Ang Probinsyano’. If that happens, it may become a repeat of ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ getting banned from television under the Marcos regime, and it will be utter humiliation for media freedom.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Victor Magtanggol Completes Mission This Friday

“’Victor Magtanggol’ has completed its full intended run.

This is exactly what GMA Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Magno told Pep about the fate of ‘Victor Magtanggol’, the primetime action/fantasy series starring Alden Richards. The series will officially bow down after its 80th episode on Friday, but while ‘Victor Magtanggol’ had a decent run, it still failed to deliver.

‘Victor Magtanggol’ first premiered on July 30, 2018, but before the series even began, it was littered with controversy over its supposed similarities with Marvel’s Thor. Much like ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ failed to escape the wrath of the critics for allegedly plagiarizing another Marvel character.

In response, GMA executives defended the series saying that it was inspired from millenia-old Norse mythology. Still, a negative light had been cast on ‘Victor Magtanggol’, no matter what the executives say.

As expected, GMA placed ‘Victor Magtanggol’ opposite ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the results did not look good for the former from the get-go. Much like the previous nine opponents that took on ‘Ang Probinsyano’, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ fell victim to Cardo Dalisay’s (Coco Martin) onslaught, losing by around 30% in most of its episodes.

Not even the supposed star power of Alden Richards helped ‘Victor Magtanggol’. In many ways, the series seemed to have taken a hit in Alden’s popularity, and it did not help that it went up against Coco Martin, by far the most popular star in primetime right now.

In Alden’s defense, he was still satisfied with how ‘Victor Magtanggol’ turned out. Not even its shortcomings prevented Alden from being thankful to the producers for giving him a project that expands his range of skill and physical will.

Still, it would have helped Alden if ‘Victor Magtanggol’ enjoyed a few wins. But regardless, it was worth a try.

On Friday, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ will take its last ride. Unfortunately for GMA, the series will only be remembered as yet another addition to ‘Ang Probinsyano”s list of victims.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

‘The Cure’ Fails Its Experiment To Subside FPJAP Supervirus

Nine times the fail.

‘The Cure’ was no match for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and it was not even close. The latter continued to dominate its timeslot with a near 30% ratings advantage over the former, and with Alden Richards’ ‘Victor Magtanggol’ waiting in the wings, how much longer can GMA take this humiliation?

More on this article on “Timow’s Turf”.

Timow's Turf

A CAT may have nine lives but GMA’s such a numerical attempt failed to beat down the unstoppable supervirus of Mother Ignacia (i.e. FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano).

By Friday (July 27), The Cure (dir. Mark A. Reyes) will close out with 65 episodes with, unsurprisingly, no signs of finale fanfare from social media handles.

Here is an except from From the Tube‘s on the series:

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn [Mercado]), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom [Rodriguez]), a clinical research associate in…

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The Cure: Ang Probinsyano’s Next Prey?

“No one can beat ‘Ang Probinsyano’!”, Kapamilya fans said.

Nearly three years and over 500 episodes since it began, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continues to be the king of primetime teleseryes. On most nights, the ABS-CBN action series scored at least 40% in the ratings, and has made mincemeat of eight different GMA teleseryes that tried to topple it.

Now comes a ninth different GMA series that will take on Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) every Monday to Friday starting tonight. And in typical GMA fashion, it will be led by two Kapuso veterans in Jennylyn Mercado and Tom Rodriguez.

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom), a clinical research associate in a pharmaceutical company, are living a happy life with their daughter Hope (Leanne Bautista), until Greg’s mother Agnes (Irma Adlawan) is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  Agnes is given an experimental drug, but her health got worse as she is infected with MVD.

That drug, in turn, was discovered by Dr. Evangeline Lazaro (Jaclyn Jose), who works in the same company as Greg. With MVD continuing to wreak havoc across the country, it is up to Charity and Greg to find the necessary cure and prevent the inevitable.

‘The Cure’ also stars Mark Herras, LJ Reyes, Jay Manalo, Ronnie Henares, Glenda Garcia, Diva Montelaba and Arra San Agustin, with a special participation from Ken Chan. It will be directed by Mark Reyes.

It can be recalled that ‘The Cure’ was originally announced as one of GMA’s upcoming projects for 2013, and it was supposed to be led by Alden Richards and Louise delos Reyes. However, the project was shelved and it took five years before GMA decided to revisit the series.

Looking ahead, ‘The Cure’ is either going to be an intriguing series or a recipe for disaster. Having to face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will entail a lot of hard work for ‘The Cure’, considering its predecessor ‘Sherlock Jr.’ failed miserably.

That said, GMA should go all-out in making ‘The Cure’ a worthier opponent for ‘Ang Probinsyano’. If this series goes around 25% in the ratings then it should boost its confidence, but if it goes below that then the ‘Curse of Cardo Dalisay’ is all too real for the network.

‘The Cure’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Another One Falls: Sherlock Jr. to End Friday Night

Make that eight.

The long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’ claims its latest victim as ‘Sherlock Jr.’ will air its final episode this Friday. And unlike the previous seven GMA series that took on ‘Ang Probinsyano’, this latest encounter became a mismatch right from the start.

First aired on January 29, 2018, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ was originally headlined by Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, with a special participation from Janine Gutierrez. Unfortunately, the series failed to match the standards of its predecessors due to questionable storytelling and poor viewership.

‘Sherlock Jr.’ averaged a paltry 17% in the Kantar ratings, which is nearly 30% less than ‘Ang Probinsyano”s typical numbers. While previous opponents were able to air for a longer period of time in spite of their inferior ratings, ‘Sherlock Jr.”s poorer-than-expected performance forced GMA to cut the series short.

It also didn’t help that Janine Gutierrez (as Irene) and Gabbi Garcia (as Lily) were killed off during the series’ run. The departure of Gabbi, in particular, came amid rumors of her transfer to ABS-CBN (which was later refuted).

When it was all said and done, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ will only have a total of 63 episodes. That number alone is the fewest for a series that took on ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on a regular basis (not counting ‘Poor Señorita’, ‘Little Nanay’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2 which faced other teleseryes besides ‘Ang Probinsyano’).

Suffice to say, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ was considered a tremendous failure for GMA. Facing ‘Ang Probinsyano’ proved to be an exercise in futility, especially with the former’s endless supply of star power compared to ‘Sherlock Jr.’

Its mediocre run was also an indication of GMA’s continued indifference towards its younger stars, especially when it comes to the shocking death of Gabbi Garcia’s character. To cut short a series due to poor ratings and to kill off a young lead star midway through is a clear way of saying how desperate GMA is in winning.

On Friday, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ will bid farewell. But for a series that ran so short, don’t expect a blooper reel or a congratulatory message to its viewers towards the end because GMA is not in a mood for ‘thank yous’.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

GMA Takes Another Shot at Ang Probinsyano with Sherlock Jr.

Seven have arrived, and seven have failed.

For nearly three years, GMA found no answers on how to solve ‘Ang Probinsyano’. Whether it is a remake of a telenovela (‘MariMar’), a pair of light-hearted dramas (‘Poor Señorita’, ‘Little Nanay’) or a series of fantasy and action programs (‘Encantadia’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Super Ma’am’), all of them were helpless to stop Cardo (Coco Martin) and his gang from total domination.

Now here comes an eighth entry in GMA’s plan to overcome ‘Ang Probinsyano’. ‘Sherlock Jr.’, the newest primetime series of the network, is a vastly different animal compared to the previous seven series, thanks in part to a pair of rising young stars in Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid.

In ‘Sherlock Jr.’, Ruru is Jack, a clever investigative reporter who does not back down from solving mysteries. Gabbi, on the other hand, is Lily, a jolly and bubbly veterinarian assistant who loves to join anything to make her famous.

Playing a special role in the series is Janine Gutierrez as Irene, Jack’s girlfriend and lifestyle reporter. A golden retriever named Serena will also join in as Irene’s companion and later on Jack’s partner.

‘Sherlock Jr.”s story will revolve around Jack and Irene’s relationship, which then took a new turn once Lily got involved. From then on, the series will take a look at how Lily became friends with Irene one night and then fell in love with Jack in the midst of the investigation surrounding them.

Also part of the ‘Sherlock Jr.’ cast are Ai-Ai delas Alas, Tonton Gutierrez, Andre Paras, Roi Vinzon, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Rochelle Barrameda, Matt Evans, Kate Valdez, Alyana Asistio, and Sofia Pablo. It will be directed by Rechie del Carmen.

Despite a younger lead cast in Janine Gutierrez and the GabRu love team, ‘Sherlock Jr.’ still has a long shot to overcome ‘Ang Probinsyano’. That said, it will take an epic miracle to at least come close to ‘Ang Probinsyano”s near-40% ratings, which as proven by the previous seven opponents it has had, is a daunting task indeed.

There is also a minor controversy surrounding the series’ title that was reminiscent of the ‘Alyas Robin Hood’-‘Arrow’ issue. But regardless of these odds and distractions, GMA should hope that ‘Sherlock Jr.’ will make its viewers happy and help advance the careers of Gabbi, Ruru and Janine.

‘Sherlock Jr.’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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