entertainment, game show, Philippines, reality show, talent show, television

Last Episodes for I Can Do That, Plus Celebrity Bluff Returns

Two weekend shows are about to hit the crossroads.

On ABS-CBN, ‘I Can Do That’ will enter its final weekend tomorrow night and Sunday night. In these two episodes, the final four iCandidates in Cristine Reyes, Daniel Matsunaga, Gab Valenciano and Wacky Kiray are expected to perform their riskiest and most death-defying acts imaginable.

Judges Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and Boy Abunda will have the enviable task of evaluating each iCandidates’ performance. Not only that, the viewers will also play a key role in determining the show’s ‘Greatest Entertainer’, who will walk away P1 million richer by virtue of combined scores from the judges and the viewers.

First premiered on March 11, 2017, ‘I Can Do That’ was the latest reality show franchise acquired by ABS-CBN. The program has had contrasting ratings fortunes throughout its 25-episode run; despite averaging a decent 15%, only ‘I Can Do That”s Saturday episodes were consistent winners.

That said, the decent but unsatisfactory performance may be considerable enough for ABS-CBN to relinquish its rights after only one season. The network may have had some successful foreign franchised shows, but ‘I Can Do That’ is not one of them.

Which leads to its one-night-only opponent for tomorrow night. After a season break that lasted over a year, GMA announced the return of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ for its 13th season.

Eugene Domingo will reprise her role as host of this long-running Kapuso game show. She will not be alone though as Edu Manzano will now join Eugene as a special bluffer, while Boobay and resident boyband One Up will also ramp up the entertainment factor even further.

A typical episode of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ is as follows (via GMA Public Relations):

“Celebrity Bluff features three pairs of celebrity contestants as they attempt to outsmart one another by answering questions to be able to advance to the jackpot round, where the winning team could take home half a million pesos.”

Guest bluffers will also be on hand to make fun of this week’s celebrity players. For instance, the premiere of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ season 13 will see Alden Richards and Brod Pete play the role of bluffer.

With its predecessors’ failures to make an impact, the onus is on ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to change GMA’s declining fortunes ever Saturday night. Otherwise, its comeback may turn out to be a dud.

‘Celebrity Bluff’ returns this Saturday after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, talk show, television

Tonight with Boy Abunda Turns One

‘Ang Probinsyano’ is not the only primetime program with a one-year anniversary celebration.

On the same night Coco Martin made his television return as a crime-fighting cop, Boy Abunda decided that he’ll be better off working on a talk show alone. His show, ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’, premiered on September 28, 2015, replacing ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’ which he co-hosted with erstwhile ABS-CBN star Kris Aquino.

Initially thought of as a ‘transitional’ show, ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ managed to stay on the air longer than anyone could have imagined. The show was a decent hit in the ratings, even though late-night television tends to draw fewer viewers at this point in time.

Throughout the past year, ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ provided some memorable interviews with several of the country’s top subjects. The anniversary episode last Wednesday was no exception, as Boy’s guest Amy Perez talked about the latest news of her life and career.

In an age where late night talk shows are a rare breed in the country, ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ continues to stand tall. Although the show lasts for 15-20 minutes, the time duration is more than enough for Boy to grill his guests with the same explosive style that he has been known for all these years.

The seeming seriousness of the show may be intentional at times, but ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ has quietly carved out a loyal following since its premiere. And while the show is not as ‘comedic’ as other talk shows, Boy’s knack for bringing out the best in his subjects will always be an asset.

Now that it is on its second year, expect more explosion and revelation on ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’. The show may have survived its first year, but the best is yet to come.

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entertainment, talk show, television

Kris Aquino Returns, But Not on ABS-CBN

‘The Queen of All Media’ is back.

Returning to the Philippines after a three-month break, Kris Aquino is once again expected to appear in front of the small screen. But instead of booking a date with her long-time network ABS-CBN, she decided to make her television comeback as a guest on GMA’s ‘Yan ang Morning’.

According to Kris on her official Instagram, her guesting on ‘Yan ang Morning’ yesterday is a promise fulfilled to her ‘inaanaks’ Marian Rivera (the show’s host) and Dingdong Dantes. It can be recalled that Kris attended the wedding of both Marian and Dingdong last December 2014 and she stood as one of the principal sponsors.

The said episode of ‘Yan ang Morning’ will air tomorrow, again according to Kris on her Instagram.

Despite her appearance on Kapuso soil, there is talk of Kris’ return to ABS-CBN in the foreseeable future. According to long-time hosting partner Boy Abunda via Pep.ph, discussions about possible shows between Kris and ABS-CBN are currently in the offing.

Let’s just hope that Kris’ surprise guesting on ‘Yan ang Morning’ will provide a much-needed boost to the struggling talk show, whose 6% average ratings prove to be a headache to GMA management. This is going to be a make-or-break episode for Marian and co., so better make the most of it.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, politics, talk show, television

Boy Abunda Goes Solo Starting Tonight

The spotlight every late weeknights now solely falls on Boy Abunda.

Starting tonight, Abunda will be the host of the now-retitled ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’, which will take over the timeslot of its predecessor ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight. This comes after erstwhile co-host Kris Aquino left the show due to health concerns.

‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ will carry some of the elements from its predecessor, except that Abunda will be joined by some guest commentators who will analyze some of the hottest stories today. As always, interviews with some of the country’s headliners will highlight the show, with the participation of viewers via social media.

While the transition to Boy Abunda going solo will not be a problem (he’s already used to hosting solo on ‘The Bottomline with Boy Abunda’), there is one problem concerning the title of the show. Some viewers may think that ‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ is related to GMA News TV’s ‘Tonight with Arnold Clavio’, despite its differences in format.

If ABS-CBN were smart enough, they could have promoted Boy Abunda’s new daily solo show as a spin-off to ‘The Bottomline with Boy Abunda’. Perhaps ‘The Daily Bottomline’, ‘Bottomline 15’ or ‘The Bottomline in 15 Minutes’ would have been a more appropriate title, isn’t it?

Or they would just rename it as ‘ 15 Minutes with Boy Abunda’. Either way, ABS-CBN would have been more creative if they created a better program title instead of copy-pasting one that is already used on another network.

As for Kris Aquino, her departure from the show leaves her with just one program in ‘Kris TV’. Perhaps it’s only good for her to do only one show, given the recent health scares that affected her, not to mention other projects not related to television appearances.

All 15 minutes of Boy Abunda on his new show should be interesting. Let’s see how it pays off.

‘Tonight with Boy Abunda’ airs weeknights after ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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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’.

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entertainment, news, Philippines, talk show, television

The Buzz Bids Farewell, For Now

‘The Buzz’ officially bade farewell last Sunday afternoon, after a run of nearly 16 years. (Photo credit: ABS-CBN)

An unexpected announcement awaited the viewers of ABS-CBN’s ‘The Buzz’.

On Sunday, April 5, host Boy Abunda announced that ‘The Buzz’ would go off the air and take a long and indefinite hiatus, citing changes in showbiz reporting, production staff and the viewing public. The cancellation ends the show’s initial 15-year run.

First airing on June 13, 1999, ‘The Buzz’ became one of the network’s top-rated and long-running shows. The show’s lineup of hosts would change over the years, but ‘The Buzz’ will always be identified with the duo of Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda.

‘The Buzz’ lengthy run is only rivaled by ‘Startalk’, now entering its 20th year. The two shows briefly faced off early last year, with ‘The Buzz’ (then called ‘Buzz ng Bayan’) prevailing in the ratings.

As ‘The Buzz’ takes a break of sorts, expect ABS-CBN to counterprogram against GMA’s upcoming game show ‘Wowowin’ and its succeeding program ‘InstaDad’. It is possible that ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ will take over ‘The Buzz”s slot from April 12 onwards, but no confirmation is made at the moment.

It should also throw the network into a state of uncertainty. Even though ‘The Buzz”s hiatus was intended to be a temporary one, there also remains a possibility of a new talk show taking the place of ‘The Buzz’ instead.

Another likely scenario will be the tweaking of schedules on ABS-CBN’s weekend afternoon lineup. Declining ratings of ‘The Buzz’ in recent months may play a big role in convincing the network to change their programming approach on weekends.

Any of these possibilities may come into play, but for now, sacrifices will have to be made on the Kapamilya camp.

For nearly 16 years, ‘The Buzz’ stood tall for its credibility, balance and truthful showbiz reporting, one that gave the show high ratings and numerous awards. But with the show now taking a much-needed break, viewers can only wonder when and what time will it return.

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