drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

G.R.I.N.D.: A New Breed of Teen-Oriented Series

‘G.R.I.N.D.’ stars Bruno Gabriel, Ayra Mariano, Jazz Ocampo and Benedict Campos look to make a name for themselves in GMA’s latest weekly teen series. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

There have been plenty of youth-oriented series on Philippine television.

Some of the more iconic ones include GMA’s ‘TGIS’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Gimik’. Later on, there was ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Click’, and more recently, ‘Luv U’ and ‘Teen Gen’.

These youth-oriented series were showcased during weekend afternoons to great success. But as social media and changing viewership tastes prevailed, these programs were deemphasized and soon fell off the map.

Then came last Saturday night. In an effort to bring the youth back to the small screen, GMA decided to launch a new youth-oriented program called ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ (Get Ready It’s a New Day), starring up-and-coming Kapuso stars Benedict Campos, Jazz Ocampo, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel.

‘G.R.I.N.D.’ features a story of four young millennials and their struggles to find their place in society. Carlo (Bruno) is a thriving manager in an advertising company, Solanj (Jazz) is an owner of a cafe and Carlo’s best friend, Lui (Ayra) is a breadwinner who juggles different jobs to support her family, and RK (Benedict) is a gay man who also shifts through various jobs.

In essence, ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ is GMA’s reintroduction into the weekly youth-oriented series that has long been forgotten in this day and age. But unlike those previous teen-oriented series of decades past, GMA elected to air the program during late Saturday nights in hopes of attracting teens and young adults who usually stay up late during weekends.

As unfathomable as it seems, GMA has no other choice. Their Saturday afternoon lineup is already loaded though complicated, while their Sunday afternoon slots are not conductive to programs like ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ due to lack of viewership and interest.

Now that ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ is underway, will it actually make an impact in a not-so popular late-night slot? Also, will GMA’s low-key approach to promote this program be either boon or bane? Only time will tell.

A production of Wizpher Mac Productions, ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ airs every Saturday after ‘I-Witness’ on GMA.

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comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

Celebrity Playtime Times Two, Plus PGT Season 5 Premieres

Luis Manzano will be seen every day on ABS-CBN starting this weekend. In addition to ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Celebrity Playtime, he will also host ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

The weekend experience on ABS-CBN just got better.

This weekend will mark the return of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ to the small screen. Now on its fifth season, the biggest and grandest reality talent show in the country got a big boost with the addition of Vice Ganda into the team of judges, which also consists of Freddie Garcia, Angel Locsin and Robin Padilla.

The ‘Golden Buzzer’, introduced in the Asian, British and American ‘Got Talent’ franchises, will also make its debut on ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’. The ‘Golden Buzzer’ will determine the performer who deserved to go to the next level and avoid elimination in the process.

Let’s just hope that with the ‘Golden Buzzer’, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ will not be a one-sided ‘singers’ show’ as they did in past editions. Trying to balance things out will be a big challenge for this season.

Season 5 of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ will be hosted by Billy Crawford and Luis Manzano, and will air every Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sunday after ‘Rated K’.

Speaking of Luis Manzano, his other weekend show will now be seen twice. Starting this weekend, ‘Celebrity Playtime’ will not only air every Saturday, but also on Sundays as well.

This means that every day on ABS-CBN will have Luis Manzano on the small screen. In addition to ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ and ‘Celebrity Playtime’, Luis also hosts ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’, which airs weekdays.

Sunday episodes of ‘Celebrity Playtime’ will take over the timeslot vacated by ‘Luv U’, which ended last Sunday. Thus, ‘Celebrity Playtime’ will now face two different GMA programs: ‘CelebriTV’ on Saturdays, and ‘Juan Tamad’ on Sundays.

One of ABS-CBN’s top-rated shows, ‘Celebrity Playtime’ now hopes to carry over its success on Saturdays into Sundays. As they usually say, ‘the more, the better’.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

So Long, Luv U

‘Luv U’ aired for the last time last Sunday afternoon, ending a near four-year run. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

The last remaining teen-oriented series in the country has finally departed.

On Sunday, January 17, ABS-CBN’s ‘Luv U’ officially aired its final episode. The series bowed out after nearly four years on the air, with a total of 203 episodes to boot.

The final episode of ‘Luv U’ marked the end of an era for teen-oriented series, which began when GMA’s ‘T.G.I.S.’ premiered in mid-1995. With the cast’s desire to move on to other projects and at the same time devote several hours of school time, it is clear that the series would have to end.

First aired on February 19, 2012, ‘Luv U’ was essentially a grown-up version of ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, featuring the then-teenage graduates of the latter series. Early episodes of the series were more humor-oriented, but as the years went by, more serious elements were added, each emphasizing on the real-life struggles of Filipino teenagers.

‘Luv U’ originally aired in between ‘ASAP’ and ‘The Buzz’, but in April 2015, it was moved to the late afternoon slot to replace the latter. While ratings for the series were respectable overall, the change of timeslot in later episodes caused it to fall.

Nevertheless, ‘Luv U”s final episode made a lasting impression. While ratings for the finale are yet to be revealed, it managed to trend on Twitter.

On Instagram, cast member Miles Ocampo, now lead protagonist of ‘And I Love You So’, posted this message:

“MAMI-MISS KO ang gumising ng umaga tuwing Monday, ang mag script reading, ang asaran, ang foodtrip, ang tawanan, ang friendship at ang nabuong pamilya.”

“THANK YOU sa mga experiences, sa sad and happy memories, sa mga pagturo ng maraming lessons at sa pagbibigay saakin ng pagmamahal.. Sa lahat po ng sumuporta sa LUV U sa loob ng 4 NA TAON, maraming maraming salamat po sainyong lahat.”

The cast of ‘Luv U’ also includes Kiray Celis, Marco Gumabao, Sharlene San Pedro, Alexa Ilacad, Nash Aguas, Jairus Aquino, Mika Dela Cruz, Rhap Salazar, Smokey Manaloto, Hyubs Azarcon, Bentong, and Joy Viado, among others. Edgar Mortiz and sons Frasco and Badjie directed the series.

The fate of the now-vacant 4:45 p.m. slot is still to be determined. Regardless, ‘Luv U’ will be missed by its loyal viewers, and the lessons that come with it will never be forgotten.

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cartoon, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

‘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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entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA’s Weekend Nightmares Continue

I have been saying this over and over again: GMA’s weekend programming lineup is the most uncertain of them all. In a prior article, I wrote about how GMA failed to outdraw ABS-CBN on Sundays with shows such as Party Pilipinas, TeenGen, Showbiz Central and HOT TV, all of which were cancelled due to declining viewership figures, and I have also written about how cluttered their programming schedules are on weekends. And now GMA is trying shake things up again in hopes of reversing their weekend fortunes.

GMA’s main slate of Saturday programs are fully loaded from Eat Bulaga to Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman. So why did they add another public service program to the mix? As announced in the teaser below, the upcoming public service program will be entitled ‘Bingit’, which is basically a program featuring stories of survival and inspiration. The said program’s timeslot remains uncertain, though I think the program will be placed either near Wish Ko Lang, or Tunay na Buhay. The problem with the addition of this program is that it will bump other GMA programs in its stead, so the only way they can fix that is to remove the all-martial arts block ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ off the lineup in order to accompany the new program. Worse, Alisto failed in its Saturday timeslot, so what more will ‘Bingit’ bring against either ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ or ‘Failon Ngayon’?

As previously mentioned, GMA’s Sunday lineup is a total wreck, so much so that they have four movie blocks aired on Sundays (Kapuso Movie Festival, Kapuso Blockbusters, Sunday Night Box Office). The Kapuso Blockbusters segment basically filled the programming vacated by TeenGen and HOT TV. However, the network finally decided to fill in the blanks and replace one of the Kapuso Blockbusters with a Sunday suspense series called ‘Dormitoryo’, which is basically their answer to ABS-CBN’s teen-oriented comedy program ‘Luv U‘. Ok, so they’re trying to revive ‘Oka Tokat’ on a Sunday, but is this the right move? Not so, unless they gain a needed fanbase.

Once again GMA is pulling out all the stops in hopes of improving their viewership on weekends. Unfortunately, with the continuous addition of what I think are mediocre products, GMA’s fortunes regarding their ratings will only get worse.

Meanwhile, the list of other upcoming programs by the Kapuso network can be viewed below.

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