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Game Show’s `Whammy!’ updates `Press Your Luck’

Feb 25, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Game Show Network has ordered 65 episodes of “Whammy!,” a new version of “Press Your Luck” that will debut in prime time on April 15.
GSN also telecasts the original “Press Your Luck,” which earns an average 0.7 rating. The order for the new version comes as Saturn Films, actor Nicolas Cage’s production company, and Once Upon a Time Films, television executive Stan Brooks’ production company, are developing a theatrical feature titled “Press Your Luck.”
Bill Murray is attached to play the lead in the real-life story of Michael Larson, a Midwestern man who in the mid-1980s came up with a way to beat the TV game. Mr. Larson memorized the “Press Your Luck” game board’s supposed random patterns, then went on the CBS show, made 45 straight spins without landing on the dreaded “whammy” and won $110,000, the most money ever won at that time by a game-show contestant in a single appearance. “I discovered there were only six patterns on the board. It wasn’t random,” Mr. Larson told TV Guide in 1994, a decade after his feat, which was legal-though it did result in changes for the game. “And so it was just a process of memorizing the patterns.”
Both the “Press Your Luck” feature and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” the Miramax film starring and directed by George Clooney about “The Gong Show” creator Chuck Barris, are expected to get big cross-promotional pushes from GSN, which also has rerun rights to “Gong.” The “Gong” cross-promotion is likely to include a documentary for GSN about “Dangerous Mind” tied to the release of the film.
GSN’s “Whammy!,” produced by Fremantle Media, will be hosted by Todd Newton. The show also will have an interactive element, with a synched-to-broadcast game online at gameshownetwork.com, where viewers can play along and win Sony products.