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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 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.

The Return of Tawag ng Tanghalan

‘It’s Showtime’ was on the brink of waving the white flag when rival ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye segment (starring AlDub) became wildly popular in the second half of 2015. So in order to get back on track, they decided to revive a singing competition that was successful in the era of black and white television.

Thus on the second day of 2016, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ was brought back as a segment of ‘It’s Showtime’. The segment would set the tone for ‘It’s Showtime”s renaissance, as it recaptured the ratings lead from ‘Eat Bulaga’ by the third week of January.

Speaking of ‘Eat Bulaga’…

Kalyeserye Concluded, Revived, Then Concluded Again

The long-running Kalyeserye segment had been on a roll since its debut on July 16, 2015. Unfortunately, the return to form of ‘It’s Showtime’, coupled by the presumed seven-month suspension of Paolo Ballesteros (a.k.a. Lola Tidora) and fans’ apparent frustration over repetitive and predictable storylines, led to a decline in popularity for the segment.

Along the way, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza took time off to record and promote the film ‘Imagine You and Me’. With the desire to push the duo to new territory, ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to end Kalyeserye on September 3, although they revived the skit from October 15 to December 17 with a new chapter.

Both Alden and Maine are scheduled to star in the upcoming GMA teleserye ‘Destined to Be Yours’ beginning next year, putting Kalyeserye’s future in doubt.

KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine’s Reign on Primetime Continues

ABS-CBN’s ‘Big Three’ love teams continued to roll in 2016. The year began with ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, reigning on the 8:40 timeslot, followed by its replacement ‘Dolce Amore’, starring Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, which debuted on February 15.

Unfortunately, although James Reid and Nadine Lustre began the year with the highly successful ‘On the Wings of Love’, they failed to keep the momentum going when ‘Till I Met You’ premiered on August 29 to a rather lukewarm reception in the ratings. As a result, on September 19, ABS-CBN moved the series’ timeslot to 9:30 p.m., which eventually paid off.

But for every successful pairing, there are some love teams that did not click at all, as seen in this next entry.

AnBie, AlNine and ElNella: The Lost Love Teams

Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras were paired in the long-running afternoon drama ‘The Half-Sisters’, which finally came to an end on January 15. Two weeks later, they received a primetime push with ‘That’s My Amboy’, but the series ended in late April with just 68 episodes and little fanfare.

Its successor, Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez’s ‘Once Again’, did not even come close, clocking at only 59 episodes from May to July. Over at ABS-CBN, Janine’s ex-boyfriend Elmo Magalona was paired with Janella Salvador in ‘Born for You’, but the series made little impact either, lasting 65 episodes from June to September.

It remains to be seen if the three love teams will have a chance to redeem themselves next year. But in the meantime, let’s move on.

Sexy Time in 2016

The trend towards sensually mature programs continued in 2016. On ABS-CBN, ‘Pasion de Amor’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ stood out, with Coleen Garcia, Ellen Adarna, Arci Muñoz, Isabelle Daza and Cristine Reyes emerging to showcase their newfound abilities in a more raunchy setting.

Over on GMA, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’, ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ provided a new dimension for stars Rhian Ramos, Andrea Torres and Joyce Ching to show their chops. But perhaps their greatest contributions were ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ and ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, both of which feature a mix of comedy and sensuality.

If 2016 set the tone for more sexual themes with SPG ratings all over the place, then what else is in store come 2017? Find out soon.

In the meantime, Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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That’s My Amboy Down to Final Week

‘That’s My Amboy’ will end this Friday, and few noticed it since GMA ceased its production of episode teasers at the start of April. (Photo and logo credit: GMA Network)

Little is said about the impending conclusion of ‘That’s My Amboy’.

After all, the AnBie-starred series, like all other current GMA teleseryes, has seen minimal promotion since the beginning of April. As a result, only a few knew the fact that ‘That’s My Amboy’ is about to end.

‘That’s My Amboy’ premiered on January 25, 2016, and marked the primetime debut of the love team of Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza. Coming off a successful 1+ year run on ‘The Half-Sisters’, the up-and-coming tandem came into this project with considerable expectations as they step into the evening spotlight.

But in a primetime landscape that is extremely competitive, ratings were hard to come by for ‘That’s My Amboy’. And it didn’t help that the series went up against KathNiel’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ and LizQuen’s ‘Dolce Amore’, both of which contributed to ABS-CBN’s ongoing dominance.

To make matters worse, GMA further exacerbated the decline of ‘That’s My Amboy’ by not showing any of the show’s episode teasers starting in April. That turned out to be the final straw, and once they realize that ‘That’s My Amboy’ can no longer overcome their Kapamilya rivals, they finally decided to pull the plug.

With just four months and 68 episodes under its belt, it is clear that ‘That’s My Amboy’ failed to live up to expectations. The series overall was not entertaining to begin with, and it felt like a rushed effort, since Andre and Barbie did not enjoy any break following the conclusion of ‘The Half-Sisters’.

That said, the AnBie duo has a lot more work to do if they were to rise to the level of a Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, or a Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. But they need to take it one step at a time, and enjoy as much rest as possible so as not to overexert themselves.

Thanks to GMA’s lack of effort in promoting the final week of ‘That’s My Amboy’, expect the series finale to make little noise this Friday. Admit it, this is GMA’s way of giving up on this series, and for Kapuso viewers, it’s humiliating to see what they have done.

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Pangako Sa ‘Yo Down to Final Week

One of the country’s top-rated drama series on primetime is about to bid farewell.

On Friday, February 12, the final episode of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will air on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida. The series, which first aired on May 25, 2015, will have a total of 190 episodes in all by the end of its run.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, a remake of the 2000 series starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa, again told the love story of Angelo and Yna, now portrayed by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively. Throughout the series, Angelo and Yna were faced with several obstacles, but their love for each other still prevailed against all odds.

But as ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ reaches its conclusion, a pair of shocking truths will await the duo. That said, Angelo and Yna will need to face this final test before they can finally fulfill their promise of love and happiness to each other.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ was a ratings juggernaut throughout its run, as it consistently ranked among the top-rated programs in the country, based on Kantar’s figures. It even hit the 40% mark on a few occasions.

What made its domination even more impressive was that earlier this year, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ managed to beat all three ongoing GMA Telebabad series in one calendar month. During the month of January, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ faced ‘Little Nanay’, ‘Because of You’ and ‘That’s My Amboy’ in succession, and the former defeated them all.

It also made a huge impression on Twitter, particularly in an episode where the future Amor Powers (Jodi Sta. Maria) vowed for revenge against the Buenavistas, portrayed by Angelica Panganiban (as Claudia) and Ian Veneracion (as Eduardo). The series, particularly the KathNiel tandem, earned numerous awards, sold out merchandise, and even attracted jam-packed crowds to its promotional events.

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ also made history by holding a talent search for the character of Bea Bianca. That contest was won by Sarah Carlos, and her brief but memorable portrayal of Vanessa del Bianco’s original character paved the way for Sarah to become a MYX VJ at the start of this year.

Overall, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ lived up to the expectations of the original. The series proved that the KathNiel tandem can indeed play more mature roles, while at the same time, it gave Jodi, Angelica and Ian a new lease in their showbiz careers.

This week’s final few episodes should be intense. Don’t miss the much-awaited finale of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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That’s My Amboy Premieres Tonight

The AnBie love team takes its act to primetime.

Fresh from a successful run on ‘The Half-Sisters’, Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza now gear themselves up for their first lead role in a primetime series. The duo star in ‘That’s My Amboy’, a light-hearted series that airs starting tonight.

‘That’s My Amboy’ tells the story of Maru (Barbie), a young but determined girl, and Bryan (Andre), a rising actor. Their story began when Bryan was blamed for the accident that involved Maru’s stepfather, and in order to pay for the damages, Maru was hired as his personal assistant.

At first, Maru and Bryan’s relationship was tense and jittery. But an incident that affected Bryan soon brought the two together, and the once distant relationship turned into a friendly, and eventually, lovely one.

Also starring in the series are Tonton Gutierrez, John Arcilla, Donita Rose, Kiko Estrada, Jazz Ocampo, Matet de Leon, Meryll Soriano, Maritoni Fernandez, Jerald Napoles, Pam Prinster, Jan Manual, Philip Lazaro, Pauline Mendoza, Kryshee Grengia, and Rob Walcher. It will be directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal, with the help of Dominic Zapata.

‘That’s My Amboy’ was slated to replace ‘MariMar’ in the network’s Telebabad block (the latter ended January 8). However, the series premiere was delayed for two weeks due to a conflict of interest, since ‘The Half-Sisters’ was still ongoing at the time.

That led to a rather unusual programming lineup on Telebabad, where the block only had two teleseryes, a movie block, and a two Koreanovelas. This week, Telebabad will go back to its usual lineup of three teleseryes and two Koreanovelas, and thus, changes in schedule will be utilized.

‘That’s My Amboy’ will be placed opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, which means that the KathNiel-starred series will have faced all three ongoing Telebabad dramas in a three-week span. Although ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will only have two more weeks in its run, it remains an imposing challenge to ‘That’s My Amboy’, considering the series has beaten ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ in those three weeks.

That said, the AnBie love team will have its work cut out for them. Although they’ve been successful in the afternoon, primetime is a very different animal, which only adds pressure to the duo.

‘That’s My Amboy’ premieres later tonight after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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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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In 100 Words: Be My Lady Coming Soon

ABS-CBN is kicking off the new year in style.

Last night, during ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, ABS-CBN unveiled a full trailer of the upcoming series ‘Be My Lady’. The series will be headlined by real-life couple Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga.

First announced last June, ‘Be My Lady’ will tell the story of Erich and Daniel as two individuals with different aspirations. The former’s character is of a budding nursing student from the province, while the latter’s character is of a young bachelor.

Both Erich and Daniel are no strangers to the small screen, having previously appeared together in ‘Two Wives’. ‘Be My Lady’, however, will be their first starring role together.

Also starring Janice de Belen and Priscilla Meirelles, with other cast members to be revealed soon, ‘Be My Lady”s target premiere date will take place within the first quarter of 2016.

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