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It's his world.. you're just living in it...

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Current Events - January 16

Its been on the news. It’s been parodied as a wrestling match with lookalikes on the WWE. Rumors are swirling that due to the corporate synergy of NBC/Universal and the USA Network, Donald Trump may appear on WWE programming.

It’s the Trump/O’Donnell war. Let me set this up from as an unbiased perspective as possible. On December 19, after rumors were swirling about Miss USA Tara Conner’s underage drinking problems, Trump (who owns both the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants) announced she would be going into rehab and getting a second chance at representing the crown. On a personal note, I think she should have been removed from being Miss USA. A week later, when explicit pictures came out of Miss Nevada USA doing things a pageant winner shouldn’t, her crown was taken away. That looked hypocritical to me.

O’Donnell did fire the first shot and called Trump “a snake-oil salesman" on The View. "(He) left the first wife, had an affair. (He) had kids both times, but he's the moral compass," O'Donnell said. And the war has been going on for almost a month now. I am not going to dignify this page with every statement from both sides.

What I am going to do is call what both people are–hypocrite blowhards. Full disclosure–I was on the Rosie O’Donnell talk show in 2000–before Rosie came out of the closet. Yes, it was an open secret, but she never disclosed it in public and on air. She was appealing to the middle American housewife and taking millions of dollars from Warner Brothers and Telepictures, Inc. claiming to be something she wasn’t. And when she did come out, the last season tanked ratings wise. As another example, Ellen DeGeneres, who came out before her talk show came out has been a ratings success, because she is not letting herself and her lifestyle be the focus of the show. Ellen isn’t a successful gay talk show host, she is a successful talk show host who happens to be gay.

Now Trump has done this before. When the last season of the Apprentice came on the air, he basically started a war with Martha Stewart. And the ratings for Martha Stewart suffered, and both blamed each other for the failure of “Apprentice: Martha Stewart”. This year, I believe he used Rosie’s personal attack (which it was) to use it to try and goose the ratings of “Apprentice: LA”. It didn’t work. The premiere ratings weren’t that great and it doesn’t look good for the Donald.

So what do we have here? We have two people with incredible successes and incredible egos lobbing feces like two monkeys in a zoo. And you know what, the only people who care are gossip hounds and people like us. And you know what might happen? We will have one of those massive three handed press conference handshake and we will go on to the next gossip story.

And we will never get back weeks of our lives spent on a lot more important things than this.

On the bright side... my crystal ball has been on fire lately. With the renewal of Family Feud through next year, Millionaire through 2010-2011, and Wheel and Jeopardy through 2012, the syndication game show stalwarts and starting solidify their status for a long time to come.

But what comes of the new kids on the block? This past week, the game show world was stunned to see the first new show to be pitched into the syndication markets in 5 years. That would be “Temptation”or “Temptations”, depending on which press clip you read. This show, the favorite of Game Show Man Joe Van Ginkel and game show tape traders worldwide, is based on the classic “Sale of the Century. It has been the show most people wanted to see come to the States. The upside, it’s being produced by Fremantle Media. The’s being put on MyNetwork. I am hoping and praying that what we saw in Australia comes to the United States mostly intact.

And with NATPE (The National Association of Television Programmers and Executives) convention just starting as this column is being written, a lot of potential shows have been announced or maybe coming down the pike. The bad news is that syndicated Deal or No Deal will be pushed to the 2008-2009 season, and Combination Lock/Joker’s Wild has been put on hold. But even Merv Griffin has got a show being pitched called “Crosswords” and we have a comedy strip show called “Laugh-Off”.

And with GSN actually going back to more original GAME programming with the renewals of “Lingo”and “Chain Reaction”, the expansion of Playmania (shudder) and at least 5 shows in development (“Grand Slam”, “Carry Your Weight”, “Indecision”, “Camouflage” and “War of the Words”)... something has got to be a hit somewhere. And I believe GSN is slowly going to back to it’s “Game Show Network” roots, which can be only good news for classic game show fans like myself.

I am going to stick my neck out on a limb here. We are in the beginnings of the 2nd game show revolution of this decade. We rode the first wave from 1999 into the early 2000's with “Millionaire”, “Greed”, “Twenty-One”, “Winning Lines” and others. I see the crest forming and I have my Body Glove wet suit on.

Surf’s up. Enjoy the ride. This one’s going to be a big one.

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