drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Homecoming for Jolina and Maxene That Further Hurts GMA

Jolina Magdangal returned to ABS-CBN after 12 years with GMA. Magdangal blossomed as a Kapamilya artist during her teen years. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN Official Facebook)

It only gets worse for GMA and its roster of artists.

Yesterday, ABS-CBN confirmed that homegrown star and former Kapuso talent Jolina Magdangal has rejoined the network for a reunion project with fellow ‘laking Kapamilya’ Marvin Agustin. Their project, ‘Flordeliza’, is expected to premiere on the first week of December as a late-morning romantic series.

This was after Magdangal teased a return to her original network back in July, when she visited the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

Magdangal blossomed under the watch of Star Magic’s Johnny Manahan, appearing in shows such as ‘Ang TV’, ‘Gimik’, ‘Labs Ko si Babe’ and ‘Arriba Arriba’, and in movies like ‘Hey Babe’, ‘Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?’ and ‘Gimik: The Reunion’. Her initial team-up with Marvin Agustin became highly popular among adoring fans.

But after departing ABS-CBN for GMA in 2002, Magdangal was gradually reduced to a mere bit player. While she was given major roles in shows like ‘I LUV NY’, ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Iglot’, she was increasingly upstaged by GMA’s own homegrown artists, particularly those who blossomed after ‘StarStruck’.

This was in contrast to another returning Kapamilya artist, who will be seen in an upcoming project late this year.

For Maxene Magalona, a return to ABS-CBN opened a new opportunity. After all, while she began her career as an ‘Ang TV’ kid, it was on GMA where her career truly blossomed, beginning with the long-running sitcom ‘Daddy Di Do Du’.

Maxene later proved her worth as a villain in various Kapuso teleseryes, particularly in the afternoon block. Her last project with GMA was ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’, which aired for much of last year.

Her recent guestings on shows like ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘The Singing Bee’ were simply a hint of things to come, though she has yet to specify which project she will work on.

The departures of both Magdangal and Magalona proved to be another blow on the part of GMA’s artist roster. For a network who’s becoming increasingly overdependent on its older but still serviceable stars, this is a bitter pill to swallow, considering the lack of development among its younger artists.

That said, expect more of GMA’s disgruntled stars to leave and find opportunities in other networks. And for the leadership group in both the entertainment and talent divisions, it is time for a change, all in hopes of regaining lost credibility among loyal viewers.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, movies, music, Philippines, television

The Decline of the GMA Artist Center

Aljur Abrenica and other GMA Artist Center talents have seen their careers take a dip in recent years, owing to the problems that surround the GMAAC. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

Low ratings, financial struggles, and futile programming changes. These attributes have become the standard of the GMA Network in recent years.

And the GMA Artist Center is sharing a part of the blame.

While the Artist Center has been known for making stars out of Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes, Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo and others, they also had a fair share of missteps along the way. Missed opportunities, underdeveloped and disgruntled talents, and even poor acquisitions have played a role in the GMAAC’s recent history.

For instance, Jolina Magdangal’s recent visit to ABS-CBN has hinted reports of a possible return to the network. Once one of the most promising talents to come out of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic, her career gradually went downhill after moving to GMA in 2002.

The Artist Center also acquired other former Star Magic talents such as Heart Evangelista, Christian Bautista, Michelle Madrigal and Claudine Barretto. But while Madrigal became a full-fledged star with GMA, the same cannot be said of the careers of Evangelista and Barretto, who were on the decline by the time they signed with the GMAAC. This despite the likes of Tom Rodriguez receiving a career boost with GMA after lingering under Star Magic.

On the contrary, several former GMAAC artists blossomed under Mr. M’s watch. For example, Cristine Reyes, Jake Cuenca, Coco Martin, Paulo Avelino, and more recently Ellen Adarna were considered raw and underdeveloped talents on GMA, but upon transferring to ABS-CBN, their careers were given a new lease on life.

Even several established former GMAAC stars managed to maintain a high profile after moving to ABS-CBN. Angel Locsin, formerly the lead star of ‘Darna’, ‘Mulawin’ and other fantaseryes, gave a good account of herself with a critically-acclaimed performance on ‘The Legal Wife’. Ditto recent Kapuso-to-Kapamilya transferee Iza Calzado, who currently play the lead role in ‘Hawak Kamay’ after starring in several GMA series such as ‘Encantadia’.

If GMA wants to get back on track, look no further than the GMA Artist Center. Since Ida Henares resigned as head of the GMAAC in 2012, the agency is currently run by various personnel, neither of which share the multi-faceted vision and mission of Johnny Manahan’s Star Magic. The GMAAC clearly needs a multi-purpose leader, not a by-committee leadership group with clashing personalities, in order to develop and manage talents well.

In the end, much of GMA’s fortunes will begin and end with the GMA Artist Center. The success and failure of the network depends on how the GMAAC manages their talents. But right now, the GMAAC is a mess, and its sudden and gradual decline mirrors that of GMA’s. Time to fix a wrecked system, otherwise things will only get worse.

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