drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Getting Serious: ABS-CBN Goes No More Mr. Nice Guy with The Good Son

It will be a new-look and more serious Primetime Bida starting next week.

Gone were the ‘kilig-seryes’ that permeated the fifth slot of ABS-CBN’s ever-popular evening block. With all due respect to JaDine (‘On the Wings of Love’, ‘Till I Met You’) and TonDeng (Ian Veneracion and Bea Alonzo of ‘A Love to Last’), this formula is starting to wear thin.

Instead, ABS-CBN goes back to a more serious approach that made ‘The Legal Wife’ and ‘Two Wives’ runaway successes. The newest drama, ‘The Good Son’, despite its designation as a family drama, leans more on the mature and dark side.

While rival GMA continues to lean too much on aging and at times overexposed veterans for their primetime dramas, ABS-CBN cashes in on their deep roster of young talent for ‘The Good Son’. The series will be led by Jerome Ponce, Nash Aguas, Joshua Garcia and McCoy de Leon, and joining them are fellow rising stars Loisa Andallo, Elisse Joson and Alexa Ilacad.

In ‘The Good Son’, Jerome (as Enzo), Nash (as Calvin), Joshua (as Joseph) and McCoy (as Obet) are four siblings who live a simple and happy life without their father Victor (Albert Martinez), a man whose identity remains a secret. But Victor’s mysterious death led to a series of events that saw the four siblings accused of murder, and the ensuing battle to prove who is innocent from the crime is on.

‘The Good Son’ will also include Mylene Dizon, Eula Valdez, John Estrada, Ronnie Lazaro, Jeric Raval, Alex Medina, and Kathleen Hermoso. The series will be directed by Manny Palo and Andoy Ranay.

Considering ABS-CBN’s reputation for turning rising stars into superstars, the pressure is now on ‘The Good Son”s up-and-coming actors to continue this budding trend. However, it remains to be seen if the series’ untested group of young talent will thrive in the high-stakes block that is primetime.

It will also be interesting to see how the viewers react to a change of formula from a light drama to a more serious one. That said, ‘The Good Son’ should be a series that may either make or break Primetime Bida’s unpredictable fifth slot.

‘The Good Son’ airs weeknights after ‘La Luna Sangre’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Be My Lady Coming Soon

ABS-CBN is kicking off the new year in style.

Last night, during ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, ABS-CBN unveiled a full trailer of the upcoming series ‘Be My Lady’. The series will be headlined by real-life couple Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga.

First announced last June, ‘Be My Lady’ will tell the story of Erich and Daniel as two individuals with different aspirations. The former’s character is of a budding nursing student from the province, while the latter’s character is of a young bachelor.

Both Erich and Daniel are no strangers to the small screen, having previously appeared together in ‘Two Wives’. ‘Be My Lady’, however, will be their first starring role together.

Also starring Janice de Belen and Priscilla Meirelles, with other cast members to be revealed soon, ‘Be My Lady”s target premiere date will take place within the first quarter of 2016.

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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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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Inday Bote and Bridges of Love, Coming Soon

Summer gets closer with a pair of new teleseryes coming soon on ABS-CBN.

Expected to air on Primetime Bida within a few weeks, the two new teleseryes will be:

Bridges of Love – starring Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. John Lloyd Cruz and Xian Lim were originally cast in the upcoming series before backing out for various reasons.

Inday Bote – starring Alex Gonzaga, Matteo Guidicelli, Kean Cipriano, Izzy Canillo and Alonzo Muhlach. Adopted from the 1985 film starring Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Richard Gomez and Charito Solis.

The two teleseryes are expected to replace ‘Two Wives’ and ‘Bagito’ respectively. More details will come in future articles, so stay put.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Last Minute Change for ‘Once Upon a Kiss’; GMA’s Need for a ‘Second Chance’

GMA management is once again at the forefront of last-minute changes.

The latest of these moves took place Monday night, as ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ was placed after ‘More Than Words’ on GMA’s Telebabad block. Prior to the late switch, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ was scheduled to premiere after ’24 Oras’.

Despite the last-minute change in schedule, the pilot episode of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ still failed to impress viewers. The teleserye only managed a 15.2% rating against the 23.6 % of ABS-CBN’s ‘Forevermore’, according to Kantar.

That said, the series starring Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix will have a lot more work to do if they want to get past the increasingly popular tandem of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano. Considering the momentum that ‘Forevermore’ generated from day one, it will be a daunting task for the former to overcome.

Meanwhile, the long-overdue premiere of ‘Second Chances’ will take place this Monday. The series had been scheduled to air back in November, but GMA postponed its premiere in hopes of making a splash for the new year.

As seen in the teasers released by the network, the series tells the story of four different individuals whose lives will change by way of a traumatizing event. Portraying these life-changing characters are Jennylyn Mercado, Camille Prats, Raymart Santiago and Rafael Rosell.

‘Second Chances’ has been in production since early August, and was intended to replace ‘Ilustrado’ on Telebabad back in November. But due to some last minute programming changes, the series premiere was postponed until the early part of 2015.

Now that ‘Second Chances’ finally gets its due, it will be interesting to see how a story of inspiration and determination fare against one featuring infidelity and jealousy. Its pilot week will be against the hot-as-lava ‘Two Wives’, who has thoroughly dominated the former’s predecessor ‘Hiram na Alaala’ for the most part.

That said, GMA now hopes to have a second chance of their own. A traumatizing event like low ratings, declining revenue and front office mismanagement are definitely worth overcoming, but unless GMA finds a way to make a second chance, they will again find themselves on the losing end of ABS-CBN’s dominance.

‘Second Chances’ premieres this Monday after ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ on GMA Telebabad.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Sad Ending to Ilustrado, Plus Second Chances Moved to Early 2015

The highly-budgeted but low-rated GMA bayaniserye ‘Ilustrado’ will end this Friday . (Photo credit: GMA Network)

‘Ilustrado’ ends this Friday with little to show for.

GMA’s so-called ‘bayaniserye’, which was produced by the News and Public Affairs department, failed to impress in the ratings throughout its run. This despite the fact that it boasted a more hi-tech production and added a more educational approach to the story.

Figures from both Kantar and AGB Nielsen showed that ‘Ilustrado’ was way behind ABS-CBN’s ‘Two Wives’ in the ratings for much of its run. ‘Ilustrado’ also failed to make an impact on social media, as netizens focused more on the intimate and hostile scenes between the characters of Jason Abalos, Erich Gonzales and Kaye Abad rather than Alden Richards’ portrayal of Jose Rizal as a student in Europe.

‘Ilustrado’ premiered on October 20 amid high expectations. GMA gave the show’s producers a big budget, investing on the latest computer technologies to digitally recreate the look of late 19th century Europe.

But the big investment did not translate into ratings success, even though more advertisers pitched in to help recover the losses. That said, expect GMA to lose more money after the disastrous returns of ‘Ilustrado’.

With ‘Ilustrado’ about to leave the airwaves this Friday, a new series will come to the Kapuso network starting November 17.

Contrary to earlier reports, ‘Second Chances’ will not be the replacement for ‘Ilustrado’. The teleserye, starring Jennylyn Mercado, Rafael Rosell, Raymart Santiago and Camille Prats, will now air beginning the first quarter of 2015.

Instead, ‘More Than Words’, starring Elmo Magalona and Janine Gutierrez, will replace ‘Ilustrado’, but not at the latter’s old timeslot. The series is expected to move at an earlier time.

Like ‘Ilustrado’, ‘Second Chances’ is expected to be a big-budgeted series. For the second consecutive year, a series starring Jennylyn Mercado will lead a list of GMA’s first quarter offerings, with the first being ‘Rhodora X’.

The move of ‘Second Chances” to an early 2015 premiere should boost its chances somewhat, as the series’ producers will now use the time to improve the story, production and character development.

This does not mean, however, that ‘Second Chances’ will be a potential hit. As it has been proven time and time again, GMA’s overreliance on its veterans have cost them both ratings, young talent and ad loads, and this latest venture shows how poor GMA is at managing and developing talent.

As 2014 winds down, expect yet another down year for the Kapuso network, both in financial health and in viewership. And it only gets worse.

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