Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Quote Chuck Woolery...

"I kept telling them ‘Look, find someone else to do it, it will be a huge hit. Look what happened to Wheel!’”
- on the final episode of Scrabble in 1990

Let's take that quote in parts. First, what happened to Wheel - Wheel Of Fortune's "Vanna For A Day" episode aired on March 24, and naturally my local station (a CBS station) bumped it to the middle of the night to make room for March Madness basketball. Between my DVR and YouTube, I was able to see the full episode, and let's just say this is certainly not an early attempt by Sony to phase out Pat Sajak and Vanna White - Katie Cantrell was "Vanna" for all of two puzzles. I guess she seemed like she was having a good time.

Going to the other part of Chuck's wisecrack...they found someone else, and I get the feeling I'm about to get a lesson in being careful what I wish for. In its 2011 upfront presentation, Hasbro's The Hub channel announced two new game shows, and one of them is Scrabble Showdown, to be hosted by Justin Willman. Alas, the other new show isn't Dungeons And Dragons - incredibly, it's The Game Of Life, and even more incredibly, it's going to be hosted by Frank Nicotero off Street Smarts. I'm not sure what to make of that one. The Hub also announced a new season of Family Game Night and, perhaps surprisingly, that they will begin showing reruns of the just-canceled Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? Pictureka, as far as I can tell, is done. I should also note that, despite what some people are saying, the Clue TV show The Hub announced is a scripted kids mystery series, not a game show of any sort.

There's no word on when any of this will start; my personal theory is that between Scrabble Showdown, The Game Of Life, On The Spot, and Nickelodeon's upcoming Family Brain Surge, I'll have a few new kids shows to look forward to on Labor Day - even if none of them could possibly top The Slammer.

OK, OK, no more "The British are better than us..."


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