entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

Studio 7: GMA’s Primetime Version of ASAP

Call it a ‘new era’ for GMA.

On Sunday, GMA will embrace this culture change with a new variety show called ‘Studio 7’. The program, which airs every Sunday night, will highlight the network’s young but oftentimes underappreciated talent, plus some newcomers to go along with it.

‘Studio 7”s first two episodes will feature performances from the likes of Christian Bautista, Julie Anne San Jose, Mark Bautista, Gabbi Garcia, Rayver Cruz, Kyline Alcantara, Migo Adecer, Mikee Quintos, Kate Valdez, and twins Mavy and Cassy Legaspi. There will also be a comedic skit from DonEkla, composed of comedians Donita Nose and Tekla.

In addition, the finalists of ‘The Clash’, led by grand winner Golden Cañedo, will make an appearance. Golden will be joined on stage by Jong Madaliday, Garrett Bolden, Josh Adornado and Mirriam Manalo.

‘Studio 7’ will also feature interactive segments such as Trending (stories of viral, heartwarming and interesting personalities online), G na G (a challenge where the hosts must perform a task given by netizens), and On the Spot (a vocal showdown between the network’s top singers). And finally, audiences are encouraged to join in alongside the performers and interact during their performances.

For starters, GMA is once again working on a brand new variety show. However, there is one glaring omission on ‘Studio 7’ that piqued the audience’s interest.

When ‘Studio 7’ was announced to the public two weeks ago, Regine Velasquez was conspicuously absent. The erstwhile host of ‘The Clash’ officially became a free agent as soon as the show ended, but at the moment she remains undecided on her future plans.

It is also worth noting that ‘Studio 7’ will air on primetime every Sunday, in contrast to past GMA Sunday variety shows. Perhaps the network’s inability to defeat ‘ASAP’ (and subsequent yielding of the noontime slot to APT Entertainment for ‘Sunday PinaSaya’) that became the impetus for ‘Studio 7”s move to primetime.

Still, ‘Studio 7’ will have its hands full against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Kids’ Choice’ in its timeslot. While the latter has not been a favorite of viewers from the start, its decent ratings will still pose a test to ‘Studio 7”s resolve.

That said, getting a few victories should give ‘Studio 7’ and GMA’s young talent a sense of vindication. For now, though, the show is slated to air only 14 episodes, and if executives are satisfied perhaps it might run a little while longer.

‘Studio 7’ airs every Sunday after ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA.

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entertainment, music, Philippines, songs, talent show, television, variety show

The Inevitable: Moving to ABS-CBN Might Rejuvenate Regine Velasquez’s Career

From Kapuso… to Kapamilya?

The future of Regine Velasquez’s career has been hanging in the balance over the past month. As Regine’s contract with GMA is set to expire, there were reports of her moving to ABS-CBN to join her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Those rumors escalated further when Regine unexpectedly showed up at the ABS-CBN Ball Saturday night despite making an appearance on ‘The Clash’ for its final weekend (Saturday’s episode was pre-taped while Sunday’s episode was aired live). With all things considered, is Regine of no use to GMA and would be better off joining ABS-CBN?

First things first, let’s look back at recent history. Back in 2015, Regine was a host and performer on ‘Sunday All-Stars’, but low ratings and changing timeslots forced GMA to give up the show and allow APT Entertainment to take over the Sunday noontime slot with ‘Sunday PinaSaya’.

Regine did not join ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ because of a perceived ‘lack of familiarity’ and from that point on her career with GMA stalled. Her two acting projects in ‘Poor Señorita’ and ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ failed to beat Coco Martin”s long-running series ‘Ang Probinsyano’, while a primetime variety show in ‘Full House Tonight’ ran for only four months.

While Regine remained visible as an on-air talent via the cooking show ‘Sarap Diva’, it was clear that her days with GMA are being numbered. The fact is, Regine is no longer that relevant as a Kapuso star with all those recent projects that did not work out.

It only got worse when her one-time co-performers on ‘SOP’ (namely Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Kyla, Jay-R and Janno Gibbs) found a new outlet in former rival ‘ASAP’. With GMA lacking any capable recording artists to keep up with ABS-CBN’s, Regine finds herself helpless to cope with the dearth in talent.

Which is why moving to ABS-CBN might help rejuvenate her career. Not only will she expected to make appearances with her former ‘SOP’ brethren on ‘ASAP’, she will also have an opportunity to become a judge in one of ABS-CBN’s upcoming talent shows (rumor has it that she might join ‘The Voice’ as a judge).

More importantly, Regine’s love for performing will be rekindled within Kapamilya walls, especially during ‘ASAP’. That alone may be a long shot given the abundance of performers on ABS-CBN, but given Regine’s track record that may be too good to pass up.

Still, it will be up to Regine Velasquez to decide the next phase of her career. Let’s just hope that she chooses something that will be best for her.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Full House No More: Full House Tonight Airs Finale Saturday

‘Full House Tonight’ airs its finale this Saturday night. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

GMA’s own attempt to recreate ‘Saturday Night Live’ for Filipinos is officially out.

The last episode of ‘Full House Tonight’ will take place this Saturday night, owing to host Regine Velasquez’s inclusion to the cast of ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’. However, Regine’s addition to the said fantaserye is not the main reason why ‘Full House Tonight’ will come to an end.

First airing on February 18, 2017, ‘Full House Tonight’ was a comedy-musical variety show that focuses on comedic performances from a select group of professional comedians. In essence, this program was viewed as a primetime version of ‘Sunday PinaSaya’, and it drew comparisons to the long-running American variety show ‘Saturday Night Live’.

Unfortunately, ‘Full House Tonight’ failed to deliver during its soon-to-be 14-episode run. The show was placed against powerhouse ABS-CBN reality shows ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’ and ‘I Can Do That’, and the expectations to stand out against both shows were too much to bear.

Not only that, most of the comedians in ‘Full House Tonight’ were hardly household names at all. That, along with Regine’s co-hosts/performers being relegated to the background, contributed to its demise.

It’s a shame that ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down swinging after this Saturday. Let’s face it, Regine hosting a comedy show is an insult to her reputation, considering her lack of comedic background unlike her husband Ogie Alcasid.

Perhaps GMA would have spiced the show up with guest celebrity hosts rather than Regine pulling all the strings. Had they done that, not to mention further training for the comedians and stars involved (if any), ‘Full House Tonight’ would have lasted longer than the 14 episodes it will accumulate at the end.

Alas, ‘Full House Tonight’ will go down as one of the most forgettable programs in GMA lore. If there is any consolation, it was that they put a lot of effort to produce a show like this, even if it goes in vain.

Come this Saturday, a final round of applause will be needed to send off ‘Full House Tonight’. So long, and good riddance.

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comedy, entertainment, hits, humor, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Full House Tonight: A Poor Man’s Version of Sunday PinaSaya

Seems like GMA is producing its own ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ for Saturday nights.

Hoping to make good use of their otherwise lethargic Saturday primetime lineup, GMA decided to go all out and unveil a new comedy-musical variety show. The show is called ‘Full House Tonight’, and its lead host is none other than Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Yes, Regine is still with Channel 7 (she also hosts ‘Sarap Diva’ on the same channel) even as her husband Ogie Alcasid moved over to archrival ABS-CBN in order to become a judge on ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. Talk about a divorce of the professional kind.

Anyway, ‘Full House Tonight’ will feature a mix of sketches, improvisational comedy, parody and stand-up comedy with a hint of stage musical performances thrown in for good measure. Of course, there will be some special guests to spice up the show.

In essence, ‘Full House Tonight’ is ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ on a Saturday night, or perhaps more like a Filipino working man’s version of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’. At worst it could be another ‘Comedy Central Market’ or ‘Comedy Bar’.

‘Full House Tonight’ will also feature Solenn Heussaff, Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix and Joross Gamboa as Regine’s co-hosts. They will be joined by comedians Philip Lazaro, Kim Idol, Terry Gian, Sarah Brakensiek, Tammy Brown, and Nar Cabico.

A daunting task lies ahead for ‘Full House Tonight’ as they begin their run this Saturday. The show will premiere against ‘Pinoy Big Brother: Lucky 7’, and based on the latter’s strong ratings as it nears its conclusion, there is no doubt that ‘Full House Tonight’ will have its hands full in trying to win this battle.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Full House Tonight’ can reinvigorate GMA’s Sabado Star Power primetime. The show may have an interesting and novel format, but it will be up to the viewers to judge.

‘Full House Tonight’ airs every Saturday night after ‘Magpakailanman’ on GMA.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, songs, television, variety show

Ex-SOP Stars Take Over ASAP Stage

The long and storied rivalry between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘SOP’ has been well-documented.

For 13 years, the two Sunday variety shows duke it out for not only high ratings, but also the best performance. While ‘SOP’ managed to become successful, it failed to sustain the momentum that the now 21-year-old ‘ASAP’ enjoys nowadays.

Successor GMA variety shows in ‘Party Pilipinas’ and ‘Sunday All-Stars’ followed suit, but neither proved to be a match to ‘ASAP’. As a result, GMA abandoned the purely musical variety format in favor of ‘Sunday PinaSaya”s comedy-infused approach, which was initially successful but now struggles to regain form.

With ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ employing a new cast and a new outfit in APT Entertainment, the performers that were once part of GMA’s past variety shows were forced to look elsewhere. Eventually, it led them to ‘ASAP’, and their performances on the said show felt like a throwback to many who watched ‘SOP’ for years.

While Kyla, Jay-R, Jolina Magdangal and Jona Viray were the first former ‘SOP’ stars to join ‘ASAP’, the biggest surprise came in July, when long-time ‘SOP’ cornerstone Ogie Alcasid stepped into the ‘ASAP’ stage for the first time. Not long after, Jaya came aboard, and last Sunday, a tribute for Ogie included a reunion between the two ‘SOP’ icons.

Backstage, another former ‘SOP’ mainstay paid a visit to the ABS-CBN studio. Ogie’s wife Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, who remains under contract with GMA, was at the dressing room reuniting with her old ‘SOP’ pals.

The reunion of former ‘SOP’ stars became a much-needed boost to ‘ASAP’, as it defeated ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ by 1.6% that day. Despite that, many are still hoping for a full reunion, as Regine remains a GMA talent while another former ‘SOP’ cornerstone in Janno Gibbs was nowhere to be found.

With so many performers in tow, how much longer can ‘ASAP’ sustain this high-quality trend? Only time will tell, but for now, enjoy this reunion of old rivals.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, talk show, television

Kris Aquino Leaves ABS-CBN, to Join APT Entertainment

The fate of Kris Aquino’s entertainment future has been confirmed.

‘The Queen of All Media’ announced on her Instagram yesterday that she is officially done as an ABS-CBN talent. In addition, Kris announced that she will work on a new project with ‘Eat Bulaga’ producer Tony Tuviera.

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Part 1: I want to tell you our truth & I pray you'll understand… 20 years ago, I went back to ABS CBN after a year w/ GMA (Star Talk & a Viva produced afternoon talk show). It started w/ Today w/ Kris Aquino & ended w/ Kris Tv. We had a memorable, excellent run. ABS saw me through my worst & my best. I had the chance to be part of career defining shows like TWKA, The Buzz, Game KNB, Deal or No Deal, PGT etc & had iconic movies like Feng Shui & Sukob. We were set to renew our contract February 2016, it was a generous, less demanding agreement but at that time there was a threat to my life we needed to take seriously, I had to regain my health, and I needed time for my family & me. We didn't sign then, I went to Hawaii, came back to campaign, then left again. Our agreement was we'd talk when I got back. That is the risk of taking time for yourself- when you come back there's no guarantee that a space will be held for you. We spoke in July but there was no definite show & no assured time frame of my return on air. I perfectly understood- as much as I wanted to believe I was a pillar of the network, everybody is dispensable. And I say that with no bitterness- just HONESTY. So to all of you saying please don't leave- it wasn't a choice that was just mine to make. I take my share of the responsibility. And I say that w/ so much gratitude in my heart. ❤️

A post shared by KRIS AQUINO (@krisaquino) on

In response, ABS-CBN issued this statement:

“We thank Kris for the many years that she has been a Kapamilya bringing joy, hope, and inspiration to our viewers worldwide. She will always be a Kapamilya and we wish her well in her new journey.”

Kris Aquino had been a part of ABS-CBN for 20 years, having hosted numerous talk shows (e.g. ‘The Buzz’, ‘Kris TV’) and game shows (e.g. ‘Game KNB’, ‘Kapamilya Deal or No Deal’), played the role of judge in ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’, and acted on several dramas (e.g. ‘Hiram’, ‘Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo’) and movies (e.g. ‘Sukob’, ‘Feng Shui’). Her long and distinguished service on the said network attracted not only fans, but also critics alike.

Kris’ most recent project with ABS-CBN, ‘Kris TV’, ended last April, as she struggled with health issues in the show’s final months. After that, Kris went on a well-deserved vacation, before returning home to decide her fate as a talent.

On July 1, Kris made an unexpected appearance on GMA’s now-defunct talk show ‘Yan ang Morning’. Despite the guesting, she remained mum over her next move.

Initially, Kris talked to ABS-CBN with regards to a possible new project. But in the end, she decided to hook up with Tony Tuviera for a different TV project, which could be her first outside ABS-CBN since GMA’s ‘Startalk’ 21 years ago.

It remains to be seen, however, if the said new project will indeed air on GMA (APT’s current shows ‘Calle Siete’, ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘Sunday PinaSaya’ all currently air on GMA). Regardless, let’s just hope that Kris can stay healthy while continuing to do what she loves best: entertaining the viewers.

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