Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Game Show Fan Hub?

This is probably far from news, but now that we have a firm premiere date it just seems like the right time to talk about it. Hasbro, the toy company that owns pretty much every famous board game, is starting a TV channel. This channel is called The Hub (really!) and it will premiere on October 10, taking over the channel space currently filled by Discovery Kids.

First things first: Hasbro is making no claim that this will be a game show channel. In fact, well, there's a reason they're replacing Discovery Kids - they're pushing The Hub as a kids channel. There's no guarantee that it will have game shows on it - but at the same time, they've reportedly hired several veteran game show producers and former Game Show Network executives. The channel won't be exclusively game shows, but it's pretty clear they're going to be a large part of it.

"Well, of course," I hear you say. "They're a toy company. They're trying to develop their board games for television." If that's the case, I sincerely hope they think again. Adapting a preexisting property into a viable game show - let alone one kids would enjoy- is far from easy. Out of a fair number of attempts, I can only think of three that achieved any measure of success, namely Scrabble (which bore little resemblance to the board game), Trivial Pursuit (which was successful enough to be revived, but none of it's versions lasted very long) and Carmen Sandiego (which isn't owned by Hasbro). Otherwise, we're left with such disasters as Taboo (which adapted a perfectly enjoyable board game into one of the worst game shows I have ever seen) and Monopoly (ditto).

So what's going to happen here? It's probably just too early to tell. Frankly, I'm wondering less about whether there will be any game shows - there's bound to be at least one - than about how on Earth you fill twenty-four hours a day with stuff owned by Hasbro.

My advice: be prepared for a lot of Transformers reruns.


No comments:

Post a Comment