drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

That’s My Amboy Premieres Tonight

The AnBie love team takes its act to primetime.

Fresh from a successful run on ‘The Half-Sisters’, Andre Paras and Barbie Forteza now gear themselves up for their first lead role in a primetime series. The duo star in ‘That’s My Amboy’, a light-hearted series that airs starting tonight.

‘That’s My Amboy’ tells the story of Maru (Barbie), a young but determined girl, and Bryan (Andre), a rising actor. Their story began when Bryan was blamed for the accident that involved Maru’s stepfather, and in order to pay for the damages, Maru was hired as his personal assistant.

At first, Maru and Bryan’s relationship was tense and jittery. But an incident that affected Bryan soon brought the two together, and the once distant relationship turned into a friendly, and eventually, lovely one.

Also starring in the series are Tonton Gutierrez, John Arcilla, Donita Rose, Kiko Estrada, Jazz Ocampo, Matet de Leon, Meryll Soriano, Maritoni Fernandez, Jerald Napoles, Pam Prinster, Jan Manual, Philip Lazaro, Pauline Mendoza, Kryshee Grengia, and Rob Walcher. It will be directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal, with the help of Dominic Zapata.

‘That’s My Amboy’ was slated to replace ‘MariMar’ in the network’s Telebabad block (the latter ended January 8). However, the series premiere was delayed for two weeks due to a conflict of interest, since ‘The Half-Sisters’ was still ongoing at the time.

That led to a rather unusual programming lineup on Telebabad, where the block only had two teleseryes, a movie block, and a two Koreanovelas. This week, Telebabad will go back to its usual lineup of three teleseryes and two Koreanovelas, and thus, changes in schedule will be utilized.

‘That’s My Amboy’ will be placed opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, which means that the KathNiel-starred series will have faced all three ongoing Telebabad dramas in a three-week span. Although ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will only have two more weeks in its run, it remains an imposing challenge to ‘That’s My Amboy’, considering the series has beaten ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ in those three weeks.

That said, the AnBie love team will have its work cut out for them. Although they’ve been successful in the afternoon, primetime is a very different animal, which only adds pressure to the duo.

‘That’s My Amboy’ premieres later tonight after ‘Little Nanay’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Replacement for MariMar, At Least for Two Weeks

‘MariMar officially concludes tomorrow, but its replacement ‘That’s My Amboy’ will not be seen until January 25.  (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA is taking a ‘less is more’ approach on Telebabad. at least for the next two weeks.

Tomorrow night marks the final episode of ‘MariMar’, the second Filipino remake of the classic Mexican telenovela. The series, starring Megan Young as the titular character, will officially end with a total of 100 episodes.

High expectations awaited this version of ‘MariMar’ when it first premiered on August 24, 2015. After all, the original starring Thalia and the first remake starring Marian Rivera were each big hits when they were aired here.

Unfortunately for GMA, the new ‘MariMar’ failed to make an impact in the ratings. The series lost regularly to both ‘Nathaniel’ and ‘Ang Probinsyano’, forcing GMA to consider moving ‘MariMar’ to a later timeslot, only to renege on that promise.

Looking back, it is clear that this ‘MariMar’ was a letdown for the Kapuso network. The series was supposed to be a hit, bar none, but with viewers already used to the story, not to mention a shorter wait between remakes and tougher competition from Primetime Bida, it lost its appeal.

In the end, it was a mistake that GMA would like to forget. For Megan Young, the comeback trail following her victory at the Miss World pageant was a rough one to begin with.

So what’s next for GMA after ‘MariMar’? GMA has already confirmed that ‘That’s My Amboy’, the follow-up project of ‘The Half-Sisters’ stars Barbie Forteza and Andre Paras, will replace ‘MariMar’, but the series will not begin until January 25.

This means that for the next two weeks, GMA Telebabad will only have five programs on the menu, with two teleseryes highlighting the lineup. The schedule is as follows:

5:45 p.m. – The Producers

6:30 p.m. – 24 Oras

7:45 p.m. – Little Nanay

8:30 p.m. – Because of You

9:15 p.m. – Kapuso Primetime Cinema

With only two local dramas starting this Monday, GMA Telebabad is at a clear disadvantage against Primetime Bida’s five teleseryes. Both ‘Little Nanay’ and ‘Because of You’ will now face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’; an obvious mismatch ratings-wise.

That said, the next two weeks will be a difficult one for Telebabad. While waiting for ‘That’s My Amboy’ (‘The Half-Sisters’ ends January 15, hence the delayed premiere), viewers will need to endure watching only two teleseryes on GMA’s primetime lineup.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Brings Back Kapuso Primetime Cinema

Once again, GMA is making some radical changes to its Telebabad lineup.

Just recently, the network announced that they will bring back the transitional movie block ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’. The re-premiere of the said movie block will take place on November 9, replacing the Koreanovela ‘Legendary Women’.

It can be recalled that GMA aired ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ two years ago, following the conclusions of ‘Genesis’ and ‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’. GMA’s intent of airing ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ at the time was clear: to capitalize on low advertising revenue during the Christmas season and to give more time for the production of upcoming teleseryes.

As it turned out, the move backfired. Replacement dramas ‘Carmela’ and ‘Rhodora X’ failed to bring the desired results, and GMA was left wondering why their ‘Kapuso ang Una’ battle cry did not work out.

This year, GMA opted for a more different approach. Instead of replacing the network’s teleseryes like they did two years ago, they decided to place ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ on the timeslot normally reserved for Koreanovelas.

One possible reason for the move is that GMA intended to air ‘Kapuso Primetime Cinema’ in order for ‘Saksi’ to match up better with ‘Bandila’. The presence of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ has led to a later-than-expected airing for ‘Bandila’.

There is one problem, however. ABS-CBN has announced that a fifth teleserye (‘You’re My Home’) will air on Primetime Bida at the conclusion of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’, and as a result, a hopeless situation now awaits GMA and its embattled fanbase.

That said, GMA needs to realize that they need to concede defeat than continue their already lopsided rivalry with ABS-CBN. It is clear the both networks are headed into opposite directions, and with ABS-CBN already more dominant than ever, GMA knows that an overhaul is more than necessary at this point.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

StarStruck Finally Returns, But Problems Persist

The long-awaited return of ‘StarStruck’ is underway.

After a five-year absence, the original and most iconic reality talent search show on Philippine television is back with a new season and a new hope. A total of 35 hopefuls will have the chance of a lifetime to become a GMA star and an Ultimate Survivor.

But there are some problems that should concern the returning ‘StarStruck’.

GMA announced that ‘StarStruck’ would air weekdays at 5:50 p.m. starting today. The problem is that the timeslot is way too early for a reality show of this caliber, and based on recent trends, Filipino reality talent shows usually air in mid-to-late evenings to take advantage of bigger audiences.

In the first five seasons of ‘StarStruck’, GMA placed the show after the local teleseryes and before Koreanovelas on the network’s Telebabad block. At the time, it helped ‘StarStruck’ earn high ratings for the network, right in the midst of the Koreanovela and fantaserye fever.

Those seasons of ‘StarStruck’ also had a weekend edition (which also rated well), something that the new season won’t have (unless GMA changes its mind). But until then, the new ‘StarStruck’ will have to endure a different and more radical approach than in past seasons.

‘StarStruck’ will also have to worry about ‘Pasion de Amor’. The ABS-CBN drama series continues to stay hot in its timeslot, winning over its GMA counterparts on a consistent basis.

That said, GMA will have its hands full once ‘StarStruck’ comes in. ‘Pasion de Amor’ is a tough nut to crack for the Kapuso network, especially considering the single-digit failures of previous opponents ‘My Mother’s Secret’ and ‘Reply 1997’, thus GMA has to pull all the stops if ‘StarStruck’ wants to return to form.

It’s just too bad that they didn’t place the show against the continuously declining ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ (thank you ‘Legendary Women’ and ‘Bubble Gang’ for closing that timeslot). Had they placed ‘StarStruck’ against PBB (or earlier at best), the show would have fared better.

But as it stands, ‘StarStruck’ is in for a rude awakening. Without any options, GMA has no choice but to place the returning ‘StarStruck’ into a timeslot they’re not used to, which is a daunting challenge to this point.

Is ‘StarStruck’ worth the wait, or an immediate afterthought? We’ll see.

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drama, entertainment, Latin America, Philippines, television

Pressure On for Second MariMar Remake

Don’t expect the second remake of ‘MariMar’ to be as successful as the first one.

The 2015 version of ‘MariMar’, starring Megan Young as the titular character and Tom Rodriguez as Sergio Santibañez, will officially air later tonight on the timeslot vacated by ‘Pari ‘Koy’. But unlike the 2007 version starring Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes, the new ‘MariMar’ will face tougher competition this time around.

When the 2007 adaptation hit the small screen, GMA was at the peak of its powers then, led by their successful mix of fantaseryes and Koreanovelas. The DongYan-led ‘MariMar’ topped the ratings in almost all of its episodes, eventually peaking with a 52.6% rating during its two-hour finale in March 2008.

The first remake of ‘MariMar’ skyrocketed the careers of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes as a love team. It eventually led to an off-screen relationship, culminated by their wedding late last year (mirroring the ‘live’ marriage of MariMar and Sergio in 2008).

Fast forward to this year, and a very different scenario awaits the new ‘MariMar’. ABS-CBN had overtaken GMA in the ratings, thanks in large part to the discovery of new talents, and stories that pay tribute to the Filipinos’ admirable qualities and values.

One such story is ‘Nathaniel’, ‘MariMar”s upcoming opponent. The value-oriented teleserye has been a consistent winner in its timeslot, even though it had to play a supporting role to both KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) in the Primetime Bida lineup.

That said, the new ‘MariMar’ will be under tremendous pressure to succeed against more formidable competition. The series has proven its charm in the past (both the original and 2007 adaptation earned high ratings), so it’s up to the viewers to decide if this is worth a second chance.

‘MariMar’ premieres starting today, August 24, and airs weeknights at 7:45 p.m. on GMA Telebabad.

Note: The first remake of ‘MariMar’ and the upcoming second remake had an eight-year gap between them. No stranger to producing a second teleserye remake within a short period of time, GMA has also produced second remakes of ‘Darna’ and ‘Captain Barbell’ within four and five years of the first adaptation, respectively.

This does not count another Mars Ravelo creation, ‘Dyesebel’, which aired on GMA in 2008 and later remade by ABS-CBN six years later.

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drama, entertainment, television

A Not-So ‘InTENse’ Premiere for Beautiful Strangers, My Faithful Husband

‘InTENse’ is not the kind of word that is expected in GMA’s new-look Telebabad.

Contrary to what GMA claims in the plugs (see video above) for the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’, the ‘inTENse’ moniker seems to apply more towards its two rival teleseryes on ABS-CBN. ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, for one, has been the obsession of many since episode one, and now they are joined by ‘On the Wings of Love’, another potential top-rater.

‘On the Wings of Love’ has been in every viewer’s radar since the project was announced last February, and now the can’t-miss series has been given the green light. It will be the first teleserye for the love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre (a.k.a. JaDine), but for those familiar of their work, they should be no strangers to success.

After all, JaDine starred in the hit movies ‘Diary ng Panget’, ‘Talk Back and You’re Dead’, and more recently ‘My Hopeless Romantic’. The duo also starred in ‘Wansapanatym”s ‘My App Boyfie’, fueling their popularity even further.

But ‘On the Wings of Love’ will not be the only series that GMA needs to worry about. The ever-popular ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ will be bolstered further with the arrival of Bea Bianca, portrayed by Sarah Carlos, whose role is to be the third wheel in the Angelo-Yna (Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, respectively) love affair.

Both ‘Beautiful Strangers’ and ‘My Faithful Husband’ should have their hands full facing KathNiel and JaDine, respectively. While the two series will have a good amount of star power (Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo), they are still at a disadvantage.

A one-two punch on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida awaits the two premiering series on GMA Telebabad. For a network that still lives in the past when it comes to its stars, this is a mismatch in hell.

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