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Because fandom is NOT a spectator sport...

Today is

April 16, 2007

Chico:  Today, how to say "game show" in French...How to say "Sanjaya" in Spanish...and other... classes.
Gordon: I know how to say Sanjaya's Singing in French
Chico:  How do you say "Sanjaya" in French?
Gordon:    Mier(^_^)
Chico:  That's a nice Jean Reno you do there. People in Quebec read this, too. And here's something for the Latinos...Desde alguna parte en America... WLTI.. esta... aqui!!!
Gordon: Si, papi. This is Professor Pepper, along with Principal Alexander, and while students everywhere are getting ready for finals, we start with Spanish class and our latest musical flunk-out.
Chico:  That's what happens when you completely mangle Vicki Sue Robinson and the bridge she made famous. May she rest in peace. So yeah, Haley Sue Scarnato will not be your Idol this year (praise be). Now this was an interesting week.
Gordon: That song has been a contestant killer. Haley was in trouble to begin with, and I thought the only thing that would save her is Gina's vote. However, as it was seen, Gina's vote went to Phil.
Chico:  If you watch the tape back, there is a clear top half... and a clear bottom half. Clear top half consists of Melinda, Jordin, Blake, and ... get ready for a shocker... Sanjaya.  Clear bottom... Lakisha, Chris, Phil, Haley. In that order.
Gordon: Sanjaya, given the right musical selection, can sing. He's already a good performer. Do I think he's going to give 2 great performances given next week's theme, which is country? Hell no.
Chico:  Nope. If I had to give country to one person... it'd be Chris. And it's a big IF. Because, you know, his grandmother wanted him to do a country song. And he has the Rasmussen warble for it. So if one person could pull of country, Melinda Doolittle notwithstanding, of course, it could be Chris.
Gordon: Here's the interesting thing. Everyone in the media has been calling upsets. They don't start that early - until now.
Chico:  This is the first level week, which means, and I did say this last week... chaos (TM) will begin to ensue. And I'm guessing its first target... LaKisha. Because it has to be a mini-upset first, And of the three divas, LaKisha is the least diverse. Of the five weeks in the final, we heard soul numbers four of them. And that fifth week... oh boy.
Gordon: It could start this week, and you may be right. Here's the problem - Haley's vote is going to go to Chris, who I expect to sing very well. This should also be in Phil Stacey's wheelhouse. But here's the other thing/ There's 3 Divas. There's also 3 Poppy Boys. I think that there could be an upset, but it may not be Lakisha. It could also be Blake.
Chico:  But if it is Blake, he could stand a better chance of surviving than KiKi because of Haley's legacy. Gordon, if you're a teenage girl... first of all, that would be wrong on so many levels...second of all, if you were throwing your weight behind Haley, who'd you go for?
Gordon: If you're a teenage girl, you're voting for either Chris Richardson, who you know was in trouble because he was in the bottom three, or Sanjaya, who I expect is going to be  the musical equivalent of a stampede.
Chico:  Trample trample.
Gordon: All arrows point to this as Phil's last week. I may not vote for Blake, who I think is very safe. If Blake doesn't give a great performance this week, that could be trouble. Lakisha and Blake BETTER show up, or they will be making their first appearance in the bottom three.
Chico:  We'll see. We've been saying that for the past MONTH now.
Gordon: So is Phil leaving this week?
Chico:  Just for a change... Just for a change... I'm going to say he stays for another week.  Now watch him get the heave-ho.
Gordon: You mean it this time?
Chico:  I say Phil will survive this week. And you all know what that means. Knowing MY luck.
Gordon: It means Bye, Phil. Moving on from Spanish to French.
Chico:  Yep. It's time to go to Cannes for the annual MipTV expo. For those that don't know what a MipTV expo is, allow us to explain. A MipTV expo is a giant gathering for TV creative that takes place in Cannes, where production companies hope to sell product overseas. This year, aside from trying to get other countries to get Ugly or save cheerleaders, ... it's format heavy. A format differs from an actual series as formats are domesticated for international audiences. And that's your TV lesson for the week. NOW ...We have a list of formats that are going to Cannes that we know of.
Gordon: Oui Oui
Chico:  ... Big board time.


All the World's a Game

- USA: Identity, Are You Smarter Than a 5th grader, Let's Play Crosswords
- UK: Pin Code, Codex, Singing Bee, Win My Wage
- Italy: It's How or Never
- Elsewhere: Grand Slam, One Year Free, The Ring, Holiday Fever
 

Chico:  This one's called "All The World's a Game" First stop... the good ol' US of A...Mom...Apple pie...Identity!
Gordon: whoo hoo
Chico:  The US is bringing forth "Identity" (once a hit), "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (still a hit), and "Let's Play Crosswords" (remains to be seen). Identity has already been sold, with the UK version to air on BBC Two with Donny Osmond hosting. Good to see him working again. 5th Grader is also heading overseas... as "Are You Smarter Than a 10-Year-Old?" If it takes off, expect the rise of a few international versions of Jeff Foxworthy.
Gordon: Makes sense, since the educational systems around the world are not the same.
Chico:  Yeah, and that there's enough entertaining schadenfreude to go around.
Gordon: Now Principal Alexander, what is schadenfreude?
Chico:  For those that have never seen Avenue Q, schadenfreude is the German term for happiness at the misfortune of others. Case in point... *presents Gordon* :-)
Gordon: Who me? Mr. Haterade?
Chico:  You said it, not me.
Gordon: Fine. I did.
Chico:  Okay, on the other hand, Europe is offering shows like "Pin Code" and "Codex"
Gordon: What are those shows?
Chico:  Pin Code features your winnings locked in a vault, and as the game progresses, you find yourself having to make sacrifices in order to win the cash. Codex, set in the British Museum, looks for the ultimate history buff to solve a riddle written in code. Basically, it's History IQ meets the Da Vinci Code. From the UK we go to Italy, which is offering "It's Now or Never".
Gordon: It sounds like a great game based on intelligence - which means it will bomb here. The Identity Rule in effect :-) From the UK we go to Italy, which is offering "It's Now or Never" And if I can get my magic interbox to work. It's basically The Great American Dream Vote... minus the vote.
Gordon: Zzzzzz....Next!
Chico:  You can understand why it only lasted ONE episode in the UK.
Gordon: Uh...yah.
Chico:  Then there's Singing Bee, which we told you about last week. Phil Gurin was very careful in saying that it's not a singing competition, it's a knowledge competition. With singing elements. It's like Name That Tune... only you're in the role of Kathie Lee (Johnson) Gifford.
Gordon: We had a show like this called 'Turn It UP' on MTV. It lasted 1 season
Chico:  I'm guessing it's summer filler first. Then our friends at Sony are offering two games of their own, "Grand Slam", which'll air here on GSN soon, and "One Year Free". You already know about Grand Slam, the show that brings together the genre's greatest champions in an all out test to see who's the best...
Gordon: Right
Chico:  One Year Free pits 16 players against each other in "the battle of brainpower and memory skills" to win a year's salary and to live one year for free. It's big in Belgium. An Italian version is on the way.
Gordon: I think that would work well on a GSN network.
Chico:  Oh yeah, why not. And besides, Sony's involved, so it'll get that whole messy distribution thing handled. Meanwhile, 2waytraffic (the former Celador) will put out "The Ring", which'll whittle 30 players to one jackpot winner. And "Holiday Fever", a game show set in an actual airport. Ladies and gentlemen, I have officially heard EVERYTHING. Another show to be showcased at MipTV... "Win My Wage"... think Identity... with salaries. And... exhale. That's a lot of product, you think?
Gordon: Walk it off, Chico
Chico:  I'm alright. After that, I think I'm ready for a trip to Fiji. How about you?
Gordon: Sure. I'm up to a Geography Trip to see Professor Probst.
Chico:  I'll tell you what ISN'T in Fiji... one luxury Survivor camp. Both tribes were summoned to Exile Island, where they discovered that.. MERGER!
Gordon: And the merge is located....?
Chico:  On Exile Island. One person went so far as to suggest that they were being made to live on Exile Island. That wasn't the case, but upon returning to camp... well, let's just say they might as well have been living on Exile Island. Remember the posh hangout? They come back.. and it's razed. Completely gone.
Gordon: Oops.
Chico:  So now the game begins anew. Main targets are Stacy, for talking too much, and Boo... also for talking too much. So what happens at Tribal? With Stacy vulnerable, ... Michelle gets voted out.
Gordon: wha?
Chico:  I guess when you associate yourself with a known strategist, you set yourself up for such things.
Gordon: If you can't take out the head, you go for the feet
Chico:  And the kicker is... it was a unanimous decision. Dreamz, Alex, Edgardo, and Stacy all voted Michelle off. Okay, it wasn't THAT unanimous.  Mookie and Michelle voted for Stacy.
Gordon: This also puts a bulls-eye right on Mookie.
Chico:  Oh yeah. Just shows you what happens when you have little to no time to strategize. Both immunity idols are in play.
Gordon: Yau-Man has one, and the trio with the Idol - Alex, Edgardo, and....Mookie. So Mookie is not that much of a target - unless they don't give him the Idol before council
Chico:  Don't think they'll allow that to happen. Remember, the indy immunity is insurance only.
Gordon: That would clearly put Earl and Dreamz on the chopping block
Chico:  Which would bring the first indy immunity into play, as he shares it with Yau-Man.
Gordon: So the only guy that does not have a piece of an Idol - Dreamz or Boo.
Chico:  Which means... bye bye Dreamz. Speaking of trios.. Imagine three students taking on three teachers... and Dylan Lane is involved. OR take your favoritest English teacher (Mrs. Romero)... and have the two of you guess five letter words... and Chuckles and Shandi are involved
Gordon: Welcome to English class
Chico:  As only GSN can do it. It's Win with Words week...and I have to say... I was impressed with the games we saw. Because you know, these kids... they are the future... of this fandom :-) Seriously, though. These guys were pretty amazing kids.
Gordon: I think its great that GSN is not only celebrating education, but celebrating it with traditional game play instead of ridiculous stunts.
Chico:  Yeah, and if you think about it, it's nothing new. WinTuition... Get Schooled... Word Slam... The cause of education is obviously something GSN believes strongly about. And I for one couldn't agree more.
Gordon: Hear here. We move from English to Acting, as we see the first of 2 new shows.
Chico:  This one comes from our friends in Australia...Actor dresses up, gets a premise, goes through a blue door and..."Thank God you're here!" Insanity ensues.
Gordon: You know what the ironic thing about the show is?
Chico:  What is the ironic thing?
Gordon: It works when it's pure improv. The problem is that the improv is formulaic in nature, as the actors have to complete phrases and give out punchlines that you can see coming a mile away.
Chico:  That's what happens when you give the ensemble players a leg up...you know, instead of completely winging it alongside. Friends... if you're going to do an all-improv show... Please do it right... Don't half-ass it. It doesn't have to be Whose Line, but please don't make it so obvious that the players have ... umm... shall we say... guides?
Gordon: Whose Line worked because its games that change every single time. I like the ensemble actors - including Nyima Funk from Wild 'N' Out, but ironically, the writing and formula lets the show down.
Chico:  I bet she's your favorite :-)
Gordon: Of course she is
Chico:  She's my favorite =p David Alan Grier as host, this is his second game show. His first... also an improv show (albeit disguised as "The Who, What or Where Game")
Gordon: Not only that, but where's the improv? It's as much non-improv improv as you can get, especially if you know what the formula is going to be
Chico:  Not a bad host. Reminds me of a mad-lib.
Gordon: Grier is a competent host. I have no problems with him. But part of the magic of improv is that you don't know what you're going to be doing at any given moment, and here, we can see the jokes coming a mile away
Chico:  Yep. And the punch line is only as good as the actor. Example.

"US Customs Agent": Anything else you'd like to declare?
Joel McHale: Yeah. Faith Hill is overrated.

Chico:  That's how you deliver a punch line.
Gordon: Yes. But we didn't have that sort of forum in the sketches. it was controlled improv, and it's not nearly as good as anything goes improv.
Chico:  But better than the regs at the Acme, at least, where every joke was written into at least one ep of Coupling :-)
Gordon: True, but the Acme regs don't write scripts
Chico:  Okay, grade time! Thoughts on "Thank God You're Here"?
Gordon: C, and I'm afraid if it stays formulaic, it's going to turn into "Tank God Your Here"
Chico:  I'm giving it a C as well. Anything with an In Living Color alum and a Kids in the Hall alum scores well, but the acting itself leaves little to be desired, especially if you have a deer-in-headlights mark. Mark-contingent entertainment... only so-so.
Gordon: We move from Acting to Home Economics for the second new show - Shear Genius
Chico:  Am I the only one who's tired of Bravo's continuing strand of reality? Top Chef, Project Runway, they worked... when you have stuff like Top Design... Shear Genius... what's next, The Next Great Lawnmower? Top Webspace Designer? I say ease on up of the whole Top (BLANK) and give us another season of Celebrity Poker already. Come on Bravo, people are smarter than you give them credit for.
Gordon: I actually don't mind the 'Top' shows. The problem to me is like everything thing else, it takes the formula and drags it out
Chico:  Like "Okay, people... what can we look for the top of this month?"
Gordon: Bravo will keep running them out untilthe audience doesnt like it. So far, the audience...likes it. This isn't a bad show, but it brings nothing new to the party. C.
Chico:  I recuse, because I don't get Bravo. I just don't like the idea of having an idea.. and applying it 42 different times.
Gordon: At least put some sort of twist onto it.
Chico:  You're the one that watches all of them... are there ANY twists? Or are they basically the same show over and over again?
Gordon: Yep. Same show. Just insert profession.
Chico:  I was afraid of that. At least the Apprentice changed a bit... granted this was AFTER the ratings began to tumble =p
Gordon: But the formula is still the same. 2 teams. Losers go to Boardroom. The Donald eliminates at least one person
Chico:  But the point is still valid. If you're going to do the same show over and over again, add a wrinkle. Make it interesting.
Gordon: What makes the concept interesting is the profession, The game itself is plain. I will give Bravo credit for showing us the behind the scenes look of professions we normally would not have access to.
Chico:  I'll draw the line at "Who Wants to Be an ER Nurse".
Gordon: Final subject - Communications. Christian Saulnier passes in a big way as he wins $500,000 on Identity
Chico:  Only the third person to do so. Would've been the fourth were it not for an early bailout last week at $75K. But you know what, Christian... enjoy that money. You earned it.
Gordon: True. And he did. But is this - too easy?
Chico:  It's definitely gotten easi-ER.
Gordon: He did use his Mistaken Identity in order to get it, and he did earn the money, but I'm not sure that this is the cheap budgeted show that NBC had in mind.
Chico:  As we pine for the return of 1 vs. 100... come on, NBC. I know you have it in you.
Gordon: Do you bring back a show with a complicated staff but is good at bringing the show's budget down? Or do you bring back the show with an easy production value but is giving out a lot of money? Or do you bring neither show back?
Chico:  If I had a choice between the two shows... I'd pick the one that brings in more numbers... and therefore more ad revenue. Boo yah.
Gordon: There you go. The Hamsters say that they have enough revenue, so shall we start Brainvision?
Chico:  Let's do the news thang. Choppler is hot.
Gordon: ROLL THAT BEAUTIFUL BRAIN FOOTAGE

(
Doug: Live, local, and latebreaking... From the four corners of the globe to your frontal lobe, this is WLTI Brainvision News, and now here's Gordon Pepper, Chico Alexander, and the award-winning Brainvision News Team)

Gordon: First up?
Chico:  Our lead story involves bowties.
Gordon: I love pasta

Tucker Carlson (aka the first one eliminated from DWTS3) was tapped to host a pilot of "Do You Trust Me" from Phil Gurin. Yeah, Phil Gurin... again.

Chico:  Trying to become the next Mark Goodson.
Gordon: He's got a lot of good shows in his resume to prove it
Chico:  The show incorporates the third coming of "The Prisoner's Dilemma". Although that's pretty much what we know about it.
Gordon: Hopefully, the dilemma won't be that the show sucks.
Chico:  It's from Phil Gurin. It can be mediocre at worst. Like the first couple of episodes of Twenty-One.
Gordon: I didn't like 21. Sorry. Pacing was way too slow.
Chico:  I could understand that. NBC was just tossing money around on something that vaguely resembled the original, while trying to beat WWTBAM at its own game. Literally.
Gordon: Yeah. It was a lets toss it out and see what sticks. I'm glad for the people who won on the show, but the show itself could have been a lot better.
Chico:  That's true. Would've been infinitely better if you just stuck to the original format. Next Story?
Gordon: Wanna go out on a date?
Chico:  Does the lady have a numbered briefcase?
Gordon: Well, no. It's a date with...Jerry Springer. And it's on May 29th
Chico:  Ah, for America's Got Talent.
Gordon: Yessir.

We also have a date for Fast Cars and Superstars on June 7, Last Comic Standing on June 13 and Age of Love on June 18.

Chico:  Descriptions?
Gordon: FCAS has Stars training and then racing, LCS has an international flavor this year, and Age Of Love is a dating show where age is not an option - as long as you're within the target demographic, that is.
Chico:  Ah. Gotta go for that demographic. Then again, how many people were hot for Flavor Flav's old behind? Aaaaaand get your interboxes ready. It's time to Load up.
Gordon: Hic!
Chico:  Classics... on your computer! It's true!
Gordon: Whee!

A library of 250 classic game shows will be added to Game Show TV4U.com. Among the titles: $64,000 Question, Break the Bank, Beat the Clock, What's My Line?, Queen for a Day, Price is Right, and Concentration. Coming soon, Tic-Tac Dough, Joker's Wild, Super Pay Cards, Name That Tune, and Treasure Hunt.

Chico:  That's at TV4U.com. Free of charge, on demand, get you some.
Gordon: Sounds good. Now we move to something you don't want any part of
Chico:  You have another Hate-Hate relationship this week?
Gordon: Just one hate, but its nasty.
Chico:  Eww... Present
Gordon: And we focus on Phil Stacey's kid's toy
Chico:  I'm guessing it isn't a Power Ranger.

Simon Cow...er...Cowell says that this isn't the best crop of kids, as he slams the remaining 7 contestants, accusing them of just wanting to make the Top Ten and not caring about winning the competition.

Chico:  All together now... DURRRRRR....
Gordon: Well, if you're on the show, you're there to win. You may not be the most successful, but at least some of them came to play
Chico:  And the rest of them are getting all the media attention.
Gordon: Phil has been singing for the past month like he's ready to go, and Sanjaya...what needs to be said there?
Chico:  That one's a definite candidate for the It Just Ain't Right award. Hmmm.. sounds like a new game...Note to self... Anyways, from an underwhelming top 10 (BTW the judges have only themselves to blame)... to... well... this...

Apparently if you want to cast a Broadway show... Grease isn't the one to do it. "Any Dream Will Do" on the BBC beat   out "Grease Is the Word" and "Gameshow Marathon" on ITV. The kicker... Game Show Marathon attracted 100,000 more viewers than Grease.

Chico:  So you tell me.
Gordon: I say that Grease's run on Broadway may have some problems
Chico:  Ummm. Yeah. Meanwhile, it's time for some people whose 15 minutes of fame are grossly misappropriated. "plays "Area Codes"* Before we continue, an apology to all media hoes for that last bit. It was uncalled for, and we wish to make amends as soon as you're willing to stop stinking up our screens.

We start with the people who's 15 minutes are ending. Haley Scarnato and Whitney from Top Model are out of their perspective shows. Meanwhile, congratulations to Matt Lorenz, who wins Top Design. Charles Ingram gets convicted of assaulting a 13 year old, Simon Cowell gets caught with footage showing that he was on Sale of the Century (and lost), Brandy gets booted from America's Got Talent... Samantha Harris is pregnant, Bob Barker gets a lifetime achievement award. and Ant and Dec sign for 40 million. Elliott Yamin's album debuts at #3, which is not too shabby.

Chico:  But I'm guessing he's not getting a pimp cup
Gordon: Nope.

Meanwhile the Jackson Family is looking for families that can also sing and be talented. I can already hear the e-mail of Celtic Spring sending their resumes over.

Gordon: But those are not the ho of the week
Chico:  *Drumroll*
Gordon: The ho of the week is...Willa Ford.
Chico:  Ah, the new Anna Nicole Smith in a biopic. Good for her.
Gordon: Not only that, but we have failed to mention that she is the NEW Host of...Pants Off Dance Off.
Chico:  Woo-hoo
Gordon: And those...are your hoes.
Chico:  And that'll do it for the Brainvision. Shut it down. Okay, last week, we asked you to place Sanjaya in the American Idol...24% of you said that he'll win the whole shoot-n-match. 39% think that he'll go as far as top 5. 29% say give him two more weeks. While 8% of you think next week is it. This week, it's about Winning with Words...

[FrontPage Save Results Component]

What did you think of this week's cross-promotoion with GSN's National Vocabulary Championship?

G-R-E-A-T!
A-W-F-U-L!
O-K-A-Y.... (annoyed grunt)... Followed by Shandi saying "Not enough
letters."

Chico:  Results next week. On the other side of the break, we have some resolutions... and some numbers. This is WLTI, celebrating five years of game shows, pop culture, and the surprisingly blurred line between.

(Brainvision is powered by Win With Numbers week on GSN. Because let's face it... we live in a world of numbers...)

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