drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

G.R.I.N.D.: A New Breed of Teen-Oriented Series

‘G.R.I.N.D.’ stars Bruno Gabriel, Ayra Mariano, Jazz Ocampo and Benedict Campos look to make a name for themselves in GMA’s latest weekly teen series. (Photo credit: GMA Network)

There have been plenty of youth-oriented series on Philippine television.

Some of the more iconic ones include GMA’s ‘TGIS’ and ABS-CBN’s ‘Gimik’. Later on, there was ‘Tabing Ilog’ and ‘Click’, and more recently, ‘Luv U’ and ‘Teen Gen’.

These youth-oriented series were showcased during weekend afternoons to great success. But as social media and changing viewership tastes prevailed, these programs were deemphasized and soon fell off the map.

Then came last Saturday night. In an effort to bring the youth back to the small screen, GMA decided to launch a new youth-oriented program called ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ (Get Ready It’s a New Day), starring up-and-coming Kapuso stars Benedict Campos, Jazz Ocampo, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel.

‘G.R.I.N.D.’ features a story of four young millennials and their struggles to find their place in society. Carlo (Bruno) is a thriving manager in an advertising company, Solanj (Jazz) is an owner of a cafe and Carlo’s best friend, Lui (Ayra) is a breadwinner who juggles different jobs to support her family, and RK (Benedict) is a gay man who also shifts through various jobs.

In essence, ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ is GMA’s reintroduction into the weekly youth-oriented series that has long been forgotten in this day and age. But unlike those previous teen-oriented series of decades past, GMA elected to air the program during late Saturday nights in hopes of attracting teens and young adults who usually stay up late during weekends.

As unfathomable as it seems, GMA has no other choice. Their Saturday afternoon lineup is already loaded though complicated, while their Sunday afternoon slots are not conductive to programs like ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ due to lack of viewership and interest.

Now that ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ is underway, will it actually make an impact in a not-so popular late-night slot? Also, will GMA’s low-key approach to promote this program be either boon or bane? Only time will tell.

A production of Wizpher Mac Productions, ‘G.R.I.N.D.’ airs every Saturday after ‘I-Witness’ on GMA.

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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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