entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Studio 7: GMA’s Primetime Version of ASAP

Call it a ‘new era’ for GMA.

On Sunday, GMA will embrace this culture change with a new variety show called ‘Studio 7’. The program, which airs every Sunday night, will highlight the network’s young but oftentimes underappreciated talent, plus some newcomers to go along with it.

‘Studio 7”s first two episodes will feature performances from the likes of Christian Bautista, Julie Anne San Jose, Mark Bautista, Gabbi Garcia, Rayver Cruz, Kyline Alcantara, Migo Adecer, Mikee Quintos, Kate Valdez, and twins Mavy and Cassy Legaspi. There will also be a comedic skit from DonEkla, composed of comedians Donita Nose and Tekla.

In addition, the finalists of ‘The Clash’, led by grand winner Golden Cañedo, will make an appearance. Golden will be joined on stage by Jong Madaliday, Garrett Bolden, Josh Adornado and Mirriam Manalo.

‘Studio 7’ will also feature interactive segments such as Trending (stories of viral, heartwarming and interesting personalities online), G na G (a challenge where the hosts must perform a task given by netizens), and On the Spot (a vocal showdown between the network’s top singers). And finally, audiences are encouraged to join in alongside the performers and interact during their performances.

For starters, GMA is once again working on a brand new variety show. However, there is one glaring omission on ‘Studio 7’ that piqued the audience’s interest.

When ‘Studio 7’ was announced to the public two weeks ago, Regine Velasquez was conspicuously absent. The erstwhile host of ‘The Clash’ officially became a free agent as soon as the show ended, but at the moment she remains undecided on her future plans.

It is also worth noting that ‘Studio 7’ will air on primetime every Sunday, in contrast to past GMA Sunday variety shows. Perhaps the network’s inability to defeat ‘ASAP’ (and subsequent yielding of the noontime slot to APT Entertainment for ‘Sunday PinaSaya’) that became the impetus for ‘Studio 7”s move to primetime.

Still, ‘Studio 7’ will have its hands full against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Kids’ Choice’ in its timeslot. While the latter has not been a favorite of viewers from the start, its decent ratings will still pose a test to ‘Studio 7”s resolve.

That said, getting a few victories should give ‘Studio 7’ and GMA’s young talent a sense of vindication. For now, though, the show is slated to air only 14 episodes, and if executives are satisfied perhaps it might run a little while longer.

‘Studio 7’ airs every Sunday after ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

More of the Same: Pamilya Roces Premieres Monday

GMA’s status quo remains the same.

The third slot of GMA Telebabad remains the domain of light-hearted series that could either laugh or bore the audience. And the new series ‘Pamilya Roces’ is no exception.

Let’s begin with a little preview of the series courtesy of GMA’s Public Relations team.

On the outside, ‘Pamilya Roces’ is perfectly happy and whole. They have wealth, power, and they own the biggest jewelry empire in the country. But that is just an illusion because the truth is that the patriarch has not just one, not two, but three families.

And when he, unfortunately, gets a heart attack, each of his families rush to his side. With this revelation, things get complicated. Suddenly, three women and five sisters find their lives outrageously and well, hilariously, intertwined.

The series showcases different perspectives of a family that viewers will find amusing, but more importantly, witness relatable scenes that will tug at their heartstrings and endear them to its characters all throughout.

‘Pamilya Roces’ is led by Roi Vinzon as Rodolfo, the family patriarch who is the root cause of their drama. He has three families in all, and they are as follows.

Rodolfo’s legal family includes wife Natalia (Gloria Diaz), sister-in-law Camilla (Snooky Serna), and daughters Crystal (Carla Abellana) and Jade (Gabbi Garcia). Crystal is married to Hugo (Rocco Nacino) while Camilla has an adopted son in Gareth (Andre Paras).

His second family is composed of Violet (Elizabeth Oropesa) and her daughter Amber (Sophie Albert). Amber was the result of Violet and Rodolfo’s one-night stand and will later have a secret affair with Crystal’s husband Hugo.

Rodolfo also has a third family, led by Lily (Ana Roces), whom he considers his true love. Lily bears two daughters in Amethyst (Shaira Diaz) and Pearl (Jasmine Curtis-Smith), the latter of which falls in love with Gareth.

Three other individuals will also play key roles in Rodolfo’s life. Ralph (Christian Bautista) is the family lawyer and a secret admirer of Crystal; Donnatela (Mika dela Cruz) is Jade’s best friend; and Gil (Manolo Pedrosa) is a budding photographer who gets rejected by Jade.

Talk about an unpredictable story. In essence, ‘Pamilya Roces’ is one light-hearted yet complex series that should border towards the laughable.

Still, it remains to be seen if it will able to overcome the equally unpredictable ‘Halik’. That said, ‘Pamilya Roces’ should have a fighting chance and if things go their way, they might as well steal a few wins from the opponent.

Directed by Joel Lamangan, ‘Pamilya Roces’ airs weeknights after ‘Onanay’ 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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digital television, entertainment, lifestyle, news, online, Philippines, television, video on demand, VOD service

At Last: GMA Enters Digital Territory with Online-Exclusive Shows

Better late than never.

After witnessing rivals ABS-CBN and TV5 establish their online presence with a slew of internet-exclusive programs the past few years, GMA finally decided to join in the fun by penetrating the digital world. The start of 2018 saw GMA launch three online-exclusive shows as part of its GMA ONE series.

They are:

Adulting 

Hosted by Atom Araullo, this program teaches young viewers some tips and advice in making adult life meaningful. It also takes a look at Atom’s daily life where he deals with the various trials and tribulations of being an adult.

#Goals

Hosted by Gabbi Garcia, this program tackles various fashion and lifestyle-related topics that young viewers can relate to. It will also look into Gabbi’s everyday life as she goes deep into her kikay kit and explore her personal goals, beliefs, desires and tastes.

Fact or Fake

Hosted by Joseph Morong, this program divulges deep into the news and determines whether or not it is factual or fictitious. Joseph’s role as a news reporter will come in handy as he sorts out which news is true and which is not.

The three online-exclusive shows were first streamed on the official GMA Network website and on GMA’s official YouTube channel last Monday. It will stream every Monday at 5:00 p.m. thereafter.

About the only thing missing from the launch of the three programs is GMA’s own online video-on-demand service similar to ABS-CBN’s iWant TV platform. Although the Kapuso network joined forces with YouTube to bring in full episodes of classic teleseryes from years past, it was still not enough to satisfy its need to create its own website/app that would house most, if not all of its programs both on TV and online.

Still, step one of perhaps an even bigger objective for GMA is worth a start. Now if they can start looking towards a bigger picture in order to be at par with what ABS-CBN is doing.

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action, cable TV, concerts, drama, entertainment, fantasy, hits, music, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, reality show, songs, specials, suspense, talent show, talk show, television, variety show

FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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