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October 9, 2015

Cartoon Network Revives 'Hole in the Wall' ... And Other Game Show Mistakes

by Scott Harris, posted Jul 21st 2010 11:32AM
It's one of the better trends of modern television: networks stepping in to rescue canceled shows. DirecTV, for instance, recently saved the critically acclaimed FX series 'Damages' from certain doom, while Comedy Central brought cult favorite 'Futurama' back from the dustbin of history. And most famously, of course, Fox corrected its own mistake by bringing back 'Family Guy' after a massive fan outcry that lasted years. Yes, these days, quality, popular series will often get a second lease on life.

And apparently that's also the case for unpopular nonsense.

Yes, it's hard to believe, but as we mentioned yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Cartoon Network has decided to revive the decidedly unacclaimed and short-lived Fox game show 'Hole in the Wall.' That show, you may recall, features people on a giant treadmill who have to contort themselves, Tetris-style, to fit through cutouts in a series of rapidly approaching walls.

Strangely enough, that premise, which was copied from a Japanese game show, never caught on with American audiences, with Fox actually pulling the show from its lineup on three separate occasions before finally canning it for good. One man's trash is another man's treasure, though, and apparently Cartoon Network sees some potential in 'Hole in the Wall' that the American public failed to notice the first three times around.

But as weird as Cartoon Network's decision is, is 'Hole in the Wall' really the worst game show idea of all time? It has to be in the discussion, but it certainly has some competition. Here's a look at some of the other dubious game shows that have confounded audiences over the years:

'Downfall' Sure, it's only been on the air for a month, but that's already enough time for 'Downfall' to enshrine itself in the bad idea hall of fame. This ABC show, for those few who aren't already hardcore fans, features prizes being dumped off the side of a building on what is billed as the "largest conveyor belt ever seen on TV." If it had Laverne bottling Shotz Beer on it, that would be great, but it doesn't; instead, it basically captures the fun of your ex throwing all your possessions out of your apartment window onto your lawn, only on television. Not our idea of a good time.

'Hurl' The title is self-explanatory, but in case you're unclear, yes, 'Hurl' was a show about people throwing up. Airing on G4 back in 2008, the idea was simple: people would eat a bunch of horrible crap and then be forced to endure a bunch of hardcore physical activities to see who could keep from throwing up the longest. Who says American culture is in decline?!

'Distraction' Imagine if 'Jeopardy' contestants had to answer questions while being pelted with eggs, slapped in the face or body slammed by wrestlers. Actually, that doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, it wasn't, but the Comedy Central series (based on a British hit) maybe took things a bit far with stunts like the toilet buzzer, which forced contestants to chime in on questions by urinating. 'Hurl' suddenly seems a whole lot classier.

'My Dad is Better Than Your Dad' It's a simple truth: my dad is better than your dad. At least, it's true if you ask any contentious seven-year-old, which proves an old Hollywood maxim -- never put an angry seven-year-old in charge of your programming. NBC forgot that simple lesson and the result was this show, which pitted father-son teams against each other in an effort to empirically prove whose Dad was better. Somewhere out there, little Timmy is still crying tears of disillusionment.

'The Moment of Truth' How bad was this marriage-ending greed fest, which saw contestants strapped to a lie-detector and forced to answer salacious questions about their personal life in order for the chance to pocket some ill-earned money? Fox actually yanked it from the line-up in order to make room for 'Hole in the Wall.' And so, the circle is complete.

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Game Watcher

I was so glad that girlie team (super supers) lost. Someone should emasculate that boy. I feel sorry for him, especially the younger of the two girls with the big J*wish nose didn't win. She said she could smell his breath with a nose like that I bet she was smelling how bad her "FAMILY" is!

Cartoon Network Executives take notice, you guys should go back to what people like..... cartoons (and still animation like robot chicken) leave crap like that to D*sney and N*ckelodeon.

January 30 2011 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A Noun

Wow. I remember when Cartoon Network used to show frickin' CARTOONS!

I think they still have the largest cartoon inventory among the three (CN, Nick, Disney) -- so show them!

As for Hurl, all of G4's programming is pure crap anyway. A little vom on top is appropriate.

July 24 2010 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For this they scuttled Weird Al's project?

Honestly, I'd consider watching it if it were on practically any other channel. (I don't watch live action programming on CN or Nicktoons.) I agree with Richard, though - G4 would be a better fit.

As for Distraction, although I loved it, the US version was Tame City compared to the original UK version.

July 22 2010 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If they have teenagers or pre-teen contestants on the show not Adults I think it could be pretty successful.

July 21 2010 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Ott

Why couldn't G4 have picked up Hole In The Wall,
instead of The Adventure Ti--uh--Adult Sw--wait, um--
The Dude N--, Total Dr--Cartoon Network? G4 should
really own this game show, since both of their
hits, Ninja Warrior & Unbeatable Bonzukai have been
proven to be a ratings success in any language.

July 21 2010 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think "My Dad is Better Than Your Dad" would be a great fit for Cartoon Network (or Nick). I actually am surprised that these networks haven't tried to add more family programming. Not saying I want them to get rid of cartoons, but something that the family can watch together. I know my wife walks out the room every time that I watch Spongebob, Ben 10, or SW: Clone Wars with the boys.

fyi, I actually did like "Hole in the Wall", I just don't know how long can you put different types of holes in a wall and make it interesting.

July 21 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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