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FTT Year 2014 in Review: ABS-CBN

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2015, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on ABS-CBN, who continued to dominate television ratings this year.

The Positives

High ratings, top trending topics, and a slew of awards. Just another impressive year on Mother Ignacia.

Primetime Bida remained ABS-CBN’s strongest suit in its weekday arsenal, led by the block’s top-rated program of the year, ‘The Legal Wife’. Meanwhile, the Kapamilya network’s reality and talent shows continued to overwhelm the opposition, led by top-raters ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ and the second season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’.

Long-running programs ‘TV Patrol’, ‘ASAP’, ‘The Buzz’ and ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ remained at the top of their game, while ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Gandang Gabi Vice’, and even the returning ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ became a force to be reckoned with.

ABS-CBN Sports also enjoyed an extremely successful year, starting with the launch of ABS-CBN Sports+Action in late January. High ratings during this year’s NBA Finals and the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball finals eventually led to the two leagues’ renewal of broadcast rights later this year.

The Kapamilya network’s award closet continued to grow, particularly in November’s Star Awards for Television, where ABS-CBN received a total of 34 awards. They also scored big in the Anak TV and Catholic Mass Media Awards, among other bodies.

The Negatives

Not all news is good, however. ABS-CBN also endured some missteps throughout the year, all of which made a significant impact on the network’s performance.

While Primetime Bida dominated primetime, they also had a fair share of busts. Julia Barretto’s acting debut as ‘Mirabella’ failed to impress, while the reboot of ‘Dyesebel’ and ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ never lived up to expectations.

‘Be Careful with My Heart’ may have dominated the headlines in 2013, but it was a different story in 2014. The show’s ratings declined for much of the year, before rebounding on the show’s final episode on November 28.

The last two quarters of 2014 saw the decline in quality of Kapamilya Gold. The network’s last two afternoon soaps, ‘Galema: Anak ni Zuma’ and ‘Moon of Desire’, were replaced by a combination of Asianovela reruns, ‘Bet on Your Baby’, the ill-fated ‘Ana Manuela’, and ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, a sign that ABS-CBN is letting GMA dominate the afternoon slot.

Speaking of reruns, ABS-CBN brought back the highly successful ‘Meteor Garden’ to rave reviews. Later reruns of Asianovelas and even classic Japanese cartoons such as ‘Princess Sarah’ proved unsuccessful, however.

Controversy hounded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’ from the moment the mostly celebrity cast was selected all the way to late-coming housemate Daniel Matsunaga’s victory. It also spelled doom for ‘It’s Showtime’ hosts Vhong Navarro (beaten by Cedric Lee’s group) and Billy Crawford (post-Star Magic Ball fiasco), thus continuing the infamous curse.

And finally, ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs had its own share of problems. February saw a questionable report on ‘Bandila’ regarding a ‘flesh-eating disease’ in Pangasinan, and then several months later, ‘TV Patrol’ anchor Korina Sanchez made an unnecessary remark about Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), praying that the storm would swerve to Japan.

Outlook

Fortunately for the Kapamilya network, Marc Logan kept things light and loose when his show, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’, premiered last August. But seriously, this was another successful year for ABS-CBN, even with the problems and controversies surrounding it.

Looking ahead, a reunion between Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin looms in ‘Flordeliza’, even as ‘Pangako sa ‘Yo’ will have its own reboot with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. This and a lot more will come as the calendar turns to 2015.

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Surprising ‘Bagito’ Premieres on Primetime Bida

An unexpected selection from ABS-CBN takes over Primetime Bida tonight.

In a last-minute decision, the Kapamilya network announced Friday afternoon that ‘Bagito’ will air on the slot that was vacated by the recently-concluded ‘Pure Love’. The upcoming coming-of-age teleserye premieres later this afternoon.

Like more recent Kapamilya dramas, young and emerging talents will be the focus of attention on ‘Bagito’. The series will be topbilled by Nash Aguas and Alexa Ilacad, with fellow young actress Ella Cruz providing a supporting role.

Also joining the series are veterans Agot Isidro, Ariel Rivera and Angel Aquino. Completing the cast are Paolo Santiago, Alex Diaz and Gimme 5 members Joaquin Reyes, John Bermundo, Grae Fernandez and Brace Arquia.

‘Bagito’ focuses on a teenage boy who suddenly takes on the responsibility of being a father. The series will look at how the boy ended up impregnating a fellow teenager and how he will shoulder the burden of nurturing a child at a young age.

Before becoming a teleserye, ‘Bagito’ was first written as a Wattpad story by well-renowned author Noreen Capili. The entry soon gained popularity among Wattpad readers, with reads of over 100,000 as of today.

Initially an afterthought when it was first promoted, ‘Bagito”s unexpected entry into Primetime Bida came as a huge surprise to viewers. After all, much of the focus has been on the three returning Kapamilyas in Maxene Magalona, Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin, stars of ‘Dream Dad’ and ‘Flor de Liza’ respectively.

In fact, ABS-CBN had already been prepared to replace ‘Pure Love’ with ‘Dream Dad’, and even went as far as unveiling the full trailer of the series Thursday night.

But that all changed Friday afternoon.

The full trailer of ‘Dream Dad’ was taken down from ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube account. Soon after, a trailer for ‘Bagito’ was aired later that night, and then it was announced that ‘Dream Dad’ would premiere on November 24, this time replacing ‘Hawak Kamay’.

Even with a stunner of an entry, ‘Bagito’ should pose little problems in attaining decent, if not high viewership numbers. With GMA using this timeslot for the replay of the Koreanovela ‘Coffee Prince’, expect ‘Bagito’ to lord it over in the ratings against an inferior opponent.

It may have been a last-minute decision from ABS-CBN management, but should ‘Bagito’ succeed in the ratings, it will be all worth it.

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A Homecoming for Jolina and Maxene That Further Hurts GMA

Jolina Magdangal returned to ABS-CBN after 12 years with GMA. Magdangal blossomed as a Kapamilya artist during her teen years. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN Official Facebook)

It only gets worse for GMA and its roster of artists.

Yesterday, ABS-CBN confirmed that homegrown star and former Kapuso talent Jolina Magdangal has rejoined the network for a reunion project with fellow ‘laking Kapamilya’ Marvin Agustin. Their project, ‘Flordeliza’, is expected to premiere on the first week of December as a late-morning romantic series.

This was after Magdangal teased a return to her original network back in July, when she visited the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

Magdangal blossomed under the watch of Star Magic’s Johnny Manahan, appearing in shows such as ‘Ang TV’, ‘Gimik’, ‘Labs Ko si Babe’ and ‘Arriba Arriba’, and in movies like ‘Hey Babe’, ‘Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?’ and ‘Gimik: The Reunion’. Her initial team-up with Marvin Agustin became highly popular among adoring fans.

But after departing ABS-CBN for GMA in 2002, Magdangal was gradually reduced to a mere bit player. While she was given major roles in shows like ‘I LUV NY’, ‘Unang Hirit’ and ‘Iglot’, she was increasingly upstaged by GMA’s own homegrown artists, particularly those who blossomed after ‘StarStruck’.

This was in contrast to another returning Kapamilya artist, who will be seen in an upcoming project late this year.

For Maxene Magalona, a return to ABS-CBN opened a new opportunity. After all, while she began her career as an ‘Ang TV’ kid, it was on GMA where her career truly blossomed, beginning with the long-running sitcom ‘Daddy Di Do Du’.

Maxene later proved her worth as a villain in various Kapuso teleseryes, particularly in the afternoon block. Her last project with GMA was ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’, which aired for much of last year.

Her recent guestings on shows like ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘The Singing Bee’ were simply a hint of things to come, though she has yet to specify which project she will work on.

The departures of both Magdangal and Magalona proved to be another blow on the part of GMA’s artist roster. For a network who’s becoming increasingly overdependent on its older but still serviceable stars, this is a bitter pill to swallow, considering the lack of development among its younger artists.

That said, expect more of GMA’s disgruntled stars to leave and find opportunities in other networks. And for the leadership group in both the entertainment and talent divisions, it is time for a change, all in hopes of regaining lost credibility among loyal viewers.

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TV5’s First New Shows of 2014

TV5’s ‘Obsession’ follows the same blueprint used in ‘Positive’, this time tackling the issue of cosmetic surgery.

Next week on ‘Everyday All the Way’, TV5 will unveil a new weekly drama series in ‘Obsession’. Like ‘Positive’, ‘Obsession’ will tackle issues concerning the health of the human body. This time, the series divulges into the world of cosmetic surgery, where the main character obsessed with her former lover assumes a new post-surgical identity. The series will be headlined by Bianca King, Neri Naig, Marvin Agustin and Martin Escudero, and will replace ‘For Love or Money’ at the 8:00 p.m. slot.

Cycle 2 of ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ will also be seen on TV5. The Asian adaptation of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ will have a pair of Filipinos in Jodilly Pendra and Katarina Rodriguez compete against 14 other aspiring models in hopes of becoming the next top model. The series airs starting tonight replacing ‘Positive’ at 9:00 p.m.

In addition, TV5 has also unveiled a mix of new and returning programs that will be seen over the next few months. Returnees include ‘Talentadong Pinoy’ (albeit without original host Ryan Agoncillo), ‘The Amazing Race Philippines’, and ‘The Million Peso Money Drop’. Upcoming titles will include ‘For All the Boys’, ‘My Pirated Family’, ‘Minamahal’, ‘The Baker King’, ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘Pretty Little Liars’, ‘Jasmine’, ‘One Boy’, ‘Beki Boxer’, ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ and ‘Celebrity Dance Battle’. Details of the new shows should arrive once the teasers are revealed.

And even as TV5 unveiled new programs, some existing ones had to go. Both ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were presumably cancelled by management for ‘not living up to expectations’. And there is also the uncharacteristically early sign-offs on nights without PBA games, after AksyonTV original programs like ‘Cocktales’, ‘Crime Klasik’, ‘Wasak’ and ‘Chef vs. Mom’ were cancelled. Simply put, the management handled by Noel Lorenzana and Wilma Galvante have a long way to go before stabilizing the network’s programming.

Nevertheless, both ‘Asia’s Next Top Model’ and ‘Obsession’ should give TV5 something to look forward to this year. They may still be in the experimental stage, but with the way viewers have responded, it appears that this experiment is headed in the right direction.

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