drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: T.G.I.S. and the Advent of Teen-Oriented Series

Some of the first batch members of ‘T.G.I.S.’ as they appear in 1995. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

Yesterday would have been the 20th anniversary of ‘T.G.I.S.’

Premiering on July 8, 1995, ‘T.G.I.S.’ became a Filipino pioneer in the teen-oriented drama genre. While there were a few other dramas that featured teenagers as lead stars (e.g. Julie Vega’s ‘Anna Liza’ and Janice de Belen’s ‘Flordeluna’), ‘T.G.I.S.’ became the first to feature a cast dominated by teenage actors.

Before ‘T.G.I.S.’, some of the country’s rising young stars had made their mark through shows such as GMA’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang TV’. The two shows provided a venue for the youngsters to showcase their talents, but it was not enough.

Eventually, VIVA Television and GMA developed a plan that would give a new batch of young stars an avenue to expose their acting skills. Thus, ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched.

‘T.G.I.S.’ became an immediate hit soon after it premiered. The success of ‘T.G.I.S.’ led to a feature film that was released in 1997, as well as a spinoff series ‘Growing Up’ that aired from 1997-99.

The first batch of ‘T.G.I.S.’ were led by Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon, a.k.a. Wacks and Peachy, respectively. Other members of the first batch include Michael Flores, Red Sternberg, Raven Villanueva, Rica Peralejo, Onemig Bondoc, Jake Roxas, Bernadette Allyson and Maybelyn dela Cruz.

The first batch anchored ‘T.G.I.S.’ for two years, before giving way to a new cast of young stars. The second batch, which lasted another two years, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Antoinette Taus, alongside Polo Ravales, Kim delos Santos, Sunshine Dizon, Chubi del Rosario, Anne Curtis, Chantal Umali and Dino Guevarra.

Unknown to some, future newscasters Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal were also part of the ‘T.G.I.S.’ cast. Meanwhile, Ciara Sotto was part of both batches of ‘T.G.I.S.’, later joining ‘Growing Up’ upon her character’s graduation from high school.

‘T.G.I.S.’ paved the way for similar teen-oriented dramas that became a staple of weekend afternoon programming. Examples include ‘Gimik’ (later ‘G-Mik’), ‘Click’, ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Berks’.

In late 2012, another spinoff of ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched, called ‘Teen Gen’. Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon reprised their roles as Wacks and Peachy, alongside GMA’s new batch of young stars, but it only managed to air for over six months without success.

While ‘T.G.I.S.’ no longer airs today, it will still be remembered for changing the way teenage actors were exposed and promoted. They were a game-changer, and another reason why 1995 became a memorable year in Philippine television.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

As Ilustrado Debuts, Ikaw Lamang Departs

A new-look GMA Telebabad premieres this week, while ABS-CBN says goodbye to one of their hits.

The ‘bayani-serye’ ‘Ilustrado’ will make its much-anticipated premiere later tonight. The series will be led by Alden Richards as Jose Rizal and Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, with supporting roles by Solenn Heussaff, Max Collins, Eula Valdez, Jaclyn Jose, Polo Ravales, Ricardo Cepeda, Freddie Webb and Mailes Kanapi.

‘Ilustrado’ will focus less on Rizal’s struggles for Philippine independence and his work on ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’. Instead, it will feature a more human side in the life of the national hero and his fellow reformists, from their relationships to their day-to-day struggles with ordinary citizens.

The premiere of ‘Ilustrado’ should be an interesting one, as it will go up against ‘Two Wives’. The latter series has been on a roll since it debuted last week, and should pose a challenge to the more qualitative and informative ‘Ilustrado’.

Meanwhile, the still-struggling ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will be moved to an earlier timeslot, opposite an ABS-CBN Primetime Bida  teleserye that is about to end this week.

‘Ikaw Lamang’, the period drama that started last March, will bid goodbye on October 24. The series will have two chapters and 162 episodes at the end of its run.

Initially starring Kim Chiu (as Isabelle) Julia Montes (as Mona), Coco Martin (as Samuel) and Jake Cuenca (as Franco), Montes’ character was killed off just as Book 1 was winding down. When Book 2 got underway, Chiu and Martin were now assigned to portray the roles of Gabriel and Andrea, respectively.

Book 2 also featured Amy Austria, Joel Torre and Christopher de Leon as the older Isabelle, Samuel and Franco, while KC Concepcion took on the role of Natalia, daughter of Isabelle and Franco.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ was one of ABS-CBN’s highly-rated teleseryes throughout its run. The show even outlasted its main arch-rival ‘My Destiny’, whose run from June 30 to October 17 came just as the former was at the peak of its success.

That said, it should be interesting to see how ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will fare in its final week against ‘Hiram na Alaala’.  Expect the conclusion of this series to be a highly-anticipated one.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be replaced by ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kambal Sirena, Dyesebel Won’t Begin Simultaneously

GMA’s Kambal Sirena begins its run a week ahead of ABS-CBN’s Dyesebel. (Photo courtesy of Bida Kapamilya)

The so-called ‘Sirena Wars’ on Philippine television will have to wait for another two weeks, as both GMA and ABS-CBN set their final episode dates for ‘Adarna’ and ‘Honesto’.

‘Adarna’, the fantaserye starring Kylie Padilla, airs its final episode tomorrow. Airing since November 18, 2013, ‘Adarna’ was supposed to revive GMA’s tried and tested fantaserye genre that has worked for them in the mid-2000s. Unfortunately, the show failed to surpass expectations, due to the fact that a rival teleserye is superbly dominant in its timeslot.

That teleserye happened to be ‘Honesto’, which has been consistently atop the primetime ratings since its debut. Its superior ratings also translated into high trending figures in social media, with hashtags related to the show leading Twitter’s trending topics. The Raikko Mateo-starred series first aired on October 28, and will air its final episode on March 14.

The two series will be replaced by ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ respectively. The former, an original concept of the Kapuso network, will star Louise delos Reyes, while the latter, acquired by the Kapamilya network from Mars Ravelo’s estate, will star Anne Curtis.

Hype between the two series began last December, as both networks revealed the initial teasers for their respective mermaids. But while GMA began to heavily promote ‘Kambal Sirena’ during the months of January and February, ABS-CBN was slow to promote ‘Dyesebel’ as it continued to focus on its highly-rated programs ‘Honesto’ and ‘Got to Believe’. Nevertheless, viewers were salivating at the prospect of two mermaid-based series facing each other on primetime.

Both ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ will feature an equally stellar supporting cast. In ‘Kambal Sirena’, Aljur Abrenica will star as the leading man, while Wynwyn Marquez serves as the main villain. The series will also star Mickey Ferriols, Angelika dela Cruz, Gladys Reyes, Tessie Tomas, Mike Tan, Pancho Magno, Polo Ravales, Lotlot de Leon, Rich Asuncion, and Chanda Romero.

In ‘Dyesebel’, Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson will play the leading men, while Andi Eigenmann takes on a villainous role. Portraying supporting roles in the series will be Dawn Zulueta, Eula Valdes, Gabby Concepcion, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Bangs Garcia, David Chua, Ai Ai delas Alas, Neil Coleta, Young JV and Ogie Diaz.

While ‘Kambal Sirena’ and ‘Dyesebel’ won’t begin at the same time, the rivalry between the two mermaid-based series will be something to look forward to. And it should add spice to what has been an already heated rivalry between the two major networks.

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