Willie’s former home, ABSCBN, had lodged an urgent petition for the court to release a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the show. But the QC Court found no urgent reason to release its decision before the launch date, saying it was attending to other earlier cases.FROM WOWOWEE TO WILLING WILLIE. Willie Willie is not a new show—not in the strict sense. It is Wowowee resurrected in spirit, except that it has entirely new games, new choreography, and bigger prizes which are supposed to be easier to win. But because the host remains Willie, and Willie is his own brand, Wowowee and Willing Willie are kin.
Willie himself says that the newly launched program is the rebirth of Wowowee, the hugely popular noontime show on ABSCBN that bridged the gap between the network, once more-identified with elite programming, and the Pinoy OFWs and the poor who make up the greater number of the local population.
Wowowee first aired on February 5, 2005. It was an original concept by Willie himself, and it banked on the altruistic theme of giving hope to the poor. Within a short span, Wowowee began going head-to-head with GMA-7’s long-running and seemingly unbeatable noontime show Eat Bulaga! Advertisements also started pouring in, stretching the show to three hours, and turning Willie into a virtual emperor at Kapamilya land.
For along with the show’s rising popularity rose Willie’s fame, fortune, and power. He was the regular subject of both good and bad press. He amassed property: several homes of no mean weight; more than a dozen cars all top of the line, except for service cars for staff and bodyguards; two yachts; a chopper, possibly two; and, pretty soon, two buildings, a big one that houses a mall and residential condos and a smaller one that will serve as the home of his new production company, Wil Productions.