drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Before Ang Probinsyano: A Look Back at Nathaniel

It had been over three years since a teleserye not named ‘Ang Probinsyano’ aired after ‘TV Patrol’.

So many dramas have aired on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida during that span, including a combined seven teleseryes that starred the Big Three love teams in KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine. But at the end of the day, there was still one constant, and that was the Coco Martin-starred action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

After all, the series will turn three on the final week of September and will be closing in on 800 episodes by October. But lost amid the hoopla and the longevity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was its long-forgotten predecessor ‘Nathaniel’, the last series to air on ABS-CBN’s 7:50 p.m. slot before Coco Martin and his entourage took over.

‘Nathaniel’ starred Marco Masa in the title role, and his parents were played by Gerald Anderson and Shaina Magdayao. The supporting cast of ‘Nathaniel’ also included Isabelle Daza in her debut project with ABS-CBN.

The series ran from April 20 to September 25, 2015 and aired a total of 115 episodes. Not only that, ‘Nathaniel’ dominated the ratings game as it won past ‘Pari Ko’y’ and the 2015 remake of ‘MariMar’ in its timeslot.

So where are the series’ stars now? ‘Nathaniel”s lead protagonist Marco Masa has not had a major project since then but he did host ‘Team Yey’ for a short time and recently appeared on the second season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’.

Shaina Magdayao is currently part of the Kapamilya afternoon series ‘Asintado’. And as for Gerald Anderson, he was recently seen on ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with former on-screen partner Kim Chiu and is now playing semi-pro basketball with the MPBL’s Marikina Shoemakers.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ reaching high episode levels not seen since the original ‘Mara Clara’ in the 1990s, it is easy to forget that it succeeded one of ABS-CBN’s most popular family-oriented dramas. That said, revisiting a gem like ‘Nathaniel’ will help viewers look back at a time when child stars used to rock Primetime Bida’s leadoff slot.

All episodes of ‘Nathaniel’ are currently available on iWant TV.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

Kambal Karibal Bows Out This Friday

After 178 episodes, ‘Kambal Karibal’ will be history.

The GMA Telebabad series will officially come to a conclusion Friday night. And while it enjoyed a long and stellar run, its ratings performance was anything but impressive.

‘Kambal Karibal’ was led by Bianca Umali as Criselda, Pauline Mendoza as Crisanta (Criselda’s dead twin sister), and Miguel Tanfelix as Diego. Kyline Alcantara, as Cheska, played a key role as a villain who made Crisanta’s life a living hell and was eventually possessed by the spirits of both Crisanta and Criselda.

The series had a wider following than everyone thought. Many, in particular, praised the acting chops displayed by breakout stars Pauline Mendoza and Kyline Alcantara, and as ‘Kambal Karibal’ progressed, so did the praise for the two young talents.

Yet despite the fact that ‘Kambal Karibal’ was by far the strongest and most compelling GMA primetime series in recent memory, the series failed to win in the ratings when it mattered most. And it didn’t help that the series went up against two of ABS-CBN’s most popular love teams today.

From November 27, 2017 to March 2, 2018 (70 episodes in all), ‘Kambal Karibal’ went head-to-head with ‘La Luna Sangre’ which starred Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla (a.k.a. KathNiel). Then from March 5 until this Friday (108 episodes in all), the series took on ‘Bagani’ led by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil (a.k.a. LizQuen).

In all, ‘Kambal Karibal’ averaged better than 17% in the national ratings. Meanwhile, both ‘La Luna Sangre’ and ‘Bagani’ scored in the 29-30% range.

Notwithstanding its unimpressive ratings, GMA insisted that ‘Kambal Karibal’ performed well contrary to other’s expectations. Throughout the course of its run, ‘Kambal Karibal’ received multiple extensions in hopes of proving a point but it doesn’t change the fact that it had no chance of leaping past either KathNiel or LizQuen.

But regardless of how it played out, ‘Kambal Karibal’ will still be remembered for launching Kyline Alcantara and Pauline Mendoza into stardom. And for good reason, since GMA badly needed young stars to beef up their roster of talents amid criticism of their over-reliance towards veteran stars.

Come this Friday, viewers will have one last chance to see ‘Kambal Karibal’ work out its magic. Whatever happens, this series will bow out on a graceful note.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, television

Snubbed: 24 Oras Does Not Mention Coco Martin in Chika Minute Report on MMFF

It is obvious that GMA wants no part of Coco Martin.

The ‘Ang Probinsyano’ star will have an official entry into the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival starring alongside Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza. But in Wednesday’s news report from ’24 Oras’, Coco was not mentioned at all during the clip.

Also during that night, ‘TV Patrol’ aired a similar report about Coco’s upcoming film. Unlike GMA, however, ABS-CBN showed some respect to its rival by including the names of Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza in the clip.

Talk about getting humiliated. After all, when ‘The Cure’ ends later tonight, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will have conquered past nine different GMA teleseryes in a span of nearly three years.

But this is not about a rivalry between two of the Philippines’ top networks. It is about a collaboration between Kapuso (or Dabarkads in the case of Vic and Maine) and Kapamilya stars in a future MMFF entry.

Unfortunately for GMA, they failed to keep the peace or the friendly rivalry in order (at least for this clip). Their blatant disrespect for Coco Martin made it clear that the network is desperate to conquer its older and more accomplished rival at all costs.

Any mere mention of Coco’s name on GMA News reports would mean that Kapuso viewers may switch to Channel 2 just to see Cardo in action. That said, GMA is simply avoiding this predicament for the purpose of improving its ratings (which unfortunately hasn’t been in their favor for a long time now).

But what if Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes suddenly collaborates with, let’s say, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla in a future MMFF film? Would GMA also be willing not to mention KathNiel in a news report?

Or what if some of its young talent like Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto join forces with the likes of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano? Would GMA likewise not give LizQuen the proper treatment?

Perhaps GMA should change that notion and give its regards to a perennial adversary. There is nothing wrong with mentioning actors from another network as long as it is done with proper respect.

The same goes with ABS-CBN, although at least they did a good job in referencing Vic and Maine. Setting aside that hatred is worth a try.

In the end, GMA only made a long-standing feud worse by disregarding an actor of Coco Martin’s stature. ‘Ang Probinsyano’ may have dominated against its Kapuso rivals, but the lack of respect that GMA showed is so uncalled for.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

The Last Stand of La Luna Sangre

The most physically demanding series in the careers of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will come to an end this week.

After 185 episodes, ‘La Luna Sangre’ officially closes its curtain Friday night. The third series in the ‘Lobo’ trilogy, ‘La Luna Sangre’ saw Kathryn and Daniel (as Malia and Tristan respectively) grow up from being mere mortals to full-fledged vampires while enduring some of the toughest challenges that proved their worth.

But KathNiel was not the only main attraction. The series also marked a comeback of sorts for Richard Gutierrez, who as the villainous Sandrino, tried to convince Malia to join the dark side.

The original duo of ‘Imortal’ in Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz likewise made a cameo earlier on as Lia and Mateo respectively, though Angel returned midway through the series as Jacintha. The duo’s presence helped connect the story of ‘La Luna Sangre’ to its predecessor.

Throughout its lengthy run, ‘La Luna Sangre’ provided an avenue for new talent to shine. The series would mark the acting debut of another rising love team in MayWard (Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber), as well as former ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ participant Tony Labrusca.

Not to be outdone are industry veterans who were also part of ‘La Luna Sangre’, namely Randy Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Maricar Reyes and Albert Martinez. Overall, an estimate of over 50 actors, whether in a supporting or cameo role, were included in ‘La Luna Sangre’.

As far as its performance is concerned, ‘La Luna Sangre’ far and away made a huge impression. The series constantly earned ratings in the 30s while it dispatched its GMA rivals in ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2 and ‘Kambal Karibal’.

That said, the high ratings and the long run of ‘La Luna Sangre’ are further proof of KathNiel’s wide commercial appeal. But more than just KathNiel’s brilliance is the fact that both Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez rekindled some huge memories of past GMA projects, albeit not as a love team of years past.

It will be an interesting final five episodes for this thrilling ABS-CBN primetime series. Best of luck to ‘La Luna Sangre’ on making its last stand.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Super Ma’am’s Last Stand

Another of ‘Ang Probinsyano”s rivals has fallen.

GMA announced that ‘Super Ma’am’ will air its final episode this Friday. The series, which starred Marian Rivera as a teacher-turned-superhero that is determined to protect the world from the evil Tamawo clan, will have a total of 95 episodes to its resume.

‘Super Ma’am’ first premiered on September 18, 2017 as a replacement to ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. However, the former did not directly replace the latter as GMA made a seemingly bold move to their Telebabad lineup.

Instead of taking on KathNiel and their vampire-themed series ‘La Luna Sangre’, Marian Rivera wound up facing Coco Martin and his long-running ‘Ang Probinsyano’. The change came at the expense of her husband Dingdong Dantes, whose ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ wound up in the second slot in order to accommodate ‘Super Ma’am’.

Unfortunately for GMA, the immediate shakeup did not result in a change of fortune for either Marian or Dingdong. Much like ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ before it, ‘Super Ma’am’ could not keep up with ‘Ang Probinsyano’ as the series fell 20% behind its rival in the ratings.

When it was all said and done, ‘Super Ma’am’ joined ‘MariMar’, ‘Little Nanay’, ‘Poor Señorita’, ‘Encantadia’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ in the list of ‘Ang Probinsyano”s victims. Such is a cruel fate for Coco Martin’s rivals.

Let’s face it, Marian Rivera’s time in the limelight has long been passed. Having been in a headlining role for so many GMA teleseryes, viewers must have become worn out by her constant presence.

And it also didn’t help that GMA remains reluctant in elevating more of its younger and underutilized talents to leading star status. That said, as long as overused veterans like Marian Rivera are in the way, GMA can never overcome its primetime struggles.

This Friday will be ‘Super Ma’am”s last chance to make an impression. The series may have fell victim to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, but at the end of the day, GMA should hold its head up high for continuing to compete against a long-running opponent.

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action, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

Here is Part I of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: La Luna Sangre

The tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla returned to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida in June to star in ‘La Luna Sangre’, which also starred Angel Locsin (initially in a special participatory role as Lia before returning full-time as Jacintha) and another comebacking star in Richard Gutierrez. The series became an immediate hit scoring well over 30% in the nationwide ratings.

The success of ‘La Luna Sangre’ also revitalized the third slot of Primetime Bida following the lukewarm reception of predecessors ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’. But while KathNiel did not lose their magic upon returning to the small screen, the same cannot be said for another popular love team.

NOT: AlDub and More

Good news: AlDub did not need to face KathNiel as ‘Destined to Be Yours’ ended weeks before ‘La Luna Sangre’ premiered. Bad news: 63 episodes is more than enough to justify the lack of success of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the first primetime series to star Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together.

Things only got worse for the duo from that point on. In late November, Maine revealed on social media that she and Alden are only friends in real life and that she ‘deserves all the hate in the world’ for being a ‘coward’ and a ‘selfish little brat’.

Perhaps the pressure and the expectations are starting to take its toll on Maine. Much like her harrowing portrayal of a depressed workaholic in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ made-for-TV film ‘Love Is…’, somebody should help her overcome these stresses.

HOT: Ika-6 na Utos and Afternoon Prime

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ premiered late last year to lukewarm reviews. But thanks to some campy moments that elicit plenty of laughter from its viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became unexpectedly popular, so much so that GMA decided to add Saturday episodes starting in April to capitalize on its success.

The series also boosted the fortunes of Afternoon Prime which had been left for dead earlier in the year. By August, succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were winning over their ABS-CBN counterparts thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

NOT: The Entire Kapamilya Gold Post-Doble Kara

Led by back-to-back ‘kabitseryes’ in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, Kapamilya Gold lost ground to Afternoon Prime that by the late third quarter of 2017, it was the latter that stood tall. Not even ‘The Greatest Love”s critically-acclaimed run saved the block from its sudden fall from grace.

The end of ‘Doble Kara”s year-long run in February foreshadowed a decline in Kapamilya Gold’s performance. Soon after, Afternoon Prime closed the gap and overtook Kapamilya Gold in the ratings for the rest of the year, much to the dismay of Kapamilya viewers everywhere.

HOT: Wildflower

Also in February, ‘Wildflower’ premiered on Primetime Bida’s pre-newscast slot. It didn’t take long for the series to make an impact as it constantly registered ratings of over 20 to 25%, putting it among the top five programs in the country.

The success of ‘Wildflower’ also spawned numerous memes on social media, some of which depict the various confrontations between Ivy/Lily (Maja Salvador) and Emilia (Aiko Melendez). With that kind of impact, ‘Wildflower’ truly turned viewers’ heads upside down whenever these two go at it.

NOT: Kapamilya Game Shows

The slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’ does not apply to ABS-CBN game shows. That said, ‘Minute to Win It’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ continued to alienate audiences by utilizing celebrities more often than ordinary people throughout their runs this year.

Luckily all three shows’ seasons came to an end this year: ‘Minute to Win It’ in February, ‘Family Feud’ in May and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ in September. Perhaps ABS-CBN should stop producing game shows and defer these to ‘It’s Showtime’ since they do not even have a clue how to utilize the power of the viewing public.

Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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