action, comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ismol Family Gives Way to Tsuperhero on GMA’s Sunday Grande

‘Ismol Family’ is officially done.

After a run that began on June 22, 2014, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its final episode last Sunday, November 6. ‘Ismol Family’, which starred Ryan Agoncillo, Carla Abellana, Carmi Martin, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Marc Justine Alvarez among others, aired a total of 125 episodes that spanned over two years.

When ‘Ismol Family’ premiered over two years ago, it was supposed to replace the game show ‘Picture Picture’ and go up against another family-oriented sitcom in ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Instead, the sitcom was placed on Sunday nights, while ‘Pepito Manaloto’ was moved to Saturday nights to counter ‘Home Sweetie Home”s move.

The unexpected timeslot change proved to be a hindrance to ‘Ismol Family’ once it began its run. Pitted against shows such as ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and more recently ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, the sitcom failed to find its footing in a crowded Sunday night field.

While ‘Ismol Family’ was not bad, it was clear that GMA made a mistake by placing the show on Sundays. Had it aired against ‘Home Sweetie Home’, it would have given the latter a run for its money.

Still, a run of over two years was a good accomplishment for ‘Ismol Family’. For the viewers who have tuned in for all 125 episodes, let that sink in.

Moving on, a new show is slated to replace ‘Ismol Family’. The newest entry, ‘Tsuperhero’, is a superhero comedy-adventure series that stars Derrick Monasterio and Bea Binene.

In ‘Tsuperhero’, Nonoy (Derrick) is a jeepney driver who transforms into a superhero thanks to a mysterious object from a distant planet. Along the way, he developed feelings for Eva (Bea), a barker who found his kalye attitude both irritating and enduring.

The upcoming weekly series will also star Gabby Concepcion, Alma Moreno, Betong Sumaya, Philip Lazaro, Miggs Cuaderno, Valentin, Annalyn Barro, Jemwell Ventenilla, and Kuhol. ‘Tsuperhero’ is an original concept by Michael V, and will be directed by LA Madridejos.

It remains to be seen if ‘Tsuperhero’ can give the long-running ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ a tough challenge. Hopefully the series can stick just as long as its predecessor did.

‘Tsuperhero’ premieres this Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA’s Sunday Grande sa Gabi.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Love story, Philippines, television

Conan Out, Usapang Real Love In

From cross-dressing beauticians to real love issues.

Last Sunday, the 13-episode run of ‘Conan My Beautician’ came to an end. The GMA Public Affairs-produced sitcom premiered on June 26 as a replacement to ‘Alamat’, but the show never caught fire, losing to ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’ on a consistent basis.

Although Mark Herras made a good account of himself by portraying a cross-dressing hairstylist, ‘Conan My Beautician’ still fell short by GMA Public Affairs’ standards. Their continued involvement in entertainment shows is becoming a brain drain to the entertainment department, and it could pose an even bigger risk in future shows.

Moving on, a new GMA show will take the place of ‘Conan My Beautician’ this coming Sunday. Billed as the first-ever interactive rom-com series, ‘Usapang Real Love’ will feature four weekly episodes starring GMA’s love teams, along with a selected video entry that will be submitted by netizens on social media.

The show’s first story, titled ‘Dream Date’, will star Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. The supporting cast for the said story will consist of Jak Roberto, Yayo Aguila, Lloyd Samartino, Jade Lopez, Ces Quesada and Gene Padilla.

The second story, titled ‘Perfect Fit’, will be led by Andre Paras and Mikee Quintos. The supporting cast will have William Lorenzo, Mickey Feriols, Arra San Agustin, Jay Arcilla, Vince Gamad and Bern Josep ‘Bekimon’ Persia.

As innovative as ‘Usapang Real Love’ is, they still have a huge hurdle to overcome. As mentioned earlier, ‘Family Feud’ proved to be a thorn on ‘Conan My Beautician”s side, and this puts even greater pressure on ‘Usapang Real Love’ to succeed.

Considering that the show will be a mere short-term filler, GMA can only hope for the best. The four episodes of ‘Usapang Real Love’ should be a gauge to see if their love teams will return to form, and if so, GMA will be poised to give them better projects.

‘Usapang Real Love’ airs every Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wish I May Ends Tomorrow

‘Wish I May’ is down to its final episode.

The GMA Afternoon Prime series, whose story focuses on a rare genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’, will conclude tomorrow afternoon after a run of 88 episodes. It will be replaced by ‘Magkaibang Mundo’, starring Louise delos Reyes and Juancho Triviño.

Named after a hit song by fellow Kapuso star Alden Richards, ‘Wish I May’ starred Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, along with Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez and Rochelle Pangilinan, among others. It was co-directed by Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz.

‘Wish I May’ was originally announced in October of last year to coincide with the AlDub phenomenon, but the premiere of the highly-anticipated series was delayed by a three-month extension of its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’. It finally hit the airwaves on January 18, however, the long wait took its toll.

Not only did ‘Wish I May’ fail to make an impact, but its low ratings came at the same time as the decline of AlDub’s popularity. By the time the series aired, viewers were once again switching to ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ to watch the revival of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ instead of ‘Eat Bulaga”s ‘Kalyeserye’.

Even worse for ‘Wish I May’ is the impressive performance of rival series ‘Doble Kara’. Ratings for both series consistently favor the latter, and as ‘Wish I May’ continued to fall short of expectations, it came to a point that GMA decided to lessen the promotion of the series by early April.

Suffice to say, it’s a decision that justified ‘Wish I May”s inability to succeed. The series whose premiere had been long overdue to begin with is about to end with a whimper.

‘Wish I May’ may be unique thanks to its focus on ‘chimerism’, but its long-delayed premiere will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. That said, it’s going to be a long day at the office for GMA management, wondering what might have happened if ‘Wish I May’ premiered as originally scheduled.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Is ‘Wish I May’ Too Late the Hero?

‘Wish I May’ has been given the go-signal by GMA.

After a long and tenuous delay, the series, named after a popular song by Alden Richards, will finally make its debut. The question is, will ‘Wish I May’ be worth the wait?

The journey of ‘Wish I May’ began in October of last year, when GMA released a pair of short teasers for the series. Regularly played during commercial breaks, many thought the series would premiere within that month, given its release at the height of the AlDub phenomenon.

Unfortunately, it never materialized. Already penciled in as a lead-out program to ‘Eat Bulaga’ (whose Kalyeserye featured the AlDub tandem), ‘Wish I May”s premiere was postponed when its eventual predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’ was given a three-month extension.

The series was also considered for Telebabad, but GMA chose to air ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ instead. Eventually, GMA revealed the premiere date of ‘Wish I May’ in the teaser video below, which premiered before the end of 2015.

Which leads to today’s long-awaited premiere. ‘Wish I May’, although named after Alden’s hit song, will not feature Alden himself nor his Kalyeserye partner Maine Mendoza, for obvious reasons.

Instead, the lead stars of the series will be Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, popularly known as the BiGuel tandem. The premise of the series will involve two teens (Bianca and Miguel) falling in love with each other amid tumultuous circumstances involving their families, brought about by the genetic disorder called ‘chimerism’.

Also starring in ‘Wish I May’ are Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Glydel Mercado, Rochelle Pangilinan, Mark Herras, Alessandra de Rossi, Neil Ryan Sese, Juan Rodrigo, Marni Lapuz, Ash Ortega, Sancho delas Alas and Prince Villanueva. Neal del Rosario and Mark Sicat de la Cruz will direct the series.

The premiere of ‘Wish I May’ comes at a time when the AlDub phenomenon was presumed to have winded down. While ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye continues to rack up millions of tweets with each episode, ratings for the show were on the decline, as viewers find the skit boring, repetitive and uninspiring of late.

Although GMA was able to capitalize on AlDub’s success by placing ‘Wish I May’ after ‘Eat Bulaga’, having endured a lengthy delay may not help the show’s cause at all. Had it premiered during the height of AlDub’s popularity (‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ presentation, to be specific), they may have had a chance to succeed.

Still, GMA’s hopes were on ‘Wish I May’ to flourish in the same way its predecessor ‘The Half-Sisters’ did. However, it remains to be seen if the series will be worth watching after several months of hype.

‘Wish I May’ airs weekdays at 2:35 p.m. on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Tries Another Weekday Morning Drama with Dangwa

Seems like GMA hasn’t learned anything from past failures.

After a two-year absence, GMA decided to pursue another local weekday drama series in the morning. They called upon Janine Gutierrez to star as the mysterious ‘Dangwa Girl’, in the series known simply as ‘Dangwa’.

Mystery shrouded the streets of Manila earlier this month when university belt students posted photos and videos of a girl giving out roses to various strangers in social media. The mysterious encounter quickly became viral on social media, and eventually, the then-unknown ‘Dangwa Girl’ was revealed to as Janine Gutierrez.

‘Dangwa’ will feature the story of Rosa, a beautiful flower vendor who would change the lives of men who bought flowers from her. While the story of Rosa will be the focus of the series, a new love story between two individuals will be featured each week, all of which begin with a chance encounter with Rosa herself.

As for Rosa, she will also have a love story of her own. Two men named Baste (Mark Herras) and Lorenzo (Aljur Abrenica) would gain the attention of Rosa’s heart, but as they discovered, she is something else to behold.

The first week of ‘Dangwa’ will also star Barbie Forteza and Ruru Madrid. This will be followed by starring roles from Carla Abellana and Rafael Rosell, Rhian Ramos and Geoff Eigenmann, Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, and Pauleen Luna and Gerald Napoles.

‘Dangwa’ will be the latest series produced by the GMA Public Affairs group. But as everyone learned, the involvement of GMA Public Affairs in the series is simply a way to bail out an Entertainment department that has not had success in recent years.

There is also a question about the series’ viability in the morning. Considering that the last two GMA morning dramas (‘Cielo de Angelina’, ‘With a Smile’) were ratings failures, a very tough task awaits ‘Dangwa’ in their hopes of reversing a recent trend.

That said, it will be interesting to see if ‘Dangwa’ lives up to the hype. After the success of the viral posts, the series now hopes to turn them into good, if not impressive ratings.

‘Dangwa’ premieres this Monday at 11:00 a.m. on GMA.

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