television industry

GMA and ABS-CBN’s first co-produced ‘It’s Showtime’ episode trumps TV5’s ‘Eat Bulaga!’

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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GMA and ABS-CBN’s first co-produced ‘It’s Showtime’ episode trumps TV5’s ‘Eat Bulaga!’

MADLANG KAPUSO. A screenshot shows 'It's Showtime' host Vice Ganda seemingly on top of GMA-7's heart logo on April 6, 2024.

ABS-CBN It's Showtime video screenshot

ABS-CBN and GMA's first co-produced episode of 'It's Showtime' gets more commercials on free TV and higher combined page views on social media on Saturday, April 6

MANILA, Philippines – The hashtag #ShowtimeSanibPwersa was the top trending topic on X (formerly Twitter) in the Philippines on Saturday afternoon, April 6, as ABS-CBN’s noon show It’s Showtime had its pilot episode on former rival GMA Network’s flagship Channel 7, the Philippines’ widest free TV channel.

Kapuso stars joined forces with Kapamilya talents led by It’s Showtime hosts Vice Ganda and Anne Curtis in a three-hour show of song-and-dance numbers and Vice’s ad-lib jokes, capped by a special guesting of Kapuso beauty queen Michelle Dee with her mother, former Miss International Melanie Marquez, on the noon show’s popular match-making segment, “EXpecially For You.” 

Photos and a video of Vice wearing a navy blue dress and seemingly sitting on GMA Network’s heart (Kapuso) logo on its building at the corner of EDSA-Kamuning was also uploaded on GMA Network’s X account plus other Kapuso and Kapamilya social media accounts.

“This is no longer a dream, this is reality,” Vice says in the short clip captioned by GMA Network as “The Unkabogable Vice Ganda is taking over the building!”

Vice made a grand entrance wearing a gold-and-beige dress with matching golden headwear, and later, a peacock-designed dress while singing and dancing to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons. Saturday’s episode also served as Vice’s belated 48th celebration on the nearly 15-year-old noon show. 

In a speech, Vice recounted the ups and downs she had to go through in life both as a comedian and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“I am Vice Ganda, a dreamer, a fighter, a winner. Isang batang baklang nanggaling sa isang payak at makulay na barangay sa Maynila. Sino’ng makapagsasabing aabot ako sa kinatatayuan ko ngayon sa isang pambihirang posisyon.

(A gay child who came from humble beginnings in a barangay in Manila. Who would have thought I would reach this place where I am now, a rare position in life.)

“Paano nga ba ako napunta rito? Simple lang ang sagot ko: Nandito ako dahil nangarap ako, kumilos ako, at nanalig ako. Natalo, nanalo, natalo, at muling nanalo. At masakit man sa kalooban ng ilan, hanggang ngayon, nananalo pa rin ako.

(How did I get here? I have a simple answer: I’m here because I dreamed, I worked, I believed. I lost, I won, I lost, and I won again. And even though some may not like it, until now, I’m still winning.)

“Ito ang tandaan mo: Isinilang ka para maranasan ang lahat, at kasama [roon] ang manalo. Napatunayan ko ‘yan sa paglalakbay ko mula sa aming lugar hanggang sa comedy bar, hanggang sa tawagin akong Asia’s Unkabogable Phenomenal Box Office Superstar.”

(Remember this: You were born to experience everything, including winning. I’ve proven in my journey from where I started in a comedy bar, until I became what they call Asia’s Unkabogable Phenomenal Box Office Superstar.)

The show opened with Filipino-Australian actress Anne Curtis and singer Karylle singing and dancing to Little Mix’s “Power.”

“Chinita Princess” Kim Chiu then showed her dancing prowess by hanging and twisting on a rope. 

Kapuso stars Jillian Ward, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez, Mikee Quintos, Glaiza de Castro, Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista, plus Filipino-Argentinian K-pop star Maria Chantal “Chanty” of Lapillus joined the song guessing game “Karaokids.”

The pilot episode was capped by Dee’s and Marquez’s participation in “EXpecially For You,” a match-making segment where Dee picked a Piolo Pascual look-alike, Oliver, over two other men, Kevin and Martin. Marquez had also preferred Oliver for her daughter. The hashtag Oliver also trended on X in the Philippines on Saturday.

Dee said during the segment that she has not been in a relationship for four years. She is the reigning Miss Universe Philippines. She finished in the top 10 in the 2023 Miss Universe held in El Salvador last November. Her mother Melanie won the Miss International for the Philippines in 1979. 

Advertisers also showed their support for the pilot episode on GMA-7 by placing 159 spots on It’s Showtime on television compared with 85 on rival noon show Eat Bulaga! on tycoon Manny V. Pangilian’s TV5, according to an unofficial count on the social media page ABS-CBN Studios.

The Philippines’ longest running noon show, Eat Bulaga!, led by showbiz veterans Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon, held a “National Barangay Day” episode on Saturday, with several local communities participating. 

It also had Andres Muhlach, son of actor Aga Muhlach and beauty queen Charlene Gonzales, joining the show’s “Peraphy” contest. 

An unoffical count of online views on ABS-CBN and GMA’s YouTube and Facebook accounts had It’s Showtime generating a peak of 475,000 concurrent views at 2:10 pm – at least three times more than Eat Bulaga!’s peak of 144,000 at 1:20 pm, according to entertainment website LionhearTV. 

Another entertainment website, Kapamilya Kingdom, said the combined views of It’s Showtime when the pilot show ended reached 3 million as of 2:30 pm, while Eat Bulaga!’s views reached 903,229. 

It’s Showtime’s April 6 episode was 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 in 2023 a block-time 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.

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

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

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

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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.