America's Got Howie
It would appear that not only have 26
hot models with 26 equally hot briefcases, an omnipotent and omniscient banker,
and a ubiquitous question has not only saved Howie Mandel's career, it may have
saved a summer favorite - not to mention an entire network in dire straits -
from going down the tubes.
Not too long ago, it was reported that
David Hasselhoff was leaving the panel on NBC's "America's Got Talent"
to pursue an as-of-yet reality show project. Hasselhoff graciously
thanked the network that hired him four years ago (as gracious as can be
expected with a press release). NBC did likewise, saying in so many
words that while they don't agree with his decision to leave the show,
they respect it. Funny thing, they never said anything about
Not too long after that comes a report from the
Sun in the UK that says that Hasselhoff may or may not have had a choice in the
matter. More to the point: he is not going to be fired, but his contract will
not be renewed.
1) What happened to David?
Well, on one hand, he has a reality show in the UK being prepped for him, and
he's really gung-ho about it. You could buy that story. On the other hand, you
could go to YouTube and punch in "David Hasselhoff" and "cheeseburger" and get
back to me. Thank goodness KITT can drive itself. "America's Got Talent" is a
top draw every summer. With that amount of exposure comes a lot of face to save.
Which brings rise to... question
#2) Was this deal in the making for such an occasion, or
did the25 suits at NBC really work THAT FAST?
I'd like to think that no one in Hollywood... hell, no one in bureaucratic
America... works that fast. Let's do a quick timeline.
- January 6: David Hasselhoff announces that he's
leaving the show.
- January 10: Howie Mandel is announced as the new judge on America's Got
Oh, and did we mention that said deal came with a
golden-handcuffs first look through Howie's shingle Alevy Productions? Just
thought I'd point that out. This sort of thing doesn't happen out of nowhere. Or
rather, I should say, it's highly unlikely that such a deal would take place
without some serious hard-hitting negotiation. Now unnamed sources have said
that this was in the works for a while. I'm inclined to believe them if only
because of the sheer speed with which this is happening.
3) What does this mean for "America's Got Talent"?
Well, for one, it means that Piers Morgan's officially the only one who's been
there since the start. At that same token, he's the only one who's seen that the
ratings have started to trend upward not just in volume, but in age. The
question that has to be asked now is: will Howie, who comes with a built-in
audience from his time on "Deal or No Deal", do what Nick Cannon couldn't? I
mean, let's do a little comparison shopping. Regis Philbin, awesome... old.
Jerry Springer, experienced... old. Nick Cannon came with both attitude during
the audition phase and experience on both ends of the production spectrum... AND
he was full of youthful exuberance and a swagger... both of which were neutered
in the live phases of competition, leaving Nick as just a hollow version of
himself. Granted, he was a first timer in the show, and it's very possible that
he could shake the cobwebs off this summer, but Howie... he springs on "go".
4) What does this mean for "Deal or No Deal"?
It's no secret that the show's been in a bit of a funk, and production has even
closed down in Connecticut, in search of greener pastures elsewhere. Now "Deal
or No Deal" has evolved from a network spectacle that would take eight hours
(trust me on this) to finish one episode to a syndicated series where you can go
wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am one season in two months, maybe four. Easy. It's very
possible that "Deal or No Deal" could return next season. It's not hard for
Howie to go from one show to the other. On the other hand, this could be an easy
out for him if Endemol decides to fish or cut baits.
I can't say I have the answers to all of these
questions, because I don't. This could mean many things, both good and bad.
One thing is certain, though. Come this summer,
Howie Mandel will be sitting stage right on the judges' table of "America's Got
Talent". And people will watch.
Game Show Alphabet Redux
We're up to "G". And recently, I've been watching
the "Glee" Season 1 Volume 1 set (and yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it) and
commercials for Time Warner Cable. Both of them featured one of my heroes
growing up as a kid... Mike O'Malley. He hosted two shows for Nick, and of those
two, the one I felt closer to was... "Get the Picture". It was also the first TV
show that I saw with an international version, so... there you go. My pick for
"G", "Get the Picture".
25 Days That Rocked the Game Show World: Day 20
By the time the 1970s rolled around, game shows
have been a staple in television programming, as much as the drama and the
sitcom. But in 1973, they would have their first outlet as a benchmark for
May 28, 1974: The First Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
The first Awards were broadcast in search of the
greatest game show to air between March of 1973 and March of 1974, the first
award show to do so. Peter Marshall of "The Hollywood Squares" hosted alongside
Barbara Walters. His "Squares" would win for writing, while Marshall himself
would take home a trophy for Outstanding Game Show Host.
But the big prize would go, ultimately... to
"Password". It would repeat in 1982 with "Password Plus", a far cry from the 11
prizes that "Jeopardy!" has taken.
Chico Alexander needs four or five more guys
to perform as the ultimate a cappella group on the next season. E-mail your demo
tapes to firstname.lastname@example.org.