action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, talent show, television

GMA’s Unstable Sabado Star Power Continues

Saturdays have been a source of frustration for GMA.

Once again, the Kapuso network decided to make a change in their Sabado Star Power afternoon lineup. Gone was ‘Laff, Camera, Action’, and in came ‘#Like’, the newest reality talent show hosted by Tom Rodriguez and internet sensation Balang.

‘#Like’ is a talent show featuring online sensations battling against each other in a barangay setting. To the surprise of no one, it is just another concept produced by the GMA Public Affairs team, whose penchant for producing non-news shows becomes more infectious and more criticized than ever.

The premiere of ‘#Like’ took place last September 3, but instead of replacing ‘Laff, Camera, Action’ on its 4:30 timeslot, GMA decided to air the said show after ‘Eat Bulaga’. As a result, this is the how the schedule looks like:

  • 2:30 p.m. – #Like
  • 3:00 p.m. – Karelasyon
  • 4:00 p.m. – Wish Ko Lang
  • 5:00 p.m. – Imbestigador

However, the change did little to improve the ratings. All four of GMA’s post-‘Eat Bulaga’ afternoon programs were on the losing end, with ‘Wish Ko Lang’ the least impressive at 9.4%.

Let’s face it, would’ve been better for ‘#Like’ to go up against ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’ instead of the last half-hour of ‘It’s Showtime’? Probably, given that Marc Logan’s show also features internet sensations and GMA would’ve loved to see that matchup.

Still, GMA had no regrets in making the change once again. However, they would have been better off if ‘Wish Ko Lang’ and ‘Imbestigador’ were to be cancelled, since they are no longer the same programs as they once were.

Meanwhile, another new program premiered last Saturday on the said network. The new show, ‘Superstar Duets’, replaced ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, whose run finally ended after seven months.

Based on the format alone, ‘Superstar Duets’ appears to be the second coming of ‘Celebrity Duets’, except that the celebrities in the show were paired alongside impersonators of foreign singers. The show is currently hosted by Jennylyn Mercado, with Allan K, Aicelle Santos and Christian Bautista serving as judges.

The premiere of ‘Superstar Duets’ didn’t quite impress many, as it earned a 13.2% rating. On the other hand, ‘Pinoy Big Brother Lucky Season 7’ fared much better with a 16.4% rating.

This is going to be a tough battle as far as ‘Superstar Duets’ were concerned. Though it has the potential to run just as long as ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ did, the possibility of winning remains tricky at best.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Rival for On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ is getting new competition starting this Monday.

For the past several months, James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s breakthrough series has been on a roll against its closest competitor, ‘My Faithful Husband’. Even though both series premiered on the same night (August 10), it is clear that GMA’s older generation of talents (Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo) are now a blip on the radar against ABS-CBN’s youngsters.

This Monday will be no exception, as they will once again emphasize experience over youth in their latest series, ‘Little Nanay’. The series will star Kris Bernal as an intellectually disabled 25-year-old mother, who will be taken care of by her own daughter, portrayed by Chlaui Malayao.

Speaking of experience, two Filipino showbiz legends will play major roles in ‘Little Nanay’. Nora Aunor will act as the rock star grandmother to Kris’ character, while Eddie Garcia will play the role of a rich and adoptive grandfather.

Other cast members of ‘Little Nanay’ include Bembol Roco, Mark Herras, Juancho Triviño, Keempee de Leon, Gladys Reyes, Hiro Peralta, Wynwyn Marquez, Sunshine Dizon, Rafa Siguion-Reyna, Jinri Park, Paolo Contis and Renz Fernandez. Multi-awarded actor and director Ricky Davao will be at the helm.

In contrast to the more serious tone of ‘My Faithful Husband’, ‘Little Nanay’ will be presented in a mostly comedic manner. This was GMA’s response to the more light-hearted approach of ‘On the Wings of Love’, which in turn was a departure from the mostly mature dramas that ABS-CBN aired in the 9:15 p.m. timeslot.

By all accounts, this will be a tough challenge for ‘Little Nanay’. With ‘On the Wings of Love’ still winning in the ratings game, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Little Nanay’ will be able to keep up with the former.

That said, an imposing task awaits ‘Little Nanay’. It’s up to Kris Bernal to prove that GMA’s so-called ‘oldies’ are still goodies.

‘Little Nanay’ premieres this Monday at 9:15 p.m., right after ‘Beautiful Strangers’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

My Faithful Husband Down to Last Three Weeks

The series that premiered on the same night as ‘On the Wings of Love’ is down to its last three weeks.

‘My Faithful Husband’, the GMA teleserye starring Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo, will air its final episode on November 13. The series’ replacement is yet to be determined, but there is talk that ‘Little Nanay’, and not ‘Wish I May’, would replace ‘My Faithful Husband’.

Premiering on August 10, ‘My Faithful Husband’ was supposed to be Jen’s small-screen comeback following her blockbuster film success with ‘English Only, Please’. Unfortunately, the series premiered alongside ABS-CBN’s ‘On the Wings of Love, which starred an equally successful but younger big-screen duo in James Reid and Nadine Lustre.

The entry of JaDine was bad timing for the Kapuso network. The timeslot that ‘On the Wings of Love’ occupied was previously reserved for more mature and sexually-oriented teleseryes, which ‘My Faithful Husband’ typifies.

As expected, ‘My Faithful Husband’ proved to be no match for ‘On the Wings of Love’ in the ratings. Caught in a mismatch, GMA then decided to release some teasers for the upcoming ‘kilig’-oriented drama, ‘Wish I May’, only to hold off the project for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps Jen would be better off focusing on the big screen first, since her recent movie ‘The Pre-Nup’ became a box-office hit, and a teaser for her Metro Manila Film Festival entry ‘Walang Forever’ is also going viral on social media. Pairing with talents from other networks (Derek Ramsey, Sam Milby, Jericho Rosales) may be an even better idea for her.

In any event, ‘My Faithful Husband’ has officially conceded defeat to ‘On the Wings of Love’. And with the latter now extended to early 2016, GMA needs to find another way to halt the momentum of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

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drama, entertainment, television

A Not-So ‘InTENse’ Premiere for Beautiful Strangers, My Faithful Husband

‘InTENse’ is not the kind of word that is expected in GMA’s new-look Telebabad.

Contrary to what GMA claims in the plugs (see video above) for the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’, the ‘inTENse’ moniker seems to apply more towards its two rival teleseryes on ABS-CBN. ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, for one, has been the obsession of many since episode one, and now they are joined by ‘On the Wings of Love’, another potential top-rater.

‘On the Wings of Love’ has been in every viewer’s radar since the project was announced last February, and now the can’t-miss series has been given the green light. It will be the first teleserye for the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre (a.k.a. JaDine), but for those familiar of their work, they should be no strangers to success.

After all, JaDine starred in the hit movies ‘Diary ng Panget’, ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead’, and more recently ‘My Hopeless Romantic’. The duo also starred in ‘Wansapanatym”s ‘My App Boyfie’, fueling their popularity even further.

But ‘On the Wings of Love’ will not be the only series that GMA needs to worry about. The ever-popular ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be bolstered further with the arrival of Bea Bianca, portrayed by Sarah Carlos, whose role is to be the third wheel in the Angelo-Yna (Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively) love affair.

Both ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’ should have their hands full facing KathNiel and JaDine, respectively. While the two series will have a good amount of star power (Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo), they are still at a disadvantage.

A one-two punch on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida awaits the two premiering series on GMA Telebabad. For a network that still lives in the past when it comes to its stars, this is a mismatch in hell.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Last Minute Change for ‘Once Upon a Kiss’; GMA’s Need for a ‘Second Chance’

GMA management is once again at the forefront of last-minute changes.

The latest of these moves took place Monday night, as ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ was placed after ‘More Than Words’ on GMA’s Telebabad block. Prior to the late switch, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ was scheduled to premiere after ’24 Oras’.

Despite the last-minute change in schedule, the pilot episode of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ still failed to impress viewers. The teleserye only managed a 15.2% rating against the 23.6 % of ABS-CBN’s ‘Forevermore’, according to Kantar.

That said, the series starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix will have a lot more work to do if they want to get past the increasingly popular tandem of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. Considering the momentum that ‘Forevermore’ generated from day one, it will be a daunting task for the former to overcome.

Meanwhile, the long-overdue premiere of ‘Second Chances’ will take place this Monday. The series had been scheduled to air back in November, but GMA postponed its premiere in hopes of making a splash for the new year.

As seen in the teasers released by the network, the series tells the story of four different individuals whose lives will change by way of a traumatizing event. Portraying these life-changing characters are Jennylyn Mercado, Camille Prats, Raymart Santiago and Rafael Rosell.

‘Second Chances’ has been in production since early August, and was intended to replace ‘Ilustrado’ on Telebabad back in November. But due to some last minute programming changes, the series premiere was postponed until the early part of 2015.

Now that ‘Second Chances’ finally gets its due, it will be interesting to see how a story of inspiration and determination fare against one featuring infidelity and jealousy. Its pilot week will be against the hot-as-lava ‘Two Wives’, who has thoroughly dominated the former’s predecessor ‘Hiram na Alaala’ for the most part.

That said, GMA now hopes to have a second chance of their own. A traumatizing event like low ratings, declining revenue and front office mismanagement are definitely worth overcoming, but unless GMA finds a way to make a second chance, they will again find themselves on the losing end of ABS-CBN’s dominance.

‘Second Chances’ premieres this Monday after ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Sad Ending to Ilustrado, Plus Second Chances Moved to Early 2015

The highly-budgeted but low-rated GMA bayaniserye ‘Ilustrado’ will end this Friday . (Photo credit: GMA Network)

‘Ilustrado’ ends this Friday with little to show for.

GMA’s so-called ‘bayaniserye’, which was produced by the News and Public Affairs department, failed to impress in the ratings throughout its run. This despite the fact that it boasted a more hi-tech production and added a more educational approach to the story.

Figures from both Kantar and AGB Nielsen showed that ‘Ilustrado’ was way behind ABS-CBN’s ‘Two Wives’ in the ratings for much of its run. ‘Ilustrado’ also failed to make an impact on social media, as netizens focused more on the intimate and hostile scenes between the characters of Jason Abalos, Erich Gonzales and Kaye Abad rather than Alden Richards’ portrayal of Jose Rizal as a student in Europe.

‘Ilustrado’ premiered on October 20 amid high expectations. GMA gave the show’s producers a big budget, investing on the latest computer technologies to digitally recreate the look of late 19th century Europe.

But the big investment did not translate into ratings success, even though more advertisers pitched in to help recover the losses. That said, expect GMA to lose more money after the disastrous returns of ‘Ilustrado’.

With ‘Ilustrado’ about to leave the airwaves this Friday, a new series will come to the Kapuso network starting November 17.

Contrary to earlier reports, ‘Second Chances’ will not be the replacement for ‘Ilustrado’. The teleserye, starring Jennylyn Mercado, Rafael Rosell, Raymart Santiago and Camille Prats, will now air beginning the first quarter of 2015.

Instead, ‘More Than Words’, starring Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez, will replace ‘Ilustrado’, but not at the latter’s old timeslot. The series is expected to move at an earlier time.

Like ‘Ilustrado’, ‘Second Chances’ is expected to be a big-budgeted series. For the second consecutive year, a series starring Jennylyn Mercado will lead a list of GMA’s first quarter offerings, with the first being ‘Rhodora X’.

The move of ‘Second Chances” to an early 2015 premiere should boost its chances somewhat, as the series’ producers will now use the time to improve the story, production and character development.

This does not mean, however, that ‘Second Chances’ will be a potential hit. As it has been proven time and time again, GMA’s overreliance on its veterans have cost them both ratings, young talent and ad loads, and this latest venture shows how poor GMA is at managing and developing talent.

As 2014 winds down, expect yet another down year for the Kapuso network, both in financial health and in viewership. And it only gets worse.

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