Remember ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’?
For those who have grown up watching ‘Bubble Gang’ for the past 21 years, some may not remember this short-lived spinoff. Yes, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ was GMA’s own attempt to counter ABS-CBN”s ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, using their own child stars in hopes of replicating the same formula that made its parent show a success.
‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ first premiered on May 8, 2005, four months after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ took off. The notable cast members of the show include BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, Ella Guevara, Miguel Tanfelix, Sam Bumatay, Empress Schuck and Joyce Ching.
The show was essentially an introduction to several ‘StarStruck Kids’ alumni, as it was one of their first projects following the conclusion of the reality series. It also introduced viewers to BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, whose claim to fame at the time was on a Tide commercial.
While ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ showed some promise, it failed to make an impact against the well-established ‘Goin’ Bulilit’. The fact that the spinoff was hastily created from the start contributed to its short run, and as a result, GMA cancelled ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ following its final episode on August 7, 2005.
Overall, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ lasted only 14 episodes. On the contrary, ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ has aired over 550 episodes since 2005, and has seen a fair amount of child talent come and go.
Although ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ met its unfortunate end after a near-four month run, some of its stars found success in the years after the show’s cancellation. Miguel Tanfelix, for instance, reemerged in shows like ‘Niño’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ and ‘Ismol Family’, while Joyce Ching became a main cast member on ‘Bubble Gang’ and is also seen in the teleserye ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.
Despite that, the lesson that ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ provided was difficult to accept for GMA and its management. Let’s face it, had ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remained on the air today, more up-and-coming talent would have been showcased.
Alas, GMA’s own mistakes only served to doom the show. To this day, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remains a show that GMA regrets, and after 11 years, it continues to haunt the network and its Artist Center for its inability to hone new stars.