I was supposed to post my updated Sentai rankings at this time, but I just couldn’t wait to talk about the still-developing news out of the Philippines. True to the topic at hand, nag-Bulaga talaga yung tsismis in just the last 24-36 hours. Or really, nabulabog ang Philippine showbiz and the internets with the idea that the longest running noontime show Eat Bulaga may not only face a big change, but might actually even end. At least, in its current form and with its host that have been the faces and pillars of the show since its inception.
I threw around the “end of an era” feeling a few times before when Willie Revillame was forced out at ABS-CBN then when he left TV5 and last year when he left GMA with the hopes of launching ALLTV. Regardless of how you might feel about “Kuya Wil,” it’s hard to deny that he was and maybe still is a huge figure in Philippine television. Considering the headlines and internet chatter he has helped produce for a nascent TV network with maybe only a couple thousand viewers, perhaps he still is quite relevant.
But when thinking about the “end of an era,” the idea that Eat Bulaga might actually go off the air after 43 years really would fit that title. Even more shocking considering the way it apparently might happen.
If you’re not updated on the tsismis, let me Marites for you the basics on what’s happening. And things have gotten a bit clearer and made a lot more sense in the recent hours. In fact, everything in this article might even be obsolete in a few hours from its posting.
According to the tsismis reporters including Noel Ferrer and Gorgy Rula of PEP and Cristy Fermin, among others, a major shakeup is ahead for Eat Bulaga.
Apparently, TAPE chairman Romeo G. Jalosjos is making moves toward or has already completed what is basically a hostile takeover of the company by way of buying out the shares of partner and TAPE president and CEO Antonio P. Tuviera.
TAPE Inc. is the production company that has produced Eat Bulaga since its launch. And Mr. Tuviera has been the captain of the Eat Bulaga ship for the same amount of time.
According to the tsismis, Tuviera has been pushed out of the company and has lost control as producer of Eat Bulaga. The drama intensifies with the tsismis that most, if not all of the existing hosts of the show as well as what could essentially be the entire crew and staff would follow Mr. Tuviera out the door. And this is apparently as a sign of loyalty to and solidarity with their beloved boss.
Again, it bears repeating: If Tuviera goes, so do its hosts including the show’s very pillars Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey De Leon.
This is absolutely monumental news if it ever happens. When the dust settles, Eat Bulaga could essentially become an empty shell with its current cast and crew instead launching their own show elsewhere.
Tsismis says that elsewhere might be NET25 where Tito, Vic and Joey already have ongoing shows. A hot off the presses update says the exiled producer, cast and crew would launch a new show entitled Dabarkads.
And that same article suggests Jalosjos is wooing Willie Revillame to take over as host of the new Eat Bulaga.
Just like Eat Bulaga Indonesia relaunched as The New Eat Bulaga Indonesia, could Eat Bulaga in the Philippines be relaunched with The NEW Eat Bulaga starring Willie Revillame?
Is it actually possible for Eat Bulaga to potentially just end with its cast and crew literally walking out the APT Studios door?
There are a lot of questions still left to be answered. But regardless of what might happen, it will certainly be a major earthquake in Philippine television. Definitely much more than Willie Revillame’s many “end of era” moves in the past.
All of this is such a blur and there are so many moving parts and so many potential outcomes.
For me, the biggest point I’m wondering about is what an unceremonious end this could be for Eat Bulaga. Now, I am by no means a big fan of the show. In fact, the show (and some of its hosts) have annoyed me to no end over the years. But I would never deny its place in Philippine history, especially in television history.
While I could potentially see them giving themselves a going away party if ever they were to leave the show, it is hard to believe ANYONE would take on the challenge of becoming the new faces what would be a completely revamped show.
And it would have to be revamped. It would be absolutely stupid for a new production regime to just insert a Willie Revillame or anyone else into the same format Eat Bulaga employs at the moment. Right now, their segments are Pinoy Henyo and Bawal Judgmental with an about-to-conclude “Little Miss Diva” contest and its replacement segment featuring barangay dance groups.
Who in their right mind would simply slip into those segments to host without any of the existing Eat Bulaga personalities? And it appears very likely that none of the hosts would even dare stay behind while most of their comrades follow Mr. Tuviera out the door.
That’s why I can’t imagine Willie Revillame ever accepting an offer to host The NEW Eat Bulaga. He’s much too savvy and has more common sense than to ever accept a job taking over the show. He knows the backlash he would receive. And not only that, he would be much more likely to find a way to boost his own Wowowin rather than just get dropped into a show that was once his rival, but is now empty because of people being forcibly removed from it.
Wowowin returning as a blocktimer on GMA is probably more likely than Willie Revillame becoming the host of The New Eat Bulaga.
Another point to consider is what happens after the big exodus. If Eat Bulaga were ever to essentially relaunch as the same show with a different title on another network, it still wouldn’t be the same as continuing on with the “longest running noontime show.” And being on a small network like NET25 would ensure losing its mainstream access, despite livestreaming online. It might very well be a similar situation to what Willie Revillame is experiencing now.
But what then becomes of GMA’s noontime block. Would they simply elevate its pre-Eat Bulaga variety show Ticktoclock to be its signature noontime series? It has done reasonably well so far. But is it that type of signature series meant for a longtime run?
It is also possible the new Jalosjos-run TAPE ends the blocktime agreement/contract with GMA (or vice versa) and GMA instead deals with the new Tuviera-produced Dabarkads show, essentially keeping the same people in the same timeslot.
And would this mean an opening for rivals on TV5 and ABS-CBN to overtake Eat Bulaga as the country’s choice for lunchtime variety shows?
Needless to say, the details are still being worked out. And none of this may even come close happening. Maybe this is just some kind of publicity stunt. Who knows? Only the people at APT Studios do.
So there is still a lot of pasabogs left to detonate with this drama. But once it does, no matter what the initial result will be, this signals that the big tectonic shifts in the Philippine TV are far from over. And I am honestly here with my popcorn and green tea ready to watch everything play out.
Stay tuned and abangan indeed!