drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Farewell, Dolce Amore

ABS-CBN is calling tomorrow’s episode of ‘Dolce Amore’ ‘ The Most Beautiful Finale’.

And why not? After all, for over seven months, viewers were enthralled by the long-distance love story surrounding Tenten (Enrique Gil) and Serena (Liza Soberano). Their relationship may have some highs and lows as the story wore on, but come this Friday, all of that ‘kilig’ will finally pay off for good.

‘Dolce Amore’ first burst into the scene on February 15, replacing another hit drama in ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. The series, which was taped in Italy early in its run, became an immediate hit, and in the process, dispelled the notion that LizQuen were a ‘one-hit wonder’ on television.

Along the way, ‘Dolce Amore’ prevailed against GMA’s own love teams in AnBie (Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza of ‘That’s My Amboy’) and AlNine (Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez of ‘Once Again’). As a result of ‘Dolce Amore”s thorough domination, GMA gave up the fight and placed the Koreanovela ‘Descendants of the Sun’ as a last resort.

Overall, ‘Dolce Amore’ lasted 137 episodes, which is ten episodes more than the combined total of rivals ‘That’s My Amboy’ (68 episodes) and ‘Once Again’ (59 episodes).  This was a testament to the success and enduring popularity of the LizQuen tandem, not to mention the storytelling magic of Cathy Garcia-Molina.

As ‘Dolce Amore’ enters its finale tomorrow night, one thing is certain. For the last time in the series, the magic of LizQuen will be on display, and viewers hope that this will be a memorable and unforgettable ending.

While tomorrow will be the end of the love story between Serena and Tenten, the story of LizQuen will go on. An upcoming film starring the love team is in the works, and is expected to be released later this year.

Coming up next on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida will be ‘Till I Met You’, starring another popular love team in JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre). More on that tomorrow.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Shortened Final Week Awaits Little Nanay, You’re My Home

Only five episodes remain for ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’.

Both series will officially conclude this Holy Wednesday, March 23. Since Maunday Thursday and Good Friday will feature special religious-themed programming, the final week of the two shows will be uncharacteristically abbreviated than usual.

GMA’s ‘Little Nanay’ first aired on November 16, 2015, and will have run for 129 episodes by the time it ends. The series starred Kris Bernal, Chlaui Malayao, Nora Aunor and Eddie Garcia, among others.

‘Little Nanay’ was pitted against ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ from the moment it premiered, but the series endured poor ratings against the KathNiel-starred drama. Not even a change of timeslot from January 11 onward helped change its fortunes, as they didn’t come close to the feats achieved by ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’.

On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s ‘You’re My Home’ first aired a week earlier, on November 9. The series, which starred Dawn Zulueta, Richard Gomez, Jessy Mendiola and JC de Vera, among others, will have a total of 136 episodes once it concludes.

‘You’re My Home’ was created essentially to take advantage of GMA’s weaker offerings during the late evening slot. While the series started slow, it has since earned respectable ratings, and helped consolidate the dominance of ABS-CBN during weekday primetime.

The conclusions of both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’ mark a rare occasion in which a drama series will end on Holy Wednesday. As mentioned earlier, regular programming on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are set aside for religious-themed programs, hence the shorter final week.

That said, with only three episodes remaining before the Paschal Triduum kicks in, expect ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘You’re My Home’ to have a compelling conclusion. One can only hope that the two series will make a final impression as they enter the homestretch.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

LizQuen Returns via Dolce Amore

LizQuen is back, on the small screen that is.

The celebrated love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil has a new drama series coming up this Monday, as ABS-CBN launches ‘Dolce Amore’. The said series will take over the timeslot of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, who ironically replaced the LizQuen-starred ‘Forevermore’ nearly ten months earlier.

In ‘Dolce Amore’, Liza (as Serena) and Enrique (as Tenten) were raised without the guidance of their real parents. Serena grew up in Italy by her adoptive parents, while Tenten’s youth was spent in an orphanage.

Their worlds would soon collide once Serena landed in the Philippines. While searching for answers regarding her origins, she unexpectedly met Tenten, and the pair’s lovely adventures would soon take off.

Also joining the cast of ‘Dolce Amore’ are Matteo Guidicelli, Cherie Gil, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Edgar Mortiz, Rio Locsin, Kean Cipriano, Sunshine Cruz, Andrew E and Frenchie Dy. Mae Cruz Alviar and Cathy Garcia-Molina will direct the series.

Based on the love team’s success in ‘Forevermore’ and in the movies ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Everyday I Love You’, ‘Dolce Amore’ is expected to become a hit anew for ABS-CBN. This should pose a problem for its upcoming rival, GMA’s ‘That’s My Amboy’, which has struggled out of the gate since its first week.

But while the series is poised to continue the recent winning streak of other ABS-CBN dramas, it will also face a lot of scrutiny. Just last month, an open letter addressed to co-director Cathy Garcia-Molina accused her of cursing and disrespecting two ‘Forevermore’ cast members, a accusation she denied.

Expectations aside, ‘Dolce Amore’ should give the LizQuen tandem an opportunity to expand their repertoire as actors. After breaking out in ‘Forevermore’, a more experienced and mature Liza and Enrique awaits viewers come this Monday.

‘Dolce Amore’ premieres February 15 after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Replacement for MariMar, At Least for Two Weeks

‘MariMar officially concludes tomorrow, but its replacement ‘That’s My Amboy’ will not be seen until January 25.  (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA is taking a ‘less is more’ approach on Telebabad. at least for the next two weeks.

Tomorrow night marks the final episode of ‘MariMar’, the second Filipino remake of the classic Mexican telenovela. The series, starring Megan Young as the titular character, will officially end with a total of 100 episodes.

High expectations awaited this version of ‘MariMar’ when it first premiered on August 24, 2015. After all, the original starring Thalia and the first remake starring Marian Rivera were each big hits when they were aired here.

Unfortunately for GMA, the new ‘MariMar’ failed to make an impact in the ratings. The series lost regularly to both ‘Nathaniel’ and ‘Ang Probinsyano’, forcing GMA to consider moving ‘MariMar’ to a later timeslot, only to renege on that promise.

Looking back, it is clear that this ‘MariMar’ was a letdown for the Kapuso network. The series was supposed to be a hit, bar none, but with viewers already used to the story, not to mention a shorter wait between remakes and tougher competition from Primetime Bida, it lost its appeal.

In the end, it was a mistake that GMA would like to forget. For Megan Young, the comeback trail following her victory at the Miss World pageant was a rough one to begin with.

So what’s next for GMA after ‘MariMar’? GMA has already confirmed that ‘That’s My Amboy’, the follow-up project of ‘The Half-Sisters’ stars Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras, will replace ‘MariMar’, but the series will not begin until January 25.

This means that for the next two weeks, GMA Telebabad will only have five programs on the menu, with two teleseryes highlighting the lineup. The schedule is as follows:

5:45 p.m. – The Producers

6:30 p.m. – 24 Oras

7:45 p.m. – Little Nanay

8:30 p.m. – Because of You

9:15 p.m. – Kapuso Primetime Cinema

With only two local dramas starting this Monday, GMA Telebabad is at a clear disadvantage against Primetime Bida’s five teleseryes. Both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ will now face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’; an obvious mismatch ratings-wise.

That said, the next two weeks will be a difficult one for Telebabad. While waiting for ‘That’s My Amboy’ (‘The Half-Sisters’ ends January 15, hence the delayed premiere), viewers will need to endure watching only two teleseryes on GMA’s primetime lineup.

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