drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

As Ilustrado Debuts, Ikaw Lamang Departs

A new-look GMA Telebabad premieres this week, while ABS-CBN says goodbye to one of their hits.

The ‘bayani-serye’ ‘Ilustrado’ will make its much-anticipated premiere later tonight. The series will be led by Alden Richards as Jose Rizal and Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, with supporting roles by Solenn Heussaff, Max Collins, Eula Valdez, Jaclyn Jose, Polo Ravales, Ricardo Cepeda, Freddie Webb and Mailes Kanapi.

‘Ilustrado’ will focus less on Rizal’s struggles for Philippine independence and his work on ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’. Instead, it will feature a more human side in the life of the national hero and his fellow reformists, from their relationships to their day-to-day struggles with ordinary citizens.

The premiere of ‘Ilustrado’ should be an interesting one, as it will go up against ‘Two Wives’. The latter series has been on a roll since it debuted last week, and should pose a challenge to the more qualitative and informative ‘Ilustrado’.

Meanwhile, the still-struggling ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will be moved to an earlier timeslot, opposite an ABS-CBN Primetime Bida  teleserye that is about to end this week.

‘Ikaw Lamang’, the period drama that started last March, will bid goodbye on October 24. The series will have two chapters and 162 episodes at the end of its run.

Initially starring Kim Chiu (as Isabelle) Julia Montes (as Mona), Coco Martin (as Samuel) and Jake Cuenca (as Franco), Montes’ character was killed off just as Book 1 was winding down. When Book 2 got underway, Chiu and Martin were now assigned to portray the roles of Gabriel and Andrea, respectively.

Book 2 also featured Amy Austria, Joel Torre and Christopher de Leon as the older Isabelle, Samuel and Franco, while KC Concepcion took on the role of Natalia, daughter of Isabelle and Franco.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ was one of ABS-CBN’s highly-rated teleseryes throughout its run. The show even outlasted its main arch-rival ‘My Destiny’, whose run from June 30 to October 17 came just as the former was at the peak of its success.

That said, it should be interesting to see how ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will fare in its final week against ‘Hiram na Alaala’.  Expect the conclusion of this series to be a highly-anticipated one.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be replaced by ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

 

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drama, entertainment, Love story, Philippines, television

GMA’s Answer to TV5’s Wattpad Presents

TV5’s ‘Wattpad Presents’ now has a new rival.

Starting October 6, GMA’s new anthology called ‘Seasons of Love’ will air on the timeslot that will be vacated by ‘My BFF’. Like ‘Wattpad Presents’, ‘Seasons of Love’ will focus on one particular love story each week, and will air for a month.

The first story under the ‘Seasons of Love’ banner will be ‘Soulmate, Soulhate’, and will feature Ruru Madrid and Gabrielle Garcia in their first lead roles together.

Both Madrid and Garcia currently appear in ‘My Destiny’ in supporting roles, and will continue to do so while ‘Seasons of Love: Soulmate, Soulhate’ is ongoing.

‘Soulmate, Soulhate’ will focus on two teenagers whose personalities change following a meteor shower. Soon after, they met and eventually forged a romantic relationship.

Three other upcoming stories under the ‘Seasons of Love’ banner will follow suit, with titles and cast yet to be determined.

Curiously, ABS-CBN also aired a romantic anthology called ‘Seasons of Love’. Not to be confused with GMA’s own upcoming series, ABS-CBN’s version aired as a weekly program every Sunday afternoon from 2004 to 2005.

Going back to GMA’s ‘Seasons of Love’, the short-term series will definitely carry a lot of expectations, since it will feature some of the Kapuso network’s up and coming young stars. In addition, the series will go up against the Kapamilya network’s highly-rated teleserye ‘Pure Love’, which has demolished ‘My BFF’ in the ratings.

‘Seasons of Love”s rivalry with ‘Wattpad Presents’ will also be followed closely, though not at the same timeslot. ‘Wattpad Presents” third story, ‘Poser’, will premiere hours after ‘Seasons of Love: Soulmate, Soulhate’ debuts, and based on the success of ‘Wattpad Presents” first two offerings, pressure will definitely be on ‘Seasons of Love’ to come up with a better story that will interest viewers.

With that, let’s wish GMA good luck on ‘Seasons of Love’, and hope this short-term series will pay off.

‘Seasons of Love’ premieres this October 6, and will air every Monday to Thursday before ’24 Oras’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Dyesebel’ Stands Tall as ‘Kambal Sirena’ Ends This Week

‘Kambal Sirena”s final episode will be this Friday on GMA.

GMA’s ‘Kambal Sirena’ is now down to only five episodes. The series, once an arch-rival to ABS-CBN’s ‘Dyesebel’, will bid farewell this Friday.

‘Kambal Sirena’, starring Louise delos Reyes and Aljur Abrenica, debuted last March 10. However, the series made little noise throughout its run. ‘Kambal Sirena’ was defeated by the departing ‘Honesto’ in its first week’, then got spanked in the subsequent weeks thanks to ‘Dyesebel’, starring Anne Curtis.

On May 26, GMA decided to demote ‘Kambal Sirena’ in favor of ‘Nino’, but the results remained the same despite airing at a later timeslot. Rival ‘Ikaw Lamang’, starring Kim Chiu, Coco Martin, Julia Montes and Jake Cuenca, proved too much to handle for ‘Kambal Sirena’, as the former series dominated the latter in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen ratings.

To be honest, ‘Kambal Sirena’ was worth the try for budding star Louise delos Reyes. After all, she was one of GMA’s emerging young stars, and a bankable talent for years to come. Accepting a role that involves wearing a man-made fin and swimming topless is no easy task, but for delos Reyes, it is a huge step forward in her development as an actress.

In the end, however, it was ‘Dyesebel’ who won the hearts of viewers more than its younger counterpart in ‘Kambal Sirena’. The former is simply too hard to ignore, thanks to an established actress, an accomplished production company, and a legendary Mars Ravelo creation to boot. But that doesn’t mean GMA did not do well in producing ‘Kambal Sirena’. They made the story their own, and they picked an actress whose star is about to shine. Too bad viewers did not respond to a newbie in the sea.

‘Kambal Sirena’ was a good project, but it failed to reverse GMA Telebabad’s slumping fortunes. Now the pressure is on ‘My Destiny’, and GMA hopes that the chemistry of Tom Rodriguez and Carla Abellana will be the key for turning things around.

But for now, ‘Kambal Sirena’ takes a bow. As for Louise delos Reyes, there is still a lot more to improve.

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