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

Happy Truck Becomes Happinas Happy Hour

‘Happy Truck’ No More: TV5 will relaunch ‘Happy Truck HAPPinas’ as a gag show entitled ‘Happinas Happy Hour’. (Logo courtesy of TV5)

‘Happy Truck HAPPinas’ has a new format and a new name.

Starting tonight, the one-time Sunday afternoon variety show will be relaunched as a gag show entitled ‘Happinas Happy Hour’. Taped as live, it will air every Friday at 9:00 p.m. after the PBA games.

‘Happinas Happy Hour’ will feature virtually the same cast as its predecessor, led by Ogie Alcasid and Janno Gibbs. Other cast members include Gelli de Belen, Tuesday Vargas, Mark Neumann, Eula Caballero, Ella Cruz, Kim Idol and Alwyn Uytingco.

 

In contrast to ‘Happy Truck”s ‘Eat Bulaga’-like approach, ‘Happinas Happy Hour’ will employ a setting similar to ABS-CBN’s ‘Banana Sundae’. This means that the presentation of the show will be made in front of a live audience, similar to those seen in comedy bars and on live stand-up comedy concerts.

‘Happinas Happy Hour’ will be TV5’s first gag show since’ Tropa Mo Ko Unli’, and the first under the VIVA regime. It is expected to draw comparisons with GMA’s ‘Bubble Gang’, but neither show will directly compete with each other (‘Bubble Gang”s first 20-30 minutes will be up against ‘Happinas Happy Hour”s final 20-30 minutes).

While ‘Happy Truck Happinas’ (and its predecessor ‘Happy Truck ng Bayan’) was not bad of a variety show, it still suffered due to the intense two-way battle between ABS-CBN’s ‘ASAP’ and GMA’s ‘Sunday PinaSaya’. As a result, TV5 and VIVA decided to play it safe and converted ‘Happy Truck’ into a gag show, along with a change of timeslot so as not to directly with compete with programs of similar genres.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Happinas Happy Hour’ can become a viable alternative to the teleseryes of ABS-CBN and GMA. But even if the viewers fall in love with ‘Happinas Happy Hour’, it is still up to TV5 on whether or not they will be able to sustain the show, considering their penchant for cutting promising shows short.

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TV5’s ‘Weekend Do It Better’ Revisited

‘Wow Mali’, now under the ‘Lakas ng Tama’ tagline, is one of three ‘Weekend Do It Better’ programs on TV5 that are still on the air today. (Title card courtesy of TV5)

It’s been over a year since TV5 decided to change the network’s programming approach.

Under the leadership of president Noel Lorenzana, the Kapatid network overhauled its programming lineup in a way that it would favor a younger and a more active audience. These initiatives resulted in the ‘Weekend Do It Better’, ‘Everyday All the Way’ and ‘KBO: Karunungan, Balita at Opinyon’ blocks.

The first of these blocks debuted in September of last year. The first block, ‘Weekend Do It Better’, initially consisted of the following programs:

  1. ‘Showbiz Police’
  2. ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’
  3. ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’
  4. ‘What’s Up Doods?’
  5. ‘Pinoy Explorer’
  6. ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’
  7. ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’
  8. ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’

Of the eight, only ‘Tropa Mo Ko Unli’ (now ‘Tropa Mo Ko Nice Di Ba’), ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Wow Mali Pa Rin’ (now ‘Wow Mali Lakas ng Tama’) remain on the air. The three shows were the only ‘Weekend Do It Better’ stalwarts to survive TV5’s most recent transformation, that of the ‘Happy Ka Dito’ era, and their success and viewer loyalty were a testament to that.

On the other hand, ‘What’s Up Doods?’ and ‘The Mega and the Songwriter’ were cancelled just before the end of last year due to low viewership numbers. Then in the first half of this year, ‘Showbiz Police’, ‘Pinoy Explorer’ and ‘Killer Karaoke: Pinoy Naman’ were also cancelled, with the first two having moved to new timeslots in the middle of their run.

The ‘Weekend Do It Better’ title would be deemphasized by February 2014, but in the minds of the Kapatid network, it was only the beginning of further experimentation and constant rebuilding. New programs would be unveiled within the next few months, with the hope of making TV5’s weekend lineup even more formidable.

Today, the experiment continues, but for TV5, ‘Weekend Do It Better’ marked the start of bigger and brighter things for the still-No. 3 network, one that would carry them for the next few years.

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