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Saying Goodbye in 2021
A Final Roll Call for Those We Lost This Year
From various sources

They were part of our TV history, part of our community of professionals and fans, and part of our lives. As we close the book on 2021 and prepare to begin anew in the new year, let us always remember... They too walked among us.

- Stu Billett, a television ingenue who turned small claims into big television... and speed dating into a wild ride for Annie Wood.

- Lionel Blair, who was a recipient of many a clue on "Give Us A Clue". - Allan Burns, who wrote for the great game shows before writing for the great comedies.

- Charles Cappelman, who turned a patch of farmland in Southern California into a mecca for the television game show.

- Douglas Cramer, who led ABC to greatness before making his mark all over television, and still found time to join his wife on a week of "Tattletales".

- Max Cryer, who brought Mastermind and University Challenge to New Zealand.

- Arthur Forrest, a legendary television producer whose credits include "Whose Line Is It Anyway"?

- Sonny Fox, who went from "The $64,000 Challenge" to "On Your Mark"... with a stop at Wonderama, where he would become a legend.

- Mike Gargiulo, a mainstay in New York game shows who put his mark on the original "The Price Is Right".

- Brian Goldner, who helped bring lesser known games from the Hasbro library to television for the first time.

- Alan Kalter, the voice of the Letterman empire who also gave voice to the truth in 1980.

- Bernie Kahn, a writer for the most prominent radio game shows before finding his voice in some of the greatest TV shows of all time.

- Sean Lock, a comedian whose forte shone on British panel shows.

- Norm MacDonald, whose creative genius spanned past the world of Saturday night and onto the poker table.

- Bert Newton, who made the Feud into his own animal in Australia.

- Tom O'Connor, the keeper of the British "Cross Wits".

- Mark Peel, a master chef who honed contestants on both "Top Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen".

- Markie Post, a true friend of the industry who got her start behind the camera before stepping in front of it.

- Arnie Reisman, a funny man who went on a serious journey that ended up on the panel of an NPR panel series.

- Sam Riddle, who hosted the pilot of Triple Threat before producing it.

- Ernie Sigley, an Australian legend who became the face of "Wheel of Fortune".

- Billy Smith, who brought the "Thunder" to "American Gladiators".

- Marcel Stellman, a Belgian record executive who turned a French game of letters and numbers into appointment television in the UK.

- Matthew Strachan, who with his brother Keith, provided the soundtrack to the show that changed everything in 1999.

- Melvin Van Peebles, a film legend who kept it in the family with son Mario for a quiz show on BET.

- Kerry Vincent, an Australian sugar maestro that made her mark on American food.

- Betty White, the undisputed queen of games, having appeared in many of our favorites for six decades.

- Contestants including Sunday Burquest, Melissa Coates, Freddie Combs, Ricarlo Flanagan, Nikki Grahame, Fuller Goldsmith, Skilyr Hicks, Sara Holub, Angie Jakusz, Tom Nosek, Serge Onik, Chris Pearson, Jay Jay Phillips, Brayden Smith, Quindon Tarver, and Elfrida von Nardroff for sharing their time, their talents, their abilities, and their lives with us.

- Celebrities including Ed Asner, Ned Beatty, Frank Bonner, Arlene Dahl, Stuart Damon, Dustin Diamond, Siegfried Fischbacher, John Gabriel, Willie Garson, Richard Gilliland, Ari Gold, Arlene Golonka, James Hampton, Al Harrington, Hal Holbrook, Sally Ann Howes, Larry King, Tawny Kitaen, Tommy Lasorda, Cloris LEachman, Rush Limbaugh, Norman Lloyd, Gavin MacLeod, Biz Markie, Jackie Mason, Eddie Mekka, Michael Nesmith, Ron Popeil, Tanya Roberts, Mort Sahl, Peter Scolari, Willard Scott, George Segal, Gregory Sierra, Stephen Sondheim, Dean Stockwell, Una Stubbs, Don Sutton, James Michael Tyler, Cicely Tyson, Jessica Walter, and Clarence Williams III who took time out of their busy schedules to play the games we know and love.

- And finally, to Regina Crothers Tritle, who raised a great producer... and a great friend.

May they all rest in peace.

Sky News
ABC News
Entertainment Weekly
TV Newscheck
Leicestershire Live
BBC News

posted 12/30/2021


Sony Pictures TV/CBS Media Ventures

SYNDIES: Week 14
Results for the Week Ending December 19
From TV Newscheck

It was hard to argue with Family Feud being the hottest game show in the session ending Dec. 19. The Steve Harvey-hosted quizzer was syndication’s only top-tier strip to break into the plus column, climbing 4% to a five-week high 5.4 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating. That tied a flat Wheel of Fortune for second place — both in the games and in all of syndication — and finished just behind an unchanged 5.7 for Jeopardy.

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

GAME SHOWS:
- Jeopardy (CMV) 5.7 NC
- Wheel of Fortune (CMV) 5.4 NC
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.4 +4%
- You Bet Your Life (Fox First Run) 0.7 NC
- 25 Words or Less (Fox First Run) 0.6 -25%**
- Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.4 NC


TV Newscheck
The Wrap
Daytime Confidential

NextTV

posted 12/30/2021

Pat Sajak Celebrates 40 Years on "Wheel"
Former KNBC Weatherman Began in 1981
From Yahoo!

Pat Sajak is extending his lead as the longest-running game show host in television history. On Tuesday, the “Wheel of Fortune” host celebrated his 40th anniversary as the face of the show.

Sajak, 75, celebrated the historic achievement by tweeting a few fun facts that emphasize how long he has been a part of “Wheel of Fortune.”

“When I started hosting ‘Wheel’ (with Susan Stafford) on this date 40 years ago, the top 10 TV shows included ‘Dallas,’ ‘Three’s Company,’ ‘The Jeffersons’ and ‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’” he shared. “Ronald Reagan was in his 1st year as president. Number 1 song: Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Physical.’”

“Wheel of Fortune” originally began in 1975 as a daytime series on NBC. In 1981, Sajak stepped in to replace former host Chuck Woolery alongside Susan Stafford. The current version of the game show premiered on Sept. 19, 1983. Stafford eventually left in 1982 and current co-host Vanna White, 64, took the spot.

On March 22, 2019, Guinness World Records recognized Sajak for having the “longest career as a game show host for the same show.”

Yahoo!

First Coast News

posted 12/29/2021

Channel 4 Returns "Quizness"
Tom Allen Celebrates the Holidays
From Telly Mix

Comedian Tom Allen new Channel 4 gameshow Quizness returns this week for a Celebrity special.

Quizness first made its debut earlier this year with a £25,000 jackpot up for grabs. The show sees contestants’ general knowledge put to the test - but the more answers the quizzers know, the dafter they must look to prove it.

Channel 4 explain: "The show is an entertaining twist on TV quiz shows with rounds including ‘Subbly Jubbly’, in which contestants must substitute nonsense words into the correct answers.

"There’s also a unique and surprisingly difficult quickfire round in which nearly every question has the same answer, and a multiple choice round which tests the quizzers’ speed of thought when they must answer a different question to the one they’ve actually been asked – with unintentionally (for them) silly and cheeky consequences."

A Christmas special on Wednesday, 29 December will feature actor Siobhán McSweeney, comedian Jo Brand, TV judge Robert Rinder and presenter AJ Odudu going head-to-head to win up to £25,000 for charity.

Telly Mix

posted 12/29/2021

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Vixen"

posted 12/29/2021

Fridge Logic
Food Network Premieres "Raid the Fridge"
From TV Insider

Looks can be deceiving and cooks can be deceived in the new competition, Raid the Fridge, that dares contestants to create cuisine from whatever food is stocked inside a refrigerator of their choice.

The catch, host Dan Ahdoot says, is the chefs choose their fridge based solely on the photos and magnets on the door. For every obvious option — “if there’s a lobster magnet, there’s probably lobster inside,” the food writer and comic offers — there’s a craftier possibility to consider.

“What about a picture of the Statue of Liberty? Does that mean pizza? Cheesecake?” Episodes put four chefs through three themed elimination rounds, with the winner walking off with $10K. Don’t worry, none of the ingredients have gone bad.

“We’re not trying to kill people here,” assures Ahdoot, who gets to sample the eats with judges Jordan Andino and Jamika Pessoa. “This is a fun food-competition show, not Squid Game.”

Raid the Fridge premieres Tuesday, December 28, 10/9c on Food Network.

TV Insider

posted 12/28/2021

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Looking Back, Forward"

  • Ryan Seacrest looks back on 50 years of New Year's Rockin' Eve (TV Insider)

  • The Bachelorette's JJ Lane going to be a daddy (Reality TV World)

  • Clayton Echard admits to "not being perfect" (Us Magazine)

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: I Literally Just Told You (Radio Times)

posted 12/28/2021

WEDNESDAY: Twas the "Night" Before Christmas...
CBS Wins with "TPIR@N", Ties NBC in Demo
From Deadline

Wednesday primetime was quite a silent night as some networks opted for reruns and holiday programming, again.

CBS took the holiday shine Wednesday evening with a holiday-themed edition of The Price Is Right at Night, which earned primetime’s highest 18-49 demo rating and viewers. The Price Is Right At Night (0.5, 4.90M) bested ABC’s rerun of Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life (0.4, 2.02M), The Masked Singer (0.3, 1.96M) on Fox and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (0.1, 600,000) on the CW. NBC’s presentation of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch tied with The Price Is Right At Night in demo rating but fell short in viewers.

CBS followed up Price Is Right At Night with the 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors, which celebrated Lorne Michaels, Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell and more. The annual ceremony brought in a 0.3 demo rating and 4.08 million viewers.

Masked Singer, fresh off its latest finale, returned to Fox for a two-hour holiday-themed episode. NBC followed up its showing of The Grinch with Michael Bublé’s Christmas in the City (0.4, 4.08M), which topped the 10 p.m. hour, besting a repeat of ABC’s The Chase (0.2, 1.37M).

Deadline
TV Line

posted 12/23/2021

EastEnders Gets a Game On
Castmates Turn Teammates on YouTube, Facebook
From RTE

EastEnders has launched a new online gameshow, Albert Squared, hosted by Walford star James Bye, with his co-stars as the contestants.

The weekly show on YouTube and the EastEnders Facebook page is billed as "an exciting mix of E20 trivia, hilarious games and a whole lot of laughs".

"In the first episode viewers will see Natalie Cassidy (Sonia) take up the role of captain for the Walford Warriors, alongside her co-stars Brian Conley (Rocky) and Gurlaine Kaur Garcha (Ash)," says the BBC.

"The East End Defenders are headed up by Tameka Empson (Kim), with Max Bowden (Ben) and Lacey Turner (Stacey) as her competitive teammates."

"I really enjoyed it," said host Bye, who plays Martin on the BBC soap. "I've never done anything like this before."

"We were told to have fun, have a laugh and show viewers what our relationships are like off-camera and that's exactly what we did," he added.

"There are ten episodes of us just having a giggle. It really lifted everyone's spirits when we needed it with all the news around at the moment just before Christmas and I hope that comes across on screen."

RTE
Metro

posted 12/23/2021

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Spin Out"

  • VIDEO WALL: "Wheel" ruled on a Bonus Round (TV Line)... and then Audi stepped in. (TV Line)

  • New York has tightened restrictions at Times Square, but Ryan Seacrest will still be there (Deadline)

  • Kaitlyn Bristowe not at all sad that she's not hosting "The Bachelor" (Us Magazine) PLUS Tayshia Adams explains why she didn't host "After the Final Rose" (Reality TV World)

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Finding Magic Mike (Reality Blurred)

  • LIST ABUSE: Where are these "X Factor" contestants now? (except for Camila Cabello... we know where she is) (TV Insider)

  • Chris Tarrant has a new book (The Bookseller)

posted 12/23/2021

Europe Clears Discovery/Warner Merger
Deal Awaits FCC Approval, Expected to Close Mid-2022
From Deadline

Discovery said Wednesday that the European Commission has granted unconditional antitrust clearance of the company’s proposed acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia business.

“Approval from the European Commission is a key milestone toward completing our proposed transaction with AT&T,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who will be CEO of the combined company.

“Today we move one important step closer to creating Warner Bros. Discovery, a premier entertainment company that will be one of the world’s leading investors in premium content and one positioned to serve consumers with what we believe will be the most complete content offering under one roof.”

Discovery currently anticipates the closing of the WarnerMedia transaction to occur in mid-2022, subject to approval by Discovery stockholders and additional customary closing conditions, including other regulatory approvals, namely in the U.S.. No approval is required by AT&T stockholders.

In May, the companies announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedia’s entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, stand-alone global entertainment company.

Under terms of the agreement, which is structured as an all-stock transaction, AT&T would receive $43 billion in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt, and AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71% of the new company; Discovery shareholders would own 29% of the new company.

Deadline

posted 12/22/2021

TUESDAY: "Bachelorette" Drops
Surprise Football Wins for Fox
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, ABC’s two-hour The Bachelorette finale averaged 3.5 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating on Tuesday night, down sharply from the previous cycle’s closer in August (4.6 mil/1.3) — and easily marking a franchise low. “After the Final Rose” then did 2.9 mil and a 0.6.

Fox’s broadcast of postponed NFL matches averaged 14.9 million viewers and a 3.8 demo rating, of course leading the night in both measures.

Elsewhere, The CW’s Beebo Saves Christmas rerun did 270K/0.1… CBS’ Adele One Night Only (lies!) encore did 2.1 mil/0.3… and NBC’s annual SNL Christmas special drew 1.9 mil/0.4.

TV Line
Deadline

posted 12/22/2021


New York Times
ELFRIDA VON NARDROFF: 1925-2021
"Twenty One" Contestant Won the Largest Amount... Until She Was Outed
From the New York Times

Elfrida von Nardroff, who won more money than anyone else on the 1950s television quiz show “Twenty-One” — but who later pleaded guilty to lying to a grand jury in Manhattan about receiving questions and answers in advance — died on Nov. 11 in a hospice in Westhampton Beach, N.Y. She was 96.

The cause was a stroke, her niece Elizabeth von Nardroff said.

Over several months in 1958, Ms. von Nardroff charmed television viewers as she defeated one opponent after another on her way to winning $220,500 ($2.1 million in today’s dollars). That dwarfed the $129,000 (nearly $1.3 million) that the show’s most famous contestant, Charles Van Doren, an English instructor at Columbia University, had won in 1956 and 1957.

The quiz show genre at the time was widely popular with viewers, who were fascinated by watching ordinary people answer questions and win cash and prizes. “The $64,000 Question” on CBS became a big hit in 1955, followed a year later by “Twenty-One” on NBC, produced by a company run by Dan Enright and Jack Barry, who was also the host.

Newspapers and magazines began following Ms. von Nardroff’s progress on “Twenty-One” after she won $20,000. “Neither scholar, mnemonic freak nor gambler,” Time magazine wrote when her winnings had reached $146,000, “Elfrida has hit the top in what is still the most demanding and sophisticated of all quiz shows.” She finally lost to a teacher when asked which Nazi leader had committed suicide after being sentenced to death. She guessed incorrectly that it was Joseph Goebbels, not Hermann Göring. (Goebbels killed himself as the war was ending.)

In a magazine article published after her loss, she wrote that once she had passed the test to qualify as a contestant, she began analyzing the subjects ripest for questions, including history, geography and literature, and flung herself into research. “I devoured almanacs, drowned myself in a sea of encyclopedias, spun globes and pored over atlases,” she wrote, with Leslie Lieber, in This Week, a syndicated Sunday newspaper supplement.

“I haunted the New York Public Library to such an extent that one day a librarian asked me if I was triplets.” She added, “I was completely determined to run the full circle of knowledge in a matter of months.”

How much of that was true would prove to be debatable.

Von Nardroff later pled guilty to lying to a grand jury in Manhattan about receiving questions and answers in advance. She was one of 14 contestants who were arrested and charged. She and nine other contestants, including Van Doren, pled guilty in early 1962 and received suspended sentences.

The New York Times
Primetimer
Legacy

posted 12/22/2021

Drag Race Takes on the World
BBC3 to Air "Drag Race: UK vs. the World", WOW Presents Plus to Air Stateside
From TV Line

For the first time in RuPaul’s Drag Race herstory, queens from different international franchises will face off against one another in the ultimate global smackdown for superstardom.

“Nine international members of RuPaul’s Drag Race royal alumni will battle it out for the crown in the brand new series RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus The World,” reads the new series’ official logline.

“With the UK as the host nation, renowned queens from different franchises and cultures will compete in an international arena showcasing their country’s finest drag in their bid to become the ultimate Drag Race Superstar.”

Though nothing has been confirmed, the Drag Race UK alumni could presumably be competing against any queen from any previous season of Drag Race, Canada’s Drag Race, or the myriad other versions — even Drag Race Down Under.

Joining RuPaul on the judges panel are Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, Alan Carr and a “sparkling array of superstar guest judges.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus the World will stream Stateside on WOW Presents Plus, premiering day and date with its local airing in the UK. Additional information, including casting and a premiere date, will be announced later.

TV Line
Deadline

posted 12/21/2021


Sony Pictures TV/CBS Media Ventures

SYNDIES: Week 13
Results for the Week Ending December 12
From TV Newscheck

Judge Judy got the most favorable daytime ratings verdict in the session ending Dec. 12, surging to a new season high and obliterating the court shows for the 1,316th consecutive week, or every week for the last quarter century. In an apparent display of still-growing popularity, the legal phenom surged 6% from its previous trial to a 5.0 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating, its strongest showing since early July.

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

GAME SHOWS:
- Jeopardy (CMV) 5.7 NC
- Wheel of Fortune (CMV) 5.4 +4%*
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.2 -2%
- 25 Words or Less (Fox First Run) 0.8 +14%
- You Bet Your Life (Fox First Run) 0.7 NC
- Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.4 NC


TV Newscheck
The Wrap
Daytime Confidential

NextTV

posted 12/21/2021

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "No. Most Definitely NOT."

  • Connor Smith from "Are You The One" arrested for... well, CONTENT WARNING. (TMZ)

  • Betty White gets a tribute fit for a centenarian from Buzzr, MeTV (TV Newscheck)

  • Ken Jeong, Joel McHale benched by Fox for New Years because... you guessed it... (TV Line)

posted 12/21/2021


Sony Pictures TV/CBS Media Ventures

Let the Bidding War Begin
Network O&Os Expected to Make Play for Jeopardy!/Wheel Combo
From TV Newscheck

Last summer, the beloved game show “Jeopardy!” was getting pummeled with bad publicity over a botched search for a new host. But Sony Pictures Television's stumbles trying to find a successor to the late Alex Trebek did not seem to matter much to “Jeopardy!” fans.

In the current 2021-22 television season, the program is averaging 9.1 million viewers, up 6% compared to last year, according to Nielsen data. So far this season, the audience for "Jeopardy!" has surpassed that for every prime-time broadcast entertainment show, including NBC's "The Voice." It's been a bigger draw than the Grammy Awards; and its crowd nearly equals the turnout for this year's Oscars telecast. Only NFL football telecasts and other major live sporting events consistently perform better. The program’s resilience at a time when traditional TV audiences are shrinking has not gone unnoticed.

While Disney/ABC has aired “Jeopardy!” and "Wheel of Fortune" on its owned TV stations since 1984, competitors ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal have discussed making a play to get the game shows for their major-market TV stations, according to several network and studio executives who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The intense interest is setting up a dynamic next year for an old-fashioned network bidding war among buyers looking for an edge for their stations as they compete for a diminishing pool of viewers.

MSN
Los Angeles Times
Swift Headline

posted 12/20/2021



Fox First Run

Renewed!
"25 Words", "You Bet Your Life" Picked Up to 2023
From TV Newscheck

Fox First Run has renewed four original programs, You Bet Your Life with Jay Leno, 25 Words or Less, Dish Nation and Divorce Court, announced Stephen Brown. These programs will continue to run on the Fox-owned stations through the 2022-2023 season.

In making the announcement, Stephen Brown, EVP of programming for Fox Television Stations, said: “Fox First Run’s main priority is to focus always on our audience first, by allowing them to appear, contribute, play and win. All of our programming both, present and ones in development, have two key elements — extensive interactivity and pure entertainment.”

Hosted by Jay Leno, You Bet Your Life debuted in September 2021 with the show’s trademark humorous interviews and unpredictable banter with each contestant, famously originated by Groucho Marx. Tonight Show band leader, Kevin Eubanks, shares hosting duties. FTS said the program is the youngest syndicated game show with the highest concentration of key demos among all game shows.

Currently, You Bet Your Life is cleared in all of the top 100 markets, as well as in Canada. Eighty percent of the 190 cleared markets have double runs and the program is primarily running in key early fringe and access time periods between 5 and 8 p.m. Tom Werner is executive producer, along with showrunner and executive producer, David Hurwitz.

Hosted and executive produced by Meredith Vieira, 25 Words or Less debuted as a preview show on the Fox Television Stations in August 2018, before going into syndication in fall 2019. The half-hour game show is cleared nationally in 98% of the country and is a collaboration of ​executive producers Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Mary McCormack, Michael Morris, showrunner Michael Canter and Bruce Sterten. The show is produced by Dino Bones Productions and distributed by Fox First Run.

TV Newscheck
Deadline
NextTV
UPI
Daytime Confidential
NextTV

posted 12/20/2021

YouTube TV, Disney Make Nice
Spoiler Alert: The Details Will NEVER Be Made Public
From The Wrap

Google’s Youtube TV announced Sunday that Disney-owned programming will return to the platform after some negotiations.

“We’re happy to share that we’ve reached an agreement with Disney to return their content to YouTube TV while preserving a $64.99/mo. price for our members. We have already started to restore access to Disney networks like ESPN and FX, including their live and on-demand content, as well as any recordings that were previously in your Library. We will also be turning on the local ABC stations over the course of the day,” said a statement from YouTube.

The restoration comes after Disney-owned channels, including ABC and ESPN, were yanked from YouTube TV Friday night.

Disney and Google were unable to reach a new carriage agreement, which YouTube addressed in a statement Friday: “We’ve held good faith negotiations with Disney for several months. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we’ve been unable to reach an equitable agreement before our existing one expired, and their channels are no longer available on YouTube TV. We will be decreasing our monthly price by $15, from $64.99 to $49.99 while this content remains off of our platform.”

In Sunday’s announcement, YouTube added that the $15 discount is still in play, though it will be “a one-time credit for all impacted members.”

YouTube TV says it has around 4 million subscribers, similar to Hulu’s Live TV service. Both of those are far behind the major distributors like Comcast, AT&T and Spectrum, which have between 15 and 20 million paying customers.

The Wrap
TV Insider

posted 12/20/2021

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Appy Olidays"

posted 12/20/2021

WEDNESDAY: Next Stop... 42
CBS, Fox Dead Even on Finale Night
From EW

One season ends, and another begins. Well, not quite. But at the conclusion of the Survivor 41 finale and after-show, we did get our official first look at Survivor 42 when CBS unleashed a preview showing footage from the next season of the reality franchise.

Season 42 was shot in May and June of 2021 after filming on Survivor 41 concluded, as the show's crew maintained their COVID bubble to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. That means that unless the new contestants were brought up to speed by producers before filming began, the cast of Survivor 42 came into the game completely unaware of the new twists and turns such as the Hourglass and Do or Die wrinkles that wreaked havoc on the players in the just completed season. So what can we expect when Survivor 42 premieres with a two-hour premiere on March 9, 2022?

"It was really exciting to birth the next era of Survivor with a new, dangerous, fast-paced game that completely caught the players off guard. For Survivor 42, we have another truly outstanding group of players ready to take on the greatest social experiment on television."

Okay, tell us something us something else! "And perhaps the best twist of all is that we shot 41 and 42 back to back, which means this new group of players had not seen Survivor 41, so they have no idea what awaits them!"

Wednesday primetime belonged to competition programs with The Masked Singer and Survivor tying for the evening’s top demo rating. The Masked Singer–Survivor tie comes just a day after Tuesday saw a three-way tie between The Voice, FBI and FBI: Most Wanted.

Survivor and The Masked Singer both drew in 0.9 ratings in the 18-49 demo, per fast affiliates, besting NBC’s holiday programming and ABC’s sitcom repeats. Between the two, Survivor won more viewers, drawing around 5.14 million viewers with its season finale.

While the series’ season finales marked primetime wins, both The Masked Singer and Survivor were down in demo rating from their premieres back in September. The Masked Singer rose in viewers from the season opener while Survivor fell. Last night’s Survivor finale was also down from the previous season ender in May 2020 (1.6, 7.95M). Similarly, The Masked Singer‘s most recent finale was down from its previous one in May (1.3, 5.10M).

EW
Deadline

TV Line

posted 12/16/2021

More on "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer"
Catch It on Fox January
From TV Insider

Fox is going head-to-head with The Bachelor this January, as the network is putting a new twist on its classic dating show, Joe Millionaire. Starring two eligible bachelors looking for love instead of one, the revival, Richer or Poorer, will see contestants try to determine if the prospect of wealth is more powerful than true love.

“Women from across the country are in search of love on Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer, a fresh twist on one of the most-watched dating shows in reality history. The new series features two incredible single men…with one HUGE difference. One’s a millionaire, and the other is definitely NOT,” reads the show’s description. “As love connections are made and each guy finds his perfect match, the women must ask themselves what is more important…Love or Money?”

The original series took the world by storm with its unique take on the reality TV dating show format, posing a regular guy as a millionaire until his true identity was revealed at the end of the season. Following its debut in 2003, it became one of the highest-rated and most-watched unscripted series debuts of the last 20 years.

Fox Alternative Entertainment will produce the new season with SallyAnn Salsano of 495 Productions. Fans can catch up on the show’s first season for free on Tubi, and stream new episodes following their network premiere.

Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer premieres January on Fox.


TV Insider

posted 12/16/2021


Sony Pictures TV/CBS Media Ventures

SYNDIES: Week 12
Results for the Week Ending December 5
From TV Newscheck

Syndicated news magazines made the most news on the ratings chart in the session ending Dec. 5 as the major access shows recovered sharply from season lows and the top five day-and-date programs largely surged by double digits.

Among the biggest magazine show percentage winners were Entertainment Tonight, which tallied a 25% increase from the prior tepid Thanksgiving period to a 2.0 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating with a 33% boost in the key women 25-54 demo, and Extra, which excited viewers with a 20 leap to a season high 0.,6 and a 50% gain in the demo.

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

GAME SHOWS:
- Jeopardy (CMV) 5.7 +30%
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.3 +8%
- Wheel of Fortune (CMV) 5.3 +18%**
- You Bet Your Life (Fox First Run) 0.7 NC
- 25 Words or Less (Fox First Run) 0.7 NC
- Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.4 NC


TV Newscheck
The Wrap
Daytime Confidential

NextTV

posted 12/16/2021


ATAS

The Emmys Are Changing the Game
Category Realignment to Focus on Genre, Not Daypart
From Variety

The walls that long separated the L.A.-based Television Academy and its New York counterpart, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, continue to be torn down. In the latest agreement between the two orgs, several more categories have been realigned to focus on genre, rather than dayparts, as a way to divide eligibility between the Primetime and Daytime Emmys.

“We’re no longer looking at the clock to decide what’s daytime, and what’s primetime,” NATAS president/CEO Adam Sharp told Variety. “That just no longer makes sense, in the way consumers currently watch TV. I think this realignment reflects that and allows us to have more clarity between the two competitions. I think it also makes it a lot easier for creators in our community who were getting increasingly confused — ‘I produce a show for a streaming platform, that I intend to be consumed at all different times. So where does that put me?’”

The TV Academy and NATAS have decided to wait a year before determing how to handle game show and instructional/DIY programming categories. There’s a chance that both daytime and primetime entrants may end up on one show (much like what happened when the children’s categories were combined and sent to Daytime), or they could continue to be split, like talk. The orgs will continue to map out plans for a genre-based alignment in time for 2023.

Because daytime and primetime game shows are very similar, the organizations may look at frequency of airing (daily vs. weekly) and regular run vs. limited event like Jeopardy Tournament of Champions to make the distinction.

“It’s a little more complicated than perhaps some of these other categories are to resolve,” Sharp said. “Now that we’ve announced it, it also gives us the luxury of being able to talk about changes more freely, and engage a broader swath of the community in that discussion. Now we can actually work with many more actual creators and submitters and get their direct feedback on how potential ideas would affect them.”

There will probably be plenty of questions about eligibility over the next several months, which is why the Television Academy and NATAS also form a joint-Academy panel charged with making eligibility determinations between competitions and respective categories. Show producers who are unsure of which competition to enter which they are eligible or who are petitioning to switch contests will be encouraged to submit to the eligibility review panel prior to submission.

Meanwhile, as the two orgs look to switch from focusing on dayparts and instead moving to genres, it’s a sign of the times. But the names won’t change: The Daytime Emmys will remain, with its June home, while the Primetime Emmys will continue in September.

Variety
MXDWN
KVUE Austin
TV Insider

Deadline
The Futon Critic
NextTV

posted 12/15/2021

More on "Next Level Chef"
Catch It on Fox January
From The Wrap

Gordon Ramsay’s first new cooking competition series in more than a decade is taking the genre as a whole to the next level, by housing the upcoming show inside a three-story set with an industrial kitchen on each floor.

Dubbed “Next Level Chef,” the Fox series challenges its contestants to compete in each of these different kitchens, with the lowest as the worst possible setup to cook in, the middle being a standard professional situation, and the top a state-of-the-art masterpiece that makes life a breeze for chefs.

A platform full of ingredients is lowered down into each of the floors, with those at the top having the first pick of what they want to use, and only a few items remaining once it reaches the basement.

In order to keep the kitchen-specific difficulty level in that ascending order in every aspect of the show, the “Next Level Chef” team had to construct kitchens right on top of each other without allowing heat from the bottom kitchens lead to a trickier cooking environment temperature-wise as you went up each floor.

“This was not your normal television set,” showrunner and executive producer Matt Cahoon told TheWrap in an email Tuesday, ahead of “Next Level Chef’s” January debut. “It truly was a Next Level marvel constructed by our team. Built with over 85 tons of steel, our stage is 50 feet high, meaning we had to have a production hub built to house it, as the only permanent structures with that kind of height were sports arenas. A 40,000 sq ft industrial tent was built. It was the largest temporary structure in Las Vegas history. With that, our stage had to pass many of the permanent building codes in Clark County. With that much fortitude built in, neither the heat, nor the sound was ever an issue from floor to floor.”

The Wrap
Deadline
The Futon Critic

posted 12/14/2021

Shakira Dances with Herself
Pop Star to Produce, Star in "Dancing with Myself"
From TV Insider

After spawning a viral dance challenge to her song “Girl Like Me,” global superstar Shakira is joining forces with NBC for the new competition series Dancing With Myself. The family-friendly showdown will follow teams of everyday people as they compete in a series of dance challenges in front of a live studio audience.

“Every week a new group of fun-loving dancers from all walks of life and of all ages compete in a series of high-energy dance challenges that are designed and demonstrated by the show’s celebrity creators, including Shakira. Isolated in their own pods, contestants have a short time to learn the new routines, add their unique flare and then perform their hearts out in front of a live audience,” reads the series’ description.

“As each round of the competition progresses, Shakira and her judging panel provide instant feedback and encouragement, but, ultimately, it’s the studio audience that decides who wins Best Dancer of the Night and gets to take home the cash prize.”

TV Insider
The Wrap
Deadline
The Futon Critic

posted 12/14/2021


CBS

The World Is Waiting... Again!
"Amazing Race" Celebrates 20 Years, Reveals New Teams
From TV Line

As the new promo for the upcoming Amazing Race season explains: “The longest pit stop is over!”

Sidelined by the pandemic in the middle of production, the Season 33 racers are finally ready to take their marks. Premiering Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8/7c with a two-hour premiere (and continuing in its regular 9/8c time slot Wednesday, Jan. 12), 11 new duos will begin a race around the world as they compete for that hefty $1 million grand prize.

Teams will trek through 13 cities and seven countries (including Scotland, France, Switzerland and Portugal) as they embark on a journey that will take them over 22,000 miles.

As seen in the clip below, Season 33 will challenge these newbies mentally and physically, as they tackle baking challenges, dart throwing, tricky wine barrels and surely a few death-defying stunts that’ll raise their blood pressures.

The new cast (meet them via the links below) include a pair of singing police officers, the Holderness Family’s Mom and Dad, childhood friends and twin radio hosts, among others.

Season 33 began filming in February of 2020, but was forced to shut down after only three legs, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production resumed and was completed this fall.

“We implemented many new safety features that made this historic season possible, including having the cast and crew fly by private chartered plane,” co-creator and executive producer Elise Doganieri said in a statement. “The Race has been highlighting the beauty of traveling for over 20 years, and we are extremely grateful to showcase again the wonders of the world with this incredible cast.”

The racers...
- Akbar Cook Sr. (45) and Sheridan Cook (44) Married educators from Martinsville, N.J.
- Anthony Sadler (29) and Spencer Stone (29) Childhood friends from Sacramento, Calif.
- Arun Kumar (56) and Natalie Kumar (28) Father and daughter from Detroit, Mich.
- Caro Viehweg (23) and Ray Gantt (25) Dating from Los Angeles and Toms River, N.J., respectively.
- Connie (37) and Sam (39) Greiner Married couple from Charlotte, N.C.
- Kim (45) and Penn (47) Holderness Internet personalities from Raleigh, N.C.
- Marianela “Lulu” (37) and Marissa “Lala” (37) Gonzalez Twins and radio hosts from North Bergen, N.J.
- Michael Norwood (36) and Armonde “Moe” Badger (42) Singing police officers from Buffalo, N.Y.
- Raquel Moore (31) and Cayla Platt (30) Flight attendants from Chicago, Ill. and Gulf Breeze, Fla., respectively.
- Ryan Ferguson (37) and Dusty Harris (38) Best friends from Columbia, Mo.
- Taylor Green-Jones (38) and Isaiah Green-Jones (31) YouTube sensations from Portland, Ore.


TV Line
TV Insider
The Wrap

The Futon Critic

Deadline
Reality Blurred
Variety
Reality TV WOrld

posted 12/14/2021

MONDAY: ... Night Football
ABC Wins with ESPN Simulcast
From Deadline

ABC is basking in the primetime spotlight of the NFL as its coverage of the Los Angeles Rams-Arizona Cardinals game on Monday Night Football was the night’s top-rated program.

The Rams’ 30-23 victory earned a 1.5 demo rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 6.69 million viewers, per Nielsen fast affiliates. However, numbers are set to rise as they usually do with major live events, like sports. ABC’s coverage was significantly behind NBC’s Sunday Night Football coverage the previous night (4.0, 15.06M).

Coming in second in the demo Monday was the latest episode of The Voice on NBC (0.7, 7.06M), the evening’s most-watched program among the broadcasters. Going up against both MNF and The Voice was Fox’s Gordon Ramsay’s Road Trip (0.3, 1.12M) and the CW’s All American (0.2, 700,000).

Deadline

posted 12/14/2021

Back "Around the World" Soon?
BBC Readies Pre-Production
From Deadline

The BBC is hoping to get Studio Lambert’s Race Across the World and its celebrity version – one of the highest-profile early casualties of the pandemic-inducted production pause – back into filming “as soon as possible” despite Omicron fears.

A casting call was issued recently for contributors to “take on the challenge of traveling thousands of miles, at ground level, across land and sea” in the third season of the non-celebrity version and it is understood producers are pushing ahead amidst growing case numbers of the Omicron variant, which has caused restrictions to be tightened around the world.

The casting call referenced Covid-19 and questioned whether the “restrictions of the pandemic may have sparked the wanderlust” of potential contributors.

It is understood that the non-celebrity version will enter pre-production first, with the casting process taking longer for that version, which tends to attract thousands of applicants.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The hope is for both series to return as soon as possible. Because of the nature of the non-celebrity version, which requires a lengthier casting process, we’re delighted that we’re able to start the search for our next set of intrepid travelers for series three.”

The format involves teams of two competing to get to a faraway destination without a plane, with a £20,000 ($26,491) cash prize on offer for the winners.

Deadline

posted 12/14/2021

Three Times the Heat
Catch "Too Hot to Handle" Season 3 on Netflix January 19
From UPI

Too Hot to Handle will return for a third season on Netflix in January 2022.

The streaming service shared a teaser and release date, Jan. 19, for the dating game show Tuesday. The video gives a glimpse of the Season 3 cast and teases shocking moments to come.

Too Hot to Handle is hosted by a virtual assistant named Lana. The series features 10 singles who live together in a house for four weeks and are monetarily punished if they engage in any sexual activity.

Variety said in January that Too Hot to Handle was renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 and was filming the seasons in Turks and Caicos. Season 2 started streaming in June. "The secret is out -- we're thrilled to bring back Too Hot to Handle for two new seasons in a tropical paradise," Netflix vice president of unscripted and documentary series Brandon Riegg said at the time.

"Netflix members around the world fell in love with the hilarious antics of seasons one, and now fans won't have to wait long to see our new contestants try (and fail) to follow Lana's strict rules with plenty of twists and surprises along the way," Riegg said.

UPI
The Futon Critic

posted 12/14/2021

Alexa, Spin the Wheel...
"Price Is Right" Becomes an Alexa Skill
From Voicebot

Alexa device owners can channel Bob Barker by playing The Price is Right on smart speakers and smart displays. Voice game developer Volley partnered with Fremantle, the company that owns the show, to launch the new game as part of the celebrations for the game show’s 50th anniversary.

Volley designed the new game to work with audio-only devices as well as those with a screen. The game is playable on Echo smart speakers Echo Show smart displays, and Fire smart TVs. Like in the game show, players have to guess how much retail items cost. For this game, the prices are based on what’s for sale on Amazon, using real devices. Those who guess the closest price without going over win points. As with its namesake television program, the voice game offers more complex tasks in between straight guesses, such as Plinko, which asks players to pick the right digits from the price of small prizes to earn Plinko chips. Volley is working on in-game purchases to enhance the experience in the future.

“As the longest-running game show in television history, ‘The Price Is Right’ has always been ahead of the curve, introducing new games to audiences while staying true to its classics and we’re thrilled to continue driving that creativity with Volley’s innovative approach to voice games,” Fremantle vice president of commercial and licensing Angela Hueber said. “With ‘The Price Is Right’ now in its 50th season, this voice game is the perfect opportunity to draw in new audiences while giving fans an exciting way to engage with a show they already know and love.”

Voicebot
Bleeding Cool

posted 12/14/2021

To Infinity and Beyond with Ant & Dec
"Limitless Win" Gets a Trailer
From ITV

ITV released today their first full length promotional trailer for Ant & Dec's Limitless Win.

Not only does the primetime entertainment game show feature the world's first limitless jackpot, it also marks Ant & Dec's first new show in over ten years.

Created by Hello Dolly, Ant & Dec’s Limitless Win is a Hello Dolly and Mitre Studios co-production, presented by Britain’s favourite duo Ant & Dec.

The five-part series features the world’s first ever limitless jackpot and a money ladder that never… ever… ends. Every question is an opportunity to climb the endless money ladder and reach the big money, but only a correct answer banks the cash. Push their luck too far and they’ll crash out of the game and lose it all. Packed with drama, jeopardy and real emotion, it’s quite literally the biggest prize ever conceived.

Ant & Dec's Limitless Win is due to air on ITV early 2022.

ITV Press Centre
The Daily Mirror
Liverpool Echo
Telly Mix
Radio Times
Chronicle Live

posted 12/14/2021

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Comeback"

  • Sherri Shepherd returns from emergency surgery (Deadline)

  • Ashley Iaconnetti has a baby shower (Reality TV World)

  • Jeff Probst spoils tomorrow's finale... the results will be read on location (EW)

  • Nicole Byer & Taye Diggs to host Critics Choice Awards January (Deadline)

  • John Legend produces a New Orleans-based "Phantom of the Opera" (Ebony)

  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP!: Former LA Laker owns the Wheel (TV Insider)

  • Amy Schneider's tattoo (NEwsweek)

  • Brooke Burns' long strange trip from teen actress to trivia queen (The List)

  • Jimmy Carr calls "I Literally Just Told You" "the best thing I've ever done!" (What to Watch)

  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? Does this look like anything to you? (TV Insider)

posted 12/13/2021

"Millionaire" Arrives on PS5
Generation Wide Release Forthcoming
From GAmeTyrant

Microids has released an expansion of their game based on the world-famous TV show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The New Edition version is now out on PlayStation 5. This version offers additional content that will also become available in early 2022 on PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One consoles.

The new extra content includes:
- More than 3,000 new questions, for a grand total of 8,000 questions!
- New question packs to put your knowledge about the Olympic Games or the Justice League to the test!
- An option to remove the timer allowing everyone to take the time they need to submit their final answer!
- A new “quick game” mode focusing only on questions and answers letting players reach the million faster!
- Enhanced models and animations immersing all contestants even more into the real game show!
Additionally, the developers are promising that their game will be updated regularly over the coming year with new themed question packs. In our review of the base game last year we noted that while the voice acting and graphics weren’t great, the questions and gameplay were a blast! We’re looking forward to checking out the New Edition and seeing how it improves the base game! Play it first on PlayStation 5 today!


GameTyrant

posted 12/13/2021

More on "Go-Big Show" Season 2
Catch It on TBS January 6
From the Futon Critic

TBS has released the official trailer for season two of "Go-Big Show" premiering on Thursday, January 6 at 9pm ET/PT. This season of TBS' hit extreme competition show is hosted by Bert Kreischer, and features judges T-Pain, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and Cody Rhodes.

"Go-Big Show" showcases supersized talents on a scale never before seen on television. With some of the most extreme and death-defying acts from around the country, the second season spotlights everything from underwater escape artists, bull jumpers and incredible feats of strength to trick riders and world-record holders. The series is a celebration of the most daring acts as they battle head-to-head to impress the judges and advance toward the finale's ultimate $100,000 prize or go home.

To celebrate the release of the season 2 trailer, "Go-Big Show" is giving away exclusive holiday kits equipped with Six Flags tickets and more! Fans can retweet "Go-Big Show's" trailer here to enter. Official rules in the link below.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/13/2021


NATAS
CHARLES CAPPELMAN: 1916-2021
Operations Guru of Television City
From the Hollywood Reporter

Charles Cappleman, the operations and engineering guru who was instrumental in modernizing CBS Television City and bringing year-round daytime programming to the production complex during his half-century with the network, has died. He was 95.

Cappleman died Sunday at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, his son Bill Cappleman announced.

Cappleman, who started out at CBS in 1954 and brought the first videotape recorders to the company, worked on shows including Playhouse 90, All in the Family, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, The Price Is Right, The Steve Harvey Show and The Carol Burnett Show during his esteemed career.

In 2002, he received the Television Academy’s Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award for his many innovations, then was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame two years later.

CBS Television City opened at the corner of Fairfax and Beverly in 1952, but well into the 1960s, the facility was still a seasonal operation that shuttered for about 13 weeks every summer.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 12/13/2021

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Space Giant"

  • Michael Strahan becomes the first football players/news anchor/game show host to be blasted into space (Deadline)

  • FIRST LOOK: Foodtastic (Disney+) (TV Insider)

  • Sherri Shepherd goes into emergency surgery (Deadline)

  • Nick Cannon brings "Wild'n Out" on tour (WAVY Portsmouth/Norfolk/Newport News)

  • Whitney Williams defends her OnlyFans account (CheatSheet)

  • Nicole Byer & Taye Diggs to host Critics Choice Awards January (Deadline)

  • John Legend produces a New Orleans-based "Phantom of the Opera" (Ebony)

  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP!: Former LA Laker owns the Wheel (TV Insider)

  • Amy Schneider's tattoo (NEwsweek)

  • Brooke Burns' long strange trip from teen actress to trivia queen (The List)

  • Jimmy Carr calls "I Literally Just Told You" "the best thing I've ever done!" (What to Watch)

  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? Does this look like anything to you? (TV Insider)

posted 12/13/2021


Pitchfork
MICHAEL NESMITH: 1942-2021
"The Monkees" Guitarist Played Hollywood Squares
From Deadline

Michael Nesmith, the Grammy-winning, wool-capped singer and guitarist of the Monkees and a pioneer of the music video, died today of natural causes his home in Carmel Valley, CA, his family has announced. He was 78.

“With Infinite Love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes,” the family said in a statement to our sister publication Rolling Stone. “We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us.”

Nesmith, whose laconic, deadpan comic style was a key contribution to the slapstick humor of the band’s self-titled hit 1960s sitcom, also was the group’s staunchest advocate for musical integrity. He fought for the band’s right to play their own instruments and contributed some of the Monkees’ most cherished and enduring songs, most notably the country-tinged “Papa Gene’s Blues” (with its familiar refrain, “I have no more than I did before but now I’ve got all that I need…”)

The NBC sitcom was created by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider as an American answer to The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night with a heavy dose of Marx Brothers. The four actor-singers recruited through ads in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter would be the Texas-born Nesmith, the British stage actor Davy Jones, former Hollywood child actor Micky Dolenz and scenester of the Greenwich Village and Laurel Canyon folk music communities Peter Tork. All of the band members sang, with Dolenz also playing drums, Tork on bass and keyboards, and frequent frontman Jones often playing a tambourine.

Jones died in 2012 and Tork in 2019.

The group featured on many games in the 1960s including "Dream Girl of '67" and "The Hollywood Squares".

Married and divorced three times, Nesmith is survived by children Christian, Jonathan, Jessica and Jason, as well as two grandchildren.

Deadline
TV Line
EW
TV Newscheck/AP
Rolling Stone

CNN

posted 12/10/2021

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