GSN 2018 Upfront Recap

During GSN’s annual upfront presentation, held in New York City earlier today, the network announced the slate of new and returning series. Among the renewed shows are Snap Decision (hosted by David Alan Grier), Divided (hosted by by Mike Richards) and Winsanity (hosted by Donald Faison). New episodes of the docuseries Cover Story and GSN’s interstitial sweepstakes program Daily Draw will continue to air this year. Both shows premiered on January 14 and January 30, respectively.

GSN is coming off a strong year of 16 million new viewers tuning in and a 66% increase in Facebook social engagements over the last year. Listed below are the new series and programs in development GSN had unveiled for its 2018 programming plans.

New Series

Title: America Says (working title)
Format: Based on a format by Entertainment One, two teams of friends and family compete to match survey answers with fill in the blanks that cover a wide range of topics while attempting to predict how Americans would respond. The team with the most money after three rounds advances to the bonus round for a chance to win more cash and prizes by correctly guessing more survey responses.
Producer(s): Tara Long and Mark Herwick (Entertainment One), Dave Noll and Cleve Keller (Keller/Noll)
Host: TBD

Title: Caroline & Friends (working title)
Format: Host Caroline Rhea and two celebrity guest stars showcase and provide humorous commentary to a series of funny, family-friendly and adorable viral videos. Rhea and the two special guests select their favorites and narrow the picks down to a sole winner. The winning family who submitted the video wins a special prize.
Producer(s): Vin Di Bona (Fishbowl Worldwide Media), Rob Katz (executive producer)
Host: Caroline Rhea

In Development

Title: Catch My Bluff
Format: Contestants make up fake answers to trivia questions in an attempt to trick their opponents to fall for the bluffs instead of the correct answer. The highest-scoring contestant after three rounds advances to bonus round to try their best and pick the host’s bluffs for a chance to win more cash.
Producer(s): Game Show Enterprises, LLC; Grant Taylor (executive producer)
Host: TBD

Title: Movin’ Money (working title)
Format: The ambush game show takes unsuspecting riders on a pedal tavern (a bar powered by bikes and pedaled by the customers) and engages them in a bar trivia game for a chance to win cash before being kicked off for answering too many questions incorrectly.
Producer(s): Trevor O’Neil, Margaret Miller, Shannon Houchins (Hideout Pictures)
Host: TBD

Title: Mall Madness (working title)
Format: Set in the magnanimous Mall of America, unsuspecting shoppers have the chance to answer shopping-related questions to earn points and trade them in for cold hard cash.
Producer(s): Dee Haslam, Rob Lundgren, Lori Stryer (RIVR Media)
Host: TBD

Observations

  • In last year’s upfrontD.I. Why?, The Tower, Blast Your Past and a US adaptation of Pointless were listed as programs “in developments”. This year, neither of those shows were mentioned – missing without a trace.
  • Conspicuously absent were two of GSN’s cornerstone primetime hits: Skin Wars and Idiotest. What will become of those popular series?
  • It doesn’t look like Divided or Winsanity will last past 2018 after BuzzerBlog noticed the network airing new episodes of both shows early in the morning beginning April 2. This would also be the first time the public will see any episodes from the second season of Winsanity under its new two-player, split audience format since GSN abruptly yanked the season’s premiere from its original scheduled date on November 27, 2017.
  • America Says’ nationwide survey-based format seems similar to Let’s Ask America without the contestants broadcasting from their webcams.
  • It’s interesting that GSN has decided to pick up an ambush game show series that unsurprisingly resembles Cash Cab after ordering reruns of the Discovery Channel game show to air late last year. This could backfire if Movin’ Money is not compelling enough to retain audiences after the first couple of episodes. I don’t have a good feeling about this one.
  • Mall Madness would be the second GSN original series to film from the Mall of America since Mall Masters (hosted by Chris Harrison of MillionaireThe Bachelor and The Bachelorette) in 2001. I hope Mall Madness will be exponentially more interesting than the disappointing Stone-Stanley-produced game show.
Source: Deadline Hollywood
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