Last Monday, February 6, was the pilot episode of It’s Showtime, ABS-CBN’s new noontime show. It is hosted by Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda, Vhong Navarro, Karylle and Billy Crawford, Teddy Corpuz, and Kim Atienza.
Did it live up to the expectations?
The answer is, not yet.
It’s Showtime is a reformat of Showtime, the Kapamilya channel’s highly-popular talent show that previously aired before noontime. With It’s Showtime, the old show seems to be leaving behind its previous image as a home for incredible talent so it could be a full-fledged noontime show.
To convert Showtime into a noontime show, the producers added new segments to lengthen the running time namely Sine Mo ’To, The Singing V, Pitik Bulag, Arte Mo!, and Rock Clock.
Some of the guests during the pilot episode were Erik Santos, Jovit Baldivino, Bugoy Drilon, Marcelito Pomoy, Ejay Falcon, Empress Schuck, and Gab Valenciano. Entertaining the crowd were bands Sponge Cola, Itchyworms, Rocksteddy, and Showtime Season 1 grand champion XB Gensan and child wonder Bugoy Cariño.
The last segment, Classic Showtime, is the talent search portion but condensed. Showtime is known to discover incredible talent, so it’s surprising to see that the new show relegated its strongest segment at the end.
There seems to no proper buildup since they put the new segments that weren’t quite strong enough to build up energy for the climax, which is Classic Showtime.
The first segment, Sine Mo ’To, was a live sketch that recalled Lunch-A-Funny-Tym. Select members from the "madlang pipol" were tasked to do comical skits with the hosts and Vice Ganda will comment on their performances. They must follow what does the narrators Vhong Navarro and Billy Crawford will say. While hilarious and admirable for heightening audience participation, it should be shortened to avoid being dragging.
The Singing V, meanwhile, can be considered a mini spin-off of the previous show The Singing Bee.
It took two of the show’s gaps, although it was not exciting enough to warrant that length. The rules were also confusing, because they were not explained well before the game started.
Pitik Bulag also had confusing rules and too much length--seven minutes were spent introducing the contestants and the game mechanics before any game was played.
Arte Mo! and Rock Clock are It’s Showtime’s main prize-giving segments. With a little tweaking, these could be as big as the classics, like Laban o Bawi, or Pera o Bayong.
One good thing about It’s Showtime’s is that the rapport of the hosts is still there. At times, the camaraderie between Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, Karylle, Billy Crawford, and Kuya Kim is genuine enough to bring excitement to the show. The other hosts need improvement.
Since it was just the pilot episode, it is expected that It’s Showtime would hit snags. So how can it be improved? Here are some suggestions:
1. Make Classic Showtime the show’s centerpiece, instead of relegating it to the end. Open the show with the introduction of all the acts for the day, then show a game in the next gap. In the following gap, show the first act’s performance. Then another game, another act, etc. End the show with the announcement of the winner.
2. Cut the segments that do not work.
3. To avoid confusion of the rules, record a short VTR of these rules and show them before any game is played.
4. Let the other hosts, particularly the new ones, hold the mike. Do not overexpose the main hosts by giving them all the juicy segments.
5. Do not focus on the competition. The producers of It’s Showtime should focus on giving the show its own identity first. The new format looks like it was made to go head-to-head with Eat Bulaga!
A successful noontime show should have an emotional connection for it to have an impact and eventually, become a part of the noontime habit of Filipinos.
It will be recalled that ’Sang Linggo n’APO Sila, led by the APO Hiking Society (Danny Javier, Jim Paredes and Buboy Garovillo), offered a balance of performances and entertainment, ensuring its longevity of three years.
The hosts of Magandang Tanghali Bayan (Randy Santiago, John Estrada, Willie Revillame, Christine Jacob, Roderick Paulate and Amy Perez) had undeniable rapport, which enabled the show to make the rivalry with GMA-7’s Eat Bulaga! more intense. It underwent several reformats to Masayang Tanghali Bayan and MTB Ang Saya Saya to offer fresh content to viewers.
Wowowee had Willie Revillame as the main magnet and by focusing on sob stories, the show was able to appeal to the aspirations of the masa.
It’s Showtime should focus on developing its own personality. Does it want to attract viewers for its prizes or does it want to discover new talents? Classic Showtime has proven to be a big hit, especially since the hosts had the ability to set trends simply by introducing new words such as "unkabogable," "havey" and "waley." The show also contributed to popular culture when Vice Ganda popularized jokes that start with "may nag-text!"
It’s Showtime attempts to be a hybrid of a variety show and a talent search competition. Will this format work? It’s a matter of creating the perfect mix that viewers will find palatable for their noontime fare.