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FTT Year 2015 in Review: Television’s Best

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 best moments in Philippine television this year.

AlDub Invades Eat Bulaga and the World

The now-popular Kalyeserye segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ began on July 16, as a then-unknown Maine Mendoza (under the Yaya Dub character) caught the eye of rising Kapuso star Alden Richards. Since then, AlDub grew into a social media phenomenon, and it culminated into a slew of advertisements, magazine covers, a supporting role in ‘My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore’, and a sold-out ‘Sa Tamang Panahon’ live episode at the Philippine Arena.

While the popularity of AlDub had some negative effects on GMA and its rivals, there is no denying that the duo became the key ingredient that introduced ‘Eat Bulaga’ into a new generation. The 36-year-old variety show is now enjoying its best ratings in years, thanks largely to AlDub.

LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine Dominate Primetime Ratings

While AlDub dominated noontime, primetime belonged to ABS-CBN’s three hottest love teams.  The year began with LizQuen (Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil) of ‘Forevermore’ continuing their winning run, before handing it over to KathNiel (Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla) of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, and JaDine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre) of ‘On the Wings of Love’.

The success of LizQuen, KathNiel and JaDine were crucial in Primetime Bida’s thorough domination of Telebabad in the national ratings. Although GMA responded with BiGuel (Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix) in ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, and GabRu (Gabbi Garcia and Ruru Madrid) of ‘Let the Love Begin’, they were unable to make an impact.

A New Sunday Afternoon Habit

August 9 saw a new rival for the 20-year-old ‘ASAP’, but they did not expect it to be different. In came ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, GMA’s newest variety show that emphasized more on comedy than musical performances.

The presence of ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Alden RicRhards (with Maine Mendoza later added) helped ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ defeat ‘ASAP’ on a consistent basis. In response, ABS-CBN moved ‘Banana Split: Extra Scoop’ to Sunday afternoons as ‘Banana Sundae’, but it still failed to reverse the trend.

Willie Revillame Returns 

Speaking of Sunday afternoons, May 10 saw the return of Willie Revillame to the small screen with ‘Wowowin’. Initially airing every mid-Sunday afternoons, it later moved to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, where it has since flourished.

Even though Willie faced an arrest warrant over the ‘Willing Willie’ macho dancer kid case, this didn’t stop him from receiving accolades for ‘Wowowin’. The rebirth of the controversial host was capped off with a pair of awards for best game show and host in the PMPC Star Awards.

Wattpad Presents Turns 1

The teleserye dominance of ABS-CBN and GMA did not deter TV5. Following the cancellation of ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ in early November, ‘Wattpad Presents’ became the network’s longest-running active entertainment program, having been on the air for over a year.

Under-appreciated by most television viewers, ‘Wattpad Presents’ was able to make it over a year thanks to an endless supply of new stories and a dedicated fanbase. It is considered a perfect alternative to the long and dragging storylines that a teleserye usually provides.

ABS-CBN Goes Digital and HD

February 11 saw the much-awaited launch of ABS-CBN TVPlus, the first-ever digital terrestrial television service in the country. The so-called ‘mahiwagang black box’ quickly became popular, selling nearly a million units.

Then on October 3, ABS-CBN HD was launched, bringing virtually every program on Channel 2 into crystal clear high definition. And finally, ABS-CBN announced that they will replace Balls HD with ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD starting January 1, ending a six-year run for the network’s first-ever HD channel.

Kapamilya Gold Reloaded

Teleseryes made their return to Kapamilya Gold on January 13, as ‘Flordeliza’ and ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’ premiered on the afternoon block. This was followed by four other series: ‘Doble Kara’, ‘All of Me’, ‘Walang Iwanan’ and ‘And I Love You So’.

Since then, the battle between Kapamilya Gold and Afternoon Prime dramas became a tight one, both in ratings and momentum. However, it didn’t stop ‘The Half-Sisters’ from achieving the one-year milestone in June.

NCAA Returns to Channel 23; UAAP Extended

After a fruitless three-year tenure with Sports5, the NCAA returned to ABS-CBN Sports in late June. The renewed partnership featured new innovations, such as social media interaction and high-definition broadcasts.

ABS-CBN Sports also signed a fresh five-year deal with the UAAP, following another successful season. The network now plans to extend its coverage to other UAAP tournaments, in addition to full coverage of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball.

The Big Two-0

November 27 saw ‘Bubble Gang’ celebrate its 20th anniversary with a documentary special. The 20-year-old gag show continues to defy time, maintaining its status as a Friday night habit despite an evolving cast of talents and advancements in technology.

Also reaching its 20th year is ‘Saksi’, the second longest-running active free TV newscast in the country. So is ‘ASAP’, who despite fading ratings with the entry of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, remains a fixture on Sunday noontime.

Janella, Jana Shine on Lunchtime

Following up the success of ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ was a difficult task, but Janella Salvador and Jana Agoncillo proved that they were able to thrive with this challenge. Janella’s ‘Oh My G’ and Jana’s ‘Ningning’ flourished as one the country’s top-rated programs on weekdays, despite a stiff competitor in ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’.

In response, the TAPE-produced talk show starring Ryzza Mae Dizon was rebooted into a drama series as ‘Princess in the Palace’. However, the reformat did not produce the desired results.

2015 was another year to remember for television viewers. Although ABS-CBN continued to reign this year, GMA and TV5 enjoyed their own share of moments as well, and with digitization now underway, the preparation for a full-digitized television signal in the Philippines is on.

So what is in store for 2016? Find out as From the Tube continues to look at events and changes that shape Philippine media.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Bubble Gang Parodies Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye

Juancho Trivino and Denise Barbacena as Albert and Badel, aka the AlBad tandem. (Photo credit: GMA Network/Bubble Gang Official Twitter)

‘Bubble Gang”s list of parodies continue to grow.

Just recently, the long-running GMA gag show capitalized on the popularity of ‘Eat Bulaga”s Kalyeserye by creating a parody called ‘Istambay-serye’. In the skit ‘Istambay sa Looban’, Denise Barbacena and Juancho Trivino were cast as Badel and Albert, respectively, and the tandem were dubbed as AlBad.

The duo spoofed the mannerisms of the AlDub (Alden Richards and Maine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza) tandem, from the ‘pabebe wave’ to the use of Dubsmash. Even Lolo Nidoro/Antoinetta (Betong), a parody of Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola), was introduced to give Badel and Albert some trouble.

Though the ‘Istambay-serye’ became the main focus of the skit, Michael V, Sef Cadayona and Antonio Aquitania continue to narrate the story via a song, with the squatters interrupting in between. This unique wrinkle helps ‘Istambay sa Looban’ maintain its unconventional style.

Within weeks, the AlBad tandem became successful, and AlDub fans gave the parody mostly positive reviews. AlBad even plans to spoof the AlDub-starred commercials in future episodes.

The skit only shows that after 20 years, ‘Bubble Gang’ continues to be the ultimate source for the best pop culture parodies. And speaking of 20 years, please stand by for a future article that will commemorate the show’s 20th anniversary.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Pastillas Girl Skit Gets MTRCB’s Attention

‘Pastillas Girl’ is in hot water.

A meeting between the MTRCB’s Gender and Development Committee and the show’s director Norbert Vidanes, executive producer Mark Rejano, and business unit head Reily Santiago is set to take place this October 13. This was in response to numerous complaints from concerned citizens regarding the ‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ segment.

Among those concerned were the women’s group Gabriela, who requested the MTRCB for an investigation regarding the skit’s alleged exploitation of women. They claim that ‘Pastillas Girl’ (Angelica Yap in real life) is being pimped by various interested men, something that Yap and her mother vehemently denied.

The letter, which was sent to the executives of ‘It’s Showtime’, as well as ABS-CBN TV Production Entertainment head Laurenti Dyogi and Gabriela Secretary General Joan Salvador, is as follows:

Further to the Memorandum of Understanding dated 28 March 2012 by and between our Agency and various television networks and entities, including ABS-CBN Corporation, as well as the official letter we received last week from the party-list alliance Gabriela, not to mention some feedback from the general public, we are impelled to invite your authorized representatives for the program ‘It’s Showtime’ to a dialogue with the Special Sub-Committee of our Gender And Development (GAD) Committee on 13 October 2015, at 10:00 a.m., at ground floor conference room.

‘Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas’ was supposed to be ‘It’s Showtime”s answer to the explosively popular ‘Kalyeserye’ of ‘Eat Bulaga’, starring Maine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza and Alden Richards. Instead, it only worsened the gap between the two shows, while critics to the segment continued to increase.

That said, the ‘Magpasikat’ spirit that has epitomized ‘It’s Showtime’ for six years is now a thing of the past. What the viewers see at this point is a desperate and frustrated program that is offering skits with negative results.

It’s another big blow for ‘It’s Showtime’, and for a show that is losing its grip, this is a painful and difficult sight to see.

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AlDub Phenomenon Continues to Grow, But Warning Signs Become Evident

The AlDub phenomenon reached fever pitch last Saturday.

‘Eat Bulaga”s so-called National Pabebe Wave Day featured a chance meeting between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (aka Yaya Dub) inside a mansion ‘owned’ by Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola). It marked the first selfie between the pair, the debut of the mansion’s maid Rianna, also portrayed by Bayola, and the first time that Yaya Dub spoke on national television.

That episode of ‘Eat Bulaga’ overwhelmed ‘It’s Showtime”s ANIMversary episode by a wide margin, both in tweets and in the ratings. A record 25 million tweets were confirmed during the episode, while ratings of 37.2 (NUTAM) and 30.8% (Kantar) helped ‘Eat Bulaga’ widen its gap over ‘It’s Showtime’.

Many were beginning to question ‘It’s Showtime”s increasingly immoral antics, such as what happened last Saturday with the on-air kiss between Viceral (Vice Ganda’s alter-ego) and Karylle (see video above). Even the infamous Pastillas Girl segments (which were criticized for its desperate and indecent nature) earned the ire of Gabriela for its exploitation of women.

However, the so-called Kalyeserye on ‘Eat Bulaga’ also has its fair share of detractors. This despite the fact that it entails a positive message to its viewers.

Since the AlDub phenomenon got underway, virtually every newscast on GMA and GMA News TV have always featured a short summary of the Kalyeserye (example video above). The overemphasis on AlDub continued even during Sundays, which is a rest day for the staff of ‘Eat Bulaga’.

Stories of the AlDub phenomenon have also become a regular occurrence on ‘Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho’. Features of AlDub fanatics are usually the point of emphasis on the said program.

GMA has also taken advantage of Alden Richards’ renewed fame, even though it was ‘Eat Bulaga”s parent company TAPE, Inc. who made the young actor a household name. Just recently, News TV reaired the obvious flop that is ‘Ilustrado’, while Alden’s life story on ‘Magpakailanman’ was also replayed.

It is clear that GMA is abusing the popularity of AlDub. The pair alone has loomed large over GMA’s own talents, and as a result, stunts their development and potential.

That said, finding a balance between AlDub and the rest of the network should be emphasized. AlDub can’t do it alone, and GMA needs its other talents and programs to step up in this urgent moment.

AlDub’s popularity should not be taken for granted. It is GMA’s responsibility to make things fair for everyone, otherwise it may alienate its viewers.

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It’s Showtime Finds AlDub Antidote in Pastillas Girl, Or So They Thought

It appears that ‘It’s Showtime’ has found a solution in their battle against ‘Eat Bulaga’ and the AlDub phenomenon.

Enter viral video sensation ‘Pastillas Girl’ (real name Angelica Yap), who has appeared recently in the AdVice Ganda segment (an obvious copycat of ‘Eat Bulaga”s defunct Problem Solving segment). On last Monday’s episode, Yap wanted to know when was the best time to fall in love again after a breakup.

Pastillas Girl’s question followed her revelation Friday in the same segment, where she opened up about her ex-boyfriend falling in love with her best friend. On Monday, the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’ were willing to find her a new flame, only to see an audience member stand up in hopes of winning the heart of Pastillas Girl.

The audience member wasn’t the only one, though. Thousands on Twitter also volunteered in hopes of earning Pastillas Girl’s love, but in the end, it was Jess Verano Senido who caught their attention, with Vice Ganda going as far as inviting Senido on a future episode just for this chance meeting.

The skit became the top national and global trending topic on Twitter, outtrending the ‘Kalyeserye’ segment where Alden Richards and Maine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza regained their ‘kilig’ ways. For ‘It’s Showtime’, it was a rare victory against the AlDub phenomenon.

Not all were pleased with the segment, however. Some thought it was an imitation of the ‘Kalyeserye’ that AlDub popularized, as ‘It’s Showtime’ attempted to create a similarly spontaneous and unexpected love team with Pastillas Girl.

Still, it was good to see ‘It’s Showtime’ regain some measure of confidence. But whether or not the Pastillas Girl segments will result in improved ratings remains to be seen.

Until then, AlDub remains on top for now, unless ‘It’s Showtime’ finds a way to make good use of Pastillas Girl.

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AlDub Popularity A Big Concern for It’s Showtime

There is no stopping ‘Eat Bulaga”s increasingly popular AlDub tandem.

The accidental duo of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub has been on a roll in the last month. Ratings for ‘Eat Bulaga’ continued to rise, while netizens took to social media in increasing numbers to show support and concern for the love team.

Speaking of netizens, this was how ‘It’s Showtime’, like most ABS-CBN programs, enjoyed success in the last few years. But the tables now seem to turn against them once AlDub took to the airwaves.

An example of this was during the grand finals of the Funny One segment (won by Ryan Rems Sarita). Held on the same day as ‘Eat Bulaga”s ill-fated wedding between Yaya Dub and Frankie A. Arinoli (played by Jose Manalo), the Funny One finals did earn a spot among Twitter’s trending topics.

There was only one problem: AlDub was one step better on Twitter, both nationally and globally. Even though ‘It’s Showtime’ beat ‘Eat Bulaga’ on Kantar’s ratings last August 8, it was a 2-1 win for the latter, who managed to win AGB Nielsen’s ratings on that day.

This following week, ‘It’s Showtime’ promoted Ryan Rems to a regular host. But not even a promotion and a subsequent segment between Ryan, Vice Ganda and the five other Funny One finalists was good enough for ‘It’s Showtime’, as ratings and social media impact continue to widely favor ‘Eat Bulaga’ and its ‘Kalyeserye’.

As a result, according to various tabloids, the producers of ‘It’s Showtime’ are now forced to convene on a daily basis in an attempt to figure out a way to beat AlDub. They hope that these productive meetings could help ‘It’s Showtime’ regain their winning ways.

Then again, ABS-CBN is no stranger to losing to ‘Eat Bulaga’ whenever the latter responded with a more popular segment. Remember how Laban o Bawi helped ‘Eat Bulaga’ beat ‘Magandang Tanghali, Bayan’ for good?

The Kapamilya network can only hope that ‘It’s Showtime’ won’t become the second coming of MTB. The AlDub phenomenon can be beaten, and now it’s up to ‘It’s Showtime’ to respond with a stronger segment.

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