drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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.

Advertisements
Standard
action, anime, cartoon, comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, humor, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, Sports, talent show, television

FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

Standard
concerts, documentaries, entertainment, live events, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, television

Concerts, Documentaries and Live Events a Rarity on SNBO

The concert ‘Voices of Love’ will be aired this Sunday on GMA’s SNBO.

On Sunday, GMA’s ‘Sunday Night Box Office’ will air the Valentine’s Day ‘Voices of Love’ concert featuring Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez. In many ways, the concert serves as a much-needed respite from the repetitive Filipino-dubbed movies that have been airing on SNBO for some time. Unfortunately, airing these events are becoming increasingly rare on SNBO, and it didn’t help that GMA’s lack of revenue made it difficult to air something other than movies.

SNBO, for its part, has not fared well of late in the ratings against ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best’. Much of the blame is centered on its broadcast of old Filipino-dubbed movies that has alienated movie fans of all ages. (Remember the infamous ‘SNBO Double Treat’?) This was in contrast to ‘Sunday’s Best”s high-quality offerings that range from a variety of documentaries and recent live events to the latest English-language films and Star Cinema releases. And when this program follows the highly-rated talk show ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, it is total disaster for SNBO.

But for this Sunday, movies on both SNBO and ‘Sunday’s Best’ will be taking a backseat.  In addition to GMA’s ‘Voices of Love’, ABS-CBN will be airing a documentary entitled ‘Lakwatsero sa Hokkaido’, in which Robi Domingo’s recent trip to Japan was covered. It will be interesting to see how a concert on SNBO will fare against a documentary on ‘Sunday’s Best’, but on a night where no movies were scheduled, it means a better option for viewers to end their weekend.

Standard
cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ghost Fighter Again?

The first volume of the Yū Yū Hakusho Original...

For the hundredth time, GMA 7 airs YuYu Hakusho, emphasizing the fact that they’re short of funds in acquiring new anime titles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the early morning, while watching  Doraemon, I saw GMA‘s plug for its early morning Anime programs and noticed that they brought back YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter) to its rotation replacing Dragon Ball Z Kai. I’m getting too old for this. Why would they insist on re-airing this classic anime over and over again? It’s been aired repeatedly over a thousand times, can’t they move on and acquire new properties?

For those who didn’t know the story, YuYu Hakusho tells the story of a young junior high student named Eugene. He met his allies Alfred and Dennis (originally a female named Denise) along the way while feuding and later befriending Vincent. He also had a love interest named Jenny while Sherlene and Master Jerico became his confidants early in his adventures. Throughout the story he would be mentored by Master Jeremiah in an effort to defeat various villains, including his main adversary Toguro. His main weapon is the Ray Gun.

YuYu Hakusho, better known as Ghost Fighter in the Philippines, first aired on IBC-13 in the mid-1990s. In 1998 the rights for the anime were acquired by GMA 7 and was first aired at the height of the genre’s popularity in the country. It has been re-aired on a semi-frequent basis since.

For the nth time, GMA 7’s fortunes were focused mostly on producing elaborate teleseryes, top-notch live shows, and high-quality news programs. Which means acquiring new anime titles have been few and far between. ABS-CBN, for the most part, has been able to air new titles courtesy of its Hero channel, which is a subsidiary of the network, while TV5 has collaborated with Disney Channel, Toonami and Cartoon Network to air those network’s programs. As for GMA, they have little funds to allocate for new anime and other related programming, considering that their audience during the 8:00-10:00 a.m. timeframe is shrinking due to competition from cable networks.

With that in mind, GMA is definitely the one suffering. Without sufficient support from other companies (ABS-CBN and TV5 are owned by conglomerates), GMA 7 will continue to scramble for its early morning audience, if not the entire day’s audience. Reairing YuYu Hakusho and other past anime won’t help their cause; they would have to find a way to air another program in its slot.

Standard
cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Anime Classics: Doraemon

One of the greatest Anime creations ever, Doraemon is deemed a cultural icon throughout Japan, and a recognizable character worldwide. (Illustration courtesy of Fujiko Fujio)

Every morning I tuned in to GMA 7 to watch Doraemon, and I just kept laughing. There is this blue robotic cat named Doraemon and his sidekick Nobita, who turned to him for help and advice, mostly for the wrong reasons. And there are Nobita’s friends, namely Shizuka, Suneo and Takeshi.  Takeshi, in the Filipino dub of  the anime, is named ‘Damulag’ or fat. For some reason, I still enjoy the program’s comedic value with the emphasis on moral lessons and educational topics.

GMA 7 has been airing Doraemon in the Philippines for over a decade, albeit on an intermittent basis. GMA Network continues to have the rights to the Doraemon anime, so even though they would stop airing for a while, they would keep the rights for future airings. They have also aired Doraemon feature films, albeit in three-part episodes.

The anime is created by Fujiko Fujio, who published the manga for 27 years. The television programs, through three different incarnations, have been airing since 1973, mostly through the TV Asahi network.  Nearly 50 Doraemon feature films have also been released. The Doraemon character is popular around the world, particularly in its native Japan, regardless of generations. In the Philippines, Doraemon merchandise have been a hit with children and adults alike, from keychains to bags and t-shirts, and even ringtones in cellphones.

One of my favorite Doraemon items is the time carpet. Doraemon and Nobita would go inside the latter’s drawer with the time carpet in hand, and then go time traveling, either to the past or to the future. Doraemon’s emphasis on studying both the past and the future has been a subject of discussion during every episode, and with it comes the experience and knowledge that Nobita learned through each of his travels. Another Doraemon trademark is the food dorayaki, used as a plot device in most episodes.

The secret of Doraemon is in his belly pocket. This is where he retrieves a gadget for Nobita to use in an effort to solve his dilemma. Sometimes however, Nobita would use that object at his own risk, and whenever Suneo and Takeshi sneak in, they would either steal or take advantage of Nobita’s object. Oftentimes it would be Nobita’s mother who scolded him for using the item for the wrong reason. This is where the moral lesson comes in, and it is usually up to Doraemon to remind Nobita of those lessons.

The humorous tone, creative storylines, and the moral lessons that come with it ensured the anime’s popularity and critical acclaim. Even as the manga published its last issue in 1996, its continued exposure through television, film, promotional appearances and merchandise kept Doraemon into the conscience of every Japanese. Today Doraemon is considered one of the greatest creations in the world of Japanese anime.

Standard