Friday, October 28, 2011

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It: Game Show News Updates (Part 7)

In this week's article, I'm going to once again spotlight some of the headlines that has peaked my interest this month concerning game show news. From the U.S. adapting yet another U.K. show to celebrity cameo exchanges, I'm sure you are going to enjoy reading about what has happened or what's in store for the future in the world game shows. Enjoy!

Fear Factor Returns to NBC
Courtesy NBC
The gross-out game show Fear Factor that America grew to know and love returns to NBC for a brand new season. The original series lasted for six seasons from 2001 to 2006. For those of you who have never seen Fear Factor before, the show featured three men and three women competing in a series of three extreme (and sometimes gross and slimy) stunts for a grand prize of $50,000. The twist is if a contestant is too afraid or scared to attempt a stunt, they are eliminated from the game and lose their chance to win the big prize. The revival will be formatted the same as the original version, including keeping the original host Joe Rogan. The only change in the revival is that the stunts will be “more challenging and competitive than ever before” (1). Keeping the original format is a good move on NBC’s part. This was an entertaining show to watch while it was on years ago, especially watching the celebrity episodes. In fact, Fear Factor earned NBC over $600 million in advertising revenue and became the first network reality show to be syndicated. It’s also interesting to see NBC revive Fear Factor in order to “keep up with the Joneses”, with TruTV and SyFy’s new fear-induced shows Killer Karaoke and Total Blackout. Check out the premiere of the revival of Fear Factor on December 12 on NBC.  

Courtesy SyFy
Former Family Matters Star Hosts New SyFy Game Show
Actor Jaleel White returns to television, not as a lovable and clumsy nerd, but as a game show host. White will be hosting SyFy’s new game show called Total Blackout. In Total Blackout, contestants will have to complete challenges and identify certain objects…… in total darkness. As if that weren’t challenging enough, the contestants might also have to deal with creepy, crawling critters such as snakes and tarantulas inside the dark playing area. Total Blackout is based on a game show of the same name that is popular in countries including Japan, Russia, and Greece. “Really, the biggest surprise will be the contestant’s behavior, whether they maintain their composure or not, because the darkness brings out something in all of us,” White told NBC while discussing the new show. Total Blackout is expected to premiere next year. Let’s hope SyFy will have better luck with this game show than with their other failed show Cha$e.

Courtesy Premiere Guide Media
Ghost Hunters & Meredith Vieira Trade Guest Appearances
Speaking of SyFy programming, the Ghost Hunters will be making a return appearance to Who Wants To Be a Millionaire for the show’s Ghost Hunters Halloween special. Last season, Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson won $61,100 for the Hasbro Children’s hospital in Providence, RI. (On a quick side note, I attended the taping of last year’s Ghost Hunters special on Millionaire and it was an awesome experience!) Will Jason and Grant win the million-dollar grand prize for their charity on their return visit? Watch Millionaire on Monday, October 31* to see how well the Ghost Hunters will fare in the show. Also, as a special Halloween treat, Millionaire host Meredith Vieira guest starred on an episode of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. The Ghost Hunters and Vieira investigated several historic landmark buildings in Snug Harbor in Staten Island, NY. The buildings are allegedly hunted by the spirit of a murdered laundry worker. Check out Meredith Vieira’s interview below as she recounts the events of her ghost hunting adventures. 

Chris Paul Plays Family Feud
Courtesy Electronic Urban Report
Ever since Steve Harvey has taken over as the host of the long-time running syndicated game show Family Feud, I have heard nothing but good news from the show’s success in popularity, priceless moments, and rise in television ratings. Family Feud continues to outdo themselves as NBA superstar Chris Paul, guard for the New Orleans Hornets, and his family is set to appear on the show. While the NBA lockout is still in effect, Paul and his family auditioned for the show and the producers selected his family to play on the Feud. It’s going to be interesting to see how Steve Harvey and Chris Paul’s family will interact with each other throughout the show(s). You can watch Chris Paul and his family play to win up to $100,000 and a new car on Family Feud on Tuesday, November 1*. 

Courtesy FOX
GSN Picks Up Rights To FOX's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader
It seems like GSN is following suit with The Hub network in airing reruns of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. The only exception is that GSN will be the first cable station to obtain the rights to the one-hour FOX version of the former hit primetime game show. Are You Smarter Than 5th Grader revolves around adult contestants answering elementary school level questions in an attempt to win $1,000,000 in cash. This show originally aired on FOX from Spring 2007 to Fall 2009 and featured special celebrity episodes with guest appearances by Tony Hawk, Regis Philbin, Ken Jennings, and more. Tune in for the premiere of the FOX version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader on Sunday, November 6 at 7:00pm EST on GSN.

GSN Changes Format In Schedule
Recently, GSN has announced they will changed their nighttime lineup to incorporate a rotation of old and new shows from 7:00p.m. to 12:00m EST. Listed below are the show scheduled for the first week of changes starting on November 7: 

7pm: Million Dollar Password
8pm: Power of 10
9pm: 1 vs. 100
10pm: Millionaire (ABC Version)
11pm: Deal or No Deal 

7pm-12m: The Newlywed Game

7pm-12m: Baggage

7pm-12m: Deal or No Deal

7pm: Match Game
8pm: The $25,000 Pyramid
9pm: Card Sharks
10pm: Family Feud (Dawson Version)
11pm: The $100,000 Pyramid

7pm-9:30pm: Family Feud (Karn Version)
9:30-12m: Family Feud (O' Hurley)

7pm-12m: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (FOX Version)

As a special bonus for all of the classic game show lovers out there, check out GSN’s Friday night lineup on November 11, which included great classics like Match Game, Family Feud (Dawson version), and The $100,000 Pyramid. The changes that GSN is making with the schedule are good ones, as opposed to constantly watching reruns of Family Feud with Karn and O’Hurley and Deal or No Deal. I don’t know how long GSN will keep this format before they eventually switch back to their old, stagnant schedule; so, enjoy it while it lasts. I’ll make sure to keep you updated about any changes in GSN’s schedule via the blog’s Twitter feed. 

Courtesy Fuse
Fuse Network Sets Date For New Game Show
A lot of networks are setting dates for the debut of new game show series and the music TV network Fuse is hopping on the “new game show” band wagon. Fuse has finalized a deal for the new game show series Funny or Die’s Billy On The Street. In this new Fuse game show, Eichner tests New York City pedestrians’ knowledge of pop culture in this comedic game show, similar to another syndicated show called Street Smarts. The inspiration for this show originated from Eichner’s “man on the street” videos that he created for his live shows with the Upright Citizens Brigade. Six cable channels, including Comedy Central, BBC America, and VH1, ordered a pilot of the show before a deal was made exclusively with Fuse. I’m slightly shocked that the comedy-driven game show didn’t land on Comedy Central because it would have fit better with the genre of the network. Funny or Die’s Billy On The Street is set to premiere on December 21 at 11:00pm EST with comedian Billy Eichner as the host.

U.K. Bullseye host Jim Bowen
Popular U.K. Game Show Bullseye Coming To America?
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, The Million Pound Drop, and The Weakest Link: What do these game shows have in common? The U.S. adapted their own version of each U.K. originated show, and they are seeking to add the former U.K. hit game show Bullseye to that list. Bullseye (not to be confused with the Barry & Enright game show of the same name), was a game show where contestants answered questions and played a game of darts for cash and prizes. It may seem like a silly idea in hindsight, but the producers managed to get the format just right for the popular show to last for over 15 seasons in the U.K. Check out this classic 1984 episode of Bullseye and judge for yourself:

Andrew Wood, the creator and owner to the rights to Bullseye, has been talking with producers of the Gurin Company to make an American adaptation of the U.K. show. "Phil Gurin and I met in London and he loved the show," (2) said Wood. In the American version, the contestants will have the option to try for “Bully’s Million Dollar Jackpot”. It’s going to be VERY interesting to see what direction the U.S. will take this show if Bullseye were to be greenlit for production in the U.S. I would hate to see the U.S. ruin this good show by overproducing it, as they have done with Deal or No Deal and Minute To Win It in the past.

Courtesy Televisual
ITV Greenlights Production of The Exit List
Yesterday, ITV announced that they have commissioned a new game show called The Exit List. The Exit List, based on a Dutch game show format created by David Grifhorst, features a pair of contestants traversing their way through a 24-room maze while playing for the top prize of £200,000. Each room contains a different amount of money up to £100,000. The contestants must answer the question in each room and must also remember the exact route they traveled and their answers which will appear on “The Exit List” in order to escape with the money. The series will be hosted by BBC host Matt Allwright. The interesting thing about this news update is that a few months ago, ABC ordered a pilot for The Exit List. Check out Buzzerblog’s article which sheds some light about the U.S version of The Exit List. The Exit List will be produced by Googlebox Entertainment and Victory Television, which are two production companies that are a part of Sony Pictures Television. 

Lingo Mobile App Review
Courtesy GSN
GSN has released a mobile app that is based on the network's original show Lingo. Lingo is a challenging word game where contestants have five chances to solve a word and earn Lingo balls toward their Lingo board. From what I have seen from the screenshots of the mobile version Lingo, it looks like's version of Lingo "to go". This game is fun, addicting, challenging, and will put your knowledge of five-letter words to the ultimate test! The Lingo app is now available to download in the iTunes Store and Android Market for 99 cents. Remember, it's not just letters; it's Lingo!

Other Game Show News Headlines
Wheel of Fortune's Trick or Tweetstakes 

*Check your local listings.

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