drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kambal Sirena, Dyesebel Won’t Begin Simultaneously

GMA’s Kambal Sirena begins its run a week ahead of ABS-CBN’s Dyesebel. (Photo courtesy of Bida Kapamilya)

The so-called ‘Sirena Wars’ on Philippine television will have to wait for another two weeks, as both GMA and ABS-CBN set their final episode dates for ‘Adarna’ and ‘Honesto’.

‘Adarna’, the fantaserye starring Kylie Padilla, airs its final episode tomorrow. Airing since November 18, 2013, ‘Adarna’ was supposed to revive GMA’s tried and tested fantaserye genre that has worked for them in the mid-2000s. Unfortunately, the show failed to surpass expectations, due to the fact that a rival teleserye is superbly dominant in its timeslot.

That teleserye happened to be ‘Honesto’, which has been consistently atop the primetime ratings since its debut. Its superior ratings also translated into high trending figures in social media, with hashtags related to the show leading Twitter’s trending topics. The Raikko Mateo-starred series first aired on October 28, and will air its final episode on March 14.

The two series will be replaced by ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ respectively. The former, an original concept of the Kapuso network, will star Louise delos Reyes, while the latter, acquired by the Kapamilya network from Mars Ravelo’s estate, will star Anne Curtis.

Hype between the two series began last December, as both networks revealed the initial teasers for their respective mermaids. But while GMA began to heavily promote ‘Kambal Sirena’ during the months of January and February, ABS-CBN was slow to promote ‘Dyesebel’ as it continued to focus on its highly-rated programs ‘Honesto’ and ‘Got to Believe’. Nevertheless, viewers were salivating at the prospect of two mermaid-based series facing each other on primetime.

Both ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ will feature an equally stellar supporting cast. In ‘Kambal Sirena’, Aljur Abrenica will star as the leading man, while Wynwyn Marquez serves as the main villain. The series will also star Mickey Ferriols, Angelika dela Cruz, Gladys Reyes, Tessie Tomas, Mike Tan, Pancho Magno, Polo Ravales, Lotlot de Leon, Rich Asuncion, and Chanda Romero.

In ‘Dyesebel’, Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson will play the leading men, while Andi Eigenmann takes on a villainous role. Portraying supporting roles in the series will be Dawn Zulueta, Eula Valdes, Gabby Concepcion, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Bangs Garcia, David Chua, Ai Ai delas Alas, Neil Coleta, Young JV and Ogie Diaz.

While ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ won’t begin at the same time, the rivalry between the two mermaid-based series will be something to look forward to. And it should add spice to what has been an already heated rivalry between the two major networks.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Anne Curtis Plays Dyesebel

Anne Curtis will play the role of ‘Dyesebel’ in ABS-CBN’s newest incarnation of Mars Ravelo’s famous komiks character.

Social media made a big noise last night when Anne Curtis was revealed as the next Dyesebel. The news was made official on ABS-CBN’s news programs ‘TV Patrol’ and ‘Bandila’, and on ABS-CBN’s news website.

The highly talked-about announcement of Curtis as Dyesebel was in sharp contrast to the lack of social media reaction that GMA received in their announcement of Louise delos Reyes as ‘Kambal Sirena’. It was also clear that despite the heavy promotion of ‘Kambal Sirena’ on the Kapuso network, ABS-CBN still had the last laugh even though ‘Dyesebel’ has yet to air another teaser.

Advantage-wise, Curtis is no stranger to more provocative roles; her roles in films such as ‘No Other Woman’ and ‘A Secret Affair’ attest to that. In contrast, ‘Kambal Sirena’ will be the first ‘sexy’ role for delos Reyes, eight years Curtis’ junior. And while ABS-CBN is about to break a recent trend of starring younger and less-experienced lead stars by bringing in Curtis (and Angel Locsin in ‘The Legal Wife’), the social media reaction of the announcement should remains a cause of concern to GMA.

In addition, it was also announced that Gerald Anderson and Sam Milby will play leading men roles in the series. Anderson will play Dyesebel’s partner Fredo, while Milby will play a new character in Lirio.

The rivalry between ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’ should be interesting. Perhaps the only thing left to do is for both shows to launch simultaneously in the same timeslot, and to gauge how will fans react to two contrasting series featuring mermaids.

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drama, entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

GMA Telebabad Concedes to ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida

This past week ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’ officially aired their final episodes. However, with production still in the works for ‘Carmela’, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’, GMA Telebabad decided to fill in the void with ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’.

As it turned out, it was clear that GMA Telebabad is conceding to ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. The last few years saw Primetime Bida dominate Telebabad in the ratings, helped by hit teleseryes such as ‘Budoy’, ‘Walang Hanggan’, ‘Princess and I’, ‘Juan dela Cruz’ and current favorites ‘Honesto’, ‘Got to Believe’ and ‘Maria Mercedes’. ABS-CBN was also successful in marketing younger talents, something GMA could not afford to do.

In addition, due to mounting operational losses GMA began to adopt the TV5 way by airing more Tagalized foreign films. This was none more evident than in ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. But unlike the typical Tagalog-dubbed films on other blocks, KPC airs movies voiced by Kapuso talents, perhaps to add to their talent fees. To me, this movie block became a clear picture of GMA’s concession of defeat to ABS-CBN.

Despite that, ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ will only be a temporary showcase, as the aforementioned ‘Carmela’, ‘Rhodora X’ and ‘Kambal Sirena’ will debut in the coming weeks. But even as GMA unveils a new slogan called ‘Puso ang Una’ in hopes of regaining the top spot, I expect ABS-CBN to overwhelm GMA once again on primetime.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, talk show, television

FTT Year 2013 in Review: GMA

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the GMA Network, which had a rather abysmal performance this year.

The Positives

There have been a few bright spots for the Kapuso network. ‘Bubble Gang‘, ‘Eat Bulaga‘ and ‘Startalk‘ continued to impress in the ratings on their 18th year. ‘Pepito Manaloto‘ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho‘ became social media stars, and ‘I-Witness’ racked up nominations on various international award-giving bodies. They even gained notoriety by unveiling eight-year-old child star Ryzza Mae Dizon as host of her eponymous talk show.

But perhaps GMA’s most important contribution of the year was ‘My Husband’s Lover’, whose same-sex relationship storyline was both praised and derided by critics during its run. The network also scored big with Megan Young‘s victory at the 2013 Miss World and Manny Pacquiao‘s win over Brandon Rios.

GMA’s other network News TV 11 branched into the teleserye genre with ‘Bayan Ko’ and ‘Titser’, with both series earning critical and commercial acclaim. Despite the fact that both programs were uncharacteristic of a typical all-news network, its political and socially conscious storylines made it an appropriate choice to air on the said network.

The Negatives

Teleseryes like the revived ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Indio’, ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ and ‘Love & Lies’ didn’t even last at least six months, and despite the success of ‘My Husband’s Lover’, none of the other teleseryes clicked with viewers. GMA also tried to place a kiligserye (‘With a Smile’) in the morning slot, but it didn’t work out either.

On weekends, ‘Party Pilipinas‘, ‘Extra Challenge‘, ‘Teen Gen‘, ‘Dormitoryo’, ‘Hot TV’, ‘One Day Isang Araw’, and ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To’ became victims of GMA’s continued purging of that slot. Eventually GMA resorted to airing four movie blocks on weekends in order to save costs. But the truth is, a majority of GMA programs have been extremely lackluster of late, and as a result of declining ratings and ad sales, its revenue declined from last year.

Worse, GMA programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘Unang Hirit’, ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ were summoned by the MTRCB for indecent episodes. Even sister network News TV 11 suffered thanks to repetitive public affairs programs and unconventional movie blocks.

Outlook

So what’s next for GMA? They are expected to unveil a trio of new teleseryes starring Jennylyn Mercado (‘Rhodora X’), Marian Rivera (‘Carmela’) and Louise delos Reyes (‘Kambal Sirena’) in the new year. However, with its rival continuing to push the envelope thanks to its younger roster of stars and newly-acquired television franchises, GMA is again under pressure to improve its lackluster 2013 showing. And with its lack of purpose and ability to adapt and change haunting them, it looks like GMA is poised for another down year.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s ‘Kambal Sirena’ Answers ABS-CBN’s ‘Dyesebel’

Louise delos Reyes will play the role of a mermaid in her newest series ‘Kambal Sirena’.

I would like to correct my previous post regarding Louise delos Reyes‘ preparations for her role as a mermaid. Delos Reyes will not appear in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Carmela’, starring Marian Rivera. Instead she is preparing for a more prominent role in her upcoming teleserye ‘Kambal Sirena’.

By all accounts ‘Kambal Sirena’ can be considered as GMA’s response to ABS-CBN‘s own version of ‘Dysebel’, whose previous version starring Marian Rivera aired on GMA in 2009. While the storyline has yet to be revealed, the cast members are now being revealed piece by piece. In addition to delos Reyes, Wyn Marquez is committed to play a villainous role in the series, while Mike Tan will now play delos Reyes’s love interest.

For delos Reyes, it will be her third lead role in a drama series after ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ and ‘Alakdana‘. The selection of delos Reyes to play a mermaid was not surprising, considering that her recent performance in ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ gave viewers a glimpse of her capability to be a primetime player.

This was not the first time that the Kapuso network responded with their own mermaid series. In 2004, GMA released ‘Marinara‘ in response to ABS-CBN’s ‘Marina’. ‘Marinara’, the first so-called ‘kwelanovela’, starred sexy comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto, while ‘Marina’ was played by Claudine Barretto. Despite the fact that GMA responded with their comedic parody of an ABS-CBN teleserye, it was a fantaserye in ‘Mulawin‘ that overwhelmed ‘Marina’ in the ratings, at a time when GMA’s fantaseryes were the talk of television.

‘Kambal Sirena’ is set to be released in the first quarter of 2014, as part of a new wave of teleseryes on the GMA Telebabad block that included ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’.

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