drama, entertainment, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, television, Thailand

FTT Wonders: Who Really Aired the First Asianovela in the Philippines?

Taiwanese drama ‘Amazing Twins’ was considered by some viewers to be the first Asianovela to air in the Philippines when it was broadcast on IBC-13 in early 2003. (Photo credit: CTS)

Tagalized Asian dramas are a thing these days.

Also popularly known as ‘Asianovelas’, these programs are imported from neighboring Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Although the initial wave of Asianovelas were of Taiwanese origin, Korean dramas (colloqiually known as Koreanovelas) became a more common sight on Philippine television as the years pass.

But in order to understand the origin of the Asianovela, one must go back to 2003, the year these Tagalized Asian dramas first arrived. For many years, ABS-CBN claimed that they were the ‘First and True Home of Asianovelas’, given that they were responsible for bringing ‘Meteor Garden’ to the small screen around 15 years ago.

However, there is also an argument that IBC-13, with help from Viva Entertainment, was actually the first station to air an Asianovela. Just months before ‘Meteor Garden’ arrived, IBC-13 aired a Taiwanese action series called ‘Amazing Twins’ (locally known as ‘The Legendary Siblings 2’).

Unfortunately for IBC-13, ‘Amazing Twins’ tanked in the ratings, mainly due to the network’s poor reception and reach that persists to this day. It also did not help that the series aired once a week, which makes some viewers impatient given the daily nature of Filipino dramas.

Meanwhile, ‘Meteor Garden’ became a smash hit, turning F4 and Barbie Hsu into household names. The series also benefited from its near-daily airings on ABS-CBN, thus making viewers wait less for the next episode.

Following the success of ‘Meteor Garden’, ABS-CBN, GMA and occasionally ABC/TV5 began to air more Asianovelas. But as time passed, Korean dramas became the most preferred choice thanks to series such as ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘Endless Love’ and ‘Lovers in Paris’.

GMA also made history in 2005 by airing ‘Gokusen’, the first Asianovela hailing from Japan. Then earlier this month, the network premiered the Thai drama ‘You’re My Destiny’.

Given that ‘Meteor Garden’ became popular to begin with, it is safe to assume that this series gave birth to the modern-day Asianovela. As much as people would argue about ‘Amazing Twins’ being the first Asian drama to air in the country, it did not quite fit the mold of today’s Asianovela since it failed to become a hit and was only seen once a week.

Still, the jury is on the viewers to decide. Who really is the first Asianovela to air in the country?

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, television

Remake of Meteor Garden on ABS-CBN, Plus Local Adaptation of Boys Over Flowers on GMA

Two series based on the manga ‘Hana Yori Dango’ will return to the Philippine small screen soon.

A remake of the hit Taiwanese series ‘Meteor Garden’ will air on ABS-CBN next year, the network announced this week. The new ‘Meteor Garden’, slated to air in Taiwan in 2018, will star Darren Cheng, Dylan Wang, Connor Leong, and Caesar Wu as F4 while Shen Yue will play the role of Shan Cai.

The original version of ‘Meteor Garden’, starring Barbie Hsu and the original F4 (Jerry Yan, Van Ness Wu, Vic Chou and Ken Chu), was aired on ABS-CBN in 2003 to popular acclaim and has been rebroadcast numerous times since. ‘Meteor Garden’ also aired on GMA in 2007, but with a different dub that was not well-received by fans.

Many loyal fans of ‘Meteor Garden’ have long clamored for a Filipino remake of the hit series. However, ABS-CBN has yet to announce any plans to adapt the story to suit Filipino tastes.

Speaking of GMA, they announced that the Korean series ‘Boys Over Flowers’ will have a local adaptation coming soon. The network recently signed an agreement with JU Entertainment Movie and Drama Inc. for the rights to produce the local version of ‘Boys Over Flowers’.

Like ‘Meteor Garden’, ‘Boys Over Flowers’ is based on the manga ‘Hana Yori Dango’. The original series was not aired on GMA however, as ABS-CBN picked up the rights to air ‘Boys Over Flowers’ in 2009.

The original ‘Boys Over Flowers’ starred Lee Min-Ho, Kim Hyun-Joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon and Koo Hye-Sun as Korea’s version of F4. Hye-Sun likewise reprised the role of Shan Cai as Jan Di.

Even though a local remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ will not come to fruition anytime soon, loyal fans can at least feel some solace that ‘Boys Over Flowers’ will be adapted locally in the near future. That said, anticipation for both series should only grow higher once their respective premiere dates (which will be announced soon) draw near.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, television

The Demise of Asianovelas on ABS-CBN

Once known for introducing F4 (above) and ‘Meteor Garden’ to Filipino audiences, ABS-CBN has effectively ceased its importation of Asianovelas since the middle of this year. (Photo credit: Meteor Garden ABS-CBN Official Facebook)

Asianovelas on ABS-CBN are now a thing of the past.

The premiere of the teleserye ‘You’re My Home’ last November 9 signaled the end of an era. Gone are the days when ABS-CBN usually reserves the final spot of their weekday afternoon and evening blocks for Asianovelas.

Now they are leaning more towards local programming in an effort to make use of their deep roster of talents. This makes sense, considering that ABS-CBN has the resources and the technology to produce their own programs.

The last Asianovelas aired on ABS-CBN were ‘Let’s Get Married’ and ‘My Lovely Girl’, whose final episodes were aired on June 19 of this year. When the recently-concluded ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ premiered on the weekday slots three days later, many thought this was only a temporary break for Asianovelas on the network.

As it turned out, ABS-CBN has bigger plans in mind. With so many programs currently kept under wraps, management thought it was best to finally devote more time to locally-produced shows.

This led to the entry of more recent teleseryes such as ‘Ningning’, ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’, and the aforementioned ‘You’re My Home’. A few other programs are still being planned, with a target date set for early next year.

Today, the Prime Tanghali, Kapamilya Gold and Primetime Bida blocks air a combined total of nine teleseryes. More than half of the network’s roster of contract artists are currently utilized in these teleseryes, ranging from child stars like ‘Ningning”s Jana Agoncillo to forty-somethings like ‘You’re My Home”s Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.

ABS-CBN’s new path should benefit the network in the years to come. Having recently launched ABS-CBN HD, they now strive to take advantage of this new technology by committing more towards local programs, with the intent of broadcasting a purely Filipino programming lineup in the near future.

As for Asianovelas, it’s now GMA’s responsibility to continue airing them. After all, they still have Heart of Asia mornings to keep fans company.

Note: ‘Angel Wings’ is excluded here as it is considered a spiritual successor of the long-running anthology series ‘Chinese Variety Show’. Asianovelas only refer to imported series from Eastern Asian countries that air on weekdays.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, reality show, television

Asianovelas on ABS-CBN To Be Affected Again By PBB

The entry of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should cause some concern to Kapamilya Asianovela fans.

Starting next Monday, weekday editions of PBB: 737 will air twice a day, similar to prior seasons. The afternoon edition will air after ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’, and the primetime edition will air after ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’.

The two editions of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ will replace a pair of Asianovelas that are on their final week: Kapamilya Gold’s ‘Let’s Get Married’, and Primetime Bida’s ‘My Lovely Girl’.

With the Asianovelas about to be shut out in the afternoon and primetime slots, ABS-CBN will now have to find a way to maintain interest to these programs in a different timeslot. After all, they don’t want to rob Asianovela fans of their enjoyment and pleasure in watching such series.

One particular option may be the Umaganda block, where the network’s Asianovelas have enjoyed ratings success in recent years. However, the network has not broadcast an Asianovela in the morning since ‘Lovers in Paris’ re-aired from June to August of last year.

Currently the only open slot on Umaganda is ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, which is merely a filler program. The movie block is up against GMA Asianovelas ‘Secret Garden’ and ‘Two Mothers’, and Latinovela ‘Corazon Indomable’, all of which were decent performers for the Kapuso network.

Replacing ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ with either one or two Asianovelas may help ABS-CBN regain some sense of respectability in the morning block. It should also make up for the presence of PBB in their timeslots, in order to satisfy the cravings of Kapamilya Asianovela fans.

If ABS-CBN decides not to air an Asianovela at all, it will definitely hurt the network’s morale. After all, they are regarded as the ‘First and True Home of Asianovelas’, having first brought one in 2003 with ‘Meteor Garden’.

That said, keeping up with GMA’s ‘Heart of Asia’ should help ABS-CBN continue its tradition of bringing quality Asianovelas to the small screen. The Asianovela-loving fanbase is growing, so ABS-CBN has to heed to their demands.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Korea, Philippines, television

My Love from the Star Returns, Responds to Inday Bote

The popular Koreanovela ‘My Love from the Star’ returns to GMA, this time as a ‘throwbackserye’.

Due to popular demand, the Kapuso network decided to once again re-air ‘My Love from the Star’, which stars Jun Ji-Hyun and Kim Soo-hyun. The re-airing of the said Koreanovela begins this Monday, at the same time as the premiere of ABS-CBN’s remake of ‘Inday Bote’.

‘My Love from the Star’ first aired on GMA from April 21 to June 27, 2014, opposite Julia Barretto’s debut teleserye ‘Mirabella’. The Koreanovela fared well enough in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen that GMA decided to re-air the series every Sunday morning, during the months of May, June and July.

Unfortunately for the Kapuso network, ABS-CBN quickly turned the tables soon after ‘My Love from the Star’ concluded. The Kapamilya network made up for the shortcomings of ‘Mirabella’ by airing ‘Pure Love’ and then ‘Bagito’, in the process regaining its foothold on the sunset slot.

Meanwhile, GMA’s local series ‘My BFF’, ‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’ failed to maintain the momentum of ‘My Love from the Star’. Not even Koreanovelas like ‘Prime Minister and I’ and ‘Future’s Choice’ kept the timeslot’s fortunes from slipping off GMA’s grasp.

As a result, GMA made a crucial decision. Still feeling the throwback Asianovela high after all those months, GMA decided to bring back ‘My Love from the Star’, even though it had only been a year since it first aired.

Now GMA must hope that ‘My Love from the Star’ will fare well again in the same manner as ‘Meteor Garden’ on ABS-CBN. But it won’t be easy this time around, not when the Kapamilya network’s new teleserye ‘Inday Bote’ has proven stars in Alex Gonzaga and Matteo Guidicelli to lean upon.

It will be an interesting battle between the two series that begins this Monday at 5:45 p.m., so good luck.

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FTT Year 2014 in Review: GMA

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 the GMA Network, who endured yet another frustrating year.

Positives

In a year where anything could go wrong, only a few bright spots remained on the corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue.

GMA’s Afternoon Prime emerged as the network’s top performer on weekdays, with ‘Villa Quintana’ and its successor ‘The Half Sisters’ leading the way. Also enjoying impressive performances were ‘The Borrowed Wife’, ‘Yagit’, ‘Innamorata’ and ‘Ang Lihim ni Annasandra’.

Afternoon Prime’s predecessor ‘Eat Bulaga’ remained a force on noontime, gaining some notoriety for its ‘Suffer Sireyna’ segment. Fellow long-running programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘I-Witness’ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’ also continued to impress viewers.

Perhaps the most welcome sight on the Kapuso network this year was the return of the Sunday TV Mass after a four-year absence. In response to criticisms that GMA was biased towards Catholics, they got the services of Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI) to broadcast the weekly mass every Sunday morning, thus appeasing their Catholic viewers for now.

And finally, GMA earned numerous awards in both local and international award-giving bodies. GMA News and Public Affairs, in particular, continued to garner praise for its excellent journalistic work by winning another Peabody Award, in addition to numerous New York Festival awards.

Negatives

If there is one network who deserves much of the blame for its failures, it is GMA. And 2014 was just another tough year for the No. 2 network.

GMA Telebabad continued to be an underwhelming performer for the Kapuso network. Virtually every teleserye GMA threw at its disposal failed to make an impact, including the four-week long historical drama series ‘Ilustrado’, who performed badly against its rivals from Mother Ignacia.

The 19-year old ‘Startalk’ also underperformed this year, with timeslot changes to blame for its poor performance. Neither a return to Sundays (vs. ‘Buzz ng Bayan’/’The Buzz’), nor a transfer back to Saturdays (vs. ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ and ‘Failon Ngayon’) helped ‘Startalk”s performance this year.

An ongoing purge to GMA’s weekend programming proved to be not as tense as last year, although the slumping ‘Sunday All Stars’, a clear candidate for cancellation, moved to a later time to avoid ‘ASAP’. Three movie blocks on Sundays, along with ‘Asian Horror Stories’ on Saturdays, did not help GMA at all.

Being the king at answering ABS-CBN’s every move, GMA countered ‘Meteor Garden’ and other Kapamilya throwback Asianovelas by re-airing ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘Coffee Prince’ and others, none of which were successful. GMA also countered ABS-CBN by airing ‘Marian’, ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘Don’t Lose the Money’ versus its rival’s programs, again to negative results.

Controversy also affected GMA in 2014. Both Aljur Abrenica and embattled GMA employees under the name ‘Talents Association of GMA’ filed lawsuits against the network for various complaints, while Sen. Bong Revilla’s arrest due to the PDAF scandal prompted the network to cancel ‘Kap’s Amazing Stories’ to avoid any negative publicity.

Overall, it was an abysmal year for GMA, both in terms of ratings, financial performance, and standards of quality.

Outlook

Ramon Ang may have taken some of the shares, but GMA’s fortunes continue to revolve around their aging pair of owners in Felipe Gozon and Gilberto Duavit. So expect another difficult and trying year on the corner of EDSA and Timog Avenue.

‘Second Chances’, a long-overdue series, will kick off GMA’s slate of new programs this 2015, but it remains to be seen whether or not will there be second chances for the said network this year. One thing’s for sure: a wild ride continues for the men and women inside the GMA Network Center.

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