... No Pressure
- May 19
The whole world is riding on the hands of Ricki Lake.
At first glance, you would think that the premiere of a
show airing right after May sweeps would not be much
more than a shoulder shrug, but there is a lot more
riding on the performance of the show than you can
imagine. The show that may have a number of
multi-million dollar dynasties riding on it is titled
The Game Show Marathon and the hostess is Ricki Lake.
Now Lake is not a complete stranger to the game show
biz. She has had a number of game shows played out on
her self-titled talk show. She played in both Celebrity
Poker Showdown and Celebrity Blackjack. She has also
been a guest celebrity on both the Tom Bergeron flavored
Hollywood Squares and the Donny Osmond flavored Pyramid.
This same Ricki Lake will now be helming revivals of
classic game shows including "The Price is Right,"
"Let's Make A Deal," "Beat The Clock," "Press Your
Luck," "Card Sharks," "Match Game" and "Family Feud",
while navigating them for singer and fellow card player
Lance Bass, ex Trading Spaces host Paige Davis, Saturday
Night Live Alumnus Tim Meadows, game player and TV
Celebrity Kathy Najimy, TV and Movie Comedian Leslie
Nielsen and Starlet and Playboy Playmate Brande
Some people are looking at this as a fun little show
which should get some decent ratings. Other people, who
want to see the genre return in a grander scale, believe
that this is a clear litmus test to see if the same
audience who embraced Deal or No Deal will also embrace
the roots of American Game Show Programming. The stakes
are indeed high for a few shows in the mix should this
show do well, then you could clearly see some of these
programs returning as revivals. The word out on the
street is that Family Feud has been looking for a
companion show, and either Press Your Luck or Match
Game, pending on the ratings, would fit nicely.
However, lets look at an even broader picture. Forget
Prime Time for a second and lets look at syndication.
In 2007, assuming that none of the stalwarts will be
leaving the air (Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family
Feud, Millionaire), and with the addition of a
Syndicated Deal or No Deal and an hour of new shows from
King World, we will have at least 7 shows looking for a
home on the schedule. There are only so many spots from
6 pm to 8 pm at night, which means that some of these
shows arent going to fit there but they have to go
somewhere. Now lets look at the daytime, which is now
saturated with talk shows and judge shows, saturated to
the point that the ratings of almost everything in the
morning has dropped. Does anyone here see where this
could be heading?
We here at Game Show News Net have lamented for years on
what the world used to be like for us game show
enthusiasts. A morning of wall to wall game show
programming from 9am to 1pm was commonplace in our
childhood. Should the ratings for Game Show Marathon
approach Deal Or No Deal Status (or even just win the
time slot), a very strong argument could be made for a
syndicated morning game show renaissance featuring
remakes of shows that we have grown to love and new
shows brought to us by Kingworld and others. The best
part of the equation is that the revivals only need a
fraction of the ratings that they would garner in
primetime to be a long-running success in am
syndication, so if the ratings warrant that sort of
success, then it could very well happen.
So a memo to Ricki Lake not only is the future of
nightly game show programming at stake, but so is a new
generation of early morning game show programming. For
the most part, said future is resting in your hands.
Dont screw it up.
There are only
two more days of American Idol programming for the
season. The question of who wins isnt just going to be
who sings better between Taylor Hicks and Katharine
McPhee. Its also going to be a race to grab up the fan
base of third placed finisher Elliott Yamin.
In both American Idol 3 and 4, the finals sewed up the
winners spot, as Fantasia Barino demolished a flustered
Diana DeGarmo in the third edition, while Carrie
Underwood outsang Bo Bice in the American Idol 4 finals.
But lets assume that like American Idol 2, Hicks and
McPhee sing to a draw. Who gets the vote of Yamin?
The Chaos Theory has always stated that like votes go to
like music. Yamin was a crooner who dipped into R and B
as well as soul. That would favor Hicks. However, he
also well versed in poppy ballads, and that vote would
go to McPhee. For the first time in the Idol Era, I can
see Yamins vote getting split to BOTH Hicks AND McPhee.
If they both get the vote, then who do I think wins now?
For me, who I vote for is based on who the most
consistent Idol has been all season. If you had Taylor
and Katharine both sing their best on their best day, I
think that Katharine delivers the better performance.
However, Katharine has been up and down all season, and
on more than one occasion has finished in the bottom.
Taylor, on the other hand, has been the most consistent
performer in the group, and reminds me of the
consistency of Ruben Studdard. Sometimes, his vocal
choices may be weird and he may be goofy, but Hicks has
never given a bad, ear bleeding performance. Hicks has
never been in the bottom, and its because of the Soul
Patrol and his rabid fan base vs. the almost bordering
on flaky fan base of McPhee.
For that reason, I believe that the winner of American
Idol 5 is going to be the person who has been on or near
the top of his game for every single week in the
competition Mr. Taylor Hicks. I will be voting for
him. Well see on Wednesday if enough of you voted for
him as well.
Gordon Pepper can win New York, Florida, and New
Jersey, but Massachusetts and Wyoming may be a problem.
E-mail him at