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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Ex-SOP Stars Take Over ASAP Stage

The long and storied rivalry between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘SOP’ has been well-documented.

For 13 years, the two Sunday variety shows duke it out for not only high ratings, but also the best performance. While ‘SOP’ managed to become successful, it failed to sustain the momentum that the now 21-year-old ‘ASAP’ enjoys nowadays.

Successor GMA variety shows in ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’ followed suit, but neither proved to be a match to ‘ASAP’. As a result, GMA abandoned the purely musical variety format in favor of ‘Sunday PinaSaya”s comedy-infused approach, which was initially successful but now struggles to regain form.

With ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ employing a new cast and a new outfit in APT Entertainment, the performers that were once part of GMA’s past variety shows were forced to look elsewhere. Eventually, it led them to ‘ASAP’, and their performances on the said show felt like a throwback to many who watched ‘SOP’ for years.

While Kyla, Jay-R, Jolina Magdangal and Jona Viray were the first former ‘SOP’ stars to join ‘ASAP’, the biggest surprise came in July, when long-time ‘SOP’ cornerstone Ogie Alcasid stepped into the ‘ASAP’ stage for the first time. Not long after, Jaya came aboard, and last Sunday, a tribute for Ogie included a reunion between the two ‘SOP’ icons.

Backstage, another former ‘SOP’ mainstay paid a visit to the ABS-CBN studio. Ogie’s wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, who remains under contract with GMA, was at the dressing room reuniting with her old ‘SOP’ pals.

The reunion of former ‘SOP’ stars became a much-needed boost to ‘ASAP’, as it defeated ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ by 1.6% that day. Despite that, many are still hoping for a full reunion, as Regine remains a GMA talent while another former ‘SOP’ cornerstone in Janno Gibbs was nowhere to be found.

With so many performers in tow, how much longer can ‘ASAP’ sustain this high-quality trend? Only time will tell, but for now, enjoy this reunion of old rivals.

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In 100 Words: Magandang Buhay to Premiere This Monday

It’s going to be a ‘Magandang Buhay’ this coming Monday.

Yes, that’s the name of the new talk show that will be hosted by Karla Estrada, Melai Cantiveros and Jolina Magdangal. And as expected, it will replace ‘Kris TV’ on its old 7:30 a.m. timeslot.

The premiere of ‘Magandang Buhay’ had been long overdue, as ‘Kris TV’ continued to air reruns despite its final broadcast last March 23. Nevertheless, for ABS-CBN and the show’s producers, it was finally worth the wait.

Over the next two weeks, ‘Magandang Buhay’ will be pitted against GMA’s animes. But if GMA decides to pit their own new talk show ‘Yan ang Morning’ opposite ‘Magandang Buhay’, it could make things a little more interesting.

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New Talk Shows to Shine on ABS-CBN, GMA

Rival networks ABS-CBN and GMA are set to premiere new morning talk shows in the summer.

On the Kapamilya camp, the trio of Karla Estrada, Melai Cantiveros and Jolina Magdangal are busy preparing for a still-untitled talk show. A teaser for this program was aired recently, with its timeslot and premiere date yet to be determined.

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This talk show is expected to replace ‘Kris TV’, whose run ended during the Holy Week but have continued to air reruns due to a lack of an immediate replacement. Kris Aquino herself admitted that she was saddened by the continuous replays of ‘Kris TV’ even though it had already been concluded.

Initially, a new talk show solely hosted by Karla Estrada was rumored to take over ‘Kris TV”s timeslot, but the Kapamilya actress denied the rumors. Just last week, however, she announced that she will indeed host the show alongside Melai and Jolina.

Over on the Kapuso side, Marian Rivera is also busy preparing for a new talk show of her own. Titled ‘Yan ang Morning!’, a teaser for it was aired recently, as part of GMA’s summer programs plug.

‘Yan ang Morning!’ will be GMA’s first morning talk show since ‘Basta Every Day Happy’ two years ago. Its timeslot is also yet to be determined, though it may be likely that GMA will air the program during the mid to late mornings, as it was the case with ‘Basta Every Day Happy’.

For Marian Rivera, it will be her third upcoming or ongoing project since returning from maternity leave. Her two other programs are the soon-to-air ‘Encantadia’ requel and ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Whether or not the two talk shows will face each other in the same timeslot or not remains to be seen. Still, it will be interesting to see how will they fare in a block that does not usually make an impact in the ratings.

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Julia Montes vs. The Half-Sisters Starting Today

‘The Half-Sisters’ now finds itself facing a more formidable rival.

The long-running GMA afternoon teleserye, now over a year on the air, will face ‘Doble Kara’ starting today. The upcoming episode of ‘Doble Kara’ will mark the series debut of Julia Montes, after the teleserye’s first week saw young actress Avery Balasbas play the younger versions of Julia’s twin characters Sarah and Kara.

Despite not featuring Julia in its opening week, ‘Doble Kara’ managed to beat the competition from the moment it debuted on ABS-CBN. Last Monday’s premiere episode scored a 16.9% rating (based on Kantar’s figures), besting rival show ‘Buena Familia’s 13.1%, and continued its momentum throughout the week.

It became clear, however, that ‘Doble Kara’ needed worthier competition. This is where ‘The Half-Sisters’ come to the picture.

For most of this year, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been afternoon’s top teleserye, winning in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen on a consistent basis. While the series is being led by underrated GMA talents in Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino, a strong supporting cast and an unpredictable storyline has kept viewers glued to this series regularly.

‘The Half-Sisters’ proved too much for ‘Flordeliza’ to overcome, even though the latter managed to gain some momentum in its final few weeks. Still, ABS-CBN was not satisfied with how the series fared, despite the fact that it was hyped as the comeback series of returning Kapamilyas Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin.

‘Flordeliza’ was supposed to be replaced by ‘Doble Kara’, but the latter’s premiere date was moved a week earlier than expected. The declining ratings of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ forced ABS-CBN to cancel the show in order to make way for ‘Doble Kara’, which first premiered opposite ‘Buena Familia’.

Following the conclusion of ‘Flordeliza’, ABS-CBN initially advertised ‘All of Me’ as the former’s replacement. But instead, the itch to beat ‘The Half-Sisters’ can no longer be tolerated, and they finally decided to move ‘Doble Kara’ to the leadoff spot in the network’s Kapamilya Gold block.

It does make sense for ABS-CBN to pit ‘Doble Kara’ against ‘The Half-Sisters’. After all, they have a proven performer in Julia Montes, who has been successful in the Primetime Bida block through starring roles in ‘Mara Clara’, ‘Walang Hanggan’, ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, and more recently ‘Ikaw Lamang’.

Now the sole lead star and playing two characters at once, it’s up to Julia to continue her momentum. But whether or not her presence will lift ‘Doble Kara’ past an afternoon power in ‘The Half-Sisters’ remains to be seen.

Still, it’s a good test for Julia and her expanding range of skills. Good luck.

‘Doble Kara’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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PBB: 737 Gold Cancelled; All of Me Replaces Flordeliza

Turns out there won’t be any congestion on Kapamilya Gold after all.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ was cancelled following last Friday’s episode. The cancellation gave way to the premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, starring Julia Montes.

The afternoon edition of the ongoing ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ has been under hot water from the beginning, receiving an SPG warning from the MTRCB after the infamous ‘bromance’ issue between Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez. Though it was later removed, ABS-CBN eventually decided to cancel PBB: 737 Gold out of respect to younger viewers.

Thus, for the first time in the reality series’ history, only one edition of PBB will be seen on free TV on a daily basis. Past seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ had an afternoon and evening (sometimes late night) edition on weekdays, and in the early years of the franchise, sister station Studio 23 even aired a supplementary broadcast of the series.

Meanwhile, ‘Flordeliza’ is down to its final week. The comeback series of Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin has been on the air for eight months now, but despite its surprisingly long run, it failed to dampen the success of afternoon’s top drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

Now it’s up to another comebacking Kapamilya, JM de Guzman, to give ‘The Half-Sisters’ a much-needed challenge. After returning to the limelight with the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’, JM returns to the small screen via ‘All of Me’.

In ‘All of Me’, JM and veteran actor Albert Martinez will share the role of Manuel, whose near-death experience led to his transformation back to his younger self. Older Manuel, a widowed doctor, settled with his new love interest Lena (Yen Santos), and after transforming into his younger self and traveling into the future, was faced with seeking revenge on Lena’s husband Dr. Henry Nieves (Arron Villaflor), or moving on to a new life.

The upcoming series will also star Angel Aquino, Ina Raymundo, Neri Naig, Ana Capri, Micah Munoz, Jordan Herrera, Sue Ann Ramirez, and Akira Morishita. Dondon Santos will be the director.

One can only hope that JM will rekindle the success that he had on ‘Angelito: Batang Ama’. It won’t be easy though, given that ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been on fire in the afternoon for months now.

Still, it’s worth a challenge, and an opportunity to revive his showbiz career further. Good luck.

‘All of Me’ premieres this Monday, August 31, after ‘It’s Showtime’ on Kapamilya Gold.

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