drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Better Half Nears Its All-or-Nothing Finale

Call it the ‘All-or-Nothing’ finale.

On Friday, September 8, ABS-CBN’s long-running afternoon drama ‘The Better Half’ will air its final episode. The series, starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, has been on the air since February 13, and even though it was a great series, there were some bumps on the road they had to endure.

When it first premiered, ‘The Better Half’ was following in the footsteps of ‘Doble Kara’, an ABS-CBN afternoon drama series that lasted over a year. However, ABS-CBN tempered expectations for the former, realizing that it’s not going to be easy following a series that was overwhelmingly long and successful.

Four different opponents from GMA’s Afternoon Prime faced ‘The Better Half’. Between February 13 and April 21, ‘The Better Half’ was slotted in Kapamilya Gold’s leadoff position and fared particularly well against ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ and ‘Legally Blind’.

But from April 24 onwards, ABS-CBN moved ‘The Better Half’ to the second slot in order to accommodate ‘Pusong Ligaw’. Despite the change of timeslot, ‘The Better Half’ maintained its dominance, dispatching the rather short-lived GMA afternoon series ‘D’Originals’ in the process.

‘Haplos’ then became the fourth and final opponent of ‘The Better Half’, and at first, the latter’s winning ways continued. However, a late August slump drastically changed ‘The Better Half”s fortunes, prompting ABS-CBN to finally pull the plug.

While ‘The Better Half’ was mostly dominant in a run that spanned 147 episodes, the recent decline it endured made it clear that it has seen better days. ABS-CBN would have been wise to end ‘The Better Half’ while still on a roll, but alas, they allowed the series to stay too long and fall from its wheels.

Regardless of how it finished, the Kapamilya network should be proud of what ‘The Better Half’ was able to do. The series may have enhanced the reputations of established lead actors Shaina Magdayao, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, but for Carlo Aquino, the return to the star-studded limelight was worth the price of admission.

Come this Friday, a shocking finish awaits viewers of ‘The Better Half’. But it remains to be seen if it will end with either a bang or a whimper.

 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A New Opponent for The Better Half One Week Into Its Run

After only five episodes, ‘The Better Half’ finds itself with new competition.

The now-ongoing ABS-CBN afternoon drama series premiered last Monday against the GMA Afternoon Prime series ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’. As it turned out, however, ‘The Better Half’ did not have enough time to warm up, as GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ would end during that week.

Nevertheless, ‘The Better Half’ premiered strongly with a 16.8% national rating, which is 3.1% higher than ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat”s 76th episode. While figures for the remainder of the week remain unavailable at the moment, it is safe to say that ‘The Better Half’ got the best of the departing ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Next up for Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, Denise Laurel and JC de Vera will be the upcoming GMA afternoon drama series ‘Legally Blind’. The series will mark the return of Janine Gutierrez to the small screen, several months after starring in the ill-fated primetime series ‘Once Again’ with Aljur Abrenica.

In ‘Legally Blind’, Grace (Janine) is an aspiring lawyer who lost her sight after she was raped by an unknown culprit. After successfully earning her stripes as a lawyer, she met Edward (Mikael Daez), a rich businessman who not only helps her in the search for justice, but also falls in love with her.

Along the way, Grace’s plans will be put to the test by people who doubt and despise her. Whether it’s her envious younger sister Charie (Lauren Young) or her ex-boyfriend Joel (Rodjun Cruz), Grace’s hopes for attaining justice will not be easy.

The series will also star Lauren Young, Marc Abaya, Rodjun Cruz, Chanda Romero, Therese Malvar, Lucho Ayala, Ashley Rivera and Camille Torres. It will be directed by Ricky Davao.

For the rest of the first quarter and deep into the second, ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Legally Blind’ will go up against each other. But for the latter, beating the former will not be easy given its potential track record after just five episodes.

That said, GMA’s brass can only hope that Janine Gutierrez will redeem herself after a so-so performance in her last series. For ‘Legally Blind’, it is all about finding the right formula for Janine to thrive on.

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

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Hahamakin ang Lahat to End This Friday

‘Doble Kara”s final opponent will bid farewell this Friday.

GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ will air its final episode on February 17. The announcement came just days after ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ concluded its 382-episode run.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ premiered on October 31, 2016 and will have a total of 80 episodes once it ends. Unfortunately for the show, it had a hard time breaking past the ever-popular ‘Doble Kara’, despite featuring a stellar cast that features Joyce Ching, Kristoffer Martin, Eula Valdes, Snooky Serna, Thea Tolentino and Ariel Rivera.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ will be replaced by ‘Legally Blind’, which will star Janine Gutierrez, Mikael Daez and Lauren Young.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Long-Running Doble Kara Enters Final Week

After 382 episodes, ‘Doble Kara’ is finally bowing out.

The ABS-CBN afternoon drama series will officially conclude its stellar run as daytime’s top drama this coming Friday. And for fans of Julia Montes, ‘Doble Kara’ will forever be remembered as the series that catapulted her to the top of the afternoon circuit.

‘Doble Kara’ first came on the air on August 24, 2015. At first, the series was originally planned to replace ‘Flordeliza’, but at the last second, ABS-CBN hastily premiered ‘Doble Kara’ amid the dominance of another long-running drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

One week later, ‘Doble Kara’ was placed opposite ‘The Half-Sisters’, and following a slow start, the former gradually displaced the latter as the Philippines’ top afternoon drama. Along the way, rivals such as ‘Wish I May’, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ came along, but none were able to topple ‘Doble Kara’.

It was during the run of ‘Doble Kara’ that ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block eventually overtook GMA’s Afternoon Prime as the most-watched daytime drama block in the country. The overwhelming success of ‘Doble Kara’ was later felt on succeeding dramas such as ‘All of Me’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ .

But perhaps the most important legacy of ‘Doble Kara’ is the growth of Julia Montes as an actress. Portraying twin characters Sara and Kara, Julia’s dual role proved to be the most challenging of her career, but through it all, she managed to pull it off effectively.

To sum it all up, Julia owed her success with ‘Doble Kara’ to the many viewers that have stuck with her for the past year. In a statement during the show’s final press conference, she said,

Every day, you warmly welcome me into your homes. I am beyond thankful for the memories and the people I met throughout this journey. Thank you because you made me feel that I am not alone, that I am part of one family.

Come this Friday, ‘Doble Kara’ will have its curtain call. And when it’s all said and done, this series should earn its well-deserved round of applause.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Up for The Greatest Love: Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa

GMA’s push for movie remakes on television continues.

After the not-so successful run of ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ last year, GMA is attempting to turn another classic movie into a hit teleserye. This time, the target is the 1987 film ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, directed by Ishmael Bernal and starred Maricel Soriano, Lorna Tolentino and Gabby Concepcion.

The TV remake of ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, to be directed by Gina Alajar and Aya Topacio, will star Julie Anne San Jose, LJ Reyes, Martin del Rosario and Benjamin Alves. They will be joined by Ms. Jean Garcia, Ara Mina, Victor Neri, Allan Paule, Geleen Eugenio, Janna Dominguez and Lharby Policarpio.

In this version of ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, Santina (Julie Anne) is an orphaned girl who wound up working in a restaurant owned by Diony (Jean). Angeli (LJ) on the other hand is a homeless woman whom Diony later adopted.

Along the way, the lives of both Santina and Angeli took a more drastic turn as they try to gain the attention of Ephraim (Benjamin), Santina’s childhood friend. Both Ephraim and Angeli’s troubled past will also be revealed, both through Diony and Mariz (Ara).

Hype for ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ has been heavy since its official announcement late last year. In fact, one of the series’ teasers featured a slapping scene involving Santina and Angeli in bathing suits, which set the tone for arguably another of the most seriously-toned series in Philippine television.

Still, despite all the frequent promotion, it remains to be seen if ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ will give ‘The Greatest Love’ a run for its money. The ABS-CBN series has been on a roll of late thanks to Sylvia Sanchez’s harrowing portrayal of an Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and for ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, they will be hard-pressed to match the former’s momentum.

That said, ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa”s first week will be a crucial one. Anyone who have seen the original film will look at it and see if the TV remake is worth watching.

‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ premieres this Monday after ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

Here is Part I of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Return of Tawag ng Tanghalan

‘It’s Showtime’ was on the brink of waving the white flag when rival ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye segment (starring AlDub) became wildly popular in the second half of 2015. So in order to get back on track, they decided to revive a singing competition that was successful in the era of black and white television.

Thus on the second day of 2016, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ was brought back as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. The segment would set the tone for ‘It’s Showtime”s renaissance, as it recaptured the ratings lead from ‘Eat Bulaga’ by the third week of January.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’…

Kalyeserye Concluded, Revived, Then Concluded Again

The long-running Kalyeserye segment had been on a roll since its debut on July 16, 2015. Unfortunately, the return to form of ‘It’s Showtime’, coupled by the presumed seven-month suspension of Paolo Ballesteros (a.k.a. Lola Tidora) and fans’ apparent frustration over repetitive and predictable storylines, led to a decline in popularity for the segment.

Along the way, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza took time off to record and promote the film ‘Imagine You and Me’. With the desire to push the duo to new territory, ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to end Kalyeserye on September 3, although they revived the skit from October 15 to December 17 with a new chapter.

Both Alden and Maine are scheduled to star in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Destined to Be Yours’ beginning next year, putting Kalyeserye’s future in doubt.

KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine’s Reign on Primetime Continues

ABS-CBN’s ‘Big Three’ love teams continued to roll in 2016. The year began with ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, reigning on the 8:40 timeslot, followed by its replacement ‘Dolce Amore’, starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, which debuted on February 15.

Unfortunately, although James Reid and Nadine Lustre began the year with the highly successful ‘On the Wings of Love’, they failed to keep the momentum going when ‘Till I Met You’ premiered on August 29 to a rather lukewarm reception in the ratings. As a result, on September 19, ABS-CBN moved the series’ timeslot to 9:30 p.m., which eventually paid off.

But for every successful pairing, there are some love teams that did not click at all, as seen in this next entry.

AnBie, AlNine and ElNella: The Lost Love Teams

Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras were paired in the long-running afternoon drama ‘The Half-Sisters’, which finally came to an end on January 15. Two weeks later, they received a primetime push with ‘That’s My Amboy’, but the series ended in late April with just 68 episodes and little fanfare.

Its successor, Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez’s ‘Once Again’, did not even come close, clocking at only 59 episodes from May to July. Over at ABS-CBN, Janine’s ex-boyfriend Elmo Magalona was paired with Janella Salvador in ‘Born for You’, but the series made little impact either, lasting 65 episodes from June to September.

It remains to be seen if the three love teams will have a chance to redeem themselves next year. But in the meantime, let’s move on.

Sexy Time in 2016

The trend towards sensually mature programs continued in 2016. On ABS-CBN, ‘Pasion de Amor’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ stood out, with Coleen Garcia, Ellen Adarna, Arci Muñoz, Isabelle Daza and Cristine Reyes emerging to showcase their newfound abilities in a more raunchy setting.

Over on GMA, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ provided a new dimension for stars Rhian Ramos, Andrea Torres and Joyce Ching to show their chops. But perhaps their greatest contributions were ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ and ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, both of which feature a mix of comedy and sensuality.

If 2016 set the tone for more sexual themes with SPG ratings all over the place, then what else is in store come 2017? Find out soon.

In the meantime, Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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