drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Congested Schedule Coming Up for Kapamilya Gold

An extremely congested schedule looms on Kapamilya Gold next week.

From August 24-28, a total of six programs will be seen on Kapamilya Gold from 2:30 to 5:50 p.m. This is due to the hasty premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, an upcoming teleserye starring Julia Montes.

‘Doble Kara’ was supposed to replace ‘Flordeliza’ once the latter finishes on August 28. But due to the continuous success of GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’ (who are airing for over a year now), the former is now scheduled to air after ‘Flordeliza’ instead, after which it will air once ‘It’s Showtime’ concludes.

As a result, at least for next week, three local teleseryes will be bunched together on Kapamilya Gold for the first time in nearly two years. After which, though, the said block will revert back to airing two local dramas every weekday afternoon.

‘Doble Kara’ stars Julia Montes as twins Sarah and Kara, who were separated by their mother after Kara was diagnosed with leukemia. Both twins went on to enjoy different lives, but fate soon intervened that will eventually bring them back together.

The series also stars Edgar Allan Guzman, Anjo Damiles, Carmina Villarroel, Ariel Rivera, Mylene Dizon, Gloria Sevilla, John Lapus, Allen Dizon, and Alora Sasam, with a special appearance from Alicia Alonzo. Emmanuel Palo and Jon Villarin will serve as the series’ directors.

With ‘Doble Kara’ premiering next week, here is how Kapamilya Gold’s schedule will look like from August 24-28:

2:30 p.m. – Flordeliza

3:05 p.m. – Doble Kara

3:40 p.m. – Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita

4:15 p.m. – Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold

4:50 p.m. – News and Current Affairs Block (Mission Possible, My Puhunan, Red Alert, Sports U, Tapatan ni Tunying)

5:15 p.m. – Kapamilya Deal or No Deal

Waiting for ‘Flordeliza’ to end would have served ABS-CBN and ‘Doble Kara’ well. Instead, they are now forced to compensate for airing six programs in nearly 3 1/2 hours (commercial breaks included).

A risky programming decision is uncharacteristic of ABS-CBN’s well-planned programming schemes. But who knows? Perhaps beating ‘The Half-Sisters’ with a proven Julia Montes in ‘Doble Kara’ may be a blessing in disguise after all.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

As Ilustrado Debuts, Ikaw Lamang Departs

A new-look GMA Telebabad premieres this week, while ABS-CBN says goodbye to one of their hits.

The ‘bayani-serye’ ‘Ilustrado’ will make its much-anticipated premiere later tonight. The series will be led by Alden Richards as Jose Rizal and Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, with supporting roles by Solenn Heussaff, Max Collins, Eula Valdez, Jaclyn Jose, Polo Ravales, Ricardo Cepeda, Freddie Webb and Mailes Kanapi.

‘Ilustrado’ will focus less on Rizal’s struggles for Philippine independence and his work on ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’. Instead, it will feature a more human side in the life of the national hero and his fellow reformists, from their relationships to their day-to-day struggles with ordinary citizens.

The premiere of ‘Ilustrado’ should be an interesting one, as it will go up against ‘Two Wives’. The latter series has been on a roll since it debuted last week, and should pose a challenge to the more qualitative and informative ‘Ilustrado’.

Meanwhile, the still-struggling ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will be moved to an earlier timeslot, opposite an ABS-CBN Primetime Bida  teleserye that is about to end this week.

‘Ikaw Lamang’, the period drama that started last March, will bid goodbye on October 24. The series will have two chapters and 162 episodes at the end of its run.

Initially starring Kim Chiu (as Isabelle) Julia Montes (as Mona), Coco Martin (as Samuel) and Jake Cuenca (as Franco), Montes’ character was killed off just as Book 1 was winding down. When Book 2 got underway, Chiu and Martin were now assigned to portray the roles of Gabriel and Andrea, respectively.

Book 2 also featured Amy Austria, Joel Torre and Christopher de Leon as the older Isabelle, Samuel and Franco, while KC Concepcion took on the role of Natalia, daughter of Isabelle and Franco.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ was one of ABS-CBN’s highly-rated teleseryes throughout its run. The show even outlasted its main arch-rival ‘My Destiny’, whose run from June 30 to October 17 came just as the former was at the peak of its success.

That said, it should be interesting to see how ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will fare in its final week against ‘Hiram na Alaala’.  Expect the conclusion of this series to be a highly-anticipated one.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be replaced by ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Dyesebel’ Stands Tall as ‘Kambal Sirena’ Ends This Week

‘Kambal Sirena”s final episode will be this Friday on GMA.

GMA’s ‘Kambal Sirena’ is now down to only five episodes. The series, once an arch-rival to ABS-CBN’s ‘Dyesebel’, will bid farewell this Friday.

‘Kambal Sirena’, starring Louise delos Reyes and Aljur Abrenica, debuted last March 10. However, the series made little noise throughout its run. ‘Kambal Sirena’ was defeated by the departing ‘Honesto’ in its first week’, then got spanked in the subsequent weeks thanks to ‘Dyesebel’, starring Anne Curtis.

On May 26, GMA decided to demote ‘Kambal Sirena’ in favor of ‘Nino’, but the results remained the same despite airing at a later timeslot. Rival ‘Ikaw Lamang’, starring Kim Chiu, Coco Martin, Julia Montes and Jake Cuenca, proved too much to handle for ‘Kambal Sirena’, as the former series dominated the latter in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen ratings.

To be honest, ‘Kambal Sirena’ was worth the try for budding star Louise delos Reyes. After all, she was one of GMA’s emerging young stars, and a bankable talent for years to come. Accepting a role that involves wearing a man-made fin and swimming topless is no easy task, but for delos Reyes, it is a huge step forward in her development as an actress.

In the end, however, it was ‘Dyesebel’ who won the hearts of viewers more than its younger counterpart in ‘Kambal Sirena’. The former is simply too hard to ignore, thanks to an established actress, an accomplished production company, and a legendary Mars Ravelo creation to boot. But that doesn’t mean GMA did not do well in producing ‘Kambal Sirena’. They made the story their own, and they picked an actress whose star is about to shine. Too bad viewers did not respond to a newbie in the sea.

‘Kambal Sirena’ was a good project, but it failed to reverse GMA Telebabad’s slumping fortunes. Now the pressure is on ‘My Destiny’, and GMA hopes that the chemistry of Tom Rodriguez and Carla Abellana will be the key for turning things around.

But for now, ‘Kambal Sirena’ takes a bow. As for Louise delos Reyes, there is still a lot more to improve.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Carmela’ Meets New Rival

Coco Martin, Kim Chiu, Julia Montes and Jake Cuenca top-bill the upcoming drama series ‘Ikaw Lamang’, which debuts on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida on March 10.

The past few weeks have not been good for ‘Carmela’. Rival series ‘Got to Believe’, scheduled to end this March 7, has not only beaten the former in its timeslot, but also out-trended them in social media. In addition, TV5’s PBA Philippine Cup playoff games have leapfrogged past ‘Carmela’ in terms of both ratings and social media impact. And now a new rival program awaits.

Enter ‘Ikaw Lamang’, the upcoming ABS-CBN Primetime Bida series which will replace ‘Got to Believe’ on March 10. The series will feature a powerhouse cast headlined by Kim Chiu, Julia Montes, Coco Martin and Jake Cuenca. Veteran actors Ronaldo Valdez, Tirso Cruz III, Cherry Pie Picache, Cherie Gil and John Estrada will complement the lead cast of characters. 

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be the first project together for Montes and Martin since their highly-rated series ‘Walang Hanggan’ two years earlier. It will also mark Chiu’s first primetime project since ‘Ina, Kapatid, Anak’, and her second without on-screen partner Xian Lim. Chiu, Martin and Cuenca also previously worked together in ‘Tayong Dalawa’ in 2009.

The upcoming drama series will be a huge test for the four lead stars in terms of on-screen chemistry, familiarity and their acting abilities. But viewers should not worry. ‘Ikaw Lamang’ is a showcase that pits four of the most bankable personalities in the small screen, and when mixed with a well-written script and a highly touted supporting cast, it translates into a potentially high-rated drama series that will attract many viewers.

Which means that more problems lay ahead for viewers of ‘Carmela’. Despite debuting strongly last January, ‘Carmela’ has suffered of late thanks to the lack of social media presence and declining ratings. The lack of interest and viewership surrounding ‘Carmela’ should be a cause of concern to GMA management, who will now pressure the writers to improve the script and develop the characters further. And when up against a star-studded cast in ‘Ikaw Lamang’, they are at a disadvantage.

With that, good luck to the writers of ‘Carmela’. I hope you improve its storyline in order to impress and attract viewers, otherwise ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will continue to overwhelm the show just like what ‘Got to Believe’ did.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

More Villainous Roles for Jennylyn Mercado

Villainous roles should be a welcome shift to both Jennylyn Mercado and the GMA Network as the viewing habits begin to change.

The upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Rhodora X’ will be the most challenging to date for Jennylyn Mercado. The series will feature Mercado portraying a mentally insane character with a split personality, and as the teasers show, it appears that playing the villain may be more appealing to her these days.

In recent years, several actresses showed their versatility by playing heroic characters in one series, followed by a villainous role in the next, and vice versa. For example, both Julia Montes and Melissa Ricks initially played the villain and hero in ‘Mara Clara’ and ‘Nasaan Ka, Elisa?’ respectively, but when the two were cast in ‘Walang Hanggan’, their roles were reversed. And Maja Salvador, who will play the villain opposite Angel Locsin in ABS-CBN’s ‘The Legal Wife’, played a heroic sidekick character with Kim Chiu in ‘My Binondo Girl’ before playing ‘kontrabida’ against her in ‘Ina, Kapatid, Anak’.

If Jennylyn Mercado wants to evolve and mature as an actress, she needs to prove her worth by playing the bad girl. ‘Rhodora X’ is a good opportunity for her to showcase a different facet in her acting. And if GMA is dead serious in returning to the win column, they need either one of their veterans to play ‘kontrabida’ against upcoming young talents, and Mercado is a perfect fit.

With their primetime programs currently shackled by ABS-CBN’s, a change in philosophy is needed for GMA. And transitioning Jennylyn Mercado to a ‘kontrabida’ may help reverse their doldrums.

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