Reasons behind Willie’s ‘confirmed’ return to ‘Wowowee’
by Gerry Plaza, Special to Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Only a few months after all the brouhaha started — with the drama of leaving because of his displeasure with a fellow network talent who castigated and ostracized his show — it seems the whole charade has ended.
Willie Revillame seems headed back to “Wowowee.”
While he remained mum about his return when ABS-CBN caught up with him in a showbiz event, it was Cristy Fermin, Willie’s longtime ally and ardent supporter, who confirmed his impending return to the popular noontime show in an interview with Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP).
Cristy told the showbiz news website that Willie had spoken to ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio last week and they had ironed things out about his return. She indicated the controversial host had asked forgiveness for his actions.
“Kumpirmado… babalik siya,” Cristy declared.
Cristy added that “it seemed” the network was the party that initiated moves for his return to the show.
“Palagay ko nga, kasi si Willie, nagpapa-release, e. The mere fact na nagpapa-release, that means he has no more intention of going back,” Cristy told PEP during the taping of her weekend show biz talk show “Paparazzi” on TV5.
Cristy said that his expected return would prove he was vindicated.
“Oo! Tinanong niya ako, e, ‘Nay, ano, babalik pa ba ako?’ Sabi ko, vindication yun, Willie. Kung saan ka bumagsak, doon ka bumangon,’” Cristy further revealed in her PEP interview.
But as to the exact date of return, no one, not even Cristy could say. Reports said Willie was to re-take the “Wowowee” stage on July 31. But even Cristy was not sure. “Hindi ko alam yung July 31. Siguro yung clamor, nakita ng ABS-CBN yun,” Cristy further told PEP.
Officially however Willie remains on “indefinite leave” and ABS-CBN said it was still considering its options.
Bong Osorio, ABS-CBN Corporate Communications Head, reiterated talks about Willie’s return to “Wowowee,” were still speculations.
“Ang mga lumalabas na bali-balita tungkol kay Willie Revillame at sa Wowowee ay mga espekulasyon. Nag-usap na ang ABS-CBN management at si Willie kung ano ang options o mga posibleng gagawin pagkatapos ng kanyang break,” Bong said in a statement.
As it is, it was apparent that Willie’s discussions with Charo last week were mere exploratory and no official or final agreement was reached. Or at least the network remains locked in their own discussions for a final decision on the matter.
But all point to one conclusion. As the show bleeds in the ratings with no ideal fit to replace Willie, ABS-CBN might not have any other recourse but to consider taking Willie back instead of gambling on a new show. It took years of experimentation, from its original “Magandang Tanghali Bayan” to today’s “Wowowee” for the right formula to challenge the ever dominant “Eat Bulaga.” With Willie as its mere answer to its decades-old pursuit for noontime greatness, losing him may take more decades to come before beating “Eat Bulaga” again.
And that noontime spot is so precious to the networks because it is the main lead-in to its advertiser-laden afternoon to evening primetime programming. Losing the ratings on the noontime slot could most likely result in losing the ratings for the remainder of the day.
This is the main reason why Willie’s much vocal rival, Joey de Leon, always brags about “Eat Bulaga” traditionally taking the “whole station” to lead in the ratings. With Willie there having respectable if not triumphant numbers over his seasoned noontime rivals, ABS-CBN remains competitive if not dominant in Mega Manila, Urban Nationwide and Nationwide ratings on the afternoon and primetime blocks. Without him, ABS-CBN runs the risk of losing this competitiveness and ultimately conceding the network war. At present, however, with a series of replacements still calling the shots in “Wowowee,” the prevailing ratings slide may still not have a direct effect on ABS-CBN’s programming as its shows towards the evening primetime block remains on top of the ratings heap. But for the long term, ABS-CBN could not afford to take this trend sitting down.
As such, Cristy can now claim that extra amount of credibility she does not usually enjoy.
Reposted From Gerry Plaza Of Yahoo! Southeast Asia