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Blackout, Shmackout: Where's Gary?

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dzinkin:
Blackout, Shmackout: Where's Gary?

By Staff
Multichannel News
8/25/2003    

Game Show Network's attempt to step into the limelight surrounding the nation's top ongoing story, the California gubernatorial recall, was almost trumped recently by the newest top story of the month — the big blackout.

The network had a press conference Aug. 15 to announce the first two candidates who'll participate in the net's election spoof Who Wants to Be Governor of California: The Debating Game. But then the lights went out in the East and Midwest that Thursday night, and executives sweated it out, wondering whether Left Coast news crews would be deployed to cover blackout fallout.

\"We were so nervous,\" publicity vice president Cindy Ronzoni said. But a little thing like breaking news didn't deter this important coverage of something related to the state's recall circus.

Eighteen news crews showed up, with more dialing in — including political reporters who, according to Ronzoni, at first didn't get GSN honcho Rich Cronin's humor. They appeared to act as if they actually expected a political Kennedy to walk out on stage, not the Friend or Foe host who will be boss of the game-slash-debate.

But reporters who showed soon got the drift of the entire enterprise when Kennedy introduced participating candidates Gary Coleman, the former child actor, and Mary Carey, an adult-film actress whose résumé includes Hot Showers 6. One of the first questions for the wanna-be governors: spell Schwarzenegger. That stumped both of them, but Coleman was able to answer another question, correctly distinguishing between pictures of a wooly mammoth and Joan Rivers.

The network will announce three more show participants in the next two weeks from among the field of 133.

PeterMarshallFan:
I saw the promo and it looks like the most God-awful thing since AN3aC. Seems to me like it's gonna be an hour of mocking the candidates [although some of them deserve to be mocked, that belongs on the late-night talk shows], mocking others [say what you want, I find Joan Rivers funny], and the typical political grandstanding. I would not be surprised to see Kennedy inject plenty of her own opinions into this mess, making it worse. She's a farce and should be banned from television. She's #2 on my all time worst hosts list, just behind Wayne [you know someone's bad when they're better than Tom Campbell *and* Blake Emmons, #3 and #4] Hell, I bet even John Davidson would be better. It would be funny to see him forget the rules again.

And another thing....why, oh why are there gonna have to be those inispid newsbreaks on the election in primetime? GSN is turning into a mix of G4, MTV, and CNN.

uncamark:
[quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Aug 27 2003, 03:35 PM\']I saw the promo and it looks like the most God-awful thing since AN3aC.

[/quote]
They haven't even taped the damn show yet, let alone picked the other participants.  And you're already making judgments on it.

(Besides, \"AN3AC\" was nowhere near as bad as its progenitor.  It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful, either.)


--- Quote ---I would not be surprised to see Kennedy inject plenty of her own opinions into this mess, making it worse. She's a farce and should be banned from television. She's #2 on my all time worst hosts list, just behind Wayne [you know someone's bad when they're better than Tom Campbell *and* Blake Emmons, #3 and #4]
--- End quote ---


She's not Bill Cullen, but for her regular show, she works just fine.  She'll be perfect for this show.  She and I probably don't see eye-to-eye politically, but I find her witty and intelligent.  I wouldn't use her for a standard-issue game show, but she probably wouldn't do a standard-issue game show anyway.


--- Quote ---And another thing....why, oh why are there gonna have to be those inispid newsbreaks on the election in primetime? GSN is turning into a mix of G4, MTV, and CNN.
--- End quote ---


To promo the special, obviously.  I don't think you're going to confuse any of this with C-SPAN.

And once again, I hate to drag this out, but GSN has to program for a broader audience than game show hardcores.  Chuck Schaden, the Chicago broadcaster known for his programs of old-time radio shows, has always said, \"The past is nice to visit, but even I don't want to live in it.\"  And I firmly believe that Game Show Network should celebrate the past, but also should be doing programming that reflects contemporary America.  Game shows in themselves are escape and it's fun to see their fun-house reflections on reality.  Besides, we all need a good laugh any way we can get it, especially from something this silly as the recall campaign.

And a year from now, when the video game block will've failed (and from similar attempts to garner demos and advertisers by GSN in the past, it's destined to fail), the whining and moaning some of you have made in this forum will prove itself to be irrational and unnecessary.

Meanwhile, I continue to look forward to Oct. 1 and what I hope will be the ultimate comment on the most ridiculous election in American political history.

Matt Ottinger:
Wow.  Well said, Mark, every word of it.  I don't usually do this but....uh.... \"me too!\"

PeterMarshallFan:
[quote name=\'uncamark\' date=\'Aug 27 2003, 06:27 PM\'] To promo the special, obviously.  I don't think you're going to confuse any of this with C-SPAN.

 [/quote]
 I'll have to read the PR again....I could've sworn it said \"after the special.\"

And a look at GSN's site gives me the impression this won't be the end of the election idea--two games and a special section devoted just to the special. I would be surprised to see this kind of thing become a regular feature.


--- Quote ---And once again, I hate to drag this out, but GSN has to program for a broader audience than game show hardcores. 
--- End quote ---

I never said they had to devote a whole network to the hardcores. What I said was they could simply do more than they are doing.

Oh, and to all of you [the universal \"you\"] who will say \"GSN will make pots of money to buy more classics,\" time to put up or shut up. I don't see this money they're apparently making going anywhere you claim it's going, instead to ridiculous marathons of 19-episode wonders and other shows that only failed 3 years ago, plus inispid specials like this.

At least I get Nick GAS....I had forgotten how much I liked \"Finders Keepers.\"

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