Eat Bulaga!, the country's longest-running noontime variety show, is parting ways with its producer Television and Production Exponent (TAPE) Inc.
Main hosts Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon made the announcement on the show on Wednesday, May 31.
“Simula ngayong araw, May 31, 2023, kami po ay magpapaalam na sa TAPE Inc.," Vic said. "Karangalan po namin na kami’y nakapaghatid ng tuwa’t saya mula Batanes hanggang Jolo, at naging bahagi ng buhay ninyo. Maraming maraming salamat sa inyong lahat."
Tito remembered the past 44 years that Eat Bulaga! has been on-air, and how legions of "Dabarkads" supported the show.
He also thanked TAPE Inc. co-founder Tony Tuviera for the friendship and for being part of the family.
In a statement, GMA Network said it's "saddened by today's unexpected turn of events."
"GMA has been the home of Eat Bulaga for many years," it said, adding there's still a block time agreement with TAPE until the end of 2024 for the noontime slot.
"Together will all the Filipino fans, we pray for a smooth and swift resolution of their issues."
The bombshell came after over a month when rumors of an Eat Bulaga! rebranding—and the trio getting fired—broke out amid financial losses.
Co-owner Romeo Jalosjos Sr., a former representative of Zamboanga, reportedly wants to take control of TAPE Inc. from Tuviera and "rebrand" the show.
Tito also previously said that though Tuviera is still with TAPE Inc., there have been changes in the organizational structure.
The company also allegedly owed them millions of pesos, according to Tito. Vic said he already received his P30 million after the issue made the headlines.
Entertainment news website PEP.ph, meanwhile, on May 30 reported that Tito, Vic, and Joey have signed a contract with TV5 for a noontime show. Citing a network insider, PEP.ph said it was already a "done deal," following TV5's last noontime show Tropang LOL already airing its final episode.
PhilSTAR L!fe reached out to TAPE Inc. for comment, but has yet to receive a reply.
(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include GMA Network's statement.)