After almost three years, the musical variety genre returns to GMA-7 via its upcoming show titled Studio 7.
Featuring Kapuso prime singers Christian Bautista, Julie Anne San Jose, Mark Bautista, and other Kapuso talents, this show will air its pilot episode on October 14, replacing The Clash.
Studio 7 also includes newly-signed Kapuso celebrities Rayver Cruz, Mavy and Cassy Legaspi, as well as teleserye stars Gabbi Garcia, Kyline Alcantara, Migo Adecer, Mikee Quintos, Kate Valdez, and comedians Donita Nose and Super Tekla.
The Clash graduates Jong Madaliday, Garrett Bolden, Josh Adornado, Mirriam Manalo, and grand champion Golden Canedo will also be seen in the show.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during its October 2 grand press conference, production manager Ruth Marinas divulged details about the new Kapuso program.
PEP.ph first asked: what made them decide to do a musical variety show after many years of not having it in their programming?
The Kapuso executive answered, "We've been actually planning for a musical variety program mga ano na, months in advance.
"But when we saw how The Clash is doing, very successful and ang ganda ng feedback, parang it encouraged us to really push forward with this show kaya bigla siyang game, fast forward tayong lahat.
"Sayang yung Clashers kasi kung walang puntahan. Para may pangsalo tayo agad. And then may Christian kami, then Julie is there, although she is in PinaSaya, nagpeperform din naman siya doon, pero di ba, mas comedy yung PinaSaya.
"And then Mark B. is available and then we realized na yung mga soap stars natin, si Kyline, si Mikee... Kate is a very good dancer, so sayang naman, hindi nila nasu-showcase yun. So game!"
There are some Kapuso stars who have established themselves as performers but are not part of the show even though they already showcased their talents in previous GMA-7 variety programs.
Was it a conscious effort on their part to exclude them from Studio 7?
"Ah yeah, one hour lang kasi yung show so we have to streamline muna.
"But eventually, as we go along, makikita niyo sila, even the other Clashers, the Top 12, nandiyan 'yan, kaya lang medyo rotation sila, para lahat mabigyan ng chance."
How did they chose the current line-up of artists included in Studio 7?
"Well, siguro kasi like Kyline is fresh of a concert, so wow okay na, good idea 'tong si Kyline.
"E, siyempre, yung Mark, Christian, and Julie, singers talaga. Mikee and Kate, malakas sila sa Onanay.
"Yung mga current, kinombine-combine. And then we have the Legaspi twins na bago sa GMA, si Rayver. Para talagang new start, fresh start talaga."
Were there artists who felt bad because they were not part of the show?
"Wala naman kasi alam naman nila na eventually, open naman siya sa lahat," said Marinas.
Marinas admitted that the Kapuso Network missed producing variety programs. She was particularly nostalgic because she was a part of SOP, Party Pilipinas, and Sunday All Stars.
They are also aware of the clamor for GMA-7 to have its own original musical variety show.
"Kahit kami din, miss na miss na namin gumawa, we're also excited.
"We're really really super blessed and thankful na sobrang bait nitong mga tao. Kung wala akong problema sa The Clash, wala rin akong problema dito. Ang saya lang, it's really fun to do."
Some viewers were surprised to learn that GMA-7 decided to air Studio 7 in a prime-time slot, and not against ABS-CBN's ASAP, which has been the rival of their previous three shows.
Sunday PinaSaya has been going head-to-head against ASAP since 2015.
Marinas reasoned out, "Well, Sunday PinaSaya is doing very well, so parang okay na siya doon, e.
"So gumawa kami ng pang-gabi naman, parang Penthouse [Live!]. Si SPS na sa ASAP, okay na siya doon.
"Doing well naman si SPS, there's no reason na ilipat siya or whatever. Hindi, e. Ang lakas lakas ng SPS."
Penthouse Live! is the defunct prime-time musical-variety program of GMA-7 hosted by Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera that aired from August 1982 to February 1987.
While the TV executive admitted that there is still fear in producing the show, Marinas promised that there are new things that will be seen in Studio 7 that will appeal to audiences.
"Well, siyempre in everything that we do, in every show that we launch, there's always that fear.
"Will it work? Yung ideas ba namin, sa tingin namin, magugustuhan siya ng audience?
"Nandoon palagi kasi parang pag hindi ka naman yata natakot or ninerbiyos, parang weird ka na, di ba?
"So siyempre kami inisip namin, ano ba yung uso? Ano ba yung ngayon?
"Kaya magpi-feature kami ng trending artists, yung mga nag-viral na videos, nandoon sa show, tapos you want it talaga na ito yung big stars but they're within reach. Gusto naming gawing mas intimate pa sana.
"Interactive siya, in fact i-o-open namin for netizens to send in your requests anong gusto niyong gawin ni Kyline? Anong gusto niyong gawin ni Julie Anne? Anong gusto niyong gawin ni Rayver?
"Ino-open namin siya para feeling naman ng netizens at ng audience, wait, kasali ako, pinakinggan nila."
According to Marinas, Studio 7 is slated for an initial run of 14 weeks.
Studio 7 is under the helm of TV director Miguel Tanchangco with creative director Paolo Valenciano heading its creative team.