Filipinos can finally watch the historic airing of “Almost Paradise,” the first American TV series shot entirely in the country and produced by Filipinos.
Produced by ABS-CBN and Electric Entertainment, the crime drama series is topbilled by Hollywood actor Christian Kane and will premiere this Sunday (March 21) on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, and iWantTFC.
Before that, a special primer on the making of “Almost Paradise” will also be shown on the ABS-CBN Entertainment YouTube channel on Wednesday (March 17) at 12 nn.
Christian, famous for his roles in popular TV series “Angel” and the film “Just Married,” plays Drug Enforcement agent Alex Walker, who after being forced into retirement decided to move and live an island life in the Philippines. Now running a hotel gift shop, Alex thought his secret agent days were over, until he was pulled back into the dangerous world of law enforcement as he helps his friends in the local police department fight the criminal activities of rich and powerful personalities.
“Almost Paradise” first aired in the US cable company WGN America and marks ABS-CBN’s first foray into Hollywood TV production. The scenes were shot in Cebu before the pandemic and features an all-star Filipino cast led by Nonie Buencamino, who plays police chief Ike Ocampo, Art Acuña, who plays Detective Ernesto Alamares, and Samantha Richelle, who plays Detective Kai Mendoza.
Also part of the ensemble are Ces Quesada, Angeli Bayani, Raymond Bagatsing, Ryan Eigenmann, Zaijan Jaranilla, Elijah Canlas, AC Bonifacio, Sophia Reola, Nikki Valdez, Lotlot de Leon, Ketchup Eusebio, Isay Alvarez, Lou Veloso, Will Devaughn, Boom Labrusca, Noel Trinidad, Richard Yap, Ricci Chan, and Zsa Zsa Padilla.
Also starring are Sandino Martin, Guji Lorenzana, Jay Gonzaga, Beverly Salviejo, Miguel Faustmann, Raul Montesa, Teroy Guzman, Alex Medina, Patrick Sugui, Joe Vargas, Benj Manalo, Miko Raval, Marc Acueza, Eric Tai, Michael Roy Jornales, Zeppi Borromeo, Annicka Dolonius, Yan Yuzon, Lloyd Zaragoza, John James Uy, Karla Pambid, Apollo Abraham, and many more.
Even behind the camera, the Filipino talent shines in “Almost Paradise.” Director Ruel Bayani, ABS-CBN International Production and Co-Production Division Head, served as the show’s line producer, while filmmakers Francis Dela Torre, Hannah Espia, Dan Villegas, and Irene Villamor directed some of the episodes in the series. “Almost Paradise” also boasts of an all-Filipino staff and crew, and were assisted by Cebu locals for their shoot.
Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, and Gary Rosen are the creators of “Almost Paradise.” Dean is a Filipino-American whose notable filmography include the box-office hits “Independence Day,” “Godzilla,” and “The Patriot.” He shared in the 2019 contract signing with ABS-CBN that they chose to partner with the company for being ‘instrumental in the development of talent both in front and behind the camera.’