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Scrambled Golden Eggs with a Side of Foie Gras
August 31

We would like to congratulate Ben Fagan for winning Pirate Master. You mean you didn't know we actually had a winner on Pirate Master? Well, you may have known if it was actually shown on TV, but the show finished it's run on, as it was universally panned as 'Survivor on a Ship'. Maybe it was compared like that because the producer of Pirate Master, Mark Burnett, was the same person who produced Survivor.

Now I don't need to rattle on about how successful Burnett is, with his resume of Survivor, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader amongst them. Therein lies the problem with not only just Burnett, but a lot of other producers - excess. The Apprentice had not one, but two editions going on at the same time (between The Donald and Martha Stewart) before the show started running out of steam. Many people (myself included) believe that this could be the start of the end of Survivor as well, due to simple over-saturation.

But Burnett isn't the only person who is guilty of this. American Idol has, for the longest time, tried to extend it's brand to 12 months instead of just 5, between American Juniors (dud), Celebrity Duets (dud) and the soon-to-be-dud The Next Great American Band. Deal Or No Deal went 3 times a week until the executives started to notice ratings jet lag. And don't get me started on ABC driving Millionaire into the ground.

Just when you think Burnett may be learning this, we see that 5th Grader is set for twice a week - Thursday and Fridays. Granted, it is only supposed to be doing that for 4 weeks until the Band shows up, but you can bet that once the first TV casualty gets yanked off the airwaves, FOX will be sending the show to plug up its schedule like the Dutch will send little girls over to plug their leaking dams.

I understand that these TV game shows are hits - and they should be. I would also like to see them have longevity, and that longevity it only attained when you don't oversaturate the airwaves with them. Only by putting them on once a week will 5th Grader last long enough to see Kyle and the rest of the gang make it to high school.

Speaking of school, its time to take some classes from Price is Right Academy.

Squeeze Play - Try to keep numbers in play that will form '95' or '50' at the end of the price. If it's a double number, you usually have to get rid of one of them.

Stack the Deck - Since you know that the first number is either going to be 1 or 2, and the last number will usually be either 5 or 0, you want to get the 4th number, 3rd number and 2nd number of the car lit up (in that exact order).

Step Up - Do you want the money or the prizes? As this is the one game you can quit and keep everything you've won, you should only order the stuff you really want. If you really need the $3,000, then go for everything, but you'll lose some of it on the taxes (if you win money, TPIR will take the taxes right out of what you've claimed).

Gordon Pepper, the headmaster of Haterade Academy, can be reached at