drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Why GMA’s Teleserye Countdown Timer is Overrated?

GMA is going to great lengths in hopes of winning back its audience.

The past two weekends saw the network post a countdown timer for their soon-to-air series ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ and ‘My Love from the Star’ (see example from ‘Dear Uge’ below). This timer was flashed during most GMA programs (exceptions are variety shows, other blocktimed programs and select GMA News shows).

The reason is unclear, but it is presumed that GMA is using the timer to promote and add some hype to their upcoming series. To be honest, though, the utilization of a countdown timer for nothing but promotion of a program is very overrated.

For starters, GMA has long been an advocate of the countdown timer, having been used to advertise not only dramas but also variety shows and other network-produced programming. However, not even the addition of a timer is enough to jack up ratings of a particular show.

‘Encantadia’, for example, had a countdown timer in the days leading up to its premiere last year. Unfortunately, despite the good reviews and the positive reception from viewers, the fantaserye failed to keep up with the juggernaut that is ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

GMA also made a countdown timer for AlDub’s ‘Destined to Be Yours’. Even though it was hyped well, the series regularly fell short to ‘My Dear Heart’ mainly because Maine Mendoza’s acting is still raw by viewers’ standards.

Contrast that to ABS-CBN’s own approach to promote a teleserye. Rather than utilizing a countdown timer like GMA does, they take advantage of the hype through social media, on-demand streaming and a strong regional and global presence.

So where does GMA stand at this point? Considering that they still have a long way to go before closing in on ABS-CBN’s national (and global) superiority, they should focus more on strengthening their regional and international reach, a deficiency that they continue to endure for many years now.

The power of social media is also a necessity for GMA to aggressively promote their programs. However, they must engage more in order to make an impact.

There are plenty of options to promote a drama. But a countdown timer for GMA teleseryes and other programs? That is unnecessary and distracting.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

An Untimely Entrance for My Love from the Star

Heart has a new opponent, albeit for a short time.

Beginning Monday, GMA will premiere the Philippine remake of the hit Korean drama ‘My Love from the Star’. The adaptation will be led by Jennylyn Mercado, who will portray Jun Ji-hyun’s role as Steffi, and Gil Cuerva, who takes on Kim Soo-hyun’s role as Matteo.

The original version of ‘My Love from the Star’ first made waves in the Philippines back in 2014, as it became a top-rating Koreanovela on GMA’s late afternoon slot. GMA then re-aired the Koreanovela during early 2015, but failed to rekindle its past success.

Despite that, GMA decided to push through with the Filipino adaptation of ‘My Love from the Star’. While Jennylyn Mercado was confirmed to play Steffi, the role of Matteo remained a mystery for several months until little-known Gil Cuerva got the nod.

Completing the cast of ‘My Love from the Star’ are Gabby Eigenmann, Christian Bautista, Glydel Mercado, Renz Fernandez, Jackie Rice, Migo Adecer, Melissa Mendez, Spanky Manikan, Nar Cabico, Analyn Barro, Valentin, Moi Marcampo and Pauline Mendoza. Director Joyce Bernal will be at the helm of the series, plus Rhian Ramos will have a special role as Steffi’s rival.

The premiere of ‘My Love from the Star’ comes at a not-so fortunate time. ABS-CBN recently announced that ‘My Dear Heart’ is nearing its conclusion, with the finale of the series to take place around June.

This means that Jennylyn, Gil and company will not have enough time to prove themselves against ‘My Dear Heart”s quintet of Heart Ramos, Bela Padilla, Zanjoe Marudo, Coney Reyes and Ria Atayde. However, with ‘La Luna Sangre’ expected to replace ‘My Dear Heart’ once it ends, ‘My Love from the Star’ should have a big headstart against KathNiel this early.

It remains to be seen if the Filipino remake of ‘My Love from the Star’ can either equal or exceed the success of the original Korean series. With plenty of expectations from both Koreanovela and Kapuso fans, the series can only hope that they will deliver even if the odds are against them.

‘My Love from the Star’ airs weeknights after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Post-StarStruck Response is a Koreanovela, Plus No Miss World Telecast

A new Koreanovela will kick things off for GMA Telebabad.

Tonight will be the premiere of ‘The Producers’, a recently-aired Korean drama series starring Kim Soo-hyun, Cha Tae-hyun, Gong Hyo-jin and IU. The series is produced by the same group who created another hit Korean drama in ‘My Love from the Star’.

This brings the total number of current Asianovelas on GMA to three. Two of them (‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’) form part of the network’s Heart of Asia Mornings block.

Unfortunately for GMA, ‘The Producers’ will be up against ‘Pasion de Amor’, the ABS-CBN teleserye that continues to heat up the ratings with each intense scene. Combined with waning interest in the Koreanovela genre, and a programming mismatch ensues between the two shows.

That said, it will be a very tough challenge for GMA and ‘The Producers’ to rekindle the once-popular Koreanovela genre. Whether or not they will accomplish that remains to be seen.

‘The Producers’ airs weeknights at 5:50 p.m., before ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

No Televised Broadcast of Miss World

The 2015 Miss World was held last Saturday, with Spain’s Mireia Lalaguna winning the crown. The Philippines’ Miss World representative, Hillarie Parungao, finished in the top ten.

Unfortunately, despite the presence of ‘MariMar’ star and 2013 winner Megan Young as one of the pageant’s hosts, this year’s Miss World was not televised at all in the Philippines. The reason: GMA’s concurrent live broadcast of ‘StarStruck: The Final Judgment’, won by Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda.

There was also no delayed broadcast of the said pageant the following day, as GMA realized it was not worth it given the country’s Miss World bet only made the top ten. News reports were also absent on GMA News programs within days of the event; the only Miss World-related report is of Parungao’s return to the country.

With GMA unable to air this year’s Miss World (even though they aired the Miss World Philippines pageant two months earlier), it may be a better idea for the organizers to find a new network for subsequent Miss World and Miss World Philippines pageants. GMA’s non-commitment to a Miss World broadcast is not a good sign for their relationship, and worse, a black eye for the embattled network.

That said, next year’s Miss World will provide a lot of questions to prospective coverors. Will there ever be another broadcast of Miss World in the Philippines? Only time will tell.

Postscript: Speaking of beauty pageants, congratulations to Pia Wurtzbach for winning the 2015 Miss Universe pageant, albeit with the help of a premature announcement of Miss Colombia’s victory by host Steve Harvey. The victory of the Philippines’ Wurtzbach should help spike the event’s ratings on ABS-CBN this week. 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

My Mother’s Secret to Face Two Kapamilya Teleseryes in First Two Weeks

For the first time since ‘My BFF’, a local teleserye will kick off GMA Telebabad.

On Monday, May 25, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will take over the slot that will be vacated by ‘My Love from the Star’ later tonight. This will mark the end of an eight-month lull for a lengthy local teleserye at the said slot, after GMA experimented with a pair of mini-series and a trio of Koreanovelas.

Directed by Neal del Rosario, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will tell the story of an actress who is secretly pregnant, after which she sold her child in order to continue her showbiz career. A controversial scandal forced her to leave the industry and begin a family with her one-time boyfriend, but a liver problem threatened her husband’s life, and she was forced to find the child she once sold in order to help her husband.

Gwen Zamora, Christian Bautista and Kim Rodriguez will breathe life into the three primary characters of ‘My Mother’s Secret’. Kiko Estrada, Lotlot de Leon, Diva Montelaba, Shamaine Buencamino, Enzo Pineda, Joanna Marie Tan and Tricia Cabais will play supporting roles, while Meryll Soriano and Mark Herras will also appear in a special participation.

As mentioned earlier, ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will be the first local teleserye to kick off Telebabad since ‘My BFF’, which ran from June to October 2014 (‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’ were only aired as a mini-series, and not as full-fledged teleseryes). Coincidentally, both series replaced ‘My Love from the Star’ on the same timeslot.

The first two weeks of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will air against the finale week of ‘Inday Bote’ and the premiere week of ‘Pasion de Amor’. That said, the series will have its work cut out for them as they go up against two ABS-CBN teleseryes in as many weeks.

Once again, GMA goes to a local drama to begin Telebabad. But will it make a difference? Find out next week.

‘My Mother’s Secret’ premieres this Monday before ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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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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