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PEP: AGB Nielsen shows Darna flies high on its pilot episode in Mega Manila

True to its form, Darna flew very high on its pilot episode last night, August 10. The GMA-7 fantaserye, which stars Marian Rivera, generated a whopping 44.1 percent to lead all programs. It has a significant margin of 11.8 percent over second-placer Tayong Dalawa, which posted a rating of 32.3 percent. This is based on the latest overnight ratings of AGB Nielsen Philippines among Mega Manila households. DARNA VS. DARNA. For those keeping tabs on the numbers game, Darna's 44.1 percent pilot rating is Marian's second highest primetime-series opening, after Dyesebel's 44.9 percent. Her other two soaps in GMA-7, Marimar and Ang Babaeng Hinugot Sa Aking Tadyang got 36.6 percent and 32.9 percent, respectively, on their pilot episodes. For sure, there are people interested to find out how the pilot episode of Marian's Darna fared against the premiere episode of Angel Locsin's Darna back in 2005. For the record, Angel's Darna still rated better with 47.1 percent—or a three-percent margin—compared to Marian's Darna. During Angel's time, GMA-7 was already lording the ratings game in Mega Manila. But it cannot be denied that Angel's Darna made history when it reached 52.1 percent on its fourth episode, where Angel appeared in a Darna costume for the first time. That figure was the highest rating achieved by any GMA-7 show at that time. It was only broken in 2008 when the final episode of Marimar, topbilled by Marian and Dingdong Dantes, achieved 52.6 percent. It should also be considered that Marian's Darna came at this time where ABS-CBN is giving a very strong competition in the ratings game. Also, Darna is pitted against May Bukas Pa, considered the No. 1 program of the Kapamilya network, which also topped the primetime race for a number of times. Last night, May Bukas Pa slipped to sixth place with 24.6 percent. Aside from May Bukas Pa, Darna's pilot episode, which ran for over an hour, was also pitted against Only You, which came in seventh place with 24.5 percent. Also, after quite a long time, a GMA-7 primetime series was able to reach the 40-plus mark again. Darna and Tayong Dalawa were followed by GMA-7's 24 Oras (31.9 percent) and Rosalinda (28 percent), and ABS-CBN's TV Patrol World (27 percent) to complete the Top 5. The rest of the Top 10 was occupied by the following programs: Adik Sa 'Yo (No. 8), The Wedding (No. 9), and All My Life (No. 10). The daytime race, on the other hand, was ruled again by Eat Bulaga! with 26.5 percent; followed by Kapuso afternoon soaps Kung Aagawin Mo ang Lahat Sa Akin (22.4 percent), Ngayon at Kailanman (21.6 percent), and Daisy Siete (18.3 percent), and ABS-CBN's noontime show Wowowee (17.1 percent). ZORRO'S FINAL EPISODE. Darna replaced the timeslot of Zorro, which starred Richard Gutierrez. The final episode of Zorro last Friday, August 7, posted a rating of 32 percent, enough to lead all primetime programs. It was followed by 24 Oras (32 percent), May Bukas Pa (28.9 percent), Tayong Dalawa (27.9 percent), and Rosalinda (27 percent) to complete the Top 5. WEEKEND VIEWING. TV5's Talentadong Pinoy continues to surprise everyone by maintaining its No. 1 spot in the primetime race last Saturday, August 8, with 27.7 percent. It was followed by the following GMA-7 programs: Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (26.1 percent), Imbestigador (23.7 percent), and Bitoy's Funniest Videos (21.9 percent). Another TV5 program, the horror series Midnight DJ, climbed to No. 5 with 20.4 percent. Eat Bulaga! was the runaway winner in the daytime race with 28.1 percent, almost 10 percent higher than second-placer Joey's Quirky World (18.9 percent). Finally, SOP and Mel & Joey topped the ratings game last Sunday, August 9. - Erwin Santiago, PEP