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, suspense, television

Kambal Karibal Starts Tonight, Seeks to Topple La Luna Sangre

KathNiel, meet BiGuel.

It seems like nothing can stop ABS-CBN’s ‘La Luna Sangre’. After all, since it premiered last June it became the second most-watched teleserye in the Philippines behind only ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

Three times GMA has tried to curb the dominance of ‘La Luna Sangre’, and three times they miserably failed. After striking out with ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2, they decided to go fire with fire by going with a supernatural theme and a love team.

Their response is a teleserye titled ‘Kambal Karibal’, starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. In the series, twin sisters Crisanta and Criselda (Bianca) battle for the love of both her family and Diego (Miguel), with the already dead Criselda consumed by Crisanta’s increasing affection for Diego and her mother.

The story begins with the death of Criselda from a rare disease, leaving her spirit behind that only appears to Crisanta. But after Crisanta gains the favor of Diego and her mother, Criselda decides to inhabit another person’s body in an attempt to stop Crisanta from getting the love that she deserves.

‘Kambal Karibal’ also stars Jean Garcia, Marvin Agustin, Alfred Vargas, Carmina Villarroel, Gloria Romero, Christopher De Leon, Jeric Gonzales, Pauline Mendoza, Rafa Siguion Reyna, Sheree, Racquel Montessa, and Kyline Alcantara. Katrina Halili and Gardo Versoza will also play special roles in the series.

If ‘La Luna Sangre”s ratings of over 30% and a disparity of over 15% are any indication, then ‘Kambal Karibal’ is in for a rude awakening. The powerhouse cast of ‘La Luna Sangre’, led by Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla and Kapuso castoffs Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez, continues to wreak havoc, and it will be very difficult for BiGuel to overcome KathNiel.

Nevertheless, the battle between ‘La Luna Sangre’ and ‘Kambal Karibal’ should be an interesting one. Not only will this be a competition between love teams, it will also be a fight between vengeful vampires and possessed spirits.

Directed by Don Michael Perez, ‘Kambal Karibal’ airs weeknights after ‘Super Ma’am’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Once Again to Challenge LizQuen Starting Monday

‘Dolce Amore’ will have a new opponent next week.

After taking care of business against ‘That’s My Amboy’, the ABS-CBN drama series will now go up against ‘Once Again’. The upcoming GMA series will be topbilled by Janine Gutierrez and Aljur Abrenica, and will premiere this coming Monday.

In ‘Once Again’, Janine and Aljur portray two different characters whose fates will both intertwine through the power of reincarnation. Janine will play Reign and Des, while Aljur will play Edgar and Aldrin.

Reign, a rich girl, and Edgar, a meek baker, fell in love with each other, but Reign’s family objected and she was forced to marry an elite bachelor named Lukas (Joko Diaz). While trying to overcome these obstacles, both Reign and Edgar met their demise – Edgar during a fight, and Reign after a horrific accident.

Twenty years later, they met anew, but as Des and Aldrin and in a different place. Though they were different people, they still shared the same love and passion that Reign and Edgar once showed.

Joining Janine and Aljur in ‘Once Again’ are Jean Garcia, Sheryl Cruz, Chanda Romero, Emilio Garcia, Timmy Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jeric Gonzales, with special participation from Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco, Irma Adlawan, Sharmaine Arnaiz and Phytos Ramirez. The series will be directed by Don Michael Perez.

‘Once Again’ should have its hands full as they face the established love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. With GMA’s recent unwillingness to promote their teleseryes*, the series may find themselves in a tough spot against ‘Dolce Amore’, especially with the latter posting consistent ratings of over 30% nationally.

If Janine and Aljur were to stand a chance against LizQuen, they need to prove their worth chemistry-wise and talent-wise. Given the success of LizQuen, it will not be easy, but if they can somehow click, that will help ‘Once Again”s chances.

With all obstacles thrown at them, it will be interesting to see how can ‘Once Again’ play a big factor. That said, the first week of this series will be very crucial, and if they can survive, it will be a huge help to their confidence.

‘Once Again’ airs starting this Monday after ‘Poor Señorita’ on GMA Telebabad.

*Exceptions are upcoming series, such as ‘Once Again’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: The Half-Sisters’ Conclusion Announced Anew

Once again, GMA is promoting the impending conclusion of ‘The Half-Sisters’.

Recently, GMA released a teaser for the long-running Afternoon Prime series, which suggests that ‘The Half-Sisters’ is coming to an end anytime soon. The series, which stars the likes of Barbie Forteza, Thea Tolentino, Jean Garcia, Andre Paras and Ryan Eigenmann, has been airing for over 19 months now.

This is the second time that the Kapuso network advertised the conclusion of ‘The Half-Sisters’. They previously released a similar teaser in October, only to pull it out amid news of an extension.

Unless they change their minds yet again, the countdown to the conclusion of ‘The Half-Sisters’ is now underway. For loyal viewers of the show, this is long overdue, and now they hope that the series will end on a high note.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Half-Sisters Joins the ‘One-Year Serye’ Club

Welcome to the ‘one-year serye’ club, ‘The Half-Sisters’.

The highly popular teleserye on GMA’s Afternoon Prime block celebrated its one-year anniversary last Tuesday, June 9. As of today, June 11, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has a total of 262 episodes aired, with more to come as the series continues to progress.

With the milestone of reaching a year on the air, ‘The Half-Sisters’ joins a very exclusive club of local drama series with a run of at least a year. The most recent series to join the club was ABS-CBN’s ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, which aired for over two years.

‘The Half-Sisters’ premiered on Monday, June 9, 2014 as the lead-off program of Afternoon Prime. The series replaced the remake of ‘Villa Quintana’, which starred Janine Gutierrez and Elmo Magalona.

At the time of its premiere, ‘The Half-Sisters’ was joined by ‘Innamorata’ in the Afternoon Prime block. Since then, a total of five other teleseryes (‘Dading’, ‘Ang Lihim ni Annasandra’, ‘Yagit’, ‘Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali?’ ‘Healing Hearts’) have aired alongside ‘The Half-Sisters’, with ‘Yagit’ by far the longest-running of the five to date.

The pilot episode of ‘The Half-Sisters’ registered an 11.5% rating on AGB Nielsen, and a 7.3% on Kantar. Its opponent at the time, ‘Moon of Desire’, registered a 9.2 and 10.2%, respectively.

While ‘The Half-Sisters’ had a slow start early in its run, by the middle of the -ber months, it began a steady climb atop the afternoon ladder. The series ranked as the top-rated program in the weekday afternoons at the end of 2014.

Not even a new opponent in ‘Flordeliza’ can slow ‘The Half-Sisters’ down, even though the series’ criticism regarding its lengthy run began to grow. Today, ‘The Half-Sisters continues to rank among the top ten programs in the country in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen.

Typically the lifespan of a modern-day teleserye lasts four to eight months, depending on ratings and critical acclaim. But ‘The Half-Sisters’ are a different breed, a throwback to the teleseryes of the old days.

That said, expect more twists and turns to develop as ‘The Half-Sisters’ continues.

Starring Barbie Forteza, Thea Tolentino, Jean Garcia, Jomari Yllana, Ryan Eigenmann, Eula Valdes, Andre Paras, Mel Martinez, Vanness del Moral and Winwyn Marquez, ‘The Half-Sisters’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

Notes: From the Tube will take a break tomorrow, June 12, in commemoration of Independence Day in the Philippines. Regular posts resume on Monday, June 15.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Last Three Weeks of ‘Forevermore’; ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ Coming Up

Tonight will be the premiere of ‘Let the Love Begin’, but the Road to ‘Forevermore’ is about to get underway.

ABS-CBN announced that ‘Forevermore’, the top-rated primetime series starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, is now down to its final three weeks. The series is scheduled to end on May 22 after 158 episodes.

The announcement of its impending conclusion came soon after its thanksgiving concert, supposed to be held May 10 at Sitio Pungayan in Sto. Tomas, Benguet, was cancelled due to environmental concerns.

ABS-CBN also confirmed that the replacement of ‘Forevermore’ will be none other than the remake of the classic 2000 teleserye ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. While the teaser below gave no specific premiere date, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ is slated to premiere on May 25, based on the timetable set on ‘Forevermore”s conclusion.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ was heavily hyped by the network since the end of last year. The teaser introduced viewers to the four main characters, which will be played by Kathryn Bernardo (Yna Macaspac, originally by Kristine Hermosa), Daniel Padilla (Angelo Buenavista, originally by Jericho Rosales), Jodi Sta. Maria (Amor Powers, originally by Eula Valdes) and Angelica Panganiban (Claudia Buenavista, originally by Jean Garcia).

The impending teleserye return of the KathNiel tandem should pose some concern to GMA’s debuting teleserye ‘Let the Love Begin’. Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid are considered greenhorns in a lead role at this point, so it remains to be seen if their performance on the latter series will give them a boost to their budding careers.

With everything set, expect a smooth transition from the unexpectedly successful LizQuen pairing to the well-established KathNiel duo. Three weeks from now, a changing of the guard is in order on Primetime Bida’s third slot.

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