Before Philippine entertainment goes dark for Holy Week, it seems like it has decided to drop a few bombshells for Mariteses everywhere to ponder over Easter weekend.
To be clear, this post is just commentary based on the latest Marites… I mean tsismis… I mean “reporting” that has been published and posted in the last few days. And by the time this post goes up at 12:12am, Wednesday Pacific Standard Time, the details could have turned upside down and sideways several more times before everyone takes their Easter weekend break.
So like my commentary a few weeks ago when the also bombshell news of the Eat Bulaga tumult first broke, let’s recap the reported “facts” we know so far.
On Monday, Cristy Fermin broke the news that her best friend Willie Revillame has submitted his resignation to ALLTV. With further detail from Bilyonaryo and PEP, Revillame was tired of getting the runaround from ALLTV/AMBS bosses about the fate of Wowowin. (And one can assume, he was also tired of what is seemingly an unfocused and directionless strategy at the fledgling ALLTV.) While he also did not feel right about accepting a salary from the network when he wasn’t producing a show for them.
(It’s easy to say “I told ya so” here. But that’s not the most pressing matter today.)
Less than 24 hours later, tsismis about Eat Bulaga moving to TV5 with Tito, Vic and Joey began riling up the internets. Especially with the possibility of airing back-to-back with its rival It’s Showtime on the flailing Kapatid network. (Which can now be enjoyed in HD on Cignal! … Five years too late.)
Bilyonaryo has the best collection of tsismis so far. And according to their sources, TVJ has given the Jalosjos-led TAPE management until April 11 to settle whatever differences they have.
In the meantime, TVJ has already started talking to TV5 and NET25 about potentially making one of those networks the new home of Eat Bulaga. That includes working with Brightlight Productions’ Albee Benitez in facilitating a move to TV5, specifically.
If true, that means things are pretty serious enough to have them even consider reaching out to those networks.
The new information here is that TVJ maintains they hold the rights to the “Eat Bulaga” brand, so they would be able to take that name wherever they might end up. That is different from the initial tsismis a few weeks ago saying that any new show TVJ launches in the event they were forced off of Eat Bulaga would have to come with a new name such as the speculated Dabarkads title.
That also addresses the conundrum of TAPE having signed a new blocktime contract with GMA Network last year. Technically, the contract may not specifically refer to a show titled “Eat Bulaga.” Which is why there was the possibility a Jalosjos/TAPE-produced new show could take over the slot on GMA to fulfill the existing contract. Thus, allowing the “Eat Bulaga” brand be taken elsewhere.
However, between the two potential landing spots for Eat Bulaga, TV5 appears to be the more attractive new home. The Bilyonaryo article cites the back-to-back potential of Eat Bulaga and Showtime as a contributing factor. And it also references a moment from over the weekend that also lit up social media. That is, the hosts of Eat Bulaga greeting Showtime host Vice Ganda a Happy Birthday.
Some Kapuso fans took issue with them being overly friendly with a rival, yet not even greeting their own home network’s most watched personality in Jessica Soho a Happy Birthday as well.
And that brings to mind the often tense and loose relationship between GMA Network and Eat Bulaga. That’s why any news of the noontime show leaving the network is never going to surprise me. TVJ and other current hosts getting tossed aside from the show? That would be shocking. Eat Bulaga getting taken elsewhere? Not so much.
Any regular viewer of Eat Bulaga who is not blinded by loyalty to the show will notice over the years how cold the show and its management are to GMA Network. They take their blocktime relationship quite seriously. Almost to the point that they would rather not even mention GMA or Kapuso programs on their show. The frustration on the part of GMA was best seen during the height of Aldub Fever when the network was eager to cash in on the popularity of the loveteam, only to be held back by Eat Bulaga‘s seemingly selfish “ownership” and want for control over the Aldub brand.
The Eat Bulaga-GMA Network blocktime agreement is mutually beneficial. But apparently not to the point where either side would ever not consider walking away from said agreement.
Now as for a potential landing spot for Eat Bulaga, TV5 does seem like a more likely option. Despite Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey De Leon’s current relationship with NET25, it is safe to assume they would rather keep their marquee show on at least the 2nd most prominent network in the country. And that would be TV5.
But not only that, APT Entertainment (which is solely run by Anthony P. Tuviera as a subsidiary of TAPE) has an existing partnership with Cignal via BuKo. That relationship has resulted in original content including Maine Mendoza’s #MaineGoals, now in its 3rd season which now premieres new episodes on TV5. And also on deck for TV5 this year are reboots of TVJ-fronted IP (intellectual property) titles Wow Mali and Iskul Bukol. The former being hosted by Eat Bulaga stalwarts Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola. The Tuvieras also produced shows for TV5 at the height of the pandemic lockdowns.
So TVJ taking the Eat Bulaga brand to TV5 is as likely as any other possibility.
But what I wonder is what a back-to-back line-up with Eat Bulaga and It’s Showtime look like? What timeslots would they have? What kind of give and take would each show have to have in order to both air on TV5. Interestingly enough, TV5’s daytime line-up is not as bare as you might expect. And that is because of the PBA. (Which despite the whining from some Kapatid fans, is still TV5’s most profitable and most-watched program.) During the season, PBA coverage begins at 3pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
With the arrival of a Face 2 Face reboot airing at 11am and my own personal hope of TV5 maintaining its morning newscast at 10am, 12pm to 3pm looks to be the only open timeslot. In fact, with the departure of Brightlight Productions’ Tropang LOL (and potential move to NET25), It’s Showtime may potentially move to 12pm after Face 2 Face on TV5.
(ETA: Like I mentioned in my opening, things can change every second. I had already finished this article and had it ready to post when TV5 just tweeted that Face 2 Face will air at 10:30am instead. Certainly a curious move and for the purposes of our discussion, maybe preparation for the arrival of, say, Eat Bulaga?)
But would it really be possible for Eat Bulaga and It’s Showtime, both known to be quite stubborn and headstrong in their productions, to share a three hour block somehow?
I don’t see that happening. But if it’s up to TV5’s big boss MVP, money will dictate those decisions.
Meanwhile, where would this leave GMA Network?
Once again, the prospect of elevating Ticktoclock to be their noontime marquee show is the simple solution. But the news of Willie Revillame’s resignation from ALLTV makes the situation even more interesting once again. And is GMA that confident in Ticktoclock being their longterm solution at 12pm?
The Bilyonaryo article mentions that Revillame has offers from two “politiko-bilyonaryos” to take Wowowin to another channel. And just as I’m writing this post, the two rich politicians that suddenly come to mind are former congressmen Albee Benitez (head of Brightlight Productions) and Romeo Jalosjos, Sr. (head of TAPE Inc). (Unless there are other rich politicians who have production companies, I have no idea lol)
A deal with Brightlight Productions would certainly be interesting considering there are hopes to bring Tropang LOL to another network such as NET25, or yes, even ALLTV. (In addition to supposedly working with TVJ on finding Eat Bulaga a spot on TV5’s schedule.) Would they fuse that show with Wowowin? Or would Brightlight Productions have the funds to produce all these shows. (They had to end their previous TV5 original productions because of cost.)
The most interesting outcome, however, and one that plays right into the possibility of Eat Bulaga becoming a Kapatid is of course a TAPE-produced Wowowin with Willie Revillame taking over the existing blocktime agreement with GMA Network.
I don’t know if you can tell by now, but this inside-Philippine TV stuff really fascinates me.
All the parties involved certainly provided a lot of fodder for discussion this Holy Week. But based on the previously announced dates, the dust might finally settle next week when the fate of Eat Bulaga is supposed to be announced at a major press conference.
For me, I am rooting for whatever shakes up Philippine TV the most. I’m sorry. I enjoy chaos. 🤭 So which scenario will deliver that? I have no idea! lol
We’ll all just have to stay tuned!
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