TOTOO BA: TGIS, which ran for four years, was supposed to air for only one season?

by James Patrick Anarcon
Aug 29, 2020
TGIS director Mark Reyes recalls the time when GMA-7 almost pulled the plug on the show: "Give us time, give us one more season.”
PHOTO/S: TGIS (GMA-7)

The youth-oriented show TGIS, or Thank God It’s Sabado, was a phenomenal success during its run from 1995 to 1999.

The series, produced by VIVA Television, aired on GMA-7 every Saturday afternoon.

The story revolves around nine high-school teeners demonstrating what coming of age is like: learning and discovering new things, keeping friendships intact, and falling in love.

Playing the barkada were Angelu de Leon, Bobby Andrews, Michael Flores, Red Sternberg, Rica Peralejo, Ciara Sotto, Onemig Bondoc, Bernadette Allyson, and Jake Roxas.

The show catapulted many of its cast members to stardom and the series itself created a fan base that has remained active to this day, long afterTGIS ended in 1999.

On August 13, 2020, the TGIS barkada celebrated the show's 25th anniversary with the fans joining the online get-together.

The cast capped off their celebration with a guest appearance on PEPLive, PEP.ph’s live online talk show on Facebook and Kumu, on August 27.

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Present at the PEPLive episode were Angelu, Bobby, Michael, Red, Ciara, Bernadette, writer Kit Villanueva, and directors Mark Reyes and Dominic Zapata.

One of the most-asked questions about the show was addressed during their guesting.

Totoo ba: TGIS was only supposed to run for one season?

Michael, who played Mickey in the show, revealed, “May time na hindi na dapat tayo magsi-season two, e.”

Direk Mark then shared how he found out from Veronique del Rosario-Corpus, the show’s producer, GMA-7's plan to pull the plug on TGIS.

He said Veronique was told by the network that the show was not working, that VIVA should try something else.

Mark recalled how he felt then, “I wanted to fight for it, Veronique wanted to fight for it... ‘Give us time, give us one more season.'”

Kit remembered telling GMA-7, “Wait for the prom episode.”

Michael added, “Noong patapos na iyong season one natin, doon na tumataas iyong ratings natin.”

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He also credited Veronique as the main reason why the show went on, “Ipinaglaban niya talaga iyong show.”

TGIS: A GAMBLE IN ITS TIME SLOT

Direk Mark said that VIVA Television, headed by Vic del Rosario, had been warned by GMA-7 about missing the right market given the show’s Saturday time slot.

He recounted, “Medyo may comfort level si Veronique at Boss Vic noon kasi nasabi na ng GMA na, ‘Wala kayong market diyan, lahat ng bata nasa labas, nasa mall.’

Kit recollected, “'It’s the moms watching in the afternoon. How can you give that remote control to the kids? The moms are the ones holding it,' sabi sa akin.

“Sabi ko lang, ‘Okay, sige.’”

She recalled Raymund Miranda, a former GMA-7 executive, telling them that no one had put up a show for teens in that time slot.

“Sabi niya, ‘You’re up to a big challenge kasi that slot na you’re coming in, walang ganyan, walang anthology na pambata.’

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“I don’t know what was airing pero it’s never been done, so we really have to build the audience.

“So parang kami naman, 'Sige, okay. Go lang. Do whatever, try.'”

After all that discussion over time slot, GMA-7 decided to give TGIS another season.

The new season proved that VIVA was right to bet on the show: Teens of the ‘90s had fallen in love with the show.

Ratings soared high. Advertisers started coming in. The show became a success.

Angelu attested, “Ang nakahawak na ng remote control, all the kids, di ba iyon ang kuwento noon? All the parents had to step back and watch with the kids.”

Her love-team partner, Bobby, added, “At saka ang kids hindi lalabas ng bahay hanggang matapos yung show. Ganun kalakas.”

Kit inserted, “Parang ang ganda kasi nga, hapon nga, you really hang out with your barkada.

“You spend time with them sa weekends so parang sakto. Sakto iyong timeslot din sa concept ng show.”

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In 1997, the TGIS teens graduated from high school and moved to college.

This paved the way for the group, except Ciara, to move to a new show titled Growing Up that aired on prime-time.

Ciara then led the second batch with new cast members—Antoinette Taus, Kim delos Santos, and Dingdong Dantes—taking over the Saturday show.

Ciara would later join Growing Up until its finale in February 1999.

Click here to watch the full episode of #TGIS25OnPEPLive.

STORIES ABOUT TGIS

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TGIS director Mark Reyes recalls the time when GMA-7 almost pulled the plug on the show: "Give us time, give us one more season.”
PHOTO/S: TGIS (GMA-7)
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