drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Before Ang Probinsyano: A Look Back at Nathaniel

It had been over three years since a teleserye not named ‘Ang Probinsyano’ aired after ‘TV Patrol’.

So many dramas have aired on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida during that span, including a combined seven teleseryes that starred the Big Three love teams in KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine. But at the end of the day, there was still one constant, and that was the Coco Martin-starred action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

After all, the series will turn three on the final week of September and will be closing in on 800 episodes by October. But lost amid the hoopla and the longevity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was its long-forgotten predecessor ‘Nathaniel’, the last series to air on ABS-CBN’s 7:50 p.m. slot before Coco Martin and his entourage took over.

‘Nathaniel’ starred Marco Masa in the title role, and his parents were played by Gerald Anderson and Shaina Magdayao. The supporting cast of ‘Nathaniel’ also included Isabelle Daza in her debut project with ABS-CBN.

The series ran from April 20 to September 25, 2015 and aired a total of 115 episodes. Not only that, ‘Nathaniel’ dominated the ratings game as it won past ‘Pari Ko’y’ and the 2015 remake of ‘MariMar’ in its timeslot.

So where are the series’ stars now? ‘Nathaniel”s lead protagonist Marco Masa has not had a major project since then but he did host ‘Team Yey’ for a short time and recently appeared on the second season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’.

Shaina Magdayao is currently part of the Kapamilya afternoon series ‘Asintado’. And as for Gerald Anderson, he was recently seen on ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with former on-screen partner Kim Chiu and is now playing semi-pro basketball with the MPBL’s Marikina Shoemakers.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ reaching high episode levels not seen since the original ‘Mara Clara’ in the 1990s, it is easy to forget that it succeeded one of ABS-CBN’s most popular family-oriented dramas. That said, revisiting a gem like ‘Nathaniel’ will help viewers look back at a time when child stars used to rock Primetime Bida’s leadoff slot.

All episodes of ‘Nathaniel’ are currently available on iWant TV.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin to End Friday

The Kimerald reunion tour will come to an end this week.

On Friday, January 26, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will air its 195th and final episode. The series, which starred Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia, was first aired on May 1, 2017.

In many ways, the series was not a disappointment ratings-wise. But for the more knowledgeable viewers, the serious tone of ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ may have turned them off a bit considering that ABS-CBN reluctantly placed the series to the late morning timeslot.

When ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ was first announced during one of ABS-CBN’s trade fairs, many thought the series would be assigned to Primetime Bida. After all, Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson were highly accomplished primetime stars with many top-rating series to their credit.

However, ABS-CBN decided to take ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ to the late-morning slot that is normally assigned to more light-hearted or inspirational series (see ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ and ‘Ningning’). At this point they didn’t have a choice since Kapamilya Gold and Primetime Bida were fully loaded and they fear that postponing the series’ premiere could affect its ratings.

Nevertheless, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ became a hit in the ratings game, mainly due to inferior competition put up by GMA Network blocktimer TAPE Inc. During the first half of its run, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ was pitted against the coming-of-age drama ‘TROPS’, and after that they faced the talk show ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

Overall, even with all the obstacles thrown against it, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ still managed to enjoy a great run. It was a series that is as compelling as it comes, with the premise of three triathletes entangled in a love triangle while competing in a run of their lives.

As ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ nears its conclusion, one can only hope that these last few episodes will be as explosive as it can get. A very interesting ending awaits, so good luck with that.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Struggling Kapamilya Gold Needs a Boost

Thanks to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ and succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’, GMA Afternoon Prime suddenly looked imposingly strong against ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The struggle is indeed real.

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block has hit a rough patch of late. In the last several weeks, teleseryes ‘Pusong Ligaw’, ‘The Better Half’ and its replacement ‘The Promise of Forever’ scored fewer ratings than GMA Afternoon Prime counterparts ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’.

Although the three series did have a few winning moments, it was clear that the momentum is now on GMA’s side. ABS-CBN may be the better network overall, but their issues in the afternoon slots are causing plenty of concerns.

One reason why GMA suddenly became winnable in the afternoon is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, the popular yet at times campy drama series starring Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion. Since March, the series earned ratings of 15 to 18%, good enough to give ‘It’s Showtime’ plenty of fits.

In a previous article, From the Tube discussed how ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ was able to win the hearts of viewers while at the same time exposes ABS-CBN’s weaknesses in the afternoon slots. Although ‘It’s Showtime’ recently countered by replacing ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ with ‘Miss Q&A’ as the noontime show’s final segment, it still had a hard time cracking ‘Ika-6 na Utos” armor.

The success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ has since spread like wildfire to the two succeeding GMA Afternoon Prime series. From late August onwards, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ earned better ratings than ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, and even though the latter was then replaced by ‘The Promise of Forever’, the results were mostly the same.

If ABS-CBN wants to restore order within Kapamilya Gold, drastic measures must be implemented. Going back to a three-teleserye setup is what the network desperately needs at this point, but in order to do that, they need to make some sacrifices.

For one, they must convince ‘It’s Showtime’ to either cut a portion of their airtime or return to the pre-noontime slot. Regarding the third teleserye, a possible option for that would be ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’, which despite earning good ratings in the pre-noontime slot, has a more serious storyline than its predecessors and is better equipped for the afternoon slot.

Would it be better to see Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia go up against Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion? Perhaps, but given ABS-CBN’s pre-noontime dominance, that potential matchup between ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ and ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will only be just that, a fantasy.

Still, the sudden change of fortune on Kapamilya Gold should give the ABS-CBN brass some sense of urgency. After all, despite their success, there are always holes with which the opponent will take advantage of, and ABS-CBN should be aware of that.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kimerald’s Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin Relegated to Late Mornings

Seems like the reunited Kimerald will have to pay their dues in the late mornings.

Once a successful duo on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, the tandem of Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson will now take their act to the 11:30 a.m. slot with a new series that centers around the world of triathlon. This new series is called ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

Starring alongside another tandem in Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ centers around childhood friends Bianca (Kim) and Gabriel (Gerald), both of whom aspire to become successful triathletes in order to support their families.

Along the way, the duo encounter some obstacles that will test their love for each other. ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will feature the following storylines:

  • Bianca distances herself from Gabriel in hopes of saving her father’s life
  • After a long period of separation, Bianca and Gabriel met anew in a triathlon event headlined by Carlos (Jake), a top triathlete in the country
  • Carlos hires Bianca as an endorser of Tigershark, then falls in love with her to the dismay of his ex-girlfriend Isabelle (Coleen)
  • Carlos and Gabriel become archrivals in both triathlon and in Bianca’s heart, but some secrets from the past soon threaten their lives

‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will also star Gina Pareño, Bing Loyzaga, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Michael De Mesa, Daniel Fernando, Dante Rivero, Nicco Manalo, Ivan Carapiet, Andrea Brillantes, and Grae Fernandez. The series will be directed by Dan Villegas and Onat Diaz.

Unlike previous romantic late-morning series in ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ and ‘Be My Lady’, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will have a more serious tone that is uncharacteristic for the slot. The storyline would have been a perfect fit for primetime, but with no slots available at the moment, ABS-CBN has no choice but to place this series before noontime.

Still, considering the past success of the Kapamilya network at the said slot, ratings should not be a problem for ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’. That said, the network only hope to see the viewers fall in love with this pensive drama.

‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s PrimeTanghali.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, religion, television

More Pressure for ‘Pari Koy’ With ‘Nathaniel’ Debut

So far, not so good for ‘Pari Koy’ as far as performance goes. They now await a new challenger in ‘Nathaniel’. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The first six weeks of ‘Pari Koy’ proved to be a dud for GMA.

The Dingdong Dantes-led series seldom hit the 20% mark in the Kantar ratings, compared to the recently concluded ‘Dream Dad”s 30% or better numbers. While it did manage to break in decent numbers in AGB Nielsen, there is no denying that Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo were a better hit with the masses than GMA’s so-called ‘Primetime King’.

And as they begin week seven of their run, an even more imposing challenge await the cast of ‘Pari Koy’.

Enter ‘Nathaniel’, the newest ABS-CBN teleserye that debuts later tonight. The series will be led by Gerald Anderson, Shaina Magdayao, and the latest Kapamilya child discovery, Marco Masa.

‘Nathaniel”s plot will feature the titular angel who was sent back to earth in order to restore man’s belief in God and remind people of the goodness that can be found in their hearts. The series is the latest in a line of divine-centric teleseryes produced by ABS-CBN and Dreamscape Entertainment, makers of classics such as ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’ and ‘Honesto’.

Joining ‘Nathaniel’ in his quest for faith and devotion to mankind are Pokwang, Isabelle Daza, Benjie Paras, Jayson Gainza, Ogie Diaz, Sharlene San Pedro, Jairus Aquino, Yesha Camile, David Chua, Young JV, Fourth and Fifth Pagotan, and Coney Reyes. The series will be directed by Darnel Joy Villaflor and Francis Pasion.

Based on ABS-CBN’s track record of creating successful teleseryes with themes of inspiration and faith, it will be a very tough task for ‘Pari Koy’ to overcome ‘Nathaniel’. Not even the entry of Carla Abellana to the series as a supporting character will help matters.

If their inability to make a dent on ‘Dream Dad’ is not enough, what more if an untested child star in Marco Masa gives a veteran in Dingdong Dantes a run for his money? This is definitely one dilemma that GMA has to solve in facing ABS-CBN’s newest child star.

‘Nathaniel’ premieres later tonight after ‘TV Patrol’. As for ‘Pari Koy’, well, good luck in facing this new opponent.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Be Careful’ Departs, ‘Give Love on Christmas’ Premieres

So long, Maya and Sir Chief.

After over two years, the ABS-CBN kiligserye ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ finally took a bow earlier today. The series finale featured a scene in Vigan where Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) and Sir Chief (Richard Yap) reminisced the good times of their relationship, followed by Maya’s surprise 30th birthday and live farewell special.

Thus, for the first time since July 9, 2012, a new program will enter the fray in the pre-noontime slot.

Over the next six weeks, ABS-CBN will air three different stories as part of its ‘Give Love on Christmas’ specials. The first of these stories will run from December 1 to December 12, preceding ‘It’s Showtime’.

‘The Gift Giver’ will be headlined by veteran actor Eddie Garcia, with supporting roles from Aiko Melendez, Dimples Romana, Carlo Aquino, Louise Abuel, Gerald Madrid and Nadine Samonte. Alicia Alonzo will appear in a special role.

In ‘The Gift Giver’, Garcia will play Ernest, whose hope in life was to work hard and sacrifice just to have a complete and joyful family. But the death of his wife Laura (Alonzo) soon took its toll on the relationship between himself and his children, and now Ernest will try to renew ties with the rest of his family just in time for Christmas.

In addition to ‘The Gift Giver’, two other stories will be seen in the ‘Give Love on Christmas’ specials: ‘The Gift of Life’, starring Gerald Anderson and Maja Salvador, and ‘Exchange Gift’, starring Paulo Avelino and KC Concepcion. The two stories will be aired on a still-yet-to-be-determined date.

On the verge of once again earning the tag of ‘Philippines’ No. 1 station’, ABS-CBN rewarded its loyal viewers with an early Christmas bonus. ‘Give Love on Christmas’ will be the last ABS-CBN offering of the year, and it should provide a fitting conclusion to another banner year for the Mother Ignacia-based network.

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