comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, live events, Philippines, television, variety show

#AlDub Puts Eat Bulaga Back on Track

‘Tamang panahon’ is just what the doctor ordered for ‘Eat Bulaga’.

This past month saw AlDub take the 36-year-old variety show by storm, and viewers were gradually hooked to its spontaneous storytelling and unpredictability. Everywhere in the country, people took time off just to see the ‘Kalyeserye’ unfold and take to social media on the budding story.

The AlDub tandem, consisting of GMA hearthrob Alden Richards, and Dubsmash queen Maine Mendoza (a.k.a. Yaya Dub), were first paired on ‘Eat Bulaga”s July 16 episode. The segments involving the two eventually became an integral part of the ‘Juan for All, All for Juan’ segment, leading to the now-infamous ‘Kalyeserye’ subsegment.

It also helped ‘Eat Bulaga’ improve its already impressive ratings, and in the process, earn a younger set of viewers and a place among Twitter’s trending topics. This week alone was no exception, as two more recent episodes ‘broke the internet’ and gave ‘Eat Bulaga’ its best ratings performance of the year.

Saturday’s ‘wedding’ between Yaya Dub and Alden’s rival Frankie A. Arinoli (played by Jose Manalo, who also acts as narrator ‘Gasgas Abelgas’) ended with Maine fainting on-air (which was not part of the script) and Alden’s eventual failed attempt at locating her. It was later revealed that Maine was not feeling well in the hours leading to the skit.

Then on last Wednesday’s episode, Yaya Dub was scheduled to perform on the ‘Bulaga Pa More’ segment. It was anticipated to be the first on-air meeting between Alden and Yaya Dub, but things didn’t turn out as planned, as Yaya Dub left Broadway Centrum following her performance and Alden once again failed to locate her in time.

No one knows when Alden and Yaya Dub will finally meet in person, but as Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola) always says when questioning the pairing’s motives, it will eventually happen, ‘sa tamang panahon’. And all things will have to wait.

Once again, ‘Eat Bulaga’ strikes at the right time. After 36 years, this long-running variety show continues to amaze everyone, young and old, with new tricks and gimmicks to help it succeed.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Same Time, Same Day Ending for Bridges of Love, The Rich Man’s Daughter

Both ‘Bridges of Love’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ are down to their final two episodes.

In a rare moment in Philippine television, two rival programs will air their respective series finales at the same time and on the same day. ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’ and GMA’s ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will have their final episodes aired tomorrow night at 9:15 p.m.

‘Bridges of Love’ were led by Maja Salvador, Paulo Avelino and Jericho Rosales. A story that features two brothers fighting for the love of a seductive female dancer, the series premiered on March 16 on the Primetime Bida block, and ran for 103 episodes.

On the other hand, ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ were led by Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro and Luis Alandy. A story that features a rich and influential Chinese-Filipino woman who was romantically linked to a lesbian, the series premiered on May 11 on the Telebabad block, and aired for 65 episodes.

While ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ featured a similar storyline as ‘My Husband’s Lover’ (this time with females portrayed as lovers), it failed to equal, let alone surpass, the success of the latter. In fact, it was a mismatch from the start, with ‘Bridges of Love’ doubling its ratings total over ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ with each episode.

The contrast of fortunes for both series continued into social media, as ‘Bridges of Love’ remained a hot topic among netizens compared to ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. The fact that the latter went largely unnoticed on Twitter despite featuring a novel storyline involving lesbianism only caused a great deal of concern and worry within the GMA camp.

It will be interesting to see which series finale will have the last laugh. Will it be the love triangle between Maja, Paulo and Echo, or the love triangle between Rhian, Glaiza and Luis?

One thing’s for sure: a frantic finish awaits both ‘Bridges of Love’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Unable to Beat Kathniel and Pangako Sa ‘Yo, GMA Resorts to Its Old Reliables

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ took its toll on GMA once again.

Fifteen years after the original series took the then-Rainbow Network by surprise, the newly-revised version of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ again proved its lasting power in the era of social media. It showed that even with new actors, new technology and a tweaked script, the results will still be the same.

For rival ‘Let the Love Begin’, it was a total disappointment. GMA tried to concoct a new and promising love team with Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, but it never clicked with the viewers at all.

Whether it’s the ‘Forevermore’ duo of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, or ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the GabRu duo failed to match the chemistry and mass appeal of its rivals. And after 70 episodes by the end of Friday’s finale, their future as an on-screen duo is now in doubt.

Now GMA is going back to its old reliables in hopes of curtailing the momentum of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. Enter Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista of the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

In ‘Beautiful Strangers’, Heart and Lovi are billed as rivals, in contrast to their off-screen friendship. Heart plays the role of a kind-hearted plastic surgeon, while Lovi portrays the role of an interior designer with a dark past.

The two lead stars will be joined by Christopher de Leon, Benjamin Alves, Rocco Nacino, Dina Bonnevie, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Renz Valerio, Kier Legaspi, Dianne Medina, Djanin Cruz, Gab de Leon, Nar Cabico, Mariel Pamintuan and Lovely Rivero. ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Once ‘Beautiful Strangers’ premieres this Monday, it will be the second of three new dramas that GMA will introduce on the same day, as part of a month-long overhaul of Telebabad. But it remains to be seen if the new series will pose a more interesting challenge to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’.

One thing’s for sure: GMA still can’t make the most out of their younger talents and now resort to old-timers in hopes of gaining some relevance.

‘Beautiful Strangers’ airs starting August 10 at 8:30 p.m. after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Evaluating the First Month of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports V.2

The NCAA’s return to ABS-CBN Sports has been a good one so far. (Logo courtesy of the NCAA)

The second incarnation of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports is now a month old.

The oldest collegiate league in the country returned to ABS-CBN Sports in hopes of getting back on track. So far, though, viewers were treated to a slightly similar broadcast approach as the one that Sports5 previously handled, with a few differences of course.

Here’s a look at how ABS-CBN was able to make their mark on the league so far.

Use of Taglish

Unexpectedly, the network decided to use Taglish while calling the games. In their first run from 2002-12, ABS-CBN Sports announcers called the NCAA games in English, but with Sports+Action increasingly attracting a mass audience, the use of Taglish was necessitated.

This was the same approach that TV5 used when they covered the NCAA, but unfortunately for them, they failed to catch on for various reasons.

Emphasis on Social Media

The NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports also tapped in a new market called social media. Throughout each game, tweets and Instagram posts from players, fans and even basketball enthusiasts are read by the announcers in relation to the game at hand, with an official hashtag to boot.

They even allow announcers to take pre-game selfies (a novel practice in sports broadcasting), which are then posted to their individual Instagram accounts. And for the curious viewers, graphics of the announcers’ names now include their Twitter and/or Instagram accounts.

New Announcers

Speaking of announcers, ABS-CBN Sports employed a mix of young and experienced broadcasters to the NCAA game. Anton Roxas and Andrei Felix were carried over from the original incarnation, while Boom Labrusca, who also doubles as a courtside reporter, is a neophyte to the play-by-play profession.

Unlike TV5 which used former professional players as analysts, ABS-CBN hired mostly former collegiate standouts in order to relate better with the college game. The network has used Mikee Reyes, Migs Bustos, Martin Antonio and Olsen Racela to analyze the games, with Racela having also worked with the Sports5 crew in the past.

Familiar and Not-So Familiar Courtside Reporters

Those who have watched the NCAA so far may notice some familiar and unsuspecting faces to the courtside reporter spot. Before the season began, ABS-CBN Sports announced that cosplayer, Hero TV jock and former ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ housemate Myrtle Sarrosa would be one of the courtside reporters for the season.

Since then, Myrtle was joined by the aforementioned Boom Labrusca, followed by Ceej Tantengco and Rox Montealegre. Quite a familiar bunch, but one with little experience to the world of sports.

The ABS-CBN Sports courtside reporters have three different responsibilities:

  1. To report on the teams’ strategies,
  2. To interview a player’s family members and friends, school alumni, students or fans, and
  3. To interview players and coaches during pregame and postgame (if applicable)

The said strategy is similar to what TV5 employed, but with less on-cam time.

Halftime Presentations

Halftime of each game usually consists of a brief glimpse of a school’s cheering exhibition, followed by a special feature and an analysis of the first half. For the viewers who had enough of TV5’s radical changes (e.g. Moneyball), this is a welcome development to bring back the intended mission of the NCAA: to promote loyalty, camaraderie and school spirit.

HD Broadcasts and Return of Smart and PLDT

In a surprise move, ABS-CBN welcomed Smart and PLDT as sponsors. The two telecommunications outfits are a sister company of ABS-CBN’s competitor TV5, which is a stunning move to say the least.

And finally, the NCAA games are now broadcast in its full 16:9 HD glory. While ABS-CBN Sports was the first to broadcast an event in HD, they did not fully take advantage of the new technology until this year.

So far, it’s been a beneficial first month of NCAA coverage. And while some would disagree with these moves, ABS-CBN is clearly intent on taking serious steps to make the NCAA more appealing to the masses.

The season is still a long way to go, but from the looks of it, the NCAA has found a perfect partner to thrive with. With a few tweaks, expect this partnership to last a lot longer.

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entertainment, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

Sorting Out ABS-CBN’s Upcoming Weekend Primetime Schedules

With the entry of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’, the weekend scheduling on ABS-CBN becomes even more tricky. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN and Endemol)

The succeeding weekends on ABS-CBN will be very tricky in the programming department.

On Saturday, June 6, the second season of ‘The Voice Kids’ officially kicked off with the ‘blind auditions’ series of episodes. The show aired following ‘Home Sweetie Home’ at 6:45 p.m., thereby putting ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’ into a temporary hiatus.

The following night, TVK’s ‘blind auditions’ continued. This time, the show aired after ‘Wansapanatym’ at 7:00 p.m., pre-empting ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ on that day.

The season premiere of ‘The Voice Kids’ came on the same weekend that ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ aired its season finale. While at first glance it seems that TVK would be the one that would replace YFSF, ABS-CBN braintrust had other ideas.

And so they did, premiering ‘The Voice Kids’ just as ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar”s first season was coming to a close. As expected, both series were a hot topic on Twitter, and as far as ratings are concerned, both are poised to hit it big in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen.

With YFSF taking a break, the focus now shifts to the upcoming weekend schedules on ABS-CBN. On the same night as YFSF’s finale, ABS-CBN announced that ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ will launch on June 20, giving the network enough time to sort out the schedule for the weekend after.

Based on logic, here are the possible weekend primetime schedules for June 20-21 and beyond:

Saturday (6:00 p.m. onwards)

  • Home Sweetie Home
  • The Voice Kids
  • Maalaala Mo Kaya
  • Pinoy Big Brother: 737
  • Banana Split: Extra Scoop
  • The Bottomline with Boy Abunda

Sunday (6:00 p.m. onwards)

  • Goin’ Bulilit
  • Wansapanatym
  • The Voice Kids
  • Rated K
  • Pinoy Big Brother: 737
  • Gandang Gabi Vice
  • Sunday’s Best

Should both TVK and PBB be held live on the same day, it may induce cramming on the part of ABS-CBN once it ran overtime. It is up to the network’s braintrust to sort this one out.

Still, expect ABS-CBN to make a bigger impact in both social media and in the ratings in the succeeding weeks. Both TVK and PBB have proven themselves to be a smash hit in both aspects, so there is nothing to worry about.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 150 Words: Forevermore Ends Run On a Superbly High Note

They began their run at the top, and they end their run at the top.

The recently-concluded ABS-CBN drama ‘Forevermore’ dominated primetime from start to finish, and following last Friday’s epic finale, the series registered its highest rating ever. ‘Forevermore’ defeated ‘Let the Love Begin’ in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen, registering numbers of 39.3% and 37% over the latter’s 16.1% and 15.3%.

With an average of over 33% in the ratings, ‘Forevermore’ was easily the highest-rated primetime series of 2015 so far. The series’ impact also showed on social media, as topics related to ‘Forevermore’ were among top trends on Twitter both nationally and globally.

Overall, ‘Forevermore’ defeated four different GMA programs during their run at the top, starting with ‘Hiram na Alaala’, followed by ‘Strawberry Lane’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and finally ‘Let the Love Begin’.

With ‘Forevermore’ officially over, it’s now up to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ to continue that run of success. But don’t expect the latter to surpass the success of ‘Forevermore’ anytime soon.

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