comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Not a Good Sign: The Declining Interest of Late-Morning Dramas on Philippine Television

‘Playhouse’ is only averaging around 13% in the ratings, a far cry from past late-morning teleseryes aired on ABS-CBN. (Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

There was a time when late-morning teleseryes on television were a thing in this decade.

It started in 2012 when the unlikely pairing of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap took off with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. The series became an immediate hit, reaching ratings of as high as 27%, and ran for over two years.

From then on, ABS-CBN kept the wheel rolling, airing either romantic comedies such as ‘Oh My G!’, ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ or kid-oriented tear-jerkers like ‘Ningning’ and ‘Langit Lupa’. ABS-CBN even tried to get serious for once with the triathlon-themed ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

But in the past several months, late-morning dramas began to lose viewer interest. By August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ slumped to around 13-15% in the ratings (this despite having Jodi and Richard in the series), and this decline only continued through its successor ‘Playhouse’.

Over on GMA, the network already waved the white flag at the start of the month. Their most recent local late-morning drama, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, was cancelled last November 2, and after only two weeks, GMA moved the Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ to an earlier timeslot due to poor ratings.

Prior to that, GMA tried to counter ABS-CBN with their own dramas that were either self-produced or under the TAPE Inc. production team. Unfortunately for GMA, each of their dramas backfired, with the likes of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ ending after only two or three months.

While ABS-CBN continues to claim victory over this timeslot, the declining ratings of ‘Playhouse’ is something that should cause a lot of concern to the network. If the 13% ratings are of any indication, then there must be something wrong.

Either that viewers are getting tired of watching too much of the same thing, that the story in itself lacked substance and originality, that the cast is boring, or that they just can’t wait for ‘It’s Showtime’ to start. Whatever the case, it is up to ABS-CBN to regroup and see what needs to be corrected.

It is too early to tell if this will spell the end for Filipino late-morning dramas. That said, one can only hope that a turnaround in fortune is imminent, but if this spell continues, then a programming reboot is necessary.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Back to Zero: Kapag Nahati ang Puso Exits with No Replacement in Sight

Consider this yet another epic series of failures for GMA in the late-morning slot.

On All Souls’ Day, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will air its final episode. But without a replacement in sight, all signs point to ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ taking over its soon-to-be-vacated timeslot.

‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, which starred Bea Binene, Benjamin Alves, Sunshine Cruz, Zoren Legaspi and Bing Loyzaga, first premiered on July 16, 2018. Unlike its predecessors ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ had a more serious and darker tone.

While it enjoyed a decent 80-episode run, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso”s overall performance did not inspire confidence from its audience. ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ averaged a mere 10% in the ratings, even though it came close on a few occasions to beat ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ and ‘Playhouse’.

Suffice to say, the change of strategy did not affect GMA’s fortunes in the late-morning slot. Once again, GMA management has to wonder why this timeslot continues to frustrate them at every turn.

Looking back at the three previous attempts at unseating the likes of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ and ‘Playhouse’, it was clear that GMA was scared to compete from the start. Let’s face it, both ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ were epic failures just by looking at its respective number of episodes.

If a drama series only finished at 38 and 50 episodes, then it is obvious that something is wrong. Either that GMA is not convinced enough that both are compelling or is not satisfied with the production.

Then again both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs which is infamous for short-run dramas. Still, its intent to air for a brief period is inexcusable considering the circumstances.

In fairness, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ ended with 80 episodes which is a slight improvement. Then again, its ratings were not that impressive and GMA realized that late-morning dramas are not their bread and butter.

Perhaps GMA should just stop this charade and go back to airing ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ in that timeslot. The network simply had no chance there; not even blocktimer TAPE can help them.

This Friday, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will conclude its run. But don’t expect GMA to give it a proper farewell because they are in no mood to do so.

Update: The Koreanovela ‘Woman of Dignity’ will replace ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ starting Monday. Still, this is a clear sign of GMA once again conceding to ABS-CBN when it comes to the late-morning slot.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Staying Light: Playhouse to Premiere Monday on ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is keeping things light and loose every weekday mornings.

While GMA took on a more serious route with ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, ABS-CBN continues its tradition of romantic comedies and child-oriented dramas to the 11:15 a.m. slot. And their newest series ‘Playhouse’ is no exception.

‘Playhouse’ will star Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo as Patty and Marlon, two college lovers who will eventually get married only to split up after a series of struggles. The rest of the main plot are as follows.

Via ABS-CBN PR:

After of a long time living separately, the two meet again as Patty files for an annulment to formally separate with Marlon. But just when they think everything is over between them, an unfortunate tragedy will change their lives forever.

Their friends Emily and Brad will get into an accident, leaving their child Robin (Justin James Quilantang) behind. As the kid’s legal guardians, Patty and Marlon will be forced to stay together under one roof to take care of Robin and make sure he gets the love he needs. This gives Marlon the opportunity to patch things up with Patty, despite her constant disapproval.

Will Robin be the key to giving Patty and Marlon a second chance?

Also part of ‘Playhouse’ will be up-and-coming teen stars Donny Pangilinan and Kisses Delavin, who will play enemies-turned-lovers Zeke and Shiela. The rest of the cast will include Kean Cipriano, AC Bonifacio, Ariella Arida, Dexter Doria, Nadia Montenegro, Ingrid Dela Paz, Jomari Angeles, Malou De Guzman, Smokey Manaloto, and Maxene Magalona.

Here is a little spin on the formulas that ABS-CBN uses for its late-morning dramas. While ‘Playhouse’ is for the most part a romantic comedy, it is also a child-oriented series since child actor Justin James Quilantang will play a vital role here as the child that Patty and Marlon are forced to take care of.

That said, it will be interesting to see how this hybrid format will work in this increasingly competitive late-morning slot. In spite of ABS-CBN’s success on that timeslot, ‘Playhouse’ will still have its work cut out here and if they win right away it will boost its confidence.

‘Playhouse’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Sana Dalawa ang Puso to Conclude Friday

‘End it while you still can!’

This is probably the message that ABS-CBN management sent to the producers of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, the romantic comedy series that starred Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Yap and Robin Padilla. After all, the network did not want a repeat of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in which the show ran for far too long that viewers grew tired of it.

‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ was the second television project of the JoChard tandem after the aforementioned ‘Be Careful with My Heart’. In hopes of making it more interesting, the series added Robin Padilla as the third wheel while it gave Jodi a chance to play two different characters.

First premiered on January 29, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ made an immediate impact in its first few weeks, scoring around 16-20%. The series was so popular that it led to the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ and forced GMA to produce its own drama shows in the late-morning slot.

Even though ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s ratings dipped to around the 14-17% mark by March, it still won its timeslot on a consistent basis. At this point GMA began to produce its own dramas in response, but short-lived series in ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and ‘My Guitar Princess’ were unable to solve JoChard and Robin.

However, by late August, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s magic started to wear off. The series was no longer a top-10 show, and with paltry ratings of around 13% (even though they still won over ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’), ABS-CBN realized that enough was enough.

Overall, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will have a total of 163 episodes once they conclude Friday. But like ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, ABS-CBN made the costly mistake of keeping ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ for far too long which led to a huge dip in its ratings.

Still, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ was considered a success by ABS-CBN’s standards. Regardless of how it turned out the series should continue the streak of good fortune for ABS-CBN in the late-morning slot, and for JoChard, it only proves that they are still a formidable love team.

On Friday, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will bow out. One can only hope that it will be a graceful exit.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kapag Nahati ang Puso: A Worthy Challenger or Another Footnote to Sana Dalawa ang Puso

This time, GMA is taking things seriously to the late-morning slot.

After failing to hit paydirt with the light romantic comedy ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and the light musical drama ‘My Guitar Princess’, GMA decided to go with a much heavier approach. The new series, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, is uncharacteristic for a late-morning drama in which the story is more serious and emotional.

Coincidentally, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will star Bea Binene, who will once again encounter the faces of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ in Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap. The last time JoChard and Bea faced each other was in 2012, when the former’s ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ sent the latter’s ‘Cielo de Angelina’ packing after only a few weeks.

And much like their previous encounter, JoChard’s light-heartedness (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between) will clash with Bea’s serious and dramatic demeanor. So how will this latest installment play out?

But back to ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ in general. In the series, Bea plays Claire, a young woman who grew up without any memory of her parents.

Her biological mother is Rio (Sunshine Cruz), a simple island beauty who soon falls in love with Nico (Zoren Legaspi), a rich and happy-go-lucky tourist from Manila. However, Nico’s ex-girlfriend Miranda (Bing Loyzaga) thwarted their relationship, causing Rio to lose her family and leaving Nico to take care of Claire.

When Rio later returns to the Philippines a successful woman, she and Claire cross paths not knowing that the latter was the former’s mother. Both would end up falling in love with Joaquin (Benjamin Alves), and along with a jealous Miranda, will soon threaten to destroy both of their lives.

Also part of ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ are David Licauco, Raquel Villavicencio, Robert Ortega, Sharmaine Santiago, Geleen Eugenio, Nar Cabico and Freddie Webb in a special participation. The series is directed by Gil Tejada Jr.

Considering the streak of good fortune for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, GMA will once again be hard-pressed to give this series a run for its money. That said, the network can only hope that ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will not turn into yet another 35 or 50-episode bust of its predecessors and instead become a decent 80-episode series that viewers will always talk about.

‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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