'Philippine Idol' Season 2 Postponed Indefinitely

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We had lunch last Thursday with ABC 5 executive Perci Intalan, the man behind the entertainment production and creative services of "Philippine Idol" network ABC 5, and he confirmed to us what we have initially heard from the grapevine - that the season two of the local version of the much-awaited singing talent search has been postponed.

The season two is supposed to start this July but as it is, Perci said they have yet to determine the definite date when the sequel will commence. He said, "at about the same time last year, our team was already in place, all the preparations were underway. But this year, we have yet to start with any preparation because everyone is busy with the coming elections. That's why we can't determine yet whether to push through in December or just do it next year, side by side the next season of "American Idol."

Perci said this kind of template was done in Canada and it was successful. "We might be trying that out but still, no definite plans yet as of the moment," he said.

Perci also told us that there might be considerable changes in the "Philippine Idol" set-up as most contracts that Fremantle have entered into with Philippine personnel were good for only a year. "Except for Sony-BMG Music which holds the rights to all Idol recordings and us, others, I think need to draw a new agreement with Fremantle," he said.

That means Fremantle Media might need to re-appoint the existing or elect a new set of judges to sit on the panel. However, Perci said they will definitely retain Ryan Cayabyab in the panel of judges. That statement more or less confirmed to us earlier rumors that Francis Magalona and Pilita Corrales might be replaced.

Although he is not privy to the contract that she signed with Fremantle, Sandra Chavez's firm might have to wait for their re-appointment to manage the next batch of Philippine Idols.

Ryan Agoncillo, who clinched good reviews for hosting the program in its entirety, is also expected to continue holding the reigns for the next season.

But how happy is ABC 5 with "Philippine Idol"? Perci said that in terms of popularity, they are pretty satisfied because "Philippine Idol" was the big thing when it happened. He also denied that the network actually lost revenues even with the perceived success of the Idol season. "We plan to improve on a lot of things for the next season, particularly the sound infrastructure that will be beamed on television. Events-wise, we got very good reviews but it's really the reception on TV that had been the problem," he said.

ABC's healthy working environment

Perci has high hopes for "Philippine Idol" and the network he belongs to. He is presently heading the combined departments of entertainment production and creative services (promo production) of ABC 5. His existing shows, after the widespread steamlining of the network that happened late last year, are now the primetime newscast "Sentro," the leading dance show in the country "Shall We Dance" and the localized version of "Ripley's Believe It Or Not."

As such, the 35-year-old Perci is incharged with creative execution and production management of the network's entertainment programs as well as on-air promos, radio, print and outdoor advertising efforts of the ABC 5. He is also part of the network's programming committee.

He tells me he loves the working environment at ABC 5 -- intimate, small but very healthy and that he sees himself working for the same in the many years to come. That was very nice to hear from someone with a solid background like Perci as far as television work is concerned.

Before moving to ABC 5 in 2004, Perci was employed by Walt Disney Television as project manager to jumpstart production initiative for Hong Kong Disneyland. Here, he was executive producer for Playhouse Disney years 3 and 4 filmed in Australia, Singapore and the Philippines which aired in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia and South Korea; and Playhouse Disney Year 2 filmed in Spain and Australia. …