drama, entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, television

Has Time Ran Out on Wish Ko Lang?

‘Wish Ko Lang”s transformation from a public service program to a drama anthology has not worked well for GMA. Promotional posters such as this found on ‘Wish Ko Lang”s social media accounts made it clear that the show no longer serves a purpose. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

‘Wish Ko Lang”s magic is slowly disappearing.

Once known for granting wishes to ordinary citizens, it has now turned into a drama anthology that seems more appropriate to rival ABS-CBN’s ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’. The purpose of ‘Wish Ko Lang’ has now turned into a joke, where the title of the show is no longer applicable to its new format.

It has been that way for nearly a year now, where host Vicky Morales has turned herself from the face of the show into a background character, overshadowed by the Kapuso actors that the show assigns. Even ‘Karelasyon’, a similarly themed drama anthology, is now outplaying ‘Wish Ko Lang’ in the ratings.

For a show that has been on the air for over a decade, this is definitely insulting to the loyal audiences who have watched ‘Wish Ko Lang’ all these years. It hurts, isn’t it?

When ‘Wish Ko Lang’ debuted 13 years ago, it served its purpose well, granting wishes to ordinary citizens who sent letters of hopes and aspirations. For years, the show was a ratings winner, beating similarly themed programs such as ‘Willingly Yours’, ‘Simpleng Hiling’ and ‘Nagmamahal, Kapamilya’ (the latter show was hosted by ‘Wish Ko Lang”s original host Bernadette Sembrano).

Then came ‘Failon Ngayon’, whose more informative and engaging brand of public service began to upstage ‘Wish Ko Lang’. The show experienced a decline soon after, moving into three different timeslots which never worked out for them.

In August 2014, ‘Wish Ko Lang’ moved to its current timeslot, and soon after, it reformatted from a public service program to a drama anthology in order to compete against the newly-revived ‘Ipaglaban Mo’. It became clear, however, that older fans disapproved of the show’s transformation, and as a result, ratings continued to suffer.

Now GMA has to make a decision. Since ‘Karelasyon’ and ‘Wish Ko Lang’ offer a similar format, they need to choose between the two of them, and based on ‘Karelasyon”s impressive ratings, it may be better for GMA to finally let go of ‘Wish Ko Lang’ and create a legit public service program without the unnecessary dramatizations.

If they choose not to let go, they have to pick between these two options. Either they bring the old format back and move to a new timeslot, or rebrand the program if they intend to keep the new format.

It’s up to GMA to decide. They can only hope that this decision on the fate of ‘Wish Ko Lang’ is for the best interest of the network and its viewers, and will help GMA in the long run.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Carla Abellana Renews Ties with GMA

A new contract with GMA and a new teleserye await Carla Abellana. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

Amid the declining population of GMA’s roster of artists, there are some who stayed loyal with the network despite its declining fortunes.

One such talent was Carla Abellana, who opted to remain a Kapuso for another three years. An upcoming teleserye produced by GMA News and Public Affairs awaits her, in addition to existing roles in ‘Ismol Family’ and recurring appearances in ‘Sunday All-Stars’.

Best known of late for her team-ups with Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo in ‘My Husband’s Lover’, Carla first earned a major role in 2009’s ‘Rosalinda’, alongside former on-screen partner Geoff Eigenmann. While more famous for dramatic roles, she did dabble into comedy via ‘Bubble Gang’, and is currently part of ‘Ismol Family’ alongside Ryan Agoncillo.

Now GMA must hope that Carla remains a valuable asset moving forward. GMA cannot afford any losses at this point, so keeping Carla and other artists, along with improving the aspect of talent development, is a must.

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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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