Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fall 2011 Preview...Of A Sort

I'll start with some news:
  • The new game show It's Worth What - as far as I can tell, it's about pricing antiques - will premiere July 12 on NBC. The host: Cedric The Entertainer.
  • Jim Thornton has been named the new permanent announcer on Wheel Of Fortune, replacing the late Charlie O'Donnell.
Now, it's June, and usually around this time I start constantly looking at the new five-day-a-week shows in September (well, even more constantly than I do the rest of the year). I'm not doing that now, however, as nothing is happening this Fall. It might not even be worth it to watch the season premieres. However, while there isn't much new in the way of five-day-a-week game shows, it appears that September 2011 will have a ton in the way of kids game shows. So here's the Fall preview: a look at the new kids game shows that are coming. I don't have any premiere dates or even all the host and network information, but I'll do my best.

On The Spot
Network: Syndication (once a week)
Host: Unknown
Premise: People are stopped on the street and asked trivia questions. An "educational" element is provided via explanations of the answers.
Comments: Look, I get the message. The producers are trying to promote this as being like Cash Cab - baloney. All (well, nearly all) of the few remaining kids shows that aren't on dedicated kids cable channels are educational, and this is a half hearted attempt to create a new "edutainment" show. As I'll applaud any effort to bring kids game shows off cable, I'll give it a try, but frankly I'm not even sure it will be on in my area (remember the syndicated Gladiators 2000 reruns in 2008? I never saw them).

Family Brain Surge
Network: Nickelodeon
Host: Presumably Jeff Sutphen, but considering that his new primetime game show is about to premiere on ABC, he may have left Brain Surge for all I know.
Premise: Brain Surge with family teams.
Comments: It may have worked for Double Dare, but I frankly don't understand why nearly all new kids game shows feature family teams. Wouldn't that be the last thing kids want? I would trust Nickelodeon not to screw this up, but look what happened when they tried it with GUTS...

Scrabble Showdown
Network: The Hub
Host: Justin Willman
Premise: Family teams play a game based on the classic board game Scrabble (but presumably not on the game show Scrabble with Chuck Woolery)
Comments: I begged for a long time for The Hub to do a Scrabble game show, and I am looking forward to it, but I also realize it could just as easily be "find foam letters in a bucket of slime" as anything to do with the board game. I'll keep my hopes up.

The Game Of Life
Network: The Hub
Host: Frank Nicotero
Premise: Family teams play a game based on the classic board game.
Comments: As much as I like Family Game Night and Pictureka, the concept of a kids game show based on The Game Of Life makes me think "floor sized game board" and "questions based on life decisions." That's...well, that's Peer Pressure (sorry if you've been trying to forget that show). Again, I'll keep my hopes up, but I can only imagine Frank from Street Smarts looking out of place here.

Fort Boyard
Network: We don't know for sure...
Host: Unknown
Premise: Well, Fort Boyard is an iconic European game show where contestants are subjected to massive stunts against the backdrop of an actual Napoleonic fortress off the coast of France. It's generally considered awesome, but the upcoming kids version is rumored to feature competing teams representing Britain and America (as opposed to the classic single-team format).
Comments: So, what network is it on? Well, we don't know for sure, but here's the rumor. In Britain, it will be on CITV. Fair enough - that's ITV's kids cable channel and one of the biggest names in British kids TV. In America...Disney. CITV and Disney. Seriously? I can only assume it would be the less-watched Disney XD, because if there is one thing that would not fit on Disney Channel, it is Fort Boyard.

That's all I've got. Next week...the show Jeff Sutphen may have left Brain Surge for...101 Ways To Leave A Game Show! I do love that name.

Only two months, two weeks, and six days until Labor Day,


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