It is a big year for television. With no end to the pandemic in sight, audiences are turning to more familiar forms of entertainment as a way to cope with the monotony of life indoors and the worrying realities outside of it.
Media giant GMA, armed with a slew of new shows and programs to capture this growing viewer base, is ready to take the reins.
In January, it launched the reality game show Catch Me Out Philippines, headlined by the trio of Kakai Bautista, Jose Manalo and Derrick Monasterio, under the helm of esteemed director Rico Gutierrez.
Based on the popular UK original, the show follows two amateur contestants who go through weeks of intensive training with mentors and each with a different performance to master, to trick viewers and celebrity catchers into believing that they are professional entertainers while performing alongside actual experts.
Meanwhile, Andre Paras and Sef Cadayona host Game of the Gens, where players from different generations—baby boomers, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z—battle each other in a series of mini games featuring all-around topics on trends, music, and entertainment.
Next up is the television drama revenge series Babawiin Ko Ang Lahat, top-billed by John Estrada and Carmina Villaroel, and, in her first starring role, Pauline Mendoza.
It premiered in February in the network’s afternoon lineup replacing Prima Donnas.
Set to launch as well on GMA afternoon block is the TV adaptation of the 1988 award-winning Ishmael Bernal film Nagbabagang Luha, directed by Ricky Davao and starring Glaiza de Castro and Rayver Cruz. De Castro is taking on the role of Maita, which was first portrayed by Lorna Tolentino.
Another breakthrough cultural drama series from the network is Legal Wives, where Dennis Trillo takes on the challenging role of Ishmael, a Maranaw Muslim royalty who has three wives portrayed by actresses Alice Dixson, Andrea Torres, and Bianca Umali. They are joined by internationally acclaimed actress Cherie Gil.
GMA Public Affairs is also set to bring its ambitious action-adventure series Lolong. Bannered by Ruru Madrid, Lolong is inspired by the world’s largest crocodile in captivity of the same name.
Real-life couple Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos are all set for the romance-mystery miniseries Love You Stranger, while Alden Richards and Jasmine Curtis-Smith reunite in the drama series The World Between Us alongside Tom Rodriguez.
Heart Evangelista-Escudero returns to the screen in I Left My Heart in Sorsogon, playing alongside Paolo Contis and Richard Yap.
“The network has been adjusting to the new normal in all aspects of its operations, always guided by the primary objective of maintaining a safe working environment in this pandemic,” Lilybeth Rasonable, senior vice president for entertainment, told BusinessMirror in an e-mail interview.
“Productions have resumed, albeit with new ways of producing. It is a continuous learning experience as we move along this new normal—a continuous adjustment in production processes and also in content. We have a mandate to deliver information and entertainment to the public and for the network to fulfill this, we have to continue to adapt to the ever-changing environment,” she said.