Past memorable shows on GMA

STAR BYTES - Butch Francisco -
( Conclusion )
That was one exciting weekend on television — GMA 7’s grand show at the Araneta Coliseum aired last Saturday and Sunday. The show was actually the culmination of the network’s 53rd anniversary and in line with this, I decided to recall some of the memorable programs aired on GMA 7 in the past decades. Below is the conclusion.

Lovingly Yours, Helen
This drama cum-counseling show began on DZBB in the ’70s, but was made into an afternoon show in October 1980. Its premiere telecast was a tragic love story that featured Ariosto Reyes, Jr. and Vivian Foz, Lovingly Yours became so popular that it was eventually, turned into a movie in 1984. For a while, the show moved to BBC-2, but eventually returned to its original home, GMA 7, after EDSA I until it had to be closed down for good a couple of years after the death of Helen Vela on Feb. 14, 1992. (Daughter Princess Punzalan continued with the show for a while, but later realized that the show wasn’t the same without her mother and had the show cancelled.)

Penthouse Live
Launched in 1982, it featured then young singers Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez — plus Cynthia Patag to do stand-up comedy. Not long after, Patag figured in a car crash on her way to Baguio and was replaced permanently by Nanette Inventor.

Although the show had great production values, these were overshadowed by the romance of the two then young hosts. Most memorable was that episode in summer of 1986 when Martin and Pops announced their altar date on national television. The union may not have lasted but the show where they first worked together will always be remembered as one of the finest variety shows on a local television.

Hosted by Dong Puno, this public affairs program was fearless and became the voice of the Opposition during the days that led to EDSA I.

In 1985, Channel 7 struck one of the best deals in the entertainment industry when it won the rights to air Fernando Poe, Jr. movies. Prior to that, it was rare to see FPJ films on the small screen. But Channel 7 gave FPJ fans a treat by showing movies of the King on TV every Saturday night for many years.

GMA Supershow
— Call it elephantine burlesque, but there’s no denying that this Sunday noontime show launched many beautiful talents who became big and enduring talents in the industry: Sharon Cuneta, Gretchen Barretto, Jackie Lou Blanco, Lani Mercado, Maricel Laxa and even Kris Aquino.

This showbiz talk show may have begun on Channel 13, but it became even more popular — and how — when it moved to GMA 7 in the mid- ’80s. Hosted by Inday Badiday, who now does Heart to Heart for Channel 7, See True also had a sister show in the station, Movie Patrol, which later became Movie Magazine.

Vilma! —
Launched as V.I.P. (Vilma in Person) in BBC-2 in 1982, this variety program never did well in the ratings game until it moved to Channel 7 in 1986 where it became a huge moneymaker and even earned acclaim for its wonderful production numbers. It was only stopped in 1995 when Vilma Santos became pregnant with Ryan Christian.

That’s Entertainment
Although it was criticized for featuring non-talents, this late afternoon program nevertheless produced a long list of actors, singers and even newscasters (who are mostly on IBC-13 now) who are still around and doing well in the entertainment profession.

Firing Line
Aired every Monday night by the Philippine STAR’s very own Teddy Benigno, this talk show was known for putting politicians and government figures on the hot seat. There were times, however, when the show would also feature prominent showbiz celebrities — like Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta, for instance. But definitely, its two most important episodes were those that featured Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger.

Straight from the Shoulder
Hosted by the late Louie Beltran, this hard-hitting public affairs program began during the pre-Martial Law years on Channel 11, but was revived by GMA 7 after EDSA I. The fearless broadcaster that he was, Beltran delivered his punches straight into the jaws of erring government officials during the time Straight from the Shoulder was on Channel 7.

Tanghalan ng Kampeon
Conceived and born on RPN 9 as Ang Bagong Kampeon, this amateur singing contest moved to GMA7 when its creator, Wilma Galvante, also transferred in 1988 to Channel 7 where she is now one of the station’s top bosses. Tanghalan had great production values and was also eagerly awaited by its followers because of the great rapport between the two hosts, Pilita Corrales and the late Bert Marcelo.

Mother Studio Presents
This Friday night drama show may not have featured gems every week, but it nevertheless became a training ground for some of our actors, writers and directors on the big screen today.

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