IT was around this time last year when ABS-CBN’s The Buzz bade farewell on TV. The show—identified with Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino—aired for nearly 18 years with consistently high ratings and heavy commercial load.
So what was said to have killed it? The answer is social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all potential sources of news about celebrities made readily available.
It was exactly the same fate that befell Startalk, The Buzz’s rival showbiz-oriented talk show for many years on GMA Network. Interestingly, Abunda—who is hailed as the King of Talk—was one of the early pillars of Startalk back in October 1995 when no one ever knew a college kid named Mark Zuckerberg would change the world within a decade.
Presently, there are no more showbiz talk show formats on any free-TV station, and the networks are neither keen on producing one. To quote a GMA insider, “Creating a showbiz talk show (again) is not in the horizon.”
Had it not been axed, Startalk would have celebrated its 20th anniversary in October 2015. “Sayang,” the production staff collectively sighed, as a number of big and interesting stories had yet to be followed through at the time, and suddenly, they had no program to feature them.
But while showbiz talk shows on TV may have disappeared one after the other over the last year, the public’s hunger for “chismis” remains fiercely insatiable with or without the threatening dominance of social media.
And with Abunda signing a two-year exclusive contract with ABS-CBN on April 6, a quiet buzz has begun that he will revive the highly missed format on TV with no less than Megastar Sharon Cuneta—an active social media personality—as his co-captain.
Now wouldn’t that be interesting?