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Let's get ready to rumble

Today is

August 22, 2006

Rob: Down Where?
Joe M.
Joe V.G.: Welcome back to Game Show Man's Sparring Partners.  I'm Viveca A. Fox.  *rimshot* At the end of two rounds...

Rob 30 - Joe 29 - Travis 29 - Jason 27

Joe V.G.: At the end of four, we'll have our first elimination, and the low scorer will become a judge for the rest of the show. Right now, here's Round Three coming up...GSN's new programming boss!  Recently Ian Valentine left GSN, leaving the "Network for Games" to look for a new VP of programming.  They've brought in British network exec Jamie Roberts to fill the void. For Travis and Jason...

What does Jamie need to do help GSN ascend the ratings scale?

First off, a fond farewell to Ian Valentine who did one great thing...kept bringing back Lingo.
Joe M.
: *cough*
What Jamie needs to do is to continue where Ian left off, honestly.  The network seems to be making some money off of PlayMania, which is always good...and in all honestly, they need to keep building off of the popularity of Lingo. Five seasons strong is good for any show.
Joe V.G.: Travis?
Travis: What network doesn't make money off of infomercials?  What Jamie needs to do is to turn the network around and re-cater to its original core audience.  Granted we all like the classics, but why do they have to stop at 5 PM?
Jason: I think it's too late for that, Travis.
Travis: It's never too late.  Never, never, never.
Jason: And what's wrong with a network going to original programming sooner or later?
Joe V.G.: How would you have them cater to the core audience, Travis?
Jason: If GSN hadn't gone to originals, we would not know the awesomeness of Todd Newton.
Travis: They've got their new target audience.  Give them a taste of what we like, and they'll like it too.
Joe V.G.: They MIGHT like it, Travis.  Remember that not every one likes the same thing.
Travis: I'm not downing the originals, I'm downing the poker, blackjack, and Playmania
Joe V.G.: I see.
Travis: Everyone in my club who is turned on to a new show from our collection says, "Why isn't this still on the air?" Sale of the Century included.
Jason: Because Reg Grundy wants too much, probably.
Joe V.G.: CLANG!  Reg Grundy isn't in control of Sale at the moment...FremantleMedia is.

Travis 10 - Jason 9

Travis: Sale for GSM2
Joe V.G.
: For Rob and Joe...

Rate Ian Valentine's performance.

I give it a 6.  He did bring back Lingo and give them their current big money maker, which is Playmania, but the rest of the stuff was mediocre or just plain bad.
Joe V.G.
: Joe?
Joe M.
: He increased the ratings, increased the range of audience, increased revenue, and was able to (somewhat) successfully balance the old and the new.  I'd give him around an 8.
Rob: He over-saturated us with Poker Royale and messed up Extreme Dodgeball.
Joe M.: As an executive, improvement is always lauded
Rob: The ratings were at a .6 or .7 before he was there, he came in and they were down to a .3 or .4
Jason: (THANK YOU!)
Joe V.G.: CLANG! Extreme Dodgeball sucks.  Rob wins.

Rob 10 - Joe 9

Joe M.: Meh
Joe V.G.: And lastly for Joe and Jason...

Tell me why GSN *doesn't* suck (Hypothetically speaking).

Despite some of the card shows that are overexposed at times, the classic shows certainly do NOT suck.
Joe V.G.
: Certainly not.
I can never get enough of Password, Press Your Luck, or Match Game.  Some of their originals are actually really good.
Joe V.G.
: I see.  Joe?
Joe M.: On top of what Jason said their originals are starting to swing back to the traditional side, and that's always good
Jason: Lingo has stood strong for a while. Also, don't forget Whammy!
Joe M.: Considering their game stuff is restricted to one day, there's a lot of classics or new classics out there
Jason: Plus, they will STILL do tributes for those that have recently passed on their B&W overnight slots. Once in a while, we will be treated to absolute gems.
Joe M.: And it's not the Dark Period
Joe V.G.: CLANG! Jason wins this one.

Jason 10 - Joe 9.

Jason: The Dark Period was long ago, non-Joe.
Joe V.G.
: Jason's first win today.
Jason: (and I was trying to lose that one, too.) I'll make it easy for you guys and go below the belt next time.
Joe M.: I tried, JD, I tried
Joe V.G.: LOL.
Jason: *points in Joe's general direction*
Joe V.G.: At the end of three...

Joe 47 - Jason 46 - Rob 40 - Travis 39

Onto Round Four...speaking of GSN...High Stakes Poker! Presently the most popular show on the network, HSP is the talk of the poker world. Recently, the newly crowned winner of this year's World Series of Poker, Jamie Gold...

Joe M.: Shouldn't we Spoiler that?
Joe V.G.: Not really.
Travis:'s common knowledge.
Joe V.G.: It's been in the news quite a bit.
Joe M.: Poor ESPN
Joe V.G.: ...was invited to take part in the next season of HSP.  However reports of Gold's behavior at the table paint Gold as a total jerk. For Rob and Travis...

Will Gold's behavior pose a problem for the show?

Not with "The Mouth" sitting at the table.
Joe V.G.
: Really...
Heck no.  Mike the Mouth badmouths every player at the table INCLUDING Texas Dolly.  So, what would be different about Gold?
Joe V.G.: Rob?
Rob: They need the token jerk every season.  Hellmuth in season 1, Matusow in season 2, now Jamie Gold in Season 3.  Plus, he's not playing with some online players this time, he's playing true professionals. Plus, the professionals don't like this guy after he said in an ESPN interview that he doesn't want to be the representative of Poker.
Joe V.G.: The funny part is that Hellmuth got splattered during the first series.
Rob: So did Matusow.
Joe M.: Don't forget Sheiky
Joe V.G.: CLANG! This one's a draw.  Show's no fun without someone who deserves to get pasted, right?

Rob 10 - Travis 10

Rob: The professionals would welcome him, so they can humble him like old country.
Joe M.: (^_^)holes litter gambling shows.  Why should Gold be any different?
Joe V.G.: ROFL Jason and Travis, this one's for you...

What makes HSP so much more interesting than most poker shows?

Joe V.G.: Jason?
Jason: What? I'm sorry, you just asked a non-question.
Joe V.G.: Why's that?
Jason: HSP is more interesting than most other poker shows? Really?
Joe V.G.: Hypothetically speaking.
Jason: I'll go against the question and say that other poker shows are better than HSP.
Joe V.G.: I see.  Why's that?
Jason: The pacing of the show doesn't flow that well to me, and while we have a decent pool of players every season, not all of them are playing poker. Other shows with better poker stars work better for me.
Joe V.G.: Travis?
Travis: To answer the question directly, HSP is more interesting because there are fewer players, an intimate setting, and they're playing with their own money, not a point system. To answer the question TRUTHFULLY, I'd agree with Jason.
Jason: *shakes head* WHA....?!?
Travis: To answer in my opinion, I don't like poker shows.  Poker is poker is poker is poker is poker.  You can't change it.
Jason: Unless there is a knockout card. Ugh.
That's Blackjack.
Joe M.: Boy, am I in the minority here.
Jason: I know, it was meant as a joke.
Joe V.G.: CLANG! I oughta dock ya both a point.  But I won't.  Travis wins.
Jason: Oh, go ahead.

Travis 10 - Jason 8

Jason: Thank you.
Joe V.G.: Yer welcome.  And finally, for Rob and Joe...

Who would you like to see at the HSP table next year?

Joe V.G.: Joe, you seem anxious to answer.
Joe M.
: While the cast of characters is nice, there is one person I'd like to add: Jesus. I'd love to see Chris Ferguson play with these guys.  He seems to fit the intimate setting
Joe V.G.: Rob?
Rob: I have a soft spot in my heart for people who fight for notable causes.  That's why I enjoy watching Barry Greenstein at High Stakes Poker, who donates his winnings to charity.  The other person would be Phil Gordon. He's an enjoyable person who donates his winning to the Cancer Prevention Society or something like that.  And the prevention and ridding of cancer is something that I back completely.
Joe M.: Phil's kinda taken a PR hit IMO with CPS
Joe V.G.: CLANG! Chris and Phil would both add a lot to the show.  Draw.

Joe 10 - Rob 10

Joe V.G.: And I believe Joe has the correct answer to the second question.  Joe?
Joe M.
: Oh, I agree with Travis's answer.  it's just that I like the show. I agree with the DIRECT answer, not the "truthful" answer.
Travis: What IS the correct answer?
Rob: I'll take it.  It's the best poker show out there.  You get a murderer's row of Poker Players.  Those are the people that should be at the final tables, not some prick like Jamie Gold.
Joe V.G.: I like it because they're playing with money instead of just running to win a tournament.  There have been some moments far more exciting and entertaining than any tourney show.  At the end of four... 

Rob 60 - Travis 59 - Joe 57 - Jason 54

And that means Jason is KO'd. Get over here Jason.

Jason: Gladly. *cracks knuckles*
Joe M.: I'm next in all likelihood
Rob and Joe, we all lose.
Joe V.G.
: Jason'll be the judge after this break.  More Sparring Partners after this.
Jason: Watch out guys, I'm in an extra ranty mood today.

(Brought to you by CFGSNC...Citizens For GSN Classix.  A new expansion channel from GSN:  The Network for...Games?  Now looking for programming executives that match the description of Bob Boden.)



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