Although fantasy and adventure series have given GMA 7 success in the ratings game, the network is veering away from these genres and focusing instead on drama this year.
Wilma Galvante, SVP for TV Entertainment, explained that GMA 7's initial offering for the first quarter of 2012 consists of all original TV shows. These are, according to her, the result of well-planned and well-though-out shows they labored on for months and which they believe would cater to viewers’ discriminating taste.
"Our audience will notice that our shows are not so much into the fantasies or mga adventures this time. Pero ganun din ang objective namin - to give our viewers only the best in entertainment. It is not to say na totally walang fantasy dyan kasi magandang element yun na in your drama somehow merong biglang lumalabas na third element. You will see that in 'My Beloved,' you will see that also in 'Alice Bungisngis.' All the rest will be very heavy and gripping dramas. And sa lahat naman na yan, pinag-aralan namin yung casting at pinag-aralan kung saan siya i-launch at anong time siya i-launch - lahat yan is mainly for our viewers to really appreciate and be entertained with what we have for them for the first quarter of the year."
GMA Network also deemed that coming up with all-original teleseryes rather than Filipinized versions of Koreanovelas like "Stairway to Heaven" is more cost-effective. More than saving money from expensive license fees of the Koreanovelas they purchase, the network utilizes its resources more.
Lawyer Felipe L. Gozon, CEO and President of GMA Network seconded what his SVP expressed. He said, "We are veering away from fantasies because we have discovered na marunong din kami sa drama at nananalo rin pala kami sa drama at di lang sa fantasy. With that behind us, we thought of changing the program grid."
Going into drama is also the network's strategy in 2012 in their bid to win more of the advertising budget this year.
"I believe we are in the best position to get the better part of the advertising budget. One of the ways in doing that is to offer programs that we think are going to be friendly to the advertisers," he stressed.
First on the list from the roster of primetime and afternoon prime dramas from the GMA Drama Group is "Legacy." This series features Heart Evangelista, Alessandra de Rossi, and Lovi Poe. Their leading men are Geoff Eigenmann, Mike Tan and Sid Lucero. Directed by Jay Altarejos, “Legacy” will premiere on January 16 on the primetime "GMA Telebabad" block.
Also in the cast are Kapuso stars Mark Bautista, Solenn Heussaff and Sam Pinto and veteran actors Eddie Garcia, Cherie Gil, Jackielou Blanco, and Maritoni Fernandez, among others.
There's also "Biritera," which stars Dennis Trillo. His leading ladies are Glaiza de Castro and Angelika Dela Cruz. Premiering February 6, this highly dramatic and heartrending offering will introduce a new child singing star.
Dingdong-Marian love team is back
The Kapuso Network brings back the love team of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera on Philippine television via an aptly drama series entitled "My Beloved" to premiere on Feb. 13.
This Valentine offering is about an angel of death who becomes a mortal and falls in love with a human. It is directed by Dominic Zapata.
Leading the afternoon block is another original offering titled “Broken Vow.” It topbills fresh tandems Luis Alandy - Bianca King and Gabby Eigenmann - Rochelle Pangilinan, this afternoon drama is under the direction of Gil Tejada, Jr. and is slated to premiere on February 6.
“The Good Daughter,” which will air starting Feb. 13 stars the fresh loveteam of Kylie Padilla and Rocco Nacino. Introducing in this soap is Kapuso newcomer Max Collins who will complete the story’s love triangle.
Also in the offing is “Hiram na Puso,” a compelling family drama series featuring Kris Bernal, Polo Ravales, Bela Padilla and Mark Herras. Gina Alajar and Ayen Munji-Laurel complete the cast of this original soap which deals with drama, mystery and romance beginning Feb.20.
To complete the list of upcoming dramas in the afternoon prime block is “Alice Bungisngis and Her Wonder Walis.” Slated to air its pilot episode on Feb. 6, it headlines tween stars Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Derrick Monasterio and Lexi Fernandez, along with Jean Garcia and Janno Gibbs, Alice Bungisngis and her Wonder Walis. This is under the helm of director Mark Reyes.
GMA Films will release two new movies for the first quarter of 2012.
Christian Bautista is proud of former girlfriend and fellow Kapuso Rachelle Ann Go, who will play Gigi in West End’s “Miss Saigon” next year. …