Herlene “Hipon Girl” Budol gets first lead role while Boy Abunda headlines own Kapuso talk show
GMA Network has unveiled its offerings for television in 2023—from its Afternoon Prime dramas, Telebabad programs, and weekend shows, as well as new Asian drama shows and some local and foreign movies expected to premiere on free TV. Titles of these offerings were unveiled through an omnibus plug aired during the Kapuso New Year Countdown on January 1, 2023.
As expected, Kapuso stars are expected to headline these GMA offerings for 2023, including their A-Listers such as Glaiza de Castro, Ruru Madrid, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix, Kylie Padilla, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez, and Dingdong Dantes. Boy Abunda, who just recently made his Kapuso comeback, will headline his own show. The Kapuso Network will also give big breaks to fresh faces such as “StarStruck 7” First Princess Lexi Gonzales and “Wowowin” discovery-turned-beauty queen Herlene “Hipon” Budol.
Voltes V Legacy
GMA-7’s much-awaited live-action adaptation of the anime “Voltes V,” which is titled “Voltes V Legacy,” will finally make its way on primetime after almost three years of production. A full trailer was launched on December 31, 2022, showing some key scenes from the original show.
Miguel Tanfelix, along with a bunch of fresh faces like Ysabel Ortega, Raphael Landicho, Matt Lozano, and Radson Flores, will compose the “Voltes V” team. Martin del Rosario, Gabby Eigenmann, Neil Ryan Sese, Liezel Lopez, and Epy Quizon are part of the major cast while Carla Abellana, Dennis Trillo, and Max Collins are set to play special roles.
Mark Reyes V, the director of Kapuso ground-breaking show “Encantadia,” helms the series. The show is expected to air on the second quarter of 2023.
Luv Is: Caught In His Arms
GMA Network and Wattpad Webtoon Studios inked a partnership last year to adapt some well-loved Wattpad romantic novels on television under an umbrella series called “Luv Is.” Its first offering is titled “Caught In His Arms” by Ventre Canard. Sparkle Love Team Allen Ansay and Sofia Pablo, known as AlFia, will headline the series with Sparkada artists Raheel Bhyria, Sean Lucas, Michael Sager, and Vince Maristela.
The series will start airing on January 16, 2023 and might replace “Mano Po Legacy: The Flower Sisters.”
Hearts on Ice
Xian Lim gets his first full-length series on GMA Network via the prime-time series “Hearts On Ice,” where he will be paired with Kapuso actress and real-life ice skater Ashley Ortega. Coming from its title, “Hearts on Ice” tells the story of a girl who pursues her dreams of being an ice skater despite her disability and standing in life.
“Hearts on Ice” is expected to air in the first quarter of 2023.
The Write One
GMA Public Affairs’ first series this 2023 is titled “The Write One,” which will be headlined by real-life couple Bianca Umali and Ruru Madrid. Paul Salas and Mikee Quintos are also part of the upcoming series. The two couples have already done their photoshoot and look test for the primetime series, which will air in the first quarter of 2023. The story is about Liam (Madrid), a frustrated writer who is given another chance to write his love story through a mysterious typewriter.
Mga Lihim Ni Urduja
Formerly titled “Urduja’s Jewels,” “Mga Lihim Ni Urduja” serves as the reunion of “Encantadia 2016” Sang’gres Kylie Padilla, Gabbi Garcia, and Sanya Lopez. Lopez will play the role of Urduja while Padilla and Garcia’s characters are on a mission related to Urduja. Michelle Dee, Zoren Legaspi, Vin Abrenica, Kristoffer Martin, Arra San Agustin, Rochelle Pangilinan, and Jeric Gonzales are also part of the project.
On January 3, 2023, Padilla and Garcia started taping for the upcoming primetime series directed by Jorron Monroy.
Love, Die, Repeat
Jennylyn Mercado and Xian Lim’s supposed 2021 series “Love, Die, Repeat” will finally air this 2023. The project was put on a halt after Mercado got pregnant and tapings had to stop. The project tells the story of a woman who had to experience the death of her husband over and over again. An airing date has yet to be announced.
Lolong: Ang Luha Ng Unang Atubaw
Ruru Madrid’s successful 2022 series Lolong is set to make a comeback this 2023 for its second chapter, which now has the subtitle “Ang Luha ng Unang Atubaw,” as Lolong (Madrid) is on a mission to look for the missing crystallized tear of the first Atubaw.
Other titles to air on GMA Telebabad this year are: “Luv Is: Love At First Read,” “Lady Boxer,” “Love Before Sunrise,” and “Royal Blood.”
GMA Afternoon Prime
“Underage” is a 1980 Regal Films movie that catapulted Dina Bonnevie, Snooky Serna, and Maricel Soriano to stardom. In 2009, ABS-CBN also released an adaptation of the film with Melissa Ricks, Empress Schuck, and Lauren Young in the lead roles.
GMA-7 first announced in 2020 that it bought the rights of the film to do a modern TV adaptation. It serves as the opening salvo of GMA Afternoon Prime in 2023 with StarStruck 7 First Princess Lexi Gonzales, Prima Donnas kontrabida Elijah Alejo, and up-and-coming Kapuso actress Hailey Mendes in the lead roles. Certain elements were changed to make the story appealing for the afternoon audience, such as adding more melodramatic elements compared to the light drama theme of the original work.
Vince Crisostomo, Nikki Co, and Gil Cuerva will play as the girls’ leading men while Sunshine Cruz and original “Underage” star Snooky Serna play major roles in the series. It will air its pilot episode on January 16, 2023 replacing “Nakarehas na Puso.”
Comedienne-turned-beauty queen Herlene “Hipon” Budol gets her first lead role in a drama series via “Magandang Dilag,” an afternoon drama about a woman who gets her revenge after being played by the man of her dreams. Benjamin Alves and Rob Gomez are her leading men while Adrian Alandy, Bianca Manalo, Maxine Medina, Chanda Romero, and Sandy Andolong are part of the cast.
The new afternoon drama will premiere on February 27, 2022.
The Seed of Love
“The Seed of Love” is Glaiza de Castro, Valerie Concepcion, and Mike Tan’s shelved project that was supposed to air in 2020. The show was able to tape its first two weeks but unfortunately, production had to be halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later shelved as kids are involved in the story. At the time, kids were not yet allowed to work at the height of the pandemic.
Now that children are allowed by DOLE to participate in tapings, GMA Network decided to push through with the project. Based on the short teaser, de Castro and Tan are a married couple who cannot conceive kids. Concepcion then seduces Tan and bears a child with him. The show directed by Ricky Davao will air on the first quarter of 2023.
“StarStruck 7” Ultimate Female Survivor Shayne Sava and “Prima Donnas” lead star Althea Ablan will play the lead roles in the afternoon drama “AraBella,” with Abdul Raman and Saviour Ramos as their love-team partners. The project also serves as Camille Prats’ drama comeback after five years of not doing TV soap operas. Wendell Ramos, Klea Pineda, Alfred Vargas, Nova Villa, and Ronnie Lazaro are also part of the series to be directed by Adolf Alix, Jr.
“AraBella” tells the story of Roselle (Prats), a woman in search for her missing daughter Bella. Two ladies then show up to introduce themselves as her daughter: Ara and Bella.
Fast Talk With Boy Abunda
Aside from dramas, GMA Network will also air Boy Abunda’s comeback show in the afternoon slot titled “Fast Talk With Boy Abunda.” There is no information yet about the project, but Abunda has been known for his “Fast Talk” segment in his show with ABS-CBN, “Tonight With Boy Abunda.”
Other titles to air on GMA Afternoon Prime are: “Stolen Life,” “Atty. Mataas,” “The Missing Husband,” and “Mechanical Heart.”
GMA Weekend and Movie Blocks
GMA Network also released titles of its upcoming shows for its weekend block.
First is “Sparkle University,” a teen-oriented show headlined by the teens of GMA Network’s talent management arm, Sparkle.
Competitions such as “The Battle of the Judges” and the comeback of “The Clash” are also expected this year.
John Lloyd Cruz’s sitcom, “Happy ToGetHer,” is also set to return for its third season on Sunday, January 8, 2023.
GMA Network also continues its partnership with film outfits Star Cinema and VIVA Films to air some of its well-loved movies under its movie blocks like “Kapuso Movie Festival,” “GMA Blockbusters,” and its digital movie channel “I Heart Movies.”
Among the Star Cinema films to air on GMA are “Crazy Beautiful You,” “My Ex and Whys,” “Seven Sundays,” “The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin,” “A Second Chance,” and “Feng Shui 2.” Meanwhile, VIVA Films that will be shown on GMA are “More Than Blue,” “Sa Haba ng Gabi,” and “Bekis On The Run,” among others.
Banner Image Dani Sison