Thursday, May 26, 2011

Let's Go Back To November 2, 2012...

Figures - I wrote that post on May 5 about the thirtieth anniversary of Countdown, and yesterday it came out that the show's current host, Jeff Stelling, will be leaving at the end of 2011.

I guess I should have seen this coming - since legendary original host Richard Whiteley died in 2005, the show has essentially collapsed under a succession of short-lived hosts. I suppose a comparison could be made to the current version of Family Feud - except that show is doing better at holding on to a host! Channel 4, if you just can't keep the cast steady, maybe it's just time to cancel the show. I feel terrible saying that - I am, after all, the one who three weeks ago was talking about much I was looking forward to the possibility of an Ashes Series between Countdown and Letters And Numbers in 2013 - but it has to be said. Of course, Channel 4 isn't going to actually cancel the show, and I frankly have no idea who will replace Jeff. Still, I'll keep you posted.

Coming back to America - NBC has announced that its upcoming game show Who's Still Standing? will be hosted by Ben Bailey off Cash Cab. The gimmick of this show - it's a big money quiz game where if you lose, the floor opens up underneath you and you fall off the stage. Yeah, never heard that one before.

Finally - I'm going off-topic again and I know it, but Cheryl Cole has been dropped as a judge on the upcoming The X Factor, with Nicole Scherzinger to replace her. I have to say, this show will have to work pretty hard to produce as much suspense about its winner as it did about its judging panel!

Next week - Platinum Hit! Yeah, it's not a game show, but I keep reporting on The X Factor so why not.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Here's The Current Piece Of News...

...remember that Pyramid pilot hosted by Andy Richter that came so close to replacing As The World Turns on CBS? TBS does - they're apparently considering picking it up. Frankly, I doubt this will ever actually reach television (remember the same channel's Match Game pilot with Andrew Daly?) but I'll hope for the best - Pyramid is always a good show to have around. Before you ask, I have no idea what the dollar amount in the title will be. Perhaps we'll finally get The $1,000,000 Pyramid (which has been mooted\joked about pretty much since the moment Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? started).

Moving on to some summer premieres - ABC has pushed back the premiere of 101 Ways To Leave A Game Show from June 16 to June 21. Frankly, this sounds to me like it should be a kids game show, a fact not helped by the casting of Jeff Sutphen off Brain Surge as host. Of course, if you were capable of going back in time, you could easily scare me out of my wits by telling me what would become of Jeff Probst off Rock And Roll Jeopardy...or Chris Harrison off Mall Masters...or Ryan Seacrest off Click...or Tom Bergeron off Hollywood who knows, maybe this is Jeff Sutphen's big break. The other summer premieres are kids game shows: The Hub has announced that The Game Of Life and Scrabble Showdown will have preview episodes in August.

Finally, in the "Truth is stranger than fiction" category: Game Show Network is considering a bible trivia game show, and their first choice to host it was Mike Huckabee (he turned them down). I'm not even going to comment.

If you're wondering what I was talking about when I mentioned those four hosts...are you from another planet? Still, I'll put you out of your misery: Jeff Probst is the host of Survivor, Chris Harrison is the host of The Bachelor, Ryan Seacrest is the host of American Idol, and Tom Bergeron is the host of Dancing With The Stars.

At least he's still working with has-been celebrities.


Friday, May 13, 2011

I Know, I Know

Yes, due to Blogger's outage yesterday, this post is a day late. I'm sorry. I do have some news, though.

Let's start with Family Feud, which, after taping last season at Universal Studios in Orlando, just announced that they are moving taping. No surprise - they're going back to Los Angeles, right? Wrong. They're moving taping to Atlanta, Georgia, with Steve Harvey apparently staying. I don't claim to understand this.

Second - forgive me again for going a little off topic, but we finally have the full list of hosts and judges for The X Factor. The judges are really no surprise - Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, LA Reid, and Paula Abdul. The hosts are British TV personality Steve Jones and former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. Honestly, the only real question I have is, given that that every British TV personality wanted this job, how did we end up with Steve Jones (whose biggest credit is the British version of 101 Ways To Leave A Game Show) rather than, say, Vernon Kay, Dermot O'Leary (the host of the British version of The X Factor) or Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly (an iconic British hosting duo whose credits include Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent)?

Third, speaking of former American Idol judges, Kara DioGuardi's new show Platinum Hit premieres on May 30 on Bravo, with Jewel hosting. I might check the first episode out. Again, forgive me for going off-topic.

Finally...this may be just a rumor, but it appears that iconic (in Europe) stunt show Fort Boyard (which is famously taped on an actual 1800s fort on the coast of France) may be coming to America as a kids game show. Well, who knows, maybe this will prove that American kids can handle bizarre European game shows, and we'll finally an American version of The Slammer...yeah, not going to happen. I would love to know what American kids channel thinks this is a good idea.

That's enough for now. Assuming no more Blogger problems, I'll be back May 19.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

On November 2, 2012...

...a daytime television institution will celebrate a major anniversary. Yes, I know the show started before that, but I'm talking about the version everyone knows. While some will argue that this show hasn't been the same since the departure of its legendary host, it still is a show that shows no sign of going anywhere, and that has a cult following that takes the game almost too seriously. I am of course talking about none other than...

...Countdown! Come on, why would CBS have debuted The Price Is Right in November?

Yes, 2012 is the thirtieth anniversary of Countdown on Channel 4 (it had a few episodes on ITV earlier in the year, but that's still 1982). What will be done to commemorate this momentous occasion? I don't know, and frankly I wouldn't be surprised if it was nothing - but what would I do?

Let's start with the obvious - beginning in 1984 and most recently in 2009, Countdown has held a Champion Of Champions contest every few seasons, bringing back the best contestants from the past year or two. The thirtieth anniversary, of course, would be the perfect time for Champion Of Champions XIV; however, while I'm sure some would suggest devoting an entire season to finding the best Countdown player ever, that seems to me to be overkill.

That's not to say I don't want more than a plain old Champion Of Champions - I do. I want some good specials. In fact, what I really want for the thirtieth anniversary is simple - I want to get the old hosts involved. Yes, legendary original host Richard Whiteley is dead, but there have been two others between him and Jeff Stelling. Maybe we could have a game between Des Lynam and Des O'Connor? Of course, in my wildest dreams, Carol Vorderman would get involved too, but given how badly she was reputedly treated during her departure from the show in 2008, that's highly unlikely. Carol, if you don't know, was the show's longtime hostess\Numbers judge, and was associated with the show in much the same way that Vanna White is associated with Wheel Of Fortune in America - that is to say, she, not the actual host, is who people think of when they think of the show.

Finally, there's one more Countdown related thing I'd love to see happen. If you don't know, Australia launched its own version of this show, titled Letters And Numbers, in 2010. I think that, to tie in with the next Ashes Series (a famous cricket tournament between England and Australia) in 2013, there should be a competition between the two shows. The reason I'm putting it two years from now is not just to tie in with the Ashes Series, but also since Letters And Numbers just started, I want to give it some time to find some good players.

Hey...I can dream, can't I?