drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Maynila Turns 20

One of GMA’s longest-running programs is celebrating a milestone.

‘Maynila’, a drama anthology hosted by former Manila mayor and now congressman Lito Atienza, will enter its 20th year on television this month. The show recently premiered a three-part series last Saturday with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid in a starring role.

‘Maynila’ first aired on November 23, 1998. At the time, the show served as a vehicle for then-mayor Atienza to promote the city he headed back then, while providing inspirational and value-laden stories that young individuals can understand.

Initially aired on weekday afternoons, ‘Maynila’ moved to Saturday mornings in 2002 where they remain to this day. Over its 20-year history, ‘Maynila’ received numerous accolades including an Anak TV Seal award in 2006 and a special award in the 2017 PMPC Star Awards for being one of the longest-running drama anthologies.

In contrast to more serious drama anthologies like ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and ‘Magpakailanman’, ‘Maynila’ is generally considered as more light-hearted in tone. But in some instances such as the three-part series with Ken Chan and Ruru Madrid, ‘Maynila’ may dwell into a darker route if necessary.

Still, it does not prevent the show from presenting stories that are deemed helpful and motivational to the youth. Which is exactly what Lito Atienza wanted on ‘Maynila’: a show that can help young ones, not only in Manila but in other cities as well, to be positive role models.

Twenty years after it first aired, ‘Maynila’ is still going strong. That said, viewers can only hope that the show will continue to provide stories that are worth learning for.

‘Maynila’ airs every Saturday at 9:45 a.m. on GMA.

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

Last Episodes for I Can Do That, Plus Celebrity Bluff Returns

Two weekend shows are about to hit the crossroads.

On ABS-CBN, ‘I Can Do That’ will enter its final weekend tomorrow night and Sunday night. In these two episodes, the final four iCandidates in Cristine Reyes, Daniel Matsunaga, Gab Valenciano and Wacky Kiray are expected to perform their riskiest and most death-defying acts imaginable.

Judges Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and Boy Abunda will have the enviable task of evaluating each iCandidates’ performance. Not only that, the viewers will also play a key role in determining the show’s ‘Greatest Entertainer’, who will walk away P1 million richer by virtue of combined scores from the judges and the viewers.

First premiered on March 11, 2017, ‘I Can Do That’ was the latest reality show franchise acquired by ABS-CBN. The program has had contrasting ratings fortunes throughout its 25-episode run; despite averaging a decent 15%, only ‘I Can Do That”s Saturday episodes were consistent winners.

That said, the decent but unsatisfactory performance may be considerable enough for ABS-CBN to relinquish its rights after only one season. The network may have had some successful foreign franchised shows, but ‘I Can Do That’ is not one of them.

Which leads to its one-night-only opponent for tomorrow night. After a season break that lasted over a year, GMA announced the return of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ for its 13th season.

Eugene Domingo will reprise her role as host of this long-running Kapuso game show. She will not be alone though as Edu Manzano will now join Eugene as a special bluffer, while Boobay and resident boyband One Up will also ramp up the entertainment factor even further.

A typical episode of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ is as follows (via GMA Public Relations):

“Celebrity Bluff features three pairs of celebrity contestants as they attempt to outsmart one another by answering questions to be able to advance to the jackpot round, where the winning team could take home half a million pesos.”

Guest bluffers will also be on hand to make fun of this week’s celebrity players. For instance, the premiere of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ season 13 will see Alden Richards and Brod Pete play the role of bluffer.

With its predecessors’ failures to make an impact, the onus is on ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to change GMA’s declining fortunes ever Saturday night. Otherwise, its comeback may turn out to be a dud.

‘Celebrity Bluff’ returns this Saturday after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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comedy, entertainment, hits, humor, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Full House Tonight: A Poor Man’s Version of Sunday PinaSaya

Seems like GMA is producing its own ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ for Saturday nights.

Hoping to make good use of their otherwise lethargic Saturday primetime lineup, GMA decided to go all out and unveil a new comedy-musical variety show. The show is called ‘Full House Tonight’, and its lead host is none other than Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Yes, Regine is still with Channel 7 (she also hosts ‘Sarap Diva’ on the same channel) even as her husband Ogie Alcasid moved over to archrival ABS-CBN in order to become a judge on ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. Talk about a divorce of the professional kind.

Anyway, ‘Full House Tonight’ will feature a mix of sketches, improvisational comedy, parody and stand-up comedy with a hint of stage musical performances thrown in for good measure. Of course, there will be some special guests to spice up the show.

In essence, ‘Full House Tonight’ is ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on a Saturday night, or perhaps more like a Filipino working man’s version of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’. At worst it could be another ‘Comedy Central Market’ or ‘Comedy Bar’.

‘Full House Tonight’ will also feature Solenn Heussaff, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Joross Gamboa as Regine’s co-hosts. They will be joined by comedians Philip Lazaro, Kim Idol, Terry Gian, Sarah Brakensiek, Tammy Brown, and Nar Cabico.

A daunting task lies ahead for ‘Full House Tonight’ as they begin their run this Saturday. The show will premiere against ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and based on the latter’s strong ratings as it nears its conclusion, there is no doubt that ‘Full House Tonight’ will have its hands full in trying to win this battle.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Full House Tonight’ can reinvigorate GMA’s Sabado Star Power primetime. The show may have an interesting and novel format, but it will be up to the viewers to judge.

‘Full House Tonight’ airs every Saturday night after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

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

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

A Long Overdue Timeslot Change for Lip-Sync Battle Philippines

GMA finally made a long-overdue timeslot change for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, which should benefit Michael V who had been overexposed from the moment it premiered. (Promotional poster courtesy of GMA Network)

Last Saturday marked a decision that GMA should have done earlier.

It was announced that ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ and ‘Magpakailanman’ would switch timeslots. As a result, the former now airs at 9:30 p.m., while the latter now airs at 7:45 p.m.

This timeslot change has been long overdue from the moment ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ premiered. When it debuted in its original timeslot, it was feared that host Michael V would be overexposed, since his other show ‘Pepito Manaloto’ airs right before the former.

They were right. From the beginning of its run, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ struggled, losing on a consistent basis to either ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ or ‘The Voice Kids’.

Realizing the plight of Michael V and ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, GMA proposed timeslot changes in order to prevent any further overexposure. Their choices include:

  • A return to Sunday nights for ‘Pepito Manaloto’ in exchange for either ‘Ismol Family’ or ‘Hay, Bahay’
  • A switch of timeslots for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ and ‘Magpakailanman’

They chose the latter. Thus, beginning Saturday, June 25, both ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ and ‘Magpakailanman’ were aired in different timeslots.

With the timeslot change, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ now runs opposite ‘We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs’. Considering the latter’s poor ratings (even against the late-airing ‘Magpakailanman’), the former should take advantage of it.

Despite the projection, it is still up to ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ to perform well in its new timeslot. But for Michael V, he should feel relieved now that the pressure of getting overexposed on television is over.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

MMK Turns 25

The longest-running drama anthology on Philippine television gets the silver treatment.

For older viewers, it is still known as ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, but for the younger generation, it is now simply known as ‘MMK’. Regardless, the program that touched the lives of Filipinos here and around the world is still going strong, and just recently, it celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The very first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. The first episode, ‘Rubber Shoes’, starred Romnick Sarmenta, Vina Morales, Robert Arevalo, Hero Bautista and Ray Ventura, and it launched a tradition of reading letters through Charo Santos-Concio and naming episode titles after various objects, people or places.

From there, ‘MMK’ took off. The anthology became popular, earning numerous awards here and abroad, and it inspired more Filipinos to write stories of their own, each depicting their trials and tribulations in life.

In 1994, Star Cinema decided to produce a movie based on ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’. Released as one of the entries in that year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, it starred Richard Gomez, Aiko Melendez, Chin-Chin Gutierrez and Caridad Sanchez, among others.

In 2007, a radio program also based on ‘MMK’ began airing on DZMM, and earned similar praise as its television counterpart. Five years later, a rerun of classic ‘MMK’ episodes (titled ‘MMK Klasik’) also began to air on The Filipino Channel and on DZMM TeleRadyo.

Even though ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ has been on a roll since its first episode in 1991, rivals have tried to keep up with this long-running anthology. The most notable of these rivals was GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’, which first aired in 2002 and has continued to air since (other than a four-year hiatus from 2008 to 2012).

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remains an iconic program to many Filipinos. And as it turned 25, more stories are about to unfold, with each of them maintaining a tradition of inspiration and dedication to all Filipinos.

Hosted by Charo Santos-Concio, ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ airs every Saturday at 8:15 p.m*. on ABS-CBN.

*‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ has been airing every Saturday night since 2008. The show originally aired every Wednesday, Thursday and then Friday night.

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