Monday, June 24, 2013

GSN bounces around

I had barely heard of Bounce TV. It's one of those digital subchannels occupying less than choice space on the spectrum.

But in the 500-channel universe, even subchannels need programming. Bounce has found a somewhat unlikely vendor in GSN. The subchannel had already acquired old eps of Sherri Shepherd's Newlywed Game from our little game show network. Now comes news that Bounce has also picked up reruns of American Bible Challenge and Catch 21.

Bounce targets African-American viewers, so the pickups are understandable. I doubt GSN is getting huge dollars in the deals, but the subchannel's execs sound enthusiastic about the performance of Sherriwed since its acquisition. So why not buy a few more shows? Messrs. Foxworthy and Ribeiro will debut on Bounce later this summer.

It's still a little odd for me to think of GSN peddling shows to other outlets. After all, GSN began as a depository for old game shows, not as a source of original programming for other channels. But it can't hurt GSN to get their shows out to new audiences, even on subchannels.

10 comments:

  1. It's all about money. Reruns of those shows have proven to be pretty worthless to GSN. It's not about getting their shows to a new audience. It's about making some of their investment back. As well as the Bible shows have done in the ratings, they have not rerun well, and Catch 21 has run its course.

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  2. Reruns of Catch 21 are worthless? By GSN standards they perform just fine. They averaged 282K viewers in the latest week, which GSN will take at 2:00PM.

    Same-day reruns of American Bible Challenge performed well, too. The same-day rerun of the finale got 440K viewers.

    Of course, it's always about the money. GSN is a commercial network, not some taxpayer-financed museum. But it can't hurt GSN to get some of its shows in front of new audiences, however small.

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    1. I'm not sure if JP meant Catch 21 was doing badly, but in my opinion, it has run its course in the reruns. But the numbers for Catch 21 and 40-episode Lingo still hold up very well for 2 & 2:30pm.

      It's all about the money, yes. But it also gives GSN's programming exposure, especially Bible Challenge

      Maybe Harvey Feud is next for Bounce TV (or BET, for the matter) if it is not too expensive for them to acquire. Just watch

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  3. Maybe I should have stated it differently. If GSN is going to sell their shows elsewhere, it's because they believe the money they're getting there offsets what they'll lose in overexposure and diluting their product. In the case of Catch 21, the show had a nice run, but now adds little value to the network. For the Bible Challenge, the same day reruns do well, but the show isn't going to sit on its schedule for the long term. Cable networks have to amortize their programming for several years, and despite the Bible show's success, these episodes aren't going to last that long. If they could remain on the schedule, they would.

    As for Steve Harvey's Family Feud, GSN has the exclusive cable window, so it's not going to be on Bounce (or BET, for that matter). So you can watch all you want, but it won't happen until GSN's agreement runs out.

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  4. I disagree that Catch 21 is adding little value to the network. Anything that can draw those kind of numbers at 2:00PM is valuable by GSN standards.

    And why won't American Bible Challenge "last that long"? I can easily see the show getting to six or seven seasons. By then it will have accumulated enough eps for a nice long spell of reruns, pretty much the same as High Stakes Poker. I expect to see the Bible quizzer on GSN for years to come.

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    1. You're looking for an argument when there's not one there. American Bible Challenge may get new seasons, but in the cable game, it's important for shows to run and rerun and rerun some more. ABC hasn't held up in reruns (is it on the schedule now?), so why not take the money from Bounce and get what you can? You won't be seeing new seasons on Bounce or anywhere else until they've completed their GSN run. That's because it would potentially hurt the ratings. The same is true for Catch 21. If GSN felt it would hurt the ratings at 2:00 pm, they wouldn't sell it to Bounce. I doubt you'll see it scheduled at 2 for very long.

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  5. I actually have to go with JP here (surprise).

    Catch 21 does not have that much value on GSN anymore. If Catch 21 were to drop from the schedule, it's no big loss compared to Chain Reaction, 5th Grader and of course Family Feud. There are probably other shows that could match Catch 21's numbers at 2pm.

    I get what JP means with 'American Bible Challenge' not lasting long. The show does not do well in reruns. Look at the Christmas (Eve??, Dec. 26th??) marathon (around then). The numbers were awful. The marathon averaged 175K or something over nine hours.

    Sure, 'Bible' could have more than two seasons at least, but even then I do not think the show will rerun well. I mean, compare old half-hour originals to old hour-long originals and their rerun cycles. Shows like Lingo, Newlywed, Baggage and Chain Reaction just do better than 20Q or The Money List would in rerun cycles.

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    1. Clarification: 'American Bible Challenge' not lasting long on the schedule means on a month-to-month basis, but yes it could still do very well in new runs for a third, fourth, fifth season, etc.

      Still no official renewal for a third season.

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  6. Actually, I think GSN is learning a lesson about hour-long originals with short seasons...give 'em a breather off the schedule and they'll last longer. I wouldn't bet against a third season of American Bible Challenge, by the way (wink).

    And it's not like GSN has a bunch of shows that can do near-300K numbers at 2:00PM. So, yeah, Catch 21 still has value. Look how long those tattered Chain Reaction eps have stuck around the schedule because the show gets numbers in the afternoon.

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