As Funfare Update correctly predicted, Willie Revillame will not return to Wowowee on Saturday, July 31, as widely reported in the tabs. Instead, a new show called Pilipinas For The Win (PFTW) will take Wowowee’s timeslot (after Showtime), to be hosted by Robin Padilla, Mariel Rodriguez, Valerie Concepcion, Pokwang and Kris Aquino. “It’s a game and variety show that will surely bring joy, energy and hope to Filipinos all over the world,” according to the ABS-CBN official statement.
The same people behind Wowowee are also involved in the new show —Johnny “Mr. M” Manahan as director, Bobot Mortiz as creative director, Jay Montelibano as business unit head and Phoebe Anievas and Rancy Recato as executive producers.
Rating of Wowowee has been slipping since Willie took a three-month vacation (some sources said that he was actually “suspended” without pay) after he demanded that the network fire Jobert Sucaldito whom he accused of hitting him on Jobert’s radio program on dzMM, sister company of ABS-CBN. There are reports that advertisers have been pulling out of Wowowee, which is being clobbered in the ratings game by its competition Eat, Bulaga! (on rival station GMA), and promiised to return only if Willie was back on the show.
According to Funfare Update’s VDPA (Very Deep Penetration Agent), Willie has been spotted having a serious meeting with an executive of a rival station in Forbes Park and, on another occasion, with an executive of another network. “Willie was being given an offer hard to refuse,” said the VDPA — that is, to the tune of P8-M monthly with a P 100-M signing bonus from one station, and P6-M monthly and as co-producer from another station.
Willie was not available for comment. He doesn’t text back or return calls and is presumed to have been changing his celfone number to evade the press. ABS-CBN official statement said that Willie, through his manager Arlene de Castro, was already informed about the replacement of Wowowee with a new show. “He was also notified about a new program being planned for him and this will be announced in due time,” added the statement which didn’t mention if Willie was amenable to the idea. Meanwhile, Kris is expected back home tomorrow from the US where she and sons Joshua and Baby James are on a holiday.