Twitter trending topics on 18 October showed that the “Big 3” Filipino broadcast networks, namely, ABS-CBN, GMA 7 and TV5, are back to their variety show battles.
While ABS-CBN’s 25-year-old ASAP Natin ’To is pitted against GMA’s nine-month-old All Out Sundays and TV5’s newly launched Sunday Noontime Live (SNL), is there really competition, quality-wise?
Network stars themselves are discouraging any kind of unhealthy comparison from viewers, because the new shows paved the way for displaced Kapamilya artists and production staff to work again after ABS-CBN lost its congressional franchise to operate.
However, comparison is inevitable for Filipino fans on Twitter.
ASAP Natin ’To has been a regular trending topic on Twitter even when its viewership was confined to online platforms. It has remained popular due to its power belters Regine Velasquez, Sarah Geronimo and Jona.
The prominent love teams of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, and Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, are also regulars in the longest-running Sunday noontime show.
But SNL challenged ASAP by having Filipino boy band SB19, former Kapamilya stars Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Donny Pangilinan, Catriona Gray and Jake Ejercito on its first episode.
Nonetheless, some netizens did not appreciate the SNL’s attempt to challenge the singing segment of ASAP with Catriona’s opening act of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” and the lip-synched duet of Maja Salvador and Piolo Pascual.
Others commented that there’s not much of a difference between the two programs since SNL director Johnny Manahan had directed ASAP from its conception until he moved to TV5.
Meanwhile, All Out Sundays seemed to be off-track in the competition with a lone fighter, Julie Ann San Jose. Performances of Ken Chan and Rita Daniela’s love team also trended.
It’s Showtime and Eat Bulaga (EB) have a new competitor, TV5’s Lunch Out Loud (LOL), which features Billy Crawford, K Brosas, KC Montero, Alex Gonzaga, Bayani Agbayani, Wacky Kiray and Macoy Dubs.
But in terms of segments and chemistry, LOL has a long way to go because it has no match yet to EB’s “Bawal Judgmental” and Showtime’s “Tawag ng Tanghalan.”
This is evident to the LOL crew. Crawford said during their program launch that they’re not trying to compete because its rivals have been on air for a longer time.
The resumption of network battles is still brewing, but one thing is certain: Filipinos are in for a renewed, possible more exciting, TV experience.