ABS-CBN acquires rights to FPJ movies!

The late Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ, dubbed as the King of Philippine Cinema for many reasons, had the charm, acting prowess and the heroic guy appeal to succeed as a movie superstar. But more than that, he espoused positive moral values and honorable characteristics throughout his film career that he broke the conventions of a typical celebrity and endeared himself to the Filipino masses.

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FPJ was a well-loved character on- and off- screen who symbolized love for family, concern for others, moral integrity, diligence and hard work, which he embodied in some of his memorable roles that identify with ordinary Filipinos.

Some of FPJ’s roles include the evil-fighting blacksmith Panday, loving father and mechanic Badong inIsusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko, persevering boxer Totoy Bato, sympathetic taxi driver Nanding in May Isang Tsuper ng Taxi and respected village leader Berting in Dito sa Pitong Gatang.

ABS-CBN recently acquired the rights to FPJ’s exclusive movie library, one of the biggest and most important libraries in Philippine cinema, a collection of classic movie titles that FPJ starred in, wrote, directed and produced.

ABS-CBN, which has the widest reach in the country and worldwide, will showcase his iconic movies through its various free-to-air TV channels, cable TV channels, and The Filipino Channel following a deal it recently closed with the Poe family.

ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio said that many Filipinos love FPJ because for them, he was not only a hero in fiction, but also in real life as he made a conscious effort to tell the stories of ordinary Filipinos in his films.

“ABS-CBN is honored to have been entrusted with his body of works that represent FPJ and what he believed in. By showing his films on our different platforms on air and online, FPJ’s fans will be able relive their memories of the beloved icon and the new generation of Filipinos will get to know more about the King of Philippine Movies,” she said.

Susan Roces, meanwhile, said her family and FPJ Productions believe that only ABS-CBN can thoroughly showcase all of FPJ’s masterpieces as its reach is unmatched.

She also stressed that FPJ continues to be an enduring figure in Filipino cinema and culture, not only because the subjects in his films symbolized the Filipino masses, but because he had an affinity for underdogs.

“He liked playing a carpenter, a police officer, or a soldier. He did not play high-ranking officials, but rather ordinary police officers or soldiers because he believed their lives are more colorful. His principles and conviction were the real star in his movies, not the leading ladies. Even if he had leading ladies, he would leave and bid them goodbye, but would continue on his journey because of his principles and conviction,” Susan said.

She added, “When making films, FPJ took into account the beauty of the Philippines. Some of FPJ’s films were shot in far-flung, unknown areas but are now famous tourist spots.”

Some of the definitive FPJ blockbuster films that have made an indelible mark in Filipino culture are Ang Panday, Hindi Ka Na Sisikatan ng Araw, Batas ng .45, Totoy Bato, Kahit Konting Pagtingin, Iyo Ang Tondo, Akin Ang Cavite, Agila, Dito sa Pitong Gatang, Batang Quiapo, Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko, Batas ng Lansangan and Isang Bala Ka Lang.

Also known as Da King, FPJ was posthumously declared A National Artist of the Philippines in 2006. He was an award-winning actor who won several accolades from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) and was known for promoting the movie industry and the welfare of its workers.

Watch out for FPJ movies soon on ABS-CBN, Studio 23, Cinema One, Jeepney TV and TFC.

The 85th Academy Awards airs live on Studio 23 on Monday!

The race for the Oscars intensifies with all the forecasts and predictions.  And the winners of the highly-anticipated 85th Academy Awards will finally be revealed this Monday (Feb 25) in the awards ceremony to be held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California.

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Watch its via satellite airing on Philippine free-to-air TV, 11 AM-2PM, on Studio 23.

Hosted by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, this year’s Academy Awards created much buzz online after netizens talk about the chances of early bets bringing home the shiny, gold-plated Oscar statuette.

Will Anne Hathaway win Best Supporting Actress for “Les Miserables?” Will Ben Affleck feel vindicated after being snubbed for the Best Director category if and when his movie “Argo” takes home the Best Picture Award? Or will Kathryn Bigelow, who was also shut out by the Academy for best director, have the last laugh if and when her Best Picture nominated film “Zero Dark Thirty” wins an Oscar?

Still the force to reckon with this year is Steven Spielberg’s civil war saga, “Lincoln,” leading the pack with 12 nominations, including best picture, best director and acting nods for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. It is followed by the heartwarming story about a shipwreck survivor and a tiger in the “Life of Pi,” with eleven nods and eight each for musical “Les Miserables” and romantic comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Other nominees for the coveted Best Picture award include old-age love story “Amour”; the independent hit “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; the epic western film “Django Unchained”; “Les Miserables”; “Life of Pi”; “Silver Linings Playbook”; and the historical drama film about the greatest manhunt on the world’s most dangerous man, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Meanwhile,  Daniel Day Lewis (“Lincoln”); Denzel Washington (“Flight”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”), Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) battle it out for the Best Actor honor, while Naomi Watt (“The Impossible”), Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”), Quvenzhané Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) compete for Best Actress.

The controversial race for the Best Director category is a toss-up among director David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”); Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”); Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”); Michael Haneke (“Amour”); and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).

Watch the 85th Academy Awards via satellite this Monday (Feb 25), 11 AM to 2 PM on Studio 23.

“Gag U” opens this Sunday on Studio 23 With Iya Villania!

Versatile performer and host-actress Iya Villania takes a crash course in gags, pranks, and wacky antics this July asclasses in Studio 23’s “Gag U” formally open this Sunday (July 15). All Kabarkadas are welcome to join Iya and enroll in “Gag U’s” 30-minute dose of weekend laughs and enjoy four segments that will surely get them LOL-ing in front of their TV sets.

Iya will study how boys fare doing stuff girls usually do and vice versa in “Versusmasyosep” as well as how Pinoys can sometimes be ridiculously wrong in making signages in “KaratuLaugh.”  “Gag U” also keeps you abreast with the latest news and current affairs with a little twist in “Newskopo!”

Meanwhile, Iya will also show gags from around the world via foreign videos that features cute pets, adorably babies, hidden cameras, home videos and many more.

Every month, Iya will be joined by a gagster or a celebrity guest to help her with her school projects and pull off gags and pranks she will do on the streets, on schools, on public markets, and practically just about everywhere. On its premiere offering, Pupil drummer Wendell Garcia is the featured gagster for July.

Students from campuses all over the country can also become official enrollees of “Gag U” online by liking itsofficial Facebook fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/gagu.studio23 and following the show’s official twitteraccount @gagustudio23. Get the chance to be featured on the show by posting your own gag videos or funny signages for “Karatulaugh.”

Don’t miss out the first day of class in “Gag U,” with Iya Villania, this Sunday (July 15), 6PM after “UAAP” on Studio 23.

‘The X Factor USA’ Season 2 Airs on Studio 23!

Studio 23 today announced it has acquired the rights to air the highly-anticipated second season of the hit talent search “The X Factor USA” via satellite very soon with judges Simon Cowell, L.A.Reid, and newly-signed and talked about judges— singer-actress Demi Lovato and multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning pop icon Britney Spears.

After months of rumors and hearsays that the two will be filling in on the vacant seats left by former judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, Britney and Demi made it official to the public during Fox’s presentation for its 2012-2013 offerings held in New York recently.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join ‘The X Factor’ judging panel. I’m a huge fan of the show and now I get to be a part of the action. Simon and L.A. better watch out!” said Spears in an official release from Fox.

For 19-year-old ‘Camp Rock’ star, she is just thrilled just by being part of such a legendary group of judges. Lovato said, “To be able to spend each week with Simon, L.A. and Britney watching the best that America has to offer is truly a dream come true.”

“The X Factor” producer and notorious talent show judge Simon Cowell expressed how happy he is that Britney and Demi are officially on board. “I’m absolutely delighted Britney and Demi are joining us,” he said. “Britney remains one of the biggest stars in the world, she’s talented, fascinating – and I believe she knows exactly how to spot the ‘x factor.’ Demi’s had an amazing career in music, TV and film for someone her age. She’s young, confident, and enthusiastic. I think it’s really important that she speaks to our younger audience. The new panel will be dynamic and will work really well with the changes we are making to the show.”

Cowell is yet to announce who will host the second season of “The X Factor USA,” replacing season one host Steve Jones.

Spears is one of the most successful and celebrated entertainers in pop history. Her musical career boasts nearly 100 million albums sold worldwide and countless awards and accolades, including the 2011 MTV Video Vanguard Award and Billboard’s Best-Selling Female Artist of the Decade (1998-2008). So far, Spears has earned a total of five No.1 debut albums and 24 Top 40 songs in her career.

Meanwhile, Lovato is an accomplished singer and actress with a devoted and engaged young fan base. Her single, “Skyscraper,” off of her most recent album, “Unbroken,” recently went platinum, while the video for her new single, “Give Your Heart a Break,” already has garnered 10 million YouTube views. Her first album, “Don’t Forget,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and her second album, “Here We Go Again,” debuted at No. 1.

This June, Filipinos will also have the chance to show their ‘x factor’ as ABS-CBN localizes the worldwide hit franchise and produces “The X Factor Philippines” with KC Concepcion as host and Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Charice, and Pilita Corrales sitting on the judges panel.

Aside from “The X Factor” franchise, Studio 23 also serves as home to another phenomenal hit singing competition, “The Voice.” Now on its second season with judges Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee Lo Green and host Carson Daly, “The Voice” will air every Saturday and Sunday on the Kabarkada Network beginning Saturday (May 26). Catch the live show on Saturdays at 5:30 PM and the results show on Sundays at 6:30 PM. A back-to-back replay of both episodes will also come your way every Monday at 6 PM.

Keep tuning in on Studio 23 for the most watched and talked about talent searches today, “The X Factor USA” and “The Voice.” For more information, log on to www.studio23.tv or follow its official Twitter account @s23channel.

Studio 23 To Air “Asia’s Next Top Model”!

Studio 23 has acquired the rights to air “Asia’s Next Top Model,” the Pan-Asian adaptation of the iconic international reality competition series “America’s Next Top Model.”

“We are honored to be the official carrier of the Asian edition of the world’s most popular ultimate modeling competition, which is licensed in over 100 markets around the world,” said March Ventosa, head of Studio 23 and Cable Channels & Print Media Group (CCPMG). ”We hope that the first winner in the prestigious competition will come from the Philippines.”

Filipinas will have the chance to compete in the fashion-themed reality program as it has opened casting calls to aspiring female models aged 18 to 27 years old, at least 5’7” in height, who speak and understand English, and are currently residing in the Philippines, or have a permanent address in the country.Application can be done via mail or online (www.AsiasNextTopModel.tv) until May 21, 2012, 6 p.m. (Singapore time).

The show will be hosted by well-known celebrity and former international model/VJ/actress/presenter Nadya Hutagalung, who was voted one of “Singapore’s Top 20 Most Influential People” by CNN and awarded the “Best TV Host” title by ELLE Magazine Singapore in 2009.

Wrestlemania 28 sets free special screening today!

Wrestlemania 28 is currently being aired in a special screening sponsored by Studio 23 at the Trinoma Activity Center today, April 2.

Witness the once in a lifetime match of two of sports entertainment’s most celebrated icons, The Rock andJohn Cena, as they face off in the wrestling arena in the highly anticipated Wrestlemania 28.

Other matches for this annual wrestling event include The Undertaker vs Triple H, Team Teddy vs Team Johnny, WWE Champion CM Punk vs Chris Jericho, World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus, Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs Big Show, Randy Orton vs Kane, and Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve vs Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos.

Creative Valentine’s Day date and Gift Ideas in “US Girls”!

Forgot the usual wine and dine plans as “Us Girls” lists down tomorrow, February 9, uncommon but more exciting and adventurous ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your significant other.

Fab hosts Iya Villania and Angel Aquino will give tips on how to celebrate February 14 for sporty couples, workaholic sweethearts, or hopeless romantic duos. Show how much you love your partner with the lifestyle magazine show’s feature of the traditional and most unique gift items to give this love season – from classic greeting cards, flowers, chocolates, cute couple shirts and jewelry.

Learn how to glam up and impress your date as the hosts teach you how to dress up based on specific venues. Also, catch the “Us Girls” staff’s birthday surprise for Angel.

Meanwhile, “Us Girls” received a special citation for Best Women-Oriented Program from this year’s “Gandingan: The UPLB Isko’t Iska’s Broadcast Choice Awards,” with hosts Iya, Angel, and Chesca also receiving a special citation for Best Women-Oriented Program Hosts.

Make your Hearts’ Day extraordinary by watching the special episode of “Us Girls” tomorrow, February 9, on Studio 23 at 9:30 p.m. or watch it anytime on www.studio23.tv.

‘The Kitchen Musical’ Finale on Studio 23!

Will it be a bitter or sweet ending for Maddie and the rest of the staff of The Avilon?

The finale of the pan-Asian musical-cooking TV series topbilled by Karylle and Christian Bautista comes to its exciting second-part finale this Saturday, January 21, in “The Kitchen Musical” on Studio 23.

The whole restaurant is in chaos after Mr. Avilon disappeared, with grave allegations being thrown at him. This tears Maddie (Karylle) apart as questions and doubts filled her mind regarding her father’s disappearance. As she searches for answers, Maddie finds out the truth behind her father’s schemes and a shocking revelation about Harry (Arthur Acuna).

As if the news about Mr Avilon isn’t enough, Selena (Rosemary Vanderbrouck) then reveals to Maddie and the rest of the kitchen staff that The Avilon will have a new owner with her as the new General Manager. Together with Harry, Alex (Stephen Rahman Hughes) will be kicked out of the restaurant and Daniel (Christian Bautista) re-enters the picture as the new Executive Chef.

With The Avilon’s change of ownership, will its staff also undergo a change of heart? Will they take Alex or Daniel’s side?

“The Kitchen Musical” first aired in the Philippines, among other Asian countries, in October and premiered via Studio 23. It was shot entirely in Singapore and was produced by The Group Entertainment.

This formally catapulted the international careers of Filipino artists Karylle, Christian, Thou Reyes, Arthur Acuna, and Ikey Canoy.

To date, “The Kitchen Musical” airs in 16 countries in Asia. TGE recently closed the deals with ABC and Casanova Multimedia, which agreed to do a local version of TKM in US and Italy respectively. The second season of the show is said to be in the works.

Don’t miss the finale of “The Kitchen Musical,” this Saturday, January 21, 9:30 p.m., on Studio 23. The Kabarkada Network will air a re-run of the series in April. For more information, visit its official Facebook page at www.thekitchenmusical.com/facebook/ph.

Philippine Azkals – South Korean Incheon Citizens Match Airs on Studio 23!

The Philippine Azkals are taking to the field for the team’s second charity match this year as they face South Korean third-tier club Incheon Citizens on Saturday, January 21, 6 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, to be aired live on Studio 23.

The charity match, dubbed as “Kia Rio Cup,” is aimed at raising funds for the benefit of ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya’s drive for the victims of Typhoon Sendong.

While the Azkals will not be represented by several of their Europe-based players because of commitments to their respective clubs, top players Phil Younghusband, James Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong, Ian Araneta and Anton del Rosario will be leading the team against the South Korean club, which boasts of World Cup veterans and excellent rookies.

The Azkals played their first charity match for Sendong victims against Spains’ CF Internacional Madrid. The game, held on January 7, was reported to have raised at least P1.5 million.

During the event, a telethon was conducted by Kapamilya stars, where they received donations and pledges for the victims.

The tickets to the Azkals-Incheon Citizens game, which is presented by ABS-CBN and US-based Dragon Promotions, are at P100, P300, P500, P1000 and P1500 and are available at Ticket World outlets.

Catch the Azkals-Incheon game live on January 21, 6 p.m. on Studio 23

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