By Zsarlene B. Chua, Senior Reporter

AFTER several years of not producing entertainment content and banking on sports and news for the network’s content, TV5 is poised for a comeback with a new setup: buying shows from producers such as APT Entertainment and having its pay TV sister channel Cignal TV block time in the network.

“We are looking for programs, not stars,” Percival “Perci” M. Intalan, programming head of TV5, told reporters in a digital briefing on Aug. 8 via Zoom.

This means that the network, instead of producing its own entertainment content, will be looking at show pitches from independent content producers which it can then buy (“if the price is right,” according to Mr. Intalan) and program into the network. This includes getting shows from Cignal TV which has its own library of content owing to its annual CineFilipino film festival and other productions.

Cignal will also handle the entertainment shows to be shown on TV5.

“With productions, we’re working with third parties who will create shows with Cignal talking with the producers. Cignal will define which programs will be shown but it should also pass Perci’s (Mr. Intalan’s) standards,” Robert P. Galang, president of both TV5 and Cignal TV, said in the same briefing.

APT Entertainment is the production company behind the longest-running noontime show in the country, Eat Bulaga, which has entered its 41st year. The show airs on GMA.

Mr. Intalan described the process as something similar to how networks in the US work where they buy shows from studios.

TV5, formerly known as ABC, is a TV network which has been on air since the 1960s. In 2010, the network was bought and operated by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., with the aim of becoming one of the top local channels. It was apparent since its early days as TV5 that the network’s strength lay in sports broadcasting, with the Philippine Basketball Association tourneys being among its top draws. In 2017, the network ceased producing entertainment shows and focused on sports and news.

But was TV5’s renewed interest in entertainment shows brought upon by the recent closure of TV giant ABS-CBN after it failed to renew its franchise? Not exactly, as Mr. Galang said TV5 had been planning to reintroduce entertainment shows since last year.

“I think we’ve never had a network that is in this position before. Before, it’s like a Hollywood studio, everything is [done] in-house and everything is created internally… but now TV5 is open, whoever wants to collaborate, we can,” Mr. Intalan said, before adding that is the beauty of the new setup.

Since ABS-CBN’s closure in early July, rumors have floated around saying several of the talents and production staff from the network were looking to move to TV5 and GMA, and Mr. Intalan confirmed that there are currently talks “in different levels” happening.

In a separate briefing, Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of the TV5 Network, Inc., confirmed that there are ongoing conversations with ABS-CBN talents.

“I think there are ongoing conversations with talents, but it’s not as expansive as one would assume because we are being careful with any contractual arrangements that these talents have with ABS-CBN, and we would like to respect that,” Mr. Pangilinan said in a separate briefing on July 6.

He added that they are looking to employ cameramen, directors, and “people behind the camera,” as they need more people to produce content.

Starting Aug. 15, TV5 will be showing a mix of lifestyle programs and game shows “hosted by various artists with proven versatility and mass appeal,” according to a statement.

The new programs include a morning show called Chika, BESH! (Basta Everyday Super Happy), an APT Entertainment show hosted by Pokwang, Pauleen Luna, and Ria Atayde; a fitness show called Fit for Life hosted by Jessy Mendiola; a show focused on “intimate conversation and real life talk” called Usapang Real Life hosted by Luchi Cruz-Valdez; and two game shows — Bawal na Game Show hosted by Paolo Ballestereos and Wally Bayola, and Fill in the Bank hosted by Jose Manalo and Pokwang. Both game shows are produced by APT.

TV5 is also bringing back the talent show Talentadong Pinoy, to be hosted once again by Ryan Agoncillo. The new iteration is called Bangon Talentadong Pinoy which “aims to reflect the creativity of Filipino artists regardless of the current situation.” Talentadong Pinoy was on air from 2008 until 2014.

A show produced and hosted by Kris Aquino was also supposed to premiere in August but Mr. Intalan said that they had to delay its airing because of production issues.