entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

Born Out of Desperation: GMA’s The Clash Premieres This Weekend

Desperation has become a theme for GMA in recent years.

Weekend primetime, in particular, is more of a mess for the Kapuso network than a blessing. After all, ABS-CBN’s high-rating franchised talent shows like ‘The Voice’, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ and ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ has left GMA in a wretched state, always one step behind from the other.

And even when GMA tried to produce a talent show, they tend to make some unwise decisions and avoid any sort of competition against ABS-CBN’s own. Remember when they aired ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘To the Top’ on the not-so convenient late-night slots?

Fast forward to now and it looks like GMA has learned its lesson and is finally poised to give ABS-CBN a dose of its own medicine. Starting this weekend the network will introduce ‘The Clash’, an all-new singing competition to be hosted by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

A total of 62 aspirants selected from several nationwide auditions will compete in intense one-on-one battles to determine the country’s next singing sensation. Judges Lani Misalucha, Ai-ai delas Alas and Christian Bautista will evaluate the performance of each individual and reveal the verdict in front of the audience.

Also part of ‘The Clash’ are Joyce Pring and Andre Paras. The two will provide some news on the preparations of each aspirant and give updates on their performance.

Having learned from the poor reception that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘To the Top’ earned, GMA made a smart move with ‘The Clash’. The show would air not only on Saturdays but on Sundays as well, and in a more convenient timeslot.

But that does not mean they will have a fighting chance against ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. With the latter show currently earning ratings in the 30s, ‘The Clash’ should have its hands full dealing with this tough opponent.

Still, Kapuso viewers will be more than happy to see GMA produce a singing competition show once more. This is an opportunity that GMA is itching to do, and out of desperation, they delivered.

Now it is up to ‘The Clash’ to make an impact. But will it be more than enough to make the competition more meaningful?

‘The Clash’ airs every Saturday after ‘Pepito Manaloto’ and Sunday after ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA.

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entertainment, Philippines, reality show, talent show

Lip-Sync Battle Philippines Return, But on a New Day and Timeslot

This is not an April Fools’ joke.

Nearly two years after its original run ended, GMA announced the return of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ to the small screen. This time, however, the program will be aired on a different day and timeslot.

The third season premiere of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ will take place later tonight, replacing ‘All-Star Videoke’ whose 28-episode run ended last Sunday. Like in the first two seasons, the show will be hosted by Michael V and Iya Villania-Arellano.

In case you missed the general format of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, click this highlighted link for more information. But like all reality, talent and game shows, expect some new twists and turns in the program’s format come its third season.

Seasons 1 and 2 of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ were aired from February 27 to August 27, 2016 on GMA’s Sabado Star Power block. However, the program failed to make an impact in the ratings, losing to the likes of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, ‘The Voice Kids’, ‘We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs’ and ‘Pinoy Big Brother’.

It also didn’t help that concerns regarding Michael V’s overexposure on television affected the performance of ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’. This was because the program’s entire first season and part of the second was aired after ‘Pepito Manaloto’, another one of Bitoy’s long-running shows.

Good thing GMA addressed this concern and placed ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ to an early Sunday night slot. The bad news, however, is that it will have to contend once more with the highly popular ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ which is currently on its sixth season.

Notwithstanding these concerns, it is still great to see ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ grace the small screen once again. The third season may have been delayed due to Iya’s maternity break, but for viewers who tuned in to the show every week the first time around, it should be worth the wait.

‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ airs every Sunday after ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA.

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entertainment, game show, Philippines, talent show, television

Overexposed Luis Manzano Finally Gets a Break

Luis Manzano had a three-year stretch of near non-stop hosting commitments which made him overexposed on TV for a long period. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

Thank goodness it’s over.

For much of the last three years, Luis Manzano became a part of every household thanks to a multitude of hosting commitments he accepted during that span. Whether it’s a game show or a talent show, it seems like viewers can’t get enough of this popular Kapamilya host.

Luis’ lengthy run began on October 26, 2014, when he joined Toni Gonzaga to host ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ season 2. The season ran for 36 episodes, concluding on March 1, 2015.

At the tail end of ‘The Voice of the Philippines” run, Luis accepted the job as host of the new season of ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’. Running from February 9, 2015 until March 4, 2016, the fifth season of ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’ aired a total of 278 episodes.

Next up for Luis was ‘The Voice Kids’ season 2, which ran from June 6 to August 30, 2015. A total of 26 episodes were aired during that season.

On November 14, 2015, Luis replaced Billy Crawford as host of ‘Celebrity Playtime’, and was present for the game show’s final 41 episodes. Then on January 23, 2016, Luis and Billy joined forces to host the fifth season of ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, which ran for 35 episodes until May 22, 2016.

By that point, signs of overexposure become more evident for Luis. Unfortunately for the viewers, ABS-CBN is not yet finished with him.

April 9, 2016 saw Luis take over as host of the newly-acquired ‘Family Feud’ franchise, and he presided on all of its 111 episodes. A few months later, on July 18, 2016, Luis returned to host the second season of ‘Minute to Win It’, adding another 208 episodes to his resume.

And if that is not enough, another run as host of ‘The Voice Kids’ awaited Luis. From May 28 to August 28, 2016, Luis was the presenter on all 28 episodes of ‘The Voice Kids” third season.

Finally on April 16, 2017, Luis accepted another hosting stint within ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ franchise. This time, he became the host of ‘The Voice Teens’, which has now aired seven episodes and counting.

This does not include his additional responsibility as one of the hosts of ‘ASAP’. That said, for all intents and purposes, ‘ASAP’ will not be added in this count.

It was clear that ABS-CBN is paying the price for their overreliance on Luis Manzano. Overall, the host accumulated a total of 770 episodes within nine shows (as of May 7, 2017) in a span of 925 days, which speaks of how ABS-CBN became too dependent on this star hosting-wise.

While ratings for Luis’ nine shows were not a problem, it is ABS-CBN’s utilization that became a dilemma. Let’s face it, they have a deep plethora of talent who can be just as proficient in hosting, yet they stuck with Luis for some reason because, he’s the only guy they can depend on to deliver a good show.

Now that Luis is freed of the burden of hosting too many shows on a daily basis, the time is definitely now for ABS-CBN to develop more hosts. After all, there are plenty in the pipeline so why not breed at least one or two of them to relieve some pressure on the veterans.

For now, Luis Manzano can breathe easily. A period of less strenuous activity is all he needs at this point.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids Finale This Sunday, Plus The Voice Teens Next Week

Palm and Easter Sunday will have a respective finale and a premiere of two hit ABS-CBN talent shows.

On Palm Sunday weekend, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ will officially close the curtain on its first season. The finale will see all eight celebrity kids duke it out one last time for a chance to become this season’s grand winner.

Premiering on January 7, 2017, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ became the latest in a series of hit talent shows on the Kapamilya network. Much of its success has to do with the eight celebrity kids and their uncanny ability to replicate the mannerisms of the artists they imitate.

Whether they cheer for AC Bonifacio, Awra Briguela, Justin Alva, Alonzo Muhlach, Elha Nympha, Lyca Gairanod, Sam Shoaf or Xia Vigor, they were rewarded with memorable performances that are both astonishing and unreal. It is these visual images which made ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ a hit to all audiences.

Come this Sunday, only one of them will win it all. That said, good luck to the eight celebrity kids in their quest to become the grand winner.

Then on Easter Sunday, ‘The Voice Teens’ Philippines (only the second in the franchise after Colombia) premieres on ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar”s vacated slot. This latest season of ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ franchise will inherit the same team of judges that presided in Season 3 of ‘The Voice Kids’, save for one returning judge.

After not taking part in Season 3 of ‘The Voice Kids’ due to her busy performing schedule, Sarah Geronimo decided to return to the judges’ table for ‘The Voice Teens’. She will join holdovers Lea Salonga, Sharon Cuneta and Bamboo Mañalac.

As for the hosts of ‘The Voice Teens’, it will be Luis Manzano and Toni Gonzaga who will take the helm. Auditions for this new season took place earlier this year, and the first few episodes of ‘The Voice Teens’ will show some of the highlights leading up to the blind auditions.

‘The Voice Teens’ will air every Saturday after ‘Home Sweetie Home’ (the first Saturday episode will be seen on April 22), and every Sunday after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ on ABS-CBN.

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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Ismol Family Gives Way to Tsuperhero on GMA’s Sunday Grande

‘Ismol Family’ is officially done.

After a run that began on June 22, 2014, the GMA-produced sitcom aired its final episode last Sunday, November 6. ‘Ismol Family’, which starred Ryan Agoncillo, Carla Abellana, Carmi Martin, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Marc Justine Alvarez among others, aired a total of 125 episodes that spanned over two years.

When ‘Ismol Family’ premiered over two years ago, it was supposed to replace the game show ‘Picture Picture’ and go up against another family-oriented sitcom in ABS-CBN’s ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Instead, the sitcom was placed on Sunday nights, while ‘Pepito Manaloto’ was moved to Saturday nights to counter ‘Home Sweetie Home”s move.

The unexpected timeslot change proved to be a hindrance to ‘Ismol Family’ once it began its run. Pitted against shows such as ‘Wansapanatym’, ‘The Voice Kids’ and more recently ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, the sitcom failed to find its footing in a crowded Sunday night field.

While ‘Ismol Family’ was not bad, it was clear that GMA made a mistake by placing the show on Sundays. Had it aired against ‘Home Sweetie Home’, it would have given the latter a run for its money.

Still, a run of over two years was a good accomplishment for ‘Ismol Family’. For the viewers who have tuned in for all 125 episodes, let that sink in.

Moving on, a new show is slated to replace ‘Ismol Family’. The newest entry, ‘Tsuperhero’, is a superhero comedy-adventure series that stars Derrick Monasterio and Bea Binene.

In ‘Tsuperhero’, Nonoy (Derrick) is a jeepney driver who transforms into a superhero thanks to a mysterious object from a distant planet. Along the way, he developed feelings for Eva (Bea), a barker who found his kalye attitude both irritating and enduring.

The upcoming weekly series will also star Gabby Concepcion, Alma Moreno, Betong Sumaya, Philip Lazaro, Miggs Cuaderno, Valentin, Annalyn Barro, Jemwell Ventenilla, and Kuhol. ‘Tsuperhero’ is an original concept by Michael V, and will be directed by LA Madridejos.

It remains to be seen if ‘Tsuperhero’ can give the long-running ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ a tough challenge. Hopefully the series can stick just as long as its predecessor did.

‘Tsuperhero’ premieres this Sunday after ’24 Oras Weekend’ on GMA’s Sunday Grande sa Gabi.

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