TV network partnerships, mega-serye launches, and unforgettable TV highlights

by Sophie Agustin
Jan 1, 2023
PEP Yearender 2022: Unforgettable TV highlights
Some of the unforgettable breakthroughs on local television in 2022 include the success of 2 Good 2 Be True starring Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo as well as Maria Clara and Ibarra starring Barbie Forteza, Dennis Trillo, and Julie Anne San Jose. Other TV highlights include the end of the seven-year run of Coco Martin's FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, Bea Alonzo's first TV series on GMA-7, and Willie Revillame's transfer to AllTV.
PHOTO/S: 2 Good 2 Be True / Maria Clara at Ibarra / Nikko Tuazon (Willie) / Noel Orsal (Alden and Bea) / FPJ's Ang Probinsyano

The television landscape continues to change with the advent of streaming and over-the-top media platforms, to which most viewers have already switched.

However, television remains king as majority of the Pinoy core audience still cling to the small box as they wait for their favorite TV shows to air and look forward to watching their idols.

This is the reason why TV networks never run out of special offerings and pasabog—whether it's to keep their loyal viewers or to convince viewers of the rival network to make the switch.

As the year comes to a close, (Philippine Entertainment Portal) presents some of the television highlights that happened in 2022.

1. Back-to-back airing of Tropang LOL and It’s Showtime on TV5 and A2Z

ABS-CBN was hit hard by the loss of its franchise in 2020 after Congress junked its renewal. Since then, the Kapamilya network—now known as the content provider ABS-CBN Entertainment—made significant efforts to reach its audience.

One such move was the airing of It’s Showtime on TV5. This seemed impossible in the last two years since TV5 also had its own noontime show, Lunch Out Loud, produced by Brightlight Productions.

But in July 2022, ABS-CBN Entertainment and Brightlight Productions were able to ink a beneficial partnership: both shows airing back-to-back in more than two platforms.

Lunch Out Loud renamed itself Tropang LOL and aired at 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The show served as pre-programming for It’s Showtime, which aired at 12:45 to 3:00 p.m.

Both shows now air on TV5, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live, and Kapamilya Channel.


Tropang Lol and It's Showtime

2. Viewers fall in love with Maria Clara at Ibarra

Maria Clara at Ibarra is probably GMA-7's most trending teleserye last year.

Headlined by Barbie Forteza, Julie Anne San Jose, and Dennis Trillo, the historical fiction series is based on Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo with a Gen-Z twist.

Barbie’s character, Maria Clara a.k.a. Klay, does not acknowledge the importance of history. She suddenly wakes up finding herself inside the world of Jose Rizal’s novels, with Julie Anne playing Maria Clara and Dennis as Crisostomo Ibarra.

The show has not finished its run but it has had numerous highlights that trended on social media.

One was the well-lauded performance of Andrea Torres as Sisa, where she received positive comments from netizens. Viewers were also irked by Padre Salvi, played well by Juancho Trivino, that they would make memes out of his hairstyle in the show.

Andrea Torres on Maria Clara at Ibarra


The unexpected pairing of Klay and Fidel (David Licauco) earned its own fanbase even before their love angle plot was aired because of their hilarious love-hate relationship.

Netizens got kilig when Fidel eventually fell for Klay and confessed his feelings for her. Prior to that, viewers had their own theories that Fidel also came from the present world, given that the character was not part of the original novel.

Barbie Forteza and David Licauco on Maria Clara at Ibarra

3. FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano ends after seven years

After seven years of airing, the Coco Martin-starrer FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano finally aired its final episode on August 12, 2022.

Running for almost an hour and 30 minutes, the finale showed Cardo (Coco) being the lone survivor of Task Force Agila after their mission to catch and kill Ronaldo Hipolito (John Arcilla).


It also paid special tribute to Fernando Poe, Jr.’s wife and cast member Susan Roces, who died during the course of the series’ run. In the last episode, Cardo found out that Lola Flora (Susan) was not able to wait for his return and died.

The episode ended with the appearance of Mara (Julia Montes), who was already believed to be dead in the story.

During the pandemic, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano was rumored to end several times, but it was only on July 15, 2022 that the network finally announced the show's last three weeks on air.

Julia Montes and Coco Martin on FPJ's Ang Probinsyano

4. KathNiel TV COMEBACK, praised for accurate portrayal of F.A.S.T. method

In May 2022, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, known for their uniname KathNiel, staged their television comeback via the primetime series 2 Good 2 Be True.

Not only did the series air on ABS-CBN platforms, it also had a 72-hour advance premiere on Netflix, a first in Pinoy TV content.

Aside from bringing kilig to viewers, 2 Good 2 Be True also received good comments for its accurate portrayal of the F.A.S.T. method.

2 Good 2 Be True starring Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo

In the episode, Kathryn’s character Ali, who is a nurse, used the F.A.S.T. method to quickly determine if Lolo Sir (Ronaldo Valdez) was suffering from a stroke. Her quick thinking saved his life.

F.A.S.T. is an acronym for the symptoms of a stroke: facial dropping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time to call for help. The method involves checking for these warning signs to determine if a person is having a stroke.

The episode trended on social media and was praised by viewers for being accurate and informative.

Ronaldo Valdez and Kathryn Bernardo on 2 Good 2 Be True


5. Bea Alonzo gets first Kapuso teleserye: adaptation of K-Drama Start-Up

During the first quarter of 2022, GMA-7 announced its plans to do a Pinoy adaptation of the Korean drama series Start-Up.

The show served as the first Kapuso teleserye of Bea Alonzo, who transferred to GMA-7 in 2021.

Alden Richards portrayed her leading man with Yasmien Kurdi and Jeric Gonzales as part of the lead cast.

Start-Up PH, which was directed by Dominic Zapata and Jerry Lopez Sineneng, aired its first episode on September 26 and its finale on December 23, 2022.

Alden Richards and Bea Alonzo on Start-Up PH

6. Mars Ravelo’s Darna finally flies on TV

After a long wait, Mars Ravelo’s Darna finally made it on TV.

With Jane de Leon playing the lead character, Darna aired on August 15, 2022, replacing FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Janella Salvador played Valentina while Joshua Garcia served as Jane’s love interest. However, Jane and Janella also had their own shippers called Darlentina, after fans took note of the chemistry between the two actresses in their scenes.

Darna was ten years in the making before it finally aired on TV, albeit with several adjustments, such as changes in casting and the decision to turn what was originally a film into a TV series.

Narda's first transformation in Darna TV

7. Willie Revillame’s Wowowin ends GMA-7 run

It all started as a rumor that Willie Revillame would no longer renew his contract with GMA-7 and that his program Wowowin would end its run on the network.

On February 5, 2022, GMA-7 released a statement confirming that Wowowin was ending and that Willie decided not to renew his contract with the network.

Willie was honest to say that he was being offered by Manny Villar to become part of his network AMBS, which would eventually be called ALLTV.


Willie Revillame on Wowowin

8. Toni Gonzaga leaves Pinoy Big Brother

On February 9, 2022, Toni Gonzaga announced her departure from Pinoy Big Brother, which she hosted since 2005.

This came a day after she hosted the campaign rally of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, who were then candidates for president and vice-president, respectively.

Toni was heavily criticized for the hosting gig and for introducing Rodante Marcoleta, who was then running for senator. As the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives at that time, Marcoleta was one of the congressmen who moved to junk the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise in 2020.

When Toni resigned from Pinoy Big Brother, she took a short hiatus from TV. She later signed a contract to join the Manny Villar-owned network, ALLTV, which acquired the frequencies of Channel 2.

Toni Gonzaga

9. ALLTV is launched, signs artists

On September 13, 2022, Manny Villar’s network, ALLTV, had its soft launch led by Willie Revillame and Toni Gonzaga.

The network also signed artists such as Ciara Sotto, Mariel Rodriguez, and Anthony Taberna.

Aside from Wowowin, the launch also aired Toni’s interview with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on her online talk show, Toni Talks.

ALLTV launch headlined by Willie Revillame and Toni Gonzaga


10. Star Cinema movies air on GMA-7

Television aficionados were happily surprised when ABS-CBN and GMA-7 announced their partnership.

The Kapuso network acquired some films of Star Cinema to be aired on its channels such as GMA-7, Gtv, and Heart of Asia.

Star Cinema is now on GMA-7

Present during the virtual contract signing were the Kapuso and Kapamilya executives, including ABS-CBN Chairman Mark Lopez, President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo Katigbak, and Chief Operating Officer for Broadcast Cory Vidanes.

GMA Network President and Chief Operating Officer Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Felipe S. Yalong, GMA Network Films, Inc. President and Programming Consultant to the Chairman and CEO Atty. Annette Gozon-Valdes, and First Vice President for Program Management Department Jose Mari R. Abacan were also in attendance.

Some of the films that aired on GMA-7 were It Takes A Man and a Woman, No Other Woman, Can We Still Be Friends, and Alone/Together.

Star Cinema movies in GMA-7

11. Sarah Geronimo returns to ASAP

After two years, Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo finally made her comeback in ASAP Natin ‘To.

Her first comeback happened in July 2022, but only with a recorded performance that seemed like a music video. After a few months, in December 2022, Sarah finally returned on stage, performing her single “Dati Dati.”

Sarah Geronimo returns to ASAP Natin 'To


12. Anne Curtis and Jhong Hilario return to It’s Showtime

Two major hosts of It’s Showtime staged their comeback last year.

First was Anne Curtis, who had been on maternity leave since late 2019. ABS-CBN and It’s Showtime hyped up her comeback by airing different teasers until it finally commenced in May 2022.

Anne had a pasabog opening number but had to do a "take two" on live TV—she confessed she was “kinakabahan” as she started her rendition of Ariana Grande’s “Break Free.”

Anne Curtis returns to It's Showtime

Second was Jhong Hilario, who temporarily left the show in April 2021 due to fear from COVID-19’s rising cases.

Jhong’s comeback was a surprise even to the show's hosts. He disguised himself as a contestant in “Tawag ng Tanghalan” and performed a song until he slowly unmasked, much to the surprise of his unsuspecting co-hosts. Vice Ganda was even moved to tears by Jhong’s surprise comeback.

Jhong Hilario's comeback on It's Showtime

13. Jodi Sta. Maria wins Asian Academy Creative Awards for The Broken Marriage Vow

When it came to social media trends, GMA-7 had Maria Clara at Ibarra, while ABS-CBN had The Broken Marriage Vow.

A Pinoy adaptation of the psychological drama Doctor Foster, it was headlined by Jodi Sta. Maria, Zanjoe Marudo, and Sue Ramirez.

The dinner table scene, which was a prominent scene among all adaptations of Doctor Foster, made noise in the Philippines. In particular, Jodi’s line “papunta pa lang tayo sa exciting part” spawned several memes and TikTok dance moves, starting with social media influencer AC Soriano, who did a parody of the scene. The theme song “Gusto Ko Nang Bumitaw” also became a popular videoke hit.

But perhaps the biggest achievement of The Broken Marriage Vow was Jodi’s win in the recent Asian Academy Creative Awards as Best Actress. The whole Philippines celebrated her win, including Kapuso stars Andrea Torres and Kylie Padilla, who were seen jumping with joy in the venue upon the announcement.


Jodi Sta. Maria

14. Maalaala Mo Kaya ends after 31 years

Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK), dubbed as the longest-running drama anthology in Asia, aired its last story with a three-part special in December 2022.

No reason was given behind the management’s decision to end the show, but ABS-CBN bid a proper farewell to the drama anthology by holding specials.

One of the specials was MMK Grand Kamustahan, which gathered 31 letter-senders from the 31 years of MMK’s airing. The special, which was first aired online, had a TV airing on December 24, 2022.

Maalaala Mo Kaya hosted by Charo Santos-Concio

15. Family Feud scores ratings higher than teleseryes

Hosted by Dingdong Dantes, GMA-7's franchise game show Family Feud maintained relatively high TV ratings since it started airing on March 21, 2022.

On October 28, 2022, the episode that pitted The Clash Moms against Pinoy Pop Superstars received ratings that exceeded that of primetime teleseryes.

Kapuso viewers were thrilled watching contestants give the correct answers based on the results from survey questions.

The informative yet entertaining format of Family Feud made it such a hit that even celebrities wanted to join the game show.

Some of its unforgettable episodes include the playoffs between Team Zeinab Harake and Team Jelai Andres, and Herlene Budol's family versus Kiray Celis's family.

Family Feud


16. Drag Race Philippines premieres on HBO Go

Viewers tuned in as the much-awaited Drag Race Philippines premiered on HBO Go.

It was dubbed the biggest drag race competition in the country. Paolo Ballesteros served as the host, while 12 drag queens vied to become the first Drag Race superstar.

In the end, Precious Paula Nicole prevailed against the other finalists, with Marina Summers as the runner-up.

Drag Race Philippines

17. Lolong finally airs after two years in the making

GMA Public Affairs’ prime-time series Lolong finally aired on television in July 2022. The show is headlined by Ruru Madrid, Shaira Diaz, and Arra San Agustin together with a humongous animatronic crocodile called Dakila.

Dubbed as the “Biggest Action Adventure Series of the Year,” Lolong took two years in production before it finally aired on TV after experiencing series of delays. Lead star Ruru even admitted that he got frustrated with the turn of events.

However, it seemed like the wait was worth it as Lolong holds the record of the highest-rated pilot and finale episode of the year. It scored 17.7% for its pilot and 19.3% for its finale, based on data by AGB Nielsen.

Lolong starring Ruru Madrid

18. Viewers get intrigued with Zoren Legaspi and Lianne Valentin’s love scenes in Apoy sa Langit

GMA-7 scored another hit on its Afternoon Prime block with Apoy Sa Langit, headlined by Maricel Laxa, Zoren Legaspi, and Mikee Quintos. Former child actress Lianne Valentin also got her big break as the mistress of Zoren’s character.

Lianne and Zoren’s provocative, steamy scenes caught the attention of netizens that the videos uploaded on YouTube got millions of views. It also scored good ratings that its original 12-week run was extended to 17 weeks.


Apoy Sa Langit starring Zoren Legaspi and Lianne Valentin

19.Jillian Ward & Carmina Villarroel on Abot-Kamay Na Pangarap

Abot-Kamay Na Pangarap, which stars Jillian Ward and Carmina Villarroel, proved to be a good replacement to Apoy sa Langit. Aside from getting good ratings, scenes from the show also went viral on social media. The show, which featured Jillian as a young neurosurgeon, was shot mostly in a hospital setting.

However, not all comments were positive. Showbiz insider Ogie Diaz made a comment about Jillian’s acting on Twitter, saying that she should have immersed herself in medical parlance to be more credible. This was later addressed by the show’s director LA Madridejos, who assured viewers that Jillian studied her role.

Another scene where Analyn tryied to save a patient with appendicitis by attempting to do the surgery herself was criticized by some doctors, saying that the depiction of the process was wrong. Fans of the show pointed out, however, that the scene was really part of the story because Analyn was later reprimanded for the way she wrongly responded to the medical emergency.

Abot-Kamay Na Pangarap later had two doctors, who are also content creators, guest on the show: Dr. Alvin Francisco and Dr. Kilimanjaro Tiwaquen.

Jillian Ward and Carmina Villarroel on Abot Kamay Na Pangarap

20. Regal Entertainment's Mano Po franchise launched as a tv series

In line with its TV partnership with GMA-7, Regal Entertainment made its way to prime-time TV by producing soaps that carry the brand of drama that its Mano Po franchise is known for.

Titled Mano Po Legacy, three installments have already been aired on TV. First was "The Family Fortune” starring Barbie Forteza, David Licauco, and Sunshine Cruz; followed by “Her Big Boss” with Bianca Umali, Kelvin Miranda, and Ken Chan; and the ongoing “The Flower Sisters” with Aiko Melendez, Angel Guardian, Thea Tolentino, and Beauty Gonzalez.


Mano Po Legacy

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Some of the unforgettable breakthroughs on local television in 2022 include the success of 2 Good 2 Be True starring Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo as well as Maria Clara and Ibarra starring Barbie Forteza, Dennis Trillo, and Julie Anne San Jose. Other TV highlights include the end of the seven-year run of Coco Martin's FPJ's Ang Probinsyano, Bea Alonzo's first TV series on GMA-7, and Willie Revillame's transfer to AllTV.
PHOTO/S: 2 Good 2 Be True / Maria Clara at Ibarra / Nikko Tuazon (Willie) / Noel Orsal (Alden and Bea) / FPJ's Ang Probinsyano
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