comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Inday Will Always Love You to Give Since I Found You a Run for Its Money

Talk about a lethargic follow-up.

After a strong premiere week, harsh reality hits the ABS-CBN primetime romantic comedy series ‘Since I Found You’. From averaging in the 20s its first week, its ratings are now down to around 18%.

To make matters worse, its closest competitor (in this instance GMA’s ‘The One That Got Away’) made an inspiring rally to pull to within 3%. Although it may not be enough to overcome the deficit by the time the series ends tonight, it should give ABS-CBN plenty of concern when it comes to the fourth teleserye in Primetime Bida’s lineup.

Starting Monday night, a new headache for ‘Since I Found You’ will come in the form of Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio. Their new series ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is set in Cebu and will feature the culture and the sights and sounds of this popular Visayan city.

In ‘Inday Will Always Love You’, Happylou (Barbie) is a Manileña lechon store assistant who decides to return to Cebu in search of her father and to help her impoverished family who lives near the train tracks. Encountering the rich and kind Sir Philip (Ricky Davao), she begins to take care of him after the latter suffered a heart attack, and in turn, he helps Happylou search for her father.

Sir Philip also introduces Happylou to Patrick (Derrick), his nephew, and the two begin to forge a healthy relationship. But Patrick’s mother Amanda (Gladys Reyes) and his girlfriend Ericka (Kim Rodriguez) will look to put a wrench in their plans, and when Sir Philip dies, they look to make Happylou’s life a living hell.

Also part of the cast are Juancho Trivino, Manilyn Reynes, Nova Villa, Tina Paner, Super Tekla, the “Lumen Twins” Charisse and Charlotte Hermoso, Kimpoy Feliciano, Buboy Villar and Fliptop artists Mzhayt and Price Tagg. It will be directed by Monti Parungao and Rember Gelera.

If the premise of ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ sounds familiar, then one should remember another locally-themed romantic comedy in ‘I Heart Davao’. Both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs and the setting was based on a popular tourist destination in the Philippines.

But if ‘I Heart Davao”s brief run is any indication, then ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is in for a reality check. Still, with its incoming competitor ‘Since I Found You’ not doing exactly well in spite of its ratings, one can expect ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ will enjoy a longer tenure and perhaps steal some victories from its rival.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ can change the primetime romcom arms race. With that, best of luck to this series.

‘Inday Will Always Love You’ airs weeknights after ‘Kambal Karibal’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Since I Found You to Air on Primetime Bida Tonight

It seems like romantic comedies on Primetime Bida are a bad fit.

Over the last two years, the fourth slot of Primetime Bida was dominated by romcoms, yet despite winning in the ratings, viewers were left unsatisfied and bored over the direction ABS-CBN took. One commenter even went so far as labeling these evening romantic comedies as ‘antok-seryes’.

Last year, ABS-CBN went the more serious route and aired ‘The Good Son’ on the fourth slot. Somehow it worked; the series averaged around 20% and viewers were once again invested into its heart-wrenching and heavy storyline, a far cry from the romance and good vibes of its predecessors.

However, ABS-CBN decided to replace ‘The Good Son’ with yet another romantic comedy. Only this time, it will feature an unlikely love team.

Remember the movie ‘Kita Kita’ starring Empoy and Alessandra de Rossi? After the surprising success of the film, ABS-CBN will look to capitalize on the popularity of AlEmpoy by giving them a more prominent role in the upcoming series ‘Since I Found You’.

Also starring Piolo Pascual, JC de Vera and Arci Muñoz, ‘Since I Found You’ features the story of five individuals whose lives soon change in a heartbeat. The lead characters are as follows:

  • Nathan (Piolo), an accomplished businessman and boss of a construction company, is charismatic and good-looking yet employees are scared of his strict leadership.
  • Dani (Arci), the company practicumer, soon falls in love with Nathan.
  • Ginno (JC), Nathan’s assistant, becomes Dani’s own boss, but later on shows some affection for her.
  • Janice (Alessandra), Nathan’s secretary, also expresses her feelings towards Nathan.
  • James (Empoy), the company driver and comic relief, has a crush on Janice even as she constantly rejects him.

The cast of ‘Since I Found You’ will also include Carmi Martin, John Lapus, Vivoree Esclito, Isabel Oli, Cholo Barretto, and Michael de Mesa. It will be directed by Antoinette Jadaone.

If the performance of more recent primetime romantic comedies is of any indication, then ‘Since I Found You’ is in for a real challenge. Anything more than 20% in the ratings is vindication for the genre, but anything less than that is deemed a failure even if it still wins.

The ball is now on ABS-CBN’s court to prove its doubters wrong. Good luck.

‘Since I Found You’ airs weeknights after ‘Bagani’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Good Son: One Last Time

‘Who killed Victor?’

For several months, ‘The Good Son’ has been trying to solve the mystery behind the gruesome murder of Victor, played by Albert Martinez. Now it has come down to which one of Victor’s four sons and their immediate family will be proven innocent of the crime.

Since its premiere on September 25, 2017, ABS-CBN’s ‘The Good Son’ became one of the network’s top-rated programs. During its run, the series averaged around 20% in the ratings, besting more light-hearted competition in GMA’s ‘My Korean Jagiya’ and ‘The One That Got Away’.

The return to a more serious formula and the emphasis towards young stars have helped ‘The Good Son’ achieve tremendous success throughout its run. In past years, lighter dramas dominated Primetime Bida’s fourth slot, but after ‘On the Wings of Love’ the approach wore thin.

Reverting back to a darker atmosphere reminiscent of series such as ‘The Legal Wife’ may have been the most daring decision that ABS-CBN ever did, but ‘The Good Son”s unexpected surge has brought new life to Primetime Bida’s fourth slot. However, this was not the only reason behind its popularity.

Continuing ABS-CBN’s commitment towards youth, the series gave rising artists Nash Aguas, Jerome Ponce, Joshua Garcia, McCoy de Leon, Loisa Andallo, Alexa Ilacad and Elisse Joson the green light to show their acting prowess. It was a formula that somehow worked to ‘The Good Son”s favor, helping the series outpace its GMA counterparts who continued to rely on older stars.

More importantly, these artists gained a new legion of followers, both on television and on social media. For Joshua Garcia, starring in a series without frequent on-screen partner Julia Barretto may be a risky choice, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise as he was able to thrive alongside his contemporaries.

In many ways, ‘The Good Son’ became a series that ABS-CBN should be proud of. More than just the young stars that thrived in a starring role, it was the series’ themes of innocence, guilt and doubt that helped ‘The Good Son’ become a top-ten program in the country.

Friday will mark ‘The Good Son”s 143rd and final episode. On its last night, the innocent one will be revealed, but who will be rightfully called ‘The Good Son?’

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wildflower’s Wildest Finale

‘Wildflower’ is coming to an end.

Friday night will mark the finale of this top-rating ABS-CBN series. In a run that spanned 257 episodes, ‘Wildflower’ became a big hit in more ways than one.

Premiering on February 13, 2017, ‘Wildflower’ became the first ABS-CBN drama to air in the 5:50 p.m. slot since ‘We Will Survive’. From episode one, the series ran roughshod over the competition, constantly earning ratings in the 20s while occasionally hitting the 30s.

As ‘Wildflower’ continued to reign over its timeslot, the confrontations between Ivy Aguas/Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) and Emilia Ardiente (Aiko Melendez) also became viral on social media. Various news topics were lampooned using screenshots of Ivy/Lily and Emilia either strangling, shouting or slapping each other in the face.

Throughout its run ‘Wildflower’ saw its fair share of cast members arrive and depart. While the core cast features Maja Salvador, Aiko Melendez, Joseph Marco, Tirso Cruz III, Sunshine Cruz, Christian Vasquez and RK Bagatsing, the series also received a few contributions from the likes of Roxanne Barcelo, Dawn Chang and Zsa Zsa Padilla.

Despite its lengthy run and constant ratings success, it was too unfortunate that ‘Wildflower’ will not be able to join the ‘one-year club’ that featured fellow ABS-CBN dramas ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’. Friday’s ending will put them two episodes short of the anniversary mark.

Even viewers of the series found it hard to accept that ABS-CBN will pull the plug on ‘Wildflower’ after such a long run. In fact, ‘Wildflower”s ‘The End is Near’ teaser last January was trending on social media, with many clamoring for an extension which was never materialized.

Still, ‘Wildflower”s accomplishments were hard to deny. The series’ presence made the early evening slot of Primetime Bida relevant again, and Maja Salvador’s portrayal of Ivy/Lily only enhanced her craft as an actress.

Veterans such as Sunshine Cruz, Tirso Cruz III and Aiko Melendez were also given a second wind in their careers thanks to their portrayals of Camia, Julio and Emilia respectively. Even a cameo appearance by Zsa Zsa Padilla as Red Dragon was good enough to convince viewers that she is still a dependable actress.

Overall, ‘Wildflower’ is such a good series that reliving all 257 episodes on iWant TV would be more than enticing. Indeed, this series typified the ‘wild’ in every sense of the word, one that is unpredictable, moody and crazy to look at.

This Friday should be a wild finale for ‘Wildflower’. Enjoy the show.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin to End Friday

The Kimerald reunion tour will come to an end this week.

On Friday, January 26, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ will air its 195th and final episode. The series, which starred Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia, was first aired on May 1, 2017.

In many ways, the series was not a disappointment ratings-wise. But for the more knowledgeable viewers, the serious tone of ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ may have turned them off a bit considering that ABS-CBN reluctantly placed the series to the late morning timeslot.

When ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ was first announced during one of ABS-CBN’s trade fairs, many thought the series would be assigned to Primetime Bida. After all, Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson were highly accomplished primetime stars with many top-rating series to their credit.

However, ABS-CBN decided to take ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ to the late-morning slot that is normally assigned to more light-hearted or inspirational series (see ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ and ‘Ningning’). At this point they didn’t have a choice since Kapamilya Gold and Primetime Bida were fully loaded and they fear that postponing the series’ premiere could affect its ratings.

Nevertheless, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ became a hit in the ratings game, mainly due to inferior competition put up by GMA Network blocktimer TAPE Inc. During the first half of its run, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ was pitted against the coming-of-age drama ‘TROPS’, and after that they faced the talk show ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’.

Overall, even with all the obstacles thrown against it, ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ still managed to enjoy a great run. It was a series that is as compelling as it comes, with the premise of three triathletes entangled in a love triangle while competing in a run of their lives.

As ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ nears its conclusion, one can only hope that these last few episodes will be as explosive as it can get. A very interesting ending awaits, so good luck with that.

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action, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not 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.

HOT: La Luna Sangre

The tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla returned to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida in June to star in ‘La Luna Sangre’, which also starred Angel Locsin (initially in a special participatory role as Lia before returning full-time as Jacintha) and another comebacking star in Richard Gutierrez. The series became an immediate hit scoring well over 30% in the nationwide ratings.

The success of ‘La Luna Sangre’ also revitalized the third slot of Primetime Bida following the lukewarm reception of predecessors ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’. But while KathNiel did not lose their magic upon returning to the small screen, the same cannot be said for another popular love team.

NOT: AlDub and More

Good news: AlDub did not need to face KathNiel as ‘Destined to Be Yours’ ended weeks before ‘La Luna Sangre’ premiered. Bad news: 63 episodes is more than enough to justify the lack of success of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the first primetime series to star Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together.

Things only got worse for the duo from that point on. In late November, Maine revealed on social media that she and Alden are only friends in real life and that she ‘deserves all the hate in the world’ for being a ‘coward’ and a ‘selfish little brat’.

Perhaps the pressure and the expectations are starting to take its toll on Maine. Much like her harrowing portrayal of a depressed workaholic in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ made-for-TV film ‘Love Is…’, somebody should help her overcome these stresses.

HOT: Ika-6 na Utos and Afternoon Prime

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ premiered late last year to lukewarm reviews. But thanks to some campy moments that elicit plenty of laughter from its viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became unexpectedly popular, so much so that GMA decided to add Saturday episodes starting in April to capitalize on its success.

The series also boosted the fortunes of Afternoon Prime which had been left for dead earlier in the year. By August, succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were winning over their ABS-CBN counterparts thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

NOT: The Entire Kapamilya Gold Post-Doble Kara

Led by back-to-back ‘kabitseryes’ in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, Kapamilya Gold lost ground to Afternoon Prime that by the late third quarter of 2017, it was the latter that stood tall. Not even ‘The Greatest Love”s critically-acclaimed run saved the block from its sudden fall from grace.

The end of ‘Doble Kara”s year-long run in February foreshadowed a decline in Kapamilya Gold’s performance. Soon after, Afternoon Prime closed the gap and overtook Kapamilya Gold in the ratings for the rest of the year, much to the dismay of Kapamilya viewers everywhere.

HOT: Wildflower

Also in February, ‘Wildflower’ premiered on Primetime Bida’s pre-newscast slot. It didn’t take long for the series to make an impact as it constantly registered ratings of over 20 to 25%, putting it among the top five programs in the country.

The success of ‘Wildflower’ also spawned numerous memes on social media, some of which depict the various confrontations between Ivy/Lily (Maja Salvador) and Emilia (Aiko Melendez). With that kind of impact, ‘Wildflower’ truly turned viewers’ heads upside down whenever these two go at it.

NOT: Kapamilya Game Shows

The slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’ does not apply to ABS-CBN game shows. That said, ‘Minute to Win It’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ continued to alienate audiences by utilizing celebrities more often than ordinary people throughout their runs this year.

Luckily all three shows’ seasons came to an end this year: ‘Minute to Win It’ in February, ‘Family Feud’ in May and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ in September. Perhaps ABS-CBN should stop producing game shows and defer these to ‘It’s Showtime’ since they do not even have a clue how to utilize the power of the viewing public.

Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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