television industry

Will GMA Network tap Michael V for a noon show vs Vice Ganda and TVJ?

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Will GMA Network tap Michael V for a noon show vs Vice Ganda and TVJ?

ENTERTAINERS. Filipino comedians Michael V with Vice Ganda (left) and Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon in the composite photo.

Vice Ganda IG/EAT Bulaga X

(1st UPDATE) The guessing game is on. Will GMA Network move 'It's Showtime' to its flagship free TV Channel 7 or will it upgrade its variety show 'TictoClock' and make it go head-to-head with 'It's Showtime' and 'E.A.T. Bulaga'? Or, will it put up an entirely new noon show?

The guessing game is on.

What is GMA Network Incorporated (GMA) going to air after the media conglomerate and Jalosjos-led Television and Production Exponents Incorporated (TAPE) decided to axe Tahanang Pinakamasaya (Home of the Happiest)? The decision to air movies from 12 noon to 2 pm is likely just temporary, and it doesn’t look like ex-convict Romeo Jalosjos Sr. can put up another show and pay air time fees to GMA. 

Will GMA move ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime from its free TV channel Good TV (GTV) to its flagship station GMA-7? Or will it move its pre-noon variety show TictoClock, led by ex-Kapamilyas Kim Atienza and comedienne Pokwang, to 12 noon and prolong it by an additional hour or so? Or, will it put up an entirely new noon show?

The easiest step would be to just move It’s Showtime from GTV to Channel 7 (GMA-7) because ABS-CBN’s noon show is competing quite well against TV5’s E.A.T. Bulaga. If unofficial ratings are correct, It’s Showtime now often rates slightly higher than the Kapatid channel’s noon show led by showbiz veterans Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon (TVJ).

From a financial point of view, GMA would earn from the air time fees without having to spend a peso for talent fees and production. No headaches at all. 

But those familiar with how GMA’s former president/CEO and now chairman Felipe Gozon thinks say this may not be the case. 

GMA is now the Philippines’ undisputed broadcast leader after the Lopez-led ABS-CBN Corporation lost its free TV and radio business in May 2020. Moving a purely-ABS-CBN produced show to replace TAPE’s Tahanang Pinakamasaya may not look good on the GMA brand. 

Notwithstanding Gozon’s declaration in June 2023 that the TV war is over – which he said after signing a deal with ABS-CBN to air It’s Showtime on GTV – GMA has thus far protected its flagship Channel 7 from being, in a sense, purely Kapuso. 

In the case of the hit teleserye (TV series) Unbreak My Heart, which was aired on Channel 7 and GTV last year, this was a co-production with ABS-CBN. GMA called it “A first in Philippine television history” and a “dream TV collab between GMA and ABS-CBN.”

Its main cast were Kapamilya stars Jodi Sta. Maria, Joshua Garcia, and Kapuso stars Richard Yap and Gabbi Garcia. Although Kapamilya movies are shown on Channel 7, the credit to ABS-CBN is only at the start and the end, and the GMA logo stays on the screen while the movie is being shown.

The more logical step, therefore, is to beef up TictoClock’s hosts, add more talents and variety show segments to compete with TV5’s E.A.T. Bulaga and ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime. TictoClock already has the elements of a noon show: a singing competition Tanghalan ng Kampeon (Champion’s Stage) similar to It’s Showtime’s popular singing contest Tawag ng Tanghalan (Stage Call), as well as games such as a fake news segment Ulo ng mga Balita (News Headlines).

With ABS-CBN’s talent pool decimated after losing its franchise, GMA has enough performers it can tap to support “Kuya” (Brother) Kim Atienza and Pokwang. 

Kuya Kim – who incidentally is a former It’s Showtime co-host – is no comedian, and he’s certainly not in the league of It’s Showtime’s Vice Ganda and E.A.T. Bulaga’s Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon. 

GMA has an ace that it can tap to lead TictoClock: popular Kapuso comedian Michael V, also known as Bitoy. That would make the country’s noon show truly exciting. It would be the mother of all noon shows: Vice Ganda and the Madlang People gang versus TVJ and the Legit Dabarkads (Legitimate Friends) versus Michael V plus Kuya Kim, Pokwang, and some Kapuso comedy show Bubble Gang cast.  

I can already see Bitoy’s commercial endorsers committing to place ads on TictoClock. With a stronger TictoClock, GMA can get advertising revenues from its network-produced show and get air time revenues from ABS-CBN via It’s Showtime on GTV. It also gets to protect its flagship channel, making it still truly Kapuso. 

As we wait for GMA’s move, expect It’s Showtime and E.A.T. Bulaga to get slight upticks in their television ratings.

On Monday, March 11, Michael V. told GMA News online that he’s not keen on being part of a noon show again for now.

Parang hindi pa time. There’s a reason why I left ‘Eat Bulaga’ before. I think it’s the same reason kung bakit hindi pa siguro ako sasabak,” he said after signing a new contract with his home network.

(It’s like it’s not yet time. There’s a reason why I left ‘Eat Bulaga’ before. I think it’s the same reason why I won’t be joining for now.)

Michael V. opted to drop his co-hosting of Eat Bulaga! years ago as he took on more projects for GMA and became too busy. – 


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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.