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December 13, 2005

Disappearing Acts

The main disappearing act to talk about is this column. Yes, it was three weeks between columns again. Your humble columnist has been dealing with a few things -- including the potential for a job promotion -- that had to take precedence. I know the lack of regularity in the column is sometimes an for those of you who do check it out, thanks! When the column does appear, it'll be on Tuesdays. Next Tuesday, I'll have an instant review of Deal or No Deal.

I'm excited about Deal or No Deal. The commercials have been nearly goosebump-inducing, and don't seem to have given away any gameplay information (like some commercials for other big money games have in the past).

I expressed concern in a previous column about the hosting skills of Howie Mandel. If the promos are any guide, my concerns will be without merit. Just the look and feel of the line "Deal.......or No Deal?" is absolutely spot on. Again...instant review next Tuesday. Survivor...
So Danni beats the odds, huh? I think if anyone had said Steph and Danni would be the final two -- or even that Steph, Danni, Rafe, and Lydia would be the final four -- they would have been called crazy. Lydia really did prove that being a good person and a fun person can get you somewhere in the game (although her weakness, perceived or otherwise, also probably played a role). Steph beat the odds did Bobby Jon...both had giant bullseyes on their backs from day one.

Next season looks really interesting, but Survivor purists will probably not embrace all of it. The idea of exiling someone for an apparently-indeterminate amount of time is intriguing but certainly a big shift from traditional Survivor fare. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not suggesting this is a signal that Survivor is jumping the shark -- but is there really a reason to fix what's not broken? I guess we'll see...if it works, Mark Burnett and his team will again look like geniuses.

Glad to see that both Lingo and Distraction are coming back. Distraction, while quite possibly the strangest semi-traditional game show since The Chair, is at its core a good game and can be played along with at home. Lingo may well be the spark that sends GSN more toward traditional game fare and away (albeit slightly) from the barroom and extreme games that it has leaned heavily on recently.

One final item: Don't read a ton into next season's "Apprentice" not starting in January. The Winter Olympics may well take a bite out of much of NBC's series programming that has to be stopped for two weeks, and using the opportunity to try to revamp struggling Thursday nights is not inherently bad. On the other hand, if NBC places Trump where the discussions have been recently...Wednesday at 9 (ET)... against Lost and American Idol... NBC might end up having to tell The Donald "You're Fired."

Thanks for reading. Check back next time.

Jason Elliot forgot about that whole alphabet thing he was doing. E-mail him at

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