drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Langit Lupa

It’s all down to one final week for ‘Langit Lupa’.

This Friday, ABS-CBN will air the 108th and final episode of ‘Langit Lupa’, the late weekday morning drama starring Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor. The series tells the story of two best friends whose origins and issues with their parents test their bond together.

Also starring in ‘Langit Lupa’ are Yam Concepcion, Alessandra de Rossi, Patrick Garcia, Jason Abalos, Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. The series is directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

‘Langit Lupa’ first premiered on November 28, 2016 and made an immediate impact, earning a rating of 17.5% to rule its timeslot against GMA’s ‘Trops’, which only scored 8.7%. From that point on, ‘Langit Lupa’ continued ABS-CBN’s dominance in the late-morning slot, averaging around 15% compared to ‘Trops” 9% in Kantar.

The series was also a regular trending topic on social media, with viewers praising the acting abilities of child stars Yesha and Xia. The latter’s performances on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ likewise boosted not only her individual popularity, but also of the show with which she stars.

Despite its success, ‘Langit Lupa’ may be considered one of ABS-CBN’s more underrated late-morning series. Unlike another child-starred drama in ‘Ningning’ (starring ‘Dream Dad”s Jana Agoncillo), the two child stars of ‘Langit Lupa’ are essentially rookies in the field of entertainment, thus their performances and recognition still have more room for improvement.

Nevertheless, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents the first big leap in the careers of Yesha and Xia. With ABS-CBN’s growing reputation as a ‘child star factory’, greater things are expected for the two in terms of their career path.

Come this Friday, it will be the cutest finale journey for Princess (Yesha) and Esang (Xia). For viewers who have tuned in to ‘Langit Lupa’ from the beginning, a memorable and wonderful conclusion awaits.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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The Demise of Asianovelas on ABS-CBN

Once known for introducing F4 (above) and ‘Meteor Garden’ to Filipino audiences, ABS-CBN has effectively ceased its importation of Asianovelas since the middle of this year. (Photo credit: Meteor Garden ABS-CBN Official Facebook)

Asianovelas on ABS-CBN are now a thing of the past.

The premiere of the teleserye ‘You’re My Home’ last November 9 signaled the end of an era. Gone are the days when ABS-CBN usually reserves the final spot of their weekday afternoon and evening blocks for Asianovelas.

Now they are leaning more towards local programming in an effort to make use of their deep roster of talents. This makes sense, considering that ABS-CBN has the resources and the technology to produce their own programs.

The last Asianovelas aired on ABS-CBN were ‘Let’s Get Married’ and ‘My Lovely Girl’, whose final episodes were aired on June 19 of this year. When the recently-concluded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ premiered on the weekday slots three days later, many thought this was only a temporary break for Asianovelas on the network.

As it turned out, ABS-CBN has bigger plans in mind. With so many programs currently kept under wraps, management thought it was best to finally devote more time to locally-produced shows.

This led to the entry of more recent teleseryes such as ‘Ningning’, ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’, and the aforementioned ‘You’re My Home’. A few other programs are still being planned, with a target date set for early next year.

Today, the Prime Tanghali, Kapamilya Gold and Primetime Bida blocks air a combined total of nine teleseryes. More than half of the network’s roster of contract artists are currently utilized in these teleseryes, ranging from child stars like ‘Ningning”s Jana Agoncillo to forty-somethings like ‘You’re My Home”s Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.

ABS-CBN’s new path should benefit the network in the years to come. Having recently launched ABS-CBN HD, they now strive to take advantage of this new technology by committing more towards local programs, with the intent of broadcasting a purely Filipino programming lineup in the near future.

As for Asianovelas, it’s now GMA’s responsibility to continue airing them. After all, they still have Heart of Asia mornings to keep fans company.

Note: ‘Angel Wings’ is excluded here as it is considered a spiritual successor of the long-running anthology series ‘Chinese Variety Show’. Asianovelas only refer to imported series from Eastern Asian countries that air on weekdays.

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After Long Wait, Ryzza Finally Takes the Drama Route

‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ is now a drama series.

Yes, TAPE still calls it as ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, but starting this Monday, it will now retire the talk show format that has been in place for over two years. In its place is a drama series subtitled ‘Princess in the Palace’, again starring the eponymous former Little Miss Philippines winner.

Ryzza Mae Dizon is no stranger to dramatic roles, having done so in ‘Eat Bulaga”s annual Lenten specials and in her life story in ‘Magpakailanman’. However, this will be the first time that she will play a major role in a weekday drama series.

As the title suggests, ‘Princess in the Palace’ will feature a story of a young and cheerful girl who was found and adopted by the President of the Philippines following an unexpected accident. From there, Princess (Ryzza) began to live a wonderful life as an adopted presidential daughter.

‘The Ryzza Mae Show Presents Princess in the Palace’ will also star fellow LMP alum Aiza Seguerra and seasoned actress Eula Valdes. Also playing supporting roles will be Boots Anson-Roa, Dante Rivero, Ciara Sotto, Neil Perez, Ces Quesada, Marc Abaya, Lianne Valentin, Miggy Jimenez, Vince de Jesus and Rocky Salumbides.

The transition of ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ into a drama series came at a not-so opportune time. Ryzza’s budding career has taken a backseat with the AlDub phenomenon, and rival child actress Jana Agoncillo has made ABS-CBN’s ‘Ningning’ a must-watch since premiering in late July.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how Ryzza can adapt to a full-time role in a teleserye. Having shown glimpses of her dramatic ability in both ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, she should have no problem making the move to serious dramatic actress after years of hosting and harnessing her comedic abilities.

‘Princess in the Palace’ is a big challenge for Ryzza, so good luck.

‘The Ryzza Mae Show presents Princess in the Palace’ premieres starting this Monday at 11:30 a.m. on GMA.

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Ningning Premiere Kicks Off the Battle of the Child Stars

Jana Agoncillo (center) will star in an upcoming series ‘Ningning’, which will be placed in the pre-noontime slot opposite fellow child star Ryzza Mae Dizon. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Two of the country’s most recognizable child stars today will face off this Monday.

In the red corner is GMA/TAPE’s own Ryzza Mae Dizon, formerly the 2012 Little Miss Philippines grand winner. ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ is her first television project outside of ‘Eat Bulaga’, and it ushered Ryzza into the role of the country’s youngest talk show host.

In the blue corner is ABS-CBN’s own Jana Agoncillo, formerly known as ‘Baby’ in the hit primetime series ‘Dream Dad’. ‘Ningning’ will be her second starring role in a drama series, and her first in the pre-noontime slot.

‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ may be considered a ‘show within a show’ as part of ‘Eat Bulaga’, but on its own right, it was a decent and entertaining talk show, with the titular 10-year-old host proving to be a kid of many talents. Now Ryzza’s standing as one of the country’s top child stars will be put to the test as Jana Agoncillo comes into play.

In ‘Ningning’, Jana plays the titular character who is cheerful, hopeful and lovely. Set in San Vicente, Palawan, ‘Ningning”s jovial nature will be put to the test through a variety of obstacles that her family and her community faces.

Joining Jana in breathing life out of ‘Ningning’ will be Beauty Gonzales, Ketchup Eusebio, Sylvia Sanchez, Vandolph Quizon, Nyoy Volante, Rommel Padilla, Mercedes Cabral, Pooh, and John Steven de Guzman. Nonie Buencamino and Franco Daza will appear in a special participation.

Before ‘Ningning’ was officially announced as the replacement for the departing ‘Oh My G’, two other upcoming dramas were also considered. There is ‘On the Wings of Love’, starring the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre, and there is ‘Be My Lady’, starring Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga.

However, when news of an upcoming GMA/TAPE drama series starring Ryzza Mae Dizon and Aiza Seguerra came to light, ABS-CBN chose ‘Ningning’ instead. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, since ‘The Ryzza Mae Show”s days are being numbered.

By all indications, this should be an interesting battle. While Ryzza has more mileage in terms of exposure, Jana is not far behind, and based on her success in ‘Dream Dad’, expect her to be as effective in ‘Ningning’.

‘Ningning’ premieres this Monday, July 27, before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetanghali.

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In 100 Words: ‘Dream Dad”s Baby Returns as ‘Ningning’

The breakout star from ‘Dream Dad’ returns with a new teleserye.

Child actress Jana Agoncillo will lead the cast of ‘Ningning’. The upcoming ABS-CBN drama series will be Jana’s second starring role, after appearing in support roles on ‘Honesto’ and ‘Ikaw Lamang’.

But Jana will not be the only ‘Dream Dad’ star in this series, as Beauty Gonzalez is also confirmed to be a part of ‘Ningning’. The former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ housemate has enjoyed a career renaissance following years of weight problems, culminating in a breakout role in ‘Dream Dad’.

Initial teasers for ‘Ningning’ have already been released by the network, with the premiere date and timeslot still to be determined. Stay tuned for further updates.

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