GMA 7‘s ‘Startalk‘ is currently the longest-running showbiz talk show in the Philippines today, but one must wonder why they do not air anymore on Sundays? It has been debated many times over the years, and it still continues today. With GMA 7’s late Sunday afternoon timeslot vacated after the cancellation of ‘HOT TV‘, I have to wonder if ‘Startalk’ needed to return to a Sunday timeslot. Before going to this discussion, here’s how the show started.
‘Startalk’ debuted on GMA 7 in 1995. The program originally competed head-on with ABS-CBN’s ‘Showbiz Lingo’ on a Sunday timeslot. That’s right, Startalk started their run on a Sunday. It soon gained a reputation for its explosive and hard-hitting reports on the lives of Filipino celebrities, that it gained the title “The Only Showbiz Authority”. But while it gained a significant fanbase and a controversial yet popular host in Rosanna Roces, in 1998 GMA 7 decided to move the show to a Saturday timeslot after Eat Bulaga, upon realizing they couldn’t beat ‘Showbiz Lingo’ on its timeslot. The move to Saturdays effectively killed off ABS-CBN’s efforts of airing a weekly drama series opposite ‘Startalk’. A year later however, ‘The Buzz‘ debuted as a replacement of ‘Showbiz Lingo’, and their first recruit turned out to be one of the original hosts of ‘Startalk’ in Boy Abunda.
From then on both ‘Startalk’ and ‘The Buzz’ dominated their respective timeslots, and along the way several competitors came and went, such as GMA 7’s ‘S-Files‘, ‘Showbiz Central‘ and ‘HOT TV’, and ABS-CBN’s ‘Showbiz Sabado’ ‘EK Channel’, ‘Entertainment Konek‘, ‘Entertainment Live‘, and TV5’s ‘Juicy’ and ‘Paparazzi’, neither of which were able to equal or surpass the viewing audience of ‘Startalk’ and ‘The Buzz’. Today the only other weekend showbiz talk show aside from the two is ABS-CBN’s ‘Showbiz Inside Report‘.
Soon after GMA 7’s cancellation of ‘HOT TV’, they have stayed away from producing a replacement showbiz talk show, instead airing Filipino-dubbed American films on the timeslot against ‘The Buzz’. GMA 7’s lack of effort replacing ‘HOT TV’ gave ‘The Buzz’ further headway in the ratings. With ‘The Buzz’ dominating, it may just be a matter of time before ‘Startalk’ returns to Sundays and start competing with ‘The Buzz’. After all, the only showbiz talk show that can rival ‘The Buzz’ is ‘Startalk’ itself.
I think moving ‘Startalk’ to Sundays is the right deal. And moving it to an earlier timeslot after ‘Sunday All Stars’ will help showbiz aficionados get their fix earlier than what ‘The Buzz’ offers. I would rather see teen-oriented shows like ‘Teen Gen’ on a Saturday because it benefits teenagers more during their downtime. So moving ‘Startalk’ to Sundays should be good for GMA 7, and for the television audience as a whole.