For 28 years, star maker Johnny Manahan worked under ABS-CBN's talent management arm Star Magic to hone the top actors, hosts, and models we know today. Deprived of a franchise, many of the broadcast giant's employees were left jobless—stars included.
Manahan was resolute on taking a break after the shuttered network retrenched staff, but he found himself bringing some of ABS-CBN's stars to television production company Brightlight Productions, founded by Albee Benitez, for programs that would air on TV5.
"The opportunity came along to help a lot of the people who got cut from ABS, ASAP (All-Star Sunday Afternoon Party)," Manahan said in an interview with Summit Media journalists.
Benitez wanted a show like ASAP, and while Manahan wasn't too keen on doing it, he thought of taking the opportunity anyway "for the fact that I would be helping some people, keep them with a job."
"So I said yes," he said, and he went on to direct Sunday Noontime Live!, Brightlight's foray into noontime entertainment shows.
The show featured Piolo Pascual and Maja Salvador, stars who followed Manahan to a different network.
"All of a sudden we were told the show was being discontinued," he said, adding it came as a surprise. Sunday Noontime Live! aired its final episode last Sunday -- three months after its pilot first greeted viewers in October 2020.
"Usually when they pull the plug, that means you're not making enough money," he said.
While the television veteran hoped the end would come some other way, he is no stranger to projects ending abruptly.
"You just have to roll with it. We’re old people, malalaki na kami, we can roll with the punches. On with the next project," he said.