SOP (variety show)
|Also known as||
|Country of origin||Philippines|
|No. of episodes||672|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||180 minutes|
|Production company(s)||GMA Entertainment TV|
|Original network||GMA Network|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||February 2, 1997|
|Related shows||SOP Gigsters|
SOP is a Philippine television variety show broadcast by GMA Network. It premiered on February 2, 1997 replacing GMA Supershow. The show concluded on February 28, 2010 with a total of 672 episodes. It was replaced by Party Pilipinas in its timeslot.
The show title stands for "Sobrang Okey, Pare". The title was coined by a group of GMA executives (led by Wilma Galvante) in early 1997.
- 1 History
- 2 Other controversies faced by SOP
- 3 Unexpected moments and controversies
- 4 Regine's departure and return
- 5 Relaunch: SOP Fully Charged
- 6 Cancellation
- 7 Final hosts
- 8 SOP Music Awards
- 9 Ratings
- 10 Accolades
- 11 References
Sobrang Okey, Pare!
The show was conceptualized as early as 1996 to counter the increasing ratings of GMA Supershow's rival ASAP. Initially, the show’s cast was supposed to be composed of Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez and Vina Morales with the T.G.I.S. gang (led by Angelu de Leon) as co-hosts. However, only Janno, Ogie and Vina confirmed their participation in the show. Regine could not devote time to the show because she had prior singing engagements to attend to abroad. The T.G.I.S. gang, on the other hand, was not allowed by the Viva management to do the show because their performing schedule was already fully booked for the year. Instead, the GMA management took in Regine’s sister, Cacai Velasquez, sexy star Amanda Page, and upcoming young stars Gabby Eigenmann (son of character actor Mark Gil) and Bernadette Allyson to join the new group, the latter three were also Viva talents.
After "GMA Supershow"'s month-long farewell, SOP started airing on February 2, 1997, with a live episode from the GMA Broadway studios. Regular dancers include the VIP Dancers, Universal Motion Dancers, Abstract Dancers and Kidz at Work; with Al Quinn as director and German Moreno as production consultant. However, the show suffered in comparison to ABS-CBN’s ASAP and even had to endure a lot of criticisms from the entertainment press for using an acronym for the show’s title that sounded like the rival show’s. Despite the effort by the hosts and staff to make the show more exciting for the viewers every Sunday, Sobrang Okey Pare registered low ratings from the start and hardly gained support from the advertisers.
The show was rocked by controversies after they celebrated their first season on air despite low ratings and few advertisers. This started when GMA management called for an audition for a group of new in-house dancers to be known as SOP Dancers. This did not sit well with SOP's resident choreographer, Maribeth Bichara and as a result, she pulled out the VIP Dancers from the show and resigned. SOP co-host Amanda Page also resigned from the show in sympathy for Maribeth and the VIP Dancers.
Another controversy that tainted the show in 1997 was the Rivermaya incident where the band was reportedly forced by a member of the production staff to vacate the stage immediately to make way for SOP's in-house band. An altercation followed, resulting in an injury on one of Rivermaya’s members. The incident was brought to attention by the GMA management and as a result, Al Quinn resigned as the show’s director. Louie Ignacio, a known music video and commercial director, replaced Quinn and immediately made major changes to the show. Radio DJ Mo Twister, commercial model Lalaine Edson and young actor Jake Roxas joined the show as additional co-hosts.
Soon after, Sobrang Okey, Pare quickly caught the attention of the viewers and advertisers and soon was becoming on its way as a threat to the dominance of rival ASAP.
In 1998, the GMA management decided to reformat the show, introduce new segments and add new hosts. On its first anniversary, the show’s title Sobrang Okey Pare was shortened to SOP and introduced a new, lively theme song that says it all: "S-O-P dito sa GMA!"
Beauty queen Ruffa Gutierrez and young stars Angelika dela Cruz, Dingdong Dantes, K. C. Montero and Antoinette Taus were some of the latest additions in 1998. But what made SOP inch closer to rival ASAP in the ratings was the inclusion of Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez in the roster of SOP hosts and performers. Regine immediately blended with Janno, Ogie and the rest of the SOP gang as they started to conquer the Sunday noontime scene with aplomb like no other.
In January 1999, one of SOP's pioneer hosts Vina Morales left the show due to alleged conflict of interest. While hosting SOP, Vina (a long-time contract star of Viva Films) became a freelancer and made movies for other film outfits like Octo Arts Films and signed a movie contract with Star Cinema, the film arm of ABS-CBN, which airs ASAP, a direct competitor of SOP. According to reports, the contract that Vina signed with Star Cinema required her first to have a show on ABS-CBN before making a movie for the network’s film outfit. Vina’s camp has already denied this, but in March 1999, she joined the Kapamilya network’s daily noontime show, Magandang Tanghali Bayan where she was a mainstay for two years before formally joining ASAP in 2001.
Despite Vina’s exit, SOP's showing in the ratings game was going stronger. In 2000, a lot of changes were in store when the show moved to the brand-new Studio 3 of the GMA Network Center. Their roster of hosts got more formidable when rising divas Jaya and Lani Misalucha joined the show. The following year, they also added rising young singers Kyla, Nina and Karylle along with some upcoming teen stars, some of which are children of some of the respected actors in the performing industry. Among them were Danica and Oyo Boy Sotto (children of Vic Sotto and Dina Bonnevie), Kevin Vernal (son of character actor Ruel Vernal), Champagne Morales (daughter of singer Dinah Dominguez), and the late Miko Sotto (son of ABC (now TV5) personality Ali Sotto). Karylle herself is the daughter of ASAP host Zsa Zsa Padilla. Others who joined the show were Cogie Domingo, Roxanne Barcelo and James Blanco.
In 2002, the show finally grabbed the No. 1 spot from ASAP in the ratings game. Not only that, young stars like Judy Ann Santos and Rica Peralejo began their duties as guest co-hosts for a time. Soon after, multimedia young singer/actress Jolina Magdangal bolted out of ASAP and moved to SOP after she decided not to renew her contract with the ABS-CBN Talent Center, which managed her show business career since 1992. The same year, the program broadcast a special telecast on October 27, which was actually the telecast of the unveiling of GMA's new corporate logo and rebranding as the "Kapuso Network". When the new logo was unveiled on the GMA Network Center, Regine Velasquez appeared in the show singing the new theme song of GMA, "Kapuso Mo, Anumang Kulay Ng Buhay".
SOP Rules / SOP Gigsters
In 2003, SOP's tagline (and secondary show title) became SOP Rules after ASAP reformatted when its main hosts Pops Fernandez and Ariel Rivera left. SOP added more rising young singers with the likes of Jay-R, 604 and Malik joining the fold. Young actors like Richard Gutierrez, Brad Turvey and Chynna Ortaleza joined the show as well.
In 2004, comedian Rufa Mae Quinto and Starstruck’s Final 4 of Jennylyn Mercado, Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi and Rainier Castillo added glitter to the already star-studded SOP cast. However Lani Misalucha left the show after she decided to accept a series of singing engagements in Las Vegas, Nevada. She vowed to return to SOP upon ending her stint in Las Vegas amidst rumors that she is being pirated by ABS-CBN to join ASAP. In June of the same year, SOP produced a spin-off show, SOP Gigsters which feature the young contract stars of GMA. Richard Gutierrez and twin brother Raymond Gutierrez were named as hosts of the new show.
In 2005, the entire cast of SOP and SOP Gigsters together with Mel Tiangco, Joey de Leon, Richard Gomez and German Moreno went to San Francisco, California in USA for the launch of GMA Pinoy TV, GMA’s direct-to-home TV service for Filipinos abroad. The reception that they got from Filipinos abroad was warm as they were welcomed with open arms. The show also broadcast from other places in the Philippines, attracting people from as far as Dagupan, Cebu and Davao. Moreover, the show added the country’s premier R&B band, South Border, April, Aryana and Jerome John Hughes to its growing number of concert performers.
In September 2006, SOP did another show this time in Hawaii, minus hosts Regine Velasquez and Jolina Magdangal. In November 2006, the spin-off show SOP Gigsters was cancelled and Gigsters hosts Richard and Raymond Gutierrez were absorbed in the original SOP roster of co-hosts. Some cast members of SOP Gigsters were also absorbed in the show but only as featured performers.
In January 7, 2007, Gian Magdangal of Philippine Idol fame became the latest addition to the show's line-up becoming a show regular contributing in both hosting and performing chores. Consequently, the show relieved long-time SOP co-hosts K. C. Montero, Gabby Eigenmann, Aryanna, and April Villanueva as the show plans for a major 're-vamp' in 2007 with its hopes of signing more freelance talent. Recent additions in the show included Karel Marquez, Isabella and Sugarpop, a singing group composed of finalists from PopStar Kids, a kiddie talent show aired on QTV. However, the show also suffered a big blow when one of its main hosts Lani Misalucha decided to sign up with rival show ASAP of ABS-CBN. In February of the same year, the show celebrated its 10th anniversary.
SOP has also been pre-empted only twice to accommodate important events covered by GMA News such as the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manny Pacquiao–Jorge Solis fight in April 2007 (in cooperation with Solar Sports). SOP has also replayed on Sunday primetime during the Kapuso launch in 2002 and Christmas special in 2004.
On June 23, 2007, SOP began airing simultaneously over Barangay LS 97.1, GMA's FM radio station in Metro Manila.
In 2008, top leading men Richard Gutierrez and Dingdong Dantes left the show because of their hectic schedules, but some entertainment insiders suspected there was a rift among the two actors because Dingdong was reportedly given more exposure because of his ties with SOP executive producer and manager Perry Lansigan. Both Richard and Dingdong have denied there was a gap in their friendship but promised they will still appear in SOP during special promos.
Currently, SOP has become a venue not only for its in-house concert artists but also serves as a launching pad for the future stars of the Philippine entertainment industry, GMA's groundbreaking shows and current raffle promos of some of its sponsors.
SOP moved to a new set at GMA Network Center Annex, Studio 7. It is one of the biggest studios in the Philippines holding 1,000 audience.
Other controversies faced by SOP
SOP suffered a controversy in early 2003 when one of its main hosts, Janno Gibbs, walked out after the show’s opening number in a particular episode and never came back. The incident was triggered when Janno’s wife, Bing Loyzaga reportedly that she was given a cold treatment by the people who were together with her in the dressing room. GMA executives conducted an investigation on the incident and suspended Janno from the show for 2 months.
While the suspension was in effect, Janno appeared in the rival show ASAP where his wife Bing Loyzaga celebrated her birthday. He also guested in Aga Muhlach’s comedy show "OK Fine Whatever". This fueled speculations that he was transferring to ABS-CBN. Reports said that ABS-CBN has presented an offer to Janno where his talent fee will be doubled, and will have 3 regular shows (including ASAP), movies with Star Cinema (the network’s film arm), and recordings with Star Records. But Janno refused the offer made by ABS-CBN after GMA decided to lift his suspension from SOP and signed him up for a new comedy program that will further boost his team-up with bosom buddy Anjo Yllana and veteran comedian Joey de Leon. Janno returned to SOP on May 2003 and started working for his new comedy program on GMA, "Nuts Entertainment."
Also on that same year, rumors spread that Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez were making beautiful music together. The story surfaced while the two were doing a series of Valentine concerts entitled "The Singer and the Songwriter." Ogie’s wife, Michelle Van Eimeren was reportedly affected by the rumors but she has already denied this. Moreover, Ogie and Regine have denied the rumor as well as they have stressed that the two of them have a "wonderful working relationship and are very good friends."
In 2005, some SOP hosts like Janno Gibbs, Jay-R, Kyla and Aryana were feted by their rival hosts in ASAP's Platinum Circle Awards. The awarding became a controversy because GMA executives felt that SOP was being used for ASAP's own gain. But ABS-CBN's Deo Endrinal pointed out that the inclusion of the four SOP hosts in the winners circle of the ASAP Platinum Circle was done without malice and it was not an intention to insult their rival show. As a result, the GMA management did not allow any of the representatives from their subsidiary GMA Records nor the four SOP hosts to appear in the rival show ASAP to accept the awards.
In August 19, 2006, rumors about Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez's love affair once again came out in the open after the Philippine broadsheet, The Philippine Star came out with a banner headline in the entertainment section that Ogie has filed for an annulment case against his wife Michelle Van Eimeren so that he could marry Regine. The article was written by Ricky Lo who supposedly had a lawyer as his source. A day after the story came out, Ogie spoke out during his birthday celebration at SOP and asked the press to spare his family. He immediately denied the whole story and apologized to Regine for the incident.
However, the supposed denial of their relationship did not quickly die down as actions spoke louder than words. During the Star Awards ceremony in October, Regine and Ogie dedicated their awards to one another (Ogie won as Best Comedy Actor while Regine won as Best Talent Show Host). During the 2007 New Year celebration at Baywalk jointly sponsored by GMA Network and Tanduay, the two SOP co-hosts hugged and kissed one another. Recently, GMA talk show Showbiz Central dished out the latest news about the couple: they will be marrying this June. Neither Ogie nor Regine admitted the news until recently, when Ogie decided to tell all in an exclusive interview with Philippine magazine YES. In the 16-page interview in YES Ogie admitted he and former wife Michelle Van Eimeren have separated, while declaring that he loves Regine so much.
In 2007, a controversy sparked on the SOP set when Asia's songbird Regine Velasquez sang the lyrics of the Dream Girls' song "Listen" incorrectly. Reportedly, one of the staff members of SOP covered the teleprompter, meaning that Velasquez may not have seen the lyrics correctly thus paving her to sing incorrect lyrics. After her performance she left the stage and walked off. Coincidentally, some clips of Ogie Alcasid nodding disappointingly but supportively are shown. Tons of criticism boomed, but Regine and SOP fans remain unperturbed by this nonsense issues. According to some fan clubs and critics, mishaps can happen, not only to Velasquez, but to other singers as well. Anyhow the next week, she silenced critics by singing the full version of the song flawlessly.
With the controversies surrounding the show and its cast members, the staff decided to make fun of it instead by creating a segment titled "Sobrang OJ Pare" where main hosts Ogie Alcasid and Janno Gibbs sing top hit songs with lyrics involving the hottest issues and poking fun at the personalities involved in it.
Unexpected moments and controversies
Though SOP is packaged as a wholesome musical variety show, it also had its share of unguarded moments caught live on camera before a national audience. The show created a big controversy on February 2005 when co-hosts Dingdong Dantes and Karylle locked lips while doing an interpretative dance repertoire where Janno Gibbs and Jolina Magdangal sang. Because of what happened, many people started to become interested in what's the real score behind Dingdong and Karylle considering the fact that Dingdong and previous SOP co-host Antoinette Taus were an item. It didn't take long for Dingdong and Karylle to admit that they were going steady as lovers after they guested at GMA's talk show "Startalk" in April 2005.
The kissing incident was repeated on February 2006 when SOP Gigsters co-hosts Mark Herras and Jennylyn Mercado kissed on the lips before the cameras, while Jay-R and Janno Gibbs were singing. The sequence was supposed to be part of the show's Videoke segment where chosen actors play a part while the host/guest performer is singing. Apparently, Mark and Jennylyn got carried away and their live kissing became talk of the town, apparently because when that incident happened the popular loveteam were no longer an item in real life.
SOP's other unguarded moment was in June 2005 when Rufa Mae Quinto uttered the word "pekpek" (Filipino slang for "vagina") on national television, in reference to the "short" shorts that she was wearing during the opening number. She actually called the shorts she was wearing as "pekpek" shorts. As a result, the MTRCB reviewed the particular episode and reprimanded Rufa Mae for her actions. Her memorandum had been issued around the first week of July 2005 to be circumspect in her speech and choice of words.
Regine's departure and return
On February 17, 2008, the viewers were in for a shock when Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez cried during the show's "Constellation of Stars" segment where she was serenaded by her SOP co-hosts. Speculations were fuelling that it might be Regine's last appearance in the show since she was bent to accept ABS-CBN's lucrative offer after taping earlier for the drama anthology Maalaala Mo Kaya and guesting in Kapamilya network shows like Sharon and Entertainment Live.
After Regine's tearful appearance at SOP, it was reported that among ABS-CBN's lucrative offer was the lead role in the Philippine version of Betty La Fea, and her own musical variety show on primetime. But GMA executives were quick to the draw, as they called Regine for an emergency meeting on February 18. In some tabloid articles it was revealed that GMA gave in to Regine's demands by "tripling" her talent fee and give her 2 more shows.
It was expected then that Regine would appear again on the show last February 24, 2008. However, the Songbird was a no-show. Instead, she opted to guest at ABS-CBN's The Buzz where she confirmed she expressed her interest to play Betty in the local version of Betty La Fea and also declared that she has "no job" since the February 17 episode of SOP was her last show.
However, on March 2, 2008, Regine set foot once again at the GMA studios where she declared that she will remain a Kapuso and will continue to be seen at SOP and in other GMA shows in the next months. Recently she signed a two-year exclusive contract with the Kapuso network.
Relaunch: SOP Fully Charged
It was already confirmed by GMA Senior Vice President for Entertainment Wilma Galvante that on November 22, 2009, SOP would be relaunched as SOP Fully Charged with a new set and new co-hosts to join main hosts Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Janno Gibbs and Jaya. Some of the current set of co-hosts would be replaced while those who remained were to undergo a change of image. Other plus factors promised for the new SOP were more production numbers and less talk.
Prior to the SOP Fully Charged relaunch there were already rumors that majority of the staff would be displaced following the resignation of its executive producer Perry Lansigan. Ms. Galvante denied these rumors, saying that the resignation of Lansigan was without intended malice. She also said that Lansigan's decision to resign was triggered by the fact that he now manages talents in show business (with Dingdong Dantes, Angelika dela Cruz, Geoff Eigenmann, Arthur Solinap, Carl Guevara and Jolina Magdangal as his wards) and had already put up his own talent and events management agency.
The relaunch received mixed reactions from its loyal televiewers. After almost 6 years of dominating the Sunday noontime slot, it relinquished the number 1 spot to its rival ASAP XV. It also triggered rumors that some of its main hosts (led by Regine Velasquez) were not happy with the reformatted content of the show and the internal problems experienced by the staff.
On January 31, 2010, SOP dropped the phrase "Fully Charged" from its title card. It was also confirmed that main host Ogie Alcasid had become the show's creative director.
Even with the reformatting of the show, it was not able to beat its rival show. Just a few months after the re-launching of the show, in an interview published on February 24, 2010, Ogie Alcasid confirmed SOP would air its final episode on February 28, 2010, and that it would be replaced by another Sunday musical-variety show entitled Party Pilipinas.
On February 28, 2010, the show had its final episode and it served as a reunion of the people who became part of the show. Among the former co-host/performers in attendance were Dingdong Dantes, KC Montero, Bernadette Allyson, South Border's Jay Durias, Bobby Andrews and Angelika dela Cruz.
- Main hosts
- Co-hosts / Performers
Moved to ABS-CBN/TV5
If some of SOP's main hosts could not make it to the show due to various reasons, the staff also hires a big-named star to guest co-host in the show. Some of the guest co-hosts were only good for an episode, while some continue their hosting and performing duties for one month or more.
Deceased regular co-hosts and guest hosts
SOP Music Awards
In recognition of Filipino performers and songwriters, SOP created the "SOP Music Awards" in 2004. The winners were determined through text votes by SOP viewers. The first awards ceremony was held at UP Theater on August 2004. The resounding success of SOP Music Awards on that year prompted the GMA management and SOP staff to make it a yearly event.
- Notable winners
- 2005 Yasmien Kurdi, MYMP, Cueshe and South Border
- 2006 Lovi Poe, Shamrock, and 6 Cycle Mind
- 2007 Dennis Trillo and Yasmien Kurdi
- PMPC TV Star Awards
- 2008 Best Musical Variety Show
- 2002 Best Musical Variety Show
- 2001 Best Musical Variety Show
- 2000 Best Musical Variety Show (tied with ASAP)
- Janno Gibbs (Best Male TV Host)
- Regine Velasquez (Best Female TV Host)
- Ogie Alcasid (Best Male TV Host)
- Golden Screen Awards
- 2005 Best Musical Variety Show
- Ogie Alcasid (Best Male TV Host)
- New York Festivals
- 2007 Finalist, TV Programming and Promotion
- 2004 Finalist, TV Programming and Promotion
- 2001 Finalist, TV Programming and Promotion
- 1999 Finalist, TV Programming and Promotion
- Asian TV Awards
- 2006 Finalist, Variety
- Catholic Mass Media Awards
- 2009 Best Entertainment Program
- "iGMA.tv Launch on SOP!". GMA Network. February 12, 2005.
- FIRST READ ON PEP: GMA-7 reveals upcoming lineup of shows
- "PEP: Ogie Alcasid confirms SOP 's final episode on Feb. 28" (in Filipino). GMA Network. February 24, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Santiago, Erwin (March 2, 2010). "AGB Mega Manila TV Ratings (Feb. 26-March 1): Pilipinas Got Talent rules weekend primetime viewing". Retrieved March 14, 2018.