TITO Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon—collectively known as the iconic TVJ—have found a new home in TV5 to continue airing the show Eat Bulaga, after leaving their home network of 28 years due to differences with the management of Television and Production Exponents Inc. (TAPE).
The trio, who brought with them the other hosts, talents, and crew of Eat Bulaga, signed a contract with Mediaquest Holdings Inc. for the production of content for TV5 and other Mediaquest platforms.
“I’m honored that these pillars of the Philippine entertainment industry have agreed to work with us. Our partnership strengthens our ability to continue to deliver the best for Filipino viewers here at home and all over the world,” said Mediaquest President and CEO Jane Basas.
Called by many as pillars of Philippine noontime television, TVJ resigned from producer Jalosjos-run TAPE on May 31. The following day other hosts and staff, including Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros, also resigned.
Basas said the transfer of the Eat Bulaga’s talents, called Dabarkads, “opens yet another chapter in the long-running, celebrated entertainment careers of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon.”
“I’m happy that Tito, Vic, and Joey will now call TV5 their home,” she added.
With the transfer of the Dabarkads to TV5, Mediaquest expects its ratings and operations to improve.
“TVJ has built a large, loyal audience over the past four decades. And I understand that they are adding new segments to the program that will strengthen its appeal to the broad Filipino audience here and abroad. It’s hard to quantify at this point, but TVJ will definitely boost our ratings,” Mediaquest Communications Head Charles Lejano told the BusinessMirror.
He believes the new talents will provide great value to TV5, which has long been trying to compete against giant GMA, and previously, ABS-CBN.
“We are talking about the longest-running program on Philippine television. It is an institution. The show has survived and thrived because they have constantly innovated to keep themselves strongly connected to Filipinos, adding color, laughter and fun to their lives. Now, they are planning to reboot the show and further strengthen its appeal to its large audience,” he said.
The agreement, Lejano noted, is “long term.” “This is a long-term engagement. We are still working out the details. The new show will feature some familiar elements, but TVJ are working to bring in new segments that will make the show even more fun,” he said.
Lejano added: “We also hope to collaborate to create all sorts of content. Yes, TV5 and the other Mediaquest platforms will definitely benefit from having the Dabarkads become Kapatids.”
Tito Sotto said the Dabarkads is turning a new leaf, after being a Kapuso—the term typically associated with GMA Network, where Eat Bulaga
“We are thankful to our friends at Mediaquest for this fresh start,” said Sotto. “Dahil sa ating mga Dabarkads na naging Kapatid, tuloy pa rin ang tuwa’t saya na aming dala [Because for us Dabarkads now turned Kapatids, we will continue to bring happiness].”