One year after: Celebrities who left, signed, and stayed with ABS-CBN

One year after: Celebrities who left, signed, and stayed with ABS-CBN

Photos by ABS-CBN, Jay Ganzon, Arjo Atayde's Instagram page

A year after ABS-CBN went off air, the network's stable of showbiz talents looks different following major transfers

On May 5, 2020, one of the country’s biggest networks, ABS-CBN, went off-air after the House of Representatives failed to renew its Congressional franchise.

One year on, and the network has experienced massive changes, with thousands of people losing their jobs – in the middle of a pandemic no less – as the company dealt with the impact of a more limited reach.

Entire channels shutdown or downsized their talents – ABS-CBN’s Sports channel went off air, while its music channel MYX said goodbye to several of its VJs. Some of the biggest names in broadcast lost their jobs – from Korina Sanchez, to Ces Drilon, to Ted Failon.

On the entertainment side, this meant a major facelift for ABS-CBN, as some of its most famous stars and homegrown talents found projects outside of the network. Several stars left ABS-CBN’s talent management arm Star Magic and signed with new agencies. Some took on work with other networks, while others transferred completely. 

Here’s a list tracking most of the movement of talents in and out of ABS-CBN – from those who stayed, to those who left, and everything in between:

Who left?

Johnny Manahan – The longtime exec known as “Mr M” stepped down from his role as head of Star Magic. He went on to direct the TV5 variety show Sunday Noontime Live. The show was canceled in January.

Maja Salvador – The actress left Star Magic after 18 years to be part of TV5, where she started as a host of Sunday Noontime Live. She currently stars in the TV5 show Niña Nińo, and started her own talent management company, Crown Artist Management in March.

Bea Alonzo – The star left Star Magic in November 2020, and is now being managed by Shirley Kuan. Bea built her career with ABS-CBN, starring in shows such as K2BU, Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay, and It Might Be You, as well as films like One More Chance and The Mistress. She was launched as part of Star Magic Batch 10 in 2001. 

JULIA BARRETTO. The actress switches management to Viva Artists Agency.
Rappler screenshot

Julia Barretto – The actress signed with Viva Artists Agency in September 2020, leaving Star Magic, which had managed her career since she started in showbiz. Julia rose to fame on ABS-CBN, starring in shows such as Kokey, Mirabella, and And I Love You So. She was supposed to star in the upcoming ABS-CBN teleserye Cara Y Cruz (now called Bagong Umaga), but was replaced by Heaven Peralejo.

Billy Crawford – The It’s Showtime host bid goodbye to ABS-CBN in September 2020 and joined TV5, where he hosts the noontime show Lunch Out Loud

Pokwang – The comedian lost her contract with the network following the ABS-CBN shutdown. She confirmed her transfer to TV5 in July 2020, where she hosted now-defunct talk show Chika, Besh and is now hosting the game show Fill in the Bank.

Khalil Ramos – The actor signed with GMA Artist Center in October 2020, joining his girlfriend Gabbi Garcia, who is one of the network’s biggest stars. He got his showbiz start in 2011, on ABS-CBN’s talent search Pilipinas Got Talent. Since then, he has appeared in ABS-CBN’s teleseryes including Annaliza and Pangako Sa’Yo.

Richard Yap – The actor joined GMA in December 2020. Richard was with ABS-CBN for 9 years, and became a household name playing Ser Chief in the hit series Be Careful with My Heart

Who renewed?
KIM CHIU. The actress stays with ABS-CBN.
Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Kim Chiu – The actress renewed her contract with ABS-CBN in December 2020, alongside 7 other Kapamilya talents. She first rose to fame as the winner of the first teen edition of reality show Pinoy Big Brother, and has remained with ABS-CBN ever since. She hosts variety shows It’s Showtime and ASAP Natin ‘To, and stars in the web series Bawal Lumabas – named for the now-iconic response she gave in defense of ABS-CBN.

Enchong Dee – Enchong was among the many talents who vocally defended ABS-CBN throughout its franchise renewal, so it comes as no surprise that the actor renewed his contract with the network. He continues to be a regular with ASAP Natin ‘To, and hosts the current season of Pinoy Big Brother.

Arjo Atayde – The award-winning actor renewed his contract with ABS-CBN in February, saying “I will stay here no matter what.” Arjo is known for his performance as the antagonist in long-running teleserye Ang Probinsyano. He was named Best Actor at the Asian Academy Creative Awards in 2020 for his role in the series Bagman.

Gary Valenciano – A mainstay on It’s Showtime and ASAP Natin ’To, Gary signed a new contract with ABS-CBN in February. He celebrated his 38th year in showbiz in April, performing his new single “Make Us Whole Again,” which he started writing in response to the ABS-CBN shut down. 

Maymay Entrata – Maymay continues to be an ABS-CBN talent, renewing her contract in February 2021. She signed with Star Magic after winning Pinoy Big Brother in 2017, and has since appeared in the series La Luna Sangre, as well as several episodes of Maalala Mo Kaya. She also appeared in films such as Fantastica, Hello, Love, Goodbye, and Princess DayaReese.

Edward Barber – Maymay’s love team partner and fellow Pinoy Big Brother alum also renewed his contract with ABS-CBN. 

Donny Pangilinan – Donny renewed his ABS-CBN contract in February 2021. He stars in the upcoming teen series He’s Into Her, alongside Belle Mariano.

Francine Diaz – The actress renewed her contract with ABS-CBN in February, saying that she chose to stay with the network despite receiving offers from others. Francine rose to fame after playing the lead role in the teleserye Kadenang Ginto. She currently stars in the show Huwag Kang Mangamba.

Andrea Brillantes – The star signed with ABS-CBN anew in December 2020. She rose to fame on Kadenang Ginto, and is part of the “Gold Squad,” along with Francine, Seth Fedellin, and Kyle Echarri. She also stars in Huwag Kang Mangamba.

Who joined?
JANINE GUTIERREZ. The star signs a contract with ABS-CBN.
Photo from ABS-CBN

Janine Gutierrez – The award-winning actress signed a contract with ABS-CBN in January, and is set to debut on the long-running drama anthology Maalala Mo Kaya on May 8. She is set to top bill the network’s upcoming series Marry Me, Marry You

Sunshine Dizon – The veteran actress signed with ABS-CBN after 25 years with GMA. She is set to star alongside Janine in Marry Me, Marry You.

Jake Ejercito – The showbiz scion was welcomed by ABS-CBN in April, and is also starring in Marry Me, Marry You – his first-ever teleserye.

Still Kapamilya

Several ABS-CBN stars remained with their home network, while taking on projects with TV5. 

Ria Atayde, who is under the management of Star Magic, appeared on TV5 as a host for Chika, Besh. She said at the time that it was her management that recommended her to production company APT Entertainment when it was looking for hosts for the show.

PIOLO PASCUAL. The showbiz veteran says he is ‘Kapamilya forever.’
File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Piolo Pascual, one of ABS-CBN’s most prominent stars, left the Sunday variety show ASAP Natin ‘To to host Sunday Noontime Live – but the actor has reiterated that he is “Kapamilya forever.” It is unclear whether he remains with Star Magic, which has managed his career for 24 years.

Sue Ramirez, who is a Star Magic talent, currently appears in Oh My Dad, a show by TV5 blocktimer Brightlight Productions.  – Rappler.com