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Big Deals
March 16

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!

We start this time around with the Big Deal that legendary game show host Monty Hall is going to co-host one segment with Wayne Brady on “Let’s Make A Deal” during the week of March 22-26. According to the press release, he will play one game on his own with an audience member or members of his choosing. For game show fans and fans of Monty Hall this is nirvana.

I have to touch on new spokesmodel Tiffany Coyne, who has replaced Alison Fiori on the show for the past month. She is much better and more interactive than Alison ever was. She is funny, gorgeous and has a great sense of humor. I believe the cast and crew on the show is now complete.

What else is complete is the top 12 on American Idol. Last week, I got 3 of the 4 eliminated people right as John Park, Jermaine Sellers, Haeley Vaughn and Michelle Delamor went home. This week, Alex Lambert, Todrick Hall, Katelyn Epperson and in a huge shock, Lilly Scott were the last eliminated before the top 12. Your top 12 are Michael Lynche, Casey James, Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly for the men and Krystal Bowersox, Lacey Brown, Paige Miles, Didi Benami, Siobhan Magnus and Katie Stevens for the ladies. The Round of 12 theme will be the Songs of the Rolling Stones.

I caught the premiere of “Instant Recall”, the new hidden camera game show on GSN. Wink Martindale hosts this show where two unsuspecting “contestants” are put in a wacky situation. When the cue of “Do You Like Game Shows?” is spoken, Wink and crew come in and transform the site of the situation into the “Instant Recall” studio where the contestants are quizzed on what happened while they were there. In the first episode, there was a fake intervention and a fake love seminar.

The best part of the show is Wink Martindale. He is being Wink Martindale and is not taking himself seriously at all. Everything else about the execution of the show is not that great. The situations themselves are not funny, and the “Blind Date/Pop Up Video” pop ups were too dirty and sexual for an 8:30PM show. They were trying way too hard to force the humor.

And the game show itself was 3 questions long. That was very disappointing, as it felt like they were doing way too much setup for not enough pay off. It’s very hard for me to trash a show like this, because I like Wink here. The show itself is not worthy of him.

Block Party Quick Hits Time:

--ABC greenlights a pilot from Mark Burnett called “Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host." In a format twist, the show will have two hosts who will match wits about various subjects with contestants culled from a studio audience. One of the hosts will be telling the truth, the other will be deceptive, and contestants will have to figure out which to trust. Casting is under way for the two hosts.

--Season 5 of “America’s Got Talent” started taping this weekend.

--Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals will not only be on DWTS, he will be on VH1 rumored to be called “The Tournament”. The series will be a mix of Ocho Cinco's on-field charisma blended with the drama of the dating pool played out in a bracket-style dating tournament. The 10 episode, one-hour series is set to premiere in July 2010.

--The rumors are now finally true! According to USA Today, Betty White will host NBC's late-night veteran show Saturday Night Live on May 8. The Mother's Day episode also will feature a reunion of six former female cast members, most of them moms: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch. SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels says he has "always wanted" White to host. "Years ago, I turned it down three times," White says. "It's so New York, and I'm not New York at all. But my agent said he'd divorce me if I didn't do it, and I love my agent." (That agent, Jeff Witjas, says he was only joking, but "it's perfect timing for her career right now. I said, 'Do it now, or when you're 95.' ")

--Bravo renews “The Fashion Show”

--Bob Barker donates $2.5 Million to PETA to open and renovate a new location on Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street in Los Angeles. The building will be home to the group's media, marketing, youth outreach and campaign departments.

--As we set the clocks forward this weekend, it’s time to look at summer schedules on the major networks. Fox has “So You Think You Can Dance," which bows Thursday, May 27. It will air Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until June 10. That's when "Hell's Kitchen" returns on Thursdays with two-hour episodes all summer long. On NBC, America’s Got Talent gets a two-hour debut on Tuesday, June 1 from 8-10 p.m. It will also air Wednesdays from 8-10 p.m. The Tuesday edition of "AGT" will face ABC's "Wipeout" starting June 22. “Last Comic Standing," After a two-hour premiere from 8-10 on June 7, it will air Mondays at 9 p.m. And on ABC, we see the return of two summer reality shows: Season 2 of "True Beauty" and Season 3 of "Wipeout." “Beauty” will debut at 10 p.m. Monday, May 31, following the "The Bachelorette." “Wipeout," will be back Tuesday nights beginning June 22. Themed episodes will include "Ladies Night," "Family Edition" and "Wipeout Blind Date."

--A new season of Pros v. Joes will be on July 14th on Spike.

--Brooke Burke is the new co-host of DWTS.

--While we had an non-elimination leg this week on the Amazing Race, one of the members of the detective team has something bigger on his mind. According to TMZ and Examiner.com, Louis Stravato has been taken off the streets and assigned to desk duty due to an internal investigation into a major police-operated cocaine ring. Rhode Island State Police arrested three Providence police officers on drug-related charges on March 4 in what is now known as "Operation Deception." Although just three officers were arrested in the drug sting so far, four additional officers were put on desk duty as of Friday pending further investigation. One of the officers put on administrative duty was Amazing Race contestant, Louis Stravato.

--Kids Week returns to Jeopardy in July.

--Alton Brown will speak at the commencement at the University of Georgia on May 8th.

--Megan And Cheyne, who won Season 15 of the Amazing Race, are now engaged.

--Meredith Vieira is now on Today through 2011.

Jason Block's bobble-ganger says e-mail him at jiblock@yahoo.com.