drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Destiny Rose, And I Love You So End Tomorrow

Another ‘Battle of the Finales’ takes place tomorrow afternoon.

ABS-CBN’s ‘And I Love You So’ and GMA’s ‘Destiny Rose’ will officially conclude after their respective runs of 70 and 130 episodes. The two series have been on a collision course since December of last year, with both shows exchanging ratings victories on numerous occasions.

‘Destiny Rose’ premiered on September 14, 2015, and was the latest GMA series to tackle LGBT issues (similar to ‘My Husband’s Lover’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’). The series starred Ken Chan as a transwoman, and was joined by Fabio Ide, Katrina Halili, Manilyn Reynes, Michael de Mesa and Joko Diaz, among others.

Replacing ‘Healing Hearts’ on Afternoon Prime, ‘Destiny Rose’ initially struggled in the ratings when it premiered, but soon managed to win the hearts of viewers with the transformation of Ken’s character into a woman. Like the two prior LGBT-themed GMA series, its story received numerous praise from critics.

‘And I Love You So’, on the other hand, premiered on December 7, 2015, and it starred Julia Barretto and Miles Ocampo as rivals turned stepsisters. They were joined by Dimples Romana, Tonton Gutierrez and Angel Aquino, among others.

Premiering as a replacement to the short-lived Kapamilya series ‘Walang Iwanan’, ‘And I Love You So’ proved that it can keep up with ‘Destiny Rose’ in the ratings. But unlike their fellow Kapamilya Gold dramas ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’ and ‘Tubig at Langis’, ‘And I Love You So’ was unable to dominate, which should bother the cast given the potential of both Julia and Miles.

In any event, this should be an exciting ‘Battle of the Finales’. For ‘And I Love You So’ and ‘Destiny Rose’, it’s all about finishing on a right note, and tomorrow afternoon, viewers will find out how their stories conclude.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN and GMA have announced replacements for the two series. The Kapamilya network will go back to airing Koreanovelas with ‘My Love Donna’, while the Kapuso network will counter with ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

More on that in upcoming articles.

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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Worst

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2016, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 10 worst moments in Philippine television this year.

GMA Scraps Sunday TV Mass

On January 4, GMA decided to cease its broadcast of the Family TV Mass organized by the Society of Divine Word – Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (SVD-MCFI), replacing it with the movie block ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’. The Sunday Mass of SVD-MCFI returned to its old home in IBC-13 a week later.

Poor ratings of the Sunday Mass was among the reasons behind the cancellation. Despite the claims of many that GMA is promoting apathy and not favoring the Catholic religion, they still managed to cover (albeit not as dedicated as other stations) the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines, as well as produce a religiously-themed teleserye ‘Pari ‘Koy’ starring Dingdong Dantes.

Gone Too Soon for KISPinoy and Misterless Misis

‘KISPinoy’ and ‘Misterless Misis’ aired for only three episodes each during the third quarter of 2015. The former was axed in late July, while the latter received a postponement (or possibly a cancellation) notice the following month.

Both events paved the way for VIVA to take over TV5’s entertainment department, with Vic del Rosario replacing Wilma Galvante.

PBB, It’s Showtime Summoned by MTRCB

‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ and ‘It’s Showtime’ were each summoned by the MTRCB for offending viewer sensibilities. The former was for the so-called ‘bromance’ involving teen housemates Bailey May and Kenzo Gutierrez, while the latter was for the alleged ‘pimping’ of ‘Pastillas Girl’ Angelica Yap in the ‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ skit.

Both shows eventually complied by imposing self-regulatory measures, among other rulings. MTRCB also summoned GMA’s ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ for strong language inappropriate to viewers.

GMA’s Finances Put Into Question

Despite an increase in revenue, GMA’s financial capabilities were on the hot seat anew this year. The increased revenue was done at the expense of the network’s ‘streamlining’ efforts which featured, among others, the closure of regional networks and programs, and the termination of long-time employees.

Felipe Gozon’s reluctance to sell a part of the network’s shares was also a major issue. Talks between him and Ramon Ang collapsed in August (with the latter later accusing Gozon of estafa), and a few months later, Gozon rejected offers from Chavit Singson and Manny Pacquiao to purchase a part of the network.

Pope Francis, SONA and APEC Coverage Issues

Not all news networks were able to cover the three biggest news events of the year. GMA News TV received major heat for their lack of coverage in both the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines and the State of the Nation Address, while AksyonTV was criticized for their non-coverage of the APEC Summit.

The two embattled news networks deserved a lot of blame this year. Speaking of AksyonTV,…

AksyonTV’s Identity Crisis Continues

Admit it or not, AksyonTV really needs a makeover. No longer the 24/7 all-Filipino free TV news channel of years past, the network is now increasingly littered with sports coverage, ranging from major leagues like the PSL to more low-scale ones like the PCBL.

Perhaps the time is now for the network to bring back the AKTV name it once used as a blocktimer on IBC-13. After all, AksyonTV’s glory days are behind them.

StarStruck’s Disaster

The return of ‘StarStruck’ proved to be a glorified failure, as ratings and a questionable timeslot doomed the reality show’s sixth season. It was also long overdue, and it would have made a big difference for the network had it been placed opposite ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’.

That said, there may never be another season of ‘StarStruck’ after this. So much for hype gone wrong.

Goodbye Showbiz Talk Shows As We Know It

Easter Sunday of this year marked the final episode of the 16-year-old ‘The Buzz’. Seven months later, ‘Startalk’ took a bow as well after 20 years on air.

A change in viewer’s taste was a key reason behind the demise of both shows. Although ‘CelebriTV’ replaced ‘Startalk’, and ABS-CBN planned to revive ‘The Buzz’ in the future, it won’t be easy adapting to a new audience.

CNN Philippines Not Living Up to Expectations

Launched last March 15, CNN Philippines was supposed to be a local version of its parent network. However, a lot of issues surfaced from the beginning.

Whether it’s due to the revolving door of anchors and reporters, an overemphasis on Nancy Grace or the lack of round-the-clock news coverage, it is clear that CNN Philippines is still a work in progress. That said, Nine Media will need to make a lot of changes to ensure that this venture between them and CNN won’t end quickly.

NBA on ABS-CBN Demoted to the Studio

Since February, NBA coverage on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Sports+Action has been purely local, handled in-studio by Boom Gonzalez, TJ Manotoc, Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras. But to the surprise of many, only Manotoc traveled to the United States to cover the NBA Finals, and ABS-CBN opted to call the games in-studio rather than on location.

Delayed broadcast of the NBA games were a primary reason behind ABS-CBN’s questionable decision. Still, with digitization looming, and the migration to HD underway, it seems like this is a more logical solution for the network to save costs.

In tomorrow’s year-end special, From the Tube will look back at the 10 best moments in Philippine television this 2015.

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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

My Mother’s Secret Meets Its Painful Demise

The plug has finally been pulled from ‘My Mother’s Secret’.

GMA has announced that the early evening teleserye will be down to its final two weeks. This means that the series finale of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will air on Friday, July 31.

‘My Mother’s Secret’ starred Gwen Zamora, Christian Bautista, Lotlot de Leon, Meryll Soriano and Kim Rodriguez. It was directed by Neal del Rosario.

The series premiered on May 25 with little fanfare. It was unexpected and hastily created to begin with, since GMA did not seriously hype ‘My Mother’s Secret’ in the weeks prior to its premiere.

As expected, the series was no match for the opponent in the ratings. ‘My Mother’s Secret’ lost badly to ‘Inday Bote’ in its opening week, but the series slumped even further once ‘Pasion de Amor’ entered the fray.

‘Pasion de Amor’, the local adaptation of ‘Pasion de Gavilantes’, became a surprise hit for ABS-CBN despite its sexually-charged theme and unlikely placement in the early evening slot. The Kapamilya series’ average rating of over 20% (based on Kantar Media) became a cause of concern to ‘My Mother’s Secret’.

It also didn’t help that ‘My Mother’s Secret’ can only muster single-digit ratings in most episodes. When it became clear that the series would be more of a hindrance to the primetime lineup, GMA decided to act accordingly.

Thus, after only 50 episodes (short of the typical 80 episodes of a modern teleserye), ‘My Mother’s Secret’ will officially take a bow after its final episode on July 31. The series did not deserve a second chance after all, with poor ratings the motive behind its demise.

The cancellation of ‘My Mother’s Secret’ is only the beginning for GMA Telebabad, though. Over the next few weeks, ‘Pari ‘Koy’, ‘Let the Love Begin’ and ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will also be replaced, marking a month-long turnover for the embattled primetime block.

More on that in a future article.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

High Expectations Await ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ Sans Marian

There is considerable pressure for Rhian Ramos as ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter”s premiere nears.

After all, she was chosen to replace the teleserye’s original lead star Marian Rivera, who had to back out from the series due to her impending pregnancy. That said, a talent as big as Marian’s looms so large that high expectations were quickly bestowed on Rhian’s shoulders upon getting the nod as her replacement.

In the upcoming series, Rhian will play the role of Jade Tanchingco, an heiress of a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family. With the help of her father, she sought for a suitor, even going as far as giving the bachelor P5 million if he is successful in wooing her.

But as it turned out, Jade would reveal herself as a lesbian, throwing her family into a series of revelations that will challenge her personal truths. It’s up to her to choose what’s important: family or her lesbian lovers.

Joining Rhian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will be Glaiza de Castro, Al Tantay, Luis Alandy, Katrina Halili, Mike Tan, Chynna Ortaleza, Sheena Halili, Ms. Gloria Romero, Pauleen Luna, Paolo Contis, TJ Trinidad, Charee Pineda, Stephanie Sol, Glydel Mercado and Tony Mabesa. Dominic Zapata, famous for another same-sex drama in ‘My Husband’s Lover’, will direct the upcoming series.

The success of ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ will depend on how Rhian will be able to portray the lesbian lover role effectively, and on how viewers will respond to her performance. It will also be a huge test to see how the series fares well against its upcoming rival, ABS-CBN’s ‘Bridges of Love’.

Nevertheless, GMA is confident that Rhian will be an able replacement for Marian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’. Now GMA must hope that their faith in Rhian in the series will pay off.

‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ premieres this Monday after ‘Let the Love Begin’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 150 Words: No More Marian on ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’

‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ is starting over with news of Marian Rivera’s pregnancy.

Having made the announcement last week, Marian elected to back out from the upcoming series due to her delicate condition. Rhian Ramos was then tapped to take over the lead role that was originally assigned to Marian.

Before backing out, Marian had taped a few scenes for ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’, in addition to cast pictorials that were supposed to be released next month. However, the series’ producers will have to start from scratch after it was announced that Rhian will replace Marian as the lead protagonist.

That said, the premiere of ‘The Rich Man’s Daughter’ is expected to be pushed back to either late May or early June, depending on the timetable. Viewers can only hope that Rhian will be a worthy replacement to the ‘Primetime Queen’ of GMA in this series.

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