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TVJ, other 'Dabarkads' join TV5

By NICK GARCIA Published Jun 07, 2023 11:19 am Updated Jun 07, 2023 3:08 pm

TVJ—the trio of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon—will be joining TV5, a week after they cut ties with TAPE Inc., the company that produces GMA-7's iconic noontime variety show Eat Bulaga!.

MediaQuest Holdings Inc., the company that owns and operates TV5, in a statement dated June 6 and released June 7 said it has entered into an agreement with TVJ, as well as the Dabarkads, to produce content for TV5 and other MediaQuest platforms. The company also runs Cignal TV.

"The deal opens yet another chapter in the long-running, celebrated entertainment careers of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon," the statement read.

MediaQuest President and CEO Jane Basas said they're honored that the pillars of the Philippine entertainment industry have agreed to work with them.

“Our partnership strengthens our ability to continue to deliver the best for Filipino viewers here at home and all over the world," Basas said. "I'm happy that Tito, Vic, and Joey will now call TV5 their home."

TVJ's Facebook page on June 6 asked the public to wait for an important announcement on June 7.

"Abangan bukas, June 7, kung saan tayo dadalhin ng tadhana," the page said, as it shared a studio photo of the Dabarkads. "Pray with us as we find our new home."

In an interview with One News's Agenda, Tito said they chose TV5 because MediaQuest fully trusts TVJ.

"We've been doing the show for 44 years and all of a sudden, papasok ka, you will come up with your own ideas and production. And sa amin luma o passe na?" he said. "You don't trust us," supposedly taking a jab at TAPE Inc. executives who were telling them to come up with changes in Eat Bulaga!.

"Basta, kami ang bahala ang content. They (TV5 management) don't have any control [over] that," Tito said, noting the only form of control from management is choosing their time slot.

When asked what their new show will be titled, the former senator said that it would still be "Eat Bulaga."

"As far as we're I'm concerned, it should be Eat Bulaga. We were the creators in 1979 and when it comes to copyright, any composition, drawing or works of art, yung creator of the work is the owner from the time of creation. History and the law backs us up. And therefore, I really believe that we should use Eat Bulaga," he said.

It's not De Leon and Vic's first stint at TV5, having served as hosts of gag show WOW Mali and game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, respectively.

De Leon in an Instagram post on June 7 recalled his WOW Mali days and jokingly acknowledged TVJ joining the Kapatid network

"Dati may “WOW MALI!” ako for more or less 20 years," he said. "Ngayon ko lang napansin na ang MALI pala pag binaliktad mo, LIMA! Wow, tama!"

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Joey de Leon (@angpoetnyo)

Last June 4, De Leon also shared a photo of "TVJ" while he reassured fans that they're not signing off and that they're just taking a day off. He then said it translates to "pahinga muna" and "TAKE FIVE," with the latter seemingly hinting at them joining TV5.

Rumors of an Eat Bulaga! rebranding—and TVJ getting fired—broke out in April amid financial losses.

After TVJ's announcement, Eat Bulaga! staff members, including hosts, writers, sales, production, and cameramen, tendered their resignation.

Eat Bulaga!, meanwhile, aired on live television as usual last June 5, but with new hosts Paolo Contis, Buboy Villar, Betong Sumaya, Alexa Miro, Cassy Legaspi, and Mavy Legaspi.

TVJ said they are continuing the show "in whatever form, while old Eat Bulaga! episodes are still accessible on its official Facebook page. It's not yet clear whether they'll run Eat Bulaga! itself on TV5.