We start this week
with the ins and outs of the syndicated game show world. We had a
lot of news and announcements happening around the time of the NATPE
(National Association of Television Program Executives) convention.
The biggest announcement out of NATPE was that we will have a new
syndicated game show coming in Fall 2010. Twentieth Television will
bring a new version of "Don't Forget The Lyrics" back to TV with
Sugar Ray lead singer and former Extra correspondent Mark McGrath as
host. And in a brilliant move, they are copying the formula that
made "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" a ratings and financial
success. It will be broadcast on syndicated TV, MyNetwork TV, and
VH-1 in same day reruns.
Speaking of "5th Grader", it was announced that it will be coming
back for a 2nd season. This was a no brainer decision for Twentieth
Television as it was the one of the highest rated shows for both CMT
and MyNetwork TV. Combine that with decent syndication ratings, and
the renewal was a given.
"Family Feud" comes back for a 12th Season next fall. But we have a
new host in comedian/radio host/sitcom star/author Steve Harvey.
O'Hurley said this in a statement: "The time has come to try
something new, and while I have prized my time on Family Feud, I've
decided to set a course for new adventures. This includes
immediately heading into rehearsals for the U.S. touring show of
Chicago, launching my new company Energy-Inc. which focuses on
renewable energy solutions, debuting an original golf apparel line
in the J. Peterman catalog, and visiting our troops overseas." Could
this be a case of O'Hurley leaving a sinking ship? I am not sure,
but Feud will not be the same without John. He was a class act and
brought a sense of presence rarely seen on game shows. He will be
Lastly, we must speak of Deal or No Deal. As of this writing,
there is no official word of it's cancellation. But with "Lyrics"
replacing "Deal" on MyNetwork TV, and Howie Mandel going to
"America's Got Talent", it doesn't look good for a third
syndicated season of "Deal."
I am a big fan of smart kids doing smart things, so this is going to
be fun if you are going to be in Massachusetts. A new weekly show
called "High School Quiz Show" will debut on March 22, 2010.
According to the press release, twenty schools from eastern
Massachusetts have been chosen to compete on High School Quiz Show,
the competition will culminate in a statewide playoff for the
championship, as four teams from WGBY’s academic game program, As
Schools Match Wits, arrive in WGBH’s studios to compete with High
School Quiz Show’s four top qualifying teams.
The competing high school teams and their enthusiastic supporters
will gather at WGBH’s Brighton studios over the course of three days
– January 30, 31 and February 6 – for 10 qualifying rounds, as a
live studio audience of families, fellow students, and community
members cheer on their hometown teams from the sidelines.
On May 1 and 2, the top four qualifying teams from High School Quiz
Show will meet at WGBH to tape the state quarterfinals, semifinals
and championship with four teams from As Schools Match Wits, the
long-running series produced and broadcast by sister station WGBY in
association with Westfield State College. The state finals and
championship will be broadcast in June on WGBH and WGBY.
Quiz questions for the teams will correlate with the core
Massachusetts high school curriculum, including literature, history,
and science, together with current events, sports, entertainment,
and general knowledge. High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Teams for High School Quiz Show’s 2010 season: Amesbury High School;
Boston Collegiate Charter School, Dorchester; Brighton High School;
The Bromfield School, Harvard; Dighton–Rehoboth Regional High
School; Everett High School; Framingham High School; Hingham High
School; Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School; Lynn English High
School; Methuen High School; Minuteman Career & Technical High
School, Lexington; Nipmuc Regional High School, Upton; Oakmont
Regional High School, Ashburnham; Randolph High School; Revere High
School; Quincy High School; Shepherd Hill Regional High School,
Dudley; Sturgis Charter Public School, Hyannis; and University Park
Campus School, Worcester.
Two alternate schools were chosen as potential substitutes:
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School; and Wachusett Regional High
I am a huge fan of this type of quiz format, and I can't wait to
check this out.
Block Party Quick Hits Time:
--Lots of condolences to pass around. Frances Buss Buch, a pioneer
of network TV and the first female TV director, has died. She was
92. She appeared on TV's first game show, "The CBS Television Quiz,"
as a scorekeeper.
Jennifer Lyon, a contestant on Survivor Palau, has died at
age 37. Lyon finished in fourth place in the reality competition's
tenth season, which aired in 2005. We have also lost James
Mitchell, Pernell Roberts and Jean Simmons.
--Jellyvision sues AFLAC for copyright infringement as "You Don't
Know Quack" allegedly rips off "You Don't Know Jack".
--Adam Lambert auctions off his underwear and a framed picture for
--Omarion replaces Shane Starks on America's Best Dance Crew which
debuted on January 28.
--Australia's version of the Biggest Loser had to edit a contestant
out. Deryck James Ward, a 26 yr old communications specialist was
arrested on charges of possessing child pornography and one count of
using the Internet to access images of child exploitation. He
competed on the show with his sister. Fremantle edited them out as
if he and his sister were not on the show. Good for Fremantle.
--Matt Grant from the Bachelor has a new show called Pimp My Bride.
--Ant and Dec would do "X Factor" if asked.
--CBS renews Survivor and the Amazing Race. And the cast for Amazing
Race 16 is revealed in advance of the February 14 premiere date.
--RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked will pair with "RuPaul's Drag Race"
as of February 1 on Logo.
--Ultimate Recipe Showdown returns for Season 3 on the Food Network
on March 14. And as predicted, Cablevision and Scripps make a deal
so that their programs get back on the air as of January 21.
--Television Business International has made a list of the top 10
shows around the world. Countries included in the survey were: UK,
US, Australia, Belgium (North and South separately), Canada,
Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands,
Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. According
to the report, "Rankings were based on the number of times a show
appeared in a country’s top-rated programs with shows under five
minutes and duplicates excluded."
Here's the list.
1. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? / ITV (UK) / 1998 / Sony Pictures
2. Deal or No Deal / Nederland 2 / 2002 / Endemol
3. Wipeout / ABC (US) / 2008 / Endemol
4. Wheel of Fortune / NBC (US) / 1975 / CBS Studios International
5. Family Feud / ABC (US) / 1976 / FremantleMedia
6. Don't Forget The Lyrics / Fox (US) / 2007 / RDF Rights
7. Hole in the Wall / Fox (US) / 2008 / FremantleMedia
8. Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? / Fox (US) / 2007 / Shine
Int'l./Mark Burnett Prods.
9. Jeopardy! / NBC (US) / 1964 / CBS Studios International
10. I Love My Country / RTL4 (Netherlands) / 2008 / Talpa Media
--Sometimes you have to keep your big mouth shut. According to
reports, Michael Lynche (a.k.a. Big Mike) was reportedly told to
pack his bags after his father revealed to his local Florida paper,
The St. Petersburg Times, that Michael had made the top 24 of
American Idol. That is a violation of Idol rules requiring the
singers and their families to keep the Hollywood week results quiet
until they’re broadcast. Oops.
--Betty White receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAG
-- The on again/off again show The Cube is back on. It is taping a
US Pilot on February 4th in England.
--Season 4 of Solitary premieres on January 29th on Fox Reality
before the channel shuts on March 31st.
--ABC has scheduled "The
Bachelor: Jason and Molly's Wedding", a two-hour special
that will document the marriage of thirteenth-season lovebirds
Jason Mesnick and
Molly Malaney, for broadcast on Monday, March 8.
--Nickelodeon is casting for Season 2 of BrainSurge. Go to http://www.nickcontestants.com/BS_Casting/Home.html
for instructions on how to do it.
--Let’s Make A Deal is finishing its first season in Los Angeles
starting March 18th for five weeks.
-- We know now the project David Hasselhoff alluded to in his
statement when he left AGT. He is doing a 10 episode docu-reality
series for A&E, which is going to focus on his life and how is he is
trying to help his daughters get into the recording industry.
--If you saw the Super Chef Battle on January 3rd on the Food
Network, the vegetables that were used in the battle were not from
the White House Garden. They were stunt vegetables from the NYC
--"Perfect 10" is now named "Minute to Win It" and will debut in
March on NBC.
--"Sunday Best", the gospel themed reality competition show returns
for Season 3 on BET on April 4.
--Brooke Burke will host Season 3 of "She's Got The Look" on TV
The last time Jason Block went up, down, in, and out was at
the Trop in Atlantic City. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.