One month from now, Be Careful With My Heart will celebrate its second anniversary on air. Now the longest-running regular weekday drama series on Philippine television in over a decade, Be Careful prides itself as the show that rescued ABS-CBN from its dwindling daytime viewership.
Be Careful’s phenomenon led to concerts, show replays, merchandise, record album and almost a full-length feature film of its own. Elders say all good things come to an end, but ABS-CBN does not see it that way.
The network has no plan yet on when they are going to end the top-rating drama series. Why would they do so anyway, when, on the ground level, the show seems to show no mercy towards the talk show of Ryzza Mae Dizon on GMA7? But the feedback on the show has undeniably changed throught the entire run of the show. Some say the teleserye deserves to stay, while many believe that it has no more story tell.
What do the numbers say? Do mixed opinions towards the show reflect its viewership on paper?
Daytime Programming Before the Debut of Be Careful With My Heart
Before Be Careful aired in July 2012, ABS-CBN had already lost the lead in the Kantar Media national ratings daytime race. Noontime veteran Eat Bulaga and even Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master were consistently crushing the newly reformatted It’s Showtime. Also, the afternoon programs of GMA7 since early 2012— The Good Daughter, Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin and Broken Vow among others—were beating counterpart shows from ABS-CBN more often than usual. To make matters worse, the children’s programming in the morning block had become a solid territory of GMA7.
The Kapamilya network was aware of this. In fact, their press release articles claiming their being the most-watched in the country neglected the daytime angle and focused on their huge lead in the primetime block, directly describing it as “the most important part of the day when most Filipinos watch TV” .
People say that when you’re down, there’s no way to go but up. But ABS-CBN didn’t expect that their experiment on morning television will also be their daytime redemption. The Kapamilya network pitted the undervalued Jodi Sta. Maria and rising star Richard a.k.a ‘Papa Chen’ Yap against the unstoppable Chef Boy Logro of the GMA7 morning block. It was one of those experiments that might work, or might not. Fortunately, for ABS-CBN, it was their story of salvation.
Be Careful With My Heart in the Ratings Game: The Success
Be Careful’s pilot gained an impressive 15.2% rating against the 8.8% of Chef Boy Logro: Kusina Master. In its second week, the light-drama series has completely dominated the daytime race and started to register 20% ratings, a feat that even previous daytime frontrunner Eat Bulaga rarely achieved. Be Careful’s ratings were way higher than its predecessor, the transition show Kapamilya Blockbuster, which would normally garner only 9-11% viewership on the same timeslot.
In August 2012, its second month, the show’s monthly average viewership hit the 20-percent mark, a record that Be Careful would maintain for fourteen consecutive months. The show’s success led to GMA7’s constant scrambling in the pre-noontime block. Some shows the Kapuso network pitted against the Be Careful were cooking show Chef Boy Logro, original drama series Cielo De Angelina, the movie show Kapuso Movie Festival, and reruns of GMA7’s hit primetime programs Baker King and One True Love. These shows, however, didn’t stand a chance even in AGB Nielsen Mega Manila.
Not just that, the teleserye’s success was reflected in Mega Manila. Based on the data provided by AGB Nielsen Philippines, an audience measurement firm that ABS-CBN stopped subscribing to in 2007, Be Careful posted an average rating of 14.1% in its pilot week, way higher than its predecessor Kapamilya Blockbusters which earned an average of 8.4% in its final week. Its average in the pilot month bested the monthly average of all four counterpart programs from the rival network.
One of the shows groomed to rival Be Careful’s success was Cielo de Angelina of GMA7. Cielo De Angelina was not an imported program; neither a local adaptation nor a remake. It was an original drama series just like Be Careful, and it was topbilled by Bea Binene and Jhake Vargas, two of GMA7’s more popular teen stars. However, the said series was no match to Be Careful’s solid viewership.
Be Careful’s huge following can be attested by its Saturday reruns, a gold-selling soundrack album, a magazine based on the fictitious wedding of the show, almost a full-length feature film of its own, and recognitions for the show and its actors from award-giving bodies including the prestigious New York Festivals. The show gave many newbie actors of the show the breakthrough roles of their showbiz careers, and it made Maya and Sir Chief household names in Philippine TV.
Back then, no one seemed to have anything negative to say about the drama series. It was a breath of fresh air in Philippine television drama series programming. Be Careful didn’t resort to cliches; in fact, the show claimed to be a teleserye without a kontrabida. But with a show that has achieved the impossible in just a span of two years, can anything go wrong against its favor?
Why is it losing viewers?
(This is page 1 of 2. Click here or below for page 2.)