MANILA — Even “It’s Showtime” director John Prats is amazed by the massive success of the noontime program’s new segment “Madlang Pi-Poll,” not only because of its innovative presentation but also the turnout of live players from home.
“Madlang Pi-Poll,” a first-of-its-kind interactive polling game, was launched July 24, with over 45,000 viewers actively taking part against a set of studio players.
That number grew even bigger the following weekend on July 31 — 49,161 viewers participated live via JoinNow.ph, ABS-CBN’s viewer engagement platform.
“Iyon naman kasi talaga ang objective ng ABS-CBN, to connect pa rin sa ating mga Kapamilya,” Prats said. “Walang live audience, pero gusto pa rin ng kumpanya na kasama pa rin natin sila. Kasama pa rin kayo. Show niyo pa rin ‘to.”
Currently, “It’s Showtime” is broadcast via Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z Channel 11, iWantTFC, and TFC.
The “madlang people,” the show’s term for its live studio audience, have been absent from “It’s Showtime” since the March 2020 onset of the coronavirus lockdown.
They returned as a virtual audience starting June 2021, and later on got to interact with the hosts through interviews. Now, they can be instant players, too, through “Madlang Pi-Poll.”
In the segment, the studio players and home viewers answer poll questions across seven rounds, each with a corresponding cash prize. If the studio players match the majority answer of the “madlang people,” the prize will be added to the studio players’ pot money. Otherwise, the home players will add the prize to their total, which will then be divided among randomly drawn winners from the “madlang people.”
Recalling the time the creative team of “It’s Showtime” briefed him about the concept, Prats said: “I was amazed! Noong sinabi sa akin ‘yung konsepto, ‘Seryoso ba ‘yan? Ang galing!’ I was really excited.”
Prats then shared with ABS-CBN News the process of bringing the idea to life, from finalizing the set design of “Madlang Pi-Poll” to preparing the technology behind JoinNow.ph.
“Dinesign ko na ‘yung set, dinesign namin ni Sir Reily [Santiago] kung paano siya ipo-project,” he said, referring the program’s business unit head. “Kailangan very young, very interactive, masaya ‘yung feel, very game show!”
“Tapos noong ni-launch na namin siya, my gosh, sobrang overwhelming, sobrang saya,” Prats added.
Aside from the vibrant presentation of “Madlang Pi-Poll,” Prats emphasized the technical aspect of the game, which had to match the fast pace they were aiming for.
“Isipin mo ‘yung technology na involved doon sa segment, ang laki. And ‘yung server ng technology na ‘yun, sa ibang bansa pa,” he said.
When the segment debuted on July 24, Prats said they had only expected some 10,000 home players to join. The turnout — four times that number — took longer than expected to “extract” or process, hosts Vice Ganda and Vhong Navarro said. Instead of announcing the home winners during the episode, “It’s Showtime” released the names via social media within an hour after the broadcast.
During the July 31 edition, the program appeared more than ready to crunch big numbers. The winners, this time, were announced right after a commercial break.
Now, “Madlang Pi-Poll” is gearing up to air thrice weekly.
“Isipin mo nasa bahay ka, ang kalaro mo nasa TV? Para siyang joke! Ang galing,” Prats said, laughing.
“Grabe. Nakaka-proud. Iyon lang ‘yung nararamdaman ko talaga. Nakaka-proud na meron tayo ngayong ganoon. Mayroong ganoon ang Kapamilya network at ang ‘Showtime.’ Sobrang laking talon noon, sobrang laking jump ng game show na ‘yun sa ibang game shows na nagawa sa Philippine television.”