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Author Topic: Bland Ambition  (Read 4114 times)

uncamark

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Bland Ambition
« on: January 28, 2004, 03:14:02 PM »
This Variety article gives some insight as to why certain cable channels aimed at niche audiences have been forced to not be so niche, including a certain noted game show channel.

Relevant excerpts:

Newly christened GSN (formerly Game Show Network) has rejigged primetime to boost broadcast-style reality: "Fake-a-Date" toplines the original "Joe Millionaire," Evan Marriott, while "Kenny vs. Spenny" is a competition show similar to MTV's "Jackass."


"The biggest drive for us is to have the biggest business potential possible. Having the assets of our parent companies (Liberty Media and Sony) allows us be much bigger than gameshows," GSN prexy-CEO Rich Cronin says.

---------------

GSN's Cronin argues that expanding the brand has historically proven successful.

"Doing just gameshows was working well for us, but if musicvideos were working well for MTV more than a decade ago, why did they move away from that one genre? They're now the channel of music and youth culture. I think the possibilities are so much bigger to develop a breakthrough hit if you can go to different genres."

Cronin, former head of marketing for Nickelodeon when the cabler was in its infant years, points out that Nick's evolution from daytime preschool programming to kids-of-all-ages station was for the better.

"There were some people that criticized it at the time. 'Oh no, here is this commercial-free preschool network and now they're going to ruin it.' Well, look how great the network is doing now," he says.

A niche cabler starts feeling the mainstream itch when it hits 50 million homes.

So what about the purists --- those who'd prefer not to deviate from a channel's original mission?

Those inclined to serve the core audience, whatever the limited economics, are shown the exit.

Bob Boden, former programming head for then-Game Show Network, was phased out right along with the old name. (Cronin admits that a minority who still "pitch the niche" still work within the GSN ranks.)

---------------------

Let's all play--PITCH THE NICHE!  (Sorry.)

PeterMarshallFan

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2004, 03:36:29 PM »
Quote
GSN's Cronin argues that expanding the brand has historically proven successful.

GSN Video Games. Naturally Stoned. And if you want to reach back farther, Love Buffet, Who Dares Wins, and to an extent DJ Games. 25 points to the first person who tells me what all those shows had in common when they ran on GSN.

Quote
"Doing just gameshows was working well for us, but if musicvideos were working well for MTV more than a decade ago, why did they move away from that one genre

Because advertisers decided that they'd rather do business with 18 year olds instead. I can't remember who brought up the point that the whole 18-49 demographics thing is a farce that'll wear off, but that seemed pretty accurate to me.

Quote
"There were some people that criticized it at the time. 'Oh no, here is this commercial-free preschool network and now they're going to ruin it.' Well, look how great the network is doing now," he says.

The last time I landed on it while randomly flipping channels, Nickelodeon came off as the Spongebob Squarepants network. If that's his idea of doing great, I shudder to think what he considers "great" for GSN (the return of Burt Luddin?)

Quote
Those inclined to serve the core audience, whatever the limited economics, are shown the exit.

Bob Boden, former programming head for then-Game Show Network, was phased out right along with the old name. (Cronin admits that a minority who still "pitch the niche" still work within the GSN ranks.)

Sad, but true--I've been a victim of having different views than the big boss before. I bet those "Pitch the niche" guys that are left won't be there too long.

Obviously, I wish Boden the best. He should've had a crack at being the top of the totem pole.

GS Warehouse

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2004, 05:00:24 PM »
[quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 03:36 PM\'] GSN Video Games. Naturally Stoned. And if you want to reach back farther, Love Buffet, Who Dares Wins, and to an extent DJ Games. 25 points to the first person who tells me what all those shows had in common when they ran on GSN. [/quote]
 Um...they all sucked?

PeterMarshallFan

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2004, 05:04:52 PM »
[quote name=\'GS Warehouse\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 06:00 PM\'] [quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 03:36 PM\'] GSN Video Games. Naturally Stoned. And if you want to reach back farther, Love Buffet, Who Dares Wins, and to an extent DJ Games. 25 points to the first person who tells me what all those shows had in common when they ran on GSN. [/quote]
Um...they all sucked? [/quote]
 That, and the fact they all flopped.

GS Warehouse

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2004, 05:09:44 PM »
[quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 05:04 PM\'] [quote name=\'GS Warehouse\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 06:00 PM\'] [quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 03:36 PM\'] GSN Video Games. Naturally Stoned. And if you want to reach back farther, Love Buffet, Who Dares Wins, and to an extent DJ Games. 25 points to the first person who tells me what all those shows had in common when they ran on GSN. [/quote]
Um...they all sucked? [/quote]
That, and the fact they all flopped. [/quote]
 Close enough.  When do I get my points? :-)

PeterMarshallFan

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2004, 05:11:09 PM »
[quote name=\'GS Warehouse\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 06:09 PM\'] [quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 05:04 PM\'] [quote name=\'GS Warehouse\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 06:00 PM\'] [quote name=\'PeterMarshallFan\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 03:36 PM\'] GSN Video Games. Naturally Stoned. And if you want to reach back farther, Love Buffet, Who Dares Wins, and to an extent DJ Games. 25 points to the first person who tells me what all those shows had in common when they ran on GSN. [/quote]
Um...they all sucked? [/quote]
That, and the fact they all flopped. [/quote]
Close enough.  When do I get my points? :-) [/quote]
When GSN puts Bullseye on the schedule. :-P
« Last Edit: January 28, 2004, 05:11:26 PM by PeterMarshallFan »

Don Howard

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2004, 05:42:50 PM »
Now, now, let's give the new format a chance. Crapping For Cash may turn out to be a tape trader's dream.

1978-Jeopardy

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2004, 06:32:46 PM »
Can anyone picture GSN 5 years from now?

***GSN presents the classic game show block!***

8:00am Family feud
8:30 Match game
9:00 $100,000 pyramid
9:30 Wheel of fortune
10:00am - 8:00am: crap, plain and simple.

It was fun while it lasted. Can anyone think of another network that would possibly air gameshows, since we lost the USA network? I can picture Trio airing classic HSQ, but that's it...

Quote
Now, now, let's give the new format a chance. Crapping For Cash may turn out to be a tape trader's dream.

Don't be silly! That's much too classy for GSN...

clemon79

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2004, 06:35:32 PM »
[quote name=\'1978-Jeopardy\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 04:32 PM\']
Quote
Now, now, let's give the new format a chance. Crapping For Cash may turn out to be a tape trader's dream.

Don't be silly! That's much too classy for GSN... [/quote]
 Perhaps, but finally, not only might a "so-and-so s#*%@ his pants" post on ATGS be topical, it might be a recap of the Tournament Of Champions! :)
Chris Lemon, King Fool, Director of Suck Consolidation
http://fredsmythe.com
Email: clemon79@outlook.com  |  Skype: FredSmythe

BrandonFG

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2004, 06:58:43 PM »
[quote name=\'1978-Jeopardy\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 06:32 PM\'] It was fun while it lasted. Can anyone think of another network that would possibly air gameshows, since we lost the USA network? I can picture Trio airing classic HSQ, but that's it...
 [/quote]
Well, PAX has themselves a decent little evening lineup. Perhaps they could pick up some of the more recent GSN shows, mainly since 1) they aired Hollywood Showdown, and 2) they have already aired 2 other Fremantle properties, Feud and Beat the Clock...I imagine Whammy wouldn't be too difficult because of #2 alone.

As for another cable network, I think our resources are exhausted. Just about every single network has very little to do with its original intent for programming, esp. those that used to have game show repeats.
"Eleanor Roosevelt? She's on Card Sharks, isn't she?"

Now celebrating his 20th season on GSF!

gameshowguy2000

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2004, 07:48:55 PM »
And expect me to be sawing (snoring) through some of the new stuff. Heck, here goes:

"And it all goes downhill from there....ZZZZ (Snoring As We Speak)"

CaseyAbell

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2004, 10:34:28 PM »
The "pitch the niche" folks obviously still have a lot of say at GSN. The new March 15 schedule on Adlink is completely dominated by traditional in-studio game shows. Some non-trad stuff gets mixed in at 10:00 and 11:00 Eastern. But even during these hours there's plenty of standard game show programming to hedge GSN's bets.

Can't blame Cronin for dipping his toe very gingerly into the non-traditional waters. He can't expand his carriage as long as he's stuck with the usual old-skewing audience for traditional game shows. But he can't alienate all the niche freaks (love that term) with a total, immediate makeover.

Mu guess is that any of the non-traditional stuff which doesn't get good numbers right quick will get the ax right quick.

By the way, I LIKED Naturally Stoned. Sure, the narrator needed to be de-snarked. But Chuck was charming and likeable, much more alert and witty than the usual brain-dead subjects of these shows. Too bad that genuine reality intruded with his marital problems.

Jay Temple

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2004, 11:33:42 PM »
[quote name=\'1978-Jeopardy\' date=\'Jan 28 2004, 05:32 PM\']
Quote
Now, now, let's give the new format a chance. Crapping For Cash may turn out to be a tape trader's dream.

Don't be silly! That's much too classy for GSN... [/quote]
 Even Fox wouldn't sink that low.  The WB, on the other hand, ...
Protecting idiots from themselves just leads to more idiots.

Tony

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2004, 02:14:07 PM »
Quote
Well, PAX has themselves a decent little evening lineup. Perhaps they could pick up some of the more recent GSN shows, mainly since 1) they aired Hollywood Showdown, and 2) they have already aired 2 other Fremantle properties, Feud and Beat the Clock...I imagine Whammy wouldn't be too difficult because of #2 alone.

As for another cable network, I think our resources are exhausted. Just about every single network has very little to do with its original intent for programming, esp. those that used to have game show repeats.

Given that PAX is having trouble staying afloat as it is, I don't think even they will be a viable option right now.

Is it just me, or does the whole situation with GSN, the cancellations, and the lack of enthusiasm for the genre among broadcast and cable networks (even counting the pickups by ABC, which is clearly desperate for something to work ratingswise) seem like we are on the verge of a Game Show Great Depression (as oppposed to just a recession)?

TonicBH

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2004, 12:43:08 PM »
[quote name=\'Tony\' date=\'Jan 29 2004, 02:14 PM\']Is it just me, or does the whole situation with GSN, the cancellations, and the lack of enthusiasm for the genre among broadcast and cable networks (even counting the pickups by ABC, which is clearly desperate for something to work ratingswise) seem like we are on the verge of a Game Show Great Depression (as oppposed to just a recession)? [/quote]
It's funny, I was thinking about that about a week or two ago, that we may be heading into a "Great Game Show Depression".
« Last Edit: January 30, 2004, 12:44:29 PM by TonicBH »
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