drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Same Time, Same Day Ending for Bridges of Love, The Rich Man’s Daughter

Both ‘Bridges of Love’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ are down to their final two episodes.

In a rare moment in Philippine television, two rival programs will air their respective series finales at the same time and on the same day. ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’ and GMA’s ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will have their final episodes aired tomorrow night at 9:15 p.m.

‘Bridges of Love’ were led by Maja Salvador, Paulo Avelino and Jericho Rosales. A story that features two brothers fighting for the love of a seductive female dancer, the series premiered on March 16 on the Primetime Bida block, and ran for 103 episodes.

On the other hand, ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ were led by Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro and Luis Alandy. A story that features a rich and influential Chinese-Filipino woman who was romantically linked to a lesbian, the series premiered on May 11 on the Telebabad block, and aired for 65 episodes.

While ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ featured a similar storyline as ‘My Husband’s Lover’ (this time with females portrayed as lovers), it failed to equal, let alone surpass, the success of the latter. In fact, it was a mismatch from the start, with ‘Bridges of Love’ doubling its ratings total over ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ with each episode.

The contrast of fortunes for both series continued into social media, as ‘Bridges of Love’ remained a hot topic among netizens compared to ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. The fact that the latter went largely unnoticed on Twitter despite featuring a novel storyline involving lesbianism only caused a great deal of concern and worry within the GMA camp.

It will be interesting to see which series finale will have the last laugh. Will it be the love triangle between Maja, Paulo and Echo, or the love triangle between Rhian, Glaiza and Luis?

One thing’s for sure: a frantic finish awaits both ‘Bridges of Love’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Unable to Beat Kathniel and Pangako Sa ‘Yo, GMA Resorts to Its Old Reliables

‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ took its toll on GMA once again.

Fifteen years after the original series took the then-Rainbow Network by surprise, the newly-revised version of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ again proved its lasting power in the era of social media. It showed that even with new actors, new technology and a tweaked script, the results will still be the same.

For rival ‘Let the Love Begin’, it was a total disappointment. GMA tried to concoct a new and promising love team with Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid, but it never clicked with the viewers at all.

Whether it’s the ‘Forevermore’ duo of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, or ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo”s Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the GabRu duo failed to match the chemistry and mass appeal of its rivals. And after 70 episodes by the end of Friday’s finale, their future as an on-screen duo is now in doubt.

Now GMA is going back to its old reliables in hopes of curtailing the momentum of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’. Enter Lovi Poe and Heart Evangelista of the upcoming series ‘Beautiful Strangers’.

In ‘Beautiful Strangers’, Heart and Lovi are billed as rivals, in contrast to their off-screen friendship. Heart plays the role of a kind-hearted plastic surgeon, while Lovi portrays the role of an interior designer with a dark past.

The two lead stars will be joined by Christopher de Leon, Benjamin Alves, Rocco Nacino, Dina Bonnevie, Ayen Munji-Laurel, Renz Valerio, Kier Legaspi, Dianne Medina, Djanin Cruz, Gab de Leon, Nar Cabico, Mariel Pamintuan and Lovely Rivero. ‘Beautiful Strangers’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Once ‘Beautiful Strangers’ premieres this Monday, it will be the second of three new dramas that GMA will introduce on the same day, as part of a month-long overhaul of Telebabad. But it remains to be seen if the new series will pose a more interesting challenge to ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’.

One thing’s for sure: GMA still can’t make the most out of their younger talents and now resort to old-timers in hopes of gaining some relevance.

‘Beautiful Strangers’ airs starting August 10 at 8:30 p.m. after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Koreanovela Overload Continues on GMA

Add a sixth Koreanovela to GMA’s weekday lineup.

In what seems like a new record in Philippine television history, GMA will air six Koreanovelas every weekday beginning this Tuesday, August 4. The latest addition is ‘Reply 1997’, a Koreanovela that reminisces on the good times of teenage life.

The story focuses on six high school buddies who reunite for a dinner after 15 years apart, two of whom would announce their marriage. Throughout the story, flashbacks of their teenage lives will resurface throughout the conversation, switching back and forth between their 18-year-old selves in 1997, and their present selves 15 years later.

‘Reply 1997’ stars Jung Eun-ji, Seo In-guk, Hoya, Shin So-yul, Eun Ji-won, and Lee Si-eon. The series was one of the most popular dramas in Korean television.

The entry of ‘Reply 1997’ continues a downward trend for GMA in terms of programming quality and creativity. As mentioned earlier, GMA will air six Koreanovelas starting this Tuesday, the list of which are as follows:

  1. The Master’s Sun (re-run; airing at 9:40 a.m., replacing Secret Garden)
  2. Two Mothers (airing at 10:10 a.m.)
  3. The King’s Doctor (airing at 10:50 a.m.)
  4. Birth of a Beauty (airing at 5:15 p.m.)
  5. Reply 1997 (airing at 5:50 p.m. starting this Tuesday)
  6. Pinocchio (airing at 9:55 p.m. on Mondays-Thursdays)

With six Koreanovelas at their disposal, it is clear that GMA’s creative nadir is now at its worst point. The inability to produce formidable local programming and their overreliance on importing other countries’ programs are taking its toll on the creative staff.

Worse, ‘Reply 1997’ will face a tough opponent in ABS-CBN’s ‘Pasion de Amor’. The local adaptation of the original Colombian telenovela has been on a ratings tear, and it left its soon-to-be-departing opponent ‘My Mother’s Secret’ in the dust.

The breaking point is now near for GMA. Six Koreanovelas on a weekday won’t help their cause.

Note: ‘My Mother’s Secret’ was scheduled to end tomorrow, July 31. But due to a preemption that was caused by the State of the Nation Address last Monday, the series is now scheduled to finish on Monday, August 3. ‘Reply 1997”s premiere will be moved to Tuesday, August 4.

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anime, drama, entertainment, Japan, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Astig Authority To Be Reduced In Favor of Heart of Asia Reruns

GMA’s anime fans should expect another rude awakening next week.

Starting this Monday, GMA’s Astig Authority block will be reduced to two hours. This will give way to yet another Heart of Asia rerun in ‘Secret Garden’.

The Koreanovela first aired on the Kapuso network four years ago via the Telebabad block. It starred Hyun Bin of ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’ fame, and Ha Ji Won of ‘Hwang Jini’ fame.

‘Secret Garden’ will relegate ‘Knock Out’ (known in Japan as ‘Hajime no Ippo’) to an earlier timeslot, while replacing ‘Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic’ in the morning lineup.

Over the years, GMA’s animes have been able to fare well against their ABS-CBN counterparts, despite being criticized for frequently re-airing them on a seemingly annual basis. Classic animes like ‘Ghost Fighter’ (known in Japan as ‘YuYu Hakusho’), the ‘Dragon Ball’ series and ‘Slam Dunk’ remain popular with anime fans, while new titles are also attracting new viewers.

This despite the fact that GMA rarely promotes the programs of the Astig Authority block at all, in contrast to ABS-CBN’s Umaganda.

The same cannot be said for their Asianovelas, though. While Heart of Asia had some decent success and heavy promotion, it never earned quite the same following as the animes of Astig Authority, especially when they were re-aired for a second time and beyond.

That said, it was a mistake for the Kapuso network to sacrifice Astig Authority in favor of a Heart of Asia rerun, especially with ABS-CBN a non-factor in the early morning hours. GMA’s success in the early mornings is due in part to its animes, and giving way for an Asianovela will definitely hurt their loyal anime fanbase.

For now, though, they are giving their Asianovela fans a second chance. If successful, they should look forward to either another or a new Asianovela, otherwise they will need to once again extend the Astig Authority block.

‘Secret Garden’ returns this Monday after ‘Knock Out’ and before ‘Two Mothers’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Dream Dad’ Extended, Continues to Win Despite New Rival

Not even the return of Dingdong Dantes on ‘Pari Ko’y’ can slow down the momentum of ‘Dream Dad’, whose consistently high ratings led to an extended run. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

The hottest teleserye in the country is now rewarded with an extension.

‘Dream Dad’, the ABS-CBN drama series starring Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo, has been extended for an unspecified period of time. The news of an extension came shortly after ‘Dream Dad’ posted its highest rating yet.

According to the Kapamilya network’s trusted source Kantar Media, the March 12 episode of ‘Dream Dad’ posted a 34.9% rating, even though it had to contend with a new rival. ‘Pari Ko’y’, the newest GMA teleserye starring Dingdong Dantes, only earned a paltry 17.8% on that day.

Overall, the week of March 9 saw ‘Dream Dad’ average almost 35% in the Kantar ratings. Meanwhile, ‘Pari Ko’y’ was unable to even crack the 20% mark until the March 14 episode, and for the week, they were 16% at best.

The extension of ‘Dream Dad’ is definitely a reward for the series’ impressive performance. The tandem of Zanjoe Marudo and Jana Agoncillo continues to charm viewers, while at the same time Zanjoe’s blossoming on-screen relationship with Beauty Gonzales begins to earn rave reviews.

Airing since November 24, 2014, ‘Dream Dad’ will now enter its fifth month on air. Normally teleseryes have a life span of about four months, but with impressive ratings returns such as that of ‘Dream Dad’, there is no question why it deserves an extension.

That said, GMA may be hard-pressed to deliver a more impressive performance for ‘Pari Ko’y’, especially after the beating it received in its pilot week. Sure, Dingdong Dantes can still deliver, but not in the way he used to.

As for ‘Dream Dad’, the high ratings may be impressive, but the story only heats up from there.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

ABS-CBN Raises the ‘Daring’ Stakes, Plus GMA’s Inability to Respond

The trend towards mature and dark subject matter on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida continues with ‘Bridges of Love’. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Tonight’s premiere of ‘Bridges of Love’ on ABS-CBN has From the Tube wondering: Why is GMA not responding to the increasingly ‘daring’ route of Primetime Bida?

Mature and dark relationship-oriented themes have virtually become a norm on Primetime Bida’s 9:15 p.m. slot. Last year, ‘The Legal Wife’ became a rousing success due to the seemingly shocking portrayal of jealousy and infidelity involving the love triangle of characters portrayed by Jericho Rosales, Maja Salvador and Angel Locsin.

And just recently, viewers were treated to a similar display of deception and envy in the adaptation of the Koreanovela ‘Two Wives’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’, the series involved a love triangle, this time between the characters portrayed by Jason Abalos, Kaye Abad and Erich Gonzales.

Although ABS-CBN has trended in the right direction with the more mature-oriented teleseryes, it all began, however, with one bold move from its rival in Timog: ‘My Husband’s Lover’.

The 2013 GMA drama starring Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo made the same-sex relationship a must-see during its run. Running from June to October 2013, ‘My Husband’s Lover’ briefly provided a boost to the sagging ratings of Telebabad.

Unfortunately, the Kapuso network failed to create a successful follow-up to ‘My Husband’s Lover’. The teleseryes that followed MHL (‘Akin Pa Rin ang Bukas’, ‘Rhodora X’, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Second Chances’) didn’t feel up to the task of elevating the dark and moody themes to a new level.

As a result, the 9:15 slot of Telebabad returned to its old sinking ways, while Primetime Bida continued to increase its gap. Worse for the Kapuso network, ‘The Legal Wife’ and later ‘daring’ Kapamilya dramas became a local and international social media sensation.

That said, GMA’s regression back to more wholesome and ‘tweener’ stories in the latter part of Telebabad became its undoing. And it only gets worse.

Next on ABS-CBN’s ‘daring’ list is ‘Bridges of Love’. Like ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’, a love triangle will be involved in the series, only this time, it’s between two men fighting for the love of one woman.

‘Bridges of Love’ will be led by Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. The story will feature two brothers (Echo and Paulo) who were separated by guilt and hatred, but were bridged together by love through one woman (portrayed by Maja).

The upcoming Kapamilya series should pose a big threat to its Kapuso counterpart ‘Second Chances’. The latter series failed to keep up with the success of ‘Two Wives’ during its first two months, and it won’t be a surprise if its new opponent makes a similar impact.

Now GMA should start revisiting the very theme that made ‘My Husband’s Lover’ a success. A new strategy should be in store for Telebabad if they still want to keep in step with Primetime Bida, otherwise there will be more trouble for the embattled block.

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