Willie signs with TV5 amid ABS-CBN’s P486-M suit
Showbiz Eye by Gerry Plaza, Special to Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Despite facing a near half-billion-peso damage suit from ABS-CBN, Willie Revillame has signed a talent contract with TV5 for a soon-to-be-produced primetime variety and game show, the “Kapatid” network said in a statement.
The show, titled “Willing Willie,” is a co-production of the host’s Wil Productions Inc. and TV5.
Willie “will definitely return on TV as a certified talent of the newest and most aggressive broadcast network in the country, TV5,” the statement read. Reports said that the show will air daily in the early evening.
TV5 chairman Manny Pangilinan led the network in welcoming the controversial host in its “Kapatid” fold in the recent contract signing.
“We have responded to the public clamor and we look forward to collaborating and working with the team of Willie and (Viva) Boss Vic del Rosario in bringing the audience the best in Philippine entertainment,” MVP said.
Boss Vic, Viva Films founder and chief executive officer, is Willie’s new talent manager and business partner in his new venture, Wil Productions.
According to one of Willie’s lawyers, he was given the go-ahead to sign with TV5 after they have meticulously studied and scrutinized his contract with ABS-CBN, which catapulted Willie to fame as a noontime show host, from “Magandang Tanghali Bayan” to “Wowowee,” using a broadcasting platform that spans a worldwide following through the network’s The Filipino Channel.
“It took some time for us to give Willie the go ahead to sign up with a new network because we had to meticulously scrutinize all the technicalities and legalities of the former contract. We wanted to make sure that his transfer will be as smooth as possible, without further legal drawbacks and hitches that can hamper his growth in his new network. With everything we’ve done and the actions that we plan to do, we believe that Willie is on the clear to work and grow anywhere he wants,” said lawyer Joel L. Bodegon in the TV5 statement.
For its part, ABS-CBN is dead-set to push its case against Willie. And, it raised the stakes.
The Kapamilya network is seeking P486 million in damages for breaching his contract with ABS-CBN, which it said Willie is still bound to until September 2011. ABS-CBN lawyers filed the counterclaim suit before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on Thursday seeking the court to dismiss Willie’s petition for judicial confirmation of rescission of contract with damages.
Willie had filed a motion for the court to confirm the rescinding of his contract with ABS-CBN, citing the network did not abide by an agreement that he would return to his noontime show “Wowowee” on July 31. He sought P11.5 million in damages in his suit.
ABS-CBN said it was Willie who violated stipulations in his contract, while the network had fulfilled its obligations to its former talent.
The network has not issued a statement on Willie’s latest move. However, it did mention that it would take legal action should Willie sign a talent contract with a rival station.
“We would like to reiterate however that Willie continues to be bound to ABS-CBN and we will challenge in court any contract involving his production or exhibition of another program with another network,” Bong Osorio, ABS-CBN Corporate Communications Head, said in a statement.
Reposted From Gerry Plaza of Yahoo! Southeast Asia