drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 150 Words: Forevermore Ends Run On a Superbly High Note

They began their run at the top, and they end their run at the top.

The recently-concluded ABS-CBN drama ‘Forevermore’ dominated primetime from start to finish, and following last Friday’s epic finale, the series registered its highest rating ever. ‘Forevermore’ defeated ‘Let the Love Begin’ in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen, registering numbers of 39.3% and 37% over the latter’s 16.1% and 15.3%.

With an average of over 33% in the ratings, ‘Forevermore’ was easily the highest-rated primetime series of 2015 so far. The series’ impact also showed on social media, as topics related to ‘Forevermore’ were among top trends on Twitter both nationally and globally.

Overall, ‘Forevermore’ defeated four different GMA programs during their run at the top, starting with ‘Hiram na Alaala’, followed by ‘Strawberry Lane’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and finally ‘Let the Love Begin’.

With ‘Forevermore’ officially over, it’s now up to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ to continue that run of success. But don’t expect the latter to surpass the success of ‘Forevermore’ anytime soon.

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A Fourth Opponent for Streaking ‘Forevermore’

There is no stopping ‘Forevermore’ as their run winds down.

The ABS-CBN drama series, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, has been on top of the primetime world ever since it debuted in October of last year. So far, ‘Forevermore’ overcame the challenges of ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Strawberry Lane’ and ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ of rival station GMA, beating each series by a wide margin.

Now a fourth opponent awaits the streaking teleserye.

Starting this Monday, May 4, ‘Forevermore’ will go up against ‘Let the Love Begin’, the newest GMA teleserye starring Ruru Madrid and Gabbi Garcia. The upcoming series should not be confused with the movie of the same title, starring Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin, which was released a decade ago under the GMA Films banner.

‘Let the Love Begin’ will also mark the return of Ai-Ai Delas Alas to the GMA camp after over a decade with ABS-CBN. Joining her in various supporting roles will be Gardo Versoza, Donita Rose, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Neil Ryan Sese, Gladys Reyes, and Ms. Gina Pareño.

Other members of the cast include Noel Trinidad, Phytos Ramirez, Abel Estanislao, Ricardo Cepeda, Joko Diaz, Rita Daniela, Ar Angel Aviles, Nomer Limatog, Angeli Bayani, Sancho Delas Alas, Therese Malvar, and Ren Escano.

The series will revolve around the cordial friendship between Jeni (Ai-Ai) and Tony (Gardo), who work for a fictional radio program that focuses on love advice. A major problem would later shatter their friendship, but their paths would soon cross again thanks to a blooming relationship between their children Erick (Ruru) and Pia (Gabbi).

‘Let the Love Begin’ may have been scheduled to air on the vacated timeslot of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, but the series’ first few weeks may come too late to prove its worth against ‘Forevermore’. As seen in the teaser below, ABS-CBN made it clear that ‘Forevermore”s run would end very soon in favor of a new drama.

Still, the prospect of ‘Forevermore’ taking on a new Kapuso love team is hard to resist. They have already overcome the duo of Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali, and now it is up to Ruru and Gabbi to show their potential against LizQuen.

‘Let the Love Begin’ premieres this Monday after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN Raises the ‘Daring’ Stakes, Plus GMA’s Inability to Respond

The trend towards mature and dark subject matter on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida continues with ‘Bridges of Love’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Tonight’s premiere of ‘Bridges of Love’ on ABS-CBN has From the Tube wondering: Why is GMA not responding to the increasingly ‘daring’ route of Primetime Bida?

Mature and dark relationship-oriented themes have virtually become a norm on Primetime Bida’s 9:15 p.m. slot. Last year, ‘The Legal Wife’ became a rousing success due to the seemingly shocking portrayal of jealousy and infidelity involving the love triangle of characters portrayed by Jericho Rosales, Maja Salvador and Angel Locsin.

And just recently, viewers were treated to a similar display of deception and envy in the adaptation of the Koreanovela ‘Two Wives’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’, the series involved a love triangle, this time between the characters portrayed by Jason Abalos, Kaye Abad and Erich Gonzales.

Although ABS-CBN has trended in the right direction with the more mature-oriented teleseryes, it all began, however, with one bold move from its rival in Timog: ‘My Husband’s Lover’.

The 2013 GMA drama starring Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo made the same-sex relationship a must-see during its run. Running from June to October 2013, ‘My Husband’s Lover’ briefly provided a boost to the sagging ratings of Telebabad.

Unfortunately, the Kapuso network failed to create a successful follow-up to ‘My Husband’s Lover’. The teleseryes that followed MHL (‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’, ‘Rhodora X’, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Second Chances’) didn’t feel up to the task of elevating the dark and moody themes to a new level.

As a result, the 9:15 slot of Telebabad returned to its old sinking ways, while Primetime Bida continued to increase its gap. Worse for the Kapuso network, ‘The Legal Wife’ and later ‘daring’ Kapamilya dramas became a local and international social media sensation.

That said, GMA’s regression back to more wholesome and ‘tweener’ stories in the latter part of Telebabad became its undoing. And it only gets worse.

Next on ABS-CBN’s ‘daring’ list is ‘Bridges of Love’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’, a love triangle will be involved in the series, only this time, it’s between two men fighting for the love of one woman.

‘Bridges of Love’ will be led by Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. The story will feature two brothers (Echo and Paulo) who were separated by guilt and hatred, but were bridged together by love through one woman (portrayed by Maja).

The upcoming Kapamilya series should pose a big threat to its Kapuso counterpart ‘Second Chances’. The latter series failed to keep up with the success of ‘Two Wives’ during its first two months, and it won’t be a surprise if its new opponent makes a similar impact.

Now GMA should start revisiting the very theme that made ‘My Husband’s Lover’ a success. A new strategy should be in store for Telebabad if they still want to keep in step with Primetime Bida, otherwise there will be more trouble for the embattled block.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Last Minute Change for ‘Once Upon a Kiss’; GMA’s Need for a ‘Second Chance’

GMA management is once again at the forefront of last-minute changes.

The latest of these moves took place Monday night, as ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ was placed after ‘More Than Words’ on GMA’s Telebabad block. Prior to the late switch, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ was scheduled to premiere after ’24 Oras’.

Despite the last-minute change in schedule, the pilot episode of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ still failed to impress viewers. The teleserye only managed a 15.2% rating against the 23.6 % of ABS-CBN’s ‘Forevermore’, according to Kantar.

That said, the series starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix will have a lot more work to do if they want to get past the increasingly popular tandem of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. Considering the momentum that ‘Forevermore’ generated from day one, it will be a daunting task for the former to overcome.

Meanwhile, the long-overdue premiere of ‘Second Chances’ will take place this Monday. The series had been scheduled to air back in November, but GMA postponed its premiere in hopes of making a splash for the new year.

As seen in the teasers released by the network, the series tells the story of four different individuals whose lives will change by way of a traumatizing event. Portraying these life-changing characters are Jennylyn Mercado, Camille Prats, Raymart Santiago and Rafael Rosell.

‘Second Chances’ has been in production since early August, and was intended to replace ‘Ilustrado’ on Telebabad back in November. But due to some last minute programming changes, the series premiere was postponed until the early part of 2015.

Now that ‘Second Chances’ finally gets its due, it will be interesting to see how a story of inspiration and determination fare against one featuring infidelity and jealousy. Its pilot week will be against the hot-as-lava ‘Two Wives’, who has thoroughly dominated the former’s predecessor ‘Hiram na Alaala’ for the most part.

That said, GMA now hopes to have a second chance of their own. A traumatizing event like low ratings, declining revenue and front office mismanagement are definitely worth overcoming, but unless GMA finds a way to make a second chance, they will again find themselves on the losing end of ABS-CBN’s dominance.

‘Second Chances’ premieres this Monday after ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ on GMA Telebabad.

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No Sibling Rivalry in Premieres of Dream Dad and More Than Words

There will be no rivalry between the children of the late ‘Master Rapper’ Francis Magalona on Philippine television.

Fresh from re-signing with ABS-CBN, Maxene Magalona will co-star alongside Zanjoe Marudo and child actress Jana Agoncillo in ‘Dream Dad’. The series will also star Beauty Gonzales, Yen Santos, Ana Feleo, Katya Santos, Ketchup Eusebio, Ariel Ureta and Gloria Diaz.

‘Dream Dad’ will focus on an orphan who searches for a loving family, and a bachelor who tries to mend a broken heart by focusing on his family’s welfare. Ultimately, their lives would change after they cross paths with one another.

(Due to unforeseen circumstances, the full trailer of ‘Dream Dad’ on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s official YouTube was taken down as of November 14).

Over at GMA, younger brother Elmo Magalona will reunite with ‘Villa Quintana’ co-star Janine Gutierrez in ‘More Than Words’. Also starring in this series are Rey ‘PJ’ Abellana, Leni Santos, Jaclyn Jose, Gardo Versoza, Yayo Aguila, Enzo Pineda, Stephanie Sol, Mayton Eugenio, Mikoy Morales and Coleen Perez.

The story of ‘More Than Words’ will revolve around two individuals: a teenage boy whose memory was lost following an accident, and a daydreaming female student who created an imaginary ‘dream boy’ in one of her blogs. After finding the supposed boy of her dreams, they would grow fond of each other, while the boy begins a new life with his adoptive parents.

While ‘Dream Dad’ will premiere in its expected timeslot, the same cannot be said for ‘More Than Words’. It was supposed to premiere November 3, replacing both ‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’, but GMA management wanted none of the possible sibling rivalry between the Magalonas, and as a result, they hastily re-aired ‘Coffee Prince’ on the timeslot that was supposed to be filled by ‘More Than Words’.

Then in a somewhat surprising decision, they moved the premiere date of ‘Second Chances’, which was supposed to replace ‘Ilustrado’, to the first quarter of 2015. And to top things off, both ‘Strawberry Lane’ and ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will now be moved to later timeslots, paving the way for ‘More Than Words’ to occupy the slot after ’24 Oras’.

Thus, ‘More Than Words’ will go up against the soon-to-conclude ‘Hawak Kamay’ while ‘Dream Dad’ will face the re-airing ‘Coffee Prince’ on their respective networks.

It will be interesting to see how both Magalonas fare in their respective new series, but even in different networks, they will always be family off-screen. Good luck.

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As Ilustrado Debuts, Ikaw Lamang Departs

A new-look GMA Telebabad premieres this week, while ABS-CBN says goodbye to one of their hits.

The ‘bayani-serye’ ‘Ilustrado’ will make its much-anticipated premiere later tonight. The series will be led by Alden Richards as Jose Rizal and Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, with supporting roles by Solenn Heussaff, Max Collins, Eula Valdez, Jaclyn Jose, Polo Ravales, Ricardo Cepeda, Freddie Webb and Mailes Kanapi.

‘Ilustrado’ will focus less on Rizal’s struggles for Philippine independence and his work on ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’. Instead, it will feature a more human side in the life of the national hero and his fellow reformists, from their relationships to their day-to-day struggles with ordinary citizens.

The premiere of ‘Ilustrado’ should be an interesting one, as it will go up against ‘Two Wives’. The latter series has been on a roll since it debuted last week, and should pose a challenge to the more qualitative and informative ‘Ilustrado’.

Meanwhile, the still-struggling ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will be moved to an earlier timeslot, opposite an ABS-CBN Primetime Bida  teleserye that is about to end this week.

‘Ikaw Lamang’, the period drama that started last March, will bid goodbye on October 24. The series will have two chapters and 162 episodes at the end of its run.

Initially starring Kim Chiu (as Isabelle) Julia Montes (as Mona), Coco Martin (as Samuel) and Jake Cuenca (as Franco), Montes’ character was killed off just as Book 1 was winding down. When Book 2 got underway, Chiu and Martin were now assigned to portray the roles of Gabriel and Andrea, respectively.

Book 2 also featured Amy Austria, Joel Torre and Christopher de Leon as the older Isabelle, Samuel and Franco, while KC Concepcion took on the role of Natalia, daughter of Isabelle and Franco.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ was one of ABS-CBN’s highly-rated teleseryes throughout its run. The show even outlasted its main arch-rival ‘My Destiny’, whose run from June 30 to October 17 came just as the former was at the peak of its success.

That said, it should be interesting to see how ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will fare in its final week against ‘Hiram na Alaala’.  Expect the conclusion of this series to be a highly-anticipated one.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be replaced by ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

 

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