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The Numbers Game Awards - December 29

It’s the end of the year, and what a year it was. You’re going to hear about it this weekend when (after a week’s delay) WLTI has its year-end special released, but as a prelude to that, and as a break from the numbers, we have a little award show to whet your appetite. How did we decide upon these? Well, first I did a little musing... while drinking. Then I came up with winners... while sober.

As with all award ceremonies, feel free to agree or disagree, but this is simply what I think. Here now... the first annual Numerals!

Best use of an import: obviously, that goes to “Deal or No Deal”. NBC made a bold move in stripping the show for a weeklong “event television” strand and then building some serious hype around it. It paid off big time, as this show will be seeing the light of day in the new year. Hopefully, this show has its great years ahead of it. Honorable mentions: Discovery’s “Cash Cab”, Comedy Central’s “Distraction”, and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”.

Worst use of an import: CBS’ “Fire Me Please”. It’s good to see Dave Holmes, surely one of the genre’s most underestimated emcees of our generation, working again. But on this? You’re kidding me, right? Not only was it one of the summer’s critical laments, but viewership fell off almost from day one. Not only that, but the game actually repeated one of its rounds during its final episode. That’s a b(^_^) ass move, BBC...

Best new original domestic show: VH1’s “Game Show Moments Gone Bananas”. Game show clips, Ben Stein, audiences made into contestants. How could you not like this show? Honorable mention: MTV’s “Score”. Who knew that Ryan Cabrera could pass as a game show host?

Worst new original domestic show: ABC’s “My Kind of Town”. As much as we like to see winning around here, there’s such a thing as standard. An in-joke is only good if everyone is in on it. Dishonorable mention: MTV’s “The Reality Show”. It cancels mini-shows, and then gets cancelled. How ironic is that?

Best player of the year: Carrie Bailey, a good friend of ours who was darn near close to having the entire Game Show Congress delegation storm the Bob Barker Studio stage on our episode of “The Price is Right”. Honorable mention: Michelynne McGuire, who found time after her appearance of “Street Smarts” to win “The Starlet”.

Worst player of the year: Ricardo Medina, Jr. of “Kept”. One foul swoop, and a former Red Ranger is now the reality star you’d most likely like to have a Megazord step on.

Best foreign show we haven’t seen yet: “Temptation: The New Sale of the Century”. Would’ve been “Deal or No Deal”, but NBC had to go and put it on the air...

Worst foreign show we haven’t seen yet: ... there’s a worst? We’ll have to revisit this one.

Best cancellation: “Who’s Your Daddy?” and “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” among others.

Worst cancellation: tapings of “Trato Hecho”.

Best read related to a game show: “The Ultimate TV Game Show Book” by our good friends Steve Ryan and Fred Wostbrock. Good book, guys! I’m still waiting on EOTVGS4, though. Bonus points to Sonia Lai for sending me a copy. You rock!

Worst read related to a game show: Rob Mariano’s statement that the end of the seventh “Amazing Race” was a bit more than what actually happened. I mean, some things may have happened that benefited one team over another, but the bottom line is that there are just some elements of the race that you can’t control. But kudos to Rob for at least moving on from that.

Best live show: “What’s My Line? Live” at the Acme Theatre in Los Angeles. Especially the show we saw. J. Keith and the panel (Andy Zax, Teresa Strasser, Frank Nicotero, and Teresa Ganzel) were just amazing. And the Jeopardy! segment? Gosh, guys... How did you know we were going to be in the crowd? I guess the pamphlet in the program had something to do with it.

Worst live show: “Fact in the Head” by “Lip Service” and “Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?” creator Jamie Greenberg. From what we hear, it wasn’t a parody of game shows... just the really BAD ones. Dishonorable mentions: “The Apprentice” third season and “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” finales.

Best pickup line: “We’ve just bought the rights to Game Show Marathon, and we’re renewing Survivor and Big Brother.” -CBS.

Worst pickup line: "My heart rate shot up instantly. I'm breaking out in hives! And then with all the excitement, I decided that in addition to taking an antihistamine, I'd probably need a topical analgesic as well." -Arthur Apicella, Average Joe 4

Best geek: Richard Rubin, “Beauty and the Geek.”

Worst geek: Anna Chudoba... sure, the Average Joe’s good for you after a makeover...

Best recasting: Courtney Friel, the new “World Poker Tour” cohost

Worst recasting: Shandi Finnessey, the new “Lingo” cohost

Best comeback: Survivor’s Stephenie LaGrossa and Bobby Jon Drinkard.

Worst comeback: “The Real Gilligan’s Island”, season 2.

Best big win: a tie between Teresa Lee (“Street Smarts”) and Uchenna & Joyce Agu (“The Amazing Race”)

Worst big win: a tie between Brad Rutter (“Jeopardy!”) and Carrie Underwood (“American Idol”). The wins themselves weren’t that bad per se, but Brad’s dominance of the Ultimate Tournament took out any drama that the show had, and Carrie... Carrie was just bad compared to Bo Bice.

Best moves: GSN, for bringing some thought back into their schedule. The daytime classics are good watching, and the first go-around of all of “The Amazing Race” seasons was a pleasant surprise. And original shows were also plusses with “Ballbreakers”, “Lingo”, and “Poker Royale”, not to mention the upcoming “I’ve Got a Secret” with promise according to people who were at tapings. Honorable mention: Kelly Monaco, John O’Hurley, and everyone else who participated in “Dancing with the Stars”

Worst moves: ABC, for milking what class “Dancing with the Stars” had left with an inane and redundant dance-off show. Dishonorable mention: Bai Ling, Michael Copon, and everyone else who participated in “But Can They Sing?”.

Best game show parody: “Take on Orbitz”, a series of spots for the internet travel agency featuring none other than Wink Martindale... well, doing what he does best.

Worst game show parody: the Dating Game-esque “Are You the One?” on a recent Taco Bell commercial.

Best use of a billionaire’s resources for a game show: a tie between Donald Trump for “The Apprentice” and Sir Richard Branson for “The Rebel Billionaire”. Both shows were backed by the host’s production company.

Worst use of a billionaire’s resources for a game show: Kathy Hilton for “I Want to Be a Hilton.” Need we say more?

In awards given out earlier this evening... best TV-to-movie adaptation of the year: “Serenity”. Best non-game-show strand of television: Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Best dinner: any one of the
26 burgers on hand at Ruby Tuesday. Best foreign show imported to American television: G4/Sky One’s “Brainiac: Science Abuse”. Best new series: a tie between “The Colbert Report” and “The Boondocks”. Best new anime: “Planetes”. Best undiscovered singing talent: James Blunt. Best waste of time: bowling. Best Johnny Cash biopic: “Walk the Line”.

And finally, the best game show fans in the world: count yourself among them! The Numbers Game continues into the new year, and I’d be delighted to have you play along. And if you want to talk about these results, I'd love to hear from you. Have a great 2006!

Chico Alexander would like to take this time to ask Michelynne to be his New Year’s Eve date. E-mail him at


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