drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Last-Minute Timeslot Change for Little Nanay

Turns out ‘Little Nanay’ won’t be facing ‘On the Wings of Love’ after all.

Instead of pitting two light-hearted dramas against each other, GMA decided at the last minute to shake up the lineup of Telebabad. ‘Little Nanay’ will now air at 7:45 p.m., while ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will now be bumped to later timeslots.

This means that ‘Little Nanay’ now be up against the action-oriented ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will face ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ and ‘On the Wings of Love’ respectively. The decision came as a last resort for the network, who still couldn’t find a way to beat Coco Martin and the KathNiel and JaDine love teams.

Prior to the timeslot change, both ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ were not faring well against ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, respectively. The most recent national ratings report shows that the two GMA teleseryes were badly blown out by their ABS-CBN counterparts.

In making the timeslot change, GMA hopes that ‘MariMar’ and ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will fare at least a bit more decently than in their previous timeslots. Then again, they are still at a disadvantage, since they are up against the two hottest love teams in the country.

As for ‘Little Nanay’, it is a bit surprising to see the light-hearted drama go up against a more action-packed series in ‘Ang Probinsyano’. Nevertheless, even though they won’t be facing ‘On the Wings of Love’, they still have a daunting task coming, since Coco Martin has been able to thrive as twins in an adaptation of a Fernando Poe, Jr. classic.

That said, rough waters still lie ahead for GMA. Even with all the changes that took place, it’s still not easy defeating the ever-superior Primetime Bida of the Kapamilya network.

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drama, entertainment, television

A Not-So ‘InTENse’ Premiere for Beautiful Strangers, My Faithful Husband

‘InTENse’ is not the kind of word that is expected in GMA’s new-look Telebabad.

Contrary to what GMA claims in the plugs (see video above) for the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’, the ‘inTENse’ moniker seems to apply more towards its two rival teleseryes on ABS-CBN. ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, for one, has been the obsession of many since episode one, and now they are joined by ‘On the Wings of Love’, another potential top-rater.

‘On the Wings of Love’ has been in every viewer’s radar since the project was announced last February, and now the can’t-miss series has been given the green light. It will be the first teleserye for the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre (a.k.a. JaDine), but for those familiar of their work, they should be no strangers to success.

After all, JaDine starred in the hit movies ‘Diary ng Panget’, ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead’, and more recently ‘My Hopeless Romantic’. The duo also starred in ‘Wansapanatym”s ‘My App Boyfie’, fueling their popularity even further.

But ‘On the Wings of Love’ will not be the only series that GMA needs to worry about. The ever-popular ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be bolstered further with the arrival of Bea Bianca, portrayed by Sarah Carlos, whose role is to be the third wheel in the Angelo-Yna (Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively) love affair.

Both ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’ should have their hands full facing KathNiel and JaDine, respectively. While the two series will have a good amount of star power (Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo), they are still at a disadvantage.

A one-two punch on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida awaits the two premiering series on GMA Telebabad. For a network that still lives in the past when it comes to its stars, this is a mismatch in hell.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Unable to Beat Kathniel and Pangako Sa ‘Yo, GMA Resorts to Its Old Reliables

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ took its toll on GMA once again.

Fifteen years after the original series took the then-Rainbow Network by surprise, the newly-revised version of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ again proved its lasting power in the era of social media. It showed that even with new actors, new technology and a tweaked script, the results will still be the same.

For rival ‘Let the Love Begin’, it was a total disappointment. GMA tried to concoct a new and promising love team with Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, but it never clicked with the viewers at all.

Whether it’s the ‘Forevermore’ duo of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, or ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the GabRu duo failed to match the chemistry and mass appeal of its rivals. And after 70 episodes by the end of Friday’s finale, their future as an on-screen duo is now in doubt.

Now GMA is going back to its old reliables in hopes of curtailing the momentum of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. Enter Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista of the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

In ‘Beautiful Strangers’, Heart and Lovi are billed as rivals, in contrast to their off-screen friendship. Heart plays the role of a kind-hearted plastic surgeon, while Lovi portrays the role of an interior designer with a dark past.

The two lead stars will be joined by Christopher de Leon, Benjamin Alves, Rocco Nacino, Dina Bonnevie, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Renz Valerio, Kier Legaspi, Dianne Medina, Djanin Cruz, Gab de Leon, Nar Cabico, Mariel Pamintuan and Lovely Rivero. ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Once ‘Beautiful Strangers’ premieres this Monday, it will be the second of three new dramas that GMA will introduce on the same day, as part of a month-long overhaul of Telebabad. But it remains to be seen if the new series will pose a more interesting challenge to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’.

One thing’s for sure: GMA still can’t make the most out of their younger talents and now resort to old-timers in hopes of gaining some relevance.

‘Beautiful Strangers’ airs starting August 10 at 8:30 p.m. after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Impact of Pangako Sa ‘Yo on Philippine TV

The original ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa, will always be remembered in Philippine television lore.

Airing from 2000 to 2002, the series was considered the first teleserye in Philippine television. The popularity of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ forever changed the landscape of primetime television viewing in the country.

Before ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, primetime on Philippine television was at its most diverse, ranging from local and foreign sitcoms, action, variety and suspense programs to even animes and cartoons. However, the mid-90s foreshadowed the eventual dominance of dramas in the primetime slot, beginning with RPN-9’s ‘MariMar’ and later with ABS-CBN’s ‘Mara Clara’.

Then on November 13, 2000, ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ premiered on what would later become the Primetime Bida slot (ABS-CBN did not dub the primetime block as such until 2002). The series quickly made an impact, and by 2001 it was the hottest program in the country viewership-wise.

The success of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ proved to be the last straw for GMA as a niche-oriented upscale network. Midway through 2001, GMA cancelled its Anime Assault (later known as Astig Authority) anime block from its primetime lineup and replaced them with their own teleseryes, a precursor of what later became GMA Telebabad.

However, GMA’s own lineup of teleseryes were no match for ABS-CBN’s, and eventually forced the network to introduce the fantaserye genre, which turned the tables in the mid-to-late 2000s. ABS-CBN stuck to their tried and tested formula of traditional teleseryes, even though they briefly flirted with fantaseryes, and later introduced sexual, social, political, value-oriented and culture-oriented themes to their teleseryes.

By the time ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ finished its run on September 20, 2002, much of the primetime scene on weeknights, if not entirely, were dominated by teleseryes. Today, with the exception of the early evening newscasts, teleseryes are aplenty in the 5:50-11:00 p.m. window, with each episode lasting for 40-45 minutes.

Fast forward to 2015, and the remake of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will make its way onto Primetime Bida this coming Monday. The premise is virtually similar to the original, with the love story of Yna Macaspac (Kathryn Bernardo) and Angelo Buenavista (Daniel Padilla) dominating the series along with the love triangle between Amor Powers (Jodi Sta. Maria), Claudia Buenavista (Angelica Panganiban) and Eduardo Buenavista (Ian Veneracion).

But like all recent remakes, the story of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be shortened, revised and compressed to today’s teleserye standards, with a timetable of at least four to eight months depending on the ratings. Still, fans of the original series cannot wait to revisit the tale that first captivated the nation in the early 2000s.

The original ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s place in Philippine television history has been secured. Now it’s up to the new version to make a similar impact.

The remake of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ airs this Monday after ‘Nathaniel’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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