action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Blood Sisters to Conclude Friday

Erich Gonzales’ ‘three-in-one’ had a mixed run.

The good news for her is that ‘The Blood Sisters’ still reigned on its timeslot. But unlike its predecessor ‘Wildflower’, it failed to win big and make a noticeable impact.

First aired on February 12, 2018, ‘The Blood Sisters’ tells the story of triplets Erika, Carrie and Agatha (all portrayed by Erich). The series had a strong debut, hitting the 25% mark on its first episode.

‘The Blood Sisters’ would go on to hit the 20% mark on several other occasions during its run. Overall, however, the series never caught on with the viewers the way Ivy Aguas/Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) did on ‘Wildflower’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Blood Sisters’ wound up airing twenty minutes later than usual because of ‘It’s Showtime”s incessant streak of going overtime. Whenever Vice Ganda and company go beyond its limit, the worst-case scenario that ‘The Blood Sisters’ had was a 6:10 p.m. start which is way past its normal start time of 5:45-5:50 p.m.

That of course threw some viewers off and ‘The Blood Sisters’ ratings were affected by it. While the series still got the better of competing program ‘Wowowin’, the small gap between the two suggests that ‘The Blood Sisters’ was indeed beatable.

Still, the series managed to air 132 episodes when it is all said and done. Not bad for a series that had plenty of expectations yet could not get the job done.

If there was one consolation for ‘The Blood Sisters’, it is that Erich Gonzales continued her maturation as an artist. Having to portray three different characters is no easy task, but Erich was able to effectively pull it off with Erika, Agatha and Carrie.

Still, those shortcomings ‘The Blood Sisters’ had outweighed the positives. Had ABS-CBN put a leash on Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering, ‘The Blood Sisters’ would have raked in more viewers.

Either way, ‘The Blood Sisters’ was still a good series to watch even with all the concerns put into them. May this series enjoy a graceful exit this Friday.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wildflower’s Wildest Finale

‘Wildflower’ is coming to an end.

Friday night will mark the finale of this top-rating ABS-CBN series. In a run that spanned 257 episodes, ‘Wildflower’ became a big hit in more ways than one.

Premiering on February 13, 2017, ‘Wildflower’ became the first ABS-CBN drama to air in the 5:50 p.m. slot since ‘We Will Survive’. From episode one, the series ran roughshod over the competition, constantly earning ratings in the 20s while occasionally hitting the 30s.

As ‘Wildflower’ continued to reign over its timeslot, the confrontations between Ivy Aguas/Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) and Emilia Ardiente (Aiko Melendez) also became viral on social media. Various news topics were lampooned using screenshots of Ivy/Lily and Emilia either strangling, shouting or slapping each other in the face.

Throughout its run ‘Wildflower’ saw its fair share of cast members arrive and depart. While the core cast features Maja Salvador, Aiko Melendez, Joseph Marco, Tirso Cruz III, Sunshine Cruz, Christian Vasquez and RK Bagatsing, the series also received a few contributions from the likes of Roxanne Barcelo, Dawn Chang and Zsa Zsa Padilla.

Despite its lengthy run and constant ratings success, it was too unfortunate that ‘Wildflower’ will not be able to join the ‘one-year club’ that featured fellow ABS-CBN dramas ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’. Friday’s ending will put them two episodes short of the anniversary mark.

Even viewers of the series found it hard to accept that ABS-CBN will pull the plug on ‘Wildflower’ after such a long run. In fact, ‘Wildflower”s ‘The End is Near’ teaser last January was trending on social media, with many clamoring for an extension which was never materialized.

Still, ‘Wildflower”s accomplishments were hard to deny. The series’ presence made the early evening slot of Primetime Bida relevant again, and Maja Salvador’s portrayal of Ivy/Lily only enhanced her craft as an actress.

Veterans such as Sunshine Cruz, Tirso Cruz III and Aiko Melendez were also given a second wind in their careers thanks to their portrayals of Camia, Julio and Emilia respectively. Even a cameo appearance by Zsa Zsa Padilla as Red Dragon was good enough to convince viewers that she is still a dependable actress.

Overall, ‘Wildflower’ is such a good series that reliving all 257 episodes on iWant TV would be more than enticing. Indeed, this series typified the ‘wild’ in every sense of the word, one that is unpredictable, moody and crazy to look at.

This Friday should be a wild finale for ‘Wildflower’. Enjoy the show.

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FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

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

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

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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action, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not 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.

HOT: La Luna Sangre

The tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla returned to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida in June to star in ‘La Luna Sangre’, which also starred Angel Locsin (initially in a special participatory role as Lia before returning full-time as Jacintha) and another comebacking star in Richard Gutierrez. The series became an immediate hit scoring well over 30% in the nationwide ratings.

The success of ‘La Luna Sangre’ also revitalized the third slot of Primetime Bida following the lukewarm reception of predecessors ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’. But while KathNiel did not lose their magic upon returning to the small screen, the same cannot be said for another popular love team.

NOT: AlDub and More

Good news: AlDub did not need to face KathNiel as ‘Destined to Be Yours’ ended weeks before ‘La Luna Sangre’ premiered. Bad news: 63 episodes is more than enough to justify the lack of success of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the first primetime series to star Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together.

Things only got worse for the duo from that point on. In late November, Maine revealed on social media that she and Alden are only friends in real life and that she ‘deserves all the hate in the world’ for being a ‘coward’ and a ‘selfish little brat’.

Perhaps the pressure and the expectations are starting to take its toll on Maine. Much like her harrowing portrayal of a depressed workaholic in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ made-for-TV film ‘Love Is…’, somebody should help her overcome these stresses.

HOT: Ika-6 na Utos and Afternoon Prime

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ premiered late last year to lukewarm reviews. But thanks to some campy moments that elicit plenty of laughter from its viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became unexpectedly popular, so much so that GMA decided to add Saturday episodes starting in April to capitalize on its success.

The series also boosted the fortunes of Afternoon Prime which had been left for dead earlier in the year. By August, succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were winning over their ABS-CBN counterparts thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

NOT: The Entire Kapamilya Gold Post-Doble Kara

Led by back-to-back ‘kabitseryes’ in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, Kapamilya Gold lost ground to Afternoon Prime that by the late third quarter of 2017, it was the latter that stood tall. Not even ‘The Greatest Love”s critically-acclaimed run saved the block from its sudden fall from grace.

The end of ‘Doble Kara”s year-long run in February foreshadowed a decline in Kapamilya Gold’s performance. Soon after, Afternoon Prime closed the gap and overtook Kapamilya Gold in the ratings for the rest of the year, much to the dismay of Kapamilya viewers everywhere.

HOT: Wildflower

Also in February, ‘Wildflower’ premiered on Primetime Bida’s pre-newscast slot. It didn’t take long for the series to make an impact as it constantly registered ratings of over 20 to 25%, putting it among the top five programs in the country.

The success of ‘Wildflower’ also spawned numerous memes on social media, some of which depict the various confrontations between Ivy/Lily (Maja Salvador) and Emilia (Aiko Melendez). With that kind of impact, ‘Wildflower’ truly turned viewers’ heads upside down whenever these two go at it.

NOT: Kapamilya Game Shows

The slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’ does not apply to ABS-CBN game shows. That said, ‘Minute to Win It’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ continued to alienate audiences by utilizing celebrities more often than ordinary people throughout their runs this year.

Luckily all three shows’ seasons came to an end this year: ‘Minute to Win It’ in February, ‘Family Feud’ in May and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ in September. Perhaps ABS-CBN should stop producing game shows and defer these to ‘It’s Showtime’ since they do not even have a clue how to utilize the power of the viewing public.

Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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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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Ang Probinsyano, One Year Later

The ‘One-Year Teleserye Club’ has inducted another member.

Last night marked the first anniversary of ‘Ang Probinsyano’, the cop-themed action drama starring Coco Martin and was a TV adaptation of the Fernando Poe Jr. classic. The series, which first premiered on September 28, 2015, has aired a total of 253 episodes as of yesterday (two dates were preempted due to Holy Week, and one due to Halalan 2016 coverage).

‘Ang Probinsyano’ became the first Primetime Bida series in over six years to reach the one-year mark. The last such series to make the grade was ‘May Bukas Pa’, which reached the mark in its final week.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ joining the first anniversary club, ABS-CBN now has two ongoing teleseryes that have reached the one-year plateau. Nearly a month earlier, ‘Doble Kara’ also turned a year old, and like ‘Ang Probinsyano’, is a top-rater in its timeslot.

Speaking of top-raters, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ has been a ratings leader from the start. Its premiere garnered a 41.6% national rating (according to Kantar), and has consistently hit or come close to this mark ever since.

Along the way, four rivals fell. First came the 2015 version of ‘MariMar’, then came the move of ‘Little Nanay’ to GMA Telebabad’s leadoff spot, followed by ‘Poor Señorita’, and now the new version of ‘Encantadia’.

Much of ‘Ang Probinsyano’s success comes from its police-oriented storyline. In an era where the fight against drugs, corruption and other crimes are common in primetime newscasts, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ takes cue from such news, and in the process, gives viewers a lesson in fighting crime.

While ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was a runaway success, it also weathered numerous casting changes during its first year. The most notable of these changes include the departures of Bela Padilla and Maja Salvador, and the entry of Yassi Pressman.

Overall, the first year of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ became memorable in more ways than one. Even PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa was impressed with the show, saying that it helps restore the Filipino’s trust in the Philippine National Police.

As tribute to its first anniversary, a thanksgiving concert will take place on October 8. Now that it concludes its first year, one can only hope that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will continue to provide some memorable moments as it enters its second year.

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