Sunday, October 24, 2010

Willing Willie premieres

Willing Willie Girls

Willie Revillame is back in the tube as an official “Kapatid” artist. Despite controversies and a staggering P486 million damage suit filed by ABS-CBN, “Willing Willie” premiered Saturday, October 23, as TV5’s flagship primetime variety program.

The show promises to change the way Filipinos spend their primetime viewing. In a timeslot where news programs dominate, “Willing Willie” aims to provide a “positive” viewing experience where families can enjoy and bond together over dinner without the usual “negativity” of evening news. It airs Monday to Friday, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and Saturdays, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

“Tama na ang bad news. Tama na ang napapanood nating saksakan. Tama na ‘yong may naaksidente. Tama na ‘yong tatay ginahasa ang anak. Sa hapag-kainan, ‘yon na ang pinapanood namin sa ilang taon. Dapat iba na, saya at pag-asa na!,” Willie said.

Opening fiesta
The opening number was a melting pot of artists dancing to a resounding beat, a “Mardi Gras” complete with colorful attires and alluring women. Willing Willie Girls (WW.Girls) warmed up the stage before Revillame’s grand entrance on stage.

Revillame’s known supporters were present in the audience. Among them are Viva Films’ Vic del Rosario, TV5 chairman Manny Pangilinan, TV5 president and chief executive officer Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, TV5 executive vice president Bobby Barreiro, Senator Manny Villar and Congressman Mark Villar.
Friends from the showbiz industry also showed support for Revillame. Annabelle Rama was present with husband Eddie Gutierrez. Dr. Vicky Belo also graced the event with Hayden Kho.

Thank you, ABS-CBN
Revillame thanked all his loyal followers and staff for standing by his side despite the controversies that surrounded his exit from ABS-CBN. Teary-eyed, he also took time to thank ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez and president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio for giving him the chance to serve the Kapamilya network for five and a half years.

‘Wowowee’ with a different name?
“Willing Willie” bears many similarities with the defunct show “Wowowee.” The program sequence, set design, female dancers and staff are all too familiar. The line-up of games includes “123 Go,” “Shoot Mo Baby,” “Family Apir,” “Wall of Fortune,” and “Will Time Big Time.” Some of the terms used in the games may alarm the Movies and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). However, Willie is doing his best not to incite trouble for his new show.

“Sana wala akong memo. Sawang-sawa na ako sa memo,” Willie said.
The only obvious difference is that Willie has no multiple female co-hosts. The “Willing Willie Girls” served as temporary co-hosts. The launch only revealed Mo Twister joining the pack.
The pilot show ended with 18 senior citizens winning P500,000 pesos in the game “Will Time Big Time.” Willie Revillame said that whatever happens, he will try his best to continue to bring happiness to Filipinos all over the world.

TRO petition denied
The show’s airing pushed through after the Quezon City Regional Trial Court denied an ABS-CBN petition for a temporary restraining order to halt the pilot episode.
Judge Luisito Cortez of QC RTC Branch 84 ruled in favor of Willie because “ABS-CBN has failed to discharge the burden of proving that there exists an urgent need for the issuance of a TRO to prevent any great or irreparable injury that it might suffer before the preliminary injunction could be heard.” However in another resolution, Cortez junked Willie’s plea to dismiss ABS-CBN’s counterclaim suit and was ordered to post a bond amounting to P426,917,646.96 by October 27.

ABS-CBN had filed a counterclaim suit against Willie seeking a total of P486 million in damages for breaching his talent contract with the Kapamilya network that would have run until September 2011. This was in response to an earlier suit filed by Willie seeking P11 million in damages against the network for violating his contract when ABS-CBN placed him on indefinite leave after he dared the network on-air to dismiss fellow studio talent Jobert Sucaldito over disparaging comments against “Wowowee” in his radio show.
In the months succeeding his exit, several replacement hosts appeared on “Wowowee,” which was then canceled on July 31 in favor of a new noontime program, “Pilipinas Win na Win.”

Charo’s statement
Charo, who had been a close friend of Willie through the years and had been his ally in tumultuous controversies as host of “Wowowee,” now showed her disgust over Willie’s actions. In an evening newscast Friday, she expressed her sadness over the court decision denying the network’s petition for a temporary restraining order on Willie’s new show on TV5.

In the statement she said:
“Mga Kapamilya, ang ginawa po ni Willie ay isang paglabag sa kanyang kontratang pinirmahan sa ABS-CBN na magtatapos pa sa isang taon. Ang hangarin lang namin ay tuparin sana ni Willie ang kanyang obligasyon sa kanyang kontrata. Hindi po ba mahalaga na ipinaiiral natin ang paggalang sa mga kontrata?
“Kaya po nalulungkot kami na hindi nabigyan ng TRO ang ABS-CBN laban kay Willie Revillame.
“Huwag sana natin kalimutan na ang lahat ng ito ay nag-ugat sa walang galang niyang paghamon at pagbabanta sa ABS-CBN management.
“Naniniwala kami na mananaig ang katarungan at ang buong katotohanan. Patuloy namin ipaglalaban ang aming karapatan.”

Photo courtesy of TV5


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