drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Julia Montes vs. The Half-Sisters Starting Today

‘The Half-Sisters’ now finds itself facing a more formidable rival.

The long-running GMA afternoon teleserye, now over a year on the air, will face ‘Doble Kara’ starting today. The upcoming episode of ‘Doble Kara’ will mark the series debut of Julia Montes, after the teleserye’s first week saw young actress Avery Balasbas play the younger versions of Julia’s twin characters Sarah and Kara.

Despite not featuring Julia in its opening week, ‘Doble Kara’ managed to beat the competition from the moment it debuted on ABS-CBN. Last Monday’s premiere episode scored a 16.9% rating (based on Kantar’s figures), besting rival show ‘Buena Familia’s 13.1%, and continued its momentum throughout the week.

It became clear, however, that ‘Doble Kara’ needed worthier competition. This is where ‘The Half-Sisters’ come to the picture.

For most of this year, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been afternoon’s top teleserye, winning in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen on a consistent basis. While the series is being led by underrated GMA talents in Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino, a strong supporting cast and an unpredictable storyline has kept viewers glued to this series regularly.

‘The Half-Sisters’ proved too much for ‘Flordeliza’ to overcome, even though the latter managed to gain some momentum in its final few weeks. Still, ABS-CBN was not satisfied with how the series fared, despite the fact that it was hyped as the comeback series of returning Kapamilyas Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin.

‘Flordeliza’ was supposed to be replaced by ‘Doble Kara’, but the latter’s premiere date was moved a week earlier than expected. The declining ratings of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ forced ABS-CBN to cancel the show in order to make way for ‘Doble Kara’, which first premiered opposite ‘Buena Familia’.

Following the conclusion of ‘Flordeliza’, ABS-CBN initially advertised ‘All of Me’ as the former’s replacement. But instead, the itch to beat ‘The Half-Sisters’ can no longer be tolerated, and they finally decided to move ‘Doble Kara’ to the leadoff spot in the network’s Kapamilya Gold block.

It does make sense for ABS-CBN to pit ‘Doble Kara’ against ‘The Half-Sisters’. After all, they have a proven performer in Julia Montes, who has been successful in the Primetime Bida block through starring roles in ‘Mara Clara’, ‘Walang Hanggan’, ‘Muling Buksan ang Puso’, and more recently ‘Ikaw Lamang’.

Now the sole lead star and playing two characters at once, it’s up to Julia to continue her momentum. But whether or not her presence will lift ‘Doble Kara’ past an afternoon power in ‘The Half-Sisters’ remains to be seen.

Still, it’s a good test for Julia and her expanding range of skills. Good luck.

‘Doble Kara’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

PBB: 737 Gold Cancelled; All of Me Replaces Flordeliza

Turns out there won’t be any congestion on Kapamilya Gold after all.

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ was cancelled following last Friday’s episode. The cancellation gave way to the premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, starring Julia Montes.

The afternoon edition of the ongoing ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ has been under hot water from the beginning, receiving an SPG warning from the MTRCB after the infamous ‘bromance’ issue between Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez. Though it was later removed, ABS-CBN eventually decided to cancel PBB: 737 Gold out of respect to younger viewers.

Thus, for the first time in the reality series’ history, only one edition of PBB will be seen on free TV on a daily basis. Past seasons of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ had an afternoon and evening (sometimes late night) edition on weekdays, and in the early years of the franchise, sister station Studio 23 even aired a supplementary broadcast of the series.

Meanwhile, ‘Flordeliza’ is down to its final week. The comeback series of Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin has been on the air for eight months now, but despite its surprisingly long run, it failed to dampen the success of afternoon’s top drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

Now it’s up to another comebacking Kapamilya, JM de Guzman, to give ‘The Half-Sisters’ a much-needed challenge. After returning to the limelight with the movie ‘That Thing Called Tadhana’, JM returns to the small screen via ‘All of Me’.

In ‘All of Me’, JM and veteran actor Albert Martinez will share the role of Manuel, whose near-death experience led to his transformation back to his younger self. Older Manuel, a widowed doctor, settled with his new love interest Lena (Yen Santos), and after transforming into his younger self and traveling into the future, was faced with seeking revenge on Lena’s husband Dr. Henry Nieves (Arron Villaflor), or moving on to a new life.

The upcoming series will also star Angel Aquino, Ina Raymundo, Neri Naig, Ana Capri, Micah Munoz, Jordan Herrera, Sue Ann Ramirez, and Akira Morishita. Dondon Santos will be the director.

One can only hope that JM will rekindle the success that he had on ‘Angelito: Batang Ama’. It won’t be easy though, given that ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been on fire in the afternoon for months now.

Still, it’s worth a challenge, and an opportunity to revive his showbiz career further. Good luck.

‘All of Me’ premieres this Monday, August 31, after ‘It’s Showtime’ on Kapamilya Gold.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Congested Schedule Coming Up for Kapamilya Gold

An extremely congested schedule looms on Kapamilya Gold next week.

From August 24-28, a total of six programs will be seen on Kapamilya Gold from 2:30 to 5:50 p.m. This is due to the hasty premiere of ‘Doble Kara’, an upcoming teleserye starring Julia Montes.

‘Doble Kara’ was supposed to replace ‘Flordeliza’ once the latter finishes on August 28. But due to the continuous success of GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’ (who are airing for over a year now), the former is now scheduled to air after ‘Flordeliza’ instead, after which it will air once ‘It’s Showtime’ concludes.

As a result, at least for next week, three local teleseryes will be bunched together on Kapamilya Gold for the first time in nearly two years. After which, though, the said block will revert back to airing two local dramas every weekday afternoon.

‘Doble Kara’ stars Julia Montes as twins Sarah and Kara, who were separated by their mother after Kara was diagnosed with leukemia. Both twins went on to enjoy different lives, but fate soon intervened that will eventually bring them back together.

The series also stars Edgar Allan Guzman, Anjo Damiles, Carmina Villarroel, Ariel Rivera, Mylene Dizon, Gloria Sevilla, John Lapus, Allen Dizon, and Alora Sasam, with a special appearance from Alicia Alonzo. Emmanuel Palo and Jon Villarin will serve as the series’ directors.

With ‘Doble Kara’ premiering next week, here is how Kapamilya Gold’s schedule will look like from August 24-28:

2:30 p.m. – Flordeliza

3:05 p.m. – Doble Kara

3:40 p.m. – Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita

4:15 p.m. – Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold

4:50 p.m. – News and Current Affairs Block (Mission Possible, My Puhunan, Red Alert, Sports U, Tapatan ni Tunying)

5:15 p.m. – Kapamilya Deal or No Deal

Waiting for ‘Flordeliza’ to end would have served ABS-CBN and ‘Doble Kara’ well. Instead, they are now forced to compensate for airing six programs in nearly 3 1/2 hours (commercial breaks included).

A risky programming decision is uncharacteristic of ABS-CBN’s well-planned programming schemes. But who knows? Perhaps beating ‘The Half-Sisters’ with a proven Julia Montes in ‘Doble Kara’ may be a blessing in disguise after all.

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news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, radio, television

Overview of PNoy’s Final SONA Coverage

Eyes will be on President Noynoy Aquino as he makes his final State of the Nation Address. (Photo credit: Philstar.com)

Welcome to SONA Monday.

Held every fourth Monday of July, the State of the Nation Address is an annual event where the President of the Philippines addresses the public of his accomplishments and plans for the nation. While the SONA is not a national holiday, it remains an important political event in the country, ranking just above the presidential inauguration and the national elections.

This year’s SONA will be the last for President Noynoy Aquino, and it will be interesting to see how he will respond to the recent string events that have plagued his administration. As always, it will be greeted by protests from those against his administration.

Television and radio coverage will once again be at the forefront of this annual event, so without further ado, here are the plans for some of the stations covering the SONA.

ABS-CBN

The SONA coverage on Channel 2 will proceed after ‘Flordeliza’. ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’, ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ and ‘Mission Possible’ will be preempted, while ‘Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal’ may be preempted in case the SONA runs overtime.

ABS-CBN will use three different broadcast teams for their coverage. Channel 2 will be led by Ted Failon and Lynda Jumilla, ANC will be led by Tony Velasquez and Karmina Constantino, and DZMM TeleRadyo and Radyo Patrol 630 will be led by Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja.

A live and uninterrupted feed of the coverage will also be streamed on abs-cbnnews.com. It is unknown if the SONA coverage will also be seen on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, since the NCAA will no longer be in conflict with the SONA.

TV5

The SONA coverage on TV5 will proceed after the Marvel animation block. ‘Hi-5 Philippines’ will be the only show preempted, as ‘Movie Max 5’ only airs as a filler program.

TV5 will utilize a parallel broadcast approach for the coverage. Erwin Tulfo and Cheryl Cosim will anchor TV5’s coverage of the SONA on four different platforms: TV5, AksyonTV, Radyo5 92.3 News FM, and News5Everywhere.

GMA

The SONA coverage on GMA will proceed after ‘The Half-Sisters’. ‘Buena Familia”s premiere will be moved tomorrow, while ‘Healing Hearts’, ‘Alisto’ and possibly ‘Birth of a Beauty’ will be preempted.

The press release of the network only indicated that Mel Tiangco and Mike Enriquez will anchor Channel 7’s coverage. Whether or not it will be a parallel coverage or a separate coverage on Channel 7, GMA News TV, GMA News Online and Super Radyo DZBB 594 remains to be seen.

All AM stations, save for specialty ones, will also pool their resources for the SONA coverage. Updates on the event will also be provided by a few FM stations.

Net 25 will also cover the SONA, but since it takes place on the same day as the Iglesia ni Cristo’s 101st founding anniversary, the primary focus of the station could be on the latter. UNTV will also handle their own coverage of the event.

Finally, the neophyte CNN Philippines (formerly Solar News Channel and 9TV) will join in on the SONA fun for the first time. Their coverage of the SONA will be anchored by Jing Magsaysay and Pia Hontiveros.

Regardless of the station, the entire nation will pay attention to the statements made by President Aquino. His last SONA will be very important, so keep an eye on what he says.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

Kapamilya Gold Reclaims Ratings Supremacy, At Least in Kantar

The recent success of ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ (above) boosted the viewership of Kapamilya Gold. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block is back in business.

The last two months saw Kapamilya Gold regain its footing in the ratings. The block’s two teleseryes in ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ were beginning to win over viewers as their story intensifies, while their two counterparts in ‘The Half-Sisters’ and ‘Yagit’ were losing steam as their stories become even more predictable.

At the moment, both ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ were averaging at least 14% in the ratings (according to Kantar Media), which is a far cry from the single-digit marks they attained in mid-January. And if that’s not enough, both shows were also beating their Kapuso counterparts in most, if not all recent episodes.

With ‘Yagit’ about to be replaced by ‘Buena Familia’ starting July 27, it would be a great opportunity for ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ to take advantage of a new opponent. As for ‘Flordeliza’, their battle with ‘The Half-Sisters’ may be a neck-and-neck struggle, but they are definitely more than happy to earn victory points with each episode.

The recent success of Kapamilya Gold isn’t limited to the two teleseryes alone. The entry of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737 Gold’ also boosted its fortunes, even though the MTRCB recently imposed an SPG rating to the show due to its scenes that are strictly inappropriate for children.

And finally, the News and Current Affairs programs and ‘Kapamilya: Deal or No Deal’ continued to dominate their counterparts from GMA. Overall, Kapamilya Gold has turned things around after a slow start this year, with each show registering double figure ratings.

That said, the pressure is now on GMA’s Afternoon Prime to keep up. Having lost some momentum at the midway point, GMA must change it up a bit to maintain interest, otherwise viewer interest will continue to wane.

For now, Kapamilya Gold has won, at least in Kantar. But will they keep it up? We’ll see.

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entertainment, MTRCB, Philippines, reality show, television

MTRCB Lays Down the Law on PBB: 737

A very different ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ awaits its viewers.

This was after the MTRCB imposed some strict guidelines to the show following complaints that it offended viewer sensibilities. Among these complaints included the controversial ‘bromance’ between 12-year old Bailey May and 18-year old Kenzo Gutierrez.

In a four-page resolution that was signed by the MTRCB, they ordered the producers of PBB: 737 to:

  1. Immediately institute remedial and self-regulatory measures to ensure the protection, welfare and development of all participants, especially minors, as well as the viewing public, a sizable percentage of which is made up of minors
  2. Immediately cease and desist from requiring participants to engage in activities and tasks which may be deemed hazardous to their life and safety
  3. Enter into a strict and close collaborations with the Board, from July 10 until the end of the season
  4. Require all story editors to undergo a ‘Matalinong Panonood’ and audience sensitivity seminar on July 16, 23 and 30 at the MTRCB office
  5. Require ABS-CBN and SkyCable to place an advisory at the beginning of each episode of the three programs, stating that ‘the program may contain sensitive material’ and that ‘viewer discretion is advised’, as long as minor housemates remain present on the show
  6. Elevate the rating classification of PBB: 737 Gold (aired every weekday afternoon) to ‘Strong Parental Guidance’ (SPG), with descriptions of themes, language and sex, from July 10 to the end of the season, or as long as minor housemates remain present; same rule applies to PBB: 737 on Jeepney TV
  7. Limit its application for permit to exhibit to seven episodes per application in order to ensure the correct and proper implementation of the committed remedial and self-regulatory measures
  8. Strictly implement a comprehensive ‘closing-out’ discussion by a subject matter expert after the completion of every task or challenge for the proper understanding of the lesson
  9. Ensure all parallel broadcast of PBB: 737 in cable television and in other media, including social media, shall not be in contravention with the directives and objectives of this order

Even before the MTRCB ruling was made public, ABS-CBN has already shut down the SkyCable and iWanTV livestream of PBB: 737, citing the netizens’ irresponsibility towards the Bailey-Kenzo ‘bromance’ incident. The cancellation took effect a week prior to the meeting between the MTRCB and ABS-CBN executives.

This is not the first time that the MTRCB responded to an incident that took place inside the Big Brother house. Since the first season of ‘Pinoy Big Brother’, there have been similar obscene incidents that earned the ire of the MTRCB, the most recent of which was the nude painting task during last season’s ‘All In’.

That said, the producers of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should be responsible for the way the housemates, especially those below legal age, are being treated. PBB is among the most-watched programs on Philippine TV today, and any further controversy on the show may hurt its strong viewership.

Hopefully this should serve as a lesson to all other Filipino reality shows, both current and future. After all, no one wants to be offended by something immoral.

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