After more than a month of taking a breather from his hosting duties on TV5’s primetime block, controversial TV host Willie Revillame will host Wil Time Bigtime, a reformatted show in place of Willing Willie.
"I Wil be back! Bigtime sa saya at bigtime sa papremyo ang handog natin sa ating mga Kapatid na hindi bumibitaw at walang patid ang pagsuporta sa ating programa. Ang pagbabalik natin ay para sa bawat Pilipino dahil sila naman talaga ang bigtime dito. Sa Mayo 14, magpapatuloy ang oras ng saya at pag-asa," Willie expressed in a statement sent by TV5 to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) this afternoon, May 11.
Wil Time Bigtime will air at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 6:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
It will feature new games and a newly-designed set "that will utilize an LED (light-emitting diodes) floor and new software technology for a whole new TV experience."
The show’s business unit head, Jay Montelibano, calls it a "visual feast" for viewers of all ages.
Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad will return as Willie’s co-host.
TV5’s statement also calls Willie’s return to TV as "an overwhelming call for a new and family-oriented primetime viewing with less bad news and crime reports."
Wil Time Bigtime replaces Willing Willie, Willie’s previous variety and game show on TV5 that ended after a major controversy last month.
Willing Willie’s last episode aired on April 9, a Saturday.
Willie, who is also one of the show’s producers, decided to take the show off-air after critics—composed of government figures, celebrities, and ordinary Filipinos—hurled serious accusations of child abuse at him.
The criticism was directed at Willing Willie’s March 12 episode, which featured a six-year old boy who gyrated to explicit hiphop music during the show’s talent portion.
Willie, who was amused, encouraged the boy to repeat his performance, and called him a "macho dancer." (CLICK HERE to read related story).
In answer to the criticism, Willie and TV5 denied that there was child exploitation in the episode.
Similarly, the boy’s parents told the media that they found nothing wrong with their child’s talent.
But despite the denial, many of the show’s major sponsors pulled out their advertisements.
On April 8, Friday, Willie delivered a vitriol-laden tirade against his critics. Willie also expressed his decision to take the show off the air, adding that he will spend time off to think if he should still return to showbiz. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)
On May 3, more than three weeks after Willing Willie went off-air, the MTRCB released a one-month suspension order against the show. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)
The regulating body’s investigation led it to conclude that the show was in violation of a law against "immoral and indecent broadcasts" that does not resemble Filipino values.
MTRCB’s decision counted Willing Willie’s self-suspension in the one-month period. Therefore, it allowed Willing Willie to go back on-air on May 9.
MTRCB also stated that should Willing Willie go back on-air, TV5 is required to apply for its airing permit on a per episode basis.
It is unclear whether Wil Time Bigtime will be subjected to this MTRCB requirement, since it is supposedly a new show.