entertainment, Philippines, talk show, television

1995 Flashback: Startalk Takes a Bow

1995 was a memorable year in Philippine television. As part of a year-long special, From the Tube will look back at a year full of historical debuts, unforgettable moments, and celebrated feats in the history of television in the country.

The final episode of ‘Startalk’ will air tomorrow afternoon.

After nearly 20 years of leading the showbiz talk show circuit, GMA realized that the time has come. Like ABS-CBN did when ‘The Buzz’ went off the air last April, GMA knows that the changing needs of its audience (e.g. social media, internet) would become a huge factor, and as result, they finally decided to let go of an institution that has served them well.

‘Startalk’ debuted on October 8, 1995 as a Sunday afternoon talk show, with Boy Abunda, Lolit Solis and Kris Aquino as its hosts. For the next three years, the show competed against ‘Showbiz Lingo’, but it became clear that ‘Startalk’ would never make its presence felt if it were to face another showbiz talk show.

Thus, in June 1998, ‘Startalk’ moved to Saturday afternoons (after ‘Eat Bulaga’), and it would remain that way for nearly 16 years. By then Kris Aquino left for ABS-CBN, and after Dawn Zulueta briefly filled in, ‘Startalk’ hired sexy star Rosanna Roces, and with her controversial antics, the show finally won the hearts of viewers nationwide.

‘Startalk’ suffered a slight dip in its audience when, in May 1999, Boy Abunda joined Kris Aquino at ABS-CBN to host another long-running showbiz talk show in ‘The Buzz’. They quickly recovered, however, when Butch Francisco replaced Boy, and for the next five years, the trio of Butch, Lolit and Osang would lead ‘Startalk’ to unprecedented heights.

Osang’s tenure came to an end in June 2004 after a series of controversies that culminated in a well-publicized feud with co-host Lolit Solis and Dra. Vicki Belo. After that, Butch and Lolit would be joined by the likes of Lorna Tolentino, Joey de Leon, Ricky Lo and Heart Evangelista for the remainder of the show’s run.

At almost the same time, ABS-CBN tried to counter ‘Startalk’ with a variety of showbiz talk shows on Saturday afternoons, none of which were able to win. It became clear that a rivalry between ‘Startalk’ and ‘The Buzz’ was something viewers would like to see, and in January 2014, ‘Startalk’ moved back to Sunday afternoons in order to face ‘The Buzz’ (albeit under the name of ‘Buzz ng Bayan’).

The experiment was a disaster, however, and after ‘Buzz ng Bayan’ reverted to ‘The Buzz’ name in May 2014, ‘Startalk’ moved back to Saturday afternoons, this time cutting the show’s duration by 45 minutes.. The declining ratings would only continue from there, and GMA realized the end was near.

On September 12, GMA announced that ‘Startalk’ will air its final episode. The said episode will feature a list of 20 questions submitted by netizens on ‘Startalk”s official Facebook, during which the hosts will answer each of them throughout the show.

‘Startalk’ will always be remembered as ‘The Only Showbiz Authority’, as well as the longest-running showbiz talk show in the country. But with the show finally taking a bow, it marked the end of an era, for ‘Startalk’ was the benchmark in which all other showbiz talk shows were measured.

A new era beckons in the showbiz industry. Thanks for the memories, ‘Startalk’.


26 thoughts on “1995 Flashback: Startalk Takes a Bow

  1. Jc says:

    But GMA’s showbiz news presence will continue. Thus a new show is in the works. It will be titled as Celebri-TV. It will be hosted by some of the hosts from Startalk (to be specifiic, Joey De Leon, Lolit Solis, and Ricky Lo) along with Ai-Ai DelasAlas

    • James Ty III says:

      And ABS-CBN still has not yet found a replacement for The Buzz. It seems that the Kapamilya Network is satisfied with its movies after ASAP. They’re now airing Hollywood movies because they’re running out of Star Cinema movies to air.

      • GMA should have used that timeslot for a public affairs program, not another showbiz talk show like CelebriTV. Yung Imbestigador ang dapat nilang habaan, make it more like an investigative program kaysa sa drama program that they emphasize lately.

        In any event, we can admit that it’s the end of an era for weekend showbiz talk shows. Kahit pagtiyagaan ng GMA ito, it’s all over.

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        I also remembered the 2002 “Parental Guidance” bumper of GMA being aired before Startalk, voice-overed by Al Torres (although the audio of that bumper came from GMA’s 1998 PG bumper), as well as the segment which features the latest press releases on PEP (people, events, and places, as well as promos and product launchings which feature celebrities and prominent personalities). I forgot the segment’s title, though, but if I’m not mistaken, it was aired as Startalk’s last segment in its particular episode/s, aside from the greeting portion of Lolit, before it ends, ca. 2009-11(?).

      • Jake-jake Jacinto says:

        In the said show’s last years before tomorrow’s cancellation, I also remember its VO mentioning the episode date and its episode number, since the ending months of 2013. But I think that “mentioning” has already been there even before that time.

      • They were simply trying to count it down to its 1000th episode, which did air early this year. Achieving 1000 episodes was something that they should be proud of.

    • NMNHH4322 says:

      If the PEP alert is to be believed, Celebri-TV will be similar to Gandang Gabi Vice but with some games, some showbiz, and an earlier timeslot.

      And is Startalk actually a co-production? Its teasers have a unique style, and unique voice-over announcer (Ronnie Carrasco, now with the PinoyParazzi website).

      Butch Francisco, Lolit Solis (has endured many controversies before), and Ricky Lo can still be noticed as showbiz columnists for newspapers.

      Most memorable Startalk segments include “Da Who” (made-up blind items) and “T: The Tigbak Authority” (showbiz-oriented general comedy).

      “StarTalk” is also the name of a very recent American TV talk show by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  2. Jc says:

    Sorry if I have to divert the topic a little bit, but I think it would be best for ABS-CBN to create two current affairs shows, and even add a new showbiz show. It’s worth a try.

    • They already have two in SOCO and Failon Ngayon, and they’re doing fine with it. As for the Kapamilya Blockbusters, just leave it there. After all it’s a dead timeslot. And besides, if they can create a showbiz talk show, there’s no need for it since they already have Aquino & Abunda Tonight.

      It is GMA who badly needs those shows, not to mention a brief daily showbiz talk show that would pit A&A Tonight. CelebriTV is not the solution. They should have taken some time thinking about it instead of rushing.

      • Believe That says:

        With the changing demographic and tastes of the audience, IMO, they shouldn’t make a longer Showbiz Talk Show like Startalk or The Buzz ng bayan, Nor Showbiz Central and Showbiz News Ngayon. To me, Aquino & Abunda Tonight is a better show, because of its short airing time. And, they are straight to the point.

  3. Gab says:

    Startalk went popular due to interviews with the big stars in PH Showbiz, especially Ricky Lo’s interviews with Hollywood Stars, its Da Who, Rampa, T: Tigbaxx Authority at ang napakahabang batian portion ni Manay Lolit….

  4. I rather GMA have an outsourced talk show from Pep since allued nman sila. Like updates every 3 hours na tig 5 minutes everyday. Iya or Pia can be the host. CelebriTV kasi looks like a reformatted ST. Tim Yap can also be the host of the 5 minute talkshow. Since regular nman ang updates ng PEP. Or Chika Minute ang title katapat ng Flash Report nila

  5. Believe That says:

    I agree, they can even move The Tim Yap show to a slot that is opposite A&A Tonight. Since, Tim Yap also interviews certain celebrities and TV Personalities. To me, when it comes to Boy Abunda, and Kris Aquino, I think GMA’s answer is Pia Guanio, Iya, and Tim Yap. IMO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s