drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Challenger for A Love to Last: My Korean Jagiya

‘A Love to Last’ has a new opponent.

Through 158 episodes (as of August 18, 2017), the ABS-CBN primetime series has overcome all challenges thrown at them. Initially pitted against ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 1 (10 episodes from January 9-20), ‘A Love to Last’ has since made mincemeat of fellow romantic comedy series ‘Meant to Be’ (108 episodes from January 23-June 23) and ‘I Heart Davao’ (40 episodes from June 27-August 18).

Now they look to claim another victim starting next week. However, their next opponent is no ordinary romantic comedy.

In the past several years, both GMA and ABS-CBN imported several successful Korean dramas to fill in programming hours. Now GMA takes over Korean cultures and landscapes in the form of ‘My Korean Jagiya’.

Leading the way for ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will be Heart Evangelista. Her character Gia is a Korean grade school tutor and a dedicated K-drama fan girl who was nonetheless teased that she is next in her family to become an old maid.

Gia’s dream is to meet her long-time crush and once-famous Korean superstar Kim Jun-ho, portrayed by top Korean star Alexander Lee. At first, Gia searched for Kim in Korea while on a scholarship training, but wound up returning to Manila to find Kim drunk and beaten by gangsters in a bar, beginning a seemingly fruitful friendship.

‘My Korean Jagiya’ will also star Janice de Belen, Ricky Davao, Iya Villania, Edgar Allan Guzman, Valeen Montenegro, Frances Makil Ignacio, Myke Solomon, Jinri Park, Divine Aucina, and Khane dela Cruz. Korean stars David Kim, Michelle Oh, and Jerry Lee will play special roles in the series as well.

Parts of ‘My Korean Jagiya’ were shot in South Korea, and featured several key spots that were made famous by several iconic Koreanovelas such as ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’, My Love from the Star’ and ‘Winter Sonata’. The Seoul Film Commission and Seoul Metropolitan Government assisted the series’ producers in the production process.

While ‘My Korean Jagiya’ is a uniquely wonderful series for both Filipinos and Koreans to enjoy, their biggest hurdle to success comes in the form of ‘A Love to Last’. Despite being perceived as ‘boring’ in the minds of critics, ‘A Love to Last’ continues to beat all comers, and this is something that should concern ‘My Korean Jagiya’ a lot.

One can only hope that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will not be the short-lived drama that befell more recent romcoms ‘My Love from the Star’ and ‘I Heart Davao’. If the series can somehow go beyond 80 episodes, then that should be good enough for their morale.

Directed by Mark Reyes, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ airs weekdays after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Road Trip: Another Short-Term Solution in GMA’s Late Sunday Afternoon Timeslot?

Instability has defined GMA’s late Sunday afternoon slot.

Since ‘Juan Tamad’ ended its 29-episode run in March 2016, five different programs were placed at the 4:45 p.m. slot on Sundays. They are:

  • Alamat – six episodes from May 15 to June 19, 2016.
  • Conan, My Beautician – 13 episodes from June 26 to September 18, 2016.
  • Usapang Real Love – 14 episodes from September 25 to December 18, 2016.
  • People vs. the Stars – 14 episodes from January 15 to April 16, 2017.
  • Follow Your Heart – 13 episodes from April 23 to July 16, 2017.

Talk about running in the short term. With the exception of ‘Alamat’ which was only slated for six episodes, every program that GMA placed in the timeslot was given only 13 to 14 episodes to broadcast.

The fact that late Sunday afternoons are usually the least-watched period on Philippine television may have played a factor on why GMA continues to experiment with short-term programs in this timeslot. And come this Sunday, that experiment is expected to continue when they premiere a travel show called ‘Road Trip’.

Produced by no less than GMA News and Public Affairs, ‘Road Trip’ is a one-hour show that will feature celebrities and their friends and family going on a field trip to some of the country’s most breathtaking destinations. The program’s premiere episode will see Carmina Villaroel, Zoren Legaspi, and twins Mavy and Cassy go to Batanes.

Future episodes of ‘Road Trip’ will also feature the likes of Rochelle Pangilinan, Max Collins, Andrea Torres, Kris Bernal, Arny Ross, Jinri Park and Meg Imperial. So while news of celebrities going on vacation are a regular sight in tabloids and entertainment websites, GMA is now using it as a tool to create a reality series in ‘Road Trip’.

Now here is a very crucial question. Can ‘Road Trip’ survive past the 13th or the 14th episode?

On a normal basis, Filipino travel shows tend to last for only a few episodes. Case in point: ABS-CBN’s ‘G Diaries’ and TV5’s ‘Lakbai’, which lasted 13 and eight episodes respectively.

That said, it will not be a surprise to see ‘Road Trip’ conclude after only 13 or 14 episodes. But if this program manages to survive past those numbers, then it will be a huge morale boost for GMA.

‘Road Trip’ airs starting this Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on GMA.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Pinoy Big Brother Needs Fill-In Hosts Amid Toni and Mariel Pregnancy Leave

Toni Gonzaga-Soriano and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla are both pregnant.

Both are expected to take a maternity leave, and as a result, they have no choice but relinquish their hosting duties on ‘Pinoy Big Brother’: Lucky 7. That said, ABS-CBN must figure out a way to spread the hosting workload for the reality show while Toni and Mariel are tending to their soon-to-be offspring.

With the two out of the picture, only Robi Domingo and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal are left to shoulder the burden. So where will ABS-CBN go at this point?

They could consider Toni’s sister Alex Gonzaga to fill in for her. After all, she had hosting experience of her own, having hosted ‘ASAP’ on a regular basis, and more recently played the same role on season 2 of ‘The Voice Kids’.

They could also use Billy Crawford as well, whose prior hosting experience may be an asset. Or they may consider Anne Curtis, whose only hosting job at this point is on ‘It’s Showtime’.

Overall, ABS-CBN has a vast reservoir of talents who can also be capable host. But it will be up to them to decide on who will fill in for both Toni and Mariel.

Meanwhile, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’: Lucky 7 introduced a new set of teen housemates shortly after returning to Manila earlier this week. They are:

  • Maymay Entrata
  • Rita Gabiola
  • Kisses Delavin
  • Edward Barber
  • Aizan Perez
  • Vivoree Esclito
  • Marco Gallo
  • Christian Morones
  • Fenech Velloso
  • Yong Mujahil
  • Kristine Hammond
  • Heaven Peralejo

The 12 teen housemates join the ‘Lucky 2 Stars’ Jinri Park and Hashtags McCoy de Leon and Nikko Natividad inside the refurbished Big Brother house in Quezon City. Over time, however, some of the teen housemates will either be evicted or leave for personal reasons to make way for the regular ones, which will be announced soon.

‘Pinoy Big Brother’ season 7 currently airs weeknights after ‘Born for You’, Saturdays after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sundays after ‘Rated K’ on ABS-CBN. An afternoon edition also airs weekdays after ‘Tubig at Langis’, except for select regional areas.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

PBB Goes Vietnam

Season 7 of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will be a little different this time.

For the first time ever, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ will not be held in the Philippines. Instead, the seventh season (dubbed as ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’) will take place in Vietnam, at least for the first few weeks (unless plans change later on).

While the season premiere will take place this Monday, preparations for PBB: Lucky 7 were already in full swing in the week leading up to it. In fact, nine celebrity housemates were revealed during this stretch, which are the following:

  • Nikko Natividad, Hashtag Boy Sipag ng Bulacan (revealed on ‘It’s Showtime’ July 2)
  • McCoy de Leon, Hashtag Boy Tatag ng Tondo (revealed on ‘It’s Showtime’ July 2)
  • JK Labajo, Ang Cute-Kiti ng Cebu (revealed on ‘ASAP’ July 3)
  • Yassi Pressman, Ang Dance Floor Dream Girl ng Antipolo (revealed on ‘TV Patrol’ July 4)
  • Jinri Park, Ang K-Hot Cover Girl ng South Korea (revealed on ‘TV Patrol’ July 4)
  • Hideo Muraoka, Ang Hunky Daddy ng Taguig (revealed on ‘TV Patrol’ July 6)
  • Nonong Ballinan, Ang Kanto Komikero ng Quezon City (revealed on ‘TV Patrol’ July 6)
  • Elisse Joson, Ang Hugot Babe ng Mandaluyong (revealed on ‘TV Patrol’ July 6)
  • DJ Chacha, Ang Bibig ng Pag-ibig ng Tondo (revealed on ‘TV Patrol’ July 6)

All nine housemates were flown to Vietnam (though three of them were initially denied passage by the Bureau of Immigration) where they will live inside the house that was used on ‘Big Brother Vietnam’ (‘Người giấu mặt’). To abide with the show’s ‘house rules’, they were covered with black bonnets so that they will not be recognized by the public, and to not learn of their destination.

Upon entering the Big Brother house in Vietnam, housemates were given various tasks by Big Brother himself. In the meantime, their progress was followed on PBB’s social media pages, leading up to the season premiere this Monday night.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ will be hosted by Robi Domingo, Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla. Both Toni and Mariel are pregnant during the season, and are expected to take a maternity leave as the season continues.

The first few weeks of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ will have celebrities as the main attraction. But as the season continues, expect more housemates, this time of the teen and regular variety, to be revealed soon.

The seventh season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ airs weeknights after ‘Born for You’, Saturdays after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sundays after ‘Rated K’ on ABS-CBN.

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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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entertainment, Korea, Philippines, talent show, television, variety show

So Long, Sunday All-Stars and KISPinoy

‘Sunday All-Stars’ bade farewell last Sunday afternoon after two years on the air. (Photo credit: GMA Network/Sunday All-Stars Official Facebook)

Two programs bade goodbye over the weekend in contrasting fashion.

The expected farewell of ‘Sunday All-Stars’ took place last Sunday afternoon. The two-year-old GMA variety show was cancelled after two years on the air, and will be replaced by ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Debuting on June 16, 2013, ‘Sunday All-Stars’ originally aired as a reality competition variety show featuring a team of celebrity performers going against three other groups. The winner is judged based on its conceptualization, execution and entertainment value.

However, low ratings and the departures of several performers forced the show to drop the competition format in favor of a straight-up performance show. In addition, ‘Sunday All-Stars’ underwent a series of timeslot changes, eventually settling into the 2:00 p.m. slot in its final months.

With the cancellation of ‘Sunday All-Stars’, GMA is now left without a self-produced noontime variety show. The incoming replacement ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ will be produced by APT Entertainment, a subsidiary of ‘Eat Bulaga”s production outfit TAPE, Inc.

Meanwhile, an unexpected development took place on TV5 last Saturday night. ‘KISPinoy’, a talent show that seeks to crown a new Filipino KPop sensation, was pulled out of TV5’s schedule without warning, and ‘Movie Max 5’ was aired instead.

In a statement given by the producers through ‘KISPinoy”s official Facebook, the reason behind the pullout was due to financial problems that affected blocktimer and producer YU&IQ International. They then stated that the updates regarding the journey of the remaining hopefuls will still be posted on their social media accounts.

Debuting last July 11, ‘KISPinoy’ was hosted by Richard Gutierrez and Jinri Park, and notable judges included Gelli de Belen and Rico Blanco. The talent show aired for only three episodes in total.

What will happen next to TV5’s suddenly vacant 9:00 p.m. slot on Saturdays will still be determined. So wait for further updates on this unfortunate situation.

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