Arts & Leisure

GMA bets big on Indio

Posted on December 11, 2012

LISTED GMA Network, Inc. hopes to continue its dominance on the primetime TV ratings race in 2013 with its new historical drama series set to premiere next month.

Called Indio, the primetime drama series was among the new shows that GMA presented to its advertising partners during its trade launch last month.

GMA Chairman Felipe L. Gozon expressed confidence that Indio will attract TV viewers the same way Amaya became the top primetime program in 2011.

“We are making sure that Indio will be as successful as Amaya,” Mr. Gozon told reporters.

Top-billed by GMA’s marquee contract star Marian Rivera, Amaya was about an early 16th century tribal princess who embarked on a journey to avenge her father’s death.

For Indio, GMA has signed up Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. to play the role of a Filipino in his quest for freedom from foreign colonizers.

“I am very excited about this project. This is a TV project, but we are doing this as if we are shooting a movie,” Mr. Revilla told reporters.

Joining him in the ensemble cast are Jennylyn Mercado, Michael de Mesa, Jackielou Blanco, Agot Isidro, Robert Arevalo, Jomari Yllana, Solenn Heussaff, Alden Richards and Rhian Ramos.

Under the supervision of historians Dr. Vic Villan and Dr. Rolando Borrinaga -- both from the University of the Philippines -- Indio is written by Suzette Doctolero and directed by Dondon Santos.

Filming for the project began last month, to give ample time for the production team to come up with elaborate sets and costumes for the pilot show set to air on Jan. 14.

The production budget was reported to be at P50 million, making Indio the most expensive drama ever in local TV history, GMA said.

Aside from Indio, GMA introduced to its advertising partners newly launched shows including the primetime drama series Pahiram ng Sandali (starring Christopher de Leon, Lorna Tolentino and Dingdong Dantes), the drama anthology Magpakailanman (hosted by Mel Tiangco) and the Saturday morning cooking show Sarap Diva (hosted by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid). -- Jeffrey O. Valisno