comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Goin’ Bulilit’s Real Archrival, Eleven Years After

Remember ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’?

For those who have grown up watching ‘Bubble Gang’ for the past 21 years, some may not remember this short-lived spinoff. Yes, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ was GMA’s own attempt to counter ABS-CBN”s ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, using their own child stars in hopes of replicating the same formula that made its parent show a success.

‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ first premiered on May 8, 2005, four months after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ took off. The notable cast members of the show include BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, Ella Guevara, Miguel Tanfelix, Sam Bumatay, Empress Schuck and Joyce Ching.

The show was essentially an introduction to several ‘StarStruck Kids’ alumni, as it was one of their first projects following the conclusion of the reality series. It also introduced viewers to BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, whose claim to fame at the time was on a Tide commercial.

While ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ showed some promise, it failed to make an impact against the well-established ‘Goin’ Bulilit’. The fact that the spinoff was hastily created from the start contributed to its short run, and as a result, GMA cancelled ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ following its final episode on August 7, 2005.

Overall, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ lasted only 14 episodes. On the contrary, ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ has aired over 550 episodes since 2005, and has seen a fair amount of child talent come and go.

Although ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ met its unfortunate end after a near-four month run, some of its stars found success in the years after the show’s cancellation. Miguel Tanfelix, for instance, reemerged in shows like ‘Niño’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ and ‘Ismol Family’, while Joyce Ching became a main cast member on ‘Bubble Gang’ and is also seen in the teleserye ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Despite that, the lesson that ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ provided was difficult to accept for GMA and its management. Let’s face it, had ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remained on the air today, more up-and-coming talent would have been showcased.

Alas, GMA’s own mistakes only served to doom the show. To this day, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remains a show that GMA regrets, and after 11 years, it continues to haunt the network and its Artist Center for its inability to hone new stars.

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action, comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ismol Family Gives Way to Tsuperhero on GMA’s Sunday Grande

‘Ismol Family’ is officially done.

After a run that began on June 22, 2014, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its final episode last Sunday, November 6. ‘Ismol Family’, which starred Ryan Agoncillo, Carla Abellana, Carmi Martin, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Marc Justine Alvarez among others, aired a total of 125 episodes that spanned over two years.

When ‘Ismol Family’ premiered over two years ago, it was supposed to replace the game show ‘Picture Picture’ and go up against another family-oriented sitcom in ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Instead, the sitcom was placed on Sunday nights, while ‘Pepito Manaloto’ was moved to Saturday nights to counter ‘Home Sweetie Home”s move.

The unexpected timeslot change proved to be a hindrance to ‘Ismol Family’ once it began its run. Pitted against shows such as ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and more recently ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, the sitcom failed to find its footing in a crowded Sunday night field.

While ‘Ismol Family’ was not bad, it was clear that GMA made a mistake by placing the show on Sundays. Had it aired against ‘Home Sweetie Home’, it would have given the latter a run for its money.

Still, a run of over two years was a good accomplishment for ‘Ismol Family’. For the viewers who have tuned in for all 125 episodes, let that sink in.

Moving on, a new show is slated to replace ‘Ismol Family’. The newest entry, ‘Tsuperhero’, is a superhero comedy-adventure series that stars Derrick Monasterio and Bea Binene.

In ‘Tsuperhero’, Nonoy (Derrick) is a jeepney driver who transforms into a superhero thanks to a mysterious object from a distant planet. Along the way, he developed feelings for Eva (Bea), a barker who found his kalye attitude both irritating and enduring.

The upcoming weekly series will also star Gabby Concepcion, Alma Moreno, Betong Sumaya, Philip Lazaro, Miggs Cuaderno, Valentin, Annalyn Barro, Jemwell Ventenilla, and Kuhol. ‘Tsuperhero’ is an original concept by Michael V, and will be directed by LA Madridejos.

It remains to be seen if ‘Tsuperhero’ can give the long-running ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ a tough challenge. Hopefully the series can stick just as long as its predecessor did.

‘Tsuperhero’ premieres this Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA’s Sunday Grande sa Gabi.

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

A Long Overdue Timeslot Change for Lip-Sync Battle Philippines

GMA finally made a long-overdue timeslot change for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, which should benefit Michael V who had been overexposed from the moment it premiered. (Promotional poster courtesy of GMA Network)

Last Saturday marked a decision that GMA should have done earlier.

It was announced that ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ and ‘Magpakailanman’ would switch timeslots. As a result, the former now airs at 9:30 p.m., while the latter now airs at 7:45 p.m.

This timeslot change has been long overdue from the moment ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ premiered. When it debuted in its original timeslot, it was feared that host Michael V would be overexposed, since his other show ‘Pepito Manaloto’ airs right before the former.

They were right. From the beginning of its run, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ struggled, losing on a consistent basis to either ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ or ‘The Voice Kids’.

Realizing the plight of Michael V and ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, GMA proposed timeslot changes in order to prevent any further overexposure. Their choices include:

  • A return to Sunday nights for ‘Pepito Manaloto’ in exchange for either ‘Ismol Family’ or ‘Hay, Bahay’
  • A switch of timeslots for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ and ‘Magpakailanman’

They chose the latter. Thus, beginning Saturday, June 25, both ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ and ‘Magpakailanman’ were aired in different timeslots.

With the timeslot change, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ now runs opposite ‘We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs’. Considering the latter’s poor ratings (even against the late-airing ‘Magpakailanman’), the former should take advantage of it.

Despite the projection, it is still up to ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ to perform well in its new timeslot. But for Michael V, he should feel relieved now that the pressure of getting overexposed on television is over.

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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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