drama, entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Naku, Boss Ko! Premieres This Monday

GMA is pushing the envelope yet again.

In the lead-up to the network’s ‘Eleksyon 2016’ coverage, they decided to create a politically-charged miniseries that challenges the voter’s critical judgment. Enter ‘Naku, Boss Ko!’, a two-week political romantic comedy that will premiere this Monday.

 

‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ marked the return of the GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) tandem to the small screen, several months after they were first paired in ‘Let the Love Begin’. Gabbi plays Che, a political activist, while Ruru plays Jon G., a reluctant mayoralty candidate for the town of Malaya.

Both Che and Jon fell for each other, but unknown to Che, Jon’s campaign is being managed by a ‘trapo’ (traditional politician). With Che’s hatred for ‘trapos’ on the forefront, their relationship will be put to the test, and it is up to Jon to decide between two things: his relationship with Che, or his political ambitions.

Joining them in ‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ are Leo Martinez (as OMG, Jon’s power-hungry father) and Tessie Tomas (as Miss F, a shrewd and extremely savvy campaign manager and spin doctor). The mini-series will be directed by Marlon Rivera.

‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ is the latest in a string of potential award-winning and critically-acclaimed series produced by the GMA News and Public Affairs team. Despite its good intentions, the biggest concern for the series now is how will they be able to reach out to millions of viewers across the country.

Given the lack of promotional treatment in all GMA teleseryes in recent weeks, it will not be easy for ‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ to become relevant in GMA’s scheme of things, heavy promotional hype notwithstanding. That said, it will be very crucial for GMA to drop its restraints and let ‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ do what they want to do in order to get the message straight.

This should be an interesting two weeks for GMA News and Public Affairs. As they prepare for ‘Eleksyon 2016’, they hope that ‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ will help viewers understand what’s right and what’s wrong in the world of politics.

An eight-episode miniseries, ‘Naku, Boss Ko!’ airs Monday to Thursday, 10:10 p.m., from April 25 to May 5, on GMA Telebabad.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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Unable to Beat Kathniel and Pangako Sa ‘Yo, GMA Resorts to Its Old Reliables

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ took its toll on GMA once again.

Fifteen years after the original series took the then-Rainbow Network by surprise, the newly-revised version of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ again proved its lasting power in the era of social media. It showed that even with new actors, new technology and a tweaked script, the results will still be the same.

For rival ‘Let the Love Begin’, it was a total disappointment. GMA tried to concoct a new and promising love team with Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, but it never clicked with the viewers at all.

Whether it’s the ‘Forevermore’ duo of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, or ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the GabRu duo failed to match the chemistry and mass appeal of its rivals. And after 70 episodes by the end of Friday’s finale, their future as an on-screen duo is now in doubt.

Now GMA is going back to its old reliables in hopes of curtailing the momentum of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. Enter Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista of the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

In ‘Beautiful Strangers’, Heart and Lovi are billed as rivals, in contrast to their off-screen friendship. Heart plays the role of a kind-hearted plastic surgeon, while Lovi portrays the role of an interior designer with a dark past.

The two lead stars will be joined by Christopher de Leon, Benjamin Alves, Rocco Nacino, Dina Bonnevie, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Renz Valerio, Kier Legaspi, Dianne Medina, Djanin Cruz, Gab de Leon, Nar Cabico, Mariel Pamintuan and Lovely Rivero. ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Once ‘Beautiful Strangers’ premieres this Monday, it will be the second of three new dramas that GMA will introduce on the same day, as part of a month-long overhaul of Telebabad. But it remains to be seen if the new series will pose a more interesting challenge to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’.

One thing’s for sure: GMA still can’t make the most out of their younger talents and now resort to old-timers in hopes of gaining some relevance.

‘Beautiful Strangers’ airs starting August 10 at 8:30 p.m. after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad.

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My Mother’s Secret Meets Its Painful Demise

The plug has finally been pulled from ‘My Mother’s Secret’.

GMA has announced that the early evening teleserye will be down to its final two weeks. This means that the series finale of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will air on Friday, July 31.

‘My Mother’s Secret’ starred Gwen Zamora, Christian Bautista, Lotlot de Leon, Meryll Soriano and Kim Rodriguez. It was directed by Neal del Rosario.

The series premiered on May 25 with little fanfare. It was unexpected and hastily created to begin with, since GMA did not seriously hype ‘My Mother’s Secret’ in the weeks prior to its premiere.

As expected, the series was no match for the opponent in the ratings. ‘My Mother’s Secret’ lost badly to ‘Inday Bote’ in its opening week, but the series slumped even further once ‘Pasion de Amor’ entered the fray.

‘Pasion de Amor’, the local adaptation of ‘Pasion de Gavilantes’, became a surprise hit for ABS-CBN despite its sexually-charged theme and unlikely placement in the early evening slot. The Kapamilya series’ average rating of over 20% (based on Kantar Media) became a cause of concern to ‘My Mother’s Secret’.

It also didn’t help that ‘My Mother’s Secret’ can only muster single-digit ratings in most episodes. When it became clear that the series would be more of a hindrance to the primetime lineup, GMA decided to act accordingly.

Thus, after only 50 episodes (short of the typical 80 episodes of a modern teleserye), ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will officially take a bow after its final episode on July 31. The series did not deserve a second chance after all, with poor ratings the motive behind its demise.

The cancellation of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ is only the beginning for GMA Telebabad, though. Over the next few weeks, ‘Pari ‘Koy’, ‘Let the Love Begin’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will also be replaced, marking a month-long turnover for the embattled primetime block.

More on that in a future article.

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‘Instadad’ Bids Farewell; Two New GMA Shows to Replace

‘Instadad’ ran for four months and 14 episodes, with little success. It will be replaced by ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ and ‘Alamat’ this coming Sunday. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

So long, ‘Instadad’.

The comedy-drama series that starred Gabby Eigenmann, Gabbi Garcia, Ashley Ortega and Jazz Ocampo aired its final episode Sunday afternoon. Overall, ‘Instadad’ aired for only a mere 14 episodes, from April 5 until yesterday.

‘Instadad”s pilot episode was pitted against ‘The Buzz”s finale, and had an impressive start as far as ratings are concerned. But when ABS-CBN moved ‘Luv U’ to a later timeslot the following week, ‘Instadad’ failed to keep up to its new rival.

Not even the premiere of ‘Wowowin’ nearly a month later helped ‘Instadad’ regain its opening day fortunes, nor did the former’s suddenly declining ratings in subsequent weeks. In the end, GMA’s latest attempt at a teen-oriented series was doomed as a failure once again.

Now that ‘Instadad’ is already out of picture, both Gabby Eigenmann and Gabbi Garcia can now focus on their primetime projects in ‘Pari ‘Koy’ and ‘Let the Love Begin’, respectively. At least they still have something to keep busy with.

Moving on, GMA has lined up a pair of programs to replace ‘Instadad’. They are:

Heart of Asia Presents

If five Asianovelas on weekdays are not enough, then a weekend with GMA’s ‘Heart of Asia’ block should satiate the desires of Asianovela fans. As the title suggests, ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ will feature special presentations of various Asian dramas, particularly from Korea.

‘Heart of Asia Presents’ airs every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. starting July 12.

Alamat

GMA dubs it as the first-ever local animated anthology series. Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, ‘Alamat’ will feature a some of the greatest myths and legends the country has ever told, and will be voiced by some of the country’s most popular and distinguished personalities.

‘Alamat’ airs every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. starting July 12.

This should be another acid test for GMA’s predictably weak Sunday offerings. ‘Alamat’ and ‘Heart of Asia Presents’ may pack some potential, but it remains to be seen if they are definitely good enough for viewers to see.

With that, good luck to both shows.

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In 150 Words: Forevermore Ends Run On a Superbly High Note

They began their run at the top, and they end their run at the top.

The recently-concluded ABS-CBN drama ‘Forevermore’ dominated primetime from start to finish, and following last Friday’s epic finale, the series registered its highest rating ever. ‘Forevermore’ defeated ‘Let the Love Begin’ in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen, registering numbers of 39.3% and 37% over the latter’s 16.1% and 15.3%.

With an average of over 33% in the ratings, ‘Forevermore’ was easily the highest-rated primetime series of 2015 so far. The series’ impact also showed on social media, as topics related to ‘Forevermore’ were among top trends on Twitter both nationally and globally.

Overall, ‘Forevermore’ defeated four different GMA programs during their run at the top, starting with ‘Hiram na Alaala’, followed by ‘Strawberry Lane’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and finally ‘Let the Love Begin’.

With ‘Forevermore’ officially over, it’s now up to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ to continue that run of success. But don’t expect the latter to surpass the success of ‘Forevermore’ anytime soon.

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