drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

With Impending Encantadia Requel, GMA Goes for Broke

It’s official: ‘Encantadia’ is returning to GMA.

The announcement was made last night during the evening newscast ’24 Oras’. Throughout the newscast, the upcoming ‘requel’ (portmanteau of reboot and prequel) revealed its main cast members, which are as follows:

  • Glaiza de Castro (as Sang’gre Pirena, originally portrayed by Sunshine Dizon)
  • Kylie Padilla (as Sang’gre Amihan, originally portrayed by Iza Calzado)
  • Gabbi Garcia (as Sang’gre Alena, originally portrayed by Karylle)
  • Sanya Lopez (as Sang’gre Danaya, originally portrayed by Diana Zubiri)
  • Ruru Madrid (as Ybarro/Ybrahim, originally portrayed by Dingdong Dantes)
  • Rocco Nacino (as Aquil, originally portrayed by Alfred Vargas)

They will be joined by Marian Rivera, who will play Dawn Zulueta’s original role as the Inang Reyna.

In addition, the press conference announced the names of the supporting cast members. They are:

  •  John Arcilla (as Hagorn)
  • Rochelle Pangilinan (as Agane)
  • Vaness del Moral (as Gurna)
  • Pancho Magno (as Hitano)
  • Christian Bautista (as Apitong)
  • Carlo Gonzales (as Muros)
  • Kate Valdez (as Mira)
  • Mikee Quintos (as Lira)
  • Klea Pineda (as Muyak)
  • Migo Adecer (as Anthony)
  • Solenn Heussaff (as Cassiopeia)

Mark Reyes will be the director of the new ‘Encantadia’, and he revealed that a few changes will be made on the ‘requel’ without sacrificing the main story of the original series. That said, expect a fresher and more modern ‘Encantadia’ for the new generation.

The original ‘Encantadia’ aired on GMA during the mid-2000s, and spawned two sequels in ‘Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’. A planned reboot of ‘Encantadia’ (titled ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’) was announced in 2010, but was never materialized.

When it first aired, ‘Encantadia’ became one of GMA’s highly-rated series, thanks in large part to the popularity of the fantaserye during that time. But the production of ‘Encantadia’ and its two sequels took its toll on GMA financially, and they have never recovered since.

With the Kapuso network in a crisis of confidence, what chances will they have with the ‘requel’ of ‘Encantadia’? And how will this series be able to thrive amidst a more conservative approach in teleserye production?

Only time will tell.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

StarStruck Finally Returns, But Problems Persist

The long-awaited return of ‘StarStruck’ is underway.

After a five-year absence, the original and most iconic reality talent search show on Philippine television is back with a new season and a new hope. A total of 35 hopefuls will have the chance of a lifetime to become a GMA star and an Ultimate Survivor.

But there are some problems that should concern the returning ‘StarStruck’.

GMA announced that ‘StarStruck’ would air weekdays at 5:50 p.m. starting today. The problem is that the timeslot is way too early for a reality show of this caliber, and based on recent trends, Filipino reality talent shows usually air in mid-to-late evenings to take advantage of bigger audiences.

In the first five seasons of ‘StarStruck’, GMA placed the show after the local teleseryes and before Koreanovelas on the network’s Telebabad block. At the time, it helped ‘StarStruck’ earn high ratings for the network, right in the midst of the Koreanovela and fantaserye fever.

Those seasons of ‘StarStruck’ also had a weekend edition (which also rated well), something that the new season won’t have (unless GMA changes its mind). But until then, the new ‘StarStruck’ will have to endure a different and more radical approach than in past seasons.

‘StarStruck’ will also have to worry about ‘Pasion de Amor’. The ABS-CBN drama series continues to stay hot in its timeslot, winning over its GMA counterparts on a consistent basis.

That said, GMA will have its hands full once ‘StarStruck’ comes in. ‘Pasion de Amor’ is a tough nut to crack for the Kapuso network, especially considering the single-digit failures of previous opponents ‘My Mother’s Secret’ and ‘Reply 1997’, thus GMA has to pull all the stops if ‘StarStruck’ wants to return to form.

It’s just too bad that they didn’t place the show against the continuously declining ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ (thank you ‘Legendary Women’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ for closing that timeslot). Had they placed ‘StarStruck’ against PBB (or earlier at best), the show would have fared better.

But as it stands, ‘StarStruck’ is in for a rude awakening. Without any options, GMA has no choice but to place the returning ‘StarStruck’ into a timeslot they’re not used to, which is a daunting challenge to this point.

Is ‘StarStruck’ worth the wait, or an immediate afterthought? We’ll see.

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