[Requested by Zyle Asajar]
AS THIS MONTH of PHTV’s 67th anniversary closes, a national, commercial network witnessed the renaissance of local entertainment.
After four years of dissolution, TV5 regained such an impetus with two “waves” in two and a half months to gratify viewers with different tastes after being fed up from the virtual monopoly in general entertainment provided by GMA.
How did this happen?
THE PERSON FOR THE JOB. Perci Intalan made the radical approach to reinstate local entertainment programming on TV5.
In 2019, then-TV5 President Jane Basas wanted to restore local entertainment. Before the turn of the decade, APT Entertainment has forged a deal with the network to be launched in the first quarter of 2020 with Buhay Komedya (BuKo) Channel on Cignal but when the COVID-19 outbreak elevated into a pandemic, the plan was postponed indefinitely. The revitalization of the mother channel originally scheduled on April 13 also followed suit but their renaming as One TV abandoned in July.
The premeditated fallout of ABS-CBN on May 5 — which reaffirmed on July 10 — signaled the network executives to admit that there is a programming deficiency and resolved to take the proactive initiative.
Percival “Perci” M. Intalan returned to TV5 as the programming head. In his game plan, he decided not to follow the big mistake that occurred by the South Triangle Duopoly that molded through the decades – the exclusivity of talents. Also, he pledged that the network will not do a repeat of pirating talents in the preceding decade.
To date, two new production companies have cashed in, in addition to the resuscitated partnership with Viva Entertainment. Let us examine their dossiers:
The Two New Blocktimers
GAME SHOW REVIVAL. Archangel Media’s first two programs revived the particular genre after the controversial processes that ABS-CBN has done in the previous decade.
APT Entertainment’s Michael Tuviera – APT’s son — and Jojo Oconer (spouse of Ciara Sotto) established this production company but they functioned independently.
In this production company, four active Eat Bulaga Dabarkads and two Kapamilya-molded talents are presenters on three programs since August 15:
- Fill in the Bank (originally on M-W-F): Presented by Jose Manalo and Pokwang, two contestants vie for the chance to win big bucks in “Juan Bank” and make it to the jackpot round to keep their earnings. They have to go through four rounds, which has some resemblance to two pricing games in The Price is Right and two segments of Eat Bulaga.
- Bawal na Game Show (originally on T-TH-S): Presented by Paolo Ballesteros and Wally Bayola as Barby and Bebeh Ghorl, respectively, they are reminded of Kalyeserye lolas five years ago. They are four contestants to begin; after each challenge, one gets eliminated until one remains as the “Pasawai” of the Day to compete for the jackpot round.
- Chika BESH! (Basta Everyday Super Happy!). This is the morning talk show presented by Pokwang (who left Mo. Ignacia), Ria Atayde (who stays in Star Magic) and Pauleen Luna-Sotto. The original working title was Rise and Shine (until PTV grabbed the title and aired it as their breakfast show 3 weeks later) and the studio setup is pretty much like Umagang Kay Ganda whose time slot reminds us of Sis (GMA).
The first two shows marked the revival of the game show genre in a new normal setup; today, they are back-to-back every Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays due to the return of PBA.
THE GAME CHANGER. Former Negros Occidental representative Albee Benitez (right) takes the risk from the profits from his gaming business to invest in entertainment production following the fallout of Mother Ignacia.
This production company is founded by former Negros Occidental congressman Albee Benitez. The roster of talents comes from mostly Kapamilya-molded personalities because the reach on the Kapamilya Channel and A2Z are obviously limited and it would be missed by loyal viewers — especially outside Mega Manila — who don’t have cable and/or spotty-and-slow Wi-Fi connections.
Here are their lineup of programs that kicked off on October 18:
- Sunday Noontime Live (Oct. 18). Directed by the veteran director and outgoing Star Magic head Johnny Manahan, this musical variety show served as an offshoot to ASAP, starring Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Lani Misalucha, Donny Pangilinan, Jake Ejercito and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. The title of the show was mixed because it shares with NBC’s Saturday Night Live but this show broke the five-month monopolistic reign of GMA’s All-Out Sundays.
- I Got You (Oct. 18). A Sunday romantic drama, starring RK Bagatsing, Beauty Gonzales and Jane Oineza, is directed by Dan Villegas.
- Sunday ‘Kada (Oct. 18). This is the successor to Banana Sundae but without JC de Vera and Angelica Panganiban (the latter being the most loyal). The former cast members of Sundae that arrived at Reliance include Jayson Gainza, Wacky Kiray and the returning talent Ritz Azul with director Edgar Mortiz joining on board.
- Lunch Out Loud (Oct. 19). The six-day-a-week noontime variety show directed by Mr. M that stars Alex Gonzaga (returning), Billy Crawford, Bayani Agbayani (returning), Isabelle Daza, KC Montero, Wacky Kiray, K Brosas and for the first big break, Macoy Dubs (born Mark Averilla). This program effectively upended the five-month monopoly, if one uses a digital TV receiver but discounts NET 25’s Happy Time six weeks ago.
- Rated Korina (Oct. 24). Obviously, a successor to Rated K that airs on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday evening. Instead of pitting against long-time rival Jessica Soho, she’s pitting against Vicky Morales.
- Oh, My Dad! (Oct. 24). Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, this is a sitcom, starring Ian Veneracion, Dimples Romana, Sue Ramirez, Ariel Ureta and Gloria Diaz. This show serves as an alternative and early response to Pepito Manaloto.
Why are the Viewers Still Unhappy? (The Afterthought)
As mentioned earlier, the South Triangle Duopoly’s talent exclusivity is an integral part of the “Old” Network War lingered on for the past 30+ years. Such a long duration has permanently cultivated this black-and-white mentality that are obviously seen in the cyberspace.
When a talent of a major entity falls out and jumps directly to the rival or a neutral network like TV5 (even with the said thespian’s consent), they will be labeled as “drama kings/queens” or “traitors” with cheering them to fail (e.g. calling them “laos” or wishing their new projects on the new network to flop.)
When do we realize that the talents that we tuned to for years have entered an individual dilemma between loyalty and practicality, especially in very challenging times?
With that moment of truth already happened but remains a fresh scar in their memory, why did the former TV giant executives (like Mr. M) realize a month and a half later? Why didn’t they do it years ago before it could go wrong?
But here we are now. With the old chapter is (somehow) laid to rest (but never to be forgotten and to learn from it), it’s time to welcome a new chapter and formulate new resolutions.
Please do a favor, toxic tribalists (fantards): Give your icons in TV5 a chance.
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Photos courtesy of IMDb, PEP and PhilStar