comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

D’Originals Enters Final Week

It is indeed ‘Ang Huling Resbak’, as GMA called it.

This week will mark the final five episodes of the GMA Public Affairs-produced comedy-drama series ‘D’Originals’. The series features a story of three married women and their doting husbands, whose quiet lives were thrown into chaos thanks to three young ladies.

Led by Jaclyn Jose, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, LJ Reyes, Mark Herras, Lovely Abella, Kim Domingo, Archie Alemania and Meg Imperial, ‘D’Originals’ became a different form of what is derisively called a ‘kabitserye’. The shift to a more humorous tone while maintaining an intensely dramatic approach made the series stand out.

The premiere of ‘D’Originals’ took place on April 17, 2017. The series initially faced ‘The Greatest Love’ during the latter’s final week, but its strong performance in the ratings was too much for ‘D’Originals’ to handle.

Following the conclusion of ‘The Greatest Love’, ABS-CBN made an unexpected timeslot change. Rather than facing a new drama in ‘Pusong Ligaw’, ‘D’Originals’ had to contend with another ‘kabitserye’ in ‘The Better Half’, a series that had been raking in impressive ratings within two months of its tenure.

Although ‘D’Originals’ managed to improve their ratings performance as the weeks progressed, it was not enough to overcome ‘The Better Half’. In the end, GMA decided to cancel ‘D’Originals’ following its 60th episode this Friday.

The short and uninspiring run of ‘D’Originals’ marked the latest in a series of missteps for the GMA Public Affairs team. It is obvious that the department’s foray into entertainment shows is destroying its reputation, but considering the many question marks surrounding GMA’s entertainment division, they had no choice but to step in.

Nevertheless, the story of ‘D’Originals’ is not bad as many perceived. It is just too unfortunate to be up against a pair of dramas that are more compelling.

Come this Friday, it is indeed ‘Ang Huling Resbak’ for ‘D’Originals’. But it remains to be seen if they will leave a final impression on the viewers.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The End of A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo?

Is it really over for ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’?

Last Thursday, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its so-called season finale, with the hashtag #A1ThankYou. In the episode, Digna (Jaclyn Jose) held a Thanksgiving party to celebrate the return of Kaycee (Denise Barbacena) and her reconciliation with her husband Rolly (Gardo Versoza).

While the episode probably signaled the conclusion of ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ as viewers know it, the show’s Facebook page tried to pacify concerns by promising another season in the near future. Still, any hope of a return may be questionable considering the year-round approach of Filipino programming.

‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ first premiered on June 2, 2016 as GMA’s first weeknight sitcom in nearly a decade. The show immediately lived up to its billing as a sexually-themed sitcom, emphasizing more mature situations that are not suitable for young kids.

The premiere of ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ was at the time an attempt to revive the seemingly moribund KiliTV block. In fact, GMA promoted both ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ in various 30-second clips in order to draw interest from comedy fans.

Unfortunately for GMA, ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ did not exactly revive the glory days of KiliTV. The sitcom initially fared well against ABS-CBN’s Filipino-dubbed ‘Jane the Virgin’, but it soon lost momentum against the ever-popular yet controversial ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’.

Let’s face it, ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ was not a bad sitcom. It was a fresh concept that is as daring as it can get, in contrast to more family-oriented sitcoms that viewers became accustomed to.

‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ also helped GMA reduce its overdependence on Koreanovelas. During its 26-episode run, various GMA Koreanovelas run for only three times a week, enabling it to run a lot longer than usual.

But now that the sitcom is all but history (for now), expect Koreanovelas to once again dominate GMA’s late-night programming. It’s a sad development considering that GMA wanted to place another show on weeknights to alleviate its burden on Koreanovelas.

It remains to be seen if ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ will ever come back as promised. But for now, it’s good riddance for the show.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

End of the Line for The Millionaire’s Wife

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is down to its final two episodes.

Led by Andrea Torres in what GMA calls her most mature series yet, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will officially conclude its 67-episode run tomorrow afternoon. All series long, viewers were able to witness the life of single mother-turned-rich wife Luisa (Andrea), and her struggles to deal with two things: money, and love and compassion for others.

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, which also starred Robert Arevalo, Mike Tan, Jaclyn Jose, Sid Lucero, Ina Raymundo and Rich Asuncion, first premiered on March 14 as a replacement to ‘Destiny Rose’. Initially, the series started strong, registering a 12.5% national rating; in contrast, rival ABS-CBN Koreanovela ‘My Love Donna’ only earned a 9.1% mark on its own premiere day.

The dominance of ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ soon led to the cancellation of the poorly-performing ‘My Love Donna’. Then on April 11, the Kapamilya network placed ‘Tubig at Langis’ opposite ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’, and from that point on, the momentum turned in the former’s favor.

While ‘Tubig at Langis’ carried its average ratings of 15% or better to its new timeslot, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ continued to score 12% with each passing episode; only this time, they were on the losing end. The former’s confrontational scenes involving Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Clara (Isabelle Daza) proved to be a hit, and it doomed the latter.

Notwithstanding its impressive start early in its run, it was clear that ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ finally met its match in ‘Tubig at Langis’. While Andrea Torres was able to make the most of her evolving artistic repertoire, ABS-CBN still had the edge in terms of storytelling, and this gave ‘Tubig at Langis’ the advantage.

Now that ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will come to an end, let’s just hope that the final episodes of this series will bring a lasting impression to its viewers. Otherwise, it may end up as the latest in a string of GMA teleserye letdowns.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

With A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo, KiliTV Return Imminent

Remember GMA’s KiliTV block?

Back in the early and mid-2000s, GMA used to have a comedy block that immediately aired after GMA Telebabad (around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.). Some of the most memorable programs that once aired on the KiliTV block include:

  • Kool Ka Lang
  • Nuts Entertainment
  • Idol Ko Si Kap
  • Beh Bote Nga
  • Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita
  • Daddy Di Do Du
  • Bahay Mo ‘Ba To
  • Bubble Gang

By 2008, however, KiliTV was deemphasized in favor of an extended GMA Telebabad. Today, ‘Bubble Gang’ was the lone program left from the original block.

Eight years later, however, a revival of the KiliTV block appeared to be in the works. As GMA shifted its focus to comedy/romance in some of their Telebabad series (e.g. ‘Poor Señorita’, ‘Juan Happy Love Story’), it was only fitting that a new comedy program will consolidate all of that.

Tonight, GMA proudly presents ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, a sexy sitcom that should make every Thursday nights hotter and funnier. The program will be led by Jaclyn Jose, who will play the role of a talent manager who searches for a perfect beauty queen.

Also starring in ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ are Gardo Versoza, Solenn Heussaff, Sef Cadayona, Denise Barbacena, Gee Canlas, Benjamin Alves, Roi Vinzon, Ervic Vijandre and Mara Alberto. It will be directed by Randy Santiago.

With the entry of ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, the Koreanovela slot of GMA Telebabad will now be reduced to just three episodes per week. This should not pose a problem, as most Koreanovelas tend to have fewer episodes.

Still, it remains to be seen if ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ can revive the presence of sitcoms on weeknights. That said, expect an interesting first few weeks for the sitcom, as they try to convince viewers that change is once again on the horizon.

‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ airs Thursday nights after ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: The Millionaire’s Wife Premieres Today

Andrea Torres returns to drama with the upcoming series ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

The series, which also stars the likes of Mike Tan, Robert Arevalo, Sid Lucero, Ina Raymundo and Jaclyn Jose, tells the story of a woman who had to choose between two things: love or money, in order to save her life. ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ will be directed by Albert Langitan, with Roy Iglesias serving as its creative director.

Replacing ‘Destiny Rose’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ is expected to have a great start to its run, considering its opponent is an ABS-CBN Koreanovela in ‘My Love Donna’ (some areas will receive ‘Game ng Bayan’ instead). Still, it remains to be seen whether or not Andrea Torres’ return to drama will pay off.

‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ airs weekdays at 4: 15 p.m., after ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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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