drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Can The Promise of Forever Help Reverse Kapamilya Gold’s Slide?

ABS-CBN may be the country’s most-watched network last month, but weekday afternoons are a different story.

Over the last few weeks, GMA’s Afternoon Prime became the most-watched block from 2:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. While ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ remains the most-watched program during weekday afternoons, its follow-up dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were not far behind in dispatching the opposition.

The recent change of fortune in the weekday afternoon slots should cause plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. Both ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and the soon-to-conclude ‘The Better Half’ were derisively labeled ‘kabitseryes’, and viewers became fed up with the direction ABS-CBN is taking.

Looking to address concerns that Kapamilya Gold is becoming increasingly stale, ABS-CBN decided to change things up with a new teleserye that is drastically different from the recent norm. Enter ‘The Promise of Forever’, starring Paulo Avelino and the network’s new addition Ritz Azul.

‘The Promise of Forever’ tells the story of Nicolas (Paulo), an immortal man who saves Sophia (Ritz) from a burning house and years later fall in love with each other. However, inside Nicolas lies a curse that prevents him from entering into a relationship while at the same time preventing him from feeling the pain of loss.

Moreover, Sophia’s lover Philip (Ejay Falcon) and Nicolas’ descendant Marlon (Tonton Gutierrez) were out to ruin their lives. With that in mind, it will be up to Nicolas to overcome the curse while preserving his relationship with Sophia.

‘The Promise of Forever’ will also star Cherry Pie Picache, Amy Austria, Benjie Paras, Susan Africa, Ynna Asistio, and Nico Antonio. It will be directed by Darnel Villaflor and Hannah Espia.

The lead-up to the premiere of ‘The Promise of Forever’ is a cautionary tale of biding one’s time. A trade trailer for the series was released in November of last year, but it took nearly ten months before ABS-CBN realized that the time is finally right.

However, with Kapamilya Gold mired in a slump, is ‘The Promise of Forever’ worth the long wait? One can only hope that this series will turn things around for the suddenly beleaguered block and in turn restore the faith of viewers that had betrayed the network of late.

‘The Promise of Forever’ airs weekday afternoons on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. Timeslot to be determined.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

D’Originals Enters Final Week

It is indeed ‘Ang Huling Resbak’, as GMA called it.

This week will mark the final five episodes of the GMA Public Affairs-produced comedy-drama series ‘D’Originals’. The series features a story of three married women and their doting husbands, whose quiet lives were thrown into chaos thanks to three young ladies.

Led by Jaclyn Jose, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, LJ Reyes, Mark Herras, Lovely Abella, Kim Domingo, Archie Alemania and Meg Imperial, ‘D’Originals’ became a different form of what is derisively called a ‘kabitserye’. The shift to a more humorous tone while maintaining an intensely dramatic approach made the series stand out.

The premiere of ‘D’Originals’ took place on April 17, 2017. The series initially faced ‘The Greatest Love’ during the latter’s final week, but its strong performance in the ratings was too much for ‘D’Originals’ to handle.

Following the conclusion of ‘The Greatest Love’, ABS-CBN made an unexpected timeslot change. Rather than facing a new drama in ‘Pusong Ligaw’, ‘D’Originals’ had to contend with another ‘kabitserye’ in ‘The Better Half’, a series that had been raking in impressive ratings within two months of its tenure.

Although ‘D’Originals’ managed to improve their ratings performance as the weeks progressed, it was not enough to overcome ‘The Better Half’. In the end, GMA decided to cancel ‘D’Originals’ following its 60th episode this Friday.

The short and uninspiring run of ‘D’Originals’ marked the latest in a series of missteps for the GMA Public Affairs team. It is obvious that the department’s foray into entertainment shows is destroying its reputation, but considering the many question marks surrounding GMA’s entertainment division, they had no choice but to step in.

Nevertheless, the story of ‘D’Originals’ is not bad as many perceived. It is just too unfortunate to be up against a pair of dramas that are more compelling.

Come this Friday, it is indeed ‘Ang Huling Resbak’ for ‘D’Originals’. But it remains to be seen if they will leave a final impression on the viewers.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN’s Ika-6 na Utos Problem

It seems like ABS-CBN is having a problem with ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

Since late March, the GMA Afternoon Prime drama has earned an average rating of 17% per episode (via Kantar Media), a far cry from the unimpressive 11% average it enjoyed in its first month. Saturday episodes of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ (introduced April 1) were just as strong, scoring around 15%.

Much of the spike in popularity has something to do with a combination of factors, such as:

  1. Memorable scenes and interactions between the characters Georgia (Ryza Cenon), Emma (Sunshine Dizon) and Rome (Gabby Concepcion)
  2. Lack of interest in ‘It’s Showtime”s Tawag ng Tanghalan Kids
  3. ‘Eat Bulaga”s continued decline post-Kalyeserye

The stunning success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ left ABS-CBN dumbfounded and perplexed as to what happened. While they still rule most timeslots every day, it is against ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ that they are noticeably struggling at this point.

So why is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ giving ABS-CBN fits? Here are the three possible factors to look at.

It’s Showtime”s Long Running Time

‘It’s Showtime’, unlike ‘Eat Bulaga’, runs for over three hours six times a week (in contrast to ‘Eat Bulaga’ running 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday and three hours on Saturday). That said, a total of 18 hours per week can be totally draining for both the hosts and the audience.

Coupled with a recent streak of uninspiring pre-Tawag ng Tanghalan segments, and ‘It’s Showtime’ is left to lick their wounds amid the surge of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Cutting it to 2 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday may be the best way to remain efficient while maintaining its top-notch ratings.

Resistance to Change

In the past, ABS-CBN aired three teleseryes in the afternoon to counter GMA’s own set of three. Since reducing the amount to only two, the tables seem to have turned in the Kapamilya network’s favor, that is until ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ came along.

Sticking to what seems best might not be a good idea for ABS-CBN at this point. With a surplus of upcoming teleseryes in the pipeline, it is best for them to counter ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ with another teleserye (probably not a ‘kabitserye’) in hopes of reversing its momentum.

A New Trend: Saturday Teleseryes

Before ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, a typical Filipino teleserye only airs from Monday to Friday. That has changed since April 1, when GMA extended ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to Saturday afternoons, in a move reminiscent of Latin American telenovelas.

The sudden move caught ABS-CBN off-guard, as ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ began to struggle against the surging ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. Still, the extension is only four weeks old so anything can happen in the long run.

With ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ now a major dilemma for ABS-CBN, drastic changes should be in the offing. But unless they figure out a way to overcome this popular Kapuso drama, their overall dominance will become nothing more than a punchline.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

One Week In, A New Opponent for D’Originals

‘D’Originals’ faces a new challenge starting next week.

The recently-premiered GMA comedy-drama series got its baptism of fire when it aired opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘The Greatest Love’. Sadly, the debut week of ‘D’Originals’ coincided with the gripping final episodes of ‘The Greatest Love’, and as a result, the series did not have enough time to prove themselves against one of ABS-CBN’s top-raters.

As ‘D’Originals’ enters its second week, they find themselves with a different animal. In contrast to ‘The Greatest Love”s family and health-oriented storyline, this new Kapamilya series should be familiar to many critics and viewers alike.

Once again, ABS-CBN is producing a ‘kabitserye’ in the afternoon slot. Enter ‘Pusong Ligaw’.

The latest in a series of infidelity-laced dramas, ‘Pusong Ligaw’ will be led by Kapamilya stars Diego Loyzaga, Sofia Andres, Enzo Pineda, Beauty Gonzales, Bianca King, Joem Bascon and Raymund Bagatsing. The complicated story of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ is as follows:

  • Fashion designer Tessa (Beauty) and beauty queen Marga (Bianca) were best friends with big aspirations, until Marga betrays Tessa after sleeping with her boyfriend Caloy (Joem)
  • Tessa gives birth and raises her son Rafael until he is stolen by an unknown woman. She then meets Jaime (Raymund) whom he helped along with her struggles and they adopt a son named Rafa (Enz0)
  • Rafael was adopted by the Policarpio family and pursued his studies as Potpot (Diego). He met Vida (Sofia), Marga’s daughter who opted to pursue a career as a fashion designer like Tessa, by then known as Terry.

‘Pusong Ligaw’ will be under the production of Star Creatives. The series is directed by GB Sampedro, Elfren Vibar and Henry King Quitain.

If another afternoon ‘kabitserye’ in ‘The Better Half’ is not enough, now comes ‘Pusong Ligaw’ which should test the patience of viewers. While ABS-CBN has had plenty of success with these dramas, the impending premiere of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ may come to a point that they are taking this familiar storyline too far.

Then again, ‘D’Originals’ also borders within the ‘kabitserye’ genre so it’s still a matter of choosing between a serious drama and a more light-hearted one. In any case, good luck to the viewers with regards to their choices.

‘Pusong Ligaw’ airs weekdays after ‘The Better Half’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Final Week for Magpahanggang Wakas, Someone to Watch Over Me

2017 gets underway with two teleseryes concluding their respective runs this Friday.

On one end, there is the ABS-CBN primetime series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’. The latest in a series of ‘kabitseryes’, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ starred Jericho Rosales, Arci Muñoz and John Estrada in a story that involves a romantic love triangle and a man wrongly accused of murder and was thought to have been killed.

On the other end is the GMA primetime series ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, starring Tom Rodriguez, Lovi Poe and Max Collins. Like ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, this series featured a love triangle, this time with a plot centering on a man who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ premiered on September 5, and was initially pitted against the short-lived series ‘Born for You’. But after the latter’s conclusion, many expected to see ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ go up against the former.

Unfortunately, ABS-CBN had other ideas. On September 19, the network demoted ‘Till I Met You’ to the third slot of Primetime Bida, and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ was placed in the second slot, opposite another debuting series in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

But while ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ regularly got the better of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ in the Kantar national ratings, it averaged only 26%, a far cry from the 30% or better numbers of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘Dolce Amore’ earlier in 2016. Much has been said about its plot line, which may have turned viewers off due to its obvious familiarity.

As for ‘Someone to Watch over Me’, it only scored an average of 12% during its run. But unlike previous GMA dramas that aired in this timeslot, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ actually fought well, pushing the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’ to the limit in more recent episodes.

Overall, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ will have aired for 80 episodes, while ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will have a total of 90 episodes. Not bad, but not good for either network’s standards.

In the end, it is clear that the success of the so-called ‘kabitserye’ is wearing thin. It was a tried and tested formula, but for those who have seen this plot before, it is no longer a healthy obsession.

This Friday, both ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ and ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ will have one last chance to impress themselves. One can only hope that the two series will end on a high note, after all these difficult times.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ika-6 na Utos Premieres Today on GMA Afternoon Prime

Sunshine Dizon is indeed a loyal and distinguished star.

Amid a string of talents who switch back and forth between network giants ABS-CBN and GMA, there was Sunshine Dizon. It had been two decades since she rose to stardom via the original ‘Anna Karenina’, and yet despite the ascension of younger stars in recent years, Sunshine stayed loyal to GMA, willing to play a role when necessary.

After her character Adhara was killed off in the 2016 version of ‘Encantadia’, Sunshine was given a new role in the upcoming series ‘Ika-6 na Utos’. The upcoming GMA Afternoon Prime series was a perfect fit for her, considering the recent issues that followed her separation with then-husband Timothy Tan.

In ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, Sunshine plays Emma, a sweet and cheerful souvenir merchant. She was married to a refined pilot named Rome (Gabby Concecpion), but their marriage was disapproved by Rome’s mother Margarita (Carmen Soriano) due to Emma’s poor upbringing.

As a result, Rome had no choice but to fall in love with another woman, a sexy and ambitious interior designer named Georgia (Ryza Cenon). Upon learning her husband’s fate, Emma vows to fight for the right to love her husband, and force Rome to stay away from Georgia.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ also stars Mike Tan, Rich Asuncion, Daria Ramirez, Marco Alcaraz, Mel Martinez, and Arianne Bautista. The series is directed by Laurice Guillen.

If the story of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ seems familiar, it is that the series is just another ‘kabitserye’, a subsection of the Filipino teleserye which centers on husbands or wives getting cheated by another man or woman. While most ‘kabitseryes’ air during the late evenings, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is a unique exception, in that it airs in the early afternoon.

That said, it will be interesting to see how a ‘kabitserye’ like ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will fare in an unfamiliar timeslot. Considering that ‘It’s Showtime”s popular ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment also airs during this time period, a tough challenge awaits ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, so good luck to the people behind this series.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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