It was around 11:15 p.m., and ABS-CBN was about to wrap up their late night newscast ‘Bandila’. I was expecting to see ‘Banana Nite’ go on-air. But instead something else happened on the Kapamilya network.
Last night the spinoff to the popular gag show ‘Banana Split’ did not air as expected, and was replaced by the ‘O Shopping’ infomercials. ABS-CBN did not specify the reason as to why ‘Banana Nite’ was replaced by ‘O Shopping’ in its timeslot.
The reported absence of ‘Banana Nite’ coincided with rival GMA welcoming the late night talk show ‘The Medyo Late Night Show with Jojo A.’ to its fold. Jojo Alejar’s show runs back-to-back with ‘The Tim Yap Show’ every late night, though because of GMA’s public affairs programs, they were not able to air opposite the timeslot that ‘Banana Nite’ typically occupies. In addition, its absence also came at a not-so opportune time; female cast members Sunshine Garcia, Aiko Climaco and Jef Gaitan were featured in FHM Philippines’ January 2014 issue.
Apparently, despite rave reviews on the skit ‘Ihaw Na’ starring Jayson Gainza in a parody of ‘Bandila’ anchor Boy Abunda, ‘Banana Nite’ has not been faring well in the ratings, although it has nothing to do with its timeslot. Let’s face it, ABS-CBN did a great job moving their current affairs programs (now ‘Pinoy True Stories’) to the late afternoon slot. And while GMA’s public affairs programs have been beating ‘Banana Nite’ in its timeslot, when compared to ‘Pinoy True Stories’, the numbers favor the latter.
‘Banana Nite’ was a wonderful experiment for ABS-CBN with regards to late night entertainment. Unfortunately, its unscheduled absence remains a mystery.