action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Cain at Abel: Ang Probinsyano’s 11th Challenger

Coco Martin finds a familiar challenger yet again.

The last time Dingdong Dantes took on Coco Martin”s top-rating series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, he was unable to overcome said juggernaut. Dingdong’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ (season 2) only lasted a month before it was demoted to a later timeslot.

Now he teams up with Dennis Trillo in a new primetime series ‘Cain at Abel’. And in the lead-up to the series premiere, Dingdong himself conceded that ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is in a different league altogether and his only objective for ‘Cain at Abel’ is to keep loyal Kapuso viewers happy and excited regardless of ratings performance.

From GMA’s Public Relations team:

“‘Cain at Abel’ is an action-family drama about two brothers, Daniel (Dingdong) and Miguel (Dennis), who grew up in two very different worlds. As children, they were separated by fate. Daniel was raised comfortably in the city by his father. Miguel, on the other hand, was taken by his mother who later changed his name to Elias. They relocated to a poor fishing village where they struggled to make ends meet.

Years later, Daniel and Miguel/Elias were drawn together by their mutual affections: the father who brought them apart, the mother they yearn for, and the woman they both love.”

Solenn Heussaff (Abigail) and Sanya Lopez (Margaret) will play the respective love interests of Daniel and Miguel/Elias. The rest of the cast includes Eddie Gutierrez, Chanda Romero, Dina Bonnevie, Ronnie Henares, Tommy Abuel, Bing Pimentel, Renz Fernandez, Ervic Vijandre, Marc Abaya, Carlo Gonzalez, Boy 2 Quizon, Pauline Mendoza, Vince Vandorpe, Shyr Valdez, Leandro Baldemor, and Euwenn Aleta.

For the first few episodes of ‘Cain at Abel’, Yasmien Kurdi, Diana Zubiri, Gio Alvarez, Rafael Rosell, David Remo, Seth dela Cruz, and Ashley Cabrera will appear as younger versions of the lead characters. It will be directed by Don Michael Perez, Toto Natividad, and Mark Reyes.

If Dingdong’s prognostication were to be believed, it is clear that defeating ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is out of the question. The long-running series, as Dingdong said, is ‘in a different league’ now and for ‘Cain at Abel’ the aim now is to just make Kapuso viewers entertained.

So much for the ‘rivalry’. Anyway, good luck to ‘Cain at Abel’ as it gets underway this Monday.

‘Cain at Abel’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

Standard
drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

The Cure: Ang Probinsyano’s Next Prey?

“No one can beat ‘Ang Probinsyano’!”, Kapamilya fans said.

Nearly three years and over 500 episodes since it began, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continues to be the king of primetime teleseryes. On most nights, the ABS-CBN action series scored at least 40% in the ratings, and has made mincemeat of eight different GMA teleseryes that tried to topple it.

Now comes a ninth different GMA series that will take on Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) every Monday to Friday starting tonight. And in typical GMA fashion, it will be led by two Kapuso veterans in Jennylyn Mercado and Tom Rodriguez.

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom), a clinical research associate in a pharmaceutical company, are living a happy life with their daughter Hope (Leanne Bautista), until Greg’s mother Agnes (Irma Adlawan) is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  Agnes is given an experimental drug, but her health got worse as she is infected with MVD.

That drug, in turn, was discovered by Dr. Evangeline Lazaro (Jaclyn Jose), who works in the same company as Greg. With MVD continuing to wreak havoc across the country, it is up to Charity and Greg to find the necessary cure and prevent the inevitable.

‘The Cure’ also stars Mark Herras, LJ Reyes, Jay Manalo, Ronnie Henares, Glenda Garcia, Diva Montelaba and Arra San Agustin, with a special participation from Ken Chan. It will be directed by Mark Reyes.

It can be recalled that ‘The Cure’ was originally announced as one of GMA’s upcoming projects for 2013, and it was supposed to be led by Alden Richards and Louise delos Reyes. However, the project was shelved and it took five years before GMA decided to revisit the series.

Looking ahead, ‘The Cure’ is either going to be an intriguing series or a recipe for disaster. Having to face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will entail a lot of hard work for ‘The Cure’, considering its predecessor ‘Sherlock Jr.’ failed miserably.

That said, GMA should go all-out in making ‘The Cure’ a worthier opponent for ‘Ang Probinsyano’. If this series goes around 25% in the ratings then it should boost its confidence, but if it goes below that then the ‘Curse of Cardo Dalisay’ is all too real for the network.

‘The Cure’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

Standard
drama, entertainment, fantasy, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA Koreanovela to Oppose Dolce Amore

The high cost of running ‘Encantadia’ is currently felt throughout GMA Telebabad.

As director Mark Reyes earlier revealed, ‘Encantadia”s production budget is ‘roughly equal to two primetime shows or three non-primetime shows‘. As a result of these huge expenses, GMA was left with no choice but to resort to two Koreanovelas as a cheap alternative on their Telebabad block over producing another local drama.

One of these Koreanovelas happen to be the next opponent of ABS-CBN’s ‘Dolce Amore’. The latter series, starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, has given GMA a lot of problems, having defeated ‘That’s My Amboy’ and the short-lived ‘Once Again’ by big margins.

It is clear to GMA that they can no longer beat the more popular tandems of ABS-CBN. With that in mind, their only course of action now is to stop chasing either LizQuen, KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre), and air a Koreanovela in its place, which is exactly what they’ll do tonight.

Enter ‘Descendants of the Sun’, the hit Korean drama that starred Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo. The series’ plot revolves around a love story between a doctor and a soldier stationed within Greece and the Balkans.

‘Descendants of the Sun’ ran for 16 episodes in its native Korea. In the Philippines, however, it is expected to air for roughly 20-25 episodes, which is still a typically short run for a GMA Koreanovela.

The other Koreanovela in question is ‘The Healer’, which unlike ‘Descendants of the Sun’, will only air three times a week. The series will star Ji Chang-wook, Park Min-young and Yoo Ji-tae.

In its native Korea, ‘The Healer’ ran for 20 episodes. This equates to roughly 30 episodes once it airs in the Philippines.

As two Koreanovelas permeate the Telebabad lineup, GMA is now feeling the sting of frustration. After the rough start that the new ‘Encantadia’ endured, it won’t be long before GMA admits its mistake of investing heavily on the fantaserye over more important projects (e.g. digital and high-definition broadcasts).

That said, two Koreanovelas on Telebabad could only be a short-term solution to compensate for the heavy expenditures of ‘Encantadia’. But as far as GMA is concerned, these two may not be enough to solve its ratings and broadcast issues.

‘Descendants of the Sun’ airs after ‘Encantadia’, while ‘The Healer’ airs after ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ on GMA Telebabad.

Standard
action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Encantadia 2016: A Threat or an Afterthought

The returning ‘Encantadia’ will have their hands full against ‘Ang Probinsyano’ when it premieres this Monday. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

It will be the Sang’gres of ‘Encantadia’ against Cardo (Coco Martin) of ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

A lot has been said about the impressive ratings of ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’. After all, this TV adaptation of the classic Fernando Poe, Jr. flick has been reaching the 40% mark of late, blowing out its embarrassed competitor (GMA’s ‘Poor Señorita’) in the dust.

But as ‘Encantadia’ gets underway this Monday, ‘Ang Probinsyano”s momentum could be in doubt. And GMA is going all out in this costly venture of theirs.

The 2016 version of ‘Encantadia’ will be headlined by the four Sang’gres, portrayed by Glaiza de Castro (as Pirena), Kylie Padilla (as Amihan), Gabbi Garcia (as Alena), and Sanya Lopez (as Danaya). Other notable cast members include Marian Rivera, Rocco Nacino, Solenn Heussaff, Ruru Madrid, John Arcilla and Dingdong Dantes.

Director Mark Reyes will breathe new life into this iconic fantaserye. Once again, computer-generated imagery (CGI) will be used extensively, but for this version, updated editing software will be used, along with various other technologies.

But the biggest question surrounding ‘Encantadia’ is whether or not GMA will finally embrace the 16:9 widescreen high definition format. Considering GMA’s continued unwillingness to use the new format (even with the use of HD cameras), it is clear that their old-school mentality may hurt ‘Encantadia”s quality and appeal.

Which is why the Encantadia Saga Facebook fan page went as far as writing an open letter to GMA management. They claimed that using the 16:9 format will bring a full viewing experience to an epic program such as ‘Encantadia’, as opposed to 4:3 which cuts some of the details.

Still, the biggest question surrounding ‘Encantadia’ is whether or not it will be able to overcome ‘Ang Probinsyano’. That said, the first week of the new ‘Encantadia’ will be very crucial, as they try to make an impact against an extremely formidable opponent.

Come this Monday, it will be ‘Encantadia’ against the world. Will they come out on top, or become the latest victim of ‘Ang Probinsyano”s dominance?

Find out starting July 18.

Standard
drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

With Impending Encantadia Requel, GMA Goes for Broke

It’s official: ‘Encantadia’ is returning to GMA.

The announcement was made last night during the evening newscast ’24 Oras’. Throughout the newscast, the upcoming ‘requel’ (portmanteau of reboot and prequel) revealed its main cast members, which are as follows:

  • Glaiza de Castro (as Sang’gre Pirena, originally portrayed by Sunshine Dizon)
  • Kylie Padilla (as Sang’gre Amihan, originally portrayed by Iza Calzado)
  • Gabbi Garcia (as Sang’gre Alena, originally portrayed by Karylle)
  • Sanya Lopez (as Sang’gre Danaya, originally portrayed by Diana Zubiri)
  • Ruru Madrid (as Ybarro/Ybrahim, originally portrayed by Dingdong Dantes)
  • Rocco Nacino (as Aquil, originally portrayed by Alfred Vargas)

They will be joined by Marian Rivera, who will play Dawn Zulueta’s original role as the Inang Reyna.

In addition, the press conference announced the names of the supporting cast members. They are:

  •  John Arcilla (as Hagorn)
  • Rochelle Pangilinan (as Agane)
  • Vaness del Moral (as Gurna)
  • Pancho Magno (as Hitano)
  • Christian Bautista (as Apitong)
  • Carlo Gonzales (as Muros)
  • Kate Valdez (as Mira)
  • Mikee Quintos (as Lira)
  • Klea Pineda (as Muyak)
  • Migo Adecer (as Anthony)
  • Solenn Heussaff (as Cassiopeia)

Mark Reyes will be the director of the new ‘Encantadia’, and he revealed that a few changes will be made on the ‘requel’ without sacrificing the main story of the original series. That said, expect a fresher and more modern ‘Encantadia’ for the new generation.

The original ‘Encantadia’ aired on GMA during the mid-2000s, and spawned two sequels in ‘Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’. A planned reboot of ‘Encantadia’ (titled ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’) was announced in 2010, but was never materialized.

When it first aired, ‘Encantadia’ became one of GMA’s highly-rated series, thanks in large part to the popularity of the fantaserye during that time. But the production of ‘Encantadia’ and its two sequels took its toll on GMA financially, and they have never recovered since.

With the Kapuso network in a crisis of confidence, what chances will they have with the ‘requel’ of ‘Encantadia’? And how will this series be able to thrive amidst a more conservative approach in teleserye production?

Only time will tell.

Standard
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.

Standard