drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

The Last Stand of La Luna Sangre

The most physically demanding series in the careers of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will come to an end this week.

After 185 episodes, ‘La Luna Sangre’ officially closes its curtain Friday night. The third series in the ‘Lobo’ trilogy, ‘La Luna Sangre’ saw Kathryn and Daniel (as Malia and Tristan respectively) grow up from being mere mortals to full-fledged vampires while enduring some of the toughest challenges that proved their worth.

But KathNiel was not the only main attraction. The series also marked a comeback of sorts for Richard Gutierrez, who as the villainous Sandrino, tried to convince Malia to join the dark side.

The original duo of ‘Imortal’ in Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz likewise made a cameo earlier on as Lia and Mateo respectively, though Angel returned midway through the series as Jacintha. The duo’s presence helped connect the story of ‘La Luna Sangre’ to its predecessor.

Throughout its lengthy run, ‘La Luna Sangre’ provided an avenue for new talent to shine. The series would mark the acting debut of another rising love team in MayWard (Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber), as well as former ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ participant Tony Labrusca.

Not to be outdone are industry veterans who were also part of ‘La Luna Sangre’, namely Randy Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Maricar Reyes and Albert Martinez. Overall, an estimate of over 50 actors, whether in a supporting or cameo role, were included in ‘La Luna Sangre’.

As far as its performance is concerned, ‘La Luna Sangre’ far and away made a huge impression. The series constantly earned ratings in the 30s while it dispatched its GMA rivals in ‘My Love from the Star’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 2 and ‘Kambal Karibal’.

That said, the high ratings and the long run of ‘La Luna Sangre’ are further proof of KathNiel’s wide commercial appeal. But more than just KathNiel’s brilliance is the fact that both Angel Locsin and Richard Gutierrez rekindled some huge memories of past GMA projects, albeit not as a love team of years past.

It will be an interesting final five episodes for this thrilling ABS-CBN primetime series. Best of luck to ‘La Luna Sangre’ on making its last stand.

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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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PBB: Lucky 7’s Dream Team Vie for Grand Prize

‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ comes down to 12 housemates (13 people overall).

After all the tasks and evictions that shook the Big Brother house to the core, the ongoing season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ now enters its last stage. But before all the hoopla, here is the list of housemates that did not make the cut, whether due to voluntary eviction, forced eviction, eviction by vote, or elimination through final task.

Celebrity Housemates

  • Hideo Muraoka
  • DJ Chacha
  • Yassi Pressman
  • JK Labajo

Teen Housemates

  • Vivoree Esclito
  • Fenech Veloso
  • Rita Gaviola
  • Kristine Hammond
  • Christian Morones
  • Marco Gallo
  • Aizan Perez
  • Heaven Peralejo

Adult Housemates

  • Baninay Bautista
  • Ali Forbes
  • Thuy Nguyen
  • Luis Hontiveros
  • Wil Dasovich
  • Jesi Corcuera

Which leads the show to its Dream Team of 12 housemates, which consists of:

Celebrity Housemates

  • Elisse Joson
  • Jin-ri Park
  • McCoy de Leon and Nikko Natividad (as 2-in-1 Hashtags)
  • Nonong Ballinan

Teen Housemates

  • Yong Muhajil
  • Edward Barber
  • Kisses Delavin
  • Maymay Entrata

Adult Housemates

  • Cora Waddell
  • Tanner Mata
  • Aura Azarcon
  • Jerome Alacre

The remaining 12 housemates will now pit against each other in the hope of becoming the grand winner of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’. That said, each housemate should have their hands full, as they look to survive not only the public’s confidence, but also of Big Brother himself.

This season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother is now the longest in the series’ history, with the episode count nearing 200 by next week. The surprisingly long season of the show did benefit one host though, as Toni Gonzaga returned last week after a four-month maternity leave.

With ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ about to enter its conclusion (barring any further surprises from Big Brother himself), which of these 12 housemates will stand tall after the grand finale? Find out as the season rolls on.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ airs weekdays after ‘The Greatest Love’, weeknights after ‘Till I Met You’, Saturday nights after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sunday nights after ‘Rated K’, on ABS-CBN.

 

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Pinoy Big Brother Needs Fill-In Hosts Amid Toni and Mariel Pregnancy Leave

Toni Gonzaga-Soriano and Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla are both pregnant.

Both are expected to take a maternity leave, and as a result, they have no choice but relinquish their hosting duties on ‘Pinoy Big Brother’: Lucky 7. That said, ABS-CBN must figure out a way to spread the hosting workload for the reality show while Toni and Mariel are tending to their soon-to-be offspring.

With the two out of the picture, only Robi Domingo and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal are left to shoulder the burden. So where will ABS-CBN go at this point?

They could consider Toni’s sister Alex Gonzaga to fill in for her. After all, she had hosting experience of her own, having hosted ‘ASAP’ on a regular basis, and more recently played the same role on season 2 of ‘The Voice Kids’.

They could also use Billy Crawford as well, whose prior hosting experience may be an asset. Or they may consider Anne Curtis, whose only hosting job at this point is on ‘It’s Showtime’.

Overall, ABS-CBN has a vast reservoir of talents who can also be capable host. But it will be up to them to decide on who will fill in for both Toni and Mariel.

Meanwhile, ‘Pinoy Big Brother’: Lucky 7 introduced a new set of teen housemates shortly after returning to Manila earlier this week. They are:

  • Maymay Entrata
  • Rita Gabiola
  • Kisses Delavin
  • Edward Barber
  • Aizan Perez
  • Vivoree Esclito
  • Marco Gallo
  • Christian Morones
  • Fenech Velloso
  • Yong Mujahil
  • Kristine Hammond
  • Heaven Peralejo

The 12 teen housemates join the ‘Lucky 2 Stars’ Jinri Park and Hashtags McCoy de Leon and Nikko Natividad inside the refurbished Big Brother house in Quezon City. Over time, however, some of the teen housemates will either be evicted or leave for personal reasons to make way for the regular ones, which will be announced soon.

‘Pinoy Big Brother’ season 7 currently airs weeknights after ‘Born for You’, Saturdays after ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, and Sundays after ‘Rated K’ on ABS-CBN. An afternoon edition also airs weekdays after ‘Tubig at Langis’, except for select regional areas.

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