Sunday, March 20, 2011

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It: Game Show News Updates (Part 2)

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Blog Is Right! In this week's article, I'm going to once again spotlight some of the headlines that peaked my interest this month concerning game show news. From Simon Cowell's new talent show to a congressman defeating a supercomputer, I'm sure you are going to enjoy reading about what has happened or what's in store for the future. Enjoy!   

Host Andrew W.K. (right) with the green team 
Cartoon Network Game Shows Hole in the Wall and Destroy Build Destroy Renewed for new seasons
Two of Cartoon Network’s hit game shows, Destroy Build Destroy and Hole in the Wall, will be returning this year with new episodes. Destroy Build Destroy has been renewed for a third season and new episodes of Hole in the Wall have been ordered for this year according to the network’s press release.  Destroy Build Destroy is hosted by musician Andrew W.K. and features two teams of three teenage contestants competing to destroy objects and build a machine or vehicle out of the remains, depending on the show’s task. The winning team wins $3,000 and gets to destroy the losing team’s creation by using a high-powered explosive device (ex. a high powered laser, TNT, World War II airplane bomb, etc.) If the two teams tie, neither team wins and both teams’ creations are destroyed.

Hole in the Wall (a.k.a. "Human Tetris")
Cartoon Network’s other game show, Hole in the Wall, is based on a Japanese game show called Nokabe (meaning Brain Wall).  The U.S. version of this show originally aired on FOX in 2008 and only lasted for one season.  The series was later picked up by Cartoon Network in 2010 with host Teck Holmes, formerly from Real World: Hawaii.

Both shows are part of Cartoon Network’s Wednesdays CN Real block, which features live action shows rather than cartoons. This is Cartoon Network’s second and third attempt at creating a game show after their first show BrainRush fell through due to its cancellation after the first season.  Destroy Build Destroy and Hole in the Wall have proven to be successful as both shows ranked #1 in their timeslots with boys 2-11, boys 6-11, and boys 9-14 years old according to Nielsen Media Research. You can catch new episodes of Hole in the Wall on Wednesdays at 7:30pm EST and Destroy Build Destroy on Wednesdays at 8:30pm EST on Cartoon Network. 

"The voice of reason" Simon Cowell 
The X Factor
The U.K. hit talent show, The X Factor, makes its way to the U.S. as FOX has picked up this series to premiere September 2011. This new U.S. reality series will be hosted by former American Idol judge and icon Simon Cowell. Cowell is also the creator, executive producer and a judge of the U.K. and the U.S. versions of The X Factor.
The show is, of course, looking for singing talent, but appearance, personality, stage presence, and dance routines are encouraged too. Each of the four judges will be assigned to a category of performers. The four performance categories are girls under 25, boys under 25, individuals over 25, and group performers. There are four rounds the contestants have to go through in order to become “the X factor”: the auditions, “boot camp”, the visits to the Judges’ houses, and the live shows. Throughout the live shows, the judges’ double as mentors to help the contestants with their song choices, and even their styling. "I wanted to make a show where I, along with my fellow judges, help competitors on a regular basis," said Cowell, whose music industry experience is mostly on the record label end. "It's more interesting to me because I have a lot more to do with that. When you lose an artist, part of you has lost as well. You win when they win."(1) The winner of the competition will win a recording contract with Syco Music (in association with Sony Music Entertainment) worth $5 million. Here's a clip from the 2010 season of the U.K.'s The X Factor announcing who the winner was from last season:
To my knowledge, I believe that this is the largest guaranteed grand prize in television history, besides the $2,000,000 cash prize for winning the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005. The show is similar to NBC’s America’s Got Talent concerning the age limit of contestants competing. Contestants older than 12 years old may compete and groups are allowed to compete, as opposed to American Idol where the age limit is 28 and only solo acts are allowed.  It will be very interesting to see how The X Factor will fare against American Idol in the fall, especially since both shows are on the same network. I believe that this show will get more viewers than CBS’s Live To Dance, hosted by Paula Abdul, but probably not more viewers than American Idol. Either way, we'll find out this September on FOX.

Spring Wipeout
ABC's Spring Wipeout title card 
Thursday, March 17 is the fifth season of ABC’s Wipeout. The show with the world’s most extraordinary obstacle course is back with a new spring theme and new obstacles to overcome. Some of the new obstacles include The Bed Bugs, the Springavator, and the Wipeout Kitchen. The motley crew of John Anderson, John Henson, and Jill Wagner will also return to the show with their humorous commentary to entertain us throughout the whole show. Last season, Winter Wipeout did fairly well in terms of viewers, averaging 8.28 million viewers per episode and a 2.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic age group. Wipeout has also been nominated for a 2011 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards for “Favorite Reality Show”. If you missed the season premiere, you can catch it again Sunday, March 19 at 8:00pm EST on ABC.

Silent Library title card
Silent Library Fourth Season Premiere News
MTV’s hit game show Silent Library returns for a fourth season premiering on Friday, March 25 at 9:00pm and 9:30pm EST.  The cast of Jersey Shore will play on the first show and talk show host Jimmy Fallon and The Roots will be playing on the 9:30 show on the new season trying to rack up big bucks for their charities. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, six contestants have to perform ridiculous stunts and challenges that are designed to create a lot of noise and disruptions. The catch is they have to perform the stunts in a library and have to be a quiet as possible in order to win the cash. This upcoming season will probably be the most entertaining and amusing to watch of the series. Other notable celebrities playing this season will be New York Met Ike Davis, The Ready Set and 3OH!3. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season of Silent Library in the video below.

Photo Courtesy of  Facebook 
New Who Wants to be a Millionaire Facebook Game
I’m sure you are all familiar with the updated version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Whether you like the new format or not, there is a new Millionaire game created by Ludia for Facebook launching Monday, March 21.  So, for those of you who are tired of answering the same 15 questions on the demo game on the show’s website, you can now fully enjoy the challenge of the 2010 version of the game. The current “unofficial” Millionaire game is still running on Facebook and is based on the classic 15-question format. From what I’ve seen from the Facebook comments concerning the announcement, there are a lot of people who are excited about the arrival of the new Facebook game (including myself).

DOWN GOES WATSON! DOWN GOES WATSON!: IBM Supercomputer is finally defeated by Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.)
Photo courtesy from The Washington Scene
It seems like the IBM supercomputer Watson has met his match after Rep. Rush Holt (D- N.J.) won a round of Jeopardy! at the Liason Capitol Hill. This was part of an event hosted by IBM on February 28. Holt, four other congressmen, and Watson took part in a bipartisan “Watson vs. Members” tournament. The four other congressmen were Reps. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.), and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). In Holt’s game, he faced off against Watson and Cassidy. The end result was Cassidy in third with 1,000 points, Watson took second with 6,200 points, and Holt was the winner of the round with 8,600 points. Holt has clearly shown that he is no tenderfoot when it comes to playing Jeopardy! as he is a five-time Jeopardy! champion and he is also a nuclear physicist. Even with a “resume” as impressive as Holt’s, he was still intimidated by the supercomputer.  "I watched a few episodes [of Watson] against Jennings a few weeks ago, and I thought I was in for trouble", Holt said(2).  I can’t help but wonder what the final score might have been if the Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! rounds were played.  Nevertheless, Rep. Rush Holt did what super champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter had failed to do: defeat Watson in a game of Jeopardy!

More Game Show News Headlines
2- "Rep. Holt beats Watson the super-computer at 'Jeopardy!"
**All screenshots have been obtained from Google Images. No ownership is implied.**

Stay tuned for a special video montage presentation I made called The Million Dollar Montage in my next post that's only available on The Blog Is Right! 

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