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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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Born for You to End in Two Weeks

There is not enough time for GMA’s ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ to warm up.

That is because its opponent, ABS-CBN’s ‘Born for You’, will end in two weeks’ time. The Kapamilya series starring Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador will air its final episode on September 16.

‘Born for You’ had been on the air since June 20, when it replaced the Kim Chiu and Xian Lim-starrer ‘The Story of Us’. The series marked the first time that Elmo (a former GMA star and current off-screen boyfriend of Janine Gutierrez) and Janella were paired on television.

Though ‘Born for You’ consistently won over ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ in the ratings game, it seems like ABS-CBN is not happy with its performance. The show started strong on its very first week, getting an average of 18%, but after that, ratings hovered between 16-17% during July and early August.

Then in the past two weeks, ‘Born for You”s ratings fell to around the 14% mark. This gave ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ a fighting chance, and though they still fell short, on some nights, they managed to narrow the gap to 1% or less.

Overall, ‘Born for You’ will become a rarity among ABS-CBN dramas. With only 65 episodes, it is one of the shortest-lived dramas ABS-CBN has ever produced, and considering that it aired on the top-rating Primetime Bida block, it is even rarer for a series to air that short on primetime.

The underwhelming performance of ‘Born for You’ could force ABS-CBN to consider breaking up the on-screen love team of Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador. Given the inexperience of the duo together, and the fact that Elmo is still linked to Janine Gutierrez in real life, ABS-CBN may need to find another role for both he and Janella, but not as a love team.

Still, the Kapamilya network may give them another chance together. But that will only depend on both proper timing and a right story that will help them grow and mature as actors.

Only two weeks remain in the run of ‘Born for You’. They need to prove that they can still win big, or else, it will be the trio of Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Max Collins in ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ who will be the ones smiling.

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A Not-so Happy Ending for Juan Happy Love Story

Tomorrow night will be the end of a tale for ‘Juan Happy Love Story’.

The GMA Telebabad series, starring Heart Evangelista, Dennis Trillo and Kim Domingo, will air its finale September 2. It will mark the last of the comedy-infused teleseryes that GMA produced in the last several months, as it will revert back to a more serious tone on ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’.

‘Juan Happy Love Story’ first premiered on May 16, replacing another comedy-infused drama in ‘Because of You’. The series failed to captivate viewers from the start, as it lost to the Kim Chiu and Xian Lim-starred ‘The Story of Us’ on a consistent basis.

Things did not improve for ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ once ‘Born for You’ entered the picture. The latter series, which starred former Kapuso star Elmo Magalona and rising ABS-CBN talent Janella Salvador, scored victory after victory over their more veteran counterparts in the national ratings.

Overall, ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ will have aired for 80 episodes, a norm for GMA dramas these days. Still, despite the decent amount of episodes produced, it was clear that GMA failed to win back their viewers by using a more comedic approach to their teleseryes.

It also did not help that GMA cast a pair of veterans in Dennis Trillo and Heart Evangelista to star in ‘Juan Happy Love Story’. And to make matters worse, GMA did not actively promote the series (via upcoming episode trailers) after the second week, as was the norm in more recent teleseryes.

That said, the flaws in GMA’s talent development, storytelling and programming promotion are once again on display. The Kapuso network’s lack of improvement in these aspects have been a constant issue for Lilybeth Rasonable, and it continued with this series.

Come this Friday, a ‘happy ending’ may be in store for ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ story-wise, but not in terms of performance. Nothing will be expected here, just relief that this comedy-styled approach will mercifully end tomorrow night.

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Elmo, Janella Team Up in Born for You

The most talked-about Kapamilya series in recent memory is hitting the small screen this Monday.

Enter ‘Born for You’, the upcoming ABS-CBN teleserye that will be headlined by two of the country’s up-and-coming young stars. The series will mark the Kapamilya debut of Elmo Magalona, as well as Primetime Bida’s introduction to Janella Salvador.

Named after a hit song by David Pomeranz (his own rendition is prominently featured in this series), ‘Born for You’ is a story of two individuals who share a common bond for music. Sam (Janella) is an upcoming Filipino singer who grew up in Japan, while Kevin (Elmo) is a teen hearthrob and the son of an OPM icon.

Sam believed in a red string of fate, a concept which connects two people that are destined to meet each other wherever they are in the world. It is that string which helped link both Sam and Kevin, but their parents’ shocking musical past might also break it all up.

‘Born for You’ will also star Ariel Rivera, Vina Morales, Ayen Laurel, Bernard Palanca, Gina Pareño, Freddie Webb, Jimboy Martin, Joj Agpangan, Francis Magundayao, Smokey Manaloto, Ogie Diaz, Katya Santos, DJ Durano, Alfred Labatos, Kyline Alcantara, Paulo O’Hara, Neil Coleta, and Young JV. It will be directed by Onat Diaz and Jon Villarin.

In the weeks leading up to the premiere of ‘Born for You’, a lot is said about its promising story and the hype brought on by the fresh pairing of Elmo and Janella. That, coupled by the viewers’ overall excitement over the series, helped ‘Born for You’ become an immediate trending topic on social media.

With so much anticipation surrounding ‘Born for You’, this could spell trouble for its opponent, GMA’s ‘Juan Happy Love Story’. The comedy-drama starring Dennis Trillo and Heart Evangelista has not fared well from the beginning, and it could get worse against a younger love team like Elmo and Janella.

As ‘Born for You’ premieres this Monday, expect no less than a first impression. It is now up to Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador to take them to ratings heaven.

‘Born for You’ airs weeknights starting this Monday after ‘Dolce Amore’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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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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Pre-Noontime Changes Coming Soon for ABS-CBN and GMA

All signs now point for both ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ to end very soon.

ABS-CBN has announced that ‘Oh My G!’ is nearing its end, as evidenced by the video teaser below. However, the network has yet to confirm the official date of its series finale.

Airing since January 19, ‘Oh My G!’ essentially replaced ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in the pre-noontime slot (the anthology ‘Give Love on Christmas’ was aired in the interim). The series starred Janella Salvador, a supporting actress on the latter show, along with Mario Mortel and Manolo Pedrosa.

The shorter-than-expected run of ‘Oh My G!’ should serve ABS-CBN well, as they wanted to avoid a similar fate that befell ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. In addition to ending the series, they also wanted to experiment with something else, perhaps a possible series featuring the budding loveteam of Nadine Lustre and James Reid.

Also ending very soon is its archrival ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, the TAPE-produced talk show airing on GMA. According to various reports, a new drama series starring Ryzza Mae Dizon and Aiza Seguerra is in the works.

Airing since April 2013, ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ starred the eponymous child star and 2012 Little Miss Philippines grand winner in the role of ‘the youngest talk show host in the country’. The series essentially served as a ‘show within a show’ as part of ‘Eat Bulaga’.

By all indications, it is clear that TAPE wanted to end ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ out of fear that Ryzza’s continuous physical and mental growth may take its toll on her and the show she hosts. That said, if Ryzza wanted her progress to continue, she needed to try something else, such as a regular drama.

This should be an interesting second half of 2015 for both ABS-CBN and GMA. Whoever replaces both ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ should have their work cut out for them.

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