We start this
week with the big news from Embassy Row. What was pretty much
expected has come to fruition. The Newlywed Game is casting for
Season 2. One of the highest rated shows for GSN is now moving to
Los Angeles. It is most likely they are doing that to make it easier
for Carnie Wilson to adjust after the birth of her second daughter
who was born in June.
But the even bigger news is that casting has begun for "The
$1,000,000 Pyramid". This pretty much guarantees that CBS is looking
for a game show block to replace Guiding Light when it leaves the
air in September. The Craigslist Casting Notice implies that taping
will be here in New York City.
So what can we expect? The pilot was taped in June at the Kaufman
Astoria Studios in Queens. This was the site of CBS's Power of 10.
The two hosts that were used were Tim Vincent of Access Hollywood
and Dean Cain. What they did was make it retro, and it worked. The
rules were strictly 1980's Pyramid: 7 clues in 30 seconds, the 7-11,
and a tournament for the $1M prize.
The celebrities used in the pilot included: Kathy Najimy, Mo Rocca,
Norm MacDonald, Jesse Metcalfe, Ken Jennings, and Caroline Rhea.
This was pretty much a no brainer for CBS. The pilot was awesome.
The audience had a major buzz going after attending the shows. And
after the photos leaked, the game show community reaction was
So what will be teamed with it? Will it be the rumored Dating Game
Pilot? Or Let's Make A Deal with Wayne Brady? I hope it will be Deal
and then CBS will have the retro cool game block that could be huge
for them in the next two months.
The Susan Boyle US Press Blitz has started. The worldwide sensation
was interviewed by Meredith Vieira for the "Today Show" and was also
broadcast on "America's Got Talent" this past Wednesday. How's that
for synergy? She caught Boyle in the middle of recording her debut
album which will be produced by Simon Cowell. Boyle said the album
will be a big surprise and not just full of show tunes.
Boyle said the instant superstardom after her debut in April was
overwhelming. “It’s a lot like a giant demolition ball. The impact —
like a demolition ball. And anyone who has that kind of impact finds
it really hard to get a head around it. I’ve got to be honest here.
I guess I had to get my head around it, but through the guidance of
a great team — and they are very good — I was able to see that in
perspective and really turn that around a little.”
And what about the stay at The Priory Clinic for exhaustion? “Well,
when people get exhausted, they automatically have to have a rest,”
Boyle replied. “That was pretty much necessary at the time. I needed
a rest, just to get away.”
Vieira surprised her with a video message from Donny Osmond and a
visit from British Theater icon Elaine Paige. Boyle concluded with
this: "It’s been a long time — 23 years,” “I don’t have to dream
anymore, and I’m glad to be given this opportunity to get back into
practice. It’s just been unbelievable; it’s indescribable. Being
plucked from obscurity is a bit like going on a long journey,
really; you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know how
it’s going to end.”
The one thing that bothered me a little bit about the interview was
that Boyle looked like she had a complete makeover, complete with
dress and hair. But Boyle seems like her head and heart are back on
track. I am really looking forward to her album release.
Now that Wheel of Fortune has completed Season 26. Let's do a year
in review, shall we?
Heading into Season 26, we had just finished a big 25th Anniversary
season. The big news going in was the introduction of the "Million
Dollar Wedge", replacing the $10,000 wedge. With it, the potential
was there for someone to go home with $1,000,000.
Although it was hit 55 times during the season, and used 12 times in
the bonus round, it was only hit once. And the time it was hit,
Michelle Loewenstein won the Million. The wedge did not affect
gameplay and for the most part was a success. The only minor quibble
was something I have spoken about many times before, which is the
spoiling of the win at least 2 weeks before it happened on October
But overall, the season was another major success. It is still the
#1 show in syndication. And you have many reasons why. Pat and Vanna
were still terrific, the gameplay is still exciting and the
production staff is one of the best in the business.
September 14th can not come fast enough for me. That is when Season
27 starts up with a run in Vegas.
Finally, we have a debut from Science
Channel. "Catch It, Keep It"
takes 3 contestants with a science/engineering/building background
and tests their knowledge to prevent the destruction of a prize. If
the team can engineer and build a device to catch the prize within
48hours, they can keep it. In the premiere episode, it was a motor
Zach Selwyn keeps the flow going well and fits the "tool guy" host
well. A lot of the elements of the show work for me. The show tests
the scientific and engineering theories of what the team wants to do
with different examples. They explain the scientific principles in a
straight forward manner. The team HAS to work together, because all
three members win the prize if the device works.
And in a very nice twist, head engineer Mike Senese also designs HIS
version of how to do it. In the end we got to see both the team
members and Senese's team successfully complete the task. The team
used a fly catcher like device with a parachute, while Senese used a
rolling crate with pulleys.
The problem I did have with this show is that while the premise of
the show emphasizes teamwork, Science Channel felt the need to pad
the show with unnecessary examples of cursing and drama. The show
feels too stretched and could fit more into a half hour format.
But, this is a very fun diversion and a pretty successful effort. I
could see this used in a kids format, but for now if you want to DVR
this you should. You could do a lot worse. My grade: B.
Block Party Quick Hits time:
--Condolences go out to the families of Les Lye and Walter Cronkite
who passed away over the last two weeks.
--ABC's Crash Course has a premiere date of August 26th.
--Wipeout is renewed for Season 3 in 2010. What is more surprising
is that "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" won't be back, as ratings
tanked for Season 2.
--Kris Allen drops "No Boundaries" from his set on the Idol tour.
And the world rejoices. But they send him condolences on the death
of his grandmother which postponed a Tonight Show Appearance.
--Season 4 Winner of the Apprentice Randal Pinkett is rumored to be
the choice for Lieutenant Governor in the state of New Jersey by
Governor Jon Corzine.
--Before Season 6 of Project Runway gets underway, we have an all
star challenge special on August 20th. Daniel Vosovic and Santino
Rice of season 2, Jeffrey Sebelia, Uli Herzner and Mychael Knight of
season 3, Chris March and Sweet P of season 4 and season 5’s Korto
Momolu will compete against each other for a $100,000 prize, And we
have "Models of the Runway" which will debut the same night as 16
women compete for a $25,000 prize, to be paired with the winning
designer and a spread in Marie Claire Magazine.
--GSN and Worldwinner team up for an online version of Deal or No
Deal on GSN.com for the fourth quarter of 2009. And Deal or No Deal
starts taping Season 2 in Waterford on July 28th.
--Andrew Lloyd Webber pulls out of a BBC search for the lead in the
Wizard of Oz musical in 2010.
--The $1M Prize for Kathy Cox from "5th Grader" is still in legal
limbo, and Fox may settle it in court. And Malia Obama respectfully
declines to be a classmate.
--Paula Abdul's Manager is making waves about leaving American Idol
after Ryan Seacrest gets a $45M, 3 year deal to stay.
--Melissa Rycroft comes back to the Bachelorette for this season's
"After The Final Rose" special where she will talk about her
engagement and new job on Good Morning America.
--Carrie Ann Inaba will produce "Burn the Floor" on Broadway and
which will star Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff in the first
three weeks of its 12 week run.
--The Jeopardy test for College Students will take place online on
--In the stupid people say stupid things department, Big Brother
contestant Chima Simone's use of a derogatory term against Mexicans
was edited out. Braden Bacha used the same term to describe 2 other
contestants. Before Braden was evicted, he added insult to injury by
using a sexually insulting word to insult Julie Chen. Chen also
announced she is having a boy this fall.
--Endemol Greenlights "The Whole 19 Yards" for Spain's Antena 3.
--Ethan Zohn is doing well after Chemo for Hodgkin's Disease.
--Padma Lakshmi signs with NBC for a sitcom deal.
--John de Mol buys Bunim-Murray Productions.
--Ivanka Trump is engaged.
--The Prime Time Emmy Nominations have been announced. In the
categories that relate to us we have:
Outstanding Reality - Competition Program
American Idol · FOX
Dancing With The Stars · ABC
Project Runway · Bravo
The Amazing Race · CBS
Top Chef · Bravo
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
American Idol · FOX · Ryan Seacrest
Dancing With The Stars · ABC · Tom Bergeron
Project Runway · Bravo · Heidi Klum
Survivor · CBS · Jeff Probst
The Amazing Race · CBS · Phil Keoghan
Top Chef · Bravo · Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio
--The Price is Right adds more cities to their 2009 Contestant
Search. They are Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and
--The Color of Money gets cancelled in England but moves to Italy.
--Mariah Carey will perform on America's Got Talent on August 5th.
--Richard Hatch gets denied to be on a 10th Anniversary edition of
--Pat Sajak who served as a deejay for the U.S. Army in Vietnam in
1969 and 1970 will receive the Vietnam Veterans of America
Excellence in the Arts Award on Saturday, Aug. 1.
Jason Block's been nominated for Outstanding Columnist named
after an object. E-mail your votes to email@example.com.