Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Scary network

As a faux tweet noted, GSN will debut horror stunt show Hellevator on October 21. From the moment this show got a mention at GSN's upfront, it's drawn huge publicity by the standards of our little game show network.

I get in trouble for reminding folks of this, but game shows remain niche programming in the wonderful world of TV. And GSN, despite its recent ratings roll, is still a niche network. So it's a little, uh, weird - much like Hellevator's twin sister hosts (see photo) - when a site that's never heard of Bill Cullen tells its readers: "If you don’t have GSN right now, you'll want to set a reminder to call your cable/satellite provider to make sure you turn it on by October 21st."

Most of Dread Central's readers aren't looking for Dick Clark Pyramid reruns. GSN is clearly creeping out of its comfort zone to attract some new viewers. At least they're keeping within the bounds of the game show kingdom with Hellevator, instead of tumbling over fully into RealityTVLand®.

A big reason for the Hellevator buzz is showrunner Jason Blum, who's garnered critical kudos in a genre usually disdained by snooty reviewers. Also onboard is Shye Sutherland, who helped concoct the goofball stunts on Wipeout. Yesterday I saw (or heard) a GSN promo with (they swear) genuine contestant screams from the show. Just for funsies, you can listen at the linked story on Dread Central.

UPDATE: Another experiment from GSN, reality show Steampunk'd, crashed and burned horrendously in the latest ratings. The show had previously done great in demos and sort of okay in total viewers. But it really crumbled on September 2. Look for a quick ax if these numbers continue.

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