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Every Monday

Previous Episodes (Season 34)
September 2 - That Was the Life That Was / Resolutions / Push or Flush (1)

September 9 - Raj Runs the Table / What Happens First / Push or Flush (2)

September 16 - Fanvasion: 2013!! / No... Sorry / Push or Flush (3)

September 23 - Upon Further Review / Really Big Board / What Were You Thinking?

September 30 - Chips Ahoy! / 6 Things We Think You Should Know / Read Between the Lines

October 7 - Shutdown / Now How Much Would You Pay? / What If?

October 14 - Rise of the Eleventh / Songbook / Snaps

October 21 - Money Money, Yeah Yeah / What Your TiVo Says About You / What's My Zinger?

November 4 - Supersized Chainsaw Massacre / Brainvision News / Number Please

November 11 - The Double Up / Brainvision News / Play the Percentages

November 25 - An Adventure in Game and Time / Brainvision News / Presents

December 2 - Thanksgiving Leftovers / Accuracy or Idiocy / Picture Something

December 9 - Bob Birthday's Bash / This, That or the Other / Season's Greetings

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Episode 34.13/14: 2013 YEAR IN REVIEW
December 16/23
Chico: This is Chico Alexander, and before we look forward to 2014, it's time to look back.
Gordon: This is Gordon Pepper, and, wow, has this been a nutty year. To show us how nutty, here's Chico with the intro.
Chico: It was the year of big moves, from Meredith Vieira leaving Millionaire to Mariah Carey & Nicki Minaj mixing it up on Idol. It was the year of the big games, from Let's Ask America's second season to the American version of a British favorite. We celebrated the old guard with milestones for Monty Hall and Bob Barker. We celebrated the future with games for the kids. But even more than that, 2013 will be remembered as the year the fans took control.
Gordon: And I want them to give the control back up.
Chico: Heh. It was a crazy year from January to December, and we're going to look back on everything, because from somewhere in America, the 2013 Year in Review on WLTI... is... ON!
Jason: (confetti)
Chico: Welcome to the Big Show. I'm Chico Alexander, with Gordon Pepper and in the guest expert chair, the strength and conditioning coach of the world's strongest game show web show, Mr. Jason Block.
Jason: Drop and answer 20! :)
Chico: Okay, we've got a lot to cover and not a lot of time, so we will start at... the beginning.


Chico: We had the return of The Joe Schmo Show
Gordon: Which needed to be sent back to 2005
Chico: And the beginning, middle, and end of Stars in Danger: The High Dive, which taught us that there are some things in this world that are better left alone. Like jokes that work exactly ONCE.
Gordon: I was really hoping someone would be eating diving board. Preferably the network executives
Chico: No that was another show. But we'll get to that. And then there was King of the Nerds, which put TBS on the reality map, even though the metric left little to be desired.
Jason: To the point where next season's finale will NOT be the way they ended it this year. So much potential on that one.
Chico: Yep. Well, the good news is that they're going to get another shot at getting it right.
Gordon: True
Chico: But perhaps the biggest shot at getting it right was fouled up by the fine folks at American Idol.
Jason: (facepalm) This was the year I gave up on the show.
Chico: Okay, hands up if you thought that putting Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey together on a judge's panel was a GOOD IDEA?


Chico: ...No rush, no rush.

(More Crickets)

Jason: But remember how during the fall of 2012 we heard rumblings of "drama" on the set? And how Nigel said it was all bull hockey?
Chico: It wasn't bull hockey, was it?
Gordon: No it wasn't. As a matter of fact, it was a lot of bull manure
Rob the Cash Cow: Moooooo
Jason: Well when the show premiered the show was based on the drama of the judges, NOT the talent. And the judging was absolutely horrendous. I remember specifically a group of guys who butchered "Telephone" who got through. I deleted my DVR programming right there.
Gordon: Which is why #1. The ratigs went down 20% and #2 we had a judging overhaul
Chico: But we will get to that later. Aside from the judging, it was not a memorable experience. Or if it was, it was very, shower-inducing. And there was another high-concept low-return series that bowed in January, ABC's The Taste. An attempt to marry the Voice with insert-cookery-show-here.
Jason: Which was "OK" and got enough for Season 2.
Chico: But here's the thing, you have four industry professionals, but only two of which could carry the show with more than just food knowledge. Those two being Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson.
Gordon: None of them were likable.
Chico: I didn't say they were likable, just that they were carrying the series. You can't carry a four-part judges' panel with only two judgable judges.
Jason: Nigella is coming off being less likable. I have been listening to British news. No one likes a cokehead chef
Chico: Also launching in January: TUF, the last season on FX, Project Runway, Face Off, The Biggest Loser, Chopped, and The Bachelor. I remember there was a hotline for promoting the show. If you go back on our podcast you can hear it. It's pretty funny.
Jason: Sean Lowe
Chico: Thank you. He actually made it work, didn't he?
Jason: So far
Chico: So far indeed. With that we head into...


Chico: There was one show that we all liked, that was yanked after two episodes. That would be the Job with host Lisa Ling. It was one of those shows that just worked, but for some reason did not resonate with viewers.
Gordon: it was too close to home but the show was done very well.
Jason: It was TOO real. TV is about escape.
Chico: Right.
Jason: It was and is a GREAT show, but timed WAY wrong.
Chico: It was a splash of ice cold saltwater to the face. Which if you've ever been splashed with ice cold saltwater, is REALLY REALLY COLD.
Jason: Great effort though
Chico: Indeed. We also had the Face, which, tried to marry "The Voice" with insert-modeling-show-here. Everyone tried to marry The Voice with something.
Jason: Ugly LOL
Chico: Then there was Survivor Caramoan, another edition of Fans vs. Favorites.
Jason: Another hit season. And someone learned how to play the game :)
Chico: Yup, and a $1 million check to John Cochran. Now how about this, Robot Combat League.
Jason: That was fun :) Y2J = FUN
Chico: it was rockin. It was sockin. Who knows if they'll bring it back, but hey, it was a lot of fun.
Gordon: More fun for you guys than it was for me.
Chico: We also have the Next Knuckler, which was simply the search for the next great pitcher.
Gordon: The show knuckled under for me.
Chico: It was a good show, if you were a baseball fan. If not, well, there was no pull factor.
Jason: Agreed. Too niche
Chico: Way too niche. And it was on a niche network. They were better off bringing back Baseball IQ.
Gordon: On to March, where we saw a Tardis and soldiers.

MARCH 2013

Chico: We went over robots, but did we go over soldiers? Because History Channel had an Ultimate Soldier Challenge. Talk about niche.
Gordon: THAT'S niche
Chico: Yep. You had soldiers from all over the world, training.
Jason: Niche indeed
Chico: And doing army, stuff. Yeah, way too niche. How niche was Splash?
Jason: Talk about Eating the board LOL
Chico: Let's eat the board!
Jason: Louis Anderson wow. LOL
Chico: Yeah, umm, who thought that would work?
Gordon: Hey, it looked good in the olympics. People will love it here, right? Wrong.
Chico: You know what this means, right? After the Games of Sochi next year? someone's going to want to do skating or snowboarding or luging or something.
Gordon: The next great Sochi!
Jason: Don't give them any ideas
Gordon: Just did.
Chico: Heh. It was also a hot stove month. We also have the replacement host of Millionaire named for the departing Meredith Vieira - Cedric the Entertainer. Who, four months in, isn't really as bad as we thought he was going to be.
Gordon: I like him a lot. I probably like him more than you guys do.
Jason: You do. I like him. I dont LIKE him. But Meredith had a GREAT run.
Chico: Indeed she did. But at least Cedric came with a bit of experience. They didn't plug a neophyte into the role.
Jason: I have a personal interest, since I was one of her rehearsal contestants back in the day.
Chico: You are just Mr. Millionaire, arent you?
Jason: Yes, but his experience was limited.
Chico: Yeah. Speaking of a lot of experience and the R word, we started talking about Alex Trebek in March. The question: Is this his last season? The answer remains to be seen. GSN takes Sale of the Century for a run and the folks like what they see. It's still on with new to GSN episodes to this day.
Gordon: Though if you ask me, the new PYL episoides were the bigger catch. The audience thought so also, as you can get every single episode of PYL on YouTube. Note to GSN: PYL - THE ORIGINAL - may be the next thing you want to remake.
Chico: Premieres in March also include The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, and American Bible Challenge.
Jason: And the Voice had a judging change. Shakira/Usher replaced Christina/CeeLo
Chico: And they could hold their own against Adam and Blake.
Gordon: Hold their own? How exactly did they holw their own when Adam and Blake have all the hardware?
Chico: Now that they had the practice, they'll probably put up a bigger fight next season.
Gordon: If you say so.
Jason: And the American Bible Challenge still is one of the biggest hits for GSN
Chico: We'll get to another one of them later.
Jason: And as Dancing Goes, a certain AI reject starts her journey to victory
Chico: Kellie Pickler and her red high heels?
Jason: Booyah
Chico: That was a journey that continued into...

APRIL 2013

Chico: Crowd Rules and Bet on Your Baby premiered. Yeah, we forgot about those too, as well as Four Houses, which also arrived.
Gordon: Let me know when they can leave
Chico: They can leave. We had a couple of good greenlights.

Chico: First was Win Lose or Draw, which will bow in the new year sometime. We hope. The second...well... dun dun dun dun dun dun dadadadadada dun dun dun dun DA DA DA DAA DAAA. On GSN.
Jason: "warn the town the Beast is loose"
Chico: Best use of a Fugees lyric ever. But we'll see more on THAT in a little bit. Back to Idol, which degenerated in the later stages into a complete cluster.
Gordon: ZZZzzzzzzz.
Jason: Ratings sank, the judging was forcing us TO VOTE FOR A WOMAN, and Gordon fell asleep.
Gordon: ZZZZZZzzzzzz
Chico: And never mind that everyone was openly questioning everyone else's judging chops.
Jason: And Randy Jackson was counting the days
Gordon: And instead we got voters running away. Note to the talent shows - if you spoonfeed people, they leave.
Chico: Interesting how both will be back in the new year.
Jason: Money talks.
Chico: Keith will be the head judge on the panel, while Randy will be Jimmy Iovine. Long story.
Jason: And we will have JLo and Harry connick Jr. Again more on that later.
Chico: Right now, let's go to sweeps.

MAY 2013

Chico: Three words, Big. Money. Week.
Gordon: And in this case, it was NICE, though not big
Chico: But you can't really sell 'Nice Money Week".
Gordon: Nope.
Jason: This is the evolution of Price. And fans are lapping it up.
Chico: You can sell Big Money Week, and they did on TPIR, and it was awesome. And they would go on to do it again. And again with Dream Cars in the fall.
Jason: In the fall.
Chico: Believe it or not, big money was one of those things that just lent itself perfectly to TPIR and LMAD.
Jason: We had a 50th Anniversary week, culminating in a deal with the man himself Monty Hall. He lost NO steps at all.
Chico: and I believe at 91 is the oldest person to host a game show in 2013.
Gordon: You're correct.
Jason: Someone almost broke the record last week.
Chico: Almost. But that's another story. We also had a premiere or two in Bindi's Bootcamp and the Big Brain Theory.
Gordon: I liked the shows.
Chico: They were good shows. Not as good as Ready for Love, though. Better, but not as good. Gordon, you like train wrecks, talk about this.
Gordon: That went more like trans-Siberian nuclear powered car disaster. The good news is that Shandi is still available. Go get her, boys!
Jason: Um,no.
Chico: Request denied. We have to give props to John Cochran, and what's her name. You know, Candice What's Her Name.
Jason: Candice Glover?
Chico: That one, yeah. And the Battaglia brothers.. Hurricanes in the house.
Gordon: Good team
Chico: Very good team. And June's a very good month.

JUNE 2013

Chico: We begin with the end of Mike Darnell's tenure as chief reality...chief, at Fox.
Jason: A very influential man for good and bad.
Chico: A man responsible for the rise And the fall of a genre, and such whimsical titles as Does Someone Have to Go?
Jason: This is a job show, not a family show with toddlers
Chico: I see what you did there.
Jason: :)
Chico: Speaking of family shows, we had the return of a slow favorite, Minute to Win It on GSN. Just as watchable as the original except for one thing,
Gordon: The host.
Gordon: The show's intent was good. the execution was not.
Jason: Right
Chico: Also premiering in June: American Baking Competition, Top Shot All-Stars, The Bachelorette, America's Got Talent, Exit, Total Blackout, Redneck Island, 72 hours, the Hero, Race to the Scene, HGTV Star, Fight Master, and The Winner Is, another intent-good, execution-bad show.
Jason: Most of them were.
Chico: The good news, Nick Lachey's getting better. The bad news, the show itself was just, yeah. It wasn't a good show. It wasn't a bad now. It was just, there. And so did Top Hooker. Which wasn't about what you thought it was.
Gordon: But at least Top Hooker was entertaining
Jason: It was a boring ad for Bass Pro Shop disguised as a fishing competition
Chico: What WASN'T boring,. the second millionaire on Wheel. Remember this name for candidate of player of the year, Autumn Erhard.
Jason: May 30, 2013. Autumn Erhard's TOUGH WORKOUT gets her the $1M. And Kudos to the Wheel PR department not spoiling it as hard as they did the last time.
Chico: And just letting it happen?
Jason: For the most part yeah. Good stuff from the Hub and Todd Newton. Hey fanboys, Price wins it's EMMY!
Chico: Lets talk about that
Jason: Sure lets.
Chico: The Price Is Right, for all its hardcore grouseabouts, must be doing something right, because the Big Show went home with the gold this year
Jason: Ratings are at it's highest point in the Drew Era, and LMAD as well.
Chico: Insuring Mike Richards' place in the zeitgeist forever.
Jason: While Ben Bailey won for his final season of Cash Cab.
Chico: Yep.
Jason: He's doing something right. Even though the ceremony was an ABSOLUTE cluster
Gordon: Yuck.
Chico: Yeah, about that. No more live interviews and don't let Robin Meade near a microphone EVER AGAIN. Seriously, what were y'all thinking?
Jason: Right?
Chico: Meanwhile, Pointless celebrates its 500th episode. Come on, people. Bring it over. We want to see this.
Gordon: No. We want Only Connect!
Chico: YES!
Gordon: And Tipping point!
Chico: ...shut it. What we didn't want to see was whatever was coming out fo the Big Brother house, which we will get to in the second half of our big year end spectacular, not to mention, GSN's biggest hit since The American Bible Challenge, Jeopardy! preparing a battle of the decades, and a new orchestra for a sinking ship.
Gordon: The second half of 2013 is MUCH better than the 1st, Trust us. You're reading WLTI. You give us 22 minutes, and we'll give you 22 pieces of Aaryn's clothing that we can get top dollar for on E-Bay.
Chico: or Craigslist.
Jason: Listia
Chico: Clothes Mentor.
Jason: Beyond The Rack

(Brought to you today by Bottom Hooker. It is what you think it is. Hosted by Heidi Fleiss.)