action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Cain at Abel: Ang Probinsyano’s 11th Challenger

Coco Martin finds a familiar challenger yet again.

The last time Dingdong Dantes took on Coco Martin”s top-rating series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, he was unable to overcome said juggernaut. Dingdong’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ (season 2) only lasted a month before it was demoted to a later timeslot.

Now he teams up with Dennis Trillo in a new primetime series ‘Cain at Abel’. And in the lead-up to the series premiere, Dingdong himself conceded that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is in a different league altogether and his only objective for ‘Cain at Abel’ is to keep loyal Kapuso viewers happy and excited regardless of ratings performance.

From GMA’s Public Relations team:

“‘Cain at Abel’ is an action-family drama about two brothers, Daniel (Dingdong) and Miguel (Dennis), who grew up in two very different worlds. As children, they were separated by fate. Daniel was raised comfortably in the city by his father. Miguel, on the other hand, was taken by his mother who later changed his name to Elias. They relocated to a poor fishing village where they struggled to make ends meet.

Years later, Daniel and Miguel/Elias were drawn together by their mutual affections: the father who brought them apart, the mother they yearn for, and the woman they both love.”

Solenn Heussaff (Abigail) and Sanya Lopez (Margaret) will play the respective love interests of Daniel and Miguel/Elias. The rest of the cast includes Eddie Gutierrez, Chanda Romero, Dina Bonnevie, Ronnie Henares, Tommy Abuel, Bing Pimentel, Renz Fernandez, Ervic Vijandre, Marc Abaya, Carlo Gonzalez, Boy 2 Quizon, Pauline Mendoza, Vince Vandorpe, Shyr Valdez, Leandro Baldemor, and Euwenn Aleta.

For the first few episodes of ‘Cain at Abel’, Yasmien Kurdi, Diana Zubiri, Gio Alvarez, Rafael Rosell, David Remo, Seth dela Cruz, and Ashley Cabrera will appear as younger versions of the lead characters. It will be directed by Don Michael Perez, Toto Natividad, and Mark Reyes.

If Dingdong’s prognostication were to be believed, it is clear that defeating ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is out of the question. The long-running series, as Dingdong said, is ‘in a different league’ now and for ‘Cain at Abel’ the aim now is to just make Kapuso viewers entertained.

So much for the ‘rivalry’. Anyway, good luck to ‘Cain at Abel’ as it gets underway this Monday.

‘Cain at Abel’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko and Ika-5 Utos Falter Despite Swapping Timeslots

It’s just another blunder for the much-maligned GMA Afternoon Prime.

Despite a change in timeslots, the performance of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ did not change drastically. The series continues to falter in the ratings, with ‘Ika-5 Utos’ averaging only 12% compared to 17% for ‘Kadenang Ginto’.

Even ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’, the series that took over ‘Ika-5 Utos” previous timeslot, is underachieving as well. Its premiere episode last October 22 managed only an 11.2% rating compared to 16.7% for ‘It’s Showtime’.

‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko”s first foray into Saturday afternoons was somewhat respectable, as it came within 2.1% of ‘It’s Showtime”s rating last October 28. However, the following Saturday’s episode felt like a repeat of the weekday episodes performance-wise as ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ fell to 10.7% whereas ‘It’s Showtime’ rose to 18.1%.

So far, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ averages only 11% while ‘It’s Showtime’ scores at around 17%. To their credit, though, the ratings disparity between the weekday and Saturday episodes is not as drastic compared to its previous occupant ‘Ika-5 Utos’.

Still, it did not change the fact that GMA continues to wear its viewers down with a six-a-week teleserye. They tried it successfully with ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, but after that, it grew stale.

Let’s face it, pitting a teleserye against Vice Ganda and company is an exercise in futility. And considering how strong ‘It’s Showtime’ is right now, GMA is making themselves pay for this risk-or-reward move.

While it’s still too early to judge ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’, its poor start may have set the tone for yet another underachieving GMA Afternoon Prime drama. Unless it turns things around like what happened to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, GMA may as well cut short ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ if it continues that way.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Victor Magtanggol Completes Mission This Friday

“’Victor Magtanggol’ has completed its full intended run.

This is exactly what GMA Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Magno told Pep about the fate of ‘Victor Magtanggol’, the primetime action/fantasy series starring Alden Richards. The series will officially bow down after its 80th episode on Friday, but while ‘Victor Magtanggol’ had a decent run, it still failed to deliver.

‘Victor Magtanggol’ first premiered on July 30, 2018, but before the series even began, it was littered with controversy over its supposed similarities with Marvel’s Thor. Much like ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ failed to escape the wrath of the critics for allegedly plagiarizing another Marvel character.

In response, GMA executives defended the series saying that it was inspired from millenia-old Norse mythology. Still, a negative light had been cast on ‘Victor Magtanggol’, no matter what the executives say.

As expected, GMA placed ‘Victor Magtanggol’ opposite ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the results did not look good for the former from the get-go. Much like the previous nine opponents that took on ‘Ang Probinsyano’, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ fell victim to Cardo Dalisay’s (Coco Martin) onslaught, losing by around 30% in most of its episodes.

Not even the supposed star power of Alden Richards helped ‘Victor Magtanggol’. In many ways, the series seemed to have taken a hit in Alden’s popularity, and it did not help that it went up against Coco Martin, by far the most popular star in primetime right now.

In Alden’s defense, he was still satisfied with how ‘Victor Magtanggol’ turned out. Not even its shortcomings prevented Alden from being thankful to the producers for giving him a project that expands his range of skill and physical will.

Still, it would have helped Alden if ‘Victor Magtanggol’ enjoyed a few wins. But regardless, it was worth a try.

On Friday, ‘Victor Magtanggol’ will take its last ride. Unfortunately for GMA, the series will only be remembered as yet another addition to ‘Ang Probinsyano”s list of victims.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Maynila Turns 20

One of GMA’s longest-running programs is celebrating a milestone.

‘Maynila’, a drama anthology hosted by former Manila mayor and now congressman Lito Atienza, will enter its 20th year on television this month. The show recently premiered a three-part series last Saturday with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid in a starring role.

‘Maynila’ first aired on November 23, 1998. At the time, the show served as a vehicle for then-mayor Atienza to promote the city he headed back then, while providing inspirational and value-laden stories that young individuals can understand.

Initially aired on weekday afternoons, ‘Maynila’ moved to Saturday mornings in 2002 where they remain to this day. Over its 20-year history, ‘Maynila’ received numerous accolades including an Anak TV Seal award in 2006 and a special award in the 2017 PMPC Star Awards for being one of the longest-running drama anthologies.

In contrast to more serious drama anthologies like ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and ‘Magpakailanman’, ‘Maynila’ is generally considered as more light-hearted in tone. But in some instances such as the three-part series with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid, ‘Maynila’ may dwell into a darker route if necessary.

Still, it does not prevent the show from presenting stories that are deemed helpful and motivational to the youth. Which is exactly what Lito Atienza wanted on ‘Maynila’: a show that can help young ones, not only in Manila but in other cities as well, to be positive role models.

Twenty years after it first aired, ‘Maynila’ is still going strong. That said, viewers can only hope that the show will continue to provide stories that are worth learning for.

‘Maynila’ airs every Saturday at 9:45 a.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

The Kids’ Choice Fails to Deliver Despite Good Ratings

Call it a win that actually isn’t.

For ‘The Kids’ Choice’, it is true that they are winning in the ratings. But in hindsight, it is more of a moral defeat than an actual victory because the numbers tell more of a losing battle.

While Kantar figures suggest that last Sunday’s finale of ‘The Kids’ Choice’ was a success, in reality it is not. Its 26.8% rating was a major drop-off from the second season finale of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ which hit 45.6%.

In terms of overall performance from start to finish, ‘The Kids’ Choice’ failed to deliver as well. None of its episodes cracked the 30% barrier, with its highest-rated episode being the first which received 29%.

Again, this was a huge step back from ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ which routinely hit the 30% mark or higher in its run. To make matters worse, GMA took advantage of ‘The Kids’ Choice”s ineptitude, as ‘The Clash’ came to within 1% of the latter in its finale last month.

With such a pitiful performance in spite of the show’s good ratings, it is no secret why ABS-CBN pulled the plug on ‘The Kids’ Choice’ after only 20 episodes. The concept may be original, but in the eyes of the viewers, the Just Kids League is simply too raw and too young to process some serious critical thinking.

Not even the shift from ordinary kids to celebrities last month made the difference. Overall, ‘The Kids’ Choice’ had potential written all over, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

To ABS-CBN’s credit, however, they at least gave it a try. A round of applause should dim all the pain.

Still, much like the ill-fated GMA talent show ‘Anak Ko Yan’ a few years ago, only a few will reminisce about ‘The Kids’ Choice’. This is one forgettable show that ABS-CBN would like to get rid of, and for good reason: it simply did not resonate with the masses.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television, variety show

Tanghalan ng Kampeon: GMA’s Answer to Tawag ng Tanghalan

A brewing rivalry continues to emerge between ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’.

After the latter show copied the former in going past its normal allotted time, ‘Wowowin’ now takes a shot on ‘It’s Showtime”s popular singing competition ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’. Their response is a singing competition of their own, one that is just as familiar to audiences as ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’.

From Star Bytes by Butch Francisco (The Philippine Star, 2003):

Tanghalan ng Kampeon — Conceived and born on RPN 9 as Ang Bagong Kampeon, this amateur singing contest moved to GMA7 when its creator, Wilma Galvante, also transferred in 1988 to Channel 7 where she is now one of the station’s top bosses. Tanghalan had great production values and was also eagerly awaited by its followers because of the great rapport between the two hosts, Pilita Corrales and the late Bert Marcelo.

Consider it sealed. In a similar deal ABS-CBN undertook for ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ on ‘It’s Showtime’, GMA revived ‘Tanghalan ng Kampeon’ as a segment of ‘Wowowin’.

The premise of ‘Tanghalan ng Kampeon’ is simple. Any individual aged 16 to 40 years old with a knack to hit the right notes are welcome to audition in this competition, with the winner receiving a GMA recording contract, house and lot, and P2 million in cash.

With GMA short on talented singers in the wake of Regine Velasquez’s highly-publicized move to ABS-CBN, it only made sense for the network to revive a long-forgotten singing competition to shore up their talent pool. But to go as far as to take a page out of ‘It’s Showtime”s book, that’s too much to ask for.

Perhaps GMA should acknowledge ‘Wowowin”s brewing rivalry with ‘It’s Showtime’. Never mind that the two shows air in different timeslots, their perceived similarities appear perfect to pit against one another.

The start date of ‘Tanghalan ng Kampeon’ on ‘Wowowin’ is yet to be determined. But for fans of this show, the wait can’t come soon enough.

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