MANILA — ABS-CBN's flagship newscast "TV Patrol" returned Thursday after the network was forced to shut its broadcast operations, amassing millions of viewers on social media.
The comeback followed a day of total blackout for ABS-CBN's free-TV programs, as the network prepared to transition its offerings online.
By 6:25 p.m. on May 7, "TV Patrol" was back, registering 8 million views on Facebook and YouTube within just hours — and that's aside from its streams on iWant and TFC, and audience on ANC. It was also the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for most of Thursday night.
For some loyal Kapamilya viewers, the newscast's grand return was reminiscent of another ABS-CBN primetime program, going by a viral video that imagines "TV Patrol" as the character Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) from "Wildflower."
In the edited clip from AJ dela Cruz, the iconic "TV Patrol" music plays in the background as Lily makes her memorable "revenge" entrance. She is labeled as ABS-CBN in the video, while her shocked antagonists are identified as Solicitor General Jose Calida, the National Telecommunications Commission, and FICTAP or the Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Association of the Philippines.
Salvador, the actress, was among those who noticed the clip, even re-tweeting it with the heart emojis in the colors of ABS-CBN's logo.
Another take, from parody dubber @macoydubs1, meanwhile, edits a confrontation scene of Lily and Emilia (Aiko Melendez) to depict ABS-CBN's return, to the surprise of NTC.
In "Wildflower," which aired for a year until 2018, the vengeful Lily Cruz re-emerges in bombastic style — wearing a gold gown, no less — after she was thought dead by her enemies.
Prior to the government shutdown of ABS-CBN, "TV Patrol" had been on air since 1987. The network's broadcast closure marked the first time "TV Patrol" was forced off air — but only for a day.
Carrying on its mission of being in the service of the Filipinos, "TV Patrol" resumed delivering the news, even if that meant no longer being on the platform its title was based on.