When a show is good, no circumstances can ever keep it down. “Eat Bulaga!” the most iconic noontime variety program on Philippine TV, has entertained the country on three networks for four decades and pioneered a lot of the features one might expect from a show that airs weekdays and Saturdays at noon. It also achieved international recognition when an Indonesian network franchised “Eat Bulaga!” for localization, which aired first from 2012 to 2014 and on to a new carrier afterwards until 2016. Just as it seems getting an overseas franchise was just a flash in the pan, it happened again, this time in Myanmar.
According to Inquirer.net, the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar will be the next to form its own version of “Dabarkads” with the reveal that they would soon have an “Eat Bulaga! Myanmar.” The momentous announcement was made Tuesday, July 30, during the long-running noontime show’s big 40th anniversary special. It was also blasted on social media via the program’s official Twitter page. The fact that another SEA nation has franchised “Eat Bulaga!” for their own airwaves is proof that the name and the concept is still a major player for television, even as the show struggles with its cross-network rival.
“Eat Bulaga! Indonesia,” the first foreign edition of the Filipino noontime program, first aired on major Indonesia network SCTV. Its ensemble of hosts was led by comedian Surya “Uya Kuya” Utama as a counterpart to “Bossing Vic” Sotto. The early days of the Indonesian counterpart, despite airing in the early afternoon, was a close transplantation of the original “Eat Bulaga!” but tailored for the Indonesian audience. Cooperation between GMA-TAPE and SCTV was such that hosts and talents guested in each other’s versions. Unfortunately the departure of Uya Kuya as host led to a sharp ratings drop until it was cancelled and revived briefly on antv.
With the end of “Eat Bulaga! Indonesia” it seemed the current GMA7 noontime staple’s overseas fame was short-lived. When ABS-CBN counterpart “It’s Showtime!” got an Indonesian franchise that started just this March, things seemed dire. A Myanmar franchise for “Eat Bulaga!” just in time for celebrating its 40 years in television seemed like a cherry on top for the show.
No information has yet to be shared publicly regarding the identity of the Myanmar network with the franchise, or when their local version will start. They did have the main host for the Myanmar version, “Captain” Aung Po, present during the anniversary program, where he received a 40th anniversary shirt from Bossing Vic and Joey.
Image courtesy of Inquirer