Six pioneering shows. More than 18 hours of airtime every week. Almost two dozens stars in its stable. All these happened in just a few months of careful planning and sleepless nights.
And it is safe to say, that their hard work and collaborative efforts are slowly making an impact. I’m talking about Brighlight Productions that produces shows for Manny Pangilinan-chaired media company, TV5.
Owned by former Negros Occidental representative Albee Benitez, Brighlight made a big splash on television with six shows that feature, well, some of ABS-CBN’s biggest stars: Sunday Noontime Live, which premiered on Oct. 18 and dominated the Twitter world for hours, is hosted by Paolo Pascual, Catriona Gray, and Maja Salvador; Lunch Out Loud, a noontime variety show that aired on Oct. 19, is led by Billy Crawford and Alex Gonzaga; sitcom Oh My Dad stars Ian Veneracion and Dimples Romana; I Got You has Beauty Gonzalez, RK Bagatsing, and Jane Oineza; Sunday Kada is bannered by Daniel Matsunaga, Ritz Azul, and Mile Ocampo; and Rated Korina with Korina Sanchez.
But Benitez is not taking all the credits. He said he has a dynamic team that helps him mount all these shows that only took two months to finalize.
“Walang tulugan, I have to thank Pat P. Daza, Corrina Vistan, and Atty. Joji Alonzo. They are the tres marias who made all these things possible,” Benitez told Manila Standard Entertainment in an interview.
“It was a collaborative effort. We have a variety show, a Sunday noontime show, we have a gag show, a sitcom, and a magazine show. It’s an exciting mix,” he added.
When Sunday Noontime Live was trending online during its premiere telecast, Benitez was also in the studio monitoring the program, and the reception it was getting from the online world.
“I was there in the studio, what’s exciting about this whole thing, it became a buzz. A lot of people were talking about it. It trended,” the former congressman smiled and further said that he’s not worried about the ratings just yet.
“It’s not going to happen right away. People are not used to watching TV5. So, we need to educate the viewers and excite them with interesting shows. Now we are getting questions about where to watch our shows. That means, people already have this idea that there are shows that they want to watch,” he related.
On network war and talent exclusivity
During a recent virtual media conference for TV5 and Cignal Entertainment, Benitez, urged the halt of network wars, sharing that “it’s time that all of us should work together. Right now, I don’t think there should be a network war.”
“Look at where the network stands right now. What are the networks that we have right now...GMA, TV5, and A2Z Channel 11, ABS-CBN, and Brighlight are actually content providers. If you look at it from that angle it’s not between me and ABS, we are even sharing some of our content,” Birghtlight president and CEO explained.
Benitez also mentioned that stars should be given the flexibility and be allowed to take on work where it is available.
“If you look at Korea and the US, no one is locked in in one network. That’s how I see it should operate in this industry. As long as you give work to people that’s all that matters,” he related.
“I think that should be our landscape moving forward. Sue Ramirez for example. She is a network artist, now she’s with us. It’s like timesharing. By December or January, ang isang line production ng ABS-CBN will be featured in our time slot. Then we have an upcoming show called Lalalove featuring their (ABS-CBN’s) Rise [Artists Studio] stars,” Benitez shared underscoring that giving displaced Kapamilya stars work is one of the main goals of Brighlight Productions.
In conclusion, Benitez shared his vision for his company and what networks should do to create a healthy and dynamic environment for artists and workers.
“In any business you really need to keep on improving. There’s always this challenge especially when there’s competition and everybody is trying to be number one. You just have to be prepared and set a goal,” he ended.
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