drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

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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The Better Half’s Next Challenger: Haplos

Hot or cold is the description of ‘The Better Half’s ratings of late.

The ongoing ABS-CBN afternoon drama consistently won the battle against the soon-to-be short-lived series ‘D’Originals’ since moving to the late afternoon slot. Despite that, the show’s ratings have fluctuated between 11% and 15%.

Still, a win is a win, and ABS-CBN is somewhat pleased with the way ‘The Better Half’ has performed. Come this Monday, however, a new challenger awaits.

Enter ‘Haplos’, GMA’s latest offering on the Afternoon Prime block. This upcoming series will be headlined by Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno.

In ‘Haplos’, Sanya is Angela, a physical therapy undergraduate with a quiet and peaceful upbringing. She is in love with Gerald (Rocco), but unknown to her, she has a special gift that, when she is touched, can heal illnesses and emotional wounds.

Angela also caught the attention of Benedict (Pancho), a fitness instructor whose goal is to become a successful businessman with a trophy wife. But the biggest rival in her life turned out to be her half-sister Lucille (Thea), whose gift of darkness is used in an attempt to jeopardize Angela’s career and personal life.

‘Haplos’ also stars Patricia Javier, Emilio Garcia, Francine Prieto, Diva Montealba and Ms. Celia Rodriguez. The series will be directed by Gil Tejada Jr.

If the unpredictable ratings of ‘The Better Half’ is any indication, then GMA hopes that ‘Haplos’ will perform much better than ‘D’Originals’ did. However, a mere 11-12% or less in the ratings will not satisfy both the network and its viewers.

It will be interesting to see how the up-and-coming quartet of Sanya Lopez, Rocco Nacino, Thea Tolentino and Pancho Magno will perform in a leading role. Going up against ‘The Better Half”s veteran quartet of Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, Denise Laurel and JC de Vera will be a challenge, but if ‘Haplos’ provides a serious challenge, then it should bode well for them.

‘Haplos’ airs weekdays after ‘Impostora’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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Legally Blind Concludes This Friday

So long, ‘Legally Blind’.

The finale of this tension-filled GMA Afternoon Prime drama will air tomorrow afternoon, 83 episodes after the story of blind lawyer Grace (Janine Gutierrez) began. But while its episode total is more than enough by typical teleserye standards, ‘Legally Blind’ proved to be anything but a success.

When ‘Legally Blind’ first premiered, it had to face stiff competition against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Better Half’, an equally dramatic series starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel. While the former earned some victories against the latter, on average, ‘The Better Half’ scored 15%, 2-3% better than ‘Legally Blind’.

On April 24, 2017, ABS-CBN premiered another kabitserye in ‘Pusong Ligaw’, which stars Beauty Gonzalez, Bianca King, Joem Bascon and Raymond Bagatsing. But instead of replacing ‘The Greatest Love’ in its vacated timeslot, the network decided to place ‘Pusong Ligaw’ opposite ‘Legally Blind’.

As it turned out, ‘Pusong Ligaw’ became even more dominant than ‘The Better Half’ was in its original timeslot. A new opponent spelled doom for ‘Legally Blind’, as ‘Pusong Ligaw”s 18% average ratings were 4-5% better than the former.

It also didn’t help that viewers who watch the surprisingly successful lead-in drama ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ failed to turn out in droves to support ‘Legally Blind’ on a majority of occasions. Such is the cruel fate for GMA’s teleseryes.

Still, for Janine Gutierrez, ‘Legally Blind’ turned out to be a much better outing for her than the short-lived series ‘Once Again’. Notwithstanding its shortcomings in the ratings, its 83-episode run was nothing to be ashamed of.

The finale of ‘Legally Blind’ should be a very gripping one. Now that Grace (Janine) has regained her sight, will justice finally prevail, or will she end up behind bars?

Viewers can only hope that this impending finale will make a lasting impression. This is ‘Legally Blind”s last chance to stand out, and they look to go out with a bang.

UPDATE: For some unknown reason, GMA extended ‘Legally Blind’ for another two weeks. Thus its finale will now be aired on Friday, June 30.

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A New Opponent for The Better Half One Week Into Its Run

After only five episodes, ‘The Better Half’ finds itself with new competition.

The now-ongoing ABS-CBN afternoon drama series premiered last Monday against the GMA Afternoon Prime series ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’. As it turned out, however, ‘The Better Half’ did not have enough time to warm up, as GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ would end during that week.

Nevertheless, ‘The Better Half’ premiered strongly with a 16.8% national rating, which is 3.1% higher than ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat”s 76th episode. While figures for the remainder of the week remain unavailable at the moment, it is safe to say that ‘The Better Half’ got the best of the departing ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Next up for Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, Denise Laurel and JC de Vera will be the upcoming GMA afternoon drama series ‘Legally Blind’. The series will mark the return of Janine Gutierrez to the small screen, several months after starring in the ill-fated primetime series ‘Once Again’ with Aljur Abrenica.

In ‘Legally Blind’, Grace (Janine) is an aspiring lawyer who lost her sight after she was raped by an unknown culprit. After successfully earning her stripes as a lawyer, she met Edward (Mikael Daez), a rich businessman who not only helps her in the search for justice, but also falls in love with her.

Along the way, Grace’s plans will be put to the test by people who doubt and despise her. Whether it’s her envious younger sister Charie (Lauren Young) or her ex-boyfriend Joel (Rodjun Cruz), Grace’s hopes for attaining justice will not be easy.

The series will also star Lauren Young, Marc Abaya, Rodjun Cruz, Chanda Romero, Therese Malvar, Lucho Ayala, Ashley Rivera and Camille Torres. It will be directed by Ricky Davao.

For the rest of the first quarter and deep into the second, ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Legally Blind’ will go up against each other. But for the latter, beating the former will not be easy given its potential track record after just five episodes.

That said, GMA’s brass can only hope that Janine Gutierrez will redeem herself after a so-so performance in her last series. For ‘Legally Blind’, it is all about finding the right formula for Janine to thrive on.

‘Legally Blind airs weekdays after ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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Premiere of The Better Half & Wildflower Further Complicates ABS-CBN’s Afternoon Schedule

Seems like ABS-CBN has not learned from its 5:00 p.m. issues.

Several months ago, From the Tube made an article about ABS-CBN’s 5:00 p.m. scheduling problems. Three issues were raised in this topic; namely the presence of the ABS-CBN Regional-produced ‘TV Patrol’, the RNGs’ airing of the affected program at around 9:00 a.m. the next day, and its expected poor performance in the Kantar ratings.

Now, ABS-CBN is once again in a bind thanks to a pair of teleseryes that will premiere today. On Kapamilya Gold, ‘The Better Half’ will replace ‘Doble Kara’, while on Primetime Bida, ‘Wildflower’ will become the first teleserye to air at 5:50 since ‘We Will Survive’.

This leaves the game show ‘Minute to Win It’ in a precarious position. With the premiere of ‘Wildflower’ on Primetime Bida, the former has no choice but to move to 5:00 p.m., leaving themselves vulnerable to not only the regionals’ broadcast of ‘TV Patrol’, but also to rival GMA game show ‘Wowowin’.

That said, only the first 30 minutes of ‘Minute to Win It’ will be preempted, leaving the last 15 or 20 minutes for the viewers in the regions to watch. So where will the regional network viewers go to with regards to this predicament?

The most obvious answer is the iWanTV app, which is readily available and has episodes of a majority of ABS-CBN programs uploaded within hours of original broadcast. The only problem with this app though is that not all people have a mobile device, computer or tablet.

Which leaves ABS-CBN with three options to solve this problem. Either they:

  1. Place the O Shopping or MYX block at 5:00 p.m. and move ‘Minute to Win It’ to before ‘Langit Lupa’
  2. Produce a ‘TV Patrol’ that focuses solely on Mega Manila and move ‘Minute to Win It’ to before ‘Langit Lupa’
  3. Cut ‘It’s Showtime”s last 30 minutes and return to a three-teleserye Kapamilya Gold

For all their dominance in the ratings game, the 5:00 p.m. slot is and will always be ABS-CBN’s weak point (this does not include their early morning programs). Unless they do something about it, the affected program’s viewership will remain compromised.

As for ‘The Better Half’ and ‘Wildflower’, this will be an opportunity to sustain ABS-CBN’s winning ways. It’s a challenge that ‘The Better Half”s Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, and ‘Wildflower”s Maja Salvador and Joseph Marco should welcome despite the network’s scheduling issues.

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You’re My Home Premieres Tonight

ABS-CBN is adding a fifth teleserye to Primetime Bida’s already formidable lineup.

The latest entry on the block is ‘You’re My Home’, the long-awaited project of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta. The series was first planned two years ago, but numerous casting and story changes delayed the project until this year.

The original cast of ‘You’re My Home’ would have featured Richard and Dawn along with Enchong Dee, Shaina Magdayao, Iza Calzado, Cherry Pie Picache, Ella Cruz and Francis Magundayao. Instead, ABS-CBN decided to start over and rework the casting process.

With the exception of Richard and Dawn, the rest of the cast will now feature Jessy Mendiola, JC de Vera, Tonton Gutierrez, Paul Salas, Precious Lara Quigaman, Assunta De Rossi, Jobelle Salvador, Mika Dela Cruz, Minnie Aguilar, Peewee O’Hara, Belle Mariano, Bugoy Carino, and Raikko Mateo. The series will be directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Star Creatives will handle production.

‘You’re My Home”s story will revolve around a family’s search for a lost son and the questions that surround his disappearance. The Fontanilla family of Grace (Jessy), Gabriel (Richard), Marian (Dawn) and Rahm (Sam) will have to find a way to not only look for their son Vince (Paul), but also fix a relationship that was ruined by his disappearance.

As mentioned earlier, ‘You’re My Home’ will be the network’s fifth teleserye on the Primetime Bida block. Counting the three other teleseryes on Kapamilya Gold and the late-morning series ‘Ningning’, ABS-CBN will now have a total of nine teleseryes every weekday, further demonstrating the network’s depth, creativity and financial capabilities.

It will be interesting to see if five teleseryes on primetime will translate to better ratings. ‘You’re My Home’ may be a can’t miss, but whether or not it will whet viewers’ appetites in the late-evening remains to be seen.

‘You’re My Home’ premieres tonight after ‘On the Wings of Love’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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