ABS-CBN’s afternoon drama Kadenang Ginto, about the conflicts within the affluent Mondragon family, continues to amass a loyal following. The network announced that its daily highlights videos uploaded on the network’s YouTube channel has exceeded 800 million total views while its page on the network’s streaming service records more than 1.5 million views daily.

“We hope every program becomes successful but if you ask us if we expected this kind of attention — we didn’t,” Carlina D. dela Merced, the show’s production manager, told BusinessWorld shortly after a thanksgiving press conference on May 17 at the ABS-CBN offices in Quezon City.

Ms. dela Merced noted that the show’s ratings — which peaked at 27.3% according to data from Kantar Media, a Philippine market research firm that specializes in broadcast media — was “unheard of for a daytime drama.” Initially, showrunners said they would have been content with mimicking the success of Doble Kara, another daytime drama which aired from 2015 to 2017, that peaked at 22% during the series finale.

Kadenang Ginto has done this and more, surpassing its predecessor despite being on air only for eight months and spanning more than 150 episodes.

The show, at its core, tells the story of the Mondragon family and how a woman, Romina (Beauty Gonzales) who was the secretary to business tycoon Robert Mondragon (Albert Martinez) became his wife after she was raped by a man hired by Mr. Mondragon’s bitter and jealous daughter, Daniela (Dimples Romana).

The hatred and endless scheming, now on its second season, has spilled over to the next generation as both Romina and Daniela’s daughters — Cassie (Francine Diaz) and Marga (Andrea Brillantes), respectively — find themselves at odds at every turn.

“At its core, we always try to explain the motivations of our characters every time they scheme, every time they fight,” Ms. dela Merced said before explaining that while their characters have tropes — Romina is kindhearted yet strong while Daniela is greedy and bitter — they always make the characters act like they would in real life.

“[Daniela] could’ve just forgiven and let go but that’s not how life is, and this is what makes it exciting,” she said.

While the show continues to wade through the bitter relationship of its two lead characters, Kadenang Ginto is also pivoting into telling stories about the characters’ daughters and how they live their lives in constant conflict while finding people to fall in love with.

The show recently welcomed Seth Fedelin as Mikoy, Marga’s love interest. A street-smart boy, he serves as a foil Kristoff (Kyle Echarri), the polished gentleman being fought over by Cassie and Marga.

Involving the younger generation in the show’s plot is vital to maintaining Kadenang Ginto’s success, especially now that the afternoon drama is expected to last for quite a long time.

(The show is set to run the whole year and continue until 2020, according to Dreamscape Entertainment business unit head, Roldeo T. Endrinal. Dreamscape Entertainment is the content provider arm of ABS-CBN.)

“We didn’t want to let go of our audience. We want them to watch the show every day, that’s why we introduced a larger story arc for the younger ones,” Ms. dela Merced said. — Zsarlene B. Chua