MANILA — “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” reached a new all-time high viewership on Kapamilya Online Live on Friday, as Jane de Leon bid a tearful farewell to the iconic primetime series, ahead of her flight as Darna.
In the episode titled “Kawala,” Lia (Jane de Leon) and Cardo (Coco Martin) parted ways after accomplishing their mission — avenging Audrey’s (Aya Fernandez) death at the hands of Enrique (Simon Ibarra).
Once at odds over the death of Alyana (Yassi Pressman), which Cardo had blamed on Lia, the two eventually formed an alliance against common enemies.
In the process, Lia, a Black Ops member who was once tasked to kill Cardo, was ultimately convinced that the hero cop and his team, Task Force Agila, have been falsely tagged as fugitives by the government.
The two also formed a close friendship, which unfortunately came to an end in the Friday episode, with Lia’s departure for another country.
Lia’s family (Christian Vasquez, Cristina Gonzales) came to the decision upon the urging of Cardo and Agila, out of concern that Enrique’s allies will come after them.
Before they separated, Lia also finally told Cardo the truth: that her former partner Albert (Geoff Eigenmann) was the one who killed Alyana in the crossfire between Black Ops and Agila — not her.
In what unfolded to be de Leon’s final appearance in “Ang Probinsyano,” Lia tearfully walked away as Cardo, once her vengeful captor, encouraged her to leave, to survive.
De Leon’s exit, which was announced nearly a month ahead, drew massive viewership on Kapamilya Online Live, setting a new record for “Ang Probinsyano.” On YouTube alone, its concurrent live viewers peaked at 162,831.
The ABS-CBN program most recently had a record-breaking streak in June, lasting eight consecutive episodes to reach its then-highest Kapamilya Online Live audience of 154,039.
De Leon’s guest starring role in “Ang Probinsyano” lasted half a year starting in January, and introduced her to a wider audience ahead of her debut as the title character in “Mars Ravelo’s Darna: The TV Series.”
In her farewell statement after the episode aired, de Leon referred to her casting in the long-running series as “an honor and privilege,” thanking in particular the management of ABS-CBN and Martin, who is the creative head and one of the directors of “Ang Probinsyano.”
“Thank you for the warm welcome. Sobrang dami ko pong natutunan at sa mga eksenang dito ko lang po nagawa. It was worth the experience,” she said.
De Leon also expressed gratitude to her fellow cast members for the camaraderie they shared on set, and to her loyal fans, for supporting her through her six months as part of the show.
“This is Capt. Lia Mante, signing off,” de Leon wrote.
Aside from allowing de Leon to focus on the filming of “Darna,” which is scheduled in September, her departure from “Ang Probinsyano” marks the series’ transition to a new season, coinciding with its sixth anniversary on air.
Martin has likened the revamp to creating a pilot episode anew, with a new set of cast members, including his new leading lady and rumored real-life partner Julia Montes.
“Ang Probinsyano” airs weeknights and is accessible across night platforms: Kapamilya Online Live, Kapamilya Channel, A2Z Channel 11, TV5, CineMo, iWant TFC, TFC, WeTV, and iflix.