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A Triple Play
October 23

This is Jason Block, and after a week off, the man is back! I have three stories to cover this week, so let's right to it.

1. Drew Carey's Debut:  So, October 15, 2007 came and went. For the most part, game show fans and television critics agree: The show is in good hands. CBS did jiggle the schedule a little bit to show two perfect shows in one week, but you had to generate excitement. The positives: The revamped set is fantastic. The new music is great...and Drew is very very good. He does need to balance ihis pace a little better, and let the games flow more organically. He also needs to know the rules of the games a little better, but that will come in time. And he needs to watch his improv(Nazi Submarine, anyone?) and make the humor more appealing to everyone--and the editors need to watch that too. But for the most part, I think Drew's first week came off really really well. I am not ready to eat crow just yet, but the oven seems to be warming up.

2. ITV is fined 18 Million Pounds/Playmania gets cancelled:  This is a case of the chickens coming home to roost. I told you earlier this year that this was going to have ripple effects worldwide. First off, ITV was fined $37M US (or 18M pounds) for it's role in the quiz scandals of last year. No heads will roll just yet (a bad move on their part, in my opinion), but the damage has been done. Revenues for the interactive quiz/vote genre are down 40%, and that is due to the no-confidence vote of the UK Public. And that brings us to Playmania.

Playmania is run by Osmosis Entertainment based out of England. And here is where the cycle comes...when you have money you can run games. When you don't, you cut budget. And when you run 3 games in 2 hours, have crappy hosts and no budget...there's cancellation city. Playmania for a while, was the best in genre--now it is a shadow of it's former self. This is sad, but you know what. You get greedy and try to cheat...this is what you get.

3. The Writer's Guild authorizes a strike vote:  This weekend, by a 90% to 10% margin, members of the WGA authorized a strike on October 31. This next week will be really interesting to watch. If they do strike, will more game/reality shows with non-union writers pop up? How long will they strike, if at all. Watch the news reports over the next 8-10 days. This one could blow up big.

Well, these were the three stories that caught my eye. And a personal note, congratulations to "We Love To Interrupt" on it's 5th anniversary. I am proud to be a panelist on that show and express my opinion and have a good time. Thank you to all the guests, panelists and interview segments over that time. And to Gordon and Chico...its has been a honor and a privilege to be part of your crew. Friends in Game Shows always, guys. Thanks, again.

Till next steal a line from them...Game Over...and Spread The Love.

Jason Block spreads the love to any and all who want it at