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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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entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

It’s Showtime Finds AlDub Antidote in Pastillas Girl, Or So They Thought

It appears that ‘It’s Showtime’ has found a solution in their battle against ‘Eat Bulaga’ and the AlDub phenomenon.

Enter viral video sensation ‘Pastillas Girl’ (real name Angelica Yap), who has appeared recently in the AdVice Ganda segment (an obvious copycat of ‘Eat Bulaga”s defunct Problem Solving segment). On last Monday’s episode, Yap wanted to know when was the best time to fall in love again after a breakup.

Pastillas Girl’s question followed her revelation Friday in the same segment, where she opened up about her ex-boyfriend falling in love with her best friend. On Monday, the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’ were willing to find her a new flame, only to see an audience member stand up in hopes of winning the heart of Pastillas Girl.

The audience member wasn’t the only one, though. Thousands on Twitter also volunteered in hopes of earning Pastillas Girl’s love, but in the end, it was Jess Verano Senido who caught their attention, with Vice Ganda going as far as inviting Senido on a future episode just for this chance meeting.

The skit became the top national and global trending topic on Twitter, outtrending the ‘Kalyeserye’ segment where Alden Richards and Maine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza regained their ‘kilig’ ways. For ‘It’s Showtime’, it was a rare victory against the AlDub phenomenon.

Not all were pleased with the segment, however. Some thought it was an imitation of the ‘Kalyeserye’ that AlDub popularized, as ‘It’s Showtime’ attempted to create a similarly spontaneous and unexpected love team with Pastillas Girl.

Still, it was good to see ‘It’s Showtime’ regain some measure of confidence. But whether or not the Pastillas Girl segments will result in improved ratings remains to be seen.

Until then, AlDub remains on top for now, unless ‘It’s Showtime’ finds a way to make good use of Pastillas Girl.

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AlDub Popularity A Big Concern for It’s Showtime

There is no stopping ‘Eat Bulaga”s increasingly popular AlDub tandem.

The accidental duo of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub has been on a roll in the last month. Ratings for ‘Eat Bulaga’ continued to rise, while netizens took to social media in increasing numbers to show support and concern for the love team.

Speaking of netizens, this was how ‘It’s Showtime’, like most ABS-CBN programs, enjoyed success in the last few years. But the tables now seem to turn against them once AlDub took to the airwaves.

An example of this was during the grand finals of the Funny One segment (won by Ryan Rems Sarita). Held on the same day as ‘Eat Bulaga”s ill-fated wedding between Yaya Dub and Frankie A. Arinoli (played by Jose Manalo), the Funny One finals did earn a spot among Twitter’s trending topics.

There was only one problem: AlDub was one step better on Twitter, both nationally and globally. Even though ‘It’s Showtime’ beat ‘Eat Bulaga’ on Kantar’s ratings last August 8, it was a 2-1 win for the latter, who managed to win AGB Nielsen’s ratings on that day.

This following week, ‘It’s Showtime’ promoted Ryan Rems to a regular host. But not even a promotion and a subsequent segment between Ryan, Vice Ganda and the five other Funny One finalists was good enough for ‘It’s Showtime’, as ratings and social media impact continue to widely favor ‘Eat Bulaga’ and its ‘Kalyeserye’.

As a result, according to various tabloids, the producers of ‘It’s Showtime’ are now forced to convene on a daily basis in an attempt to figure out a way to beat AlDub. They hope that these productive meetings could help ‘It’s Showtime’ regain their winning ways.

Then again, ABS-CBN is no stranger to losing to ‘Eat Bulaga’ whenever the latter responded with a more popular segment. Remember how Laban o Bawi helped ‘Eat Bulaga’ beat ‘Magandang Tanghali, Bayan’ for good?

The Kapamilya network can only hope that ‘It’s Showtime’ won’t become the second coming of MTB. The AlDub phenomenon can be beaten, and now it’s up to ‘It’s Showtime’ to respond with a stronger segment.

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