After months of chatter and speculations, John Lloyd Cruz’s rumored partnership with GMA 7 finally materialized on Nov. 9 after the actor signed a contract with the network for his planned sitcom.
The blocktime show—to be directed and line-produced by Wacky Solutions’ Edgar Mortiz—now has a home. And Cruz couldn’t be happier, he said, because, for a time, they “struggled” to find a platform.
“Thank you for giving our small family a home. Finding a home in GMA 7 is a big thing,” he said in a statement.
The event was held at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel and was attended by a line of network executives led by GMA Films president Annette Gozon-Valdes. Also present were Mortiz, Cruz’s managers at Crown Artist Management and GMA Artist Center consultant Johnny Manahan.
The 38-year-old star is “excited” and “happy” to work with the Kapuso network and described their upcoming collaboration as “twenty years in the making.” Back in the early 2000s, Cruz—although an artist and discovery of ABS-CBN—was still able to make appearances in GMA 7 shows, like the horror anthology “Kakabakaba.”
“Thank you for waiting [for me]. Like what Ma’am Annette said, this is 20 years in the making. We’re happy we waited because I think this is the right time for me to be here,” he told “24 Oras.”
“I’m delighted that John Lloyd will be working with us and not just as the lead actor of his show, but also as part of the creative team,” Gozon-Valdes said. “We’re excited to see more of what he can bring to the table off cam. These are indeed exciting times for us.”
GMA 7 chair and CEO Felipe Gozon described Cruz as “one of the most sought-after actors of his generation.
“That’s why I’m very happy he chose to partner with GMA for his TV comeback,” he said.
Cruz, who was last seen in the ABS-CBN sitcom “Home Sweetie Home” in 2017, made his first live television appearance in four years last June in an event for a popular online shopping platform, which aired on GMA 7.
And while he decided to go on a show biz hiatus Cruz didn’t completely stop working in the last four years. He did a few advertisements; stayed in touch with the award-winning filmmaker Lav Diaz; and made a cameo appearance in the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival Entry “Culion.”
Among the stars who welcomed Cruz to GMA 7 was his perennial screen partner Bea Alonzo, who joined the network’s roster of exclusive talents last July.
In a video message, the actress quipped that what people say about her and Cruz must be true: “Magkadugtog ang bituka nating dalawa!”
“Here we are back together again in the same place … I can’t wait for everyone to see and experience the greatness of a John Lloyd Cruz just like I did through the years,” said Alonzo, who once joked that Cruz was probably trying to follow her.
Cruz also expressed interest in working with other GMA 7 stars, including Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera and Alden Richards.
“Some of them I have already worked with and I’m hoping I can work with them again. I’m looking forward to that,” he said. “If they have the time, I hope they can visit us in our program, and we will welcome them into our little family.”
“I heard that Bea and Alden have some projects lined up. Gusto ko makigulo doon,” he quipped. “I hope our schedules align.”
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