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Philippine Television in 2021: 10 Most Anticipated TV Dramas of the Year

Great television shows are all set to debut this 2021 as production houses resume regular taping.

The new year has arrived. Local viewers get the chance to look forward to exciting shows that are fresh and unique, set to hit the screens in 2021. Local audiences are thrilled to see new programs, which most have gone through an utterly restrictive television landscape during the pandemic.

Local audiences are thrilled to see new programs, which most of them have gone through an utterly restrictive television landscape during the pandemic. They are left with no other choices but to content with replays and reruns of past old shows.

The good news is–local TV networks are holding beautiful promises for 2021, with new shows expected to premiere within the year. With the returning normalcy in content production slowly allowing production houses to produce again—albeit persistent challenges presented by prevailing safety and health protocols—big-budgeted and highly-anticipated TV dramas are poised to dominate the local TV landscape.

Last year, streaming services have given way to the emergence of online television as a formidable new platform for content delivery, allowing the boys’ love (BL) craze to explode in the Philippine setting, and the creation of a new market for content producers to set their sights on.

We take note of new titles announced to premiere in 2021, as well as those already undergoing production. Here are the 10 biggest TV dramas (plus some possible dark horses, too) that you should put on your binge-list, this year.

Darna: The TV Series

Originally planned to come out as a movie, the iconic Mars Ravelo creation is to return on the small screen. The confirmation came after persistent rumors about it getting indefinite shelving-off amid the eventual shutdown of ABS-CBN and the debilitating effects of the pandemic. Maintaining Star Magic artist Jane de Leon is in the title role. The series has just begun its principal photography and to debut later this year.

Filipino viewers are [again] set to witness the story of Narda, also known as Darna, as the people’s savior and champion of peace and justice. The superhero-drama will premiere on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z Channel 11, Kapamilya Online Live, and iWantTFC.

Sanya Lopez takes on the title role in ‘First Yaya’, following Marian Rivera’s departture from the project

First Yaya

Losing Marian Rivera to play the title role was a big blow for First Yaya’s team and having started its principal photography early last year, only to be halted by the ongoing covid pandemic.

Sanya Lopez is taking on the title role. Nevertheless, it is a welcome development.

Handpicked by GMA Network executives themselves, Lopez is the nanny who will fall for the Commander-in-Chief. First Yaya will debut on GMA-7’s Telebabad line-up.

Donny is set to lead teen drama series, ‘He’s Into Her’ opposite Belle Mariano

He’s Into Her

One of the most anticipated teen series this year, He’s Into Her is among Star Cinema’s biggest projects this year. It further expands its foray onto series production. Up-and-coming young stars–Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan to top-bill the show. The show is an adaptation from the popular Wattpad series of the same title. 

The Gold Squad (L-R: Kyle Echarri, Francine Diaz, Andrea Brilliantes, Seth Fedelin) is set to top-bill ensemble drama, ‘Huwag kang Mangamba’

Huwag Kang Mangamba

Following ABS-CBN’s tradition of giving its audiences ensemble dramas that tackle beautiful stories about family, kindness, and forgiveness, Huwag Kang Mangamba will serve as a symbolic gesture and tribute from the Kapamilya Network to its viewers even after going through a very challenging year. The company saw how it lost its broadcast franchise, and inevitably laying-off thousands of its workers.

Featuring the Gold Squad—Francine Diaz, Andrea Brillantes, Kyle Echarri, Seth Fedelin—from the phenomenal daytime drama, Kadenang Ginto, the family drama is reportedly to share the same universe as May Bukas Pa, which was a big hit in 2009.

Yam Concepcion leads political drama, Init Sa MagdamagInit Sa Magdamag

ABS-CBN’s first political drama after getting its broadcast license nulled, Init Sa Magdamag serves as a follow-up project to Gerald Anderson, JM de Guzman, and Yam Concepcion. Each came from successful projects in 2020—A Soldier’s Heart, Pamilya Ko, and Love Thy Woman, respectively.

Cast members have been reportedly doing lock-in tapings since the last quarter of the previous year. The show will premiere on both Kapamilya Channel and A2Z Channel 11 in February.

Legal Wives

Kapuso Drama King Dennis Trillo will return to primetime via Legal Wives, an intriguing primetime drama that bravely tackles the very controversial issue of polygamy.

Set to become a socio-cultural and political commentary–the show will explore a man’s life whose culture allows him to [legally] marry multiple women.

Joining Trillo as his legal wives are Alice Dixson, Andrea Torres, and Bianca Umali.

The show will begin its run on GMA Telebabad this year.

Ruru Madrid takes on the lead role in ‘Lolong’


Top-billed by Kapuso matinee idol Ruru Madrid, Lolong takes inspiration from Lolong, the longest-crocodile ever found and put in captivity in the country. 

Shaira plays as his leading lady in a drama dubbed to be one of GMA Network’s most ambitious as well, as the biggest-budgeted in 2021.

Lead female roles were first initially offered to Kapuso actresses Sanya Lopez and Kim Domingo, but since Lopez already accepted First Yaya, with some adjustments o accommodate Diaz. Lolong is expected to debut on GMA Telebabad this year.

Lovi Poe plays career woman, Samantha

Owe My Love

Continuing GMA’s tradition of light romcoms on primetime, Owe My Love is poised to deliver a fun-and-giddy kind of feeling on the Kapuso primetime block. Lovi Poe and Benjamin Alves topbill the show, and are complemented with incredible comic supports from the likes of Kiray Celis, Jason Francisco, and Long Mejia.

Later last year, sexy-comedienne and singer Mystica went ballistic over her being booted out of the cast.

The primetime romcom has been doing lock-in taping since November of last year, and it is expected to grace the TV screens in the first quarter of this year.

Tanging Mahal

There is still no official confirmation about what title the new KathNiel TV series will be, although Tanging Mahal came out when the news about the couple embarking on a new soap surfaced in January 2020.

What we’re sure about, however, is that the project is among ABS-CBN’s grandest productions this year.

The latest Kapamilya omnibus plug-in 2021, also confirmed that the series talks about a love separated by time, which kind of suggests that Kathryn Bernado and Daniel Padilla is having a teleserye that tackles time traveling or other similar themes.

Voltes V: Legacy

The Philippine adaptation of the classic 70’s anime was first reported in 2019, although there are still no confirmed announcements of it getting pushed through this year.

As the government restrictions are becoming loose–there might be chances that finally, it will find its way to airing.

Arguably, GMA Network’s biggest budgeted series, the Kapuso adaptation of the Toei classic. It will finish all its episodes before going on air. Much preparation is in-place to polish it. Cast members are yet to get a formal launch.

Aside from these titles, more television series across all platforms (the Web and traditional TV) are poised to indulge audiences soon. 

Web series will expand its market by providing consumers with potentially good stories. 

Small independent content creators and producers of big production houses, like ABS-CBN. 

Today, they are setting their sights on the BIG possibilities of the exploding online series market.


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