Monday, November 4, 2013

You Know, I Seriously Doubt Japanese TV Is Really Like This


Remember the old ABC show I Survived A Japanese Game Show? I seriously doubt anyone does. Still, it is the latest post-Who Wants To Be A Millionaire primetime show to gain a scaled down five-day-a-week version, now with one of the worst titles any television show has ever had: Japanizi Going Going Gong.

Japanizi Going Going Gong.

Mind you, the show is not the least bit Japanese; it's taped in Toronto for use on YTV in Canada and Disney XD in America.

Seriously, the name of the show is Japanizi Going Going Gong, and they always say the full title.

So yeah, we have our four teams of two kids who supposedly have no idea what kind of television show they will be participating in until they take off their blindfolds and see the faux-Japanese set. Our host is Yoshi Amao, who probably speaks perfect English but here is dressed like a stereotypical career game show host and speaks in a combination of broken English and probably just as broken Japanese.

Our teams compete in three stunts per episode. At the end of each of the first two stunts, the team that scores the lowest is eliminated, and at the end of the show the team that wins the final stunt holds up a goofy-looking trophy. The stunts are actually pretty creative and cool, and the set is suitably large and impressive, but the show goes way overboard with the faux-Japanese theming - assistants dressed like ninjas, vaguely Asian-looking characters flashing on the screen at different points, exactly the music you'd expect from a show titled Japanizi Going Going Gong...

So yeah, it's no better or worse then, say, Splatalot.

Too critical? Absolutely. I'm not this show's target audience anyway.


Friday, November 1, 2013

I Don't Really Know If I Believe A Word Of It...

...but the current piece of news is that a new five-day-a-week syndicated show will premiere in September 2014: Celebrity Name Game, with host Craig Ferguson. Admittedly, the fact that a host is already attached means this one could actually happen, but still, new shows are announced all the time that end up never happening. There's a reason I never brought up the revival of Name That Tune...or the revival of Treasure Hunt...or the revival of Truth Or Consequences...or the American version of Bullseye (a British game show that has nothing to do with the show Jim Lange hosted)...

Moving to shows that are already on five days a week, The Price Is Right will be doing a week-long celebration of Bob Barker's ninetieth birthday from December 9-13, with Bob showing up at least once in the five shows. Should be worth a look.

Next week: Japanizi!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Trust Me...I'm Trying Again

Something like three years after first being discussed, Trust Me I'm A Game Show Host has finally premiered...and wasn't really worth the wait.

Where to begin?

The eponymous game show hosts are Michael Ian Black and DL Hughley, which I suppose makes as much sense as anything else (lest we forget, one of the unaired pilots featured Bill Engvall and Mo Rocca). There is a single contestant, who walks onto a set that is brightly lit, but is otherwise your basic 2013 game show set with all the chasing lights and what-have-you. At least there isn't your basic 2013 game show music...instead, there's a voice repeating the show's title over and over.

In each round, a category is revealed, followed by Michael and DL each stating a fact in that category - one is true, one is false. The two banter back and forth for a while, citing evidence to back up their facts and making lame jokes. The contestant then locks in his\her decision, and the correct answer is revealed via your basic 2013 "dramatic game show reveal". If correct, the amount of money the round is worth is added to the contestant's...wait for it...Trust Fund.

You know, ITV just announced the cancellation of the British version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire after fifteen years. Surely that means it's time to move on?

Round one is worth $1,000, round two $2,000, round three $3,000, and so on for five rounds. In the final sixth round, one more category is revealed, followed by five facts in that category - one is true, four are false. The contestant can remove one wrong answer for the price of $1,000 out of his\her Trust Fund, a second wrong answer for an additional $2,000, and a third wrong answer for an additional $3,000. When you finally lock in your answer, getting it right adds an additional $20,000 to your Trust Fund. The end.

Now, I will give the producers credit for one thing: the show is a half hour long. Go ahead and try to imagine the game described above, with a grand total of six categories, being played over an hour...on second thought, don't. As it stands, the show is enjoyable enough, but can we be honest? It won't stick. They never do. After eight episodes or whatever, trust me, nobody's really going to miss Trust Me I'm A Game Show Host.

Too critical? Absolutely. That's what I do. Trust Me...I'm A Game Show Fanatic.


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Do I honestly have to type this?

Cedric The Entertainer is...well, I guess he's better on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire then he was on It's Worth What, but he certainly isn't good.

The show itself is...well, the suspense is gone. It's reached the point where I shout "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at the TV any time a contestant uses Ask The Audience, because if you have to do that in Round One, you're not going to reach Round Two. You'll end up with about $60,000. They all do.

Like I said last week, why do I still look forward to the Fall Rush? I'm admittedly not sure what I'm going to write about next week (maybe The Million Second Quiz?) but two weeks from today it will be "I really hate Steve Harvey, and Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy haven't changed in the least."



Thursday, August 29, 2013

There's Absolutely Nothing To Write About

At least Monday's Labor Day...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Kind Of Sad

Every year I look forward to Labor Day and the Fall Rush, and every year, I end up really, really disappointed. The fact is, I already know what I'm going to say about all six shows, because I say it every year.

Let's imagine that the start dates I posted last week are indeed correct (and while I'm not 100% sure, I'm mostly banking on the fact that they are). I will now give you, in brief, what I am most likely going to end up saying each week during the "Fall Rush". We'll see how much of it is correct.

September 5 (Thursday After Labor Day)
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: Cedric The Entertainer is the most horrific game show host...well, probably ever, and it is incredibly sad that he is who we are getting to host what is supposed to be a hard quiz show.

September 19 (Thursday After September 16)
Wheel Of Fortune: Of course nothing's changed. It's Wheel Of Fortune. The only way something will change is if Pat Sajak retires, and who knows if that will happen.

Jeopardy: Of course nothing's changed. It's Jeopardy. The only way something will change is if Alex Trebek retires, and who knows if that will happen.

Family Feud: Nothing has changed - including that fact Steve Harvey is, in my book, utterly obnoxious. Sigh.

September 26 (Thursday After September 23)
The Price Is Right: Nothing has changed, including the fact that this show needs a rest. It was past its prime long before Bob Barker retired, Drew Carey has failed to reinvigorate it, and now it's time to stop.

Let's Make A Deal: Nothing has changed, which is a very good thing as this is easily the best game show on television right now.

So there you go. We'll see how much of that stays the same. The sad fact is, I'm looking forward to some upcoming  kids game shows (Win Lose Or Draw on Disney Channel, Japanizi on Disney XD, and Junior Just A Minute on BBC Radio 4 Extra) a lot more then I'm looking forward to any of the above.

I don't know when those kids game shows will premiere. Sorry.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Really Hope This Is Right

I'm only going to post one thing today: what I believe to be the season start dates for September 2013. Emphasis on "believe". I could easily be wrong.

September 2: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

September 16: Wheel Of Fortune
Family Feud

September 23: The Price Is Right
Let's Make A Deal

Like I said, I really hope I'm right.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Not Worth It To Review The YouTube Episode Of Knightmare

As for The Chase, let's make two things clear:
  • This show is going to flop. They all do.
  • Game Show Network is not producing this show because they think it will be a hit. Game Show Network is producing this show as an attempt to say to serious game show fans "See? We're just like you!"
That having been said, let's give credit where credit is due.

Congratulations, Game Show Network.

You didn't screw up The Chase.

I don't think you did, anyway.

I'm not explaining The Chase from the ground up - it makes no sense in written description anyway. Suffice to say the game is completely unchanged from the British version save for the switch from four to three team members, which honestly is an improvement in my book - four team members seemed to me to go on too long. Yes, referring to Mark Labbett almost exclusively as "Beast" got old, but it was no worse then the British version's having the Chaser enter dramatically with lots of smoke and stuff before EVERY SINGLE ROUND.

Is Brooke Burns awful? Of course she is. Are the commercial breaks in the middle of rounds? Of course they are. Does it really matter? As I said, this show is going to flop. Let's enjoy it while we can.

Congratulations, Game Show Network.

You didn't screw up The Chase.

I don't think they did, anyway.

Look at it this way - Brooke Burns may be awful, but starting in September, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is going to be hosted by Cedric The Entertainer.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Trying Again

I have this pipe dream that I'll get back to regular postings here...

The big news: the Game Show Network version of The Chase premieres on August 6 (five days from today), hosted by...gulp...Brooke Burns. Who knows, maybe they won't screw this one up - though as I've said before, it will be declared the best new game show in years even if they do.

Moving on from that, how about some kids game show news?
  • The legendary British kids game show Knightmare is soon going to have a new episode exclusively on YouTube. This isn't a fan project, mind you: it's officially licensed, professionally produced, and features the return of Hugo Myatt as Treguard the dungeon master. Now, the problem with any reiteration of Knightmare, as more then one person has pointed out, as that it's really easy to fall into the trap of making lots of little nods to the show's past and thus rendering it impossible to take it seriously as a game show. Well, that and the fact that one episode means no rollover and thus no suspense - if there's five minutes left in the show and the team is on Level Two, you immediately realize they're not getting any further. Still, who knows, maybe they'll get this right - it will supposedly be up on YouTube by August 10 at the latest.
  • Remember I Survived A Japanese Game Show on ABC? Yeah, I never watched it either, and by all accounts it was more reality-competition show then game show - but it is nonetheless being reformatted into a five-day-a-week kids game show on Disney XD, set to premiere later in the year. 
  • Finally, I love British radio comedy panel game shows, but this is ridiculous - the BBC has announced that 2014 will see the premiere of Junior Just A Minute as a segment on The Four O'Clock Show (the kids show on BBC Radio 4 Extra - it's hosted by Mel Giedroyc, but the Just A Minute segment will of course feature Nicholas Parsons). The idea is apparently to team kids up with adult comedians - Jenny Eclair and Josie Lawrence have been mentioned as team captains.
  • Moving away from kids game show, the third 24 Hour Game Show Marathon will apparently be on August 31. Really - here's the link. Go donate, OK? They've made less then $100 so far. 
The Chase next week...assuming I actually post next week.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey Look! Some News!

Let's see here...
  • The Game Show Network version of Minute To Win It will have a sneak preview episode on May 23 before its official premiere on June 25. The host is Apolo Anton Ohno, and the grand prize is $250,000.
  • According to a report I read, something really, really amazing is going to happen on Wheel Of Fortune during the month of May. I've committed myself to watching five days a week through the month to find out what it is, but of course it will be on May 31 and it won't be anything exciting.
  • Remember Win Lose Or Draw? Does anybody remember Win Lose Or Draw? I certainly don't - it was canceled when I was three. Still, Win Lose Or Draw is being revived as a kids game show on the Disney Channel, with Justin Willman of Scrabble Showdown as host. Huh.
  • I try to stay away from reality-competition shows here, but this jumped out at me: NBC is putting together a show called The Million Second Quiz, in which a bunch of contestants are locked in a house (or a building, or something) and essentially asked questions round the clock. The grand prize is $10,000,000, but winning it will probably require you to answer every question right for the whole 1,000,000 seconds or something. For the record, 1,000,000 seconds amounts to about twelve days.
There -sound good?


Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Am I Supposed To Review This?

Well, I told you I'd make another attempt at regular posting.

I told you I'd start with a review of the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me cinecast on May 2.

I just got back from said cinecast.

How am I supposed to review it?

There isn't a whole lot more to say then "Ever been to a taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me? They pointed a camera at it!" If you haven't been to a taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me...I've done it three times. You can go into this blog's archives and read my report from when I went to see the show at the Wang Theater in Boston in 2012. It's a lot of fun, but it's not something they need to do a cinecast of. If you don't believe me, here are three notes from what I saw tonight:
  •  They had a musical guest, Sharon Jones, who played and sang for the cinecast audience between rounds. Why, I couldn't tell you. They've never had that at the Wang Theater.
  • Not My Job guest Steve Martin went on so long, they had to skip the Listener Limerick Challenge. 
  • After the main action of the show was taped (and again, they skipped the Listener Limerick Challenge), Sharon Jones performed one more song, after which Peter Sagal turned to the camera and said something like "That's it. We're shutting down the live feed." Then they did. The screen went blank. The auditorium lights went on. Everyone got up and left. They could easily still be doing retakes for the live audience in New York (and yes, the were doing the cinecast from New York, not Chicago). Who knows, maybe they actually went back and taped the Listener Limerick Challenge. 
If I'm making it sound like this wasn't fun, I'm sorry. The sad fact is, I've seen Wait Wait Don't Tell Me live at the Wang Theater in Boston three times, I went to the cinecast, I watched the TV special on BBC America, and I'm still seriously considering buying tickets to see them live a fourth time on August 29 when they're going to do a taping at Tanglewood (a music hall in Lenox, Massachusetts - the Boston Symphony Orchestra plays there a lot).

Man, I'm weird.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Game Show Network Version Of Minute To Win It Premieres June 25...

...but of course that's not the big news coming out of said channel. Oh no. The big news of the day, the week, the DECADE: Game Show Network is producing an American version of The Chase, a supposedly amazing British quiz show.

Congratulations to everyone involved with the aforementioned show. Truth be told, it doesn't even matter how good or bad your show ends up being. You will be declared the best new game show in years by countless game show blogs and fan groups, because you have the name "The Chase" on you. You will also flop spectacularly, because they all do.

I'm going to try to get back to regular weekly posts in May, hopefully starting with a review of the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me cinecast on May 2 (yeah, I already have my tickets). Of course, I've said this before, so I'll probably end up failing again.

Incidentally, the CW version of Whose Line Is It Anyway premieres July 16.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Over Two Months Later...

When I decided in January that I was going to stop writing on here for a while, here's what I told myself. When it was officially announced who the new host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was, I would post on this blog again. Well, that day has come. The new host of Millionaire is...


Yes, Cedric The Entertainer, whose performance on It's Worth What flat out terrified me, is replacing Meredith Vieira. Honestly, given that the show is currently in the midst of a lot of legal trouble, I was sort of hoping that this was the end of it. No such luck.

In other news: 
  • Game Show Network is bringing back Minute To Win It in a new five-day-a-week version with new host Apolo Anton Ohno...Apolo Anton Ohno? Seriously? OK.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway is being revived on CW, with new host Aisha Tyler and many of the old panelists returning. Good news in my book.
  • Finally, yes, I am aware that there are rumors going around about the frontrunners to be the new host of Jeopardy when Alex Trebek retires...I don't believe a word of it. I'm not saying I think Alex is going to host the show until the day he dies, but he's not retiring any time soon.
I don't think Jay Leno is retiring any time soon either, but that's another story. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Not For A While

I feel terrible saying this, but I'm probably going to take a break from this blog.

As I said last time I took a break, I'll be back eventually - but with weeks and weeks of absolutely nothing happening, my heart isn't in this right now.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Meredith. Vieira. Is. Leaving. Millionaire.

I'll say that again, just to let it sink in:

Meredith. Vieira. Is. Leaving. Millionaire.


I will say this flat-out: I have no idea what will happen next. The obvious response is to go "Oh great, they're going to replace her with another out-of-work comedian", and that's certainly a possibility...but who knows? Maybe they'll do that, and it will be as bad as it sounds. Maybe they'll hire an out-of-work comedian, and said out-of-work comedian will turn out to be really good. Maybe they'll replace Meredith with a career game show host. Maybe Regis Philbin will agree to come back.

Maybe they'll just cancel the show...

Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if that's the case. Millionaire is, if I have my facts right (and I could easily not), the only five-day-a-week game show that has not yet been officially renewed for the 2013 season. and with NATPE coming up, perhaps Disney-ABC Domestic Television (yes, that's the official name) is waiting for that perfect opportunity to announce their new syndicated show (which I certainly hope would be another game show, but it could just as easily be Potential Oprah Winfrey Replacement XXXVIII).

I don't know what's going to happen. I'm not even sure what I want to happen. All I know is, this is a really big surprise and I'm just going to have to wait...and yes, that's my final answer.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

I Really Can't Put This Any Better Then They Do

There is one piece of news:

That's very exciting in my book. It's also all the news there is right now.

At least NATPE is coming up...