drama, entertainment, reality show, talent show, television

ABS-CBN Welcomes an Abrenica

Turns out there will be an Abrenica on ABS-CBN after all.

However, the Abrenica referred here is not Aljur. Instead, younger brother Vin Abrenica, a fellow reality talent search show winner (via TV5’s ‘Artista Academy’), jumped ship to ABS-CBN.

Just recently, a contract signing took place that signaled Vin Abrenica’s entry into the Kapamilya network. Though he already appeared in the legal drama anthology ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ last October, his first actual project with ABS-CBN will be on ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, where he will be paired with Jessy Mendiola in a future episode.

Prior to ABS-CBN, Vin Abrenica was a TV5 talent for three years. After winning ‘Artista Academy’, Vin appeared in several TV5 shows, but his future with the network became in doubt as soon as VIVA’s Vic del Rosario took over TV5’s entertainment department.

The entry of Vin Abrenica to ABS-CBN caught many by surprise. Back when older brother Aljur was in a contract mess with GMA two years ago, there was a lot of talk of him joining ABS-CBN to further hone his talents.

After all, it was ABS-CBN who had a reputation of turning struggling former Kapuso talents into certified stars. Names like Cristine Reyes, Paulo Avelino, Angel Locsin, Jake Cuenca and Iza Calzado came to ABS-CBN after years of service to GMA, and with the help of talent guru Johnny Manahan, their stars are now shining brighter than ever.

However, Aljur Abrenica and GMA decided to patch their differences, and today Aljur remains as visible as ever on the Kapuso network. Currently he appears in ‘Once Again’, where he is paired alongside Janine Gutierrez.

Imagine if Aljur decided to go to ABS-CBN instead of reconciling with GMA. His waning star would have been rekindled under the watchful eyes of Johnny Manahan.

As it stands, however, he is back with GMA, but unfortunately for him, it was not a sweet reunion so far. Since premiering in mid-May, ‘Once Again’ has been struggling to keep up with ‘Dolce Amore’, who were led by Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

Hopefully the story will be different for younger brother Vin. Now that he’s on ABS-CBN, Vin is poised to ascend much further than his brother, but it remains to be seen if he is indeed a good fit.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Shortened Final Week Awaits Little Nanay, You’re My Home

Only five episodes remain for ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’.

Both series will officially conclude this Holy Wednesday, March 23. Since Maunday Thursday and Good Friday will feature special religious-themed programming, the final week of the two shows will be uncharacteristically abbreviated than usual.

GMA’s ‘Little Nanay’ first aired on November 16, 2015, and will have run for 129 episodes by the time it ends. The series starred Kris Bernal, Chlaui Malayao, Nora Aunor and Eddie Garcia, among others.

‘Little Nanay’ was pitted against ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ from the moment it premiered, but the series endured poor ratings against the KathNiel-starred drama. Not even a change of timeslot from January 11 onward helped change its fortunes, as they didn’t come close to the feats achieved by ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’.

On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s ‘You’re My Home’ first aired a week earlier, on November 9. The series, which starred Dawn Zulueta, Richard Gomez, Jessy Mendiola and JC de Vera, among others, will have a total of 136 episodes once it concludes.

‘You’re My Home’ was created essentially to take advantage of GMA’s weaker offerings during the late evening slot. While the series started slow, it has since earned respectable ratings, and helped consolidate the dominance of ABS-CBN during weekday primetime.

The conclusions of both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’ mark a rare occasion in which a drama series will end on Holy Wednesday. As mentioned earlier, regular programming on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are set aside for religious-themed programs, hence the shorter final week.

That said, with only three episodes remaining before the Paschal Triduum kicks in, expect ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’ to have a compelling conclusion. One can only hope that the two series will make a final impression as they enter the homestretch.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Banana Sundae to Answer Sunday PinaSaya Next Week

‘Banana Split’ will be rebranded as ‘Banana Sundae’ starting this Sunday, airing alongside ‘ASAP’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

The second longest-running active gag show on Philippine television is moving to a new timeslot.

Starting this Sunday, ‘Banana Split’ will now be renamed as ‘Banana Sundae’. Its gag show in front of a live audience approach will be retained, except that it will now be seen on a more viewer-accessible Sunday afternoon slot.

Most of the show’s cast will be carried over from ‘Banana Split’, with a few additions. Jessy Mendiola and Pokwang will now join ‘Banana Sundae’ alongside established mainstays such as Angelica Panganiban, Jason Gainza, John Prats, Pooh and Ryan Bang.

Even though ‘Banana Split’ was holding its own every Saturday night for the past several years, it is clear that the show’s appeal was severely affected by the reality and talent shows that preceded it. For example, ‘Banana Split”s final Saturday episode was aired a few minutes before midnight, due to the lengthy first-part finale of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’.

Even worse for ABS-CBN was the success of ‘ASAP”s latest rival ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, whose new comedic approach provided a livelier alternative to ‘ASAP”s concert-based format. As the long-running ‘ASAP’ lost ground to a new, more entertaining rival, plus the recent lack of attention towards ‘Banana Split’, ABS-CBN decided to make a move.

Thus came the rebrand of ‘Banana Split’ into ‘Banana Sundae’. With the move to Sunday afternoons, ABS-CBN hopes that ‘Banana Sundae’ will appease the demands of viewers who crave for a comedy show that will answer ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

‘Banana Sundae’ is not expected to directly compete with ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ though, as ABS-CBN has no plans of moving ‘ASAP’ to a later timeslot the same way GMA did with ‘Sunday All-Stars’. The most likely destination of the show is the timeslot currently occupied by ‘Kapamilya Mega Blockbusters’, unless ABS-CBN slightly changes its plans.

Either way, ‘Banana Split’ will now move to Sunday afternoons. And loyal viewers should get more excited now that it airs on a more accessible timeslot.

‘Banana Sundae’ airs every Sunday starting November 15, with the timeslot to be determined.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

You’re My Home Premieres Tonight

ABS-CBN is adding a fifth teleserye to Primetime Bida’s already formidable lineup.

The latest entry on the block is ‘You’re My Home’, the long-awaited project of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta. The series was first planned two years ago, but numerous casting and story changes delayed the project until this year.

The original cast of ‘You’re My Home’ would have featured Richard and Dawn along with Enchong Dee, Shaina Magdayao, Iza Calzado, Cherry Pie Picache, Ella Cruz and Francis Magundayao. Instead, ABS-CBN decided to start over and rework the casting process.

With the exception of Richard and Dawn, the rest of the cast will now feature Jessy Mendiola, JC de Vera, Tonton Gutierrez, Paul Salas, Precious Lara Quigaman, Assunta De Rossi, Jobelle Salvador, Mika Dela Cruz, Minnie Aguilar, Peewee O’Hara, Belle Mariano, Bugoy Carino, and Raikko Mateo. The series will be directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Star Creatives will handle production.

‘You’re My Home”s story will revolve around a family’s search for a lost son and the questions that surround his disappearance. The Fontanilla family of Grace (Jessy), Gabriel (Richard), Marian (Dawn) and Rahm (Sam) will have to find a way to not only look for their son Vince (Paul), but also fix a relationship that was ruined by his disappearance.

As mentioned earlier, ‘You’re My Home’ will be the network’s fifth teleserye on the Primetime Bida block. Counting the three other teleseryes on Kapamilya Gold and the late-morning series ‘Ningning’, ABS-CBN will now have a total of nine teleseryes every weekday, further demonstrating the network’s depth, creativity and financial capabilities.

It will be interesting to see if five teleseryes on primetime will translate to better ratings. ‘You’re My Home’ may be a can’t miss, but whether or not it will whet viewers’ appetites in the late-evening remains to be seen.

‘You’re My Home’ premieres tonight after ‘On the Wings of Love’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Thoughts on Drama Remakes Airing on Different Stations

‘Baker King’ premieres on TV5 this Monday. The said series is a rare example of a remake that aired on a different station from the original. (Photo credit: PEP.ph)

Not all remakes of drama series ended up airing on the same station as the original.

Such was the case for three telenovelas starring Thalia: ‘MariMar’, ‘Maria la del Barrio’ and ‘Rosalinda’. The first two originally aired on RPN-9 in the mid-90s, briefly giving the struggling station a ratings boost.

GMA then re-aired ‘MariMar’ in the late 2000s, while creating two local remakes of it: one starring Marian Rivera in 2007, and another still under pre-production this year. ABS-CBN never re-aired the original ‘Maria la del Barrio’, but was able to produce a remake in 2011 starring Erich Gonzales.

The Kapamilya network also aired ‘Maria Mercedes’ and ‘Rosalinda’ later in the 90s. But while they managed to create a local version of the former with Jessy Mendiola two years ago, the latter wound up in the hands of the Kapuso network, not only re-airing the original, but also producing a remake starring Carla Abellana in 2009.

This phenomenon is not restricted to telenovelas alone. It also happens to local dramas as well.

For instance, GMA aired the original ‘Anna Liza’ starring Julie Vega in the early 80s. Then over two decades later, ABS-CBN remade the series (retitled ‘Annaliza’) with Andrea Brillantes, running for nearly a year.

Another example was ‘Dyesebel’, which was remade into a GMA teleserye in 2009, only to be rehashed again by ABS-CBN last year. The former starred Marian Rivera while the latter starred Anne Curtis.

Now TV5 is doing something unprecedented, as a remake of the popular GMA Koreanovela ‘The Baker King’ is expected to premiere on the network starting this Monday. That said, even Asianovelas are not safe in the said phenomenon.

The original version of ‘The Baker King’ aired on the Kapuso network in 2011, and starred Yoon Shi-yoon, Eugene and Joo Won. The series earned decently good ratings for GMA that year.

Despite the success, GMA chose not to hold on to ‘The Baker King’, let alone create a local version of it. Instead, TV5 acquired the rights for the possible remake last year.

The remake of ‘The Baker King’ will star Mark Neumann, Shaira Mae and Akihiro Blanco, and will air on weeknights starting May 18 after the ‘Wattpad Presents’ series.

It is rare for a drama series to have a remake air on a different station. Whether it is due to lack of revenue, loss of desire or motivation, or declining ratings, keeping the rights to a particular drama is a something TV stations cannot avoid at times.

That said, it is one station’s loss and another’s gain when these things fall into place. Regardless of the result, these stations should be proud to have tried their hand at remaking these classics.

After all, Philippine television is always a cautionary tale for a station’s decisions.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, Sports, talk show, television

FTT Year 2013 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who dominated television ratings all year.

The Positives

Everything went right for ABS-CBN. And it showed in its weekday offerings. Primetime Bida teleseryes dominated the Kantar ratings, led by the year’s top-rated series ‘Juan dela Cruz’. ‘TV Patrol’ remains the most preferred evening newscast, while ‘Showtime’ introduced the most talked-about ‘That’s My Tomboy’ and ‘Kalokalike’ segments that propelled them atop the noontime pyramid. And thanks to the highly-anticipated November wedding between Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) and Richard ‘Ser Chief’ (Richard Yap), ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to lord over the late morning slot.

The Kapamilya network continued to rack up ratings victories on weekends, aided by its reality competition shows ‘The Voice of the Philippines’, ‘Masterchef Pinoy Edition’, and ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’. Also helping their cause were the long-running anthology ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and game shows such as ‘Bet on Your Baby’ and ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal‘. ‘Gandang Gabi Vice‘ and ‘ASAP’ remain the most talked-about shows on social media.

Even its sports offerings beat the competition. The Miami-San Antonio NBA Finals and the La Salle-UST UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals scored big in the ratings and in the hearts of netizens. The network also continued to showcase top-notch boxing matches such as the ‘Pinoy Pride’ series and fights featuring Nonito Donaire.

The Negatives

While they were able to enjoy high ratings on primetime, there were still some shows that ended up lasting less than half a year. Examples include ‘Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin‘, ‘Apoy sa Dagat‘ and ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, whose storylines required only at least four months of airing. Also getting the ax were the sitcom ‘Toda Max’, after lead star Robin Padilla reportedly left, and ‘The Buzz’, which was reformatted as ‘Buzz ng Bayan’. ABS-CBN’s programs were likewise not spared from MTRCB’s iron hands, as ‘ASAP’ was reprimanded in February for Anne Curtis’ sensual outfit and performance.

ABS-CBN personalities were also involved in various controversies. ‘Kris TV‘ was nearly cancelled when its host Kris Aquino announced her resignation after getting embroiled in a custody case with then-husband James Yap for their son Bimby. However, a month later, Aquino announced that she would only take a ‘leave of absence’ in June. As of now, ‘Kris TV’ continues to air in the morning slot.

And last November, Korina Sanchez criticized CNN’s Anderson Cooper regarding the latter’s report about the slow delivery of goods to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). As a result of the negative reaction she received from netizens, Sanchez took a ‘leave of absence’ before returning to duty a month later.

Outlook

ABS-CBN capped off the year by showcasing the love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla on ‘Got to Believe’, young child star Raikko Mateo on ‘Honesto’, and budding star Jessy Mendiola on ‘Maria Mercedes’. For 2014, they are expected to introduce another potential star in Julia Barretto on ‘Mirabella’. Going forward, ABS-CBN is poised for another banner year, and as long as their products continue to entice audiences, ABS-CBN will remain the country’s top network.

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