action, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

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.

Here is Part I of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: La Luna Sangre

The tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla returned to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida in June to star in ‘La Luna Sangre’, which also starred Angel Locsin (initially in a special participatory role as Lia before returning full-time as Jacintha) and another comebacking star in Richard Gutierrez. The series became an immediate hit scoring well over 30% in the nationwide ratings.

The success of ‘La Luna Sangre’ also revitalized the third slot of Primetime Bida following the lukewarm reception of predecessors ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’. But while KathNiel did not lose their magic upon returning to the small screen, the same cannot be said for another popular love team.

NOT: AlDub and More

Good news: AlDub did not need to face KathNiel as ‘Destined to Be Yours’ ended weeks before ‘La Luna Sangre’ premiered. Bad news: 63 episodes is more than enough to justify the lack of success of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the first primetime series to star Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together.

Things only got worse for the duo from that point on. In late November, Maine revealed on social media that she and Alden are only friends in real life and that she ‘deserves all the hate in the world’ for being a ‘coward’ and a ‘selfish little brat’.

Perhaps the pressure and the expectations are starting to take its toll on Maine. Much like her harrowing portrayal of a depressed workaholic in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ made-for-TV film ‘Love Is…’, somebody should help her overcome these stresses.

HOT: Ika-6 na Utos and Afternoon Prime

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ premiered late last year to lukewarm reviews. But thanks to some campy moments that elicit plenty of laughter from its viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became unexpectedly popular, so much so that GMA decided to add Saturday episodes starting in April to capitalize on its success.

The series also boosted the fortunes of Afternoon Prime which had been left for dead earlier in the year. By August, succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were winning over their ABS-CBN counterparts thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

NOT: The Entire Kapamilya Gold Post-Doble Kara

Led by back-to-back ‘kabitseryes’ in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, Kapamilya Gold lost ground to Afternoon Prime that by the late third quarter of 2017, it was the latter that stood tall. Not even ‘The Greatest Love”s critically-acclaimed run saved the block from its sudden fall from grace.

The end of ‘Doble Kara”s year-long run in February foreshadowed a decline in Kapamilya Gold’s performance. Soon after, Afternoon Prime closed the gap and overtook Kapamilya Gold in the ratings for the rest of the year, much to the dismay of Kapamilya viewers everywhere.

HOT: Wildflower

Also in February, ‘Wildflower’ premiered on Primetime Bida’s pre-newscast slot. It didn’t take long for the series to make an impact as it constantly registered ratings of over 20 to 25%, putting it among the top five programs in the country.

The success of ‘Wildflower’ also spawned numerous memes on social media, some of which depict the various confrontations between Ivy/Lily (Maja Salvador) and Emilia (Aiko Melendez). With that kind of impact, ‘Wildflower’ truly turned viewers’ heads upside down whenever these two go at it.

NOT: Kapamilya Game Shows

The slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’ does not apply to ABS-CBN game shows. That said, ‘Minute to Win It’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ continued to alienate audiences by utilizing celebrities more often than ordinary people throughout their runs this year.

Luckily all three shows’ seasons came to an end this year: ‘Minute to Win It’ in February, ‘Family Feud’ in May and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ in September. Perhaps ABS-CBN should stop producing game shows and defer these to ‘It’s Showtime’ since they do not even have a clue how to utilize the power of the viewing public.

Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, talent show, television

Overexposed Luis Manzano Finally Gets a Break

Luis Manzano had a three-year stretch of near non-stop hosting commitments which made him overexposed on TV for a long period. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Thank goodness it’s over.

For much of the last three years, Luis Manzano became a part of every household thanks to a multitude of hosting commitments he accepted during that span. Whether it’s a game show or a talent show, it seems like viewers can’t get enough of this popular Kapamilya host.

Luis’ lengthy run began on October 26, 2014, when he joined Toni Gonzaga to host ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ season 2. The season ran for 36 episodes, concluding on March 1, 2015.

At the tail end of ‘The Voice of the Philippines” run, Luis accepted the job as host of the new season of ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’. Running from February 9, 2015 until March 4, 2016, the fifth season of ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ aired a total of 278 episodes.

Next up for Luis was ‘The Voice Kids’ season 2, which ran from June 6 to August 30, 2015. A total of 26 episodes were aired during that season.

On November 14, 2015, Luis replaced Billy Crawford as host of ‘Celebrity Playtime’, and was present for the game show’s final 41 episodes. Then on January 23, 2016, Luis and Billy joined forces to host the fifth season of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, which ran for 35 episodes until May 22, 2016.

By that point, signs of overexposure become more evident for Luis. Unfortunately for the viewers, ABS-CBN is not yet finished with him.

April 9, 2016 saw Luis take over as host of the newly-acquired ‘Family Feud’ franchise, and he presided on all of its 111 episodes. A few months later, on July 18, 2016, Luis returned to host the second season of ‘Minute to Win It’, adding another 208 episodes to his resume.

And if that is not enough, another run as host of ‘The Voice Kids’ awaited Luis. From May 28 to August 28, 2016, Luis was the presenter on all 28 episodes of ‘The Voice Kids” third season.

Finally on April 16, 2017, Luis accepted another hosting stint within ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ franchise. This time, he became the host of ‘The Voice Teens’, which has now aired seven episodes and counting.

This does not include his additional responsibility as one of the hosts of ‘ASAP’. That said, for all intents and purposes, ‘ASAP’ will not be added in this count.

It was clear that ABS-CBN is paying the price for their overreliance on Luis Manzano. Overall, the host accumulated a total of 770 episodes within nine shows (as of May 7, 2017) in a span of 925 days, which speaks of how ABS-CBN became too dependent on this star hosting-wise.

While ratings for Luis’ nine shows were not a problem, it is ABS-CBN’s utilization that became a dilemma. Let’s face it, they have a deep plethora of talent who can be just as proficient in hosting, yet they stuck with Luis for some reason because, he’s the only guy they can depend on to deliver a good show.

Now that Luis is freed of the burden of hosting too many shows on a daily basis, the time is definitely now for ABS-CBN to develop more hosts. After all, there are plenty in the pipeline so why not breed at least one or two of them to relieve some pressure on the veterans.

For now, Luis Manzano can breathe easily. A period of less strenuous activity is all he needs at this point.

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

Thoughts on Jodi Sta. Maria Winning P1 Million on Minute to Win It

Remember the topic about ABS-CBN game shows’ overdependence on celebrities as contestants?

Last night on ‘Minute to Win It: Last Man Standing’, Kapamilya actress Jodi Sta. Maria became a millionaire by completing the ‘Mouth to Mouth’ final challenge. She bested fellow finalist (and Kapamilya resident comedian) Pooh, in the process bagging a total of P1,070,000.

Jodi became the second celebrity to win a million on ‘Minute to Win It: Last Man Standing’. Last July, another Kapamilya actress in Meg Imperial also won P1 million.

It’s a shame to see ABS-CBN win in an unfair manner. Although ‘Minute to Win It: Last Man Standing’ maintains a consistent lead over GMA’s ‘Wowowin’ in the ratings, it is obvious that the good nature of Willie Revillame’s show is making a fool out of Luis Manzano.

Let’s face it, Luis is a great host, no doubt. But he’s no Willie Revillame, whose willingness to give away prizes to deserving and hard-luck individuals despite his past brushes with controversy make him an icon in Philippine game shows today.

The selfish nature of ABS-CBN game shows continue to overshadow its success in general. Looking at Jodi Sta. Maria’s victory last night, two options could be in the offing for her.

These options are:

  1. Keep the P1 million prize to herself (a selfish move)
  2. Give away the P1 million prize to charitable causes (a selfless move)

To be honest, the second option makes sense. After all, ABS-CBN prides itself in the corporate slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’, so why not give it away in order to contribute to society.

Still, it doesn’t change the fact that ABS-CBN is shutting out the Filipino people as far as participation in game shows are concerned. Unless their perception changes, this action will only serve to disrespect the network’s corporate brass.

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