television industry

Madlang Kapuso vs Kapatid: Philippine network war heats up as ‘It’s Showtime’ airs on GMA-7

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Madlang Kapuso vs Kapatid: Philippine network war heats up as ‘It’s Showtime’ airs on GMA-7

It's Showtime/TV5/ Marc Logan social media pages

(1st UPDATE) Actress Anne Curtis guests for the first time on GMA's 24 Oras, as TV5 beefs up its weekend programming with new shows of Marc Logan and Raffy Tulfo

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ network war heats up on Saturday, April 6, as the ABS-CBN noon show It’s Showtime airs for the first time ever on its former fierce competitor GMA Network’s (GMA) flagship free TV Channel 7. 

The show competes with the country’s longest running noon show, Eat Bulaga!, led by showbiz veterans Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, which used to air on GMA’s Channel 7, but is now on tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan’s network, TV5. Eat Bulaga! will hold a “National Barangay Day” for its Saturday episode, where several local communities get to participate on the show live.  

On Friday night, April 5, Kapamilya star Anne Curtis, one of the Philippines’ leading social media influencers with 21 million followers on Instagram, made a guest appearance on GMA’s flagship prime time news show 24 Oras to promote the noon show. 

“Never in my wildest dream na mangyayari ang pagkakataon na ito, at eto na nga, bukas na po, mangyayari na. Ang imposible magiging posible na po sa GMA-7. Isang malaking pasabog at engrandeng pagwelcome sa amin dito sa GMA,” Curtis said on the show’s entertainment segment, Chika Minute

(Never in my wildest dream that this would happen, and here it is, it’ll happen tomorrow. The impossible will become possible here on GMA-7. It’ll be a big show with a grand welcome here on GMA.)

The Saturday episode of It’s Showtime is also the belated 48th birthday celebration on the show of its lead host, comedian Vice Ganda, and Curtis promised the show would bring lots of laughter and happiness to its viewers. 

“Please join us tomorrow [Saturday] as we bring you laughter, fun. Magtatawanan po tayo bukas. Magsasayawan, kantahan, tawanan, lahat ibibigay po namin sa inyo mga Madlang Kapuso… .At birthday din ni Vice bukas. Kaya abangan nyo rin po ang birthday ng meme ng bayan, Vice Ganda,” Curtis said. 

(We will be laughing together, dancing, singing, we’ll give it all to you Madlang Kapuso…And it’s also the birthday celebration of Vice Ganda tomorrow. So watch out also for the birthday of the country’s meme star Vice Ganda.)

Curtis said she and other It’s Showtime hosts will also join the popular game show Family Feud on GMA on April 8, Monday. She said she also hopes she’d get a chance to participate in the reality game show, Running Man Philippines, which will be on its second episode on GMA in May this year.

Curtis said she wished she would also be able to work with her sister, Kapuso star Jasmine Curtis-Smith, her wedding ninong (godfather) and ex-Kapamilya host Kim Atienza, as well as Kapuso leading men Alden Richards, Dingdong Dantes, and Dennis Trillo. 

“Parehong determinasyon at magandang  intensyon ng Kapuso at Kapamilya, nagsama at nakabuo sila ng magandang desisyon na gawin ito…for the audience,” Vice told GMA News. 

(The determination and good intention of Kapuso and Kapamilya combined for this good decision…for the audience.)

In another GMA News report, it was revealed that Kapuso stars Jillian Ward, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez, Mikee Quintos, Glaiza de Castro, Mark Bautista, and Christian Bautista will be guests on It’s Showtime’s Saturday episode. 

Filipino-Argentinian K-pop star Maria Chantal “Chanty” Videla of Lapillus will also make a guest appearance. Chanty is on indefinite hiatus from Lapillus’ group activities due to chronic fatigue syndrome but her agency, MLD Entertainment, said earlier this week that she would continue individual activities.

The Saturday show is the first under a co-production agreement between GMA and ABS-CBN on the airing of It’s Showtime on Channel 7. Both sides signed last year a blocktime agreement on airing It’s Showtime on GMA’s second major channel, Good TV or GTV, after TV5 took in Eat Bulaga! for its noon show starting July 1, 2023. Channel 7 is the Philippines’ leading free TV channel.

It’s Showtime also airs on the Zoe Network’s A2Z channel and on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Channel on pay cable television.

‘Madlang Kapuso’: Two heads are better than one

‘Madlang Kapuso’: Two heads are better than one

The co-production was made possible after Television and Production Exponents Incorporated (TAPE) and GMA agreed to end the former’s blocktime agreement on the airing of Tahanang Pinakamasaya on the noon time block of Channel 7.

TAPE, which had a blocktime deal with GMA until end of 2024, could not sustain its noon show after failing to get enough advertisers. 

ABS-CBN and GMA were strongest rivals in the Philippines’ broadcast industry until the Duterte administration ordered the Lopez-led media conglomerate to shut down its free radio and TV business in May 2020 after its franchise expired

The House of Representatives dominated by allies of then-president Rodrigo Duterte then rejected its application for a new franchise. 

ABS-CBN has since pivoted into a content provider to its former competitors and to streaming platforms. It is now the Philippines’ leading content provider.

TV5 beefs up programming

Meantime, ex-Kapamilya funny news man Marc Logan made a guest appearance on the Kapatid network’s flagship prime time news show, Frontline Pilipinas, on Friday night to promote his weekly magazine show, Mga Kuwentong Marc Logan, which premieres on Saturday at 6:15 pm on TV5. He said he will be appearing three times a week on Frontline Pilipinas for teasers of his weekend show.

Logan also appeared on Eat Bulaga! in March where he joined comedian Vic Sotto and participated in the game show segment Peraphy.

Logan signed with the Kapatid channel more than a year after retiring from ABS-CBN.

Why Marc Logan is now a Kapatid

Why Marc Logan is now a Kapatid

Aside from Logan’s show, TV5 also beefed up its weekend programming by adding incumbent Senator Raffy Tulfo’s magazine show, Kapatid Mo, Idol Raffy Tulfo, starting April 7, at 6:15 pm.

Tulfo is a popular Filipino legislator who promises quick “justice” and action to consumer and other public complaints.

TV5 also introduced former CNN Philippines anchor Ruth Cabal as its news anchor for a daily afternoon newscast, Frontline Express, starting April 8.

According to official Nielsen annual ratings seen by Rappler, while GMA Channel 7’s audience share stayed almost the same in 2022 and 2023, TV5’s share has gone up by a couple of percentage points, although GMA-7 still has a wide margin of roughly 30-percentage points over TV5 overall. –

New battle shapes up: It’s TV5 + RPN vs GMA

New battle shapes up: It’s TV5 + RPN vs GMA

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.