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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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

A Look Back at TAPE’s Pre-Noontime Programs

With the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ earlier this February, TAPE decided to cease production of pre-noontime shows after nearly five years. (Photo credit: TAPE Inc. and GMA Network)

Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.

It all started with this love team, and it all ended with this love team. The duo forever changed the pre-noontime landscape.

Yet one production outfit tried to make things a little more interesting. That outfit happens to be Television and Production Exponents Inc., better known by the acronym TAPE Inc.

The producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to take a crack at the Jodi-Richard love team by premiering a pre-noontime talk show hosted by a then-seven-year-old Ryzza Mae Dizon. In April 2013, GMA and TAPE launched ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, and for nearly two years, it engaged with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in a tough battle for ratings supremacy.

Yet ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to roll, and so did its successors ‘Give Love on Christmas’, ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘Ningning’. When TAPE realized that ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ has outlived its usefulness, they decided to replace the talk show with a light drama in ‘Princess in the Palace’, starring Ryzza alongside Eula Valdes and Aiza Seguerra.

But the move to a drama format did not change its fortunes, and neither did a sitcom in ‘Calle Siete’. Meanwhile, another ABS-CBN series in ‘Be My Lady’ extended the network’s reign in the timeslot.

In October 2016, GMA and TAPE canceled ‘Calle Siete’ and in its place came a coming-of-age light drama in ‘TROPS’, starring the That’s My Bae quintet of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia. The said series also ended Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run in the pre-noontime slot amid her physical changes and the emergence of AlDub.

Unfortunately, ‘TROPS’ also failed to make a difference in the ratings. Over at ABS-CBN, their dominance continued with ‘Langit Lupa’ and ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

In a last-ditch effort to make an impact in the pre-noontime slot, TAPE and GMA returned to the talk show format in September 2017 with ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by the lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros). It couldn’t have come at a worst possible time, as AlDub was no longer a difference-maker by the time this show premiered.

Sadly, the return of Jodi and Richard (plus Robin Padilla) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ put an end to TAPE’s pre-noontime aspirations. As a result, TAPE cancelled ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ after 95 episodes on February 2, 2018, and ceased production of pre-noontime shows.

Give TAPE and GMA a lot of credit for trying to give ABS-CBN a run for its money. But at the end of the day, the latter’s superiority in the pre-noontime slot became too much to overcome, especially with the unlikely duo of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap giving plenty of ‘kilig’ to its viewers.

Now that TAPE ends its production of pre-noontime shows, time will only tell when GMA decides to strike on its own. But for now, the competition is over and GMA will have to live and die with Tagalized movies as a way to wave the white flag.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Langit Lupa

It’s all down to one final week for ‘Langit Lupa’.

This Friday, ABS-CBN will air the 108th and final episode of ‘Langit Lupa’, the late weekday morning drama starring Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor. The series tells the story of two best friends whose origins and issues with their parents test their bond together.

Also starring in ‘Langit Lupa’ are Yam Concepcion, Alessandra de Rossi, Patrick Garcia, Jason Abalos, Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. The series is directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

‘Langit Lupa’ first premiered on November 28, 2016 and made an immediate impact, earning a rating of 17.5% to rule its timeslot against GMA’s ‘Trops’, which only scored 8.7%. From that point on, ‘Langit Lupa’ continued ABS-CBN’s dominance in the late-morning slot, averaging around 15% compared to ‘Trops” 9% in Kantar.

The series was also a regular trending topic on social media, with viewers praising the acting abilities of child stars Yesha and Xia. The latter’s performances on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ likewise boosted not only her individual popularity, but also of the show with which she stars.

Despite its success, ‘Langit Lupa’ may be considered one of ABS-CBN’s more underrated late-morning series. Unlike another child-starred drama in ‘Ningning’ (starring ‘Dream Dad”s Jana Agoncillo), the two child stars of ‘Langit Lupa’ are essentially rookies in the field of entertainment, thus their performances and recognition still have more room for improvement.

Nevertheless, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents the first big leap in the careers of Yesha and Xia. With ABS-CBN’s growing reputation as a ‘child star factory’, greater things are expected for the two in terms of their career path.

Come this Friday, it will be the cutest finale journey for Princess (Yesha) and Esang (Xia). For viewers who have tuned in to ‘Langit Lupa’ from the beginning, a memorable and wonderful conclusion awaits.

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drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, talent show, television, variety show

Premiere of The Better Half & Wildflower Further Complicates ABS-CBN’s Afternoon Schedule

Seems like ABS-CBN has not learned from its 5:00 p.m. issues.

Several months ago, From the Tube made an article about ABS-CBN’s 5:00 p.m. scheduling problems. Three issues were raised in this topic; namely the presence of the ABS-CBN Regional-produced ‘TV Patrol’, the RNGs’ airing of the affected program at around 9:00 a.m. the next day, and its expected poor performance in the Kantar ratings.

Now, ABS-CBN is once again in a bind thanks to a pair of teleseryes that will premiere today. On Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Better Half’ will replace ‘Doble Kara’, while on Primetime Bida, ‘Wildflower’ will become the first teleserye to air at 5:50 since ‘We Will Survive’.

This leaves the game show ‘Minute to Win It’ in a precarious position. With the premiere of ‘Wildflower’ on Primetime Bida, the former has no choice but to move to 5:00 p.m., leaving themselves vulnerable to not only the regionals’ broadcast of ‘TV Patrol’, but also to rival GMA game show ‘Wowowin’.

That said, only the first 30 minutes of ‘Minute to Win It’ will be preempted, leaving the last 15 or 20 minutes for the viewers in the regions to watch. So where will the regional network viewers go to with regards to this predicament?

The most obvious answer is the iWanTV app, which is readily available and has episodes of a majority of ABS-CBN programs uploaded within hours of original broadcast. The only problem with this app though is that not all people have a mobile device, computer or tablet.

Which leaves ABS-CBN with three options to solve this problem. Either they:

  1. Place the O Shopping or MYX block at 5:00 p.m. and move ‘Minute to Win It’ to before ‘Langit Lupa’
  2. Produce a ‘TV Patrol’ that focuses solely on Mega Manila and move ‘Minute to Win It’ to before ‘Langit Lupa’
  3. Cut ‘It’s Showtime”s last 30 minutes and return to a three-teleserye Kapamilya Gold

For all their dominance in the ratings game, the 5:00 p.m. slot is and will always be ABS-CBN’s weak point (this does not include their early morning programs). Unless they do something about it, the affected program’s viewership will remain compromised.

As for ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Wildflower’, this will be an opportunity to sustain ABS-CBN’s winning ways. It’s a challenge that ‘The Better Half”s Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, and ‘Wildflower”s Maja Salvador and Joseph Marco should welcome despite the network’s scheduling issues.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Langit Lupa Premieres Today

The kids are back on ABS-CBN’s Primetanghali.

Starting today, up-and-coming child stars Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor topbill the Kapamilya network’s newest daytime series ‘Langit Lupa’. The program will focus on Yesha and Xia as two best friends with contrasting origins.

In ‘Langit Lupa’, the wealthy young girl Princess (Yesha) befriended a simple but loving lass Esang (Xia). Their friendship grew stronger as time goes by, but along the way, their mothers’ forgotten past was revealed.

Princess’ mother Lala (Yam Concepcion) and Esang’s mother Dey (Alessandra de Rossi) were once the best of friends and business partners. However, when Dey fell ill, Lala and her husband Ian (Patrick Garcia) failed to give Dey’s husband Joey (Jason Abalos) money for medication, leading to Dey’s death and some ill will against Lala and Ian.

‘Langit Lupa’ will also star Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. It will be directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

For Yesha and Xia, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents their first big break as child stars. Yesha emerged as the grand winner of the Promil-Pre School i-Shine Talent Camp, while Xia came to prominence as the grand winner of ‘It’s Showtime”s Mini Me competition.

While the two have played supporting roles in several ABS-CBN dramas, playing the lead role will be a tremendous challenge. Then again, considering the success that ABS-CBN has had in introducing new child stars, the pressure should not be a problem for Yesha and Xia.

 

Speaking of success, it will also be interesting to see if ‘Langit Lupa’ can continue the momentum generated by ABS-CBN late-morning dramas. With each previous drama having won the hearts of viewers, the onus is on ‘Langit Lupa’ to keep it going.

That said, the first week of ‘Langit Lupa’ will be crucial in establishing its own footprint on Kapamilya lore. For Yesha and Xia, this initial test begins now, as they hope to raise their profiles among Kapamilya network’s child stars of legend.

‘Langit Lupa’ airs weekdays at 11:30 a.m. on ABS-CBN’s Primetanghali.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Finale Week for Be My Lady

Christmas came early for ‘Be My Lady’.

The popular ABS-CBN daytime series will air its final episode this Friday morning, ending an impressive 221-episode run. It will be replaced by ‘Langit Lupa’ starting next week.

The lengthy near year-long run of ‘Be My Lady’ began on January 18, 2016. The series centered around the lifelong relationship between Brazilian-Japanese bachelor Phil (Daniel Matsunaga) and conservative Filipina Pinang (Erich Gonzales), which mirrored the real-life partnership between the two.

From the very first episode, it was clear that ‘Be My Lady’ was a hit show in the making. Over the course of its ten-month run, the series averaged around 19% in the Kantar national ratings, beating rivals ‘Princess in the Palace’, ‘Calle Siete’ and ‘TROPS’ in the process.

The ratings success of ‘Be My Lady’ also translated into social media, where each episode is usually a trending topic. The high points of the series came during the airing of the ‘Tatlong Bibe’ scenes, and more recently, the much-awaited wedding of Phil and Pinang.

Despite its success, a lot of expectations came ‘Be My Lady”s way. Considering that the series is in the same mold as ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, many think that ‘Be My Lady’ could last a year or more.

Eventually, ABS-CBN decided to pull the plug on ‘Be My Lady’ while at its peak. Knowing that the kiligserye could lose interest if it lasts for more than a year (based on the experiences of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’), it was only right for ABS-CBN to end the series while still enjoying a strong following.

Although ‘Be My Lady’ will come to an end this Friday, it will not be the end of the road for Daniel and Erich. Future projects are in the offing for the two, and soon, another kiligserye will come knocking at the door.

As for the series, enjoy these final four episodes. It will surely be an unforgettable ending.

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