drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Brings Back Kapuso Primetime Cinema

Once again, GMA is making some radical changes to its Telebabad lineup.

Just recently, the network announced that they will bring back the transitional movie block ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. The re-premiere of the said movie block will take place on November 9, replacing the Koreanovela ‘Legendary Women’.

It can be recalled that GMA aired ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ two years ago, following the conclusions of ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’. GMA’s intent of airing ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ at the time was clear: to capitalize on low advertising revenue during the Christmas season and to give more time for the production of upcoming teleseryes.

As it turned out, the move backfired. Replacement dramas ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’ failed to bring the desired results, and GMA was left wondering why their ‘Kapuso ang Una’ battle cry did not work out.

This year, GMA opted for a more different approach. Instead of replacing the network’s teleseryes like they did two years ago, they decided to place ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ on the timeslot normally reserved for Koreanovelas.

One possible reason for the move is that GMA intended to air ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ in order for ‘Saksi’ to match up better with ‘Bandila’. The presence of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ has led to a later-than-expected airing for ‘Bandila’.

There is one problem, however. ABS-CBN has announced that a fifth teleserye (‘You’re My Home’) will air on Primetime Bida at the conclusion of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’, and as a result, a hopeless situation now awaits GMA and its embattled fanbase.

That said, GMA needs to realize that they need to concede defeat than continue their already lopsided rivalry with ABS-CBN. It is clear the both networks are headed into opposite directions, and with ABS-CBN already more dominant than ever, GMA knows that an overhaul is more than necessary at this point.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Shows, Same Result for GMA Telebabad

Both ‘Got to Believe’ and ‘The Legal Wife’ defeated ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’, while ‘Annaliza’ dismantled ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’. Ratings courtesy of Kantar.

This week GMA unveiled three new series in its Telebabad block: ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’, ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’. However, the end results remained the same.

Monday’s AGB Nielsen ratings showed that ‘Got to Believe’ registered a 28% rating in Metro Manila, and a 29.8% rating nationwide. ‘Carmela’ meanwhile only got 18.1% and 14.9% respectively. ABS-CBN’s own newcomer ‘The Legal Wife’ likewise defeated ‘Rhodora X’ with 23.9% and 21% figures compared to the latter’s 15.8% and 11%.

The same can be said in Kantar’s total ratings. Monday’s figures saw ‘Got to Believe’ beat ‘Carmela’ 29.8% to 14.4%, and ‘The Legal Wife’ overwhelm ‘Rhodora X’ 21% to 11%. ‘Got to Believe’ also finished as the top trending topic on Twitter, with ‘The Legal Wife’ a close second. Meanwhile, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Carmela’ also trended well on Twitter, a rarity for GMA’s drama series in recent years.

On the other hand, ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw”s debut failed to beat ‘Annaliza’ in its timeslot. The now long-running ABS-CBN series earned a 23.7% rating in Kantar compared to the former’s paltry 9.6% rating. Since debuting in May 2013, ‘Annaliza’ has defeated three other GMA drama series in ‘Home Sweet Home’, ‘Binoy Henyo’ and ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ in its 5:45 p.m. timeslot.

Based on these early figures, it looks like all three GMA drama series are on pace for another shorter-than-expected run, similar to what happened to ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’. Then again this is just the pilot week for each series, so it is still subject to change. But right now, it is a demolition job for ABS-CBN’s ‘Primetime Bida’ over its counterpart.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Marian Rivera Won’t Face Angel Locsin in Primetime

Instead of facing Angel Locsin, Marian Rivera will face Kathryn Bernardo as ‘Carmela’ debuts this Monday opposite ‘Got to Believe’.

GMA has announced the airing schedule for the upcoming series ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’. And as expected, Marian Rivera will not face Angel Locsin in the same timeslot, even as fans of both camps clamor for the two ex-Darna stars to clash at the same time.

‘Carmela’ will face ‘Got to Believe’ on its timeslot. The latter series, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, have been on a roll of late thanks to high ratings and social media returns, and the entry of ‘Carmela’ gives them the opportunity to battle another veteran star in Marian Rivera. Previously, ‘Got to Believe’ toppled the Dingdong Dantes-starrer ‘Genesis’, leading to its rather premature finish before the end of 2013.

On the other hand, Angel Locsin’s new teleserye ‘The Legal Wife’ will be up against Jennylyn Mercado’s series ‘Rhodora X’. In a lead-up to their upcoming primetime face-off, Mercado made it clear that she wanted no part in her ex-boyfriend Luis Manzano’s reconciliation with Locsin, and she wished them good luck in their romance. Mercado last appeared on the GMA Network via the reality competition series ‘Anak Ko Yan’, which once faced ‘Minute to Win It’ hosted by Luis Manzano. Meanwhile this is Locsin’s first teleserye since ‘Imortal’ in 2010, and during that span, she co-starred in the sitcom ‘Toda Max’ and made several movies.

In addition to ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’, GMA will roll out another teleserye in its ‘Telebabad’ block. ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’ will replace ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ in the sunset slot. The new teleserye, starring Kim Rodriguez and Kristoffer Martin, will be the latest in a series of attempts to topple the long-running ABS-CBN series ‘Annaliza’, which has defeated both ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ since debuting in May 2013. And like Julie Vega in the original series, Andrea Brillantes has been splendid in playing the titular character, leading to its consistently high ratings.

Even as GMA tries to counter ABS-CBN with their new primetime offerings, I expect another ratings beatdown from the Kapamilya network. Simply put, GMA cannot beat ABS-CBN anymore, and I have made it clear that the race has already been conceded.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Desperation vs. ABS-CBN’s Patience

Next week will see three teleseryes air their series premieres. GMA will unveil both ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’ to replace the interim movie block ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’, while ABS-CBN will roll out ‘The Legal Wife’ to replace ‘Maria Mercedes’.

As I have observed recently, GMA has become so desperate in rolling out their teleseryes. If you recall, both ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas’ finished their runs at the end of 2013, but because their upcoming teleseryes were still in the pre-production stage, GMA had no choice but to air Tagalized movies in the vacated timeslot. Had they finished both series on the week before ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’ begin their runs, it would have made the transition smoother. But as it turned out, both series ended rather prematurely and, as I wrote in my previous article, GMA seems to have conceded the primetime race to ABS-CBN, due to the fact that their teleseryes tend to enjoy shorter-than-expected runs.

On the other hand, ABS-CBN preaches patience with their teleseryes. Much of the patience has to do with the low turnover of programs compared to GMA, along with high ratings and social media impact. As a result, the high ratings on most Kapamilya telseryes translate to longer and more productive runs. ‘Juan dela Cruz’, for example, ran longer than the likes of ‘My Husband’s Lover’. And even before that, some ABS-CBN teleseryes have ran longer than GMA’s, with the original ‘Mara Clara’ and ‘May Bukas Pa’ even taking more than a year to finish.

There is no question that ABS-CBN is currently the No.1 television station in the country in terms of ratings. But let’s also consider the fact that GMA is falling behind its rival because of so many short series and overwhelming turnover of programs. If GMA can somehow reverse this trend, it will be a big help to their slumping confidence. But as of now, the Kapuso’s creative slump will continue to haunt them.

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drama, entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

GMA Telebabad Concedes to ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida

This past week ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’ officially aired their final episodes. However, with production still in the works for ‘Carmela’, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’, GMA Telebabad decided to fill in the void with ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’.

As it turned out, it was clear that GMA Telebabad is conceding to ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. The last few years saw Primetime Bida dominate Telebabad in the ratings, helped by hit teleseryes such as ‘Budoy’, ‘Walang Hanggan’, ‘Princess and I’, ‘Juan dela Cruz’ and current favorites ‘Honesto’, ‘Got to Believe’ and ‘Maria Mercedes’. ABS-CBN was also successful in marketing younger talents, something GMA could not afford to do.

In addition, due to mounting operational losses GMA began to adopt the TV5 way by airing more Tagalized foreign films. This was none more evident than in ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. But unlike the typical Tagalog-dubbed films on other blocks, KPC airs movies voiced by Kapuso talents, perhaps to add to their talent fees. To me, this movie block became a clear picture of GMA’s concession of defeat to ABS-CBN.

Despite that, ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ will only be a temporary showcase, as the aforementioned ‘Carmela’, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’ will debut in the coming weeks. But even as GMA unveils a new slogan called ‘Puso ang Una’ in hopes of regaining the top spot, I expect ABS-CBN to overwhelm GMA once again on primetime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

For GMA, Older is Not Better

Thanks to the success of ‘Honesto’, Raikko Mateo is now a certified ABS-CBN star. In contrast, GMA’s teleseryes rely too much on their 20-something veteran talents.

While ABS-CBN’s Star Magic continues to transform unknowns into stars, the same cannot be said of the GMA Artist Center. And a lot of it was due to the over-reliance of its veterans.

In recent years, GMA programs have been faring badly in the ratings due to the emergence of younger and untested talent from ABS-CBN’s Star Magic. The primetime slot, in particular, has seen a huge disparity between the two networks. While ABS-CBN took a huge risk in introducing five-year-old Raikko Mateo as ‘Honesto’, GMA continued to rely on aging but serviceable veterans in its teleseryes. The problem with GMA is that its recent teleseryes appear uninspiring and repetitive, and as a result, no viewer is interested in watching their programs.

GMA’s ‘Genesis’, for instance, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Rhian Ramos, who have a combined 22 years of Artist Center service. In contrast, ABS-CBN’s ‘Got to Believe’ tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla have only around 10 years of Star Magic service. The success of ABS-CBN’s young stars was thanks in large part to their initial training on the gag show ‘Goin’ Bulilit‘. In addition, ABS-CBN continues to tap new talent by way of reality programs, commercials and outside sources. With such a deep and youthful roster, ABS-CBN was able to thrive and not rely on one star alone.

On the contrary, most of GMA’s new talent came from influential showbiz families. Despite the fact that they also tap child talents in early episodes of their teleseryes, they have little training whatsoever to become stars, unlike ABS-CBN’s use of ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ to create stars out of Xyriel Manabat and Zaijan Jaranilla. And since the demise of ‘Starstruck’ three years earlier, GMA has not had a priority to use reality programs to discover new talent.

In short, GMA’s Artist Center is the one suffering. And without a program or two to emphasize its training of future stars, GMA will continue to experience a ratings letdown in the years to come.

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