comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s New Rival to Sana Dalawa ang Puso Premieres Monday

GMA has a new series coming up to counter ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’.

After over a month of staying away from the dreaded love team that is Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between), GMA will once again look to defeat the popular tandem. This time, however, they will not have the benefit of TAPE Inc. as a blocktimer and production partner.

Instead, the new series ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be self-produced by the network, the first time they have done that in a pre-noontime show since ‘Cielo de Angelina’ in 2012. But unlike the latter which is more of a tear-jerker, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be done in the same way as ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: a romantic comedy.

‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be headlined by Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. Camille (as Ginny) and Neil (as Lance) are single parents still attached to their past, but with some common ground between them (e.g. living in the same condo, enjoy the same brand of coffee), it seems like a relationship is about to bloom.

Their lives will also intertwine with that of their children. Ginny’s daughter Marione (Ayra) and Lance’s son Benjie (Bruno) are also on the verge of falling in love, but it remains to be seen if either or both of their relationships will flourish.

GMA is no stranger to morning romantic series, having aired ‘With a Smile’ and ‘Dangwa’ in years past. Unfortunately, the presence of TAPE’s pre-noontime shows prevented GMA from seriously challenging ABS-CBN’s popular late-morning dramas, which led to both shows’ failure to make an impact.

The curse of ‘JoChard’ has become a long-standing dilemma for GMA ever since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ premiered in 2012. That said, GMA can only hope for the best with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, as this could be their last-ditch attempt to overcome the problem.

If they fail on this objective, it will not be a surprise to see the network return to a pupal state and fill the airtime with ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’. It is either all-out or stay out as far as GMA is concerned.

Directed by Tata Betita and Jojo Nones, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

GMA’s Mid-Morning Problems Continue with Kapuso Movie Festival

GMA is bringing back ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ as they continue to figure out the problems that plague them every weekday morning. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Poor ratings have characterized GMA’s mid-morning lineup.

After an impressive showing for the network’s Astig Authority block (some of which are often reaired), the drop-off in ratings becomes noticeable once they move into a different set of programs. This has been a perennial problem for the network since Lilybeth Rasonable took over, and they have tried everything just to shake the mid-morning slate up.

There was the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block, which was their obvious answer to ABS-CBN’s ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’. Then came Heart of Asia Mornings, a block that contains new light-hearted Koreanovelas.

They even attempted to air talk shows (e.g. ‘Basta Every Day Happy’, ‘Yan ang Morning) and local dramas (e.g. ‘With a Smile’). Unfortunately, all of these attempts failed miserably.

Now they are going back to airing movies via the ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’ block. Not to mention a rerun of an old QTV program called ‘H20: Just Add Water’, which will be obviously dubbed in Filipino unlike its original airing on Channel 11.

Let’s face it, there is no way GMA can beat ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ with their own movie block. Their portfolio of new movies to air is running low, and to make matters worse, GMA Films has only a few titles to choose from, which is basically 1/8th to 1/16th of what rival Star Cinema has produced lately.

If GMA were smart enough to admit that they can no longer beat ABS-CBN after 9:00 a.m., perhaps the time has come to welcome a TV shopping block of their own choosing. Whether or not it is Shop Japan, EZ Shop or even Shop TV, it doesn’t matter, as long as they fill in GMA’s programming hours every morning.

They could also welcome blocktimers who can produce their own programs. While they already have established blocktimers in TAPE, Inc. (‘Calle Siete’, ‘Eat Bulaga’) and APT Entertainment (‘Sunday PinaSaya’), they might as well need another for non-entertainment purposes, such as lifestyle shows or documentaries.

Still, it is up to GMA management to decide the fate of the mid-morning slot. They need to think twice about giving up this venture.

Otherwise, they will be stuck with this hashtag: #KMFMForever, which translates to Kapuso Movie Festival Mornings Forever.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA Tries Another Weekday Morning Drama with Dangwa

Seems like GMA hasn’t learned anything from past failures.

After a two-year absence, GMA decided to pursue another local weekday drama series in the morning. They called upon Janine Gutierrez to star as the mysterious ‘Dangwa Girl’, in the series known simply as ‘Dangwa’.

Mystery shrouded the streets of Manila earlier this month when university belt students posted photos and videos of a girl giving out roses to various strangers in social media. The mysterious encounter quickly became viral on social media, and eventually, the then-unknown ‘Dangwa Girl’ was revealed to as Janine Gutierrez.

‘Dangwa’ will feature the story of Rosa, a beautiful flower vendor who would change the lives of men who bought flowers from her. While the story of Rosa will be the focus of the series, a new love story between two individuals will be featured each week, all of which begin with a chance encounter with Rosa herself.

As for Rosa, she will also have a love story of her own. Two men named Baste (Mark Herras) and Lorenzo (Aljur Abrenica) would gain the attention of Rosa’s heart, but as they discovered, she is something else to behold.

The first week of ‘Dangwa’ will also star Barbie Forteza and Ruru Madrid. This will be followed by starring roles from Carla Abellana and Rafael Rosell, Rhian Ramos and Geoff Eigenmann, Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, and Pauleen Luna and Gerald Napoles.

‘Dangwa’ will be the latest series produced by the GMA Public Affairs group. But as everyone learned, the involvement of GMA Public Affairs in the series is simply a way to bail out an Entertainment department that has not had success in recent years.

There is also a question about the series’ viability in the morning. Considering that the last two GMA morning dramas (‘Cielo de Angelina’, ‘With a Smile’) were ratings failures, a very tough task awaits ‘Dangwa’ in their hopes of reversing a recent trend.

That said, it will be interesting to see if ‘Dangwa’ lives up to the hype. After the success of the viral posts, the series now hopes to turn them into good, if not impressive ratings.

‘Dangwa’ premieres this Monday at 11:00 a.m. on GMA.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Adarna’ Bumps ‘Genesis’ Off the Leadoff Spot

GMA’s new teleserye ‘Adarna’ will be Kylie Padilla’s first lead role in a primetime series.

Tonight’s GMA Telebabad lineup will have one change. ‘Adarna’, topbilled by Kylie Padilla and Geoff Eigenmann, will replace the recently concluded ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’. However, the program’s debut will also demote the Dingdong Dantes starrer ‘Genesis’ off the leadoff spot.

As it turned out, ‘Genesis’ was demoted amid its sensitivity towards its ‘end of the world’ storyline and the popularity of ABS-CBN‘s ‘Honesto’. Right now the Philippines is still recovering from the damage of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), and it may not be good to follow a news program like ‘24 Oras‘ with a sci-fi Armageddon-based story of ‘Genesis’. The demotion should make sense because a possible public relations disaster would take place had ‘Genesis’ remained as the leadoff program.

In addition, the demotion was also necessary because ‘Genesis’ has been beaten consistently by ‘Honesto’ in the ratings. Whether it’s Nielsen or Kantar, it seems that the latter’s inexperienced lead star Raikko Mateo is outplaying the veteran Dingdong Dantes in terms of television viewership. The unexpected popularity of ‘Honesto’ also spread into social media, helping it become the most-watched program in its timeslot.

Because of that, GMA had to place ‘Genesis’ opposite ‘Got to Believe’, which stars the popular teen love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. However, ‘Got to Believe’ has also been a consistent top draw in its timeslot, and with the increasingly popular team-up of Bernardo and Padilla proving to be a hit, it would be an even difficult task for veterans like Dantes and on-screen partner Rhian Ramos to overcome the former viewership-wise. Nevertheless, ‘Genesis’ should be a more formidable opponent to ‘Got to Believe’ after the now-concluded ‘Kahit Nasaan Ka Man’ of Julie Anne San Jose and Kristoffer Martin failed to draw viewers.

Which brings us to ‘Adarna’, a modern retelling of the Ibong Adarna epic. This will be the first starring role for Kylie Padilla in a primetime series. Padilla, though a seasoned actress in her own right, has yet to play a major role in the ratings-rich primetime slot, and opposite five-year-old Mateo, expectations are high for the young veteran to make her mark. In ‘Adarna’, Padilla will be joined by leading men Eigenmann, Mikael Daez, fellow young actresses Ryza Cenon, Michelle Madrigal and Chynna Ortaleza, and veterans Jean Garcia and Jestoni Alarcon in helping her fulfill the daunting role of a half-human, half-bird character from a classic Filipino epic.

For Eigenmann, ‘Adarna’ will be his first teleserye after a long showbiz hiatus. As seen in a GMA News report, Eigenmann has slimmed down after battling weight issues prior to his sabbatical. Meanwhile Daez will appear in his first teleserye without on-screen partner Andrea Torres, whom he paired in the afternoon soap ‘Sana ay Ikaw na Nga‘, the morning ‘kiligserye’ ‘With a Smile’, and the gag show ‘Bubble Gang’.

‘Adarna’ makes its highly-anticipated debut tonight after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

entertainment, Philippines, television

‘With A Smile’ Ends in Four Weeks

GMA’s ‘With A Smile’ will officially end in October 2013, ending a four-month run.

How quick the story was. Turns out GMA’sWith A Smile‘ could not beat out ABS-CBN‘s long-running kiligserye ‘Be Careful With My Heart‘, despite the fact that the show runs at an earlier timeslot that its perceived opponent. That is why their decision to cancel the teleserye in four weeks’ time is no surprise, considering its more dramatic theme than its rival proved to be no match for ‘Be Careful”s success.

While the love story between Ser Chief (Richard Yap) and Maya (Jodi Sta. Maria) continues to progress well in ‘Be Careful’, the love triangle between Isay (Andrea Torres), Dean (Mikael Daez) and Aston (Christian Bautista) proved to be a rollercoaster of a tale. And that too much crying and in-fighting during the story proved to be extremely inappropriate for a morning teleserye, despite GMA‘s claim that the series is classified as ‘romantic comedy’.

That does not mean the story of ‘With A Smile’ is bad. However, considering that mornings are a period of trying to stay loose and bright, the program’s more dramatic theme is not a good idea. In a previous article that I have written several months ago, I expected ‘With A Smile’ to be in a similar style as ‘Be Careful With My Heart’, with hints of humor and lightheartedness. As it turned out, the addition of more dramatic and tension-filled scenes later in the story proved to be their undoing. That’s not ‘Be Careful”s style, although in recent episodes of the latter they started to tackle more serious stories that still feature a good hint of lightheartedness.

As much as GMA wanted to extend the series, the creative force behind ‘With A Smile’ seems exhausted and tired of creating new storylines that will appeal to audiences; in contrast to the writers of ‘Be Careful With My Heart’, the positive viewer reaction proved too good for them to add new stories. ‘With A Smile”s lack of charm and chemistry was simply too much, and the decision to cancel after just four months (‘Be Careful’ has been on the air for around 15 months now) showed that GMA continues its desperate attempts to reverse their ratings slide.

As of the moment, no replacement for ‘With A Smile’ has been revealed. More information will be given as the program enters its final weeks.

entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Answer to the Kiligserye Craze

Will GMA’s new ‘kiligserye’ ‘With a Smile’ match the success of ABS-CBN’s ‘Be Careful with My Heart’?

For the past year, ABS-CBN‘s ‘Be Careful with My Heart‘ has been rolling over the competition in the late morning/noontime slot. GMA’s response has been, well, little. They tried to answer ‘Be Careful…’ with ‘Ang Mga Mata ng Angelita’ and ‘Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master‘ in that timeslot, but neither were able to solve the popularity that ‘Be Careful…’ has endured in nearly a year. And now GMA is attempting their own version of a ‘kiligserye’.

Enter ‘With a Smile’. The new program debuted this past Monday, and it starred up-and-comers Andrea Torres and Mikael Daez. The show also saw a rare acting appearance from singer Christian Bautista, whose previous acting role was in ‘The Kitchen Musical‘. Like ‘Be Careful…’, ‘With a Smile’ focuses on a female commoner trying to gain the attention and the love of a businessman. In addition, the latter tries to take advantage of the former’s lighthearted style, by minimizing drama in favor of humorous love scenes and encounters. It was this approach that helped ‘Be Careful…’ become one of the most talked-about programs on television, so it remains to be seen whether ‘With a Smile’ can capitalize on the success of the former.

While GMA finally managed to give ‘With a Smile’ the go-ahead signal, they were unable to place it on the same timeslot as ‘Be Careful…’. This is because at the time of its debut, ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, hosted by the diminutive up-and-coming child star Ryzza Mae Dizon, was locked into that timeslot, and the program usually airs live as a lead-in to ‘Eat Bulaga’. Had they put ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ on a much earlier timeslot, they would have been able to place ‘With a Smile’ head-on with ‘Be Careful…’. However, the former’s production outfit TAPE, Inc. would not allow that in the condition that Ryzza’s grade school education be prioritized. For now, ‘With a Smile’ will need to earn a following in the mid-morning slot where there is not much competition.

The show is still three episodes old, so we’ll see if the chemistry of greenhorns Torres, Bautista and Daez would click in a similar manner as Jodi Sta. Maria as ‘Maya’ and Richard Yap as ‘Ser Chief’. And we’ll also see if GMA’s new offering would likewise gain a trending topic on Twitter. Good luck.