comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

So Long, Luv U

‘Luv U’ aired for the last time last Sunday afternoon, ending a near four-year run. (Logo courtesy of ABS-CBN)

The last remaining teen-oriented series in the country has finally departed.

On Sunday, January 17, ABS-CBN’s ‘Luv U’ officially aired its final episode. The series bowed out after nearly four years on the air, with a total of 203 episodes to boot.

The final episode of ‘Luv U’ marked the end of an era for teen-oriented series, which began when GMA’s ‘T.G.I.S.’ premiered in mid-1995. With the cast’s desire to move on to other projects and at the same time devote several hours of school time, it is clear that the series would have to end.

First aired on February 19, 2012, ‘Luv U’ was essentially a grown-up version of ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, featuring the then-teenage graduates of the latter series. Early episodes of the series were more humor-oriented, but as the years went by, more serious elements were added, each emphasizing on the real-life struggles of Filipino teenagers.

‘Luv U’ originally aired in between ‘ASAP’ and ‘The Buzz’, but in April 2015, it was moved to the late afternoon slot to replace the latter. While ratings for the series were respectable overall, the change of timeslot in later episodes caused it to fall.

Nevertheless, ‘Luv U”s final episode made a lasting impression. While ratings for the finale are yet to be revealed, it managed to trend on Twitter.

On Instagram, cast member Miles Ocampo, now lead protagonist of ‘And I Love You So’, posted this message:

“MAMI-MISS KO ang gumising ng umaga tuwing Monday, ang mag script reading, ang asaran, ang foodtrip, ang tawanan, ang friendship at ang nabuong pamilya.”

“THANK YOU sa mga experiences, sa sad and happy memories, sa mga pagturo ng maraming lessons at sa pagbibigay saakin ng pagmamahal.. Sa lahat po ng sumuporta sa LUV U sa loob ng 4 NA TAON, maraming maraming salamat po sainyong lahat.”

The cast of ‘Luv U’ also includes Kiray Celis, Marco Gumabao, Sharlene San Pedro, Alexa Ilacad, Nash Aguas, Jairus Aquino, Mika Dela Cruz, Rhap Salazar, Smokey Manaloto, Hyubs Azarcon, Bentong, and Joy Viado, among others. Edgar Mortiz and sons Frasco and Badjie directed the series.

The fate of the now-vacant 4:45 p.m. slot is still to be determined. Regardless, ‘Luv U’ will be missed by its loyal viewers, and the lessons that come with it will never be forgotten.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

1995 Flashback: T.G.I.S. and the Advent of Teen-Oriented Series

Some of the first batch members of ‘T.G.I.S.’ as they appear in 1995. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

Yesterday would have been the 20th anniversary of ‘T.G.I.S.’

Premiering on July 8, 1995, ‘T.G.I.S.’ became a Filipino pioneer in the teen-oriented drama genre. While there were a few other dramas that featured teenagers as lead stars (e.g. Julie Vega’s ‘Anna Liza’ and Janice de Belen’s ‘Flordeluna’), ‘T.G.I.S.’ became the first to feature a cast dominated by teenage actors.

Before ‘T.G.I.S.’, some of the country’s rising young stars had made their mark through shows such as GMA’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang TV’. The two shows provided a venue for the youngsters to showcase their talents, but it was not enough.

Eventually, VIVA Television and GMA developed a plan that would give a new batch of young stars an avenue to expose their acting skills. Thus, ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched.

‘T.G.I.S.’ became an immediate hit soon after it premiered. The success of ‘T.G.I.S.’ led to a feature film that was released in 1997, as well as a spinoff series ‘Growing Up’ that aired from 1997-99.

The first batch of ‘T.G.I.S.’ were led by Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon, a.k.a. Wacks and Peachy, respectively. Other members of the first batch include Michael Flores, Red Sternberg, Raven Villanueva, Rica Peralejo, Onemig Bondoc, Jake Roxas, Bernadette Allyson and Maybelyn dela Cruz.

The first batch anchored ‘T.G.I.S.’ for two years, before giving way to a new cast of young stars. The second batch, which lasted another two years, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Antoinette Taus, alongside Polo Ravales, Kim delos Santos, Sunshine Dizon, Chubi del Rosario, Anne Curtis, Chantal Umali and Dino Guevarra.

Unknown to some, future newscasters Mitzi Borromeo and Menchu Macapagal were also part of the ‘T.G.I.S.’ cast. Meanwhile, Ciara Sotto was part of both batches of ‘T.G.I.S.’, later joining ‘Growing Up’ upon her character’s graduation from high school.

‘T.G.I.S.’ paved the way for similar teen-oriented dramas that became a staple of weekend afternoon programming. Examples include ‘Gimik’ (later ‘G-Mik’), ‘Click’, ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Berks’.

In late 2012, another spinoff of ‘T.G.I.S.’ was launched, called ‘Teen Gen’. Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon reprised their roles as Wacks and Peachy, alongside GMA’s new batch of young stars, but it only managed to air for over six months without success.

While ‘T.G.I.S.’ no longer airs today, it will still be remembered for changing the way teenage actors were exposed and promoted. They were a game-changer, and another reason why 1995 became a memorable year in Philippine television.

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