drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Can AlDub Rule Primetime with Destined to Be Yours?

Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza’s biggest test lies ahead.

After spending over a year captivating viewers with their spontaneous ‘kilig’ and acting skills on ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye, the popular love team now moves over to primetime for a new challenge. As a reward to their enduring success, GMA and APT Entertainment gave Alden and Maine a new project in hopes of conquering a new audience.

Enter ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the upcoming drama series which will air later tonight on GMA Telebabad. It will be Alden’s first lead primetime series since the ill-fated mini-drama ‘Ilustrado’, while it will be the first for the still-relative newcomer Maine.

In ‘Destined to Be Yours’, Benjie (Alden) is an up-and-coming architect who spearheads a construction project in the mountainous area of Pelangi. As fate would have it, he meets Sinag (Maine), a radio jock in the province, and the two soon fell in love with each other.

However, their philosophical differences would soon get in the way of their relationship. That said, it will be up to them to sort their issues and find true love within their hearts.

‘Destined to Be Yours’ will also star Janice de Belen, Boots Anson Roa, Lotlot de Leon, Gardo Versoza, Tommy Abuel, ina Feleo, Ronnie Henares, Sheena Halili, Dominic Roco, Juancho Trivino, RJ Padilla, and Koreen Medina. It will be directed by Irene Villamor.

While Alden and Maine have established themselves as a love team to be reckoned with, conquering primetime will not be easy for the two. The dominance of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, in particular, has taken its toll on GMA Telebabad, and for the network, giving AlDub a teleserye of their own could be the block’s last chance at survival.

It will also be interesting to see if AlDub on primetime can win over netizens on social media. Considering how highly successful ABS-CBN is in drawing millions of tweets for their shows, GMA will definitely have their hands full trying to make an impact online with AlDub’s newest series.

As AlDub takes over GMA Telebabad, it remains to be seen if their overwhelming success on noontime will translate over to primetime. With high expectations mounting, GMA can only hope that Alden and Maine will deliver and reverse course for the seemingly moribund Telebabad block.

‘Destined to Be Yours’ airs weeknights after ‘Encantadia’ on GMA Telebabad.

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action, comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, radio, reality show, talent show, television, variety show

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

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.

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

The Return of Tawag ng Tanghalan

‘It’s Showtime’ was on the brink of waving the white flag when rival ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye segment (starring AlDub) became wildly popular in the second half of 2015. So in order to get back on track, they decided to revive a singing competition that was successful in the era of black and white television.

Thus on the second day of 2016, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ was brought back as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. The segment would set the tone for ‘It’s Showtime”s renaissance, as it recaptured the ratings lead from ‘Eat Bulaga’ by the third week of January.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’…

Kalyeserye Concluded, Revived, Then Concluded Again

The long-running Kalyeserye segment had been on a roll since its debut on July 16, 2015. Unfortunately, the return to form of ‘It’s Showtime’, coupled by the presumed seven-month suspension of Paolo Ballesteros (a.k.a. Lola Tidora) and fans’ apparent frustration over repetitive and predictable storylines, led to a decline in popularity for the segment.

Along the way, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza took time off to record and promote the film ‘Imagine You and Me’. With the desire to push the duo to new territory, ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to end Kalyeserye on September 3, although they revived the skit from October 15 to December 17 with a new chapter.

Both Alden and Maine are scheduled to star in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Destined to Be Yours’ beginning next year, putting Kalyeserye’s future in doubt.

KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine’s Reign on Primetime Continues

ABS-CBN’s ‘Big Three’ love teams continued to roll in 2016. The year began with ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, reigning on the 8:40 timeslot, followed by its replacement ‘Dolce Amore’, starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, which debuted on February 15.

Unfortunately, although James Reid and Nadine Lustre began the year with the highly successful ‘On the Wings of Love’, they failed to keep the momentum going when ‘Till I Met You’ premiered on August 29 to a rather lukewarm reception in the ratings. As a result, on September 19, ABS-CBN moved the series’ timeslot to 9:30 p.m., which eventually paid off.

But for every successful pairing, there are some love teams that did not click at all, as seen in this next entry.

AnBie, AlNine and ElNella: The Lost Love Teams

Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras were paired in the long-running afternoon drama ‘The Half-Sisters’, which finally came to an end on January 15. Two weeks later, they received a primetime push with ‘That’s My Amboy’, but the series ended in late April with just 68 episodes and little fanfare.

Its successor, Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez’s ‘Once Again’, did not even come close, clocking at only 59 episodes from May to July. Over at ABS-CBN, Janine’s ex-boyfriend Elmo Magalona was paired with Janella Salvador in ‘Born for You’, but the series made little impact either, lasting 65 episodes from June to September.

It remains to be seen if the three love teams will have a chance to redeem themselves next year. But in the meantime, let’s move on.

Sexy Time in 2016

The trend towards sensually mature programs continued in 2016. On ABS-CBN, ‘Pasion de Amor’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ stood out, with Coleen Garcia, Ellen Adarna, Arci Muñoz, Isabelle Daza and Cristine Reyes emerging to showcase their newfound abilities in a more raunchy setting.

Over on GMA, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ provided a new dimension for stars Rhian Ramos, Andrea Torres and Joyce Ching to show their chops. But perhaps their greatest contributions were ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ and ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, both of which feature a mix of comedy and sensuality.

If 2016 set the tone for more sexual themes with SPG ratings all over the place, then what else is in store come 2017? Find out soon.

In the meantime, Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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concerts, entertainment, live events, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN, GMA to Air Christmas Specials This Weekend

‘Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko’ or ‘Maniwala sa Magic ng Pasko’?

In the past month, ABS-CBN and GMA have been one-upping each other when it comes to creating the perfect Christmas theme this year. For the former, they reached their message through a long-form music video, while for the latter, they used a series of 3D animated shorts to make a statement.

This weekend, the two arch-rivals in the world of Philippine television will once again take their Christmas themes to the next level, this time in the form of a televised concert. It will be ‘Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko: The ABS-CBN Christmas Special’, against ‘The Magic of Christmas: A GMA Christmas Special’.

Both Christmas specials will feature song and dance numbers from each network’s top stars. And while GMA will use this special to unveil upcoming shows for next year, ABS-CBN’s special will focus on stories of ordinary people who inspired others to succeed in their lives.

A lot is expected on the two specials this weekend, particularly with the star power the two networks possess. However, there is special emphasis on the love teams, as ABS-CBN’s ‘Big 3′ of KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla), JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) and LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil), and GMA’s AlDub (Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza) will try to gain the viewers’ attention.

ABS-CBN’s Christmas special will air as a two-part series. The first part will air this Saturday after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, while the second part will air this Sunday after ‘Wansapanatym’.

As for GMA’s own Christmas special, it will be shown this Sunday as part of ‘Sunday Night Box Office’. Thus, this Sunday will mark the only time that the two networks’ Christmas specials will cross paths, and considering GMA’s overall deficiencies in their programming, it could pose a disadvantage on their part.

Either way, this promises to be a special ‘week before Christmas’ to remember. Both ABS-CBN and GMA have done their share in impressing their viewers this Christmas season, and now it’s up to their fans to give back.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Kalyeserye Now an Independent Segment of Eat Bulaga

A subtle change took place this week on ‘Eat Bulaga’.

Last Friday, viewers took notice of a new Kalyeserye opening billboard. That’s right, for the first time ever, Kalyeserye is credited with its own segment and in the process, no longer considers itself a sub-segment of Juan for All, All for Juan.

The change became official in time for the ‘wedding’ special the following day. After that, the independence continued once the storyline shifts into the married lives of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards’ characters.

During Kalyeserye’s initial run, ‘Eat Bulaga’ credited the skit under the Juan for All, All for Juan name, despite the fact that it was an entirely different segment with its own logo. At first, Kalyeserye took place in the beginning and end of the Juan for All, All for Juan segment, before it was given its own spot in the show.

Although Kalyeserye became a separate portion of the show, the Juan for All, All for Juan opening billboard remained in use. This confused viewers for the most part, since the Juan for All, All for Juan segment refers entirely to the ‘sugod-bahay’ and ‘bayanihan’ portions of it.

The confusion continued once Kalyeserye was revived with the ‘marriage’ storyline. Again, ‘Eat Bulaga’ credited the skit under the Juan for All, All for Juan name, and in its initial episodes, Kalyeserye was slotted at the beginning of the skit; only this time, there is no break for the ‘sugod-bahay’ and ‘bayanihan’ portions, which air afterwards.

In the end, upon realizing the chaos that they were presenting, ‘Eat Bulaga’ finally relented and gave Kalyeserye it own opening billboard. Afterwards, it was placed in the second part of the show, leaving Juan for All, All for Juan to occupy the final portion.

The change also enabled Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros to play the roles of Tinidora, Nidora and Tidora during Kalyeserye, and then change into their regular selves for Juan for All, All for Juan. Pretty clever indeed.

With Kalyeserye now an independent production of ‘Eat Bulaga’, one can only hope that this setup will continue as long as the viewers love it. After all, the show is about ‘bayanihan’, and putting things in orderly fashion is a perfect way to satisfy the viewers’ demands.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

AlDub ‘Wedding’ Catapaults Eat Bulaga to Victory

The ‘wedding’ between Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards became a must-watch.

On Saturday, October 22, ‘Eat Bulaga’ presented a special edition of the newly-revived Kalyeserye segment. The emphasis of the three-hour episode was on the aforementioned ‘wedding’ between Maine and Alden’s characters, which was set inside Christ the King Church in Quezon City.

The ‘wedding’ featured numerous special guests, such as Ai-Ai delas Alas (in her Lola Babah character), Jake Ejercito, Mike Enriquez, Rodjun Cruz, Helen Gamboa and Irma Adlawan. As always, the ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts played special roles in the event, which included a rare appearance of Vic Sotto’s Dodong character.

The seemingly realistic marriage between the two had been carefully prepared throughout the week, from the pre-nuptial shoots and bridal showers to the proposals for Maine’s wedding gown. The skits even went as far as preparing an invitation to the said ‘wedding’, and inviting Liz Uy and Jason Magbanua to play key roles.

The ‘wedding’ itself took over an hour to complete, a majority of which were spent without commercial interruption. Near the end of the segment, however, Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola) fainted in the midst of Alden and Maine’s exchange of I dos, prompting ‘Eat Bulaga’ to take a commercial break in order to add drama.

Despite the incident, Lola Nidora was able to regain consciousness, and the ‘wedding’ proper eventually pushed through without further incident. In the end, Maine and Alden left the episode as a ‘married’ couple.

The episode, which took place nearly a year after the successful Sa Tamang Panahon event, gave ‘Eat Bulaga’ a rare victory in Kantar’s national ratings, as it barely finished o.1% above ‘It’s Showtime”s figures.  More importantly, netizens took the hashtag #AlDubWedding to one of the top global trending spots on Twitter, with over five million tweets.

Considering that the show has been struggling to remain relevant in the months after Sa Tamang Panahon, this episode was in many ways a shot of adrenaline. Still, not even a rare victory can satisfy any AlDub fan, or whoever’s left of the once-highly popular fanbase, as they try to rekindle the tandem’s glory days.

At least there are still ‘Eat Bulaga’ loyalists who have supported the show even before Alden and Maine came aboard. As long as they’re here, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will still enjoy some moral victories, no matter how small it becomes.

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

Ryzza Mae Dizon’s Three-Year Pre-Noontime Run Ends Tomorrow

The end of an era: Ryzza Mae Dizon's three-year run at the pre-noontime slot will conclude tomorrow with the finale of 'Calle Siete'. (Photo credit: Calle Siete official Facebook)

The end of an era: Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run at the pre-noontime slot will conclude tomorrow with the finale of ‘Calle Siete’. (Photo credit: Calle Siete official Facebook)

It’s the end of an era for Ryzza Mae Dizon.

After over three years and three shows that served as the appetizer for ‘Eat Bulaga’, Ryzza Mae Dizon’s run as the face of TAPE and GMA’s pre-noontime slot will come to an end tomorrow morning. That day will mark the final episode of Ryzza’s most recent program ‘Calle Siete’, which had been on the air since June of this year.

Ryzza’s run at the slot began on April 8, 2013, when ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ debuted on television. The talk show ran for over two years and spanned a total of 721 episodes, before airing its finale on September 18, 2015.

On September 21, 2015, Ryzza took on a more dramatic role when ‘Princess in the Palace’ premiered. The series, which featured Ryzza playing the role of an adopted daughter to the president of the Philippines (played by Eula Valdes), ran for 187 episodes and ended its run on June 10, 2016.

Then on June 13, 2016, ‘Calle Siete’ premiered. The show, which is mostly comedic in nature, will have a total of 74 episodes once it concludes tomorrow.

Overall, Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three shows ran for a cumulative total of 982 episodes spanning over three years. Not bad for a kid.

But at the age of 11, it is clear that Ryzza Mae Dizon is no longer the charismatic young kid of years past. At this point, her appearances on ‘Eat Bulaga’ became increasingly sporadic, and she had been surpassed in popularity by the love team of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, the show’s BAES, and another budding child star in Baste.

Of course, like many child stars, the need to take a backseat is definitely a necessity for Ryzza given her continuous physical and mental maturity. Still, even as Ryzza continues to grow as a person, her continued presence on ‘Eat Bulaga’ after this week should help her maintain a larger-than-life presence on the small screen.

Come next week, ‘Eat Bulaga”s BAES (consisting of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia) and fellow newcomer Taki will star in a new show called ‘TROPS’. And while Ryzza will no longer be present on this upcoming show, one can only hope that ‘TROPS’ will be just as successful as any of Ryzza’s three previous shows.

For those who look forward to a post-Ryzza Mae Dizon era every weekday at 11:30 a.m., good luck.

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