Saturday, February 27, 2016

Cut-rate Hollywood

A faux tweet mentioned Game On, a knockoff of Hollywood Game Night piloted by a public TV station in Chicagoland (NCTV in Naperville, to be exact). It's not that I have anything against knockoffs. Some of my favorite formats are copies. I've Got a Secret began as Goodson-Todman's knockoff of their own What's My Line. Pyramid is pretty much the lightning round in Password, with looser rules on the clues.

Game On features party games played by two teams of four. You get the borrowed idea. They're not concealing the lift. The linked story admits it up front. "Liz Spencer, executive director for NCTV, said the new show is patterned after Hollywood Game Night, which airs on NBC on Tuesdays and is hosted by Jane Lynch." Gee, no kidding.

What's interesting to me is that the show seems like a really, really low-rent Hollywood Game Night. At least the screenshot looks, shall we say, basic. The set is a chintzy fake fireplace with artificial flowers, and not much else. Oh, there's also a big screen TV on the fake brick wall. The players show up in jeans and khakis, and I doubt that there's a live house band, or even a taped house band. The furniture appears to be thoroughly used.

But it's for a good cause. Ticket sales raised some money for the TV station, though the story says they'll also sell commercial time when the pilot airs Monday.

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