MANILA — A new series starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla on free television is not a far-off possibility, according to the actor, in light of the partnership between his embattled home network ABS-CBN and Zoe Broadcasting Network.
Zoe on Tuesday unveiled its newly rebranded Channel 11, now called A2Z, whose name and logo reflects its blocktime agreement with ABS-CBN.
Under the deal, some ABS-CBN programs will air on A2Z starting October 10. Among them are the variety shows “It’s Showtime” and “ASAP Natin ‘To,” as well as the primetime dramas “Ang Probinsyano,” “Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin,” and “Walang Hanggang Paalam.”
The development comes five months after ABS-CBN was forced off air due to the non-renewal of its broadcast franchise by the Duterte administration. The subsequent denial of its franchise application in July by the House of Representatives meant it could no longer resume its own free-TV broadcast on Channel 2.
The tumultuous year for the company was brought up Tuesday during a virtual conference for “Apollo,” Padilla’s October 11 digital concert to be held on KTX.ph.
Padilla was asked whether it’s true that he and his onscreen partner and long-time girlfriend Kathryn Bernardo approached ABS-CBN executives, specifically to ask what they can do to help.
“Yes, that’s true. Totoo ‘yon,” he told ABS-CBN News’ MJ Felipe. “Unang-una, malaki ang utang na loob namin sa ABS. Hindi ko lang ‘to sinasabi. Malaki talaga, e.”
“Sa akin, personally, ‘yung buhay ko, nagbago 360. Nakakatulog nang maigi ang pamilya ko ngayon dahil sa mga binigay na proyekto ng ABS sa akin. It’s not just ABS, may binigay sa akin. Siyempre, ‘yung binigay nila sa akin, trinabaho ko nang maigi. It’s a give and take.”
Padilla, 25, and Bernardo, 24, are both homegrown talents of ABS-CBN whose track record of successful film and TV projects have earned them superstar status in local showbiz.
The two have been vocal supporters of ABS-CBN amid the controversy surrounding its franchise, joining protest actions as well as starring in the network’s “Tinig ng mga Nawalan” station ID.
“I can wait,” Padilla said. “Kaya kong maghintay. Puwede akong maghintay. It’s not the end of me ‘pag lumipat na ako or something. I can wait hanggang makabangon ang ABS, dahil naniniwala ako na makakabangon tayong lahat dito.”
“Hindi lang para sa mga artista, pero para sa mga empleyado na nawalan ng trabaho sa ABS. Kasama nila akong naghihintay.”
Some 11,000 employees were affected by the forced shutdown of ABS-CBN, with entire units retrenched as recently as September.
Referring to A2Z, Padilla added: “And now, I think there’s news na babalik na tayo. That’s good. Tayo ngayon, trabahuhin natin na mabuhay muli ang ABS-CBN.”
“Iyon lang ang sa amin, kaya namin maghintay, dahil iba rin naman ang binigay na tiwala sa amin ng ABS-CBN. It’s the least we can do for them.”
Asked whether he is open to starring in a project to air on A2Z, Padilla didn’t appear to think twice as he said, “Ano pa nga bang gagawin natin?”
Prior to the ABS-CBN shutdown, a new teleserye starring Padilla and Bernardo, “Tanging Mahal,” was announced to be in the works. No further details have been revealed since.
“Siyempre uunahin muna natin ‘yung ‘The House Arrest of Us’… Iyong serye (A2Z), ‘pag um-okay na tayo sa ABS, siyempre, bakit hindi.”
FIRST, ‘HOUSE ARREST’
Padilla was referring the upcoming digital series featuring him and Bernardo as a couple set to wed. The Star Cinema production will debut on October 24 via KTX.ph and iWant TFC.
Padilla clarified that “The House Arrest of Us” is not a sitcom, which is typically set in a studio with self-contained problems per episode.
“It’s more of a series na may drama, pero todo ‘yung comedy. Hindi lang siya puro comedy, meron tayong puso dito. May sakit pa rin,” Padilla said.
“Gusto namin i-offer ni Kathryn ngayon is happiness sa show namin. ‘Pag pinapanood, madadala mo ‘yun hanggang pagtulog mo, e. Iyon ‘yung ginawa namin ngayon.”
In the Richard Arellano-directed movie series, Padilla and Bernardo play individuals whose respective families end up sharing a home during the pandemic lockdown.
“Hindi mawawala ‘yung family drama, ‘yung sakit ng normal na pamilya na pinagdadaanan ang pandemya ngayon. Ganoon siya, very real. Sana abangan natin,” Padilla said.