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Epic Fail: GMA Airs Teleseryes on SONA Day

It was mostly memorable State of the Nation Address for President Rodrigo Duterte.

The speech lasted a better part of two hours, nearly half of which deviated from the original script and contained some profanity. Most major and minor Philippine television and radio networks went all out to deliver the most comprehensive wall-to-wall coverage of the SONA.

Unfortunately, there is one network that failed to take the SONA seriously. Enter GMA Channel 7.

While most networks were busy dealing with Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, GMA simply stood pat and did virtually nothing. From 2:30 to 4:15 p.m., they aired afternoon teleseryes ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ on the day of the SONA, an uncharacteristic deviation from more recent years.

Consequentially, when the time to air the actual SONA arrived, ‘Haplos’ was cut short 15 minutes in. After that, Pia Arcangel, not Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco and Vicky Morales, was at the scene to present a somewhat brief pre-speech and post-speech report of the SONA.

If that is not enough for Felipe Gozon and company, it was sister station GMA News TV that actually picked up the slack. Channel 11’s coverage, which was anchored by Jessica Soho and Arnold Clavio, was a redemption of sorts for the network after their inability to air an extensive coverage of the SONA the past two years.

Overall, GMA’s decision to air teleseryes on SONA day came back to haunt them. The network’s programming organizers underestimated the SONA’s unpredictable nature, as evidenced by the fact that the SONA ended well before 6:30 p.m.

As a result of the SONA’s lengthy duration, Monday’s episode of ‘Haplos’ was left unfinished, and it remains to be seen if GMA will reair that very episode in full later today. Had they become aware of its unpredictability, they could have preempted all of their afternoon teleseryes and devote themselves to the SONA instead of leaving one of them incomplete.

In the end, GMA’s latest gaffe should be a harsh lesson for everyone involved. One can only hope that they will learn from this mistake and do the right thing come the 2018 State of the Nation Address.

Otherwise, expect more of the same jokes from critics and haters alike. That said, good luck GMA in correcting this failure.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Better Half’s Next Challenger: Haplos

Hot or cold is the description of ‘The Better Half’s ratings of late.

The ongoing ABS-CBN afternoon drama consistently won the battle against the soon-to-be short-lived series ‘D’Originals’ since moving to the late afternoon slot. Despite that, the show’s ratings have fluctuated between 11% and 15%.

Still, a win is a win, and ABS-CBN is somewhat pleased with the way ‘The Better Half’ has performed. Come this Monday, however, a new challenger awaits.

Enter ‘Haplos’, GMA’s latest offering on the Afternoon Prime block. This upcoming series will be headlined by Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno.

In ‘Haplos’, Sanya is Angela, a physical therapy undergraduate with a quiet and peaceful upbringing. She is in love with Gerald (Rocco), but unknown to her, she has a special gift that, when she is touched, can heal illnesses and emotional wounds.

Angela also caught the attention of Benedict (Pancho), a fitness instructor whose goal is to become a successful businessman with a trophy wife. But the biggest rival in her life turned out to be her half-sister Lucille (Thea), whose gift of darkness is used in an attempt to jeopardize Angela’s career and personal life.

‘Haplos’ also stars Patricia Javier, Emilio Garcia, Francine Prieto, Diva Montealba and Ms. Celia Rodriguez. The series will be directed by Gil Tejada Jr.

If the unpredictable ratings of ‘The Better Half’ is any indication, then GMA hopes that ‘Haplos’ will perform much better than ‘D’Originals’ did. However, a mere 11-12% or less in the ratings will not satisfy both the network and its viewers.

It will be interesting to see how the up-and-coming quartet of Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno will perform in a leading role. Going up against ‘The Better Half”s veteran quartet of Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, Denise Laurel and JC de Vera will be a challenge, but if ‘Haplos’ provides a serious challenge, then it should bode well for them.

‘Haplos’ airs weekdays after ‘Impostora’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Version of Impostora to Air This Monday on GMA

A new version of ‘Impostora’ awaits viewers of GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

The upcoming series is loosely based on the original ‘Impostora’ that aired on the Kapuso network back in 2007. In that particular series, Iza Calzado and Sunshine Dizon played dual roles (Iza as twins Lara and the deformed Sara, and Sunshine as the wicked cousin Nessa and a surgically repaired version of Sara).

In turn, that 2007 version was based on the 1994 movie ‘Sa Isang Sulok ng mga Pangarap’, starring Alice Dixson. In each case, the protagonist was portrayed as an ugly duckling that was transformed into a vengeful beauty through facial reconstruction surgery.

For the 2017 version of ‘Impostora’, Kris Bernal will breathe life into two different individuals. At first, Kris will play the ugly street vendor Nimfa, but through plastic surgery, she will be transformed into the beautiful and rich woman named Rosette who seeks to escape from her husband Homer, played by Rafael Rosell.

‘Impostora’ will also star Ryan Eigenmann, Assunta de Rossi, Elizabeth Oropesa, Aicelle Santos, Vaness del Moral, Rita Daniela, Leandro Baldemor, Sinon Loresca, Yuan Francisco, Dayara Shane, and James Blanco. The series will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Initially, GMA announced that ‘Impostora’ was to begin on June 19, replacing ‘Legally Blind’. But the latter’s last-minute extension and change of ending forced the network to move its premiere to July 3.

Now that its run is about to begin, ‘Impostora’ is sure to face a very serious challenge. ABS-CBN afternoon series ‘Pusong Ligaw’ has enjoyed ratings of 16-17% in more recent episodes, and ‘Impostora’ has a daunting task of closing in, if not surpassing the former’s marks.

Come this Monday, it will be interesting to see how playing two characters of differing personalities will elevate the career of Kris Bernal. ‘Impostora’ may be her most serious series yet, but it could also be the one that she needs to become relevant again.

‘Impostora’ airs weekdays after ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Legally Blind Concludes This Friday

So long, ‘Legally Blind’.

The finale of this tension-filled GMA Afternoon Prime drama will air tomorrow afternoon, 83 episodes after the story of blind lawyer Grace (Janine Gutierrez) began. But while its episode total is more than enough by typical teleserye standards, ‘Legally Blind’ proved to be anything but a success.

When ‘Legally Blind’ first premiered, it had to face stiff competition against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Better Half’, an equally dramatic series starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel. While the former earned some victories against the latter, on average, ‘The Better Half’ scored 15%, 2-3% better than ‘Legally Blind’.

On April 24, 2017, ABS-CBN premiered another kabitserye in ‘Pusong Ligaw’, which stars Beauty Gonzalez, Bianca King, Joem Bascon and Raymond Bagatsing. But instead of replacing ‘The Greatest Love’ in its vacated timeslot, the network decided to place ‘Pusong Ligaw’ opposite ‘Legally Blind’.

As it turned out, ‘Pusong Ligaw’ became even more dominant than ‘The Better Half’ was in its original timeslot. A new opponent spelled doom for ‘Legally Blind’, as ‘Pusong Ligaw”s 18% average ratings were 4-5% better than the former.

It also didn’t help that viewers who watch the surprisingly successful lead-in drama ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ failed to turn out in droves to support ‘Legally Blind’ on a majority of occasions. Such is the cruel fate for GMA’s teleseryes.

Still, for Janine Gutierrez, ‘Legally Blind’ turned out to be a much better outing for her than the short-lived series ‘Once Again’. Notwithstanding its shortcomings in the ratings, its 83-episode run was nothing to be ashamed of.

The finale of ‘Legally Blind’ should be a very gripping one. Now that Grace (Janine) has regained her sight, will justice finally prevail, or will she end up behind bars?

Viewers can only hope that this impending finale will make a lasting impression. This is ‘Legally Blind”s last chance to stand out, and they look to go out with a bang.

UPDATE: For some unknown reason, GMA extended ‘Legally Blind’ for another two weeks. Thus its finale will now be aired on Friday, June 30.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN’s Ika-6 na Utos Problem

It seems like ABS-CBN is having a problem with ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

Since late March, the GMA Afternoon Prime drama has earned an average rating of 17% per episode (via Kantar Media), a far cry from the unimpressive 11% average it enjoyed in its first month. Saturday episodes of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ (introduced April 1) were just as strong, scoring around 15%.

Much of the spike in popularity has something to do with a combination of factors, such as:

  1. Memorable scenes and interactions between the characters Georgia (Ryza Cenon), Emma (Sunshine Dizon) and Rome (Gabby Concepcion)
  2. Lack of interest in ‘It’s Showtime”s Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids
  3. ‘Eat Bulaga”s continued decline post-Kalyeserye

The stunning success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ left ABS-CBN dumbfounded and perplexed as to what happened. While they still rule most timeslots every day, it is against ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ that they are noticeably struggling at this point.

So why is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ giving ABS-CBN fits? Here are the three possible factors to look at.

It’s Showtime”s Long Running Time

‘It’s Showtime’, unlike ‘Eat Bulaga’, runs for over three hours six times a week (in contrast to ‘Eat Bulaga’ running 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday and three hours on Saturday). That said, a total of 18 hours per week can be totally draining for both the hosts and the audience.

Coupled with a recent streak of uninspiring pre-Tawag ng Tanghalan segments, and ‘It’s Showtime’ is left to lick their wounds amid the surge of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Cutting it to 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday may be the best way to remain efficient while maintaining its top-notch ratings.

Resistance to Change

In the past, ABS-CBN aired three teleseryes in the afternoon to counter GMA’s own set of three. Since reducing the amount to only two, the tables seem to have turned in the Kapamilya network’s favor, that is until ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ came along.

Sticking to what seems best might not be a good idea for ABS-CBN at this point. With a surplus of upcoming teleseryes in the pipeline, it is best for them to counter ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ with another teleserye (probably not a ‘kabitserye’) in hopes of reversing its momentum.

A New Trend: Saturday Teleseryes

Before ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, a typical Filipino teleserye only airs from Monday to Friday. That has changed since April 1, when GMA extended ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturday afternoons, in a move reminiscent of Latin American telenovelas.

The sudden move caught ABS-CBN off-guard, as ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ began to struggle against the surging ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Still, the extension is only four weeks old so anything can happen in the long run.

With ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ now a major dilemma for ABS-CBN, drastic changes should be in the offing. But unless they figure out a way to overcome this popular Kapuso drama, their overall dominance will become nothing more than a punchline.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

One Week In, A New Opponent for D’Originals

‘D’Originals’ faces a new challenge starting next week.

The recently-premiered GMA comedy-drama series got its baptism of fire when it aired opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘The Greatest Love’. Sadly, the debut week of ‘D’Originals’ coincided with the gripping final episodes of ‘The Greatest Love’, and as a result, the series did not have enough time to prove themselves against one of ABS-CBN’s top-raters.

As ‘D’Originals’ enters its second week, they find themselves with a different animal. In contrast to ‘The Greatest Love”s family and health-oriented storyline, this new Kapamilya series should be familiar to many critics and viewers alike.

Once again, ABS-CBN is producing a ‘kabitserye’ in the afternoon slot. Enter ‘Pusong Ligaw’.

The latest in a series of infidelity-laced dramas, ‘Pusong Ligaw’ will be led by Kapamilya stars Diego Loyzaga, Sofia Andres, Enzo Pineda, Beauty Gonzales, Bianca King, Joem Bascon and Raymund Bagatsing. The complicated story of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ is as follows:

  • Fashion designer Tessa (Beauty) and beauty queen Marga (Bianca) were best friends with big aspirations, until Marga betrays Tessa after sleeping with her boyfriend Caloy (Joem)
  • Tessa gives birth and raises her son Rafael until he is stolen by an unknown woman. She then meets Jaime (Raymund) whom he helped along with her struggles and they adopt a son named Rafa (Enz0)
  • Rafael was adopted by the Policarpio family and pursued his studies as Potpot (Diego). He met Vida (Sofia), Marga’s daughter who opted to pursue a career as a fashion designer like Tessa, by then known as Terry.

‘Pusong Ligaw’ will be under the production of Star Creatives. The series is directed by GB Sampedro, Elfren Vibar and Henry King Quitain.

If another afternoon ‘kabitserye’ in ‘The Better Half’ is not enough, now comes ‘Pusong Ligaw’ which should test the patience of viewers. While ABS-CBN has had plenty of success with these dramas, the impending premiere of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ may come to a point that they are taking this familiar storyline too far.

Then again, ‘D’Originals’ also borders within the ‘kabitserye’ genre so it’s still a matter of choosing between a serious drama and a more light-hearted one. In any case, good luck to the viewers with regards to their choices.

‘Pusong Ligaw’ airs weekdays after ‘The Better Half’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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