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No Surprise: Aljur Abrenica Joins ABS-CBN

It was a transfer three years in the making.

On Monday, July 31, former GMA contract artist Aljur Abrenica officially joined ABS-CBN in a deal that was of no surprise to everyone. Welcoming him on the Kapamilya camp are ABS-CBN executives and producers Laurenti Dyogi, Deo Endrinal and Cory Vidanes.

A GMA contract artist and a ‘StarStruck’ alumnus for 11 years, Aljur’s tenure with the network has had some ups and downs. While the early part of his career was a fruitful one with a few successful projects, the last few years saw his stock drop dramatically.

In 2014, Aljur filed a petition to rescind his contract with GMA Network in hopes of restarting his career. Although Aljur and GMA settled the dispute nearly two years later, it was clear that his popular appeal was waning.

Proof of that was Aljur’s final GMA project ‘Once Again’. Paired alongside Janine Gutierrez, Aljur’s swan song turned out to be a bust, as ‘Once Again’ lasted only 59 episodes and was completely overwhelmed by the LizQuen-starred ‘Dolce Amore’.

Aljur was given no further projects by the network following the failure of ‘Once Again’, and his contract officially expired in March 2017. A few months later, speculation run rampant when Aljur suddenly appeared inside the ABS-CBN compound, hinting at the possibility of joining the network.

Although Aljur has yet to ink an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN, the network said a few projects and appearances are lined up for the actor. That said, it is likely that Aljur will be seen on ABS-CBN noontime shows ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘ASAP’, and talk shows such as ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ while his upcoming projects are being planned.

There is also a possibility that Aljur and brother Vin will be seen together, but that will be for another time. In any case, Aljur’s decision to join the network should help resurrect his career, given that ABS-CBN has had a reputation of reviving an artist’s declining fortunes.

It remains to be seen if Aljur will be the latest in a series of Kapamilya reclamation projects, but with the right mindset, he could be on the path back to success. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Once Again Ends Quickly

Not even the story of reincarnation can save ‘Once Again’ from humiliation.

Tonight will mark the final episode of the short-lived GMA series that starred Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez. Lasting for only 59 episodes, ‘Once Again’ is a series that GMA should forget, due to its inability to overcome ‘Dolce Amore’ and the lack of good chemistry between Aljur and Janine.

It was obvious from the start that ‘Once Again’ will not become a hit. When it premiered on May 2, the series only mustered a national rating of 14.1%, 17.5% lower than ‘Dolce Amore’.

From there, the losses continued, as Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil continued to pummel the inexperienced Aljur and Janine love team. To make matters worse, GMA stopped promoting episode teasers for ‘Once Again’ following the first week of airing, as it has been the case in all other Kapuso teleseryes since April.

When it became clear that ‘Once Again’ can no longer handle this shame of losing, GMA decided to cut the series short. That said, with a run of only over two months, ‘Once Again’ is one of GMA’s shortest running teleseryes, the end result of a series that failed to overcome both the competition and the expectations that come with it.

At this point, both Aljur and Janine should feel disappointed about ‘Once Again”s short and uninspiring run. This hastily created love team failed to click from the beginning of the series, and despite the good reviews about its storyline, the results prove to be difficult to accept for the show’s producers and GMA management.

To make matters worse, brother Vin Abrenica and boyfriend Elmo Magalona are now enjoying the perks of success over on ABS-CBN. Perhaps Aljur and Janine should take a good look at the two on what they have been able to do to become successful.

Come this Friday night, it will be all over for ‘Once Again’. Whether or not GMA will keep the love team of Aljur Abrenica and Janine Gutierrez for future teleseryes remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: there will not be another ‘Once Again’ on GMA’s future plans.

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ABS-CBN Welcomes an Abrenica

Turns out there will be an Abrenica on ABS-CBN after all.

However, the Abrenica referred here is not Aljur. Instead, younger brother Vin Abrenica, a fellow reality talent search show winner (via TV5’s ‘Artista Academy’), jumped ship to ABS-CBN.

Just recently, a contract signing took place that signaled Vin Abrenica’s entry into the Kapamilya network. Though he already appeared in the legal drama anthology ‘Ipaglaban Mo’ last October, his first actual project with ABS-CBN will be on ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, where he will be paired with Jessy Mendiola in a future episode.

Prior to ABS-CBN, Vin Abrenica was a TV5 talent for three years. After winning ‘Artista Academy’, Vin appeared in several TV5 shows, but his future with the network became in doubt as soon as VIVA’s Vic del Rosario took over TV5’s entertainment department.

The entry of Vin Abrenica to ABS-CBN caught many by surprise. Back when older brother Aljur was in a contract mess with GMA two years ago, there was a lot of talk of him joining ABS-CBN to further hone his talents.

After all, it was ABS-CBN who had a reputation of turning struggling former Kapuso talents into certified stars. Names like Cristine Reyes, Paulo Avelino, Angel Locsin, Jake Cuenca and Iza Calzado came to ABS-CBN after years of service to GMA, and with the help of talent guru Johnny Manahan, their stars are now shining brighter than ever.

However, Aljur Abrenica and GMA decided to patch their differences, and today Aljur remains as visible as ever on the Kapuso network. Currently he appears in ‘Once Again’, where he is paired alongside Janine Gutierrez.

Imagine if Aljur decided to go to ABS-CBN instead of reconciling with GMA. His waning star would have been rekindled under the watchful eyes of Johnny Manahan.

As it stands, however, he is back with GMA, but unfortunately for him, it was not a sweet reunion so far. Since premiering in mid-May, ‘Once Again’ has been struggling to keep up with ‘Dolce Amore’, who were led by Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano.

Hopefully the story will be different for younger brother Vin. Now that he’s on ABS-CBN, Vin is poised to ascend much further than his brother, but it remains to be seen if he is indeed a good fit.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

My Fair Lady Remake to Air on TV5 Next Week

‘My Fair Lady’ airs starting this Monday at 9:30 p.m. on TV5. It will star Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Vin Abrenica and Luis Alandy. (Photo credit: TV5/My Fair Lady TV5 Official Facebook)

It seems like TV5 is having fun remaking Koreanovelas that were previously aired on another network.

After the remake of ‘The Baker King’, it is now the turn of ‘My Fair Lady’ to embrace the TV5 airwaves. The new adaptation will be led by Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Vin Abrenica and Luis Alandy, and will replace the former starting this Monday.

Like ‘The Baker King’, the original ‘My Fair Lady’ never aired on TV5. Instead, it aired on ABS-CBN in 2011, as part of the Kapamilya Gold block.

The original series first aired in Korea in 2009, and earned high ratings and numerous awards in its home country despite airing only 16 60-minute episodes. It starred Yoon Eun-hye, Yoon Sang-hyun, Jung Il-woo, and Moon Chae-won.

Unlike several hit Koreanovelas, ABS-CBN chose to relinquish the rights to ‘My Fair Lady’ due to its low ratings. TV5 picked up the rights to the series early last year, with the intent towards producing a remake.

The remake of ‘My Fair Lady’ will air for only 30 minutes, in contrast to its Korean counterpart. There will be a few tweaks along the way, but overall, expect the adaptation to not deviate from the style and approach of the original.

Joining Jasmine, Vin and Luis on ‘My Fair Lady’ will be Chanel Morales, Katrina Legaspi, Eddie Gutierrez, Marjorie Barretto, Jenny Miller, DJ Durano, Joross Gamboa, and Yayo Aguila. The series will be directed by Ricky Rivero.

It will be interesting to see how the fans of the original ‘My Fair Lady’ will respond to the remake. That said, the onus is now on TV5 to create something memorable for their loyal viewers.

‘My Fair Lady’ airs weeknights starting September 14 at 9:30 p.m. on TV5.

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comedy, education, entertainment, humor, Philippines, Sports, television

TV5’s New Shows to Watch This Second Half of 2015

‘Happy Truck ng Bayan’ is one of several new shows that are on TV5’s pipeline this second half of 2015. (Photo credit: TV5/Happy Truck ng Bayan Official Facebook)

TV5’s push for happiness continues.

The Kapatid network recently unveiled a set of new shows in the ‘Hi-Way to Happy’ trade launch at the Metrowalk Tent last June 12. The new shows were a part of TV5’s ongoing pursuit of spreading love and joy to its viewers, not to mention providing something different for people to watch.

Currently ongoing are two programs that premiered within days of the trade launch. They are:

Happy Truck ng Bayan

This variety show is held in various barangays, using a truck that is transformed into a stage. Hosted by Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs, Derek Ramsey, Gelli de Belen, Mariel Rodriguez, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Empoy Marquez, Tuesday Vargas, Mark Neumann, Shaira Mae dela Cruz, Akihiro Blanco, Chanel Morales, Sophie Albert, Vin Abrenica, Kim Idol and Tom Taus, it premiered last June 14 and airs every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

Hi-5 Philippines

The local franchise of ‘Hi-5’ from Australia features virtually the same basic elements as the original, with a Filipino spin of course. Hosted by Rissey Reyes, Gerard Pagunsan, Alex Reyes, Fred Lo, and Aira Binas, the show airs twice every weekday, at 8:30 a.m. and at 3:45 p.m.

A few other shows are expected to premiere this July. They are:

KISPinoy

This talent search show features aspiring singers who aim to become the next K-Pop stars. Hosted by Richard Gutierrez and Jinri Park, and features judges Rico Blanco, Gelli de Belen and various K-Pop experts, ‘KISPinoy’ premieres on July 11 at 9:00 p.m..

LolaBasyang.com

Starring Boots Anson-Roa, the series will feature the retelling of Lola Basyang’s tales with the use of modern gadgets. ‘LolaBasyang.com’ premieres on July 11.

#ParangNormal Activity

The horror/comedy sitcom will star Ella Cruz as the pretty ghost, starring alongside a trio of nerds played by Shaun Salvador, Ryle Paolo Santiago and Andrei Garcia. ‘#ParangNormal Activity’ premieres on July 11.

No Harm, No Foul

The new sports-themed sitcom will feature Ogie Alcasid, Randy Santiago, Tuesday Vargas, Long Mejia, Eula Caballero, Valeen Montenegro and Sophie Albert, alongside basketball stars Willie Miller, Gary David, Beau Belga, Kiefer Ravena, and Yoyong Martirez. ‘No Harm, No Foul’ premieres on July 5 at 8:00 p.m.

TV5’s new offerings should once again serve up a smile in the viewers’ faces. With that, best of luck to them.

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The Weekend Shuffle on ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5

The return of ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’ last Sunday left Toni Gonzaga (left) with four programs on the same day. As a result of the over-exposure, Toni’s sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’ was moved to Saturday nights.

Just in time for the homestretch of summer, the ‘Big Three’ networks made noticeable changes in their weekend lineup. But while GMA and TV5 made a few tweaks, ABS-CBN decided to clean house and revamp theirs.

Last Sunday, ‘The Buzz’ made a grand return to ABS-CBN. However, one of the program’s hosts, Toni Gonzaga, had three other shows on Sundays; namely ‘ASAP’, ‘Home Sweetie Home’, and ‘Pinoy Big Brother: All In’.

The addition of ‘The Buzz’ proved to be a case of overexposure for the host, and as a result, ABS-CBN decided to move one of her shows to another day. And ‘Home Sweetie Home’ proved to be the odd one out. However, another of ABS-CBN’s programs needed to move as well.

‘Home Sweetie Home’ was moved to Saturday nights, while ‘Wansapanatym’ was moved to Sunday nights. This is a homecoming of sorts for the latter, as it used to air on Sundays during its initial run in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Meanwhile, instead of facing Michael V’s highly-rated ‘Pepito Manaloto’, ‘Home Sweetie Home’ will now have to compete against Vic Sotto’s ‘Vampire ang Daddy Ko’ in its new timeslot.

On Saturday afternoons, both ‘Failon Ngayon’ and ‘SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives’ exchanged timeslots, with the former now airing at 4:00 p.m., and the latter at 4:45 p.m. Also in a few weeks’ time, ABS-CBN will bring back the legal drama series ‘Kapag May Katwiran, Ipaglaban Mo!’, which is expected to be placed on the timeslot preceding ‘Failon Ngayon’. And finally, ‘The Voice Kids’ debuted last night, and will air every weekend thereafter.

Over at GMA, the network started to air classic films via the ‘Kapuso Sine Klasika’ block. Like the old QTV program ‘Ginintuang Telon’, the movie block showcases films made during the 1950s and 1960s. It was placed in the early Sunday morning slot opposite religious programs such as the live Sunday TV Mass.

Meanwhile, GMA also decided to end its broadcast of Dr. Charles Stanley’s ‘In Touch Ministries’ after a six-year run, effective last April. This leaves ‘Jesus the Healer’ of the Jesus is Lord Movement as the network’s sole religious program on Sundays.

And over at TV5, Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s self-titled drama and suspense program will premiere next Sunday. ‘JasMINE’ is a series that revolves around Curtis and her rise to fame being threatened by a stalker named ‘Mascara’, whose role is to make things miserable for the young actress. The series was supposed to premiere in March, but due to the network’s decision to shorten the ongoing PBA season, its premiere was delayed for three months.

In addition to Curtis, Vin Abrenica, Matt Padilla, Carlo Orosa, Gerard Sison, Marvelous Alejo, Nicole Estrada, Cai Cortez, and Alwyn Uytingco will also play key roles in the series. ‘JasMINE’ the series is scheduled to premiere after ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ this June 1.

To all the parties involved, good luck in trying to keep viewers happy with these programs.

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