Do you remember GMA-7’s defunct weekly drama series, Anna Karenina?
The series produced by VIVA Television aired its pilot episode on November 10, 1996 on GMA-7’s Sunday afternoon slot.
It was the TV program that replaced the long-running drama anthology Lovingly Yours, Helen, which was hosted by Princess Punzalan after the death of her mom Helen Vela in 1992.
Anna Karenina was top-billed by then up-and-coming stars: Antoinette Taus, Sunshine Dizon, and Kim delos Santos.
On Saturday, August 15, 2020, Antoinette took a trip down memory lane via Instagram, when she posted a photo of her, Sunshine, and Kim.
The photo, originally posted by @90s.fangirl, was used for the publicity of the series.
Antoinette wrote in her caption (published as is), “#Throwback to my 16 year old self! Can anyone remember the full name of this character that I portrayed for many years? Clues below! Thank you so much for this wonderful nostalgic edit @90s.fangirl!
“REPOST @90s.fangirl: Tere, Calai and Bianca. Nina, Karen and Anna. Kim, Sunshine and Antoinette. #KimDelosSantos #SunshineDizon #AntoinetteTaus #TGIS #AnnaKareNina”
Anna Karenina is not based on Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel of the same title.
Rather, it tells the story of Anna Karenina Monteclaro, the missing heiress of the Monteclaros.
Three girls then come into the Monteclaro mansion, each with strong evidence that one of them is the missing Anna Karenina.
Antoinette played Anna, Sunshine portrayed Karen, and Kim was Nina.
The series was a success in the ratings game, and ran for six years: from 1996 to 2002. It is the longest series that aired on GMA-7.
In a previous interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in February 2019, Sunshine revealed that every year during its run, GMA-7 and VIVA Television would plan to put an end to the show.
But then, higher-ups would change their minds because the ratings kept going up.
Sunshine narrated, "Parang ang kuwento kasi ng Anna Karenina was parang after every year, sinasabing tatapusin na kami, tapos biglang hindi pa, kaya umabot kami ng limang taon.
"At saka, nalaman ko na lang kung ano iyang rating-rating na iyan, parang halfway na, e, ng Anna Karenina.
"Parang kapag kunyari, nagdiye-diyes kami o double digit lang, kapag narinig mo iyon, 'Ay, ang galing-galing natin!'”
Also part of Anna Karenina's cast were Antoinette, Sunshine, and Kim’s respective love-team partners: Dingdong Dantes, Polo Ravales, and Dino Guevarra.
In 2000, Antoinette decided to leave Anna Karenina for an acting opportunity in the United States. Tanya Garcia came in as Dingdong’s new love interest.
In 2001, Antoinette returned as a guest actor, portraying a different character, when she visited the Philippines.
In the last few months of Anna Karenina, Kim also decided to leave the program and showbiz altogether.
Sunshine remained in the program until its last episode on April 28, 2002. The program was then replaced by GMA-7’s network-produced drama series, Kahit Kailan.
In 2013, GMA-7 produced a remake of Anna Karenina, with Krystal Reyes, Barbie Forteza, and Joyce Ching in the roles of Anna, Karen, and Nina, respectively.