Just two weeks after its premiere, Sineserye Presents: Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? was immediately moved from its afternoon timeslot to a primetime slot. It is now aired at 9:30 pm, right after Walang Kapalit.
According to the management of ABS-CBN, these changes were brought about by numerous requests over text messages and e-mail from avid viewers of the program.
In a press conference held last Friday, July 27, at 9501 restaurant in ABS-CBN compound, Jerry Lopez Sineneng, one of the two directors of the show, explained, "Ang sinabi po sa amin ng management, marami raw pong nag-request dahil hindi nila naaabutan, hindi nila napapanood sa timeslot na 6 p.m. kasi iyong iba bumibiyahe pa pauwi or na-traffic or still at work. Marami po ang nakiusap na iakyat daw sa later time."
In this remake of the 1988 film directed by Lino Brocka, Roxanne Guinoo plays Gillian, the rightful heiress of a wealthy couple. She was switched at birth with Andrew, son of a driver and a maid. Jake Cuenca plays Andrew, who grows up to be irresponsible, but it turns out that he’s secretly in love with Gillian. Adding confusion to the story is Joross Gamboa as Mark, Andrew’s best friend, who also has feelings for the same girl.
With these changes in Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos?, the entertainment press asked if the show would be extended since usually a sineserye airs for only six weeks and a primetime teleserye usually has 13 weeks or one season.
Director Rechie Del Carmen answered, "Hindi po namin masagot iyan pero actually noong time na Sineserye pa lang kami, nai-adjust na into nine weeks nasa afternoon slot pa lang. So ngayong nasa primetime na siya we just don’t know kung mag-stick po iyong nine weeks or hahabaan."
On the other hand, director Jerry Lopez isn’t bothered about running out of materials for the show now that it is part of the Primetime Bida block. "We are all very lucky to be given a material which is so rich. Punung-puno po talaga ang material, hindi ’yung bida lang, sila buong-buo iyong character. Maganda po ’yung film, maganda po iyong materials kasi makapal. Pwedeng-pwede siyang i-extend. Pwedeng nine [episodes] pwedeng 10 [episodes], pwedeng one season."
The director also added that the extension of the show would not affect its initial concept. "Personally, I don’t think [it will affect the concept]. Iyong nine weeks na sinasabi ni Direk Rechie, punung-puno po siya. So siksik na siksik po siya so if it’s a matter of additional man for weeks sa palagay ko naman po mai-stretch po siya ng hindi lalaylay ang istorya at hindi lalayo sa original na story."
Meanwhile, the lead stars of Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos?—Jake, Roxanne, and Joross—admitted that they felt happy and at the same time pressured when they knew that their show is moving up to primetime slot.
Roxanne said, "Oo, naman [we feel pressured] kasi first time namin itong tatlo, e, heavy drama. Mahirap sa aming tatlo na parang talaga kumagat sa masa."
Jake agreed with Roxanne and added, "The same time na nilagay kami sa primetime may pressure talaga. So double the effort talaga kami sa ginagawa namin."
As for Joross, he admits being pressured as well, but he pointed out that working with his co-actors gives him confidence to portray his role effectively.
This just proved that there is really no tension between the three stars—Joross was the former boyfriend of Roxanne, who is now the current girlfriend of Jake. Roxanne talked about her past relationship with Joross, "Super tagal na, naka-two years na po. Naka-recover na po kaming dalawa so masaya na kami sa kani-kanyang mga buhay namin. Wala na tapos na."
The cast members of this mini-series include Dina Bonnevie, Rosanna Roces, Ronnie Lazaro, Matt Ranillo III, Bing Pimentel, and other young stars, Denise Laurel, Nash Aguas, Jessy Mendiola, Mara Lopez, and Martin del Rosario.
Starting July 30, Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos? will air on its new timeslot, 9:30 p.m. after Walang Kapalit on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida block.