MANILA - "Pure Love," ABS-CBN's adaptation of the hit Korean drama "49 Days," generated strong buzz online with its announcement and subsequent debut of its trailer. But did the anticipation among netizens translate to TV viewership when it premiered on Monday?
The primetime series, which stars Alex Gonzaga in the lead role, garnered a nationwide rating of 19.5%, according to Kantar Media.
The audience share made it the No. 1 show in its time slot. "My BFF," its competing program aired on GMA-7, only registered 10.7% in national TV ratings.
"Pure Love's" first-day performance also ranked it fourth overall in the list of the most watched programs in the Philippines on July 7, trailing other ABS-CBN primetime offerings "Dyesebel," "Ikaw Lamang," and "TV Patrol," in that order.
The new series also proved to be popular online, with the the official hashtag "#PureLovePilotEpisode" placing among the top local and worldwide trending topics on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"Pure Love" centers on optimistic bride-to-be Diane (Gonzaga), who ends up comatose after a car accident. In her state of coma, Diane is told by the mysterious "Scheduler" (Matt Evans) that it is not yet her time to die, and that she will wake up again if she fulfills her mission -- to gather three teardrops shed out of pure love by three people within the next 40 days.
Diane possesses the body of Ysabel (Yen Santos), a depressed woman whose attempt to kill herself triggered the car accident, in order to carry out her task.
The original SBS series aired on ABS-CBN in 2011, the same year it premiered in South Korea. In this version, Diane (originally Ji-Hyun) had 49 days to fulfill her mission, hence its title.
"Pure Love," which is under the direction of Veronica Velasco and Mikey del Rosario, also stars John Arcilla, Sunshine Cruz, Arjo Atayde, Yam Concepcion, Anna Luna, and Joseph Marco.