The dispersal of stars in the local showbiz scene

!hola - MJ Marflori - The Philippine Star
The dispersal of stars in the local showbiz scene
The columnist (right) with Yassi Pressman, host of the newest TV5 game show Rolling In It Philippines. After starring in TV5’s Paano Ang Pasko? and Paano Ang Pangako?, Beauty Gonzalez signs up with GMA 7.
STAR / File

If you were already a showbiz fan back in the 2000s, it would surely be bewildering for you to watch John Lloyd Cruz in GMA 7 or any other network for that matter aside from ABS-CBN.

Johnny Manahan, or Mr. M as he goes by in the industry, was also synonymous with the best star-building body, which was Star Magic, up until his exit in 2020. Now sources are saying that his and partner Mariole Alberto’s entry to build stars in ABS-CBN’s biggest rival GMA is already a done deal.

Just last year, the industry was shocked as Mr. M had a short yet memorable stint on TV5 for the then promising Brighlight-produced Sunday Noontime Live, topbilled by Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Catriona Gray and Jake Ejercito. The show spearheaded by Edgar Mortiz which was Banana Sundae was slightly repackaged as Sunday Kada Kada Sunday on TV5 and gave laughs to the fans with almost the same casting, including Jason Gainza, Pooh, Sunshine Garcia and many more.

Now… ABS-CBN discovery Beauty Gonzalez, who also had two shows with TV5, has jumped ship and signed a contract with the Kapuso. I remember interviewing Beauty while she was doing the Paano Ang Pasko? which became Paano Ang Pangako? on TV5 back in summer. She shared how she considered herself so blessed to be one of the first artists during the height of the first quarantine to experience working with such a diverse cast from different networks, such as Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Julia Clarete and so much more. “From ABS Kadenang Ginto, ito na sa TV5 I Got You, which got two seasons and now Paano Ang Pasko? na nagkaroon ng three seasons and I’m very thankful and happy. Siguro tama nga yung sinasabi ng mga katrabaho ko dati na maswerte ako sa mga shows kasi tumatagal haha!”

It would also be shocking five years ago to hear the Phenomenal Star Maine Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub has a major show such as PoPinoy on another network besides GMA. But now that it’s happening and her talent in hosting shines brighter on a talent show platform, one of the points that excites Maine is the opportunity to broaden her showbiz horizon apart from the dabarkads. She shared with us, “Prinepare ko lang yung  sarili ko mentally kasi ibang environment ito and iba yung makakasama ko pero excited din ako kasi marami akong matututunan sa show na ito and hopefully, magkaroon ng friendships with the headhunters so doon ako pinaka-excited.”

Not only stars but the biggest and the brightest in production and star-making are now more open to working with everyone. We have Cornerstone adopting GMA’s Kris Bernal, continuously producing shows such as Stay In Love with TV5 and even managing to maintain a good relationship with ABS-CBN.

There’s VIVA as well which has its own channel on Cignal which is Sari Sari, an online streaming platform called VIVA MAX and numerous shows on TV5, including the latest game show Rolling In It Philippines hosted by Yassi Pressman, which garnered the highest rating on the Saturday night timeslot for the year at 2.9 percent, according to Nielsen Nutam Overnight Data.

Arcangel Media, which produced shows for the stars of ABS, GMA and Dabarkads to shine on TV5 and Regal, also started with the teen drama show Gen Z on TV5 as well.

Now even stars are creating their own talent agencies, most notably Maja Salvador’s Crown Artist Management who got their second talent Jasmine Curtis-Smith breaking away from former manager Betchay Vidanes since her entry in showbiz and now joining John Lloyd Cruz under Maja’s wing. Willie Revilliame is also expanding his WBR Entertainment Productions, Inc. as he produced a major concert on GMA for an online shopping app.

With this, are we seeing a more “open-border” relationship in the showbiz industry? I say, we are getting there. From the senior stars to the biggest names of today... The majority is enjoying discovering the talents of their colleagues in all networks which they never have had the chance if it weren’t for the more open attitude that has been happening lately in showbiz.

The pandemic might have cut the number of the production people and talents per show, but the concept building and producing of new programs and the concentration of the whole unit courtesy of the locked-in taping situations managed to produce more unique plot lines and acting discoveries for the household names that we love. May this be for the long haul for the betterment of the industry.

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