MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ comedy king Dolphy Quizon and “Diamond Star” Maricel Soriano, 2 of ABS-CBN’s biggest and longest contract stars, are transferring to network TV5, reports said.
One of the stalwarts of ABS-CBN, Dolphy has signed a deal to do a sitcom with TV5. Soriano, on the other hand, will do a special to be followed by a drama series on TV5, entertainment columnist Ricky Lo of The Philippine Star wrote in his column.
Lo divulged that both Dolphy and Soriano have signed non-exclusive deals with TV5.
“The 2 are the newest addition to the fast-growing roster of talents from both ABS-CBN and GMA lured by TV5 with huge talents fees, with juicy fringe benefits on the side,” Lo wrote.
In his interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, meantime, Dolphy said he made the decision after meeting with the network's top executives last week.
Dolphy said his new network promised to give him a sitcom with some of his children.
“We are planning to do a sitcom,” he said. “This is not just for me. I’ll be able to give jobs not only to my children, but also to my regular bit-players and old-time comedy writers.”
Prior to signing the agreement, Dolphy said he first informed ABS-CBN Entertainment head Linggit Tan about his decision.
“I think ABS-CBN felt bad about it. But I just wanted to work. I’ve been waiting for a job for the past 3 years,” he told Inquirer. “I love ABS-CBN, but I need to move on. I’ll be working with TV5 in the meantime, but anytime ABS-CBN needs me, I’ll just be here.”
ABS-CBN Corporate Communications head Bong Osorio on Tuesday confirmed Dolphy’s decision to leave the Kapamilya network.
“Mang Dolphy has told us about his decision to transfer. We wish him well and to ABS-CBN he will always remain a Kapamilya,” Osorio said in a text message.
In a separate interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, Osorio said: "Everybody naman is free to choose where they would like to be part of. It's his decision.”
On Soriano’s case, her talent manager, Malou Fagar, confirmed the actress’ non-exclusive contract with TV5.
“We will have projects here and there, but our stars will remain with ABS-CBN,” she said.
Dolphy's talent fee
Dolphy was an exclusive ABS-CBN star for almost 2 decades.
His camp refused to confirm his reported multi-million-peso talent fee. It said he accepted TV5’s offer because it’s a big break for the hardworking 81-year-old comedian.
His camp added that retiring is still far from Dolphy’s mind, particularly after the box-office success of “Nobody, Nobody but Juan.”
In 2008, the Kapamilya network recognized Dolphy's legendary contributions to local show business by naming its premier venue, Studio 1, “Dolphy Theater.”
The unveiling of the Dolphy Theater was timed with the comedy king's 80th birthday on July 28, 2008.
The comedy king reiterated his loyalty to the network during the event. He said he was happy that he would be leaving a legacy inside the network's compound.
Last year, Dolphy celebrated his 65th anniversary in show business.
His last movie was "Nobody, Nobody But Juan," which was one of the official entries to the 2009 Metro Manila Film Festival.
He was last seen on ABS-CBN when he made an appearance on the hit Primetime Bida television show "May Bukas Pa."
Dolphy and Soriano were the latest ABS-CBN stars to leave the Kapamilya network in a span of 2 months. In late November of last year, Claudine Barretto inked a 2-year contract with GMA 7.
Like Dolphy and Soriano, Barretto, a contract star of ABS-CBN for almost 17 years, was considered to be one of the biggest stars of ABS-CBN. -With a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News