drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

That’s My Amboy Premieres Tonight

The AnBie love team takes its act to primetime.

Fresh from a successful run on ‘The Half-Sisters’, Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza now gear themselves up for their first lead role in a primetime series. The duo star in ‘That’s My Amboy’, a light-hearted series that airs starting tonight.

‘That’s My Amboy’ tells the story of Maru (Barbie), a young but determined girl, and Bryan (Andre), a rising actor. Their story began when Bryan was blamed for the accident that involved Maru’s stepfather, and in order to pay for the damages, Maru was hired as his personal assistant.

At first, Maru and Bryan’s relationship was tense and jittery. But an incident that affected Bryan soon brought the two together, and the once distant relationship turned into a friendly, and eventually, lovely one.

Also starring in the series are Tonton Gutierrez, John Arcilla, Donita Rose, Kiko Estrada, Jazz Ocampo, Matet de Leon, Meryll Soriano, Maritoni Fernandez, Jerald Napoles, Pam Prinster, Jan Manual, Philip Lazaro, Pauline Mendoza, Kryshee Grengia, and Rob Walcher. It will be directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal, with the help of Dominic Zapata.

‘That’s My Amboy’ was slated to replace ‘MariMar’ in the network’s Telebabad block (the latter ended January 8). However, the series premiere was delayed for two weeks due to a conflict of interest, since ‘The Half-Sisters’ was still ongoing at the time.

That led to a rather unusual programming lineup on Telebabad, where the block only had two teleseryes, a movie block, and a two Koreanovelas. This week, Telebabad will go back to its usual lineup of three teleseryes and two Koreanovelas, and thus, changes in schedule will be utilized.

‘That’s My Amboy’ will be placed opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, which means that the KathNiel-starred series will have faced all three ongoing Telebabad dramas in a three-week span. Although ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will only have two more weeks in its run, it remains an imposing challenge to ‘That’s My Amboy’, considering the series has beaten ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ in those three weeks.

That said, the AnBie love team will have its work cut out for them. Although they’ve been successful in the afternoon, primetime is a very different animal, which only adds pressure to the duo.

‘That’s My Amboy’ premieres later tonight after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Replacement for MariMar, At Least for Two Weeks

‘MariMar officially concludes tomorrow, but its replacement ‘That’s My Amboy’ will not be seen until January 25.  (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA is taking a ‘less is more’ approach on Telebabad. at least for the next two weeks.

Tomorrow night marks the final episode of ‘MariMar’, the second Filipino remake of the classic Mexican telenovela. The series, starring Megan Young as the titular character, will officially end with a total of 100 episodes.

High expectations awaited this version of ‘MariMar’ when it first premiered on August 24, 2015. After all, the original starring Thalia and the first remake starring Marian Rivera were each big hits when they were aired here.

Unfortunately for GMA, the new ‘MariMar’ failed to make an impact in the ratings. The series lost regularly to both ‘Nathaniel’ and ‘Ang Probinsyano’, forcing GMA to consider moving ‘MariMar’ to a later timeslot, only to renege on that promise.

Looking back, it is clear that this ‘MariMar’ was a letdown for the Kapuso network. The series was supposed to be a hit, bar none, but with viewers already used to the story, not to mention a shorter wait between remakes and tougher competition from Primetime Bida, it lost its appeal.

In the end, it was a mistake that GMA would like to forget. For Megan Young, the comeback trail following her victory at the Miss World pageant was a rough one to begin with.

So what’s next for GMA after ‘MariMar’? GMA has already confirmed that ‘That’s My Amboy’, the follow-up project of ‘The Half-Sisters’ stars Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras, will replace ‘MariMar’, but the series will not begin until January 25.

This means that for the next two weeks, GMA Telebabad will only have five programs on the menu, with two teleseryes highlighting the lineup. The schedule is as follows:

5:45 p.m. – The Producers

6:30 p.m. – 24 Oras

7:45 p.m. – Little Nanay

8:30 p.m. – Because of You

9:15 p.m. – Kapuso Primetime Cinema

With only two local dramas starting this Monday, GMA Telebabad is at a clear disadvantage against Primetime Bida’s five teleseryes. Both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ will now face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’; an obvious mismatch ratings-wise.

That said, the next two weeks will be a difficult one for Telebabad. While waiting for ‘That’s My Amboy’ (‘The Half-Sisters’ ends January 15, hence the delayed premiere), viewers will need to endure watching only two teleseryes on GMA’s primetime lineup.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Post-StarStruck Response is a Koreanovela, Plus No Miss World Telecast

A new Koreanovela will kick things off for GMA Telebabad.

Tonight will be the premiere of ‘The Producers’, a recently-aired Korean drama series starring Kim Soo-hyun, Cha Tae-hyun, Gong Hyo-jin and IU. The series is produced by the same group who created another hit Korean drama in ‘My Love from the Star’.

This brings the total number of current Asianovelas on GMA to three. Two of them (‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’) form part of the network’s Heart of Asia Mornings block.

Unfortunately for GMA, ‘The Producers’ will be up against ‘Pasion de Amor’, the ABS-CBN teleserye that continues to heat up the ratings with each intense scene. Combined with waning interest in the Koreanovela genre, and a programming mismatch ensues between the two shows.

That said, it will be a very tough challenge for GMA and ‘The Producers’ to rekindle the once-popular Koreanovela genre. Whether or not they will accomplish that remains to be seen.

‘The Producers’ airs weeknights at 5:50 p.m., before ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

No Televised Broadcast of Miss World

The 2015 Miss World was held last Saturday, with Spain’s Mireia Lalaguna winning the crown. The Philippines’ Miss World representative, Hillarie Parungao, finished in the top ten.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of ‘MariMar’ star and 2013 winner Megan Young as one of the pageant’s hosts, this year’s Miss World was not televised at all in the Philippines. The reason: GMA’s concurrent live broadcast of ‘StarStruck: The Final Judgment’, won by Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda.

There was also no delayed broadcast of the said pageant the following day, as GMA realized it was not worth it given the country’s Miss World bet only made the top ten. News reports were also absent on GMA News programs within days of the event; the only Miss World-related report is of Parungao’s return to the country.

With GMA unable to air this year’s Miss World (even though they aired the Miss World Philippines pageant two months earlier), it may be a better idea for the organizers to find a new network for subsequent Miss World and Miss World Philippines pageants. GMA’s non-commitment to a Miss World broadcast is not a good sign for their relationship, and worse, a black eye for the embattled network.

That said, next year’s Miss World will provide a lot of questions to prospective coverors. Will there ever be another broadcast of Miss World in the Philippines? Only time will tell.

Postscript: Speaking of beauty pageants, congratulations to Pia Wurtzbach for winning the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, albeit with the help of a premature announcement of Miss Colombia’s victory by host Steve Harvey. The victory of the Philippines’ Wurtzbach should help spike the event’s ratings on ABS-CBN this week. 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Because of You Premieres Monday, To Face On the Wings of Love

‘On the Wings of Love’ will have a third rival in a span of 17 days.

Its original rival, ‘My Faithful Husband’, ended with a whimper last November 13. Its next opponent, ‘Beautiful Strangers’, is also expected to bow out quietly tomorrow night.

After failing to beat ‘On the Wings of Love’ with a pair of heavy dramas, GMA decided to make things a little lighter. But instead of pitting up-and-coming stars against one another, they opted for a tried and tested formula: putting veterans on the spotlight anew.

‘Because of You’ is the network’s latest attempt in trying to curb the JaDine phenomenon. The series will be led by Carla Abellana and Gabby Concepcion, with Rafael Rosell acting as the third wheel.

The story will revolve around the three actors, in which Andrea (Carla) will try to deny her true feelings towards her ex-boyfriend Oliver (Rafael). Eventually she found Jaime (Gabby), whom she fell in love in an unlikely setting.

‘Because of You’ will also include the likes of Valerie Concepcion, Celia Rodriguez, Iya Villania, Joyce Ching, Enzo Pineda, Kuh Ledesma, Vaness Del Moral and Bettina Carlos in supporting roles. Mark Reyes will be at the helm of this light-hearted series.

For Carla, it will be her first series without her usual on-screen and off-screen partner Tom Rodriguez, who is currently paired with Megan Young on the second remake of ‘MariMar’. It is also Gabby’s first project with the Kapuso network, after making a comeback several years ago with ABS-CBN.

Still, the odds are not in favor of the Kapuso series heading into Monday’s premiere. ‘On the Wings of Love’ continued to exceed expectations, and the duo of James Reid and Nadine Lustre are fast becoming bankable stars, something GMA couldn’t manage with their younger talent.

That said, ‘Because of You’ will have its work cut out for them. For Carla and Gabby, they hope to remain relevant even in the midst of an ongoing youth movement that is giving GMA a lot of problems.

‘Because of You’ premieres this Monday after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Last-Minute Timeslot Change for Little Nanay

Turns out ‘Little Nanay’ won’t be facing ‘On the Wings of Love’ after all.

Instead of pitting two light-hearted dramas against each other, GMA decided at the last minute to shake up the lineup of Telebabad. ‘Little Nanay’ will now air at 7:45 p.m., while ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will now be bumped to later timeslots.

This means that ‘Little Nanay’ now be up against the action-oriented ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will face ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘On the Wings of Love’ respectively. The decision came as a last resort for the network, who still couldn’t find a way to beat Coco Martin and the KathNiel and JaDine love teams.

Prior to the timeslot change, both ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ were not faring well against ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, respectively. The most recent national ratings report shows that the two GMA teleseryes were badly blown out by their ABS-CBN counterparts.

In making the timeslot change, GMA hopes that ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will fare at least a bit more decently than in their previous timeslots. Then again, they are still at a disadvantage, since they are up against the two hottest love teams in the country.

As for ‘Little Nanay’, it is a bit surprising to see the light-hearted drama go up against a more action-packed series in ‘Ang Probinsyano’. Nevertheless, even though they won’t be facing ‘On the Wings of Love’, they still have a daunting task coming, since Coco Martin has been able to thrive as twins in an adaptation of a Fernando Poe, Jr. classic.

That said, rough waters still lie ahead for GMA. Even with all the changes that took place, it’s still not easy defeating the ever-superior Primetime Bida of the Kapamilya network.

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