The War of the Noontime Shows Intensifies

What the madlang pipol expected and wanted is now for real! GMA Network and ABS-CBN Studios have joined forces anew, contract signed for the airing of It’s Showtime, occupying its lunchtime slot previously vacated by the TAPE-produced Tahanang Pinakamasaya and the longest reigning noontime variety show Eat Bulaga! that transferred to TV5.

The Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon-led show, since it became the favorite entertainment luncheon fair, competed and defeated other shows, to cite some examples: Student Canteen, Lunch Date, Salo-Salo Together, Chibugan Na and Magandang Tanghali Bayan. The Vice Ganda and Anne Curtis-headed It’s Showtime remains its most formidable competition.

Grand welcome

Everything about the contract signing event was spectacularly presented. It began with a motorcade of It’s Showtime hosts that started from the ABS-CBN compound to the Kapuso Network building, where the contract signing happened in one of its bigger studios.

THE cast of ‘It’s Showtime’ at the contract signing with GMA Network. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF GMA Network

Mains Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Karylle Tatlonghari-Yuzon, Amy Perez, Ogie Alcasid, Kim Chiu and other hosts arrived in full force with the VIPs, of course.

The Kamuning-Kapuso important leaders were chairman Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, president and chief executive officer Gilberto R. Duavit Jr., executive vice president and chief financial officer Felipe S. Yalong and senior vice president for Programming, Talent Management, Worldwide and Support Group Annette Gozon-Valdes.

The ABS-CBN VIPs were chairman Mark L. Lopez, president and chief executive officer Carlo L. Katigbak, chief operating officer Cory V. Vidanes and group chief financial officer Rick B. Tan.

On 6 April, Saturday, the historic first telecast of It’s Showtime will happen on GMA-7. The network war between the two has ceased and it is hoped that mutually beneficial collaborations for these major broadcasting giants continue.


On top of everyone’s mind nowadays: how will Eat Bulaga! treat this programming development and how will they up the ante of their “isang libo’t, isang tuwa” battle cry?

‘EAT Bulaga!’ hosts led by Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF EAT BULAGA!

Though getting It’s Showtime is a sound economic decision, one cannot help but wonder why GMA 7 did not consider creating a new noontime show, given the fact it has its own set of program experts and in-house talents?

It is a bafflement indeed that the Powers in Kamuning decided to not give credit and trust their pool of artistic, creative and production people and the Sparkle talents under their wing. Is this the case for real?

With this so-called judicious move, it is an admission that whatever experts, resources and talents they are currently in possession of are no match for the lunchtime habit that is Eat Bulaga! It will just be another Tahanang Pinakamasaya and It’s Showtime is a heavily banked on “Band-Aid” solution.


It’s Showtime has become a formidable competitor because it has segments that are given fresh twists, and old favorites refurbished and made more exciting. There is also a spontaneity about it, and it feels and looks very now, Millennial and Gen Z kind of viewing,

Biggest draws, of course, are Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, plus the addition of Kim Chiu. The dynamic duo of Vhong Navarro and Jhong Hilario. The seasoned presence of Karylle, Amy Perez and Ogie Alcasid, plus the new flavors contributed by Ryan Bang, Darren Espanto and Ion Perez.

What works for Eat Bulaga! — nostalgia, a loyal audience base and advertisers who follow them wherever they go, tried and tested to bring in the laughs and the living icons Tito, Vic and Joey and their “barkadang dumarami,” the family vibe and entertainment they have mastered and continue to improve on.

As the noontime show war intensifies anew, expect ratings to become a major factor in telling the public who is number one. Advertising content and count will also matter as they are not only indicators but stamps of approval of brand trust. And the arrival of new segments is necessary to lure more audiences.

It is the televiewers who will greatly benefit from the It’s Showtime and Eat Bulaga! competition. Now that there are only two, they can compare, see their strengths and weaknesses, and decide who reigns supreme and their true source of lunchtime entertainment and fun.