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You Fool!
April 7

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!

We start this week with a heaping load of praise to the crew at the Price is Right. This past Wednesday’s April Fool’s edition was the funniest show from them since their Halloween 2007 edition. From moment one, you knew this show was going to be different –and funny. The attention to detail was impressive, as we saw when each font of the price card of the Grocery Game was different. The addition of the Match Game "wank" music during some pricing games and theme music at the end was inspired. And Kathy Kinney as "Mimi" was totally appropriate and funny. Her silent modeling style was great. There were too many humor elements to mention, but a lot of them made me laugh out loud.

This was how humor, if well executed, can enhance the show...not ruin it(see Jack Wagner). Kudos to Syd Vinnedge, Mike Richards, Kathy Greco, R.Brian Dipirro, Drew Carey and everyone over there. You made April Fool’s funny...and I can’t wait what you have in store for 2010.

One of the more interesting news stories out of Television this week was the announcement that CBS’s longest running soap opera "Guiding Light" would be cancelled this September after a combined 72 year run in radio and television. According to, the most recent numbers have it averaging about 2.1M viewers per week, dead last among the 8 soap operas on the air.

So what is CBS going to do with that hour? According to, one of the alternatives CBS is looking at is a new version of "The $25,000 Pyramid" from Sony and producer Michael Davies. Neither Sony nor CBS would comment. However, two people familiar with the situation said Mr. Davies and Sony have come up with a reworking of the classic "Pyramid" game show format designed to fit into CBS' daytime lineup. While "Pyramid" is a contender to replace "Light," it's not CBS' only option. The network is said to be considering contenders produced in house, including talk shows.

Here’s the situation though, while it would be a great idea...Guiding Light was being broadcast in different times in different areas. And the competition isn’t monolithic. CBS has to be very careful in what it puts there. It HAS to get the same amounts of viewers or more. Would a game show do it? I am not sure. But the fact that Michael Davies and Pyramid’s names are out there makes for interesting talk in the game show community. More on this as it develops.

I called this next item months ago. Tvweek reports that NBC Universal, the Weinstein Co. and Lifetime have settled their dispute over "Project Runway," the companies announced on April 1. According to a statement released today, the Weinstein Co. will pay NBC Universal to move "Runway" from Bravo to Lifetime." All of the parties are pleased with the outcome," the statement said.

NBC Universal sued the Weinstein Co. last year after the production company signed a deal to move "Runway" from Bravo, where it ran five seasons, to Lifetime. A court ordered injunction prevented the Weinstein Co. and Lifetime from promoting or airing the show, originally scheduled to air its sixth season in January.

Lifetime President CEO Andrea Wong said in a statement, "I couldn’t be more excited that Lifetime will bring its viewers an amazing, all new season of ‘Project Runway’ this summer. "All of us at Lifetime are thrilled to move forward with Heidi, Tim, Nina, Michael, The Weinstein Company and the entire ‘Project Runway’ team."

This one was obvious. With the lackluster promotion of Season 5 on Bravo, they needed to stop the bleeding of the reputation of the show. This is one of the top shows on reality, and now Lifetime has a few months to start promoting the heck out of this show. My prediction: Season 6 will be a rebound season for the gang at Project Runway.

Let’s recap Idol for you. I was wrong about Megan last week, as Michael Sarver left during Motown week. This week was "Top Download Week" as Anoop Desai, Alison Iraheta and Megan Joy were in the bottom three...and Megan Joy finally gets the boot. We have 8 contestants left and next week is "Songs From The Year They Were Born". Expect a lot of 1980's music as only Alison Iraheta was born in 1992. Everyone else is an 1980's baby.

We spoke NBC last week, and now Fox through a press release announced it’s Summer Schedule For game show/reality show fans, "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" returns at 8 p.m. May 22. "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" will start summer school at 8 p.m. July 3."Hell's Kitchen" returns to the lineup at 8 p.m. July 21. And the monster summer hit "So You Think You Can Dance," returns May 21, the night after "American Idol" ends Season 8.

Finally, we have one more interesting show being developed for Fox...and the Bachelor producer Mike Fleiss. According to Reuters: The series, titled More to Love, is billed as the first "dating show for the rest of us," throwing open its doors to overweight contestants. "For six years it's been skinny minis and good looking bachelors, and that's not what the dating world looks like," Fox president of alternative Mike Darnell said. "Why don't real women the women who watch these shows, for the most part have a chance to find love too?"

It marks the first time Darnell and Fleiss have teamed for a series in about nine years. The duo's previous dating show was the controversial, groundbreaking 2000 special Who Wants to Marry a Multi Millionaire? which set the format template for Bachelor and a legion of imitators. More to Love was inspired by the recent ratings success of Bachelor and the popularity of NBC's The Biggest Loser, which Darnell credits with shattering an industry assumption that TV viewers only wanted to watch highly attractive people.

"This show is going to get a lot of people talking," Darnell said. "It may be a little controversial, but I think it will mostly be positive. This is so simple and so obvious, yet it has never been done."

"Most of the country isn't a Size 2," Fleiss said. "It's the dating show for the rest of us.""We want to send the message that you can be the size you are and still be lovable," "We aren't going to thin these girls down so they can find love that's a backwards message."

This is going to be interesting...while I like the idea of it. The execution scares me. I am not sure they are going to be exploiting the heavy set people for ratings. Fleiss and Darnell’s track record speaks for itself.

Time for the Block Party Quick Hits:

–Season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter (US v.UK) debuts on Spike.

–NBC buys the "Perfect Ten" Format from Scandinavia. The format: a contestant is challenged to complete 10 tasks for a cash prize, while risk assessors offer them walk away cash if they look like they might win the grand prize.

–David Stanley and the Gurin Co. plan on "reviving" Shop Till You Drop.

– launches a web based game show called BFF, testing how much best friends know about each other.

–Jim Nantz and Reba McIntyre appear on Price this week.

–The Fashion Show cast is revealed.

–Big Brother 11 begins casting.

–Family Feud is out in the Philippines as it’s replaced by "Hole In The Wall".

–Lakisha Jones of American Idol is pregnant.

–Pretty Wicked debuts on Oxygen.

–ABC buys "Dragon’s Den" format and renames it "Shark Tank" with the help of Mark Burnett.

--"The Real World / Road Rules Challenges: The Duel II debuts on MTV on April 8.

–Fremantle partners with The Sun tabloid to debut an online game show this summer.

–Ludia’s next game for their multi game platforms is "The Amazing Race"

–1 v. 100 and Wheel of Fortune now are on the IPhone.

–In a double elimination, Holly Madison and Steve Wozniak are gone from Dancing with the Stars.

–"The Chopping Block"...gone from NBC.

–Cash Cab returns for Season 5 on April 20 on the Discovery Channel.

–Jeopardy is taking 25 fans with Alex Trebek to the Galapagos Islands in an on-air sweepstakes.

–A suspect in the stalking of "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Shawn Johnson is arraigned.

–Richard Hatch files an appeal to get an early release from jail.

Jason Block is pretty wicked.
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