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.

Standard
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.

Standard
comedy, drama, entertainment, game show, movies, news, Philippines, public affairs, reality show, talk show, television

FTT Year 2013 in Review: GMA

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2014, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article will focus on the GMA Network, which had a rather abysmal performance this year.

The Positives

There have been a few bright spots for the Kapuso network. ‘Bubble Gang‘, ‘Eat Bulaga‘ and ‘Startalk‘ continued to impress in the ratings on their 18th year. ‘Pepito Manaloto‘ and ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho‘ became social media stars, and ‘I-Witness’ racked up nominations on various international award-giving bodies. They even gained notoriety by unveiling eight-year-old child star Ryzza Mae Dizon as host of her eponymous talk show.

But perhaps GMA’s most important contribution of the year was ‘My Husband’s Lover’, whose same-sex relationship storyline was both praised and derided by critics during its run. The network also scored big with Megan Young‘s victory at the 2013 Miss World and Manny Pacquiao‘s win over Brandon Rios.

GMA’s other network News TV 11 branched into the teleserye genre with ‘Bayan Ko’ and ‘Titser’, with both series earning critical and commercial acclaim. Despite the fact that both programs were uncharacteristic of a typical all-news network, its political and socially conscious storylines made it an appropriate choice to air on the said network.

The Negatives

Teleseryes like the revived ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Indio’, ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ and ‘Love & Lies’ didn’t even last at least six months, and despite the success of ‘My Husband’s Lover’, none of the other teleseryes clicked with viewers. GMA also tried to place a kiligserye (‘With a Smile’) in the morning slot, but it didn’t work out either.

On weekends, ‘Party Pilipinas‘, ‘Extra Challenge‘, ‘Teen Gen‘, ‘Dormitoryo’, ‘Hot TV’, ‘One Day Isang Araw’, and ‘Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To’ became victims of GMA’s continued purging of that slot. Eventually GMA resorted to airing four movie blocks on weekends in order to save costs. But the truth is, a majority of GMA programs have been extremely lackluster of late, and as a result of declining ratings and ad sales, its revenue declined from last year.

Worse, GMA programs ‘Bubble Gang’, ‘Unang Hirit’, ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ were summoned by the MTRCB for indecent episodes. Even sister network News TV 11 suffered thanks to repetitive public affairs programs and unconventional movie blocks.

Outlook

So what’s next for GMA? They are expected to unveil a trio of new teleseryes starring Jennylyn Mercado (‘Rhodora X’), Marian Rivera (‘Carmela’) and Louise delos Reyes (‘Kambal Sirena’) in the new year. However, with its rival continuing to push the envelope thanks to its younger roster of stars and newly-acquired television franchises, GMA is again under pressure to improve its lackluster 2013 showing. And with its lack of purpose and ability to adapt and change haunting them, it looks like GMA is poised for another down year.

Standard
entertainment, Philippines, public affairs, television

GMA’s Weekend Nightmares Continue

I have been saying this over and over again: GMA’s weekend programming lineup is the most uncertain of them all. In a prior article, I wrote about how GMA failed to outdraw ABS-CBN on Sundays with shows such as Party Pilipinas, TeenGen, Showbiz Central and HOT TV, all of which were cancelled due to declining viewership figures, and I have also written about how cluttered their programming schedules are on weekends. And now GMA is trying shake things up again in hopes of reversing their weekend fortunes.

GMA’s main slate of Saturday programs are fully loaded from Eat Bulaga to Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman. So why did they add another public service program to the mix? As announced in the teaser below, the upcoming public service program will be entitled ‘Bingit’, which is basically a program featuring stories of survival and inspiration. The said program’s timeslot remains uncertain, though I think the program will be placed either near Wish Ko Lang, or Tunay na Buhay. The problem with the addition of this program is that it will bump other GMA programs in its stead, so the only way they can fix that is to remove the all-martial arts block ‘Kapuso Movie Night’ off the lineup in order to accompany the new program. Worse, Alisto failed in its Saturday timeslot, so what more will ‘Bingit’ bring against either ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ or ‘Failon Ngayon’?

As previously mentioned, GMA’s Sunday lineup is a total wreck, so much so that they have four movie blocks aired on Sundays (Kapuso Movie Festival, Kapuso Blockbusters, Sunday Night Box Office). The Kapuso Blockbusters segment basically filled the programming vacated by TeenGen and HOT TV. However, the network finally decided to fill in the blanks and replace one of the Kapuso Blockbusters with a Sunday suspense series called ‘Dormitoryo’, which is basically their answer to ABS-CBN’s teen-oriented comedy program ‘Luv U‘. Ok, so they’re trying to revive ‘Oka Tokat’ on a Sunday, but is this the right move? Not so, unless they gain a needed fanbase.

Once again GMA is pulling out all the stops in hopes of improving their viewership on weekends. Unfortunately, with the continuous addition of what I think are mediocre products, GMA’s fortunes regarding their ratings will only get worse.

Meanwhile, the list of other upcoming programs by the Kapuso network can be viewed below.

Standard