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If You Don't Vote, You Can't Complain
November 3

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!We start this week with the absolutely horrific news of the murder of the mother, brother and seven year old nephew of American Idol star and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. The news broke late last Friday.
According to WLS-TV, an Amber Alert was issued for King after the Oscar-winning actress' mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, and brother, 29-year-old Jason Hudson, were found shot to death Friday on the city's South Side. That Amber Alert included a description of Jason Hudson's SUV. Then on Monday, the SUV was discovered and Jennifer Hudson identified the body of the nephew.
As the news of this incident broke, many American Idol castmates commented. “This is a horrific tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer and her entire family,” Paula Abdul said Monday evening after news broke that police had identified the body of Hudson’s missing 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.
Simon Cowell also sent a sympathy message to Hudson, and told Extra, “I was horrified when I heard the news. This is an appalling tragedy. My thoughts right now are with Jennifer, and her family.”
The Block Party offers its condolences as well.

The Lifetime/Bravo/Weinstein Company/ “Project Runway” battle has gotten real ugly. There were two updates to this story. First papers filed Friday in federal court in New York, producer the Weinstein Co. claims Bravo intentionally refused to promote Season 5 of the reality series because of the move and is seeking unspecified damages.
The Weinstein Company said some of the things Bravo did to sabotage the ratings and value of the show included changing the show's airtime; running a small number of ads; creating "mundane and unappealing" ads; providing little information for the press about the season premiere; and revealing spoilers about future episodes. The company also alleges that when Bravo began to suspect that the show might move to a rival network, it created "copycat shows" based on the "Runway" format.
Speaking of that...this casting notice has just appeared on sites such as

Do you think you have what it takes to be the world’s next hot fashion designer? We’re currently accepting applications from talented designers where the winner will win a large cash prize.

You must attend one of our nationwide casting calls to meet with our fashion consultants in LA, Miami, Chicago, or New York*!

The production company is 3 Ball Productions (a/k/a JD Roth’s company).
I think Bravo is trying to fill the hole rather quickly, don’t you?

This was a pretty cool story...and shows that some game show hosts have a wicked sense of humor.
According to Pat Sajak, the host of Wheel of Fortune, who has a home in Severna Park, Maryland and Sheriff Ron Bateman taped an episode of Anne Arundel County's Most Wanted, which airs on local public access cable. While Sajak read names and descriptions of people wanted on open warrants, the sheriff spun the "Wheel of Felons."
"When we announce your name on our show, it's usually good news," Sajak said. "But when we say your name here, this isn't really good news."
Pat, good job. This shows you can do public service with a fun twist. He met the sheriff at a parade last year and he probably gave of his time to do this. Great stuff.

Now, as you may or may not know, Deal or No Deal gave away it’s 2nd $1,000,000 case last night with another “Million Dollar Mission”. And, as before, NBC spoiled the hell out of this. I am not going to heap scorn on this, because I have spoken on this subject before. This is a trend that most game shows now do, because they falsely believe it will spike ratings.
For example, Broadcasting and Cable reported that Wheel of Fortune went up only 3% for the week ending October 19 from a 6.6 to a 6.9. That included the $1,000,000 win of Michelle Loewenstein, which was announced by Sony Press release as early as October 1st.

But GSN did something that a few years ago would have been the norm...they let a $100,000 win go...unspoiled! I know, shocking! John Hanlin, beat the odds and the new bonus board and was the 2nd $100,000 winner on “Bingo America”. He told GSN Live, “Hanlin said, “I felt very eager to get on the show and play… it sounded like a fun and exciting atmosphere to compete for a cash prize.” Hanlin, a game show enthusiast who had never won anything before added, “Going all the way to the final round was icing on the cake; I had a blast! Winning on Bingo America was such a fantastic feeling, because it was one of the most unexpected and exciting thrills of my life.”

That is the way to promote a big win! And a message to everyone else...please please please allow game show wins to flow organically and naturally.

Finally, we get into what I call “Chaos at Studio 33". Last week, I said there was a chance that the scales were tipping towards “The Price is Right” becoming “The Drew Carey Show”.
We have the rumblings of what we can call a potential full-scale revolt. We have a website at which details (albeit anecdotally) one fan’s experience at recent tapings and his disgust at what he saw.

But more telling is what CBS is doing. At there is a fan poll which asks multiple choice questions as to what the fan likes and dislikes about Price.

You know the show is in deep trouble when CBS has to put out a fan poll to determine what they like and don’t like. You didn't need a fan poll during the 35 years of when Barker was host. And yeah, I am pouring on Drew. Because he got a year pass, and now it’s on.
I will tell what I don’t like. I don’t like when the host doesn’t know or care to know the rules. I don’t like when Drew makes fun of prizes and prize copy. I don’t like when Drew makes fun of the beginning rule reading of how prizes are won.

And let me tell you not be surprised if the defections keep going and going and going...

Random Newsbits:
- A lot of condolences go out this week as Lou Dorfsman (an ad exec at CBS), Roger Muir, Mr. Blackwell, Lloyd Thaxton and Edie Adams all passed over the last week or so.
- “Redemption Song” debuts on Fuse hosted by WWE superstar Chris Jericho.
- After a successful release of “The Price is Right”, Ludia Inc’s 2nd release will be Press Your Luck!
- is going through a redesign. And it’s about time.
- Ken Jennings, fresh off his $500,000 win on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” becomes the expert (for the Ask the Expert Lifeline) on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” from November 3-7. Sweeps stunt...I am shocked. Just shocked.
- XBOX Live debuts “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?”, although the new XBOX Live Game Shows may be delayed.
- David Hasselhoff will appear in the latest download of “Pain” for the PS3...he also recorded a remake of the Culture Club hit “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”...and in the game you can basically use and abuse the Hoff.
- The MASH Unit of “Dancing With the Stars” continues as Julianne Hough is diagnosed with appendicitis and endometriosis. In happier news, Cloris Leachman is finally eliminated from the show.

- Ryan Seacrest’s “Momma’s Boys” is delayed until December.
- Trivial Pursuit will be having Brady Week on November 10. The Brady Kids will take turns being Captain of America’s Team...culminating in a Brady throwdown on the 14th.
- “Hole In The Wall” is put on hiatus.
- Len Goodman of “Dancing with The Stars” may be giving up “Strictly Come Dancing.” And in the UK he releases his autobiography, “Better Late Than Never”
- Vanna White and Michaels Crafts team up for a crafting contest with “Vanna’s Yarn”.

- Matt Grant of the Bachelor finds love...awww.
- Bob Barker opposes a $40 Million elephant exhibit in Los Angeles.
- WPT Enterprises teams up with MySpace.

Now, before the usual signoff...a word to all of you. By the time you read this, Election Day will be here. Please, I beg of you...whether you support a hockey mom, a maverick, the agent of change...or Exercise your right that many people have bled for, got injured for and given their lives for. Because I was always taught, if you don’t have no right to complain. I think, even with all the rancor and vitriol, that it shows a lot about the country we live in that on January 20, 2009 we will either have our first female vice-president or our first African-American president.
I think that’s pretty damn cool.

Seriously, vote you guys... Jason can be reached at .