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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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Streaking Haplos Faces New Challenger This Monday

‘Haplos’ is on a roll.

The GMA afternoon drama series has been picking up steam these past few months. Along the way, it claimed a pair of victims in ‘The Better Half’ and ‘The Promise of Forever’, both from ABS-CBN.

This series starring Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno offer a different wrinkle than the Kapamilya network’s repetitive fare of ‘kabitseryes’. Some elements of fantasy and mystery are involved in ‘Haplos’, with Angela (Sanya) and Lucille (Thea) starring as half-sisters with contrasting mystical elements.

That unique storyline enabled ‘Haplos’ to earn constant victories in the ratings, in the process causing plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. However, a new challenger awaits ‘Haplos’, and this time a familiar veteran actress comes into the fold.

Remember when Sylvia Sanchez ruled afternoons with her emotional portrayal of Gloria in ‘The Greatest Love’? That was seven months ago, and since then, Kapamilya Gold went on a steady decline while Afternoon Prime, thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, soared to the occasion.

Starting this Monday, ABS-CBN will try to change that anew as they premiere their latest afternoon series ‘Hanggang Saan’. Sylvia will once again portray a mother in this series, except that her character Sonya is an unexpected criminal who was accused of killing an innocent man at the risk of prolonging her son’s life.

Joining Sylvia in ‘Hanggang Saan’ will be her real-life son Arjo Atayde, who will play the role of Sonya’s son Paco. Teresa Loyzaga and Sue Ramirez will play Jean and Anna, the closest friends of Sonya and Paco.

Also part of the cast are Ariel Rivera, Yves Flores, Maris Racal, Marlo Mortel, Nikko Natividad, Rommel Padilla, Nanding Josef, Anna Luna, Mercedes Cabral, Rubi Rubi, Viveika Ravanes, Sharmaine Suarez, Ces Quesada, Arnold Reyes, Maila Gumila, and Junjun Quintana. The series will be directed by Mervyn Brondial and Jeffrey Jeturian.

‘Hanggang Saan’ airs weekdays after ‘Pusong Ligaw’. It will replace ‘The Promise of Forever’.

Even with all the victories tucked in their pocket, the stars of ‘Haplos’ should not rest on their laurels. As ‘Hanggang Saan’ is about to make its debut, how long can ‘Haplos’ maintain its momentum?

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Struggling Kapamilya Gold Needs a Boost

Thanks to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ and succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’, GMA Afternoon Prime suddenly looked imposingly strong against ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The struggle is indeed real.

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block has hit a rough patch of late. In the last several weeks, teleseryes ‘Pusong Ligaw’, ‘The Better Half’ and its replacement ‘The Promise of Forever’ scored fewer ratings than GMA Afternoon Prime counterparts ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’.

Although the three series did have a few winning moments, it was clear that the momentum is now on GMA’s side. ABS-CBN may be the better network overall, but their issues in the afternoon slots are causing plenty of concerns.

One reason why GMA suddenly became winnable in the afternoon is ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, the popular yet at times campy drama series starring Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion. Since March, the series earned ratings of 15 to 18%, good enough to give ‘It’s Showtime’ plenty of fits.

In a previous article, From the Tube discussed how ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ was able to win the hearts of viewers while at the same time exposes ABS-CBN’s weaknesses in the afternoon slots. Although ‘It’s Showtime’ recently countered by replacing ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ with ‘Miss Q&A’ as the noontime show’s final segment, it still had a hard time cracking ‘Ika-6 na Utos” armor.

The success of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ has since spread like wildfire to the two succeeding GMA Afternoon Prime series. From late August onwards, ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ earned better ratings than ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, and even though the latter was then replaced by ‘The Promise of Forever’, the results were mostly the same.

If ABS-CBN wants to restore order within Kapamilya Gold, drastic measures must be implemented. Going back to a three-teleserye setup is what the network desperately needs at this point, but in order to do that, they need to make some sacrifices.

For one, they must convince ‘It’s Showtime’ to either cut a portion of their airtime or return to the pre-noontime slot. Regarding the third teleserye, a possible option for that would be ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’, which despite earning good ratings in the pre-noontime slot, has a more serious storyline than its predecessors and is better equipped for the afternoon slot.

Would it be better to see Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Jake Cuenca and Coleen Garcia go up against Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion? Perhaps, but given ABS-CBN’s pre-noontime dominance, that potential matchup between ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ and ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will only be just that, a fantasy.

Still, the sudden change of fortune on Kapamilya Gold should give the ABS-CBN brass some sense of urgency. After all, despite their success, there are always holes with which the opponent will take advantage of, and ABS-CBN should be aware of that.

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Can The Promise of Forever Help Reverse Kapamilya Gold’s Slide?

ABS-CBN may be the country’s most-watched network last month, but weekday afternoons are a different story.

Over the last few weeks, GMA’s Afternoon Prime became the most-watched block from 2:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. While ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ remains the most-watched program during weekday afternoons, its follow-up dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were not far behind in dispatching the opposition.

The recent change of fortune in the weekday afternoon slots should cause plenty of concern within the ABS-CBN camp. Both ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and the soon-to-conclude ‘The Better Half’ were derisively labeled ‘kabitseryes’, and viewers became fed up with the direction ABS-CBN is taking.

Looking to address concerns that Kapamilya Gold is becoming increasingly stale, ABS-CBN decided to change things up with a new teleserye that is drastically different from the recent norm. Enter ‘The Promise of Forever’, starring Paulo Avelino and the network’s new addition Ritz Azul.

‘The Promise of Forever’ tells the story of Nicolas (Paulo), an immortal man who saves Sophia (Ritz) from a burning house and years later fall in love with each other. However, inside Nicolas lies a curse that prevents him from entering into a relationship while at the same time preventing him from feeling the pain of loss.

Moreover, Sophia’s lover Philip (Ejay Falcon) and Nicolas’ descendant Marlon (Tonton Gutierrez) were out to ruin their lives. With that in mind, it will be up to Nicolas to overcome the curse while preserving his relationship with Sophia.

‘The Promise of Forever’ will also star Cherry Pie Picache, Amy Austria, Benjie Paras, Susan Africa, Ynna Asistio, and Nico Antonio. It will be directed by Darnel Villaflor and Hannah Espia.

The lead-up to the premiere of ‘The Promise of Forever’ is a cautionary tale of biding one’s time. A trade trailer for the series was released in November of last year, but it took nearly ten months before ABS-CBN realized that the time is finally right.

However, with Kapamilya Gold mired in a slump, is ‘The Promise of Forever’ worth the long wait? One can only hope that this series will turn things around for the suddenly beleaguered block and in turn restore the faith of viewers that had betrayed the network of late.

‘The Promise of Forever’ airs weekday afternoons on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. Timeslot to be determined.

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The Better Half Nears Its All-or-Nothing Finale

Call it the ‘All-or-Nothing’ finale.

On Friday, September 8, ABS-CBN’s long-running afternoon drama ‘The Better Half’ will air its final episode. The series, starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, has been on the air since February 13, and even though it was a great series, there were some bumps on the road they had to endure.

When it first premiered, ‘The Better Half’ was following in the footsteps of ‘Doble Kara’, an ABS-CBN afternoon drama series that lasted over a year. However, ABS-CBN tempered expectations for the former, realizing that it’s not going to be easy following a series that was overwhelmingly long and successful.

Four different opponents from GMA’s Afternoon Prime faced ‘The Better Half’. Between February 13 and April 21, ‘The Better Half’ was slotted in Kapamilya Gold’s leadoff position and fared particularly well against ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ and ‘Legally Blind’.

But from April 24 onwards, ABS-CBN moved ‘The Better Half’ to the second slot in order to accommodate ‘Pusong Ligaw’. Despite the change of timeslot, ‘The Better Half’ maintained its dominance, dispatching the rather short-lived GMA afternoon series ‘D’Originals’ in the process.

‘Haplos’ then became the fourth and final opponent of ‘The Better Half’, and at first, the latter’s winning ways continued. However, a late August slump drastically changed ‘The Better Half”s fortunes, prompting ABS-CBN to finally pull the plug.

While ‘The Better Half’ was mostly dominant in a run that spanned 147 episodes, the recent decline it endured made it clear that it has seen better days. ABS-CBN would have been wise to end ‘The Better Half’ while still on a roll, but alas, they allowed the series to stay too long and fall from its wheels.

Regardless of how it finished, the Kapamilya network should be proud of what ‘The Better Half’ was able to do. The series may have enhanced the reputations of established lead actors Shaina Magdayao, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, but for Carlo Aquino, the return to the star-studded limelight was worth the price of admission.

Come this Friday, a shocking finish awaits viewers of ‘The Better Half’. But it remains to be seen if it will end with either a bang or a whimper.

 

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ABS-CBN Reairs Prior Episode of Pusong Ligaw Due to Technical Issues

Talk about a technical issue.

Many viewers were stunned Thursday afternoon when ABS-CBN, for some unknown reason, reaired last Wednesday’s episode of ‘Pusong Ligaw’. That episode (see videos below) featured a pair of scenes in which Caloy (Joem Bascon) offered to help Tessa/Teri (Beauty Gonzalez) in her business, and a scene where the latter remembered her lost son Rafael.

Abangan ang #PusongLigawAgenda ngayong hapon!

A post shared by STAR CREATIVES TV (@starcreativestv) on

This was in contrast to the ‘Pusong Ligaw’ episode teaser that was shown on ABS-CBN earlier that day. Unfortunately, the intended upcoming episode failed to hit the airwaves, and despite all efforts needed to correct the mistake, ABS-CBN decided to simply push through with the replay due to time constraints.

May plano na naman si Marga! #PusongLigawPROnly

A post shared by STAR CREATIVES TV (@starcreativestv) on

The replay episode of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ also made its way to iWant TV, the digital on-demand video service of ABS-CBN. As a result, two videos of the same episode are now uploaded within the said service (to clarify the situation, iWant TV added a disclaimer stating that the August 24 episode of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ was indeed a replay episode).

The ‘Pusong Ligaw’ gaffe was the latest in a recent string of misfortune that befell ABS-CBN’s afternoon lineup. Last month, ‘It’s Showtime’ was delayed for 45 minutes due to a technical incident that disrupted the noontime show’s live broadcast.

ABS-CBN and ‘Pusong Ligaw”s production outfit Star Creatives have yet to issue a press release or statement regarding the incident. Still, as far as the viewers are concerned, a wholehearted apology is what they wanted, since the mistake made by the network and its production team is something that is unavoidable for the most part.

It remains to be seen if the unaired episode of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ will finally launch later this afternoon. But one thing is certain: producers should always be prepared in advance and find ways to minimize problems.

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