drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: T.G.I.S. and the Advent of Teen-Oriented Series

Some of the first batch members of ‘T.G.I.S.’ as they appear in 1995. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

Yesterday would have been the 20th anniversary of ‘T.G.I.S.’

Premiering on July 8, 1995, ‘T.G.I.S.’ became a Filipino pioneer in the teen-oriented drama genre. While there were a few other dramas that featured teenagers as lead stars (e.g. Julie Vega’s ‘Anna Liza’ and Janice de Belen’s ‘Flordeluna’), ‘T.G.I.S.’ became the first to feature a cast dominated by teenage actors.

Before ‘T.G.I.S.’, some of the country’s rising young stars had made their mark through shows such as GMA’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang TV’. The two shows provided a venue for the youngsters to showcase their talents, but it was not enough.

Eventually, VIVA Television and GMA developed a plan that would give a new batch of young stars an avenue to expose their acting skills. Thus, ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched.

‘T.G.I.S.’ became an immediate hit soon after it premiered. The success of ‘T.G.I.S.’ led to a feature film that was released in 1997, as well as a spinoff series ‘Growing Up’ that aired from 1997-99.

The first batch of ‘T.G.I.S.’ were led by Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon, a.k.a. Wacks and Peachy, respectively. Other members of the first batch include Michael Flores, Red Sternberg, Raven Villanueva, Rica Peralejo, Onemig Bondoc, Jake Roxas, Bernadette Allyson and Maybelyn dela Cruz.

The first batch anchored ‘T.G.I.S.’ for two years, before giving way to a new cast of young stars. The second batch, which lasted another two years, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Antoinette Taus, alongside Polo Ravales, Kim delos Santos, Sunshine Dizon, Chubi del Rosario, Anne Curtis, Chantal Umali and Dino Guevarra.

Unknown to some, future newscasters Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal were also part of the ‘T.G.I.S.’ cast. Meanwhile, Ciara Sotto was part of both batches of ‘T.G.I.S.’, later joining ‘Growing Up’ upon her character’s graduation from high school.

‘T.G.I.S.’ paved the way for similar teen-oriented dramas that became a staple of weekend afternoon programming. Examples include ‘Gimik’ (later ‘G-Mik’), ‘Click’, ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Berks’.

In late 2012, another spinoff of ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched, called ‘Teen Gen’. Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon reprised their roles as Wacks and Peachy, alongside GMA’s new batch of young stars, but it only managed to air for over six months without success.

While ‘T.G.I.S.’ no longer airs today, it will still be remembered for changing the way teenage actors were exposed and promoted. They were a game-changer, and another reason why 1995 became a memorable year in Philippine television.

Advertisements
Standard
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.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, religion, television

GMA Goes Value-Oriented with ‘Nino’

The new GMA Telebabad offering ‘Nino’ will begin on May 26.

With ‘Carmela’ about to finish its run this Friday, GMA decided to take a more simple approach in creating their teleseryes. The new series, titled ‘Nino’, is GMA’s latest attempt towards creating teleseryes that focuses on optimism, hope and good values.

This type of teleserye is not new to viewers. In fact, ABS-CBN  has capitalized on child stars such as Zaijan Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, and Raikko Mateo to create simple yet heartwarming teleseryes that were embraced by the viewing public. These usually consist of stories of faith (‘May Bukas Pa’), humility (‘100 Days to Heaven’) and honesty (‘Honesto’), and in each of the shows, the child star was the lead protagonist who sets the tone for the duration of the series.

Not to be outdone, GMA has attempted this formula a few times. However, the remake of the Julie Vega classic ‘Mga Mata ni Anghelita’, starring a young Krystal Reyes, and the Barbie Forteza-Joshua Dionisio starrer ‘Pilyang Kerubin’ failed to click with viewers. They decided to abandon this concept, that is, until the project ‘Nino’ came along.

The upcoming series centers on a mentally challenged teenage boy named Nino, portrayed by Miguel Tanfelix. Throughout the series, Nino will guide people to a journey towards inspiration, hope and optimism amid all challenges. And with the help of his ‘Tukayo’, played by David Remo, Nino is determined to change the life of his town through miraculous means.

The series will also introduce the ‘Naynay Commandments’, a series of values and good manners that teaches people the importance of integrity and honesty in everyday life. It also inspires parents to become responsible in raising their children.

‘Nino’ will also feature an all-star cast that features Tom Rodriguez, Katrina Halili, Lotlot de Leon, Neil Ryan Sese, German Moreno, Dante Rivero, Bianca Umali, Gerald Napoles, Ces Quesada, Luz Valdez, Gloria Romero, Renz Valerio, Julian Trono and Vincent Magbanua.

GMA executives should be optimistic about ‘Nino’. Having seen its rival ABS-CBN succeed with this type of teleserye, there is no question that ‘Nino’ has the potential to attract a big number of viewers. Still, it remains to be seen whether or not ‘Nino’ will pull GMA’s fortunes back on the green side.

Nino is slated to air this Monday, right after ’24 Oras’.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Marian Rivera Won’t Face Angel Locsin in Primetime

Instead of facing Angel Locsin, Marian Rivera will face Kathryn Bernardo as ‘Carmela’ debuts this Monday opposite ‘Got to Believe’.

GMA has announced the airing schedule for the upcoming series ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’. And as expected, Marian Rivera will not face Angel Locsin in the same timeslot, even as fans of both camps clamor for the two ex-Darna stars to clash at the same time.

‘Carmela’ will face ‘Got to Believe’ on its timeslot. The latter series, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, have been on a roll of late thanks to high ratings and social media returns, and the entry of ‘Carmela’ gives them the opportunity to battle another veteran star in Marian Rivera. Previously, ‘Got to Believe’ toppled the Dingdong Dantes-starrer ‘Genesis’, leading to its rather premature finish before the end of 2013.

On the other hand, Angel Locsin’s new teleserye ‘The Legal Wife’ will be up against Jennylyn Mercado’s series ‘Rhodora X’. In a lead-up to their upcoming primetime face-off, Mercado made it clear that she wanted no part in her ex-boyfriend Luis Manzano’s reconciliation with Locsin, and she wished them good luck in their romance. Mercado last appeared on the GMA Network via the reality competition series ‘Anak Ko Yan’, which once faced ‘Minute to Win It’ hosted by Luis Manzano. Meanwhile this is Locsin’s first teleserye since ‘Imortal’ in 2010, and during that span, she co-starred in the sitcom ‘Toda Max’ and made several movies.

In addition to ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’, GMA will roll out another teleserye in its ‘Telebabad’ block. ‘Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw’ will replace ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ in the sunset slot. The new teleserye, starring Kim Rodriguez and Kristoffer Martin, will be the latest in a series of attempts to topple the long-running ABS-CBN series ‘Annaliza’, which has defeated both ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ since debuting in May 2013. And like Julie Vega in the original series, Andrea Brillantes has been splendid in playing the titular character, leading to its consistently high ratings.

Even as GMA tries to counter ABS-CBN with their new primetime offerings, I expect another ratings beatdown from the Kapamilya network. Simply put, GMA cannot beat ABS-CBN anymore, and I have made it clear that the race has already been conceded.

Standard