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Fall Preview - May 22
Well fans, Jason Block here and for me and all of you the 2006-2007 TV Season is just about over. It’s winding down and Wheel of Fortune is 3 weeks away from the end of it’s 24th year. Jeopardy 23rd is chugging along. Of course, we have the American Idol final this week, and TPIR’s successful Barker Retirement tour ends in Mid June. So what does a Game Show/Reality Show fan have to look forward to come September? This past week, the 5 major networks had their Fall Upfront presentations and via their schedule, I present the 1st Annual Block Party Fall Preview Edition...(as a reminder–everything written here is subject to change and the whim of the network programming executives:)
NBC: NBC was smart to cut back Deal or No Deal to two nights, Monday and Wednesday at 8PM. They are going to bring back, "The Biggest Loser" Tuesdays at 8PM, and looking at the competition, they put it in the right place. Friday Night brings back 1 vs. 100 for 8 new episodes and a rotating slot of reality shows including "Singing Bee". Fan Favorite Identity isn’t on the schedule and probably won’t be.
ABC: ABC is putting their eggs in two reality show baskets. Megahit Dancing with the Stars stays with the Dance on Monday nights and Tuesday results show. And the revitalized Bachelor (who would have thought I would say that?) stays at Mondays at 10. Look for "Oprah’s Big Give" in Midseason.
CBS: Veteran show Survivor stays in the Thursday at 8 slot with the 15th edition coming from China this fall. Although it did become water cooler talk with the finale, ratings have steadily declined. It does need a bit of recharged or else it could be on it’s last legs. They have kept Amazing Race (the best reality show on TV) as a midseason show, after a less than stellar All-Star Edition. Note to CBS: You have gone 0 for 3 with All-Star Editions (Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race). Don’t do it again.
FOX: Fox has three shows in the fall, with the American Idol Juggernaut shelved till January as normal. "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader", the surprise hit of the spring, comes back this fall Thursdays at 8PM. Fox tries to take advantage of a weak night, Friday with two shows. Heavily hyped on American Idol, the producers begin "The Search for the Next American Band" as it tries to do what Rock Star couldn’t at 8PM. And at 9PM, "Nashville" rips off Nashville Star.
CW: CW has two returning reality hits. Tuesdays at 8PM sees the 4th cycle of Beauty and the Geek and Wednesdays at 8PM we Tyra and the Gals strut their stuff for the 9th cycle of "America’s Next Top Model".
MyNetwork: It’s not a major network, but slots are to TBD for the return of "Meet My Folks" and Paradise Hotel. If you care, there you go.
Wheel of Fortune has a big year planned for 2007-2008, with their 25th year in syndication. New York Auditions have already been announced. September Tapings will occur on September 28, 29, and 30th for November Sweeps shows. Jeopardy! returns for Season 24. Millionaire returns for Season 6 coming off the shows highest ratings to date. This is the last year of Meredith’s contract, and if it is her last year as host, this could get very interesting as the search for her replacement occurs. And John O’Hurley returns for his 2nd season as Family Feud host.
Two new shows with big dreams and high hopes debut September 10: "Let’s Do Crosswords", the Merv Griffin entry which stormed the Programmer’s convention in January and made it on the schedule with Ty Treadway as host and "Temptation-The New Sale of the Century" the MyNetwork/Fox show with Rossi Morreale as host. Both shows have the game show community drooling in anticipation. Crosswords has a tough road in NY as it has just been announced it will be up against Judge Judy and Oprah at 4PM. Let’s hope both shows do well, so more shows will come down the pike in the near future.
So the fall brings a lot of old favorites back to the fold. But the summer season is just around the corner and we can’t ignore that. Next week, The Block Party will give my take on the shows that are on the horizon for these hot summer months.

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2007 Game Show NewsNet