Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stay Tuned: "Celebrity Name Game" & "The Game Plane"

Good afternoon, game show fans! I was going to hold off this update until the next week it premieres, but since I’m receiving a lot of information concerning the debut week of FremantleMedia's Celebrity Name Game, it thought I would just cover it today. I will also go into more depth for the series premiere of the new syndicated game show, The Game Plane, the first game show of its kind. If this is your first time hearing about the show, you will see why it's the first of its kind in just a moment. 

Celebrity Name Game: September 22; Syndication
Beginning next Monday, in 93% of the country, Celebrity Name Game will make its debut in syndication with host Craig Ferguson. Two shows will run daily throughout the week and you can go to to check your local listings, air time and station. (In case anyone living in the Richmond, VA area is reading this, the show will air weekdays at 12:00pm and 12:30pm on WRLH FOX 11). The word association game show partners civilian contestants with celebrities in four rounds of guessing famous names, real or fictitious, in an attempt to win up to $20,000 in cash. The game, executive produced by Courteney Cox and David Arquette, is based on the "Identity Crisis" board game. Notable guest stars due to appear on the first season include, Retta from Parks and Recreation, Mario Lopez from Extra, Jerry Springer, Cat Deely from So You Think You Can Dance, actress/former child star Raven-Symoné and executive producers Cox and Arquette. A list has been released yesterday unveiling the celebrities to appear on the first week of Celebrity Name Game and here they are: 

Monday, September 22
Mena Suvari & Joely Fisher
Courteney Cox & David Arquette

Tuesday, September 23
Sheryl Crow & Josh Hopkins
Cheri Oteri & Billy Gardell

Wednesday, September 24
Vivica A. Fox & Nev Schulman
Sheryl Crow & Darren Criss

Thursday, September 25
Courteney Cox & David Arquette
Sherri Shepherd & Jenna Ushkowitz

Friday, September 26
Tom Arnold & Lisa Kudrow
Kathy Najimy & Luke Perry

I had a chance to interview Craig Ferguson last week on the challenges he has endured with his first-time experience as a game show host and his take on how the new syndicated series will match up against NBC’s Hollywood Game Night, considering the two shows have a similar format. Here’s what Ferguson had to say on both topics:

On Challenges as a First-Time Game Show Host: 
"Really, the legality of it and the actual mechanics of having to follow a certain set of rules, not only because it’s expected practice within the industry, like in late-night, but also because legally you have to do it.  So I mean there are people there making sure you don’t cheat, which in other areas of show business that doesn’t exist.  So, that was a little surprise to me that there’s certain little bits, and there’s tiny little bits, I think it’s like two or three in a game, where I actually have to say words a certain way, or not even a certain way but to say certain words to make sure they’re said, like giving instructions to how the game is played in the first round and that kind of thing.  So that was a little challenging for me, because I’m not normally in that position.  But it gets to a point where now at this point I just kind of do it and move on, it’s like all right, something that has to be done."

On Celebrity Name Game vs. Hollywood Game Night: 
"I don’t know.  I must confess I haven’t seen it, and I probably should.  I think Jane Lynch is lovely and I like Sean Hayes very much.  But, I don’t know how it’s going to go up against it, because I don’t know if it is up against it. […] Well, this thing is on every night, so I’m guessing it’s not really competitive.  I know that we’ve been developing this thing for longer.  I don’t know that that matters, to be honest.  I think there’s probably enough room for everybody would be my guess."

Bonus: If you have your choice in the celebrity partner people compete with on the show who would you have on your team?: 
"Always Betty White is the answer to that question."

I'll have a review of Celebrity Name Game prepared on the day of the show's premiere and stay tuned for the doubleheader debut of the new fun-filled, star-studded game show in your area beginning next week! Until then, check out a preview of the show in the clip below.

The Game Plane: September 20; Syndication
This Saturday, in select markets, The Game Plane takes flight on syndicated television with host Mark Walberg (Russian Roulette, The Moment of Truth). The new game show, which has already made history by becoming the first game show to filmed 36,000+ in the air on a commercial plane courtesy of Allegiant Air, engages passengers in trivia games, physical challenges and special “turbulence games” for cash and prizes. Selected passengers are given a giant playing card and could become a contestant if their card is chosen. Some of the games include "How Smart is Your Co-Pilot", a Newlywed Game-styled game, "Bye Bye Birdie", a mini golf mini game, and an "Operation"-style game that is played as one of the turbulence games. The winners of the day’s games advance to “The Big Deal” end game for a chance to win a grand prize trip to their destination. 

The series has been cleared to air on 143 stations across more than 75% of U.S. markets. One of the first episodes will air in Las Vegas at 12:30pm PT on KVVU-TV FOX 5. The producers have filmed 40 episodes for the first season and Allegiant Air and the show’s production company, Alpine Labs in Los Angeles, CA, are already in talks to develop a second season. Most of the initial shows were filmed on flights to Las Vegas on one of the Allegiant’s Boeing 757 jets. On longer flights, two episodes are filmed. Check your local listings to see if The Game Plane has landed on your television schedule.

Sources: Debmar-Mercury, FremantleMedia, Las Vegas Review JournalUSA Today; Photo Credits: CNG- Michael Becker / FremantleMedia North America & Debmar-Mercury, TGP- Alpine Labs


  1. Terrific, Dexter! I didn't know about Celebrity Name Game and have set up a series recording. Maybe I can be a contestant! :-) Thanks for this.

  2. Actually I just set up a series recording for The Game Plane, too. :-P