Press release from GSN, Nov. 18, 2014:
Coming off a record-breaking 2014, GSN continues to delve into new genres of game programming with shows that will join the network’s traditional “shiny floor” series, expanding its competitive entertainment roster for 2015. The announcement was made today by David Schiff, senior vice president, programming and development, GSN.
GSN recently announced a 65-episode second season of original hit series IDIOTEST, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib, marking the third consecutive freshman series pick-up for the network this year (following matchmaking series IT TAKES A CHURCH, hosted by 2014 Grammy® nominee and multi-Dove Award-winner Natalie Grant, and body painting competition show SKIN WARS, hosted by Rebecca Romijn).
As part of GSN’s aggressive original programming initiative that continues to broaden the definition of television game shows, the network is partnering with some of the industry’s most creative scripted and unscripted producers, including Emmy® winner Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity,” “The Normal Heart”), CEO, Blumhouse Productions, as he forays into game show television.
Said Schiff, “GSN has taken some big swings in development over the past year, pushing our brand into exciting new areas while still maintaining our leadership position in the traditional game show genre. That push is paying off, both in the diversity of projects that we’re working on, and in the increased amount of break-out original programming like ‘Skin Wars’ and ‘Idiotest.’”
GSN achieved strong double-digit growth for the network with its originals premiering in 2014, increasing on average +58% among W18-49 and +41% among W25-54 versus their respective YTD time period averages. This year’s new series (“Skin Wars,” “Idiotest,” “It Takes A Church”) have been watched by over 22 million unique viewers to date and led GSN to its most watched summer ever in primetime.
The pilot APP WARS, (previously announced) has tapped actress Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years,” “Dancing with the Stars”) as its host, and tech experts Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari, Inc. and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters), Alyson Shontell (Business Insider) and Prerna Gupta (co-founder of Khu.sh) as judges. Each self-contained episode features a parade of contestants who present their original app ideas to a panel of three technology industry advisors who will each pick a favorite idea. Creators of the top three ideas are paired with mentors (one of the advisors) who help develop the look, feel and functionality of the apps. In the end, the three apps will be presented to the judges who will determine which app has the potential to become the next “Angry Birds” or “Snapchat!” APP WARS is executive produced by Cheri Brownlee and Barry Hennessey through Cheri Sundae Productions.
GSN’s key projects in development include:
The horror-themed game show HELLEVATOR features contestants entering a dark, mysterious warehouse – via an ominous-looking elevator – where they will compete in a series of scary, suspenseful and emotionally exhausting challenges. Only the survivors will make it out as winners. HELLEVATOR is produced by Matador and Blumhouse Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. Matador’s Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin executive produce. Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge,” “Insidious” and “Sinister” franchises), who won a 2014 Emmy® Award for “The Normal Heart,” also executive produces.
STEAMPUNK’D is a wildly creative competition series featuring talented artists, designers and inventors who create “Steampunk,” a popular genre of science fiction and fantasy that fuses modern technology and Victorian Age aesthetics to turn everyday objects into works of art. Contestants will be challenged to marry objects from the past and present in order to create futuristic designs and inventions. Dramatic reveals each week will build to a grand finale of a fully Steampunk’d world, so get ready for “before” and “after” like none you’ve ever seen before! STEAMPUNK’D is executive produced by Kimberly Belcher Ehrhard, John Ehrhard (“Hogan Knows Best,” “Miami Social”) and Lauren Stevens of Pink Sneakers Productions.
HOW-TO GAMES (working title)
This fast-moving game show utilizes hugely popular internet how-to videos to see how quickly contestants can pick up and repeat a wide range of tasks, from simple to complex: tasks like tying a bowtie, creating a balloon animal, cutting your own hair or picking a lock. HOW-TO GAMES is executive produced by Dwight Smith and Michael Agbabian of Mission Control Media, Inc. (“Face Off,” “Hollywood Game Night”).
In a first for GSN, the network is bringing its internationally popular digital app, Bingo Bash (over 900,000 players daily), to the small screen. BINGO BASH welcomes one lucky player into the studio each week and pits him or her against online opponents for the chance to win life-changing money.
In WINSANITY,onecontestant attempts to organize seven compelling and surprising facts in numerical order, from lowest to highest. Each successful ranking wins prizes for the team…and the audience, who also has a stake in the game. When the contestant wins a prize, the entire audience is awarded that same prize! However, if the contestant strikes out, then the audience members lose everything in this ultimate game of numbers. Fromexecutive producers Barry Poznick (“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”) of Barracuda Television Productions, and Chris Grant and Corie Henson of Electus.
FACE 2 FACE
FACE 2 FACE is a studio-based dating series for the 21st century, using an app to drive a tailored search for each contestant’s (dater) ideal physical “type.” During the show, the dater can see and hear the singles who have been chosen as potential matches, and is privy to everything about their lives via social media. However, the singles are not afforded the opportunity to see the dater. After the dater has narrowed the field to just one single, the tables are turned, with the winning single afforded the opportunity to see who’s been judging them. The single must now decide whether to stay and meet the dater, or bail before ultimately meeting face to face. FACE 2 FACE is based on a Keshet International format, produced by Keshet DCP.