drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Impostora to End Tomorrow

The new version of ‘Impostora’ will officially bow out.

Tomorrow afternoon will mark the 160th and final episode of this GMA afternoon drama. And much like the villainous Rosette and the good-but-ugly Nimfa (both played by Kris Bernal), ‘Impostora’ had two different faces: one that was dominant and the other inferior.

First premiered on July 3, 2017, ‘Impostora’ was based on the 2007 version of the same title starring Sunshine Dizon and Iza Calzado, which in turn adopted the story from the 1994 film ‘Sa Isang Sulok ng mga Pangarap’. Pitted against ‘Pusong Ligaw’ for a majority of its run, the new ‘Impostora’ had a slow start but by August the series began to win over the viewers and beat its closest competitor.

For a while, it seemed that nothing can stop ‘Impostora’. However, the series began to lose anew as 2017 turned to 2018, thanks largely to a late push by the concluding ‘Pusong Ligaw’.

It only got worse for ‘Impostora’ once Julia Montes entered the fray. Her series ‘Asintado’ made an immediate impact from the get-go and while ‘Impostora’ relived some past glory in some of its episodes, a younger Julia Montes was simply too much for Kris Bernal to handle.

Regardless of the late swoon, the 160-episode run of ‘Impostora’ remains an impressive feat by GMA’s standards. To air so many episodes speaks volumes of its immense impact in the weekday afternoon landscape, particularly with ABS-CBN’s struggles in the afternoon slots that gave ‘Impostora’ an opportunity to strike.

But even if Kris Bernal made a good account of herself by playing a bad girl on ‘Impostora’, she won’t be able to escape the ‘good girl’ persona that she always prides with. Much like ‘Rhodora X’ with Jennylyn Mercado, it is highly unlikely to see Kris play a villain in future drama series.

Perhaps GMA could change that stereotype in order to elevate younger and up-and-coming stars to the fold. Still, it will be up to Kris to make a decision that could either help or hurt the network.

As ‘Impostora’ nears its finale, one must wonder which fate will await Rosette and Nimfa. The last episode should be a must-watch, so good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Brings Back Kapuso Primetime Cinema

Once again, GMA is making some radical changes to its Telebabad lineup.

Just recently, the network announced that they will bring back the transitional movie block ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. The re-premiere of the said movie block will take place on November 9, replacing the Koreanovela ‘Legendary Women’.

It can be recalled that GMA aired ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ two years ago, following the conclusions of ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’. GMA’s intent of airing ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ at the time was clear: to capitalize on low advertising revenue during the Christmas season and to give more time for the production of upcoming teleseryes.

As it turned out, the move backfired. Replacement dramas ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’ failed to bring the desired results, and GMA was left wondering why their ‘Kapuso ang Una’ battle cry did not work out.

This year, GMA opted for a more different approach. Instead of replacing the network’s teleseryes like they did two years ago, they decided to place ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ on the timeslot normally reserved for Koreanovelas.

One possible reason for the move is that GMA intended to air ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ in order for ‘Saksi’ to match up better with ‘Bandila’. The presence of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ has led to a later-than-expected airing for ‘Bandila’.

There is one problem, however. ABS-CBN has announced that a fifth teleserye (‘You’re My Home’) will air on Primetime Bida at the conclusion of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’, and as a result, a hopeless situation now awaits GMA and its embattled fanbase.

That said, GMA needs to realize that they need to concede defeat than continue their already lopsided rivalry with ABS-CBN. It is clear the both networks are headed into opposite directions, and with ABS-CBN already more dominant than ever, GMA knows that an overhaul is more than necessary at this point.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN Raises the ‘Daring’ Stakes, Plus GMA’s Inability to Respond

The trend towards mature and dark subject matter on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida continues with ‘Bridges of Love’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Tonight’s premiere of ‘Bridges of Love’ on ABS-CBN has From the Tube wondering: Why is GMA not responding to the increasingly ‘daring’ route of Primetime Bida?

Mature and dark relationship-oriented themes have virtually become a norm on Primetime Bida’s 9:15 p.m. slot. Last year, ‘The Legal Wife’ became a rousing success due to the seemingly shocking portrayal of jealousy and infidelity involving the love triangle of characters portrayed by Jericho Rosales, Maja Salvador and Angel Locsin.

And just recently, viewers were treated to a similar display of deception and envy in the adaptation of the Koreanovela ‘Two Wives’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’, the series involved a love triangle, this time between the characters portrayed by Jason Abalos, Kaye Abad and Erich Gonzales.

Although ABS-CBN has trended in the right direction with the more mature-oriented teleseryes, it all began, however, with one bold move from its rival in Timog: ‘My Husband’s Lover’.

The 2013 GMA drama starring Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo made the same-sex relationship a must-see during its run. Running from June to October 2013, ‘My Husband’s Lover’ briefly provided a boost to the sagging ratings of Telebabad.

Unfortunately, the Kapuso network failed to create a successful follow-up to ‘My Husband’s Lover’. The teleseryes that followed MHL (‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’, ‘Rhodora X’, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Second Chances’) didn’t feel up to the task of elevating the dark and moody themes to a new level.

As a result, the 9:15 slot of Telebabad returned to its old sinking ways, while Primetime Bida continued to increase its gap. Worse for the Kapuso network, ‘The Legal Wife’ and later ‘daring’ Kapamilya dramas became a local and international social media sensation.

That said, GMA’s regression back to more wholesome and ‘tweener’ stories in the latter part of Telebabad became its undoing. And it only gets worse.

Next on ABS-CBN’s ‘daring’ list is ‘Bridges of Love’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’, a love triangle will be involved in the series, only this time, it’s between two men fighting for the love of one woman.

‘Bridges of Love’ will be led by Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. The story will feature two brothers (Echo and Paulo) who were separated by guilt and hatred, but were bridged together by love through one woman (portrayed by Maja).

The upcoming Kapamilya series should pose a big threat to its Kapuso counterpart ‘Second Chances’. The latter series failed to keep up with the success of ‘Two Wives’ during its first two months, and it won’t be a surprise if its new opponent makes a similar impact.

Now GMA should start revisiting the very theme that made ‘My Husband’s Lover’ a success. A new strategy should be in store for Telebabad if they still want to keep in step with Primetime Bida, otherwise there will be more trouble for the embattled block.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Sad Ending to Ilustrado, Plus Second Chances Moved to Early 2015

The highly-budgeted but low-rated GMA bayaniserye ‘Ilustrado’ will end this Friday . (Photo credit: GMA Network)

‘Ilustrado’ ends this Friday with little to show for.

GMA’s so-called ‘bayaniserye’, which was produced by the News and Public Affairs department, failed to impress in the ratings throughout its run. This despite the fact that it boasted a more hi-tech production and added a more educational approach to the story.

Figures from both Kantar and AGB Nielsen showed that ‘Ilustrado’ was way behind ABS-CBN’s ‘Two Wives’ in the ratings for much of its run. ‘Ilustrado’ also failed to make an impact on social media, as netizens focused more on the intimate and hostile scenes between the characters of Jason Abalos, Erich Gonzales and Kaye Abad rather than Alden Richards’ portrayal of Jose Rizal as a student in Europe.

‘Ilustrado’ premiered on October 20 amid high expectations. GMA gave the show’s producers a big budget, investing on the latest computer technologies to digitally recreate the look of late 19th century Europe.

But the big investment did not translate into ratings success, even though more advertisers pitched in to help recover the losses. That said, expect GMA to lose more money after the disastrous returns of ‘Ilustrado’.

With ‘Ilustrado’ about to leave the airwaves this Friday, a new series will come to the Kapuso network starting November 17.

Contrary to earlier reports, ‘Second Chances’ will not be the replacement for ‘Ilustrado’. The teleserye, starring Jennylyn Mercado, Rafael Rosell, Raymart Santiago and Camille Prats, will now air beginning the first quarter of 2015.

Instead, ‘More Than Words’, starring Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez, will replace ‘Ilustrado’, but not at the latter’s old timeslot. The series is expected to move at an earlier time.

Like ‘Ilustrado’, ‘Second Chances’ is expected to be a big-budgeted series. For the second consecutive year, a series starring Jennylyn Mercado will lead a list of GMA’s first quarter offerings, with the first being ‘Rhodora X’.

The move of ‘Second Chances” to an early 2015 premiere should boost its chances somewhat, as the series’ producers will now use the time to improve the story, production and character development.

This does not mean, however, that ‘Second Chances’ will be a potential hit. As it has been proven time and time again, GMA’s overreliance on its veterans have cost them both ratings, young talent and ad loads, and this latest venture shows how poor GMA is at managing and developing talent.

As 2014 winds down, expect yet another down year for the Kapuso network, both in financial health and in viewership. And it only gets worse.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ Ends Tomorrow

GMA’s controversial teleserye ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ will end on September 19. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

The book will officially close on ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’.

The controversial drama series, starring Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe and Maricel Soriano, will air its final episode tomorrow night. ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ will finish its run with a total of 80 episodes in 16 weeks.

Replacing the equally controversial but low-rated ‘Rhodora X’ on June 2, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ had a slow start to its four-month run. The series premiered just as ABS-CBN’s blockbuster series ‘The Legal Wife’ was about to finish.

The ratings for ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ had a 20% or better ratings disadvantage against ‘The Legal Wife’, causing a whole lot of concern on the GMA camp.

Things would turn around for the series, however. After ‘The Legal Wife’ was replaced by ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ slowly gained ground, and on July 28, the show made some headlines.

The said date’s episode saw Millet (Soriano) slap Anthony (Dantes) 23 times. Even before the episode was aired, however, behind-the-scenes snippets of the confrontation began to circulate on social media, creating a huge buzz that culminated with the highly-publicized airing of the said scene.

That episode proved to be the high point of ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real”s run, as it not only trended on Twitter, but also gave ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ a scare in the ratings. And while they fell short in Kantar’s count, they managed to earn a victory in AGB Nielsen.

But despite giving ‘Sana Bukas Pa ang Kahapon’ a good fight, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ lacked advertising support to remain viable, airing only 10 ads or better compared to over 30 for their rivals. Still, the series continued to defy all odds up until the series finale.

Overall, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ enjoyed a good run. While it will never earn a place among GMA’s most successful teleseryes, the series’ tense moments and the aforementioned slapping spree of Millet on Anthony will always be etched in teleserye lore, not to mention the bigamy storyline that is novel to the small screen.

‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’ will be replaced by ‘Hiram na Alaala’, starring Dennis Trillo, Kris Bernal, Lauren Young and Rocco Nacino. The upcoming teleserye will air starting September 22.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Rhodora X’ Exits With a Whimper

Throughout its four-month run, ‘Rhodora X’ has been consistently upstaged by ‘The Legal Wife’ despite boasting an interesting storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’.

GMA’s suspense-filled drama series ‘Rhodora X’ will bid goodbye this Friday, to be replaced by ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. And despite an original and enticing storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, the ratings of the said program were not as well-received as they intended to.

‘Rhodora X’, along with the recently-concluded series ‘Carmela’, debuted strongly last January 27. But from the beginning, it was clear that ABS-CBN’s teleseryes were still the most-watched in the country. In only its first week, ‘Rhodora X’ had a 15.8% Metro Manila rating, and an 11% national rating according to AGB Nielsen. Meanwhile its competing program and fellow debutante ‘The Legal Wife’ got a 23.9% and a 21 %. The TNS Kantar figures were also won by ‘The Legal Wife’, who bested ‘Rhodora X’ 21% to 11%.

‘The Legal Wife”s promising start would set the tone for the rest of ‘Rhodora X”s run. In fact, ‘The Legal Wife’ got even more attention on Twitter thanks in part to the memorable lines, serious physical confrontations, and over-the-top sexual encounters between the characters of Angel Locsin, Maja Salvador and Jericho Rosales. Meanwhile, the first few episodes of ‘Rhodora X’ trended on Twitter, before disappearing altogether just as the split personalities of Jennylyn Mercado’s character began to materialize.

To be honest, ‘Rhodora X’ was a good series. It may not have been a ratings winner throughout its run, but it did raise awareness on ‘DID’ in a more dramatic manner. The series also showcased the versatility of Jennylyn Mercado as both a good girl and a bad girl, the latter of which I hoped to see in future teleseryes involving the former ‘Starstruck’ alumnus. And the portrayal of Yasmien Kurdi as the estranged sister of Jennylyn’s character shows that her acting prowess remains top-notch, and a huge follow-up to her comeback in ‘Anna Karenina’.

With ‘Rhodora X’ about to leave the airwaves, the pressure is now on ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. The series, starring Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe and Maricel Soriano, is essentially a version two of ‘The Legal Wife’, except that Dingdong’s character is a man marrying two women. ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, which begins on June 2, will be ‘The Diamond Star”s true comeback project, after appearing in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ Lenten special ‘Kulungan Kanlungan’.

But for now, ‘Rhodora X’ is saying goodbye. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

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