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Because fandom is NOT a spectator sport...

Today is

December 17, 2005

Gordon: This is Gordon Pepper, and for the holidays, an employee got me...a lump of coal.
Jason:  That wasn't an employee...that was Bai Ling for not building her shrine big enough.
Gordon: Well, I can add the coal to the shrine to make it that much bigger...
Chico:  A lump of coal in the shape of Bai Ling... Whoopie. I can understand why you'd be upset about that sort of thing. Meanwhile, from Somewhere in America, WLTI ... is... on!
Jason:  Alright!
Travis: What luck; I'm going to miss what could be the biggest game show event of the year.
Ryan:   Are you hot is coming back?
Travis: Maybe I can catch an episode of "Quiere Ser Milionario?" to make up for it.
Chico:  How about a trade, DoND for QSM... Anywho...  it's time to party with the man that just capped a winning season on 95.5 PLJ, Jason "Beat the Block".
Travis: Did you go 99-1 or something, Jason?
Jason:  Thank you every much. I ended the season with a total record of 31-4 for my 35 appearances over a year and a half.
Travis: <applause>
Gordon: If there's a French version of Deal or No Deal, then you can trade it with our resident Canadian - and soon to be Canadan Idol recapper - Ryan Vickers.
Ryan:   oui oui, I'm hoping that we get "A prendre ou a laisser" here :)
Jason:  What does that mean.
Ryan:   "Take it or leave it" - French version of DoND
Jason:  Se Bon
Travis: Ah ha.
Ryan:   Can I plug my show for a second? It finally has an air date.
Chico:  Plug away.
Jason:  And explain your show one more time for people who don't know what it is!
Ryan:   "Skooled" airs on TVOntario starting Thursday, Feb 1 at 6.30 pm, and on other channels thereafter. Eight teachers and five students switch lives for a week (eight eps).
Chico:  And there's a twist.
Ryan:   Ah yes! Those adults who do well get exempted from final exams! You guys will get copies, don't worry :)
Chico:  Word.
Jason:  I cant wait.
Travis: That actually sounds neat.
Ryan:   We might be having a big cast and crew premiere party, I'm super excited.
Chico:  Ah, bonne. And finally, a guy who's the luckiest sumbitch on the panel, if only because he's laeving for Spain later today... Travis Eberle.
Ryan:   Lucky bugger!
Travis: I do what I can. :)
Jason:  Navidad en Espana? Muy Bueno.
Travis: Hopefully I can get some good game show love in while I'm gone. Two years ago I got Countdown and Memory Bank.  I was not disappointed.
Chico:  Nice.
Gordon: Everyone's ready for the foreign import buzz. Good for later. Right now, we have to go over the shows that have gives us all hangovers, starting with The Apprentice, and the statement that may have doomed this series.
Travis: "Everybody Wins!" Whatever.
Chico:  "This is serious business". Yeah, I bet it is, Donald.
Travis: I like my answer better.
Jason:  Ok I have to get a serious question out of the way first.
Chico:  Okay, Jason has a question.
Jason:  I am going to throw a little haterade on the Donald for a second.
Chico:  The Chairman allows it.
Gordon: Hey - that's my moniker
Jason:  As you know earlier this year, an Entertainment Weekly article criticized the Donald for the lack of hiring African Americans in his shows.
Travis: And you would know this from reading EW?  Shame on you!
Chico:  There's nothing wrong with reading EW... TV Guide, however...
Jason:  Do you believe his choice of Randal was a response to that article and that criticism in general or was he the best person for the job?
Travis: Think this was a bit of social pandering, do you? I think he was the better of the two choices, certainly.
Jason:  Honestly, there might be a little of it,
Chico:  Actually I believe that Randal was the better of the two..
Ryan:   Gotta look at his record.
Chico:  Three for three on challenges against 1-2 for Rebecca... and she really didn't have a leg to stand on, no pun intended.
Travis: (oh snap)
Ryan:   brutal
Chico:  Thank you, I'll be here all week. Tip the veal, try the waitress.
Gordon: Thank you, Tom Gauer.
Chico:  But going back to the hiring itself.
Gordon: I agree with Ryan. I think that if Rebecca was the better candidate, that you would have squawking, but Randal happened to have been the better person to hire period. I think the fact that he's African American made it an easier choice for the general public to take, but not necessarily for The Donald.
Chico:  We have Donald saying that this may be entertaining for YOU, but it's serious stuff for me.. Randal, you're hired...
Ryan:   However we should discuss Randal's slight possible faux-pas.
Travis: Donald totally threw Randal under the bus in that single move.
Gordon: I disagree - I think that it was Randall that threw the Donald under the bus.
Ryan:   I think Donald wanted to have both, but he didn't want to be the scapegoat
Gordon: Bingo
Travis: Exactly. The proper move would be to magnanimously offer a bonus to Rebecca. The mere fact that he asked them to declare their jobs before the hiring telegraphed the whole thing.
Ryan:   Still though, couldn't Randall have handled it better?
Chico:  Randal went from sweet to sour in one second by saying that this was "The Apprentice" as in singular.
Travis: He let Randal make the decision, and Randal gets all the heat, instead of Donald. Remember kids, this will be his boss for a year.
Ryan:   Welcome the the business.
Gordon: Honestly, I still think that the Donald is going to hire Rebecca in some capacity. But that one move not only makes Randall look bad, it makes The Donald look bad by having to hire him when he said that.
Travis: Gordon has it on the nose.
Chico:  It's nothing personal... it's just business.
Jason:  Do you think that Apprentice LA will be the last Apprentice?
Chico:  I'm not really sure, because up until now, Apprentice 5 was going to be the last.
Gordon: I would have said no, but if the backlash from what Randall did ekes it's way into the next series - and I think it will - then the Apprentice LA not only could be, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it get bounced to MSNBC if the ratings come in very flat.
Travis: And here I thought that Donald wanted to focus on other projects.
Chico:  Please... you're not anyone until you're on TV :)
Ryan:   Tis true!
Travis: No more of "Survivor: Manhattan"?
Chico:  Nope. Now it's Survivor Burbank :)
Ryan:   Please, people, Apprentice LA is gonna be YOOGE!
Travis: HYOOJ
Chico:  It's gonna be really great :)
Chico:  Going from Survivor Burbank to The Apprentice: Guatemala, as we go two for two in predicting this sort of thing. Danni wins, 6-1.
Travis: And yet again, people play with their hearts, and not their heads.
Chico:  The sole dissenting vote from Rafe.
Travis: This is for One Million Dollars, people.
Chico:  Who played with his heart. When he released Danni from the pact that they made, he shot himself in the foot.
Jason:  And Stephanie going into the final was a shoo in for one was going to vote for a 2nd chancer.
Travis: Rafe had the Dumbass Move of the Series from backing off of his 'promise' to Danni.
Chico:  Ah, but yes.
Gordon: I think Rafe and Ian from Survivor 10 need to get together in a bar somewhere and order up a few stiff drinks.
Travis: A player who has been booted from the game only has their vote as the last leverage to play with. And Rafe was toast if he didn't win out.
Chico:  No one was going to vote for Stephenie for win... People: this is not about personal vendettas... This is about $1 million dollars, it's about making a $900,000 play and Rafe blew it.
Ryan:   Sometimes, however, your brain makes you do weird things.
Chico:  This is true.
Jason:  Rafe's Angels...I had to laugh.
Travis: The Gay Mormon had his own posse of Cute Young Things.  What straight man wouldn't give anything to be in that position?
Chico:  .. I'm going to have to go with Travis on this one... :)
Gordon: It's not as good when the last 2 cute young things eject you from heaven
Travis: Not so good then, no.
Jason:  So who likes the concept of...EXILE ISLAND!
Travis: I preferred the piracy element, but it could be neat.
Ryan:   They've done this in other versions.
Travis: Dollars to doughnuts says that there's a solo immunity talisman somewhere on that desolate rock.
Chico:  Wouldn't put it past Mr. Burnett.
Travis: Jeff even said something about the island harboring secrets or some stuff like that.
Gordon: I happen to like it - if they can implement it properly. As Survivor is a social game, the very damaging aspect of it for the people who are on it is that everyone else on the other island can be plotting your demise.
Travis: That can happen for the rewards, and that's how they used to go too. Didn't Palau have a reward where the winner ended up leaving the entire other faction back at camp, instead of breaking them up?
Gordon: They've done that on a number of occasions
Chico:  I believe that.
Travis: It will be interesting if a single person chooses the exiled, or a vote, or straw draw, or what have you. "We really don't like you, off to Death Rock you go."
Ryan:   Oh, and has Burnett bought Panama officially?
Jason:  One island.
Travis: He's part owner of Panama?  Wow. Wouldn't surprise me; it's a fine locale for the game.
Chico:  Wouldn't surprise me, this will be the third go around in "the motherland".
Travis: Honest, I really don't care about the location if the game is interesting.
Gordon: Can we stick the Weavers on the island?
Travis: (I second Gordon's sentiment.)
Chico:  So you did stick around for the after challenge, then?
Travis: It was online, and yes.
Jason:  I saw the online Yukon Map challenge.
Travis: Might still be up. That's the one.
Chico:  Describe, please.
Travis: You want to, or me, Jason?
Jason:  I will, If you don't mind.
Travis: OK.
Travis: Sure.
Jason:  Both the second and third placed teams were at the same maps that they put together. They each had to go together as a team and collect 12 icons which represented different stops on the trip from 12 clue boxes. Once they got all 12 icons they had to place them in the correct places on the map. More than one icon could be placed in the same state or place.
Travis: 12 right = car.
Jason:  GMC Yukon XL - worth about $40K
Chico:  Of course, the official car of TAR Family Edition. That car went to the Bransens.
Ryan:   You know, the Bransens did quite well prize wise, all things considered.
Travis: Putting the Bransens' total winnings at a monstrous $325,000 or so.
Ryan:   That gas one was the biggie, methinks.
Travis: $60,000 a head, yes. Plus that car, and three or four trips.
Chico:  That's a lot of swag for a show that did so little.
Travis: So it wasn't the trips, it was two cars.
Chico:  There had to be a trip in there somewhere... either that or the $20K at the beginning. Anyway, as good (surprisingly) as it was, the show scored the lowest ratings since AR4.
Travis: And TAR4 was large amounts of bleh.
Ryan:   Shame, I loved the teams on 4
Jason:  Two persons teams do much better.
Travis: I think it's a mix of the contestants and the challenges.
Ryan:   But it wasn't really until version 5 that the ratings exploded.
Travis: People started to figure out, "Hey, this show not only doesn't suck, it's pretty neat!"
Chico:  Then Romber happened and it was all gravy from there.
Ryan:   Please.  Let's not bring that up again.
Chico:  Okay...Well, we continue this week's Opening Round with my baldness, Jason's smartness, Travis' tallness, Ryan's Canadianness, and Gordon's... ehh, kosher-ness equaling... Howie Mandel!
Travis: (I didn't think I was...that tall. Only 5'11"...)
Jason:  Deal....
Chico:  wait for it...
Jason:  or no deal....
Travis: GONG!
Gordon: My kosherness?
Chico:  Your kosherness :)
Jason:  I can't wait for this.
Ryan:   Me too.
Travis: (Well, if I can't be the smart one, I'll be the tall one. :) )
Ryan:   And I would love to be on the show... OH WAIT, I CAN'T.
Travis: This is either going to go Millionaire-nova, or eat large amounts of donkey meat. No middle ground.
Jason:  I say Millionaire Nova.
Gordon: I'll say Nova as well - at least the first night.
Ryan:   The one problem I have with it is that it's very top heavy value wise on the grid.
Chico:  Well, reviews have come out. On one hand, we've got people citing the cheap thrill factor. On the other hand, we have a 4 out of 10 from TV Guide.
Travis: Oh, as a game it's utterly poor.  But so was "Treasure Hunt."
Jason:  Treasure Hunt is my fav guilty pleasure of all time.
Chico:  I say Monday's probably going to have the biggest night of all, if only for the curiosity factor. If they stick around after that, Great! They're the cool guys! But I'm probably going to end up watching for the entire week... Because I likes the cheap thrill factor.
Travis: And if it bombs, no new game shows until 2009.
Chico:  Not true.
Travis: I think it might scare the networks away.  Again.
Chico:  One or two new game shows at LEAST.
Travis: Where are the cheap thrills?  Real people are making real life changing decisions.
Ryan:   Yeah but this is one game show in a while... all we've had lately is reality this and reality that
Travis: Unless the final boxes are $1 and $50. "Ooh, the banker says $30.  What DO you do?"
Ryan:   I suspect people will Deal before it comes to that
Chico:  I think so...
Travis: You gotta deal when you're down to one case from the right. If you stick it out, it's your own fault for what happens next.
Ryan:   Travis has nailed it I think.
Gordon: Simple strategy. Let's see if anyone follows it.
Chico:  Conversely, imagine the heartbreak of someone who is this close to a million... only to find that one of the three briefcases left HAS the million... That's gotta really smart.
Travis: "And in the box...was a check for $46,000..."
Chico:  Nice.
Jason:  It's happened on Treasure Hunt. It will happened here.
Travis: The BEST thing that can happen to the show is the first night has one with $1,000 and one of the six-figure amounts as the last two.
Jason:  Just explain the concept of the game for people who don't know.
Travis: Unfortunately, NBC can't really pick and choose the order of the show.
Chico:  Okay, once again, you have one of 26 briefcases... I'd pick Lisa Gleave's, because I never knew she was Australian... and I have a thing about Australians for some reason. Open six, bank gives you an offer to buy back the case for an amount. Then five...four...three... two... then just pick'em off until you chicken out or open your case.
Gordon: Does Lisa fit in a suitcase?
Chico:  Heh... EVEN BETTER!
Travis: The game is unimportant. The show will live and die with the participants.
Chico:  In case we or our good friends at Buzzer haven't hammered it into you before, the show airs all this week at 8p ET.
Jason:  on NBC dont forget.
Chico:  You miss it... You're not cool.
Jason:  Help us bring back some more game shows in 2006.
Gordon: But if you play your cards right, you'll have a lot of money.
Chico:  Interesting segue, Gordon!
Gordon: I thought so. Speaking of cards, we have a slew of poker coming to us in 2006.
Jason:  More goodies for me.
Travis: It just won't go away.
Gordon: Nor do we want it to. =)
Travis: How many poker shows does a man need?
Chico:  Woopie. Now we already know of the season premieres of World Series of Poker, World Poker Tour, World Series of Blackjack, High Stakes Poker, High Stakes Blackjack, World Blackjack Tour, High Stakes Series of Poker, and World Series of High Stakes Poker Blackjack Tour... but I betcha don't know of some other shows coming down the pike... Isn't that right, G?
Gordon: That's right. What are some of those new shows?
Travis: There's MORE?
Chico:  I think it's time for a big board.

Deal... Or No Deal

Deal: Poker Superstars 3, Monte Carlo Millions, Heads-Up Poker
No Deal: Australian Poker Championship, Poker Superstars Championship


Chico:  The Subject: Deal..... or No Deal... Yes we're deliberately hammering further.
Gordon: Mwa ha ha.
Chico:  Coming in 2006...Poker Superstars 3 on Fox Sports Net.
Jason:  Deal. It will be a success.
Gordon: Deal.
Chico:  Monte Carlo Millions?
Gordon: Deal, for that it is - a January show to tide our interest before Poker Superstars Invitational 3 Think PSI - in Australia.
Chico:  Next,  Crown Australian Poker Championship.
Ryan:   Overload...
Jason:  No Deal.
Gordon: It is what it is - and we have Monte Carlo already. No Deal.
Chico:  National Heads-Up Poker Championship, anyone?
Jason:  Deal.
Travis: I do have a soft spot for heads up.
Chico:  I can imagine. Two people go into the dome, one leaves alive?
Travis: Like "Battle Dome," but less dumb and with cards.
Gordon: I loved it on NBC last year. Deal.
Chico:  And without that guy from Everybody Hates Chris. And finally, Poker SuperStars Championship.
Gordon: Wha? No Deal.'
Chico:  Now the Big Question (heh, two recurring Opening Round aspects in one shot!)...Will any of these shows buck the trend of declining ratings for TV poker?
Travis: I'll play that question.
Chico:  Go, Travis!
Travis: I would say no. There really only need to be three or four good shows on.  A dozen subpar products is not good for the format.
Gordon: TV Poker isn't declining, so it's a bad question.
Chico:  Uh... yes it is, Gordon. Do the research.
Gordon: No it's not. It's not declining at all. All it's doing it thinning out between the good and the bad shows.
Travis: And so the answer is...more product?
Chico:  Then why are they talking about declining ratings in many places?
Gordon: Poker Royale's ratings going down on a struggling GSN and new episodes of WPT on the Travel Channel being obscures because of no publicity does not declining ratings make.
Chico:  I never said how they're getting less people to watch, I just said that less people are watching.
Gordon: The ratings on Celebrity Poker Showdown are up. The WSOp's finale show was up from last year. The repeats for both WSOP and WPT are up big time from last year.
Chico:  Based on what, what was airing the past year in that time or the past season?
Gordon: Both. The fact of the matter is, the genre's ratings aren't going down. The people are just getting picky on what they want to watch, because unlike myself, they aren't going to watch 20,000 hours of poker a week.
Chico:  Explain the August report in the Wall Street Journal that says that WPT ratings are going down then.
Gordon: The Wall Street Journal report took the ratings from repeats and measured it against new shows. Well of course the ratings are going to do down. Duh.
Chico:  I still think that there's trouble brewing on the horizon, if there's even a hint of a problem.
Jason:  I think Poker has a long life ahead of them.
Gordon: I don't think there's a problem. I think that too many shows of any genre aren't going to survive, and of course there will be casualties.
Travis: That's very true, but they can't dump 12 shows in one year.  You wouldn't have Jeopardy, Who What or Where, Sale of the Century and Blockbusters compete against each other, would you?
Gordon: Just because shows start to drop off (Ultimate Poker Challenge, Hollywood Home Game, Hollywood Hold 'Em, etc.) doesn't mean that a genre is in trouble - it just means that it's maturing and the audience is starting to realize the difference between the good and the bad poker shows.
Chico:  Meanwhile, Jason, break out Fluffy, Ralph, and Gordon Jr....
Jason:  The Gerbil, The Doppler and the Wardrobe...of Jackets!
Chico:  That said... The jackets and the mice are ready, all we have to do is..
Gordon: Roll That Beautiful Brain Footage!

Doug:  (impersonating Mark Thompson) From the four corners of the your frontal lobe... this is WLTI Brainvision News... with the award winning Brainvision News team.
Chico:  *hums along with beautiful brain footage* First up, Gordon?

First up, we have Lingo Season 5 news! Thanks to our friends at Buzzer, we see that we may have a rolling Jackpot, another Tournament of Champions, and maybe 10 shows from season 4 that will be added to season 5, and yes, Jason Block is still too old to play, that old fart.

Jason:  Still sucks.
Travis: I'm still not sold on the progressive jackpot.
Chico:  I'm still not sold on Shandi returning.
Ryan:   Canucks can't get on :(
Gordon: Ryan is too Canadian to play. Chico is too Panamanian to play (they never let Panamanians play), Gordon is too connected to play, and Travis...well, he's Travis, so he can't play either.
Travis: Apparently, the handicapped can't play Lingo. *sigh*
Gordon: Do you have an eye for Lingo, Travis?
Chico:  Excuse me... *baseball bats Gordon*
Gordon: Ouc....Actually, I sort of enjoyed that.
Chico:  NEXT!
Jason:  Hater.
Chico:  Karma, my friend... Karma. Let's talk leaks from British reality TV and what happens when you get caught.
Jason:  Ok. Lets.
Travis: Caught?  Oops...

British police have cracked down on people who have leaked the result of reality competitions and cost Betfair hundreds of thousands of pounds for each offense.

Chico:  You know how this works, right? Some amount of time before the show airs, the result will somehow leak out because someone will put huge amounts of money on one person... Kinda like what happened with AR7.
Travis: And then you have to be careful, or the whole thing is spoiled.
Ryan:   Both, actually.
Chico:  And police have just put ethe nail into the wall, so to speak, saying "knock it the (^_^) off!" Now if only we could do that, we can enjoy some of these shows for once.
Gordon: You mean spoiler free shows? Ae you sure?
Chico:  Okay, next story?

We have a new trend in game show debuts - stick it after the Olympics. The Apprentice does it. The Amazing Race does it. Other shows supposed to debut right before are getting moved after it. No one wants to compete against ice dancing.

Jason:  Smart move. The Olympics always do well.
Chico:  Oh yeah, although less so in recent years, but still, remember the debacle that was Survivor: Back to the Island?
Travis: When it ran every day for two weeks?
Chico:  Yep.
Ryan:   Shame... best be getting a dish for CBC then :)
Travis: I thought it was clever, though it got slaughtered in the ratings.
Gordon: It wouldn't surprise me if some fool hardy network did that - or at least ran burnoffs of something that didn't pan out in January
Ryan:   Sweet! Finally, the will! Or ABC DoND!
Chico:  Heh... The only things that will be going on during the Olympics: Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.
Ryan:   Super smart.  Are you guys going to air them live this time around?
Chico:  I don't think so. It'll be midnight in Torino by the time prime time comes around. Hey, I got more news!
Ryan:   OK!

Did you miss "Beauty & The Geek" the first time it aired? If you did... SHAME ON YOU! Good thing you can catch it all in one week in January!

Ryan:   excellent... but I don't get WB
Chico:  The WB is calling it "The Week-Long Geek-a-Thon." And it starts January 2
Travis: Oh, word!  I think I missed the first episode.  Oops. Ashton Kutcher should stick to producing.  The guy can't act, and, well, that's it.
Chico:  He's Demi's arm candy :)
Travis: Even so. I'll give him props for an original game show idea, though.
Chico:  Oh yeah.
Ryan:   Any news on the senior citizen/high school senior race knock-off?
Chico:  Right now, no.
Ryan:   And and this rate, should we import Generation Game?
Travis: And after "Studio 7" crashed and burned, WB can use a good game show.
Chico:  Speaking of which, and also as a segue into the hoes, did you know that Rupert Grint was going to be on Graham Norton's "Generation Fame"?
Jason:  Tips my cups.
Chico:  Oh yeah. Meanwhile, time to play "Area Codes".
Gordon: We got hoes!
Ryan:   Yeah, I heard.
Chico:  Good news if you're a Harry Potter fan. For the rest of dem hoes, we go to Gordon.

In this week's Media Ho Report, Master P replaces Romeo in Dancing With the Stars 2, Matt and Suzy from The Biggest Loser 2 may replace Romber as current reality couple that's in. The Celeb Big Brother House gets new hoes to replace the old hoes, Martha Stewart's talk show does not get replaced - it gets a second season, someone will replace Bo Bice, who has a new album coming out, Fantasia gets replaced on the Jury when she has to leave early, and Carmine Gotti Agnello needs something to replace his TV career, as Growing Up Gotti gets canned.

Ryan:   Oh dear.  Many hoes.
Jason:  Thats a lot.
Chico:  Breathe, Gordon.
Gordon: Maybe now that he has free time, Carmine will release a rap album.
Travis: Holy Jeebus.
Chico:  Let's hope... not.
Travis: Oh, good, just what we need.  More talentless hacks rapping.
Chico:  We already have Federline :)
Jason:  Federline and Gotti...The White Trash Tour 2006.
Chico:  Okay, finally...

In Game Tech, The Amazing Race and Press Your Luck are planned as DVD games, and GSN has teamed with Ball State to open up a study on interactive advertising.

Ryan:   Yay for AR game :)
Jason:  DVD Games rule.
Travis: Do they?
Chico:  They do.
Travis: I thought the Feud game was a repackaging of the solo rules for the Feud box game. If you want to see Richard Karn on your TV set that badly, Home Improvement season 1 on DVD is out.
Chico:  Yes, but on the plus side. TPIR is actually a good play.
Travis: If you want to see Randy West on your TV...well, you're plumb outta luck otherwise.
Gordon: Any medium where you get to play games is a good thing
Chico:  Yep.. as for Randy... we'll see him again, I reckon.  Okay, we've got a break, but when we return, we get our acting chops on...
Gordon: When we come back, we buy things for the holidays and put on a Holiday play.
Jason:  Great. I can became a thespian.
Chico:  This is We Love to Interrupt, the cure for the common column.

(Brainvision News has been brought to you by ESPN Gas! It's a 24 hour channel of ESPN Game Shows, featuring Wall-To-Wall Poker, 2 Minute Drill and the Gray! We'll probably get better ratings than GSN, anyways.)



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