drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Desperate Times: Ika-5 Utos Represents GMA’s Last Hope for Six-a-Week Relevance

Let’s state the obvious to begin with.

On Monday, September 10, GMA will introduce a new drama called ‘Ika-5 Utos’. And the series will air from Monday to, not Friday, but Saturday afternoons after ‘Eat Bulaga’.

‘Ika-5 Utos” main plot centers around three families whose bonds will be destroyed by a series of incidents. The series, in particular, will take a look at the issue of hazing in college fraternities.

The cast of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ includes Jean Garcia, Gelli de Belen, Valerie Concepcion, Jake Vargas, Kiko Estrada, Inah de Belen, Tonton Gutierrez, Antonio Aquitania, Jeric Gonzales, Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda. The series, like its sister program ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, will be directed by Laurice Guillen.

So another teleserye that will air six times a week? It seems like GMA is obsessed with this new habit.

And since they do not have any further ideas to fill in on a Saturday afternoon (they do not even bother producing a program to match ABS-CBN’s ‘Pareng Partners’), they are stuck with using a teleserye as a desperate ploy to boost ratings. But as seen in the ill-fated tale that is ‘Contessa’, it was a flawed strategy to begin with.

The approach initially worked on ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ due to ‘insistent public demand’ (its finale earned around 20% despite airing on a Saturday). But when ‘Contessa’ took over viewers were soon fed up by GMA’s over-saturation tactics, and instead opted to watch either Vice Ganda running his mouth on national television or Netflix shows online.

As a result, ‘Contessa’ underachieved and GMA’s strategy backfired. With that in mind, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ is now stuck in the crossroads that will either appease its audience to watch the series or force GMA to finally admit the problems in its approach.

It will be interesting to see how this latest maneuver plays out. Can ‘Ika-5 Utos’ deliver on a six-a-week basis, or will GMA ever regret making this risky move?

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Be Careful’s Rivals Revisited (Part II)

In October 2012, GMA responded to ‘Be Careful with My Heart”s success with ‘Cielo de Angelina’, but it failed to even make a dent in the ratings. (Title card courtesy of GMA Network)

‘Be Careful with My Heart’, ABS-CBN’s long-running ‘kiligserye’ series, ends this Friday, November 28. As a tribute to its unexpected success and longevity, From the Tube will look back at ‘Be Careful”s rivals and their performance against the said late morning drama series.

In just its third month on the air, ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ emerged as the most-watched morning program in the Philippines, with consistent ratings of over 20%. The surprising success of the series left rival GMA, in particular ‘Be Careful”s then-opponent ‘Kusina Master’, stunned.

As a result, GMA decided to counter with a morning drama of their own. Their response came in the form of a drama series starring emerging teen stars Bea Binene and Jake Vargas.

That series became known as ‘Cielo de Angelina’, and it made its debut on October 22, 2012.

On its pilot episode, ‘Cielo de Angelina’ registered a decent 10.2 and 11.8%, according to Kantar and AGB Nielsen, respectively. On the other hand, ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ earned monster ratings of 23.1 and 22.9%.

From the beginning, it was clear that ‘Cielo de Angelina’ would be no match for ‘Be Careful with My Heart. Soon after, single-digit ratings became a regular occurrence for the former, and by November 12, GMA has had enough.

After registering paltry ratings of 8 and 8.8% on the November 9 episode, GMA decided to demote ‘Cielo de Angelina’ to an earlier timeslot in favor of ‘Kusina Master’. However, the change of schedule failed to turn the tide for the struggling show, thanks in large part to the entry of ‘Masterchef Pinoy Edition’.

With ‘Cielo de Angelina”s struggles taking its toll on GMA’s morale, the Kapuso network decided to pull the plug, and on January 4, 2013, the series was finally cancelled.

In fairness to the Kapuso network, ‘Cielo de Angelina’ was not a bad attempt, in a way that it further exposes Bea Binene and Jake Vargas to a more serious type of acting. But it was a series that GMA should have never done in the morning slot, not against a more light-hearted ‘Be Careful with My Heart’.

Meanwhile, ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to dominate its timeslot, leading to another demotion on the part of ‘Kusina Master’. After that, from February 18 to April 5, the series would find itself without an opponent, as GMA aired old movies via its ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block.

It didn’t take long for GMA to find another rival for ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. This time around, they enlisted the help of TAPE, Inc. boss Malou Choa-Fagar in creating their latest late-morning program, one that is unlike any other in television history.

Tomorrow on Part III, From the Tube will look back at ‘Be Careful with My Heart”s final, and by far its most formidable rival, ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Impact of Annaliza on GMA’s Programs

Annaliza’s 10-month run included a near-30% ratings average, and a total of 215 episodes which doubled that of the four different rivals in its timeslot.

For 10 months, the ABS-CBN drama series ‘Annaliza’ was the ratings leader in its timeslot, outplaying its GMA counterparts by a wide margin. As the series concludes this week, let’s look back at how ‘Annaliza’ was able to force GMA to regroup.

Annaliza vs. Home Sweet Home

‘Home Sweet Home’ debuted on GMA’s Telebabad block on April 22, 2013. Meanwhile, ‘Annaliza’ debuted over a month later, on May 27. In its pilot episode, ‘Annaliza’ managed a promising 16.7 % over ‘Home Sweet Home”s 8.8%, setting the stage for its lengthy 10-month run.

While ‘Home Sweet Home’ had a decently good story and a cast led by Raymart Santiago, Bea Binene and Jake Vargas, they were unable to overcome the surprisingly strong acting chemistry between young actress Andrea Brilliantes and co-stars Patrick Garcia, Kaye Abad and Denise Laurel. ‘Home Sweet Home’s final episode on July 19 managed only an 11.4% rating, while ‘Annaliza’ earned 20.4%. ‘Home Sweet Home’ had a total of 64 episodes during its run.

Annaliza vs. Binoy Henyo

‘Annaliza”s next opponent was ‘Binoy Henyo’, featuring another young Kapuso talent in David Remo. ‘Binoy Henyo’ debuted on July 22, but only managed a 12.8% against ‘Annaliza”s 22.1%. Unlike ‘Home Sweet Home’, ‘Binoy Henyo’ enjoyed a rather brief run, lasting for only two months and 45 episodes, with its finale on September 20 managing a paltry 14.4% against ‘Annaliza”s 27%.

Unfortunately for Remo, he was never seen again after ‘Binoy Henyo’, while the showbiz career of Andrea Brilliantes continues to soar with each episode. As a result, GMA decided to create a new series, this time casting a popular love team in hopes of changing their fortunes.

Annaliza vs. Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko

Up next for ‘Annaliza’ was ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’, starring the tandem of Kris Bernal and Aljur Abrenica. But despite the obvious age and experience gap between Andrea Brilliantes and the so-called ‘Alkris’ love team, ‘Annaliza’ still topped ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ on its September 23 pilot, registering a 27.3% over the latter’s 15.1%.

Nevertheless, ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ proved to be a more formidable opponent in its five-month run. But formidable was not enough, and it showed by its performance in the ratings. ‘Prinsesa”s final episode on January 24 managed only a 10.5% rating to ‘Annaliza”s 20.6%. After the series, Aljur Abrenica was paired with Louise delos Reyes in ‘Kambal Sirena’, temporarily putting ‘Alkris’ on the shelf.

Annaliza vs. Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw

‘Annaliza”s 10-month run would conclude against ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’. The series, starring Kim Rodriguez and Kristoffer Martin, debuted on January 27, but only mustered an unimpressive 9.6% against ‘Annaliza”s 23.7%. Like ‘Binoy Henyo’, ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’ failed because of poor marketing and storytelling, and as a result, it only lasted 45 episodes, with its finale scheduled to air on March 28, which at this point the Julia Barretto-starred ‘Mirabella’ was on its first week.

When it’s all said and done, ‘Annaliza’ had topped them all. In its 10 months on the air, ‘Annaliza’ proved to be a more dramatic, more passionate, and more well-written series than anyone had ever imagined. And its successful run should give Andrea Brilliantes something to look forward to as she moves on to bigger and better things.

As for GMA, it was a harsh lesson to learn. Fortunately for them, ‘Annaliza’ will no longer be the least of their problems come next week. However, the impact that ‘Annaliza”s had on GMA’s programs will continue to reverberate on the Kapuso network in the months to come.

 

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