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Voice of the People
February 9

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We start this time around with the huge news that the pilot of "The Cube" was recently shot in London for CBS with Neil Patrick Harris as host. A few months ago, the ITV show was attached to the Fox network. They gave it a pass in December and game show fans thought it would never see the light of day on these shores. Then NBC announced a clone/copy called "Perfect 10"(now renamed "Minute To Win It") with Guy Fieri as host. Ads for the show are now airing on NBC.

On January 28th, Josef Adalian of "The Wrap" broke the news that Harris was tapped to host the pilot for CBS.

For me, this is a case of perfect host, perfect timing and perfect show. Harris has shown competent emcee skills by hosting the Emmys, the Tonys and the TV Land Awards. His gameplay on "Million Dollar Password" was excellent. And his recent stint as guest judge on "American Idol" showed that he took it seriously. He is a fan of the game show genre.

I am hoping that Harris does well in the pilot, and that CBS picks this up. I don't think Harris needs any more exposure, but if it happens this is going to be a win-win situation for Harris, ITV and CBS.

Speaking of CBS, CBS and GSN are trying to gauge reactions to the directions of their programming. This past week, CBS directed viewers to a survey at http://home.reelresearch.com/newsurveysystem/survey/welcome.asp?refername=cbstpir where viewers can express their opinions about "The Price is Right.". The survey is very detailed and asks questions about the show, the models and the job Drew Carey is doing as host.

GSN's survey is at http://www.gsn.com/survey and focuses on their programming, online gaming and gambling.

It is very interesting to me that both CBS and GSN are trying to take a pulse of their viewership. In the case of Price, it will be very interesting to see if they listen to their viewership. While ratings have improved, the direction of the show has left a lot of people scratching their heads. Drew Carey and Rich Fields can be very polarizing figures. Some people do not want to see Guy Fieri and Harlem Globetrotters in showcases.

GSN's case is more troubling. They are asking what types of shows people want and like to watch. They are asking questions about traditional game shows, reality competition shows, and wish fulfillment reality shows. They also ask about gsn.com and other online portals and their relationship to game show viewing and watching.

The fact that the survey even mentions reality competition shows at all makes me ill. What the survey should have done was focused on what type of GAME SHOWS should be on GSN. GSN was the Game Show Network and this survey doesn't even come close to appeasing the core game show fan base which built the network.

It is pretty obvious that GSN has been alienating their core fans for a long time. They put on awful shows like "Big Saturday Night", "The 2009 Game Show Awards" and then cancel GSN Radio and other core shows. Do we honestly believe that they will truly listen to the fan's voice? I doubt it. Even with that, I hope fans will answer this survey and show them that this new reality-based direction is absolutely the wrong way to go.

Block Party Quick Hits Time:

- Ethan Zohn talks up his stem-cell cancer treatment on "The Doctors". And Carnie Wilson goes on Dr. Oz to talk up her weight and health.

- Melissa Rycroft is now a correspondent for ET.

- Ben Silverman's first project since NBC has been announced. His new company is called Electus. The project: They have secured the rights to bring to the U.S. "Cuckoo’s Nest," a mega-interactive game show on Facebook produced by Abbott Reif Hameiri. Incorporating daily original live broadcasts from within Facebook, "Cuckoo's Nest" fuses a virtual home-based game with a real studio-based game.

- High Stakes Poker premieres on GSN on February 14th for Season 6.

- Channel 4 in England commissions "The Drop" where contestants can lose 1M pounds at the drop of a hat.

- Ellen DeGeneres comes to Idol on February 9th during Hollywood Week.

- Mill Creek Entertainment reissues DVD Box Sets of "Price is Right", "Family Feud", "Password" and "Match Game"

- G4 renews "American Ninja Warrior" for a season 2.

- 2.4M people watch the season premiere of America's Best Dance Crew.

- If you want to know who is on the new season of Dancing with the Stars, watch the Bachelor on March 1. And Samantha Harris leaves the show.

- THQ and Sony Pictures ink a deal for new videogames for Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

- Britain's Next Top Model gets renewed with Elle McPherson as host.

- Pat and Vanna have the tough gig of going to Beaches Turks and Caicos to film part of "Beaches Resort Week" in June.

- Bob Barker donates $1M to SHARK, an Illinois based animal advocacy organization that has filmed pigeon shoots at the Philadelphia Gun Club in Bensalem, Bucks County.

- Members of the Leadership Johns Creek Class of 2010 found they were not always smarter than a fifth-grader when comedian and television show host Jeff Foxworthy dropped in for a surprise visit during their Education Day program Jan. 21. The students had researched the show over the recent holiday break, created their own set, drafted grade-appropriate questions, put together a PowerPoint presentation including graphics and music from the show and even had a pair of Foxworthy stand-ins, complete with the comedian's trademark blue blazer, white shirt and blue jeans, to serve as hosts.

As part of their preparations for the Leadership program, they wrote to Foxworthy inviting him to participate. However, because the letter went out just several days before, it seemed highly unlikely that the celebrity would have room in his schedule. But just as the young hosts got set to introduce their production, the classroom exploded into screams and cheers as the Johns Creek resident strode in.

- Carrie Underwood sings the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLVI.

Jason Block still stings from the loss of the Colts. E-mail him at jiblock@yahoo.com.