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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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Struggling JaDine Demoted; Magpahanggang Wakas to Face Alyas Robin Hood

Two weeks in, and ‘Till I Met You’ is not living up to expectations.

Even though it is the third most-watched show in Kantar’s national ratings, ‘Till I Met You’ is only averaging 26% through its first eight episodes. This was a far cry from the consistent 30% or better marks enjoyed by KathNiel’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and LizQuen’s ‘Forevermore’ and ‘Dolce Amore’.

To make matters worse, the GMA Koreanovela ‘Descendants of the Sun’ closed the gap to within 3% as it airs its final few episodes. With the controversial series ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ nearing its premiere, it is clear that JaDine is in real trouble.

Thus, ABS-CBN decided to demote ‘Till I Met You’ to the third slot in hopes of giving JaDine less pressure to succeed. Though the duo is used to the slot during the time of ‘On the Wings of Love’, it is an entirely different story since the demotion clearly affected the morale of not only JaDine, but also their fans.

With the move of ‘Till I Met You’ to the third slot, it will now be a battle of two debuting series starting this Monday. Going toe-to-toe with ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will be ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, the new Kapamilya series starring Jericho Rosales, Arci Muñoz, and John Estrada.

In ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, Jericho (as Waldo) and Arci (as Aryann) will play two young lovers who were tightly connected to one another. However, Waldo was accused of a crime that was accidental, and after his release, he appeared to have been murdered by the brother of Aryann’s would-be rapist.

Soon after, Aryann moved on and found a new love interest in Tristan (John). But after realizing that Waldo is alive, a series of complicated events begin to take place between the three.

‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ will also star Gelli De Belen, Rita Avila, Danita Paner, Liza Lorena, Lito Pimentel, Justin Cuyugan, Marco Gumabao, Maika Rivera, and Jomari Angeles. It will be directed by FM Reyes.

It will be interesting to see how the unexpected move to the second slot will affect ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’. The fact that it is a mature and sexually-charged series may not be worth a shot, considering the recent tradition of the second slot that involves young love teams.

Then again, as proven by ‘Pasion de Amor’ when it was slotted to the early evening slot, it will not be a hindrance. Still, ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ will have its hands full as they face the ever-motivated ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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Pokwang, Melai Go Dramatic on We Will Survive

Something different will take place on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida this Monday.

After taking a more sensual approach with ‘Pasion de Amor’, the Kapamilya network decided to switch their style for the 5:45 p.m. slot. The newest drama, ‘We Will Survive’, is comparatively lighter, yet it can still deliver some tearjerking moments to viewers.

In ‘We Will Survive’, two childhood friends from Bicol grew up with different personalities, but with similar heart-breaking circumstances. Wilma (Pokwang) is a beauty salon worker with a quiet demeanor, while Maricel (Melai Cantiveros) is a hotel manager with a more upbeat presence.

Both Wilma and Maricel failed in their relationships with other men, and this common low point led to them getting supportive of each other in order to overcome these personal heartbreaks. Together, with all the challenges they face, they will learn what it takes to be survivors in life.

Joining Pokwang and Melai on ‘We Will Survive’ are Josh De Guzman, Carlo Aquino, Jeric Raval, Bea Saw, Regine Angeles, Viveika Ravanes, Bing Davao, Alcris Galura, Maris Racal, Joshua Zamora, McCoy De Leon, and Vangie Labalan. Jeffrey Jeturian will direct this heart-warming drama.

‘We Will Survive’ is one of two new dramas set to premiere this Monday. The other is ‘The Story of Us’, which will take over the timeslot of ‘On the Wings of Love’ (more on that this Monday).

Following the footsteps of the ever-successful ‘Pasion de Amor’ will not be easy for ‘We Will Survive’. With ‘Wowowin’ already threatening in the ratings, this will be a huge challenge for the series to be as successful as its predecessor.

Still, with ‘We Will Survive’ following the same vein as other light-hearted dramas such as ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ (also directed by Jeturian), anything is possible. That said, the new challenge for comediennes Pokwang and Melai should be a good one, as they will show viewers their ability to shed tears in dramas such as this.

‘We Will Survive’ premieres this Monday before ‘TV Patrol’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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OTWOL, Pasion de Amor Enter Final Week

‘Pasion de Amor’ and ‘On the Wings of Love’ are down to their last five episodes.

The former, first premiered on June 1, 2015, was a remake of the original Colombian telenovela that once aired on ABS-CBN. While the original was a decent success, this localized version of ‘Pasion de Amor’ became an unexpected hit, and in the process blew out the competition (at least until ‘Wowowin’ entered the picture).

Throughout its run, viewers were constantly hooked to the sensually passionate, and at times unpredictable love story involving the Samonte brothers (Jake Cuenca, Ejay Falcon, Joseph Marco) and Elizondo sisters (Ellen Adarna, Coleen Garcia, Arci Muñoz). The presence of villains such as Gabriel (Wendell Ramos) and Gabriela (Teresa Loyzaga) only added fuel to the fire.

On the other hand, the latter, first premiered August 10, 2015, marked the first foray of the JaDine (James Reid, Nadine Lustre) love team into the small screen. Based on their success in films such as ‘Diary ng Panget’ and ‘My Hopeless Romantic’, a lot of expectations were raised for the duo.

These expectations were soon met and exceeded, as ‘On the Wings of Love’ became an immediate success in its timeslot. The series was not without controversy, however, as one stripping scene involving Clark (James) and Leah (Nadine) received negative remarks from the Philippine National Police.

With a final total of 194 and 145 episodes, respectively, there is no doubt that ‘Pasion de Amor’ and ‘On the Wings of Love’ have become one of ABS-CBN’s most successful teleseryes in recent years. While GMA’s own programs tried hard to keep up with the two series, the gap in the ratings proved too much to overcome.

As ‘Pasion de Amor’ and ‘On the Wings of Love’ head to their final week, what fate awaits the former’s Samonte brothers and Elizondo sisters, and the latter’s Clark and Leah? Find out this week as the two series conclude.

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In 100 Words: Mixed Results for Wowowin’s New 90-Minute Format

Not even an additional 30 minutes helped ‘Wowowin’ in the national ratings. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

An extended running time for ‘Wowowin’ did not result in improved ratings.

Kantar’s national ratings for February 15 showed that ‘Wowowin’ earned a 14.6% rating. The show managed to beat ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ (11.1%), but still fell short to its regular rival ‘Pasion de Amor’ (18.1%).

The pattern continued over the next two days, as ‘Wowowin’ (16% & 15.3% respectively) won over ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ (12% & 10.9%), but lost to ‘Pasion de Amor’ (18.2% & 17.4%). While AGB Nielsen’s Mega Manila ratings indicate a decisive victory for ‘Wowowin’, the national ratings speak otherwise.

With ‘Pasion de Amor’ down to its final week (more on that in next week’s article), there is still hope for ‘Wowowin’ to catch up. But as ABS-CBN prepares for its replacement, things don’t seem to look so good for Willie Revillame on primetime.

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Heart of Asia, Astig Authority Reduced As Part of GMA’s New Programming Lineup

‘Wowowin”s new timeslot and extended running is part of another revamp of GMA’s lineup. (Logo courtesy of Wil Productions Inc., GMA Network)

Yesterday marked yet another change in GMA’s programming.

Once again, the Kapuso network brought back ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ (airing weekdays at 9:00 a.m.) in hopes of competing with ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. To accommodate the said movie block, the duration of the Astig Authority and Heart of Asia Mornings blocks were reduced to 90 and 60 minutes respectively.

The impressive ratings of ‘Wowowin’, though still not enough to beat ‘Pasion de Amor’ nationally, also led to a timeslot change. As a result, ‘Wowowin”s start time was pushed to 5:00 p.m., and its running time was extended for another 30 minutes; this enabled the show to compete against ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ as well.

Consequentially, the extension of ‘Wowowin’ likewise led to a timeslot change for the programs that once occupied the 5:00 p.m. slot. In what has become a ‘you lead and I follow’ scenario, GMA moved its News and Public Affairs block back to late nights, two months after ABS-CBN’s own News and Current Affairs block returned to the said timeslot.

Unlike ABS-CBN’s current affairs block, however, GMA’s so-called ‘Pampamulat sa Gabi’ block only airs from Mondays to Thursdays (thank you ‘Bubble Gang’), and will comprise of these programs. They are ‘Front Row’ (Mondays), ‘Alisto’ (Tuesdays), ‘Tunay na Buhay’ (Wednesdays), and ‘Reporters’ Notebook’ (Thursdays).

Speaking of Mondays to Thursdays, the Heart of Asia Mornings block (‘You’re the Best’, ‘Carmina’) was also reduced to make way for a pair of refugees from the 5:00 p.m. slot. Both ‘Dream Home’ (formerly ‘Power House’) and ‘Love Hotline’ were moved to Friday mornings, and will take over the timeslot of the former block on that day.

By all indications, this is another desperate attempt by GMA to keep up with rival ABS-CBN. Considering that the latter network continues to dominate virtually every timeslot in the ratings, GMA’s answers don’t seem to matter at this point.

Now they need to be patient with this new approach. Otherwise another revamp is in store for the Kapuso network.

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