Patterned after the success of cable channel HBO’s HBO Originals, pay TV service Cignal TV launched on Thursday what it describes as a game-changer in Filipino production content.
Beginning January 15, subscribers of the cable provider will be able to watch original Filipino series on Sari Sari Channel 3 that promise to be edgier that the crop of teleseryes making waves on free TV one after another.
At the network’s launch on Thursday in Ortigas, Viva’s big boss and Sari Sari Channel’s main man Vic del Rosario explained that his company, together with Cignal TV conducted studies on which channels Filipinos watch the most on their cable providers.
“Among the hundreds of channels available on pay TV, the research showed that Filipino channels pa din ang nasa taas ng mga pinapanood ng subscribers like Cinema one and PBO,” del Rosario related. “From there, along with Cignal and TV5 president Noel Lorenzana and his team, we discussed how we can give the market something better via another Filipino channel, and we decided on a concept of a network that gives only original narratives for Sari Sari network.”
As such Sari Sari Channel is a joint undertaking of the MVP Group’s Mediaquest and Viva Communications, and will broadcast shows 24/7 featuring quality programs from both Viva and TV5’s libraries. Besides these tried and tested shows, however, are Sari Sari’s front liners, a selection of original content from up and coming actors and directors.
This line-up of original productions is designed to be bold, controversial, dynamic and edgy across a wide variety of genres, from comedy and romance, to horror and suspense that are sure to delight audiences from all walks of life.
“As you know, the MTRCB does not cover pay TV so mas may artistic freedom tayo dito sa mga programang ilalabas natin sa Sari Sari Channel. We can use harsher words in our dialogues, show sexier scenes, and tackle racier storylines,” del Rosario added.
Sari Sari will kick off its original content with the premiere of Class 3-C Has A Secret, a teen drama mystery-thriller based on the Viva-PSICOM Publishing’s Top 10 best-selling book by Enah Guevarra. The plot revolves around the deep dark secrets of the boys and girls of Laketon Academy.
A Filipino-style take on the suspense genre, Class 3-C entices audiences to solve the puzzle behind supernatural events that unravel throughout the mini-series. Viva’s young protégées make up the cast in Yassi Pressman, Bret Jackson and Josh Padilla and is set to hook its viewers from start to finish. Class 3C Has a Secret airs will air Saturday at 11 p.m. beginning January 16.
Another Sari Sari exclusive is the psychological horror-mystery show Barrio Kulimlim. The show follows the story of a woman seeking for answers about herself and her past that leads to a small mysterious and eerie town named Barrio Kulimlim. This horror-thriller mini-series explores a world filled with ancient gods, blood sacrifices, and family fate. Ara Mina, Shy Carlos and Meg Imperial star in this original thriller, which will air every Friday at 11 p.m. beginning February 12.
For laughs, the network will premiere Kuya and Me on January 29 at 7 p.m. This Freaky Friday-esque comedy features a five-year-old boy whose birthday wish comes true as he switches bodies with his older brother. Comedic twists and heart-warming realizations ensue as the brothers try to reverse the switch and return to their normal lives. Starring the adorable child wonder Alonzo Mulach, AJ Mulach and Shy Carlos, Kuya and Me is directed by Mark Meilly.
A remake of Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion’s My Only Love—a classic story of a long-time friendship between a girl and a boy blossoming into something deeper—will air beginning February 26 at 7 p.m. The adaptation of the ‘80s hit will have Mark Neumann, Monica Cuenca and Issa Pressman in the lead roles.
Finally, to cater to a more mature market’s penchant for drama, Sari Sari Channel produces Dalawang Gabi beginning March 25 at 7 p.m. This adult drama is a story of a couple going through the challenges and secrets of married life and will star Michelle Madrigal, Mark Bautista, Wendell Ramos and Maui Taylor, with veteran director Joel Lamangan at the helm.