Press release from GSN, March 14, 2017:
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today its new programming and other initiatives, as part of the network’s 2017 Upfronts, with a focus on its core “shiny floor” game shows. GSN has greenlit a new game show series, EMOGENIUS, and the network’s other new addition to the lineup, DIVIDED, which launched in January 2017, has been picked up for a second season following its successful debut. Freshman hit, WINSANITY, hosted by Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) returns for a second season with a new format, and perennial favorite, IDIOTEST, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib, recently launched its fourth season.
The announcement of new programming follows yet another strong year for GSN. From 2012-2015, GSN had its most-watched years ever and 2016 kept pace with that 4-year period, adding nearly 15 million new viewers to its air*. Additionally, the popularity of the network’s programming continues to be reflected on its social media platforms, with GSN originals enjoying more than 33 million social engagements, an 83% increase over the previous year.
“The continued success of our game shows proves there is an audience that is craving fun, feel-good entertainment,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. “We are sure-fire escape for everyone in the family.”
Heading into 2017, GSN plans to bring more viewers into the fold by introducing two new viewer initiatives: an interactive quiz game synced across TV and mobile, powered by Megaphone TV, which allows viewers to play a game within game shows and win prizes while watching GSN. The network has also launched the GSN Now app, which will make selected programming available for fans to watch on mobile devices. The app is available now for download on the App Store and on Google Play. Additional announcements include:
GSN debuts two new original series this year: DIVIDED (premiered January 19 with a second season scheduled for the summer) and EMOGENIUS, premiering in June.
Hosted by Emmy® Award winning executive producer Mike Richards (“The Price is Right,” “Let’s Make A Deal”), DIVIDED serves as part game show, part social experiment, asking whether a team of complete strangers can agree on the same answer in order to collectively win prize money. Each half-hour episode features four contestants who must come to a consensus on the answers to each of the questions they are given, while a ticking clock reduces their potential bounty for every moment they spend debating. With more money available to win in each successive round, the intensity escalates – from collectively voting a teammate off, to the final twist, when the remaining prize money is divided into three drastically unequal parts and the contestants must agree on who should receive which share – or risk losing everything if the clock runs out. The more the players argue, disagree or dig in their heels, the less money becomes available to them. DIVIDED is produced by Talpa Media USA, Inc. for GSN. Executive producers are John de Mol and Jay Bienstock of Talpa and Michael Canter.
Emojis may be the fastest growing new language in the world, but EMOGENIUS will test how well people have mastered the art of communicating solely with these tricky little characters. Hosted by Hunter March (AwesomenessTV), the show features two pairs of contestants who face off to put their emoji-solving skills to the test. First they’ll have to decode a series of pop culture inspired messages. Next they’ll send each other strings of emojis in the hope that their partner can guess a longer message. Only one team will advance to the bonus round, where they’ll trade off sending and guessing rapid fire emoji messages for a chance to win $10,000. The show is produced by Game Show Enterprises, LLC for GSN. Executive producers are Craig Brooks and Larry Barron (“Idiotest”).
Among the shows returning to GSN with new seasons in 2017 are the visual brain teaser game IDIOTEST, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib, which launched its fourth season on January 19, and WINSANITY, hosted by Donald Faison (“Scrubs”) which returns this summer for a second season of stacking numerical facts. Season two of WINSANITY will feature a new format, with a new look and double the game play, as it expands to allow for two players to now face each other in a head-to-head battle to rank compelling and surprising facts in numerical order. Members of the audience will also continue to have an opportunity to win a cash prize along with the contestants. Michael Canter (“Divided”) joins the show as executive producer this season with returning EP Chris Grant of Electus.
D.I. WHY? (Working Title)
From escaping a straitjacket to putting on your pants without using your hands, the internet is filled with an endless supply of insane do-it-yourself (DIY) videos. With tutorials covering every topic imaginable, these quirky videos often leave us wondering … who figured that out and why? D.I. WHY? puts contestants to the test as they try to follow instructions and re-create outrageous challenges under the pressure of a ticking clock. The more tasks they complete, the more money they earn. The show will be hosted by the unconventional and unorthodox Josh Ostrovsky (aka The Fat Jewish) and produced by Studio 71 for GSN. Executive producers are Rabih Gholam and Gary Binkow of Studio 71. Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith of Mission Control serve as consulting producers.
THE TOWER is a new game show combining trivia with classic tile-matching puzzle games and with an exciting video game feel. A team of two will need to combine knowledge and quick thinking to reach a $25,000 cash prize. Answer blocks fall one at a time from the top of the giant video game board. Using a controller, the players must slide and drop the answers into one of three correct columns. Each column represents a different answer possibility. But be careful: One wrong move will send an entire column crashing down and they’ll have to build it all over again. As the columns get higher and the answer blocks come faster, the game gets harder and more intense. In the end, they’ll have to climb the “tower” they created, advancing each level by answering a question correctly. The higher they advance up the tower they’ve built, the more money they win. The show is produced by Banijay Studios, N.A. and executive producers are David Goldberg and Caroline Baumgard
BLAST YOUR PAST (Working Title)
BLAST YOUR PAST, executive produced by Andy Cohen (“Watch What Happens Live”) is a genre mashing game show that gives your favorite celebrities the chance to poke fun at their awkward, cringe worthy, and adorable lives – before they were famous! Utilizing photos, videos, mystery guests and more, nothing is off-limits in this studio-based game show where three celebrities will go head to head, as they try to out-embarrass themselves for a chance to win money for their favorite charity. From physical challenges to trivia, the celebrity contestants can’t hold back if they hope to make it to the final round. The celebrity who reveals the most embarrassing never-before-seen material wins the game. The show is produced by ITV America and Big Energy Productions. Andy Cohen serves as executive producer, with Mark Efman of Big Energy Productions.
POINTLESS is the highly successful U.K. game show produced by Remarkable Television, part of Endemol Shine Group, with over 1000 episodes produced so far. Contestants play in teams of two and are tasked with finding the most obscure correct answers to general knowledge questions based on pre-conducted public surveys. A “pointless” answer is one that none of the surveyed respondents gave. The more pointless answers contestants can identify, the better their chances of dominating the game. POINTLESS is produced by Authentic Entertainment for GSN. Executive producer is Lauren Lexton.
Newly Licensed Series
Cash Cab – A reality-based game show featuring unassuming taxi passengers who think they are taking a normal cab ride, only to be shocked when they realize they are instant contestants on a game show. Host Ben Bailey, who also serves as cab driver, informs his passenger(s) that en route to their destination, he will ask a series of general questions which get increasingly harder but are also worth more money. Depending on how long the trip is, a contestant could earn over $1000 in the Cash Cab. The show is licensed by Discovery Communications, LLC.
Hollywood Game Night – An unscripted game show series hosted by actress Jane Lynch (“Glee”), featuring two contestants who are transported from their everyday lives into a night of fun and celebration with two teams of celebrities. At the end, one of the two contestants will walk away with a cash prize and a night of stories and memories. Part Hollywood club and part casual game night, the series features well-known names from the world of television, film, sports, politics and more. The show is licensed by Universal City Studios Productions, LLP.