drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Can AlDub Rule Primetime with Destined to Be Yours?

Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza’s biggest test lies ahead.

After spending over a year captivating viewers with their spontaneous ‘kilig’ and acting skills on ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye, the popular love team now moves over to primetime for a new challenge. As a reward to their enduring success, GMA and APT Entertainment gave Alden and Maine a new project in hopes of conquering a new audience.

Enter ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the upcoming drama series which will air later tonight on GMA Telebabad. It will be Alden’s first lead primetime series since the ill-fated mini-drama ‘Ilustrado’, while it will be the first for the still-relative newcomer Maine.

In ‘Destined to Be Yours’, Benjie (Alden) is an up-and-coming architect who spearheads a construction project in the mountainous area of Pelangi. As fate would have it, he meets Sinag (Maine), a radio jock in the province, and the two soon fell in love with each other.

However, their philosophical differences would soon get in the way of their relationship. That said, it will be up to them to sort their issues and find true love within their hearts.

‘Destined to Be Yours’ will also star Janice de Belen, Boots Anson Roa, Lotlot de Leon, Gardo Versoza, Tommy Abuel, ina Feleo, Ronnie Henares, Sheena Halili, Dominic Roco, Juancho Trivino, RJ Padilla, and Koreen Medina. It will be directed by Irene Villamor.

While Alden and Maine have established themselves as a love team to be reckoned with, conquering primetime will not be easy for the two. The dominance of ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, in particular, has taken its toll on GMA Telebabad, and for the network, giving AlDub a teleserye of their own could be the block’s last chance at survival.

It will also be interesting to see if AlDub on primetime can win over netizens on social media. Considering how highly successful ABS-CBN is in drawing millions of tweets for their shows, GMA will definitely have their hands full trying to make an impact online with AlDub’s newest series.

As AlDub takes over GMA Telebabad, it remains to be seen if their overwhelming success on noontime will translate over to primetime. With high expectations mounting, GMA can only hope that Alden and Maine will deliver and reverse course for the seemingly moribund Telebabad block.

‘Destined to Be Yours’ airs weeknights after ‘Encantadia’ on GMA Telebabad.

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entertainment, game show, talent show, television

Laff Camera Action Premiere Fails to Pay Off

There’s nothing to laugh about on GMA these days.

Last Saturday, GMA’s newest comedy game show ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ officially premiered on the network’s Sabado Star Power block. Hosted by Betong and Sheena Halili, the show features two aspiring teams of comedians in a showcase of unscripted and improvisational comedy (sample video from episode 1 below).

A lot was expected on ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’, considering its purpose of putting up-and-coming comedians on the spotlight. Unfortunately, the show’s debut episode failed to impress the entire nation, as it scored a paltry 8.2%.

The initial performance of ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ was similar to the finale of its predecessor ‘CelebriTV’, in which it scored an 8.1% rating. At this point, it’s hard to fathom why the 4:30 p.m. timeslot on Saturdays is a bane for the Kapuso network, and why GMA was not willing to pit ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ with ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’.

Any critical viewer knows that ‘Family Feud”s overreliance on celebrities as its contestants does more harm than good. If GMA were smart and daring enough, they would have placed ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ (whose purpose is different from ‘Family Feud’) opposite the former, in hopes of drawing any disgruntled viewer who doesn’t like ABS-CBN’s ‘un-Kapamilya’ act.

But as it turned out, GMA is not willing to make that possible, all because of ratings. ABS-CBN’s obsessive celebrity approach to game shows continues to pay off no matter the harm it causes, and thus GMA wants nothing to do with this matchup.

With episode 1 behind them, GMA can only hope that ‘Laff, Camera, Action!’ will show some semblance of improvement. Given ABS-CBN’s more impressive afternoon and beyond lineup, it will not be an easy task, but with smart promotional strategies, it should pay off.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Poor Señorita to Challenge Ang Probinsyano Starting Tonight

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, meet Coco Martin.

After easily disposing both ‘MariMar’ and ‘Little Nanay’, ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ now awaits a new opponent. This time, young stars will not be the focus of this new GMA teleserye, but rather, a still-relevant 40-year-old Asia’s Songbird

Yes, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid remains a visible figure after nearly three decades in the industry. Although she earned her stripes as a singer, she also had major success as an actress, and starting tonight, the latter aspect of her talents will be shown on the upcoming series ‘Poor Señorita’.

In ‘Poor Señorita’, Regine plays Rita, a successful yet obsessive-compulsive owner of a perfume company. After suddenly losing her wealth, she stumbled upon five children who would try to help her get back on her feet, and in the process, show her the true meaning of love and happiness.

Joining Regine on ‘Poor Señorita’ are Mikael Daez, Sheena Halili, Kevin Santos, Valeen Montenegro, Jaya, Ervic Vijandre, Jillian Ward, Miggs Cuaderno, Zymic Jaranilla, Caprice Cayetano, Ralph Noriega, Snooky Serna, Ayra Mariano and Elyson de Dios. For Ayra and Elyson, it will be their first project after winning ‘StarStruck’ season 6.

Playing special roles on ‘Poor Señorita’ are Ricky Davao and Dingdong Dantes. Dominic Zapata will be the series’ director.

‘Poor Señorita’ is the latest in a series of attempts by GMA Telebabad to make their dramas lighter and more family-friendly. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out, and the fact that ABS-CBN (with the help of Dreamscape and Star Creatives) succeeded with dramas that appeal to the everyday Filipino made it more difficult for GMA to thrive.

That said, a daunting challenge awaits ‘Poor Señorita’ on its very first week. With ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ on a roll, the former needs to prove that they can also keep up and make lighter series just as appealing to viewers.

‘Poor Señorita’ airs starting tonight after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

High Expectations Await ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ Sans Marian

There is considerable pressure for Rhian Ramos as ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter”s premiere nears.

After all, she was chosen to replace the teleserye’s original lead star Marian Rivera, who had to back out from the series due to her impending pregnancy. That said, a talent as big as Marian’s looms so large that high expectations were quickly bestowed on Rhian’s shoulders upon getting the nod as her replacement.

In the upcoming series, Rhian will play the role of Jade Tanchingco, an heiress of a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family. With the help of her father, she sought for a suitor, even going as far as giving the bachelor P5 million if he is successful in wooing her.

But as it turned out, Jade would reveal herself as a lesbian, throwing her family into a series of revelations that will challenge her personal truths. It’s up to her to choose what’s important: family or her lesbian lovers.

Joining Rhian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will be Glaiza de Castro, Al Tantay, Luis Alandy, Katrina Halili, Mike Tan, Chynna Ortaleza, Sheena Halili, Ms. Gloria Romero, Pauleen Luna, Paolo Contis, TJ Trinidad, Charee Pineda, Stephanie Sol, Glydel Mercado and Tony Mabesa. Dominic Zapata, famous for another same-sex drama in ‘My Husband’s Lover’, will direct the upcoming series.

The success of ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will depend on how Rhian will be able to portray the lesbian lover role effectively, and on how viewers will respond to her performance. It will also be a huge test to see how the series fares well against its upcoming rival, ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’.

Nevertheless, GMA is confident that Rhian will be an able replacement for Marian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. Now GMA must hope that their faith in Rhian in the series will pay off.

‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ premieres this Monday after ‘Let the Love Begin’ on GMA Telebabad.

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entertainment, Philippines, television

Double Serving of GMA’s New Teleseryes

 

In only three weeks, the GMA Telebabad lineup debuted three new teleseryes. That is a turnover of over a half from its previous lineup.

Just last Friday, two GMA teleseryes aired their series finales. ‘Binoy Henyo’, a story of a wonder kid with an impoverished life, finished its run with the titular character Binoy (David Remo) reuniting with his real parents Agnes (Sheena Halili) and Francis (Luis Alandy), only after Agnes was acquitted of all charges filed against her by Emily (Gwen Zamora). Likewise ‘Anna Karenina‘, a story of three girls trying to solve the mystery of the real Anna Karenina, ended its run after it was revealed that Anna (Barbie Forteza) was the real Anna Karenina.

And yesterday GMA debuted a pair of new teleseryes: the kiligserye ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’, starring the love team of Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal, and ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’, starring Julie Ann San Jose and Kristoffer Martin. The former tells the story of Princess, an orphaned young woman who nevertheless showed determination and hard work. She eventually fell in love with Nick, but only after they cross paths once more after first meeting in an orphanage. The latter tells the story of Leandro and Pauline, born handicapped and out of poverty but eventually fell in love through music, but only after a series of family squabbles threatened their love for each other.

Air times for ‘Prinsesa ng Buhay Ko’ and ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ are currently sandwiched between GMA’s early evening newscast ’24 Oras’, occupying the slots vacated by ‘Binoy Henyo’ and ‘Anna Karenina’, respectively. GMA’s two new offerings are also aired opposite ABS-CBN’s highly-rated series ‘Annaliza’ and ‘Juan de la Cruz‘, whose ratings have remained highly consistent even as GMA continues to search for answers regarding their low ratings in the late afternoon/early evening timeslot.

After ‘Mundo Mo’y Akin’ ended its run and was replaced by ‘Akin Pa Rin Ang Bukas’, followed by the aforementioned new teleseryes, GMA has turned over half of its ‘Telebabad’ lineup, a sign that the network is still searching for stability on primetime. Nevertheless, Kapuso fans hope that with fresh blood comes a better ratings return for the Kapuso network.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, news, Philippines, politics, television, United States

The Absence of Fake News on Philippine TV

In the United States, the two most popular fake news programs today are Comedy Central’sThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart‘ and ‘The Colbert Report‘. Both shows offer a humorous take on current news events that affect both the United States and the international scene, with ‘The Colbert Report’ emphasizing a commentary and pundit-based approach similar to ‘The O’Reilly Factor‘. The popularity and critical acclaim of the two programs make them one of the most iconic television shows in the US.

In the Philippines, fake news programs are a rarity, and only a few programs ended up gaining  high viewership figures. One of the earliest fake news programs is ‘Sic O’ Clock News’, aired on IBC-13 in the late 1980s. The program was hosted by Jaime Fabregas and Ces Quesada, with the late Rene Requiestas as one of the program’s most notable players. The program focused on issues that affected both the country and internationally at the time, and the way they delivered the news in a humorous and often riotous manner made it a television icon during the administration of Cory Aquino.

‘Sic O’ Clock News’ was directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, who later presided in the filming of ‘Jose Rizal’ and ‘Muro-Ami’ in the late 1990s, both of which likewise earned praise and critical acclaim.

After the demise of ‘Sic O’ Clock News’, elements of fake news skits were seen in programs such as ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘Tropang Trumpo‘, ‘Ispup’, ‘Super Laff-In‘ and other gag shows in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was not until 2004 that the fake news program was revived, in the form of Studio 23’s ‘Wazzup Wazzup‘. Hosted by then-newly-contracted Kapamilya Toni Gonzaga, Vhong Navarro and Drew Arellano, the show aired for three years and featured mockups of news stories, rather than commentaries on current issues.

While ‘Wazzup Wazzup’ enjoyed decent audience figures, the show was eventually axed three years later, owing to the busy schedules of the main hosts. Nevertheless, the program served as a vehicle for Studio 23’s shift of viewership from the niche upper class to the youth and ‘masa’, an emphasis that I wrote in a previous article.

In 2011, GMA News TV launched ‘May Tamang Balita‘. Originally hosted by Ramon Bautista, Sheena Halili and Janna Dominguez, the show ran for two years before it was axed for unknown reasons. Like ‘Wazzup Wazzup’, ‘May Tamang Balita’ offered mockups of news stories, presented ’24 Oras’ style unlike the more freelance approach of ‘Wazzup Wazzup’. The most popular segment of the show would see Dominguez strip to her underwear in the middle of her mock weather report. The original iteration of ‘May Tamang Balita’ lasted for 60 minutes.

After the departures of Halili and Dominguez, Betong Sumaya, Maey Bautista, Boobay and Jinri Park would arrive and the show’s format would emphasis less on mock news reporting in favor of more celebrity-related reports. Their arrivals caused the show to cut air time to 30 minutes, but failing ratings and lack of originality would cause the program’s demise.

As of the moment, the fake news genre is absent on Philippine television. Perhaps it is the ongoing sensitive nature of the news that prevented the creation of full-time news parodies. Whatever the case, we may never see comedians deliver fake news to the viewers in the near future.

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