January 24, 2006
What a news week THIS
turned out to be!
I expected to have absolutely nothing to write about. I
thought I was going to have to talk about the continuing
saga of P. Miller on Dancing with the Stars. So
therefore, Id like to thank NBC and CBS for providing
me with items to discuss.
Lets start with some big breaking news: the end of the
line for both UPN and The WB. The networks that brought
us Americas Next Top Model, Beauty and the Geek,
repeats of The Amazing Race, and Play for a Billion
are joining forces to become The CW.
GSNN readers know me as a game show geek. But above
that, Im a TV geek. And television will be undergoing a
major shift in the next eight months thanks to this
merger. Virtually every major TV market in this country
has both a WB and a UPN affiliated station. Only one of
the two will get the CW affiliation. The other might be
in trouble, especially if its the WB station getting
Take, for example, Philadelphia. WPSG, the current UPN
affiliate, is getting the CW designation. That means
that well-known WB affiliate WPHL is out of luck. And in
Boston, WLVI, the current WB affiliate, gets the CW
leaving nationally broadcast (thanks to
satellite TV) WSBK with no network affiliation.
In markets like this, it was decided as part of the
deal. In others though, its going to be an all-out war
for who gets the programming. If the local UPN station
its only ten hours of programming gone. If
the local WB station doesnt get the CW programming,
theyre out 20-30 hours of programming weekly
a big hole
Keep an eye out in your local markets
this is a story
youll see continue to play out through the spring and
maybe into the summer. The new networks members (WB and
UPN) already have previously committed to new seasons of
Geek and Model. Its not clear whether those
commitments bind over to the new network.
Lets move on.
NBC announced big changes for spring and summer. The
Olympic torch will barely be out at Torino before Howie
Mandel starts asking Deal or No Deal. The series
returns the night after the closing ceremonies for
another five night stretch. In a semi-surprising move,
it will then air weekly on Mondays after that.
Im not sure if viewers are going to be willing to wait
an entire week for payoff on a show like this. Maybe Im
just seems that way to me. Thats why Ive said
this show is a candidate for syndication all along.
After DoND on Mondays
another surprise. Its DoND
DONALD. The Apprentice shifts to Mondays (better than
the anticipated Wednesday death slot against Lost) for
the new series. The problem: youre up against FOX
juggernaut 24. But at least you avoid American Idol.
In the summer
yet another surprise. The return of Last
Comic Standing to NBC. After the disastrous ratings of
the last season
the renewal is a bit of a shocker. But
executives say they feel they rushed the last series on
and going back to using it as a summer series
is smart. Well see if theyre right. NBC will also
debut an Amazing Race-esque series that sounds
intriguing: Treasure Hunters.
You have to give NBC credit
at least theyre trying.
I was going to talk about Skating with Celebrities in
this space this week. But to be honest
the show was bad.
But I do give props to the series producers for
apparently canning the overhyped announcer from the
first episode. That was just nerve-grating.
Game Show Alphabet
I promised to take you to Harlemm this week. Harlemm
Lee, that is. You see, Harlemm was the winner of the NBC
reality contest Fame, which is this weeks game show
alphabet feature. And you probably dont remember who
won the show
the vast majority of you probably dont
care. And that was exactly the problem.
Few people saw Harlemm win. Even fewer knew that he had
apparently been a recording artist more than a decade
before, named Gerry Woo. (Read more about that by
clicking the link below.)
So Fame might live forever
but the reality series
Jason Elliott wants to learn how to fly... HIGH! E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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