action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Return of Alyas Robin Hood

This is not a rerun.

On Monday, August 14, GMA announced the return of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ to the small screen. The second season (or Book 2 in teleserye lingo) will bring back almost the same cast with the addition of new actors to spice up the series.

Continuing the same series after a lengthy hiatus is nothing new to Philippine television. In 2007, ABS-CBN’s ‘Maging Sino Ka Man’ received a second season after a break of six months; take note that this does not include sequels of a particular series such as the ‘Encantadia’ trilogy or the ‘Lobo’ franchise.

The new season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will once again be headlined by Dingdong Dantes as Pepe, the former vigilante-turned-lawyer. New challenges await the protagonist, such as the kidnapping of his mother, the revelation of some of his secrets, and a powerful evil force that threatens the city.

Andrea Torres will reprise the role of Venus, Pepe’s ally and love interest. But instead of bringing back Megan Young’s character Sarri for season 2, GMA brought in Solenn Heussaff to portray Pepe’s other love interest, Iris.

Also returning for season 2 will be Ms. Jaclyn Jose, who will once again breathe life to Pepe’s mother Judy. Rounding out the mix of returning and new cast members are Ruru Madrid, Edu Manzano, Gary Estrada, Paolo Contis, Jay Manalo, Rey ‘PJ’ Abellana, Gio Alvarez, KC Montero, Lindsay de Vera, Dave Bornea, Rob Moya, Antonette Garcia and Luri Nalus.

The first season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ ran from September 19, 2016 to February 24, 2017. The series, while a decent performer with 115 episodes in total, could not get past ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’ in the ratings.

On its second season, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will go up against the KathNiel-led series ‘La Luna Sangre’. Considering that the latter is raking in at least 35% in the national ratings of late, ‘Alyas Robin Hood”s task became even more difficult now that they face the popular tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla (not to mention former GMA star Richard Gutierrez).

Still, for loyal followers of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ who stuck through the difficult times, the return of the series is like a breath of fresh air. With GMA keeping the faith, one can only hope that the second season of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will last just as long as the first.

Directed by Dominic Zapata, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ airs weeknights after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, hits, humor, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Full House Tonight: A Poor Man’s Version of Sunday PinaSaya

Seems like GMA is producing its own ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ for Saturday nights.

Hoping to make good use of their otherwise lethargic Saturday primetime lineup, GMA decided to go all out and unveil a new comedy-musical variety show. The show is called ‘Full House Tonight’, and its lead host is none other than Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Yes, Regine is still with Channel 7 (she also hosts ‘Sarap Diva’ on the same channel) even as her husband Ogie Alcasid moved over to archrival ABS-CBN in order to become a judge on ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. Talk about a divorce of the professional kind.

Anyway, ‘Full House Tonight’ will feature a mix of sketches, improvisational comedy, parody and stand-up comedy with a hint of stage musical performances thrown in for good measure. Of course, there will be some special guests to spice up the show.

In essence, ‘Full House Tonight’ is ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on a Saturday night, or perhaps more like a Filipino working man’s version of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’. At worst it could be another ‘Comedy Central Market’ or ‘Comedy Bar’.

‘Full House Tonight’ will also feature Solenn Heussaff, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Joross Gamboa as Regine’s co-hosts. They will be joined by comedians Philip Lazaro, Kim Idol, Terry Gian, Sarah Brakensiek, Tammy Brown, and Nar Cabico.

A daunting task lies ahead for ‘Full House Tonight’ as they begin their run this Saturday. The show will premiere against ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and based on the latter’s strong ratings as it nears its conclusion, there is no doubt that ‘Full House Tonight’ will have its hands full in trying to win this battle.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Full House Tonight’ can reinvigorate GMA’s Sabado Star Power primetime. The show may have an interesting and novel format, but it will be up to the viewers to judge.

‘Full House Tonight’ airs every Saturday night after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Encantadia 2016: A Threat or an Afterthought

The returning ‘Encantadia’ will have their hands full against ‘Ang Probinsyano’ when it premieres this Monday. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

It will be the Sang’gres of ‘Encantadia’ against Cardo (Coco Martin) of ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

A lot has been said about the impressive ratings of ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’. After all, this TV adaptation of the classic Fernando Poe, Jr. flick has been reaching the 40% mark of late, blowing out its embarrassed competitor (GMA’s ‘Poor Señorita’) in the dust.

But as ‘Encantadia’ gets underway this Monday, ‘Ang Probinsyano”s momentum could be in doubt. And GMA is going all out in this costly venture of theirs.

The 2016 version of ‘Encantadia’ will be headlined by the four Sang’gres, portrayed by Glaiza de Castro (as Pirena), Kylie Padilla (as Amihan), Gabbi Garcia (as Alena), and Sanya Lopez (as Danaya). Other notable cast members include Marian Rivera, Rocco Nacino, Solenn Heussaff, Ruru Madrid, John Arcilla and Dingdong Dantes.

Director Mark Reyes will breathe new life into this iconic fantaserye. Once again, computer-generated imagery (CGI) will be used extensively, but for this version, updated editing software will be used, along with various other technologies.

But the biggest question surrounding ‘Encantadia’ is whether or not GMA will finally embrace the 16:9 widescreen high definition format. Considering GMA’s continued unwillingness to use the new format (even with the use of HD cameras), it is clear that their old-school mentality may hurt ‘Encantadia”s quality and appeal.

Which is why the Encantadia Saga Facebook fan page went as far as writing an open letter to GMA management. They claimed that using the 16:9 format will bring a full viewing experience to an epic program such as ‘Encantadia’, as opposed to 4:3 which cuts some of the details.

Still, the biggest question surrounding ‘Encantadia’ is whether or not it will be able to overcome ‘Ang Probinsyano’. That said, the first week of the new ‘Encantadia’ will be very crucial, as they try to make an impact against an extremely formidable opponent.

Come this Monday, it will be ‘Encantadia’ against the world. Will they come out on top, or become the latest victim of ‘Ang Probinsyano”s dominance?

Find out starting July 18.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

With A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo, KiliTV Return Imminent

Remember GMA’s KiliTV block?

Back in the early and mid-2000s, GMA used to have a comedy block that immediately aired after GMA Telebabad (around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.). Some of the most memorable programs that once aired on the KiliTV block include:

  • Kool Ka Lang
  • Nuts Entertainment
  • Idol Ko Si Kap
  • Beh Bote Nga
  • Lagot Ka, Isusumbong Kita
  • Daddy Di Do Du
  • Bahay Mo ‘Ba To
  • Bubble Gang

By 2008, however, KiliTV was deemphasized in favor of an extended GMA Telebabad. Today, ‘Bubble Gang’ was the lone program left from the original block.

Eight years later, however, a revival of the KiliTV block appeared to be in the works. As GMA shifted its focus to comedy/romance in some of their Telebabad series (e.g. ‘Poor Señorita’, ‘Juan Happy Love Story’), it was only fitting that a new comedy program will consolidate all of that.

Tonight, GMA proudly presents ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, a sexy sitcom that should make every Thursday nights hotter and funnier. The program will be led by Jaclyn Jose, who will play the role of a talent manager who searches for a perfect beauty queen.

Also starring in ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ are Gardo Versoza, Solenn Heussaff, Sef Cadayona, Denise Barbacena, Gee Canlas, Benjamin Alves, Roi Vinzon, Ervic Vijandre and Mara Alberto. It will be directed by Randy Santiago.

With the entry of ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’, the Koreanovela slot of GMA Telebabad will now be reduced to just three episodes per week. This should not pose a problem, as most Koreanovelas tend to have fewer episodes.

Still, it remains to be seen if ‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ can revive the presence of sitcoms on weeknights. That said, expect an interesting first few weeks for the sitcom, as they try to convince viewers that change is once again on the horizon.

‘A1 Ko Sa ‘Yo’ airs Thursday nights after ‘Juan Happy Love Story’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

With Impending Encantadia Requel, GMA Goes for Broke

It’s official: ‘Encantadia’ is returning to GMA.

The announcement was made last night during the evening newscast ’24 Oras’. Throughout the newscast, the upcoming ‘requel’ (portmanteau of reboot and prequel) revealed its main cast members, which are as follows:

  • Glaiza de Castro (as Sang’gre Pirena, originally portrayed by Sunshine Dizon)
  • Kylie Padilla (as Sang’gre Amihan, originally portrayed by Iza Calzado)
  • Gabbi Garcia (as Sang’gre Alena, originally portrayed by Karylle)
  • Sanya Lopez (as Sang’gre Danaya, originally portrayed by Diana Zubiri)
  • Ruru Madrid (as Ybarro/Ybrahim, originally portrayed by Dingdong Dantes)
  • Rocco Nacino (as Aquil, originally portrayed by Alfred Vargas)

They will be joined by Marian Rivera, who will play Dawn Zulueta’s original role as the Inang Reyna.

In addition, the press conference announced the names of the supporting cast members. They are:

  •  John Arcilla (as Hagorn)
  • Rochelle Pangilinan (as Agane)
  • Vaness del Moral (as Gurna)
  • Pancho Magno (as Hitano)
  • Christian Bautista (as Apitong)
  • Carlo Gonzales (as Muros)
  • Kate Valdez (as Mira)
  • Mikee Quintos (as Lira)
  • Klea Pineda (as Muyak)
  • Migo Adecer (as Anthony)
  • Solenn Heussaff (as Cassiopeia)

Mark Reyes will be the director of the new ‘Encantadia’, and he revealed that a few changes will be made on the ‘requel’ without sacrificing the main story of the original series. That said, expect a fresher and more modern ‘Encantadia’ for the new generation.

The original ‘Encantadia’ aired on GMA during the mid-2000s, and spawned two sequels in ‘Etheria: Ang Ikalimang Kaharian ng Encantadia’ and ‘Encantadia: Pag-Ibig Hanggang Wakas’. A planned reboot of ‘Encantadia’ (titled ‘Encantadia: The Second Saga’) was announced in 2010, but was never materialized.

When it first aired, ‘Encantadia’ became one of GMA’s highly-rated series, thanks in large part to the popularity of the fantaserye during that time. But the production of ‘Encantadia’ and its two sequels took its toll on GMA financially, and they have never recovered since.

With the Kapuso network in a crisis of confidence, what chances will they have with the ‘requel’ of ‘Encantadia’? And how will this series be able to thrive amidst a more conservative approach in teleserye production?

Only time will tell.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

As Ilustrado Debuts, Ikaw Lamang Departs

A new-look GMA Telebabad premieres this week, while ABS-CBN says goodbye to one of their hits.

The ‘bayani-serye’ ‘Ilustrado’ will make its much-anticipated premiere later tonight. The series will be led by Alden Richards as Jose Rizal and Kylie Padilla as Leonor Rivera, with supporting roles by Solenn Heussaff, Max Collins, Eula Valdez, Jaclyn Jose, Polo Ravales, Ricardo Cepeda, Freddie Webb and Mailes Kanapi.

‘Ilustrado’ will focus less on Rizal’s struggles for Philippine independence and his work on ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’. Instead, it will feature a more human side in the life of the national hero and his fellow reformists, from their relationships to their day-to-day struggles with ordinary citizens.

The premiere of ‘Ilustrado’ should be an interesting one, as it will go up against ‘Two Wives’. The latter series has been on a roll since it debuted last week, and should pose a challenge to the more qualitative and informative ‘Ilustrado’.

Meanwhile, the still-struggling ‘Hiram na Alaala’ will be moved to an earlier timeslot, opposite an ABS-CBN Primetime Bida  teleserye that is about to end this week.

‘Ikaw Lamang’, the period drama that started last March, will bid goodbye on October 24. The series will have two chapters and 162 episodes at the end of its run.

Initially starring Kim Chiu (as Isabelle) Julia Montes (as Mona), Coco Martin (as Samuel) and Jake Cuenca (as Franco), Montes’ character was killed off just as Book 1 was winding down. When Book 2 got underway, Chiu and Martin were now assigned to portray the roles of Gabriel and Andrea, respectively.

Book 2 also featured Amy Austria, Joel Torre and Christopher de Leon as the older Isabelle, Samuel and Franco, while KC Concepcion took on the role of Natalia, daughter of Isabelle and Franco.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ was one of ABS-CBN’s highly-rated teleseryes throughout its run. The show even outlasted its main arch-rival ‘My Destiny’, whose run from June 30 to October 17 came just as the former was at the peak of its success.

That said, it should be interesting to see how ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will fare in its final week against ‘Hiram na Alaala’.  Expect the conclusion of this series to be a highly-anticipated one.

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be replaced by ‘Forevermore’, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

 

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