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Hosts with the Most? - February 21

If there's anything more important to the success of a game show than the format, it's the host. How many game shows can we count that were absolute crap, but we watched anyway because Bill Cullen was at the helm? I tried to watch the second go-around of $100,000 Pyramid, this time starring John Davidson, but I couldn't stomach it, even at the tender age of ten, because I knew that Davidson could not host his way out of a paper bag.

This brings us to today, and two hosting choices that are being made while a show is still in the early stages, before it will ever see air. In the first case, a new version of Sale of the Century set to air under the moniker Temptation (the current version airing in Australia goes by that title) will be hosted by Rossi Morreale.

Let me say at this point, I have no clue who Rossi Morreale is. I'm not the most well-versed pop-culture nut, but I do have a head for names. This guy has a smattering of "host" credits, but is most well-known for his stint on
Temptation Island.  I could be completely wrong on this, and I fully expect that I will get a huge amount of mail on it if I am, but I bet the guy will completely bomb as host.

a show such as Sale of the Century requires a host who is adept at reading questions, able to play along with the Instant Bargain bits, along with all of the other qualities that hosts should have anyway. We have no idea if Morreale can do any of those things. Presumably he can read cue cards, since he does have a few hosting credits, but none of those are game shows. Why the company went with an unknown host when there are many known properties to choose from is beyond me.

On the other hand—and make a note, friends, because this is probably the only time you'll ever see this—The FOX network did something right for a change. While the concept for Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? sounds utterly asinine and I bet the show will go the way of The Rich List, FOX chose Jeff Foxworthy as host. The guy has name recognition from here to the trailer park, and his "You might be a redneck if..." shtick falls right in line with a game show that asks if your intelligence is on par with that of an elementary school student. For all of their boneheaded decisions, FOX made a good call in going with a known entity, instead of a pretty face who the network suits hope will draw young demographics.

A great host can salvage a bad game more often than a great game will be able to endure an inept host. For all of the other lessons that MyNetwork has learned recently (first and foremost, there's a reason that the telenovela never caught on in mainstream America) they're going to learn another one very soon. Hopefully it stays with them for a good long while.

If you have a better idea for who should host the revival of Sale of the Century, send your idea to traviseberle@gmail.com. The best ideas will get a pick from the Fame Game board.

 

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