I don't know about you, but I've had it up to here (hand planted right around nose height) with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The network airs the show way, way too much. I'm sure it's popular and there are probably promotional considerations involved, considering it's actually a show that's still on the air (GSN airs both the older Regis Philbin episodes and the newer Meredith Vieira ones), but we really don't need the show on as much as it is.
What would I put on instead? More classic game shows!
One of the biggest changes is that they're going to go ahead and build their set right next to the set for Divorce Court. Since so many marriages end up that way anyway, and The Newlywed Game is about testing how well the contestants know one another, it would make sense that some of the couples might want to head right over there. Hell, they could air the episodes back-to-back for a one-two punch of entertainment. Nothing like watching people's lives fall apart on national television.
At the beginning of the year the beautiful and sexy Jay Black presented a wonderful dissertation on the state of channel drift in cable television that discussed many of the reasons for this phenomenon. Being someone who likes to jump on an idea and trample it to death, I decided to expand on Jay's initial premise and provide some specific examples of cable networks that have drifted one way or another. Yet, being someone who likes to add something to an existing idea before the trampling begins, I decided a twist was in order.
Since a drift can range from 'small, but noticeable' to 'am I on the right channel?' a ratings system needed to be designed to determine how far a channel has gotten away from its origins. So, in the fifteen examples I list after the jump, you will see one of four categories...Minor Shift, Moderate Shift, Major Shift and Mother of All Channel Shifts. It is these four categories that you can use to agree or disagree with my findings once they are presented. So, without a continuing narration, here are the cable networks that have encountered some sort of channel drift.
The show itself is supposed to "put a twist" on classic game shows like Jeopardy and ... The Newlywed Game. I'm sorry, but The Newlywed Game? What in the hell are we dealing with here? The person who dreamed this up must have been chasing the dragon when they thought it was a good idea to compare their cat show to a program in which seemingly every question involved the phrase, "making whoopie."
If the endless reruns of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air just aren't providing your recommended daily allowance of Carlton, then I have some good news for you. Alfonso Ribeiro will soon be back on our televisions in an all new project. He's set to host a new show for GSN called Catch 21, starting on July 21st.
The show combines the card game 21 with pop-culture trivia questions and will feature three contestants facing off against each other. Forty episodes have been ordered and they will air weeknights at 7:30PM. It is created by Merrill Heatter and executive produced by Scott Sternberg (Hey Paula). Fans of GSN may also recognize that the show is also based on the game of the same name on the GSN website. I'll give it a go. If they can keep the speed of the questions up (Beat The Geeks), instead of endlessly stalling for dramatic effect (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), it could be a fun prelude to prime time.
[ via Cynopsis ]
This marks the first time The Newlywed Game will have a female host. Hosts of previous incarnations have included Bob Eubanks (who hosted most of the show's incarnations), Jim Lange, Paul Rodriguez and Gary Kroeger. The Dating Game has had a previous female host in Elaine Joyce. Other hosts for that show have included Jim Lange, Jeff MacGregor, Brad Sherwood and Chuck Woolery.
Father's Day has always been a weird holiday for me. I never knew my father, as he died when I was only a year old in the '60s, so to me Father's Day has never been anything more than just another day to me. I sometimes wonder how I would be if I had known my father growing up.
(Wait, did I just get serious there for a moment? Quick, say something snarky! Moment of Truth sucks! OK, back to the post.)
This Sunday, June 15, GSN will celebrate Father's Day with a poker-filled marathon. Actually, the celebrating starts tomorrow, Friday, at noon. World Poker Tour host Vince Van Patten will join his father Dick on an episode of GSN Live, which will be followed by episodes of game shows that the elder Van Patten appeared in. Then on Sunday at 3pm, the network will have a six hour marathon of classic World Poker Tour matches, followed by the two hour premiere of the 5th Annual Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure tournament, hosted by A.J. Benza and Daniel Negreanu.
I'll be the first to agree that at some point after Chris Moneymaker's World Series win, poker on TV got a little bit out of hand. For a while it seemed that you couldn't turn on the TV without stumbling over some new poker-based show. Things have settled down somewhat lately, with a few survivors remaining. For my poker watching vote, there remains a big three. The World Series, despite ESPN's screwed up scheduling, World Poker Tour, and the newcomer, High Stakes Poker.
Now it looks like two of the three could be in trouble. It seems that the expected dates for the renewals of WPT and High Stakes over at GSN have come and gone. The speculation is that the new CEO at GSN, David Goldhill, wants to move away from the interest in poker that the former CEO, Rich Cronin, brought to the network. Goldhill would instead like to get back to more traditional game shows.
I used to watch both The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game when I was a kid, and it wasn't until years later that I realized how filthy both of them were. Both would have all of these double entendres and suggestive questions, and the answers from the contestants were often something you wouldn't even say to a friend in private. Example from The Newlywed Game:
Bob Eubanks: "Where's the weirdest place that you and your husband have made whoopee?"
Woman: "In the a**?"
Now, this wasn't shown on TV until Eubanks showed the clip on an episode of NBC's Most Outrageous Moments a few years ago (the original answer was never shown on TV and the woman was given a chance to give another answer, and another contestant gave a similar answer years earlier), but many of the questions and answers were suggestive in that way.
When I first heard that Dennis Miller was going to host a game show, I thought to myself "yeah, I covered that already." But I didn't know that the show I had written about had already ended and this was a new game show he was going to host.
The previous one was Grand Slam, the GSN show that pitted former game show champs (like Ken Jennings) against each other. Looks like that show only lasted one season (hopefully I can catch the reruns), but Miller isn't through with game shows yet. He's going to host the new NBC show Amnesia, which will premiere on NBC in the 1 vs. 100 slot when that show ends its season.
The show, which is produced by BBC Worldwide America, is a contest to see which contestant can win the most money without being the greediest. The game begins with five "Money Clocks" ranging in value from $1,000 to $5,000. In each round players secretly buzz in as the amount of money is shown on the clock in an attempt to capture the second-highest amount of money each time. Whoever rings in last, and scores the highest amount of cash goes home empty handed.
On Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19, GSN will run two different Griffin marathons, from 10am to 3pm. The shows included in the marathons will include a Chuck Woolery-hosted episode of Wheel Of Fortune and the first episode that featured Vanna White. We'll also see the first NYC-based episode of Wheel (not sure why this is so special, but I guess I'll wait and see) and a Jeopardy Masters Tournament of Champions. On Sunday night we'll see a 1960 episode of Play Your Hunch, a game show Griffin hosted, and then at 3:30am we'll see a To Tell The Truth episode that Griffin guest hosted.
That's a lot better than their tribute to Kitty Carlisle earlier this year, when they ran her game show appearances in the wee hours of the morning and that was it.
GSN has bought the rights to the (very) short-lived ABC game show Show Me The Money, hosted by William Shatner. That's a total of seven episodes, including two that never aired.
Wow, what a get! Seven episodes of a lame TV show that lasted for five episodes. Did GSN get some sort of great deal on this? Are they that hard up for shows? It will run Tuesday night, but maybe it should be a daily show, so they can go through the entire run of the show is a week. Maybe they'll have a week long marathon and show the same seven episodes over and over and over again.
A network buys a short-lived game show but no one is currently running Kate and Allie or The Odd Couple, both of which lasted years. Crazy.
We told you the other day that longtime To Tell The Truth panelist and patron of the arts Kitty Carlisle Hart had died at 96, and one of us here mentioned that GSN will probably air a tribute to her. And in fact, they are going to give her a tribute this weekend.
I was always a bit uncertain as to just how it was World Poker Tour fit in with the Travel Channel. I understand that the games took place in different places across the globe, but that always seemed like the equivalent of making a show about janitors who work in a hospital and calling it a medical drama.
Okay, maybe that wasn't the best analogy, but the point is that World Poker Tour, after almost five years on the Travel Channel, is heading over to GSN, which seems like a much better fit. World Poker Tour, one of the first popular "poker" shows and the one that made people like me who said "who the hell wants to watch people play poker?" choke on our words, will become part of the network's Friday night "Casino Night" lineup.
The fifth season of World Poker Tour is currently airing on the Travel Channel. It will hit GSN early next year.