Thursday, May 20, 2010

Covering All The Bases

You know, maybe I'm not really telling the truth when I keep saying that there's no news. The fact is that there are actually several new shows coming that I just haven't gotten around to yet. In this week's post, I'll make an attempt to cover five upcoming shows, two of which we actually have firm premiere dates for. The three that don't have firm premiere dates, of course, could end up not happening, but still, let's take a look.

  • Downfall (premieres June 22) - A contestant is standing on top of a skyscraper. If this contestant wins the game, he\she is awarded $1,000,000 in cash. If this contestant loses the game, all that cash is dropped off the top of the building. That's...all we know at the moment. Who's the host? Beats me. What's the game? I have no idea. I sincerely hope that the producers actually came up with a really interesting game to back this gimmick up. If they did, we have the next Russian Roulette (which actually came up with a really good game to back up its heavily promoted gimmick of losing contestants falling off the stage); if they didn't, well, you get it. I also sincerely hope that they don't actually drop $1,000,000 in cash off a skyscraper in Los Angeles or anywhere else.

  • Late Night Liars (premieres June 10) and Trust Me I'm A Game Show Host - I put these two together because they sound to me like more or less the same show. In Late Night Liars, host Larry Miller watches a group of "puppet celebrities" (with names like Shelly Oceans and William A. Mummy) tell conflicting stories; the contestants have to figure out which one is true. In Trust Me I'm A Game Show Host, hosts Bill Engvall and Mo Rocca tell conflicting stories; the contestants have to figure out which one is true. Really, they both sound to me like they're just the Bluff The Listener game from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me blown up to a whole show, and neither sounds like it's going to work because...well, look at it this way. If Late Night Liars were Kermit The Frog versus Miss Piggy, it would have a chance...but the producers reportedly couldn't afford to license the classic Muppet characters. If Trust Me I'm A Game Show Host were Bob Barker versus Monty Hall, it would have a chance...but Bill Engvall and Mo Rocca are not exactly people you think of as game show hosts. I suppose we'll have to wait and see which of these shows ends up winning (if one of them does).

  • Family Game Night - I've talked a few times on here about The Hub, the kids channel that Hasbro is going to launch on October 10. Have you been wondering which of Hasbro's board games would be adapted into game shows for the channel? Turns out the answer is...all of them! Hasbro has announced that The Hub's first game show will be Family Game Night, in which families compete in mini-games based on various Hasbro games. That's all we know at the moment, and no, it does not sound promising to me.
  • Six Minds - Now this has the potential to be amazing, and to genuinely change American game shows. It's an adaptation of the long-running Russian game show What? Where? When?, a show that - in Russia - has no prizes and contestants who take it so seriously that they form the equivalent of chess clubs to play it...much like, dare I say it, Countdown in Britain. Of course, the American producers are promoting huge prizes, as well as Vernon Kay (a man best known for hosting British talent shows) as the host. Still, if this works, it could lead to some genuinely intelligent and tough American game shows; if it doesn't, at least we can't say the Americans didn't take a risk.

That's pretty much it at the moment. We'll see how all these shows turn out. If you're wondering about the really big questions, no, we still don't know what (if anything) is replacing As The World Turns, nor when the Australian version of Countdown is premiering.


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