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Today is

I Wanna Be a Part of It... Again - April 26
with guest on-the-buzzer Brian Sapinski

Greetings to all.

It's a pleasure to be posting here, and I thank Travis and the crew for giving me the opportunity. Maybe it won't be my last time, who knows.

But what was almost NOT a pleasure was the recent major announcement, and the impact it could have had for game show fans here on the East Coast.

By now, we all know about Meredith Vieira will be taking over for Katie Couric on the Today show. In spite of this, fans were relieved when she later announced that she would continue hosting Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for at least the remaining two years of her contract.

But I have a curious question: What will happen once those two years are up? There IS still a potential that Meredith will not renew, maybe even at NBC's request, since Millionaire is taped in the ABC Studios. And if that were to happen, it would mean that the one major game show that exists in New York would be gone.

And quite frankly, that would really... REALLY... stink. Consider this:

Not since "The $20,000 Pyramid" closed up shop in 1980 have Easterners had a real chance to make a mark in the rank and file of contestants. (Sorry, but most I know don't call the $50,000 version a major show) I would guess that the game show contestant pool is eighty-plus percent Californian. Why? Because all the shows are in California, so the contestants are right there. For the rest of us, we can't always afford to take time off from work, make the trek out West - as the shows so politely requested - and a take a test and an interview that we might not end up passing, making the whole trip a waste. I know about that this problem has
been somewhat relieved by contestant searches, but it's not enough to tip the balance of power.

But why do all the shows have to be in California to begin with? Why can't there be more major shows in New York? After all, Michael Davies has proven that this has always been an attractive enough metropolis to do more in than visit Central Park and Times Square. He launched Millionaire here seven years ago, and now he has The World Series of Pop Culture coming up, and maybe Ken Jennings vs. The Rest of the World if that gets off the ground. But Millionaire is the only one of those with any kind of impact because it has been on the networks and syndication.

For New York to have a chance, we have to get off cable, and I can't possibly think that there are NO good game show concepts in development, new or classic, that wouldn't fit perfectly in the Eastern atmosphere AND make a mark on major television.

Bottom line: All of television started in New York, including game shows. I think it's time the genre came back home again.

I guess that's it. Take care, thank you for letting me borrow the soapbox, even if you hated what I had to say, and no matter what...

Stay Way Past Cool!

(Hey, they don't call me the Sonic Whammy for nothing.)

Brian Sapinski hopes he gets on a game show without exceeding his limit of personal days. You can reach him at


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