comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Staying Light: Playhouse to Premiere Monday on ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is keeping things light and loose every weekday mornings.

While GMA took on a more serious route with ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, ABS-CBN continues its tradition of romantic comedies and child-oriented dramas to the 11:15 a.m. slot. And their newest series ‘Playhouse’ is no exception.

‘Playhouse’ will star Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo as Patty and Marlon, two college lovers who will eventually get married only to split up after a series of struggles. The rest of the main plot are as follows.

Via ABS-CBN PR:

After of a long time living separately, the two meet again as Patty files for an annulment to formally separate with Marlon. But just when they think everything is over between them, an unfortunate tragedy will change their lives forever.

Their friends Emily and Brad will get into an accident, leaving their child Robin (Justin James Quilantang) behind. As the kid’s legal guardians, Patty and Marlon will be forced to stay together under one roof to take care of Robin and make sure he gets the love he needs. This gives Marlon the opportunity to patch things up with Patty, despite her constant disapproval.

Will Robin be the key to giving Patty and Marlon a second chance?

Also part of ‘Playhouse’ will be up-and-coming teen stars Donny Pangilinan and Kisses Delavin, who will play enemies-turned-lovers Zeke and Shiela. The rest of the cast will include Kean Cipriano, AC Bonifacio, Ariella Arida, Dexter Doria, Nadia Montenegro, Ingrid Dela Paz, Jomari Angeles, Malou De Guzman, Smokey Manaloto, and Maxene Magalona.

Here is a little spin on the formulas that ABS-CBN uses for its late-morning dramas. While ‘Playhouse’ is for the most part a romantic comedy, it is also a child-oriented series since child actor Justin James Quilantang will play a vital role here as the child that Patty and Marlon are forced to take care of.

That said, it will be interesting to see how this hybrid format will work in this increasingly competitive late-morning slot. In spite of ABS-CBN’s success on that timeslot, ‘Playhouse’ will still have its work cut out here and if they win right away it will boost its confidence.

‘Playhouse’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, television

Of CNNPH’s Newsroom Junior Edition and Other News Programs for Teens

News reporting is not always exclusive to adults.

When CNN Philippines announced that ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air starting this Saturday, it reminded this writer of the day when Philippine television used to have news programs hosted by underage boys and girls. While these shows were few and far between, they have at least made some valuable contributions to the world of media.

One most notable example was ‘5 and Up’. The Probe Productions-produced show ran for 10 years and was one of the standout shows of GMA Network during the ‘Rainbow Satellite’ era.

‘5 and Up’ was responsible for launching the careers of brothers Rodjun and Rayver Cruz, Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and Atom Araullo. Of the five, Atom was the only one who continued his career as a journalist, although he did have a directorial credit in the film ‘Citizen Jake’.

But before ‘5 and Up’ became a cult favorite among the youth in the 90s, ABS-CBN once had its own kids’ version of ‘TV Patrol’. While ‘Junior Patrol’ ran for only two years, it did produce current ABS-CBN News reporter Doland Castro, who now serves on the news division’s police beat.

The most recent attempt at a kids’ news program came from CNN Philippines’ mother network RPN-9. ‘Newswatch Junior Edition’ may have only lasted a few episodes in the late 2000s, but this show did manage to launch the career of blogger, model and TV host Janeena Chan.

Now it is CNN Philippines’ turn to try this seldom-used trick of using kids as news anchors. In ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ the network will have six teenage individuals who will tackle the world of news reporting.

The hosts are:

  • Dana Villano, 16
  • Emman Rivera, 16
  • Gabby Sandejas, 16
  • Isaac Dantes, 13
  • Janella Renner, 15
  • Nate Lopez, 14

Guided by the CNN Philippines’ team of anchors and reporters, these young boys and girls will have an opportunity to deliver the week’s latest local and international news, as well as sports, entertainment, weather, technology and lifestyle news. ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’ will air on weekends at 8:00 a.m.

At the end of the day, they are still kids (or in the case of ‘Newsroom Junior Edition’, teens). But at least they should gain some first-hand experience at what it is really like in the cutthroat world of journalism (or showbiz for that matter).

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news, Philippines, public affairs, radio, television

The Big Question: Is Atom Araullo Going Home to GMA?

The fallout surrounding Atom Araullo’s departure from ABS-CBN is still strong.

It has been a week since Atom bid farewell to ABS-CBN News in order to ‘explore new interests’. At the time, many thought that Atom will simply be a freelancer and make good on his promise of seeking different opportunities in the world of media.

However, within hours of the announcement, GMA teased everyone when Mike Enriquez, Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez made mention of Atom’s name in the DZBB radio program ‘Sino?’. The rumors continued when GMA made the announcement on television of a ‘big reveal’ on ’24 Oras’ this Thursday night, with viewers again speculating that the man on the video is Atom Araullo himself.

Atom Araullo’s career as a host and journalist is a remarkable one. His initial foray into television is on the Probe Productions program ‘5 and Up’, but unlike fellow hosts Chynna Ortaleza, Maxene Magalona and brothers Rayver and Rodjun Cruz, Atom chose to follow a career in journalism.

After a brief stint as a sports reporter on GMA’s ’24 Oras’, Atom moved to ABS-CBN in 2004 where his career really took off. While he was best known as one of the hosts of ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ and even had his own show in ‘Red Alert’, Atom’s best moment came in 2013 when he reported in Tacloban about Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) while braving the heavy rains and winds.

Earlier this year, Atom received his first acting role on ‘Citizen Jake’ while earning a bronze medal at the New York Festivals for his documentary ‘Warmer’. His final appearances on the ABS-CBN family of networks came last night in an episode of Lifestyle’s ‘The Crawl’.

If it is indeed true that Atom Araullo will move to GMA Network, the reaction could be a mixed one. ABS-CBN has had a ‘no-compete clause’ in their news personalities’ contracts which state that they should not move to another network until a year following their departure.

Then again, anything like a ‘no-compete clause’ is totally irrelevant at this point. Not only that, Atom’s departure from ABS-CBN is an amicable one, and as a free agent, he can choose his next destination anytime he wants.

Later tonight, the ‘big reveal’ will take place on GMA’s ’24 Oras’. But the question remains, is the man in the video indeed Atom Araullo? Find out in several hours’ time.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

A History of Vic Sotto Sitcoms (Part 1)

The cast of ‘Okay Ka, Fairy Ko’ nearly 30 years after it first aired. Tweetie de Leon was the second actress to play the role of Faye. (Photo credit: Allan K Official Instagram)

It has been nearly 30 years since Vic Sotto left the shadows of TVJ and became a star himself.

On Sunday, June 19, his newest sitcom ‘Hay, Bahay!’ will officially premiere on GMA. This will mark Vic Sotto’s eighth sitcom as a solo artist, and ninth overall.

While he was better known as 1/3 of the fabled trio TVJ alongside Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon, and the host of ‘Eat Bulaga’, it was his individual comedic brilliance on television and film that cemented his legacy. Without further ado, let’s look back at his solo sitcoms over the years (in chronological order), starting with the first four on the list.

1. Okay Ka, Fairy Ko! (1987-97)

Aired on: IBC-13 (1987-89), ABS-CBN (1989-95), GMA (1995-97)

Notable co-stars: Aiza Seguerra, Alice Dixson, Tweetie de Leon, Dawn Zulueta, Charito Solis, Jinky Oda, Ruby Rodriguez, Larry Silva

The sitcom that started it all, ‘Okay Ka, Fairy Ko’ introduced viewers to Enteng Kabisote, the mechanic-turned-husband of the fairy Faye. The character then went on to star in nine box-office hit movies based on the sitcom.

2. 1 For 3 (1997-2001)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Ai-ai delas Alas, Charlene Gonzales, Rosanna Roces, Nanette Inventor, Imee Marcos, Allan K, Mickey Ferriols

Believe it or not, ‘Hay, Bahay’ is not the first sitcom to star both Vic Sotto and Ai-ai delas Alas. When Charlene Gonzales left ‘1 For 3’ to host ABS-CBN’s ‘Keep on Dancing’, Ai-ai was introduced in the sitcom as one of Gene’s (Vic) housemates.

3. Daddy Di Do Du (2001-07)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Danica Sotto, Maxene Magalona, Isabelle de Leon, Cindy Kurleto, Redford White, Ruby Rodriguez, Joonee Gamboa, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, Nida Blanca

The first sitcom to feature Vic and daughter Danica, ‘Daddy Di Do Du’ was the second in Vic’s sitcom filmography to feature a mystical theme. Unfortunately, just a few months into the sitcom’s run, Nida Blanca was murdered, and her character was written off afterwards.

4. Ful Haus (2007-09)

Aired on: GMA

Notable co-stars: Pia Guanio, Jose Manalo, BJ Forbes, Joonee Gamboa, Marissa Delgado, Mitoy Yonting, Sugar Mercado

Based on the Koreanovela ‘Full House’, ‘Ful Haus’ marked the debut of child star BJ Forbes, whose claim to fame was via the Tide detergent commercials as ‘Tolits’. This was also the first project for Mitoy Yonting prior to winning season 1 of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ several years later.

For Part 2 of A History of Vic Sotto sitcoms, click here.

Note: ‘Hay, Bahay!’ will air every Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA. All of his sitcoms are property of M-Zet Productions.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, religion, television

More Than Words Concludes, Pari ‘Koy Commences This Monday

Fresh from his marriage to Marian Rivera, Dingdong Dantes makes his return to the small screen.

His new project, ‘Pari ‘Koy’, will star ‘Dong in a role of a priest with an unconventional preaching approach. The main plot of the story will focus on Dingdong’s character being sent to Barangay Pinagpala in order to put his unorthodox style to the test in a seemingly pessimistic and corrupt community.

Joining ‘Dong on ‘Pari ‘Koy’ are Sunshine Dizon, Gabby Eigenmann, Chanda Romero, Luz Valdez, Dexter Doria, Rap Fernandez, JC Tiuseco, Carlo Gonzales, Jillian Ward, Jeric Gonzales, Lindsay de Vera, Hiro Peralta, and David Remo.

In the initial teaser to the upcoming teleserye, Dingdong’s priest character was portrayed as a drummer, not knowing he was actually a priest with the vestments under his jacket. Later teasers showed the antagonists doing corrupt practices in Barangay Pinagpala, and more recently, ‘Bubble Gang’ cast members were shown giving their thoughts on ‘Pari ‘Koy’.

‘Pari ‘Koy’ premieres this Monday on GMA Telebabad, replacing this teleserye.

Yes, ‘More Than Words’ will air its final episode tomorrow. The love story of Hiro (Elmo Magalona) and Ikay/Katy (Janine Gutierrez) has seen its ups and downs throughout the series’ run, and as it enters its final two episodes, an emotional ending is in store for both of them.

Premiering on November 17, 2014, ‘More Than Words’ went up against ABS-CBN’s ‘Dream Dad’, coincidentally featuring Elmo’s sister Maxene Magalona, for a majority of its run. The series enjoyed mixed success according to AGB Nielsen, but struggled against its opponent as far as Kantar’s ratings were concerned.

As it turned out, the pairing of Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo proved to be stronger and more compelling than the duo of Elmo and Janine.

Now ‘Dream Dad’ will await the challenge of ‘Pari ‘Koy’, GMA’s latest attempt in the value-oriented teleserye. It will be interesting to see how a series with a radical priest will go up against another featuring a single father and his adopted daughter in the ratings game.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘More Than Words’ Demoted with Premiere of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’

GMA Telebabad’s first salvo of the year comes with yet another timeslot change for one of their current teleseryes.

‘More Than Words’, starring Janine Gutierrez and Elmo Magalona, will have a new timeslot later tonight. This will give way to a new drama series starring another young love team in Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali.

Titled ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, the series revolves around a young girl’s unexpected kiss from a coma-stricken boy. From then on, the two would try to forge their love for each other amid their families’ constant quarrels.

‘Once Upon a Kiss’ will replace ‘Strawberry Lane’ on Telebabad’s lineup, but it will not be placed on the latter’s most recent timeslot. Instead, it will be placed on ‘Strawberry Lane”s original timeslot, one that was later taken over by ‘More Than Words’ until last Friday’s episode.

For ‘More Than Words’, the timeslot change had something to do with its performance. In both Kantar and AGB Nielsen, ‘More Than Words’ was thoroughly outclassed by ABS-CBN’s ‘Dream Dad’, which ironically featured Elmo’s older sister Maxene Magalona.

A new timeslot for ‘More Than Words’ would have breathed new life and a sense of relief for the struggling series. However, the series’ newest opponent is no slouch either, as ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, has been on a roll since premiering in October.

That said, ‘More Than Words’ will have a huge mountain to climb, considering the unexpected success of ‘Forevermore’ and the Liza-Quen love team.

As for ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, their first hurdle won’t be easy either. ‘Dream Dad’, led by Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo, is also very successful in its own right, and it will be a daunting task to see how far Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix will take their partnership to new heights.

‘Once Upon a Kiss’ premieres tonight after ’24 Oras’, followed by ‘More Than Words’ on GMA Telebabad.

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