comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, talk show, television

A Look Back at TAPE’s Pre-Noontime Programs

With the cancellation of ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ earlier this February, TAPE decided to cease production of pre-noontime shows after nearly five years. (Photo credit: TAPE Inc. and GMA Network)

Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.

It all started with this love team, and it all ended with this love team. The duo forever changed the pre-noontime landscape.

Yet one production outfit tried to make things a little more interesting. That outfit happens to be Television and Production Exponents Inc., better known by the acronym TAPE Inc.

The producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to take a crack at the Jodi-Richard love team by premiering a pre-noontime talk show hosted by a then-seven-year-old Ryzza Mae Dizon. In April 2013, GMA and TAPE launched ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, and for nearly two years, it engaged with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in a tough battle for ratings supremacy.

Yet ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to roll, and so did its successors ‘Give Love on Christmas’, ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘Ningning’. When TAPE realized that ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ has outlived its usefulness, they decided to replace the talk show with a light drama in ‘Princess in the Palace’, starring Ryzza alongside Eula Valdes and Aiza Seguerra.

But the move to a drama format did not change its fortunes, and neither did a sitcom in ‘Calle Siete’. Meanwhile, another ABS-CBN series in ‘Be My Lady’ extended the network’s reign in the timeslot.

In October 2016, GMA and TAPE canceled ‘Calle Siete’ and in its place came a coming-of-age light drama in ‘TROPS’, starring the That’s My Bae quintet of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia. The said series also ended Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run in the pre-noontime slot amid her physical changes and the emergence of AlDub.

Unfortunately, ‘TROPS’ also failed to make a difference in the ratings. Over at ABS-CBN, their dominance continued with ‘Langit Lupa’ and ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.

In a last-ditch effort to make an impact in the pre-noontime slot, TAPE and GMA returned to the talk show format in September 2017 with ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by the lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros). It couldn’t have come at a worst possible time, as AlDub was no longer a difference-maker by the time this show premiered.

Sadly, the return of Jodi and Richard (plus Robin Padilla) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ put an end to TAPE’s pre-noontime aspirations. As a result, TAPE cancelled ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ after 95 episodes on February 2, 2018, and ceased production of pre-noontime shows.

Give TAPE and GMA a lot of credit for trying to give ABS-CBN a run for its money. But at the end of the day, the latter’s superiority in the pre-noontime slot became too much to overcome, especially with the unlikely duo of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap giving plenty of ‘kilig’ to its viewers.

Now that TAPE ends its production of pre-noontime shows, time will only tell when GMA decides to strike on its own. But for now, the competition is over and GMA will have to live and die with Tagalized movies as a way to wave the white flag.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin to End Friday

The Kimerald reunion tour will come to an end this week.

On Friday, January 26, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will air its 195th and final episode. The series, which starred Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia, was first aired on May 1, 2017.

In many ways, the series was not a disappointment ratings-wise. But for the more knowledgeable viewers, the serious tone of ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ may have turned them off a bit considering that ABS-CBN reluctantly placed the series to the late morning timeslot.

When ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ was first announced during one of ABS-CBN’s trade fairs, many thought the series would be assigned to Primetime Bida. After all, Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson were highly accomplished primetime stars with many top-rating series to their credit.

However, ABS-CBN decided to take ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ to the late-morning slot that is normally assigned to more light-hearted or inspirational series (see ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ and ‘Ningning’). At this point they didn’t have a choice since Kapamilya Gold and Primetime Bida were fully loaded and they fear that postponing the series’ premiere could affect its ratings.

Nevertheless, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ became a hit in the ratings game, mainly due to inferior competition put up by GMA Network blocktimer TAPE Inc. During the first half of its run, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ was pitted against the coming-of-age drama ‘TROPS’, and after that they faced the talk show ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

Overall, even with all the obstacles thrown against it, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ still managed to enjoy a great run. It was a series that is as compelling as it comes, with the premise of three triathletes entangled in a love triangle while competing in a run of their lives.

As ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ nears its conclusion, one can only hope that these last few episodes will be as explosive as it can get. A very interesting ending awaits, so good luck with that.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Langit Lupa

It’s all down to one final week for ‘Langit Lupa’.

This Friday, ABS-CBN will air the 108th and final episode of ‘Langit Lupa’, the late weekday morning drama starring Yesha Camile and Xia Vigor. The series tells the story of two best friends whose origins and issues with their parents test their bond together.

Also starring in ‘Langit Lupa’ are Yam Concepcion, Alessandra de Rossi, Patrick Garcia, Jason Abalos, Ellen Adarna, Tommy Esguerra, Miho Nishida, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Buboy Garovillo, Viveika Ravanes, and Kitkat. The series is directed by Carlo Po Artillaga and Myla Ajero-Gaite.

‘Langit Lupa’ first premiered on November 28, 2016 and made an immediate impact, earning a rating of 17.5% to rule its timeslot against GMA’s ‘Trops’, which only scored 8.7%. From that point on, ‘Langit Lupa’ continued ABS-CBN’s dominance in the late-morning slot, averaging around 15% compared to ‘Trops” 9% in Kantar.

The series was also a regular trending topic on social media, with viewers praising the acting abilities of child stars Yesha and Xia. The latter’s performances on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ likewise boosted not only her individual popularity, but also of the show with which she stars.

Despite its success, ‘Langit Lupa’ may be considered one of ABS-CBN’s more underrated late-morning series. Unlike another child-starred drama in ‘Ningning’ (starring ‘Dream Dad”s Jana Agoncillo), the two child stars of ‘Langit Lupa’ are essentially rookies in the field of entertainment, thus their performances and recognition still have more room for improvement.

Nevertheless, ‘Langit Lupa’ represents the first big leap in the careers of Yesha and Xia. With ABS-CBN’s growing reputation as a ‘child star factory’, greater things are expected for the two in terms of their career path.

Come this Friday, it will be the cutest finale journey for Princess (Yesha) and Esang (Xia). For viewers who have tuned in to ‘Langit Lupa’ from the beginning, a memorable and wonderful conclusion awaits.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Be My Lady Extended, Princess in the Palace Concludes

The gap between ‘Be My Lady’ and ‘Princess in the Palace’ continues to widen.

As the rainy season began, it is clear that the odds were not in favor of ‘Princess in the Palace’. While Ryzza Mae Dizon has shown to be a capable actress, it was not enough to catapault her past the love team of Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga, whose chemistry on ‘Be My Lady’ mirrors that of their real-life relationship.

And ratings for the two shows speak for themselves. On Thursday, June 2, ‘Be My Lady’ (18% rating per episode) won the day with a 20% rating, the second time it ever hit the mark, while ‘Princess in the Palace’ (8.5% rating per episode) only earned 8.7%.

The constantly outstanding ratings of ‘Be My Lady’ led to another extension just recently. The ABS-CBN pre-noontime series will now run until October, which means that it will have a ten-month run, the longest for a pre-noontime show since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’.

On the other hand, TAPE and GMA announced that the week of June 6 will be the last for ‘Princess in the Palace’. Running since September 21, 2015 (a total of 188 episodes by June 10), it was Ryzza Mae Dizon’s first venture as a character actress, and it also starred Eula Valdes, Aiza Seguerra, Boots Anson Roa and Christian Vasquez, among others.

Though ‘Princess in the Palace”s run was just as impressive, the series was unable to overcome the constant success of ABS-CBN’s pre-noontime shows. Both ‘Ningning’ and the aforementioned ‘Be My Lady’ posted ratings that were at best 10 points higher than ‘Princess in the Palace’.

Nevertheless, Ryzza Mae Dizon should be proud of herself. Regardless of the show’s underwhelming ratings, she proved to the world that she can cry and laugh with the best of them, and working with industry veterans is worth the experience.

Despite the fact that ‘Princess in the Palace’ is about to conclude, don’t expect to see the last of Ryzza Mae Dizon every pre-noontime. A new comedy-drama series starring her is currently in the works, and it will premiere on the former’s timeslot next Monday, June 13.

Still, it’s hard to overcome a timeslot that is dominated by ABS-CBN in the last half-decade. That said, best of luck to TAPE and GMA on that new series starring Ryzza Mae Dizon next week.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Be My Lady to Bring Kilig Back to Pre-Noontime

Lighter stories before noontime have become the norm for ABS-CBN in the last four years.

This Monday will be no exception, as the Kapamilya network premieres its newest series ‘Be My Lady’. Starring real-life couple Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga, ‘Be My Lady”s story will focus on the duo’s attempts to overcome their cultural differences in order to forge a life-long relationship.

In ‘Be My Lady’, Erich is Pinang, a simple and conservative Filipina. Her mother, played by Janice de Belen, worked in Singapore as an OFW in hopes of reclaiming the land that her husband (Al Tantay) once owned, but things went downhill for the family when she got deported due to an unfortunate incident.

Daniel, on the other hand, is Phil, an independent and liberal Brazilian-Japanese bachelor who lived with his mother (Priscilla Meirelles) in Singapore. Visiting the Philippines in order to attend the wedding of one of his best friends, he then found himself searching for his childhood friend, which also led him to an unlikely first meeting with Pinang.

The extended cast of ‘Be My Lady’ also includes Yayo Aguila, Almira Muhlach, Yves Flores, Karen Dematera, MJ Cayabyab, RK Bagatsing, Devon Seron, Karen Reyes, Mike Lloren, Ana Abad Santos, Perry Escano, Marife Necesito, and comedy trio No Direction. It is directed by Theodore Boborol and produced by Ruel Bayani.

‘Be My Lady’ will replace ‘Ningning’, whose finale takes place this Friday, January 15. While ‘Ningning’ has rated very well in its timeslot, it is clear that viewers badly missed the late-morning ‘kilig’ that once helped ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ become a hugely successful series.

That said, with all the hype surrounding ‘Be My Lady’, expect big things from the show as it gets underway. For Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga, this series should help bring out their best, both on-screen and off.

‘Be My Lady’ premieres this Monday at 11:30 a.m. on ABS-CBN.

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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.