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December 27, 2005

A Thank You Column

Since you fine readers checked out InSites more than any other column on GSNN last week (wow!), I had to make sure to get a fresh* column on the street this week.

Last week, as I wrote, the verdict was still very much out on NBC’s “Deal or No Deal.” I think the jury’s back and it’s a hit. Some diehard gameshow-ers are scratching their heads over how a simple game of statistics could be so popular. But that’s exactly why it’s popular. It’s simple…it’s dramatic…and while it may not have a play-along factor, it has a root-along factor.

You might have asked why NBC is not rushing additional episodes out as quickly as humanly possible. The short answer is the same as for most series – the Olympic games. New episodes will be out as soon as the athletes are back from Torino. You can count on that.

DoND was certainly a high note to end 2005 on gameshow-wise. Unfortunately a lot of the other happenings of 2005 weren’t so great. “The Apprentice” may have jumped the shark, though I’ll give it until the Southern California season – if it lasts that long – to redeem itself. “The Amazing Race” also took a hit with its Americas-based Family Edition. Look for it to rebound though.

On the upside: Lingo will be back in 2006…its parent network GSN is reportedly looking toward more traditional games to boost its drooping ratings…Survivor’s locked in through spring of ’07 with some promised new twists…The Biggest Loser will be back…and in just a couple weeks, quite possibly the four biggest nights of television in recent memory: FOX will devote two hours to its series “24” for two consecutive nights…then give two hours to “American Idol” for the next two consecutive nights. If viewers come back to both series after the eight month layoff, then FOX stands a chance of winning the week in the ratings.

Watch the Olympics weeks too: CBS and NBC are holding shows until after the Games are over (NBC by force; CBS by choice)…but FOX’s lineup, including “Idol” and “Skating with Celebrities,” will forge on regardless, through the Games. Will the Games hurt Idol in the ratings, or will Idol hurt the Games?

One thing’s for sure: it’s all going to be great fun to watch. For the sixth year, Game Show NewsNet will be there to bring it all to you. See you next year. (Wait…be sure to click back here next Tuesday…which *is* in next year…for a new column.)

Jason Elliott better not get a swelled head... because he knows how Gordon feels about losing to ANYONE. E-mail him at


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