Sunday, September 16, 2012

CHECK IT OUT!: Game Shows To Look Forward To This Week

This week (specifically September 17) marks the return of the number-one and number-two ranked syndicated game shows of all time, the series premiere of the new syndicated game show Let's Ask America, who hopes to join the ranks of Wheel and Jeopardy!, and the return of Millionaire's star-studded "Celebrity Week". Check out what to expect this week from Let's Ask America, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and Millionaire.     

The 30th Season of Wheel of Fortune 
The long-running #1 syndicated game show Wheel of Fortune will be kicking off its 30th on Monday, September 17. The series aptly named as “America’s Favorite Game Show” will debut new several features that will be beneficial to the contestants and avid fans of Wheel including the “$5K Every Day Cash Giveaway”, more $500-per-letter payouts, and a new interactive and mobile versions of Wheel.

$5K Every Day Cash Giveaway: In addition to the trips given away each night with each Prize Puzzle, Wheel of Fortune will debut the “$5K Every Day Cash Giveaway” this season. Each night, a Wheel Watchers Club member’s SPIN ID will be shown and the recipient will have 24 hours to log on to Wheel of Fortune’s website to claim their $5,000 prize.

Wheel Yahoo TV App: Also premiering this season will be a new way to interact with the show: a Yahoo Application found on Sony Bravia high-definition televisions. According to Sony’s press release, the Yahoo application will deliver Internet-enhanced television, creating a real-time, engaging and interactive entertainment experience. The new Wheel of Fortune app will give fans access to all @WheelofFortune tweets during the show, a weekly video promoting the theme for the week of shows, the latest information on how to become a contestant, information about the weekly “Wheel Deal” savings offers, and classic, memorable Wheel clips.

30th Anniversary Mobile Game: A new version of the already successful mobile Wheel of Fortune game will be coming soon to Android and iOS devices. The 30th Anniversary edition will be expanding the player to incorporate the latest features of the today’s “smart” platforms and devices and to provide a new experience based on Wheel’s thirty years of historical excellence.

Tweetstakes: As they have been doing for the past couple of seasons, Wheel of Fortune 
will be holding several “Tweetstakes” for the 30th anniversary season, where home viewers can tweet from their Twitter accounts and win prizes. A few shows this season will feature a partially-solved puzzle and fans who tune-in and tweet @WheelofFortune with the correct puzzle solution will be entered to win a prize. Prizes that were given away in previous Tweetstakes included $500 cash prizes and $100 gift cards sponsored by The Popcorn Factory.

Upgrades for Season 30: This milestone season will see multiple changes and additions in the set, the gameplay, to name a few.
-  Each show will open with a classic clip, old puzzles from the past 29 seasons will be shown for the fans and home viewers to solve.
-  The “Decades” puzzle category will be reintroduced, where the puzzle will revolve around highlights of the ‘70s, ’80, and ‘90s.
-  The contestants will have a chance to win more cash by being awarded with $500 per letter upon landing on a prize wedge, gift tag, or a ½ Car tag.
-  The ½ Car tag will no longer exclusively feature Kia cars
-  A seamless screen that spans from the host’s position all the way across the three contestants in lieu of the three screens displayed in front of each contestant
-  A visual countdown timer graphic will be displayed in the bonus round
-  A new “Ask Pat & Vanna” segment will be introduced this season and will be featured during the closing minutes of most shows. Log onto Wheel’s website for more information on how you can submit your questions. 

The 29th Season of Jeopardy!
This Monday will also mark the season premiere of Jeopardy! Entering its 29th season in syndication, the 30-time Emmy award winning game show will not see many changes this year with the exception of a new intro video and a new specialty theme week, Military Week. Alex Trebek will travel abroad in October to numerous military bases to help audition contestants for the week-long competition. “We think it’s important to recognized our U.S. servicemen and women for their courage and unwavering dedication to this country. It’s time for them to have a competition of their very own,” said Trebek.

Although this season of Jeopardy! will not see any drastic changes, many themed competitions will return including the third edition of the Teachers Tournament (November 7-20), the Teen Tournament (January 2013), the $250,000 Tournament of Champions (February 2013), Kids Week, and the College Championship. Additionally, the Jeopardy! Clue Crew will be returning this season for the 12th year with roving correspondents Sarah Whitcomb, Kelly Miyahara, and Jimmy McGuire. Since 2001, the Clue Crew has traveled all around the globe spanning all seven continents, including 280 cities, 48 states, and 44 countries.   

"Celebrity Week" #3 on Millionaire 
“Celebrity Week” returns to Millionaire for the third season in a row starting on Monday, September 17. As with the previous Celebrity Weeks, the featured stars who will be playing the famed multiple-choice game for the Alzheimer’s Association in recognition of World Alzheimer’s Month. This year’s celebrities who will be vying for the coveted million-dollar grand prize will be Oscar and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Mo’Nique (Sep. 17), America’s favorite cook and best-selling author Paula Deen (Sep. 18-19), comedian Cheech Marin (Sep. 19-20), television actress Jack√©e Harry (Sep. 20), and Tony Dovolani from Dancing With The Stars (Sep. 21). In the past two seasons, Millionaire celebrity contenders have raised nearly $600,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association including Anthony Anderson’s $250,000 win last season. Each celebrity is guaranteed to win a minimum of $10,000, even if they answer a first round question incorrectly. Each Millionaire Celebrity Week have been entertaining thus far, and I’m sure this season will not disappoint. Check out the previews to Millionaire’s third annual Celebrity Week on the show’s Facebook page.

Let's Ask America Series Premiere
In addition to the return of two of the most beloved game shows of all time, a new show steps into the game show arena with the debut of the Scripps game show Let's Ask America on September 17. Host Kevin Pereira asks contestants via Skype interesting opinion poll questions for up to $50,000 in cash. A sample question would be "Who tries hardest to cut lines outside a club: Men or Women?". From what I have seen from the previews, Let's Ask America is doing what OWN's Are You Normal, America? should have done. This new series has interesting, thought-provoking, and fun survey questions, the dynamic of contestants competing against each other, and a unique gimmick that sets this game shows apart from almost all the rest. The only downside to this show is that it's only viewable on 14 stations and 10 cities in the U.S. including Phoenix, AZ; Tulsa, OK; West Palm, FL; and Baltimore, MD. Honestly, I believe this show will be picked up in more markets after the first season. Although Let's Ask America is simple, it will be interesting enough to stick around. Click here for more information about Let's Ask America. Furthermore, you can keep yourself updated with the latest news from the show by following @letsaskamerica on Twitter. 

Sources: The Futon Critic, Sony PR

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