Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap.
It all started with this love team, and it all ended with this love team. The duo forever changed the pre-noontime landscape.
Yet one production outfit tried to make things a little more interesting. That outfit happens to be Television and Production Exponents Inc., better known by the acronym TAPE Inc.
The producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’ decided to take a crack at the Jodi-Richard love team by premiering a pre-noontime talk show hosted by a then-seven-year-old Ryzza Mae Dizon. In April 2013, GMA and TAPE launched ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’, and for nearly two years, it engaged with ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ in a tough battle for ratings supremacy.
Yet ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ continued to roll, and so did its successors ‘Give Love on Christmas’, ‘Oh My G!’ and ‘Ningning’. When TAPE realized that ‘The Ryzza Mae Show’ has outlived its usefulness, they decided to replace the talk show with a light drama in ‘Princess in the Palace’, starring Ryzza alongside Eula Valdes and Aiza Seguerra.
But the move to a drama format did not change its fortunes, and neither did a sitcom in ‘Calle Siete’. Meanwhile, another ABS-CBN series in ‘Be My Lady’ extended the network’s reign in the timeslot.
In October 2016, GMA and TAPE canceled ‘Calle Siete’ and in its place came a coming-of-age light drama in ‘TROPS’, starring the That’s My Bae quintet of Kenneth Medrano, Kim Last, Jon Timmons, Tommy Penaflor, Miggy Tolentino, and Joel Palencia. The said series also ended Ryzza Mae Dizon’s three-year run in the pre-noontime slot amid her physical changes and the emergence of AlDub.
Unfortunately, ‘TROPS’ also failed to make a difference in the ratings. Over at ABS-CBN, their dominance continued with ‘Langit Lupa’ and ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’.
In a last-ditch effort to make an impact in the pre-noontime slot, TAPE and GMA returned to the talk show format in September 2017 with ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by the lolas of Kalyeserye (portrayed by Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros). It couldn’t have come at a worst possible time, as AlDub was no longer a difference-maker by the time this show premiered.
Sadly, the return of Jodi and Richard (plus Robin Padilla) in ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ put an end to TAPE’s pre-noontime aspirations. As a result, TAPE cancelled ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ after 95 episodes on February 2, 2018, and ceased production of pre-noontime shows.
Give TAPE and GMA a lot of credit for trying to give ABS-CBN a run for its money. But at the end of the day, the latter’s superiority in the pre-noontime slot became too much to overcome, especially with the unlikely duo of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap giving plenty of ‘kilig’ to its viewers.
Now that TAPE ends its production of pre-noontime shows, time will only tell when GMA decides to strike on its own. But for now, the competition is over and GMA will have to live and die with Tagalized movies as a way to wave the white flag.