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The Games Are Fun - March 28

Thanks for bearing with me as I took a week off from the column.  I visited our Nation’s capitol for the first time…and fully enjoyed every second of it.  I’ll be on the road much of the month of April.  When I have internet access, I’ll do my column.  And throughout, I’ll keep my American Idol Scorecard up to date –

It continues to be a pretty exciting time for game show and reality show lovers.  For the talent contest-oriented, we have both “American Idol” and “Nashville Star,” plus the casting call for the new “America’s Got Talent,” the first show on TV whose title may be a total lie.  Just kidding.

The “Vote for the Worst” website, after losing its primary pick, Chicken Little, last week, has turned its attention back to picking Pickler.  We’ll see…

Meanwhile, I think we’re close to being able to declare that we are in another bona fide game show surge.  “Deal or No Deal,” while being overplayed by NBC, is doing well.  “Game Show Marathon,” which will bring back many of our classic favorites – including “Match Game” and others – is coming soon to CBS.  ABC has to use “Millionaire” this year or risk losing the rights to it.  GSN is launching a revival (albeit with a twist) of “I’ve Got a Secret,” and will be taping a “Chain Reaction” pilot this week.  They also will debut a live late night two-hour interactive program (sound familiar?) next week called “Playmania,” where viewers can compete via the web or text messaging for cash.  The series will air Thursday through Saturday at 1am ET/midnight CT.

I think that alone classifies as a surge of programming.  And keep in mind that longtime stables “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” will go to high-definition broadcasts next year too, which should be interesting.  This is genuinely great.

Game Show Alphabet

Yep, after three weeks off, we’re back with the “K” letter, which this time stands for “Krypton Factor.” 

You probably don’t remember the series, but you may remember the planned FOX version during the last ‘game show surge.’  The other two US versions of Krypton Factor were a Dick Clark summer series in the 80s, and one hosted by Willie “Buddy” Aames in 1990.

More here:

Jason Elliott will press his luck one more time for old time's sake. E-mail him at


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