drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Desperate Times: Ika-5 Utos Represents GMA’s Last Hope for Six-a-Week Relevance

Let’s state the obvious to begin with.

On Monday, September 10, GMA will introduce a new drama called ‘Ika-5 Utos’. And the series will air from Monday to, not Friday, but Saturday afternoons after ‘Eat Bulaga’.

‘Ika-5 Utos” main plot centers around three families whose bonds will be destroyed by a series of incidents. The series, in particular, will take a look at the issue of hazing in college fraternities.

The cast of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ includes Jean Garcia, Gelli de Belen, Valerie Concepcion, Jake Vargas, Kiko Estrada, Inah de Belen, Tonton Gutierrez, Antonio Aquitania, Jeric Gonzales, Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda. The series, like its sister program ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, will be directed by Laurice Guillen.

So another teleserye that will air six times a week? It seems like GMA is obsessed with this new habit.

And since they do not have any further ideas to fill in on a Saturday afternoon (they do not even bother producing a program to match ABS-CBN’s ‘Pareng Partners’), they are stuck with using a teleserye as a desperate ploy to boost ratings. But as seen in the ill-fated tale that is ‘Contessa’, it was a flawed strategy to begin with.

The approach initially worked on ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ due to ‘insistent public demand’ (its finale earned around 20% despite airing on a Saturday). But when ‘Contessa’ took over viewers were soon fed up by GMA’s over-saturation tactics, and instead opted to watch either Vice Ganda running his mouth on national television or Netflix shows online.

As a result, ‘Contessa’ underachieved and GMA’s strategy backfired. With that in mind, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ is now stuck in the crossroads that will either appease its audience to watch the series or force GMA to finally admit the problems in its approach.

It will be interesting to see how this latest maneuver plays out. Can ‘Ika-5 Utos’ deliver on a six-a-week basis, or will GMA ever regret making this risky move?

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Next Up for JoChard: My Guitar Princess

GMA’s search for a hit late-morning series continues.

After failing to hit paydirt with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, GMA will once again try to give the popular JoChard (Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap) love team a run for their money. Their latest attempt will come in the form of two young stars that will topbill the newest series ‘My Guitar Princess’, which premieres this Monday.

‘My Guitar Princess’ will be led by a pair of emerging Kapuso stars Julie Anne San Jose and Gil Cuerva. In this series, Celina (Julie Anne) is a promising but insecure 18-year-old singer and guitarist whose mother Adele (Sheryl Cruz) does not approve of her singing in front of an audience.

Amid her mother’s objection, Celina insists on performing even if it means tearing their relationship apart. Soon after, Celina’s talents caught the eye of two men who seek to fall in love with her: Elton (Gil), a 20-year-old singer based abroad whom fans call the ‘prince charming of pop’, and Justin (Kiko Estrada), Celina’s long-time confidant.

Completing the cast of ‘My Guitar Princess’ are Isabelle de Leon, Jazz Ocampo, Marika Sasaki, Marc Abaya, Ralf King, Kier Legaspi, Frank Garcia, Maey Bautista, Rob Sy and Lui Manansala. It will be directed by Nick Olanka.

The popular love team of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (plus Robin Padilla as the third wheel) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ will provide a very tough obstacle for Julie Anne San Jose and Gil Cuerva. After all, these are a pair of young Kapuso stars who have been long underappreciated by the masses despite their immense talent.

That said, the only hope for GMA is to can maximize the potential of Julie Anne and Gil. Of course, it also helps that an aggressive social media and promotional campaign will benefit the show and its lead stars considering the network’s weaknesses in the two departments.

Still, it will not be easy for ‘My Guitar Princess’ to overcome ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’. If GMA wants to avoid a repeat of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, they need to push the right buttons, otherwise another short series is in the offing.

‘My Guitar Princess’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Mulawin vs. Ravena Premiere Means New Characters for Ang Probinsyano

The threat is indeed real.

With the premiere of GMA fantaserye ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ later tonight, long-running ABS-CBN action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’ introduced a new slate of supporting actors that will add more color to an already endless story. They are:

  • John Arcilla
  • Angel Aquino
  • Ejay Falcon
  • Jhong Hilario
  • Lito Lapid
  • Mark Lapid
  • Sid Lucero
  • Long Mejia
  • Pokwang
  • Mitch Valdes

These actors will join the main cast that features Coco Martin, Ms. Susan Roces, Yassi Pressman and Awra Briguela, among others. Ironically, John Arcilla was last seen in the just-concluded GMA fantaserye (and ‘Ang Probinsyano”s archrival) ‘Encantadia’, where he was cast as Hagorn.

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The addition of new actors indicate that another fresh storyline for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is about to take shape. After all, a new rival in ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will come into play and the best way for the former to maintain viewer interest is to introduce new characters and plots to keep up with its latest adversary.

Speaking of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, the sequel to the popular early 2000s fantaserye ‘Mulawin’ is 12 years in the making. The original series (led by Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin) became a huge hit when it first aired, and with the creation of the sequel, the bar is raised even higher.

‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ will feature stars such as:

  • Dennis Trillo (as Gabriel)
  • Heart Evangelista (as Alwina)
  • Carla Abellana  (as Aviona)
  • Tom Rodriguez (as Rodrigo)
  • Lovi Poe (as Magindara)
  • Regine Velasquez (as Sandawa)
  • Bianca Umali (as Lawiswis)
  • Derrick Monasterio (as Almiro)
  • Bea Binene (as Anya)
  • Miguel Tanfelix (as Pagaspas)
  • Ariel Rivera (as Panabon)
  • Chynna Ortaleza (as Reyna Rashana)
  • David Licauco (as Malik)
  • Dion Ignacio (as Siklab)
  • Valerie Concepcion (as Tuka)
  • Roi Vinzon (as Daragit)
  • JC Tiuseco (as Tangos)
  • Winwyn Marquez (as Ribery)
  • TJ Trinidad (as Greco)
  • Angelu de Leon (as Lourdes)
  • Bobby Andrews (as Dionisio)
  • Charee Pineda (as Savanna)
  • Joko Diaz (as Antonio)
  • Martin del Rosario (as Aramis)
  • Kiko Estrada (as Rafael)
  • Nova Villa (as Lola Elo)

Directors Dominic Zapata and Don Michael Perez will once again breathe life into ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, just as they did with the original ‘Mulawin’.

Heading into tonight, the challenge for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ is a daunting one. ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has been a ratings juggernaut for nearly two years now and not even the efforts of its predecessor ‘Encantadia’ was enough to topple the former.

That said, the best chance for ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ might come from viewers who are becoming disenchanted with ‘Ang Probinsyano”s endlessly dragging storyline. With the latter’s new characters coming into play, this may be an opportunity for some to switch channels and watch something different and pleasing.

Still, with too many loyal viewers siding with ‘Ang Probinsyano’, the task will not be an easy one. So, good luck to GMA in their efforts to sway the momentum away from Coco Martin and company.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

TV Remake of ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ to Air Starting This Monday

Big things are indeed coming for Rhian Ramos.

The beginning of July saw Rhian make her debut as a cover girl for FHM. Then came the series that could make or break her, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’.

Much like her first-ever sexy pictorial on FHM, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ will portray a more mature and serious Rhian. Her role as Clara is simple: she was abused by a womanizer in Roman (Rafael Rosell), then ended up falling in love to Jason (Kiko Estrada), who is not happy with his marriage to Hannah (Jazz Ocampo).

Clara and Jason’s love affair was soon exposed, however. And as the series rolls on, that revelation could pose a severe threat to their own lives.

Also joining the cast of ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ are Michael de Mesa, Glydel Mercado, Cheska Diaz, Sherilyn Reyes, Stephanie Sol, Gee Canlas, JC Tiuseco, and Gab de Leon. The series will be directed by Ricky Davao.

‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ the drama series is a remake of the 1992 hit film directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes. The film was headlined by Vilma Santos, Gabby Concepcion, Aga Muhlach, and Aiko Melendez.

But if the film version was a blockbuster, what chances will the TV remake have in store? As far as the entire nation is concerned, all eyes are on Julia Montes and ‘Doble Kara’ every weekday afternoon, and its domination of the 3:15 p.m. slot has not been a good sight for a Kapuso fan everywhere.

Indeed, GMA is wasting time producing these dramas without any sufficient promotion. Just look at the series ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ will replace, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, which at the beginning was heavily promoted by the network only to cease further support after the first week of airing.

With ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ nearing its one-year anniversary this August, it will be interesting to see if ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ can fare well against this afternoon juggernaut. Yes, Rhian Ramos is about to take the next step in her evolution as an actress, but will this translate to impressive ratings?

Find out starting this Monday, as ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ premieres after ‘Magkaibang Mundo’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

That’s My Amboy Premieres Tonight

The AnBie love team takes its act to primetime.

Fresh from a successful run on ‘The Half-Sisters’, Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza now gear themselves up for their first lead role in a primetime series. The duo star in ‘That’s My Amboy’, a light-hearted series that airs starting tonight.

‘That’s My Amboy’ tells the story of Maru (Barbie), a young but determined girl, and Bryan (Andre), a rising actor. Their story began when Bryan was blamed for the accident that involved Maru’s stepfather, and in order to pay for the damages, Maru was hired as his personal assistant.

At first, Maru and Bryan’s relationship was tense and jittery. But an incident that affected Bryan soon brought the two together, and the once distant relationship turned into a friendly, and eventually, lovely one.

Also starring in the series are Tonton Gutierrez, John Arcilla, Donita Rose, Kiko Estrada, Jazz Ocampo, Matet de Leon, Meryll Soriano, Maritoni Fernandez, Jerald Napoles, Pam Prinster, Jan Manual, Philip Lazaro, Pauline Mendoza, Kryshee Grengia, and Rob Walcher. It will be directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal, with the help of Dominic Zapata.

‘That’s My Amboy’ was slated to replace ‘MariMar’ in the network’s Telebabad block (the latter ended January 8). However, the series premiere was delayed for two weeks due to a conflict of interest, since ‘The Half-Sisters’ was still ongoing at the time.

That led to a rather unusual programming lineup on Telebabad, where the block only had two teleseryes, a movie block, and a two Koreanovelas. This week, Telebabad will go back to its usual lineup of three teleseryes and two Koreanovelas, and thus, changes in schedule will be utilized.

‘That’s My Amboy’ will be placed opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, which means that the KathNiel-starred series will have faced all three ongoing Telebabad dramas in a three-week span. Although ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will only have two more weeks in its run, it remains an imposing challenge to ‘That’s My Amboy’, considering the series has beaten ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ in those three weeks.

That said, the AnBie love team will have its work cut out for them. Although they’ve been successful in the afternoon, primetime is a very different animal, which only adds pressure to the duo.

‘That’s My Amboy’ premieres later tonight after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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My Mother’s Secret to Face Two Kapamilya Teleseryes in First Two Weeks

For the first time since ‘My BFF’, a local teleserye will kick off GMA Telebabad.

On Monday, May 25, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will take over the slot that will be vacated by ‘My Love from the Star’ later tonight. This will mark the end of an eight-month lull for a lengthy local teleserye at the said slot, after GMA experimented with a pair of mini-series and a trio of Koreanovelas.

Directed by Neal del Rosario, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will tell the story of an actress who is secretly pregnant, after which she sold her child in order to continue her showbiz career. A controversial scandal forced her to leave the industry and begin a family with her one-time boyfriend, but a liver problem threatened her husband’s life, and she was forced to find the child she once sold in order to help her husband.

Gwen Zamora, Christian Bautista and Kim Rodriguez will breathe life into the three primary characters of ‘My Mother’s Secret’. Kiko Estrada, Lotlot de Leon, Diva Montelaba, Shamaine Buencamino, Enzo Pineda, Joanna Marie Tan and Tricia Cabais will play supporting roles, while Meryll Soriano and Mark Herras will also appear in a special participation.

As mentioned earlier, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will be the first local teleserye to kick off Telebabad since ‘My BFF’, which ran from June to October 2014 (‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’ were only aired as a mini-series, and not as full-fledged teleseryes). Coincidentally, both series replaced ‘My Love from the Star’ on the same timeslot.

The first two weeks of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will air against the finale week of ‘Inday Bote’ and the premiere week of ‘Pasion de Amor’. That said, the series will have its work cut out for them as they go up against two ABS-CBN teleseryes in as many weeks.

Once again, GMA goes to a local drama to begin Telebabad. But will it make a difference? Find out next week.

‘My Mother’s Secret’ premieres this Monday before ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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