Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ABC gets gamy

Even Deadline can see the pattern in ABC's summer season press release. "ABC Sets Summer Schedule Full Of Game Shows." Why, yes, that's exactly what they're doing. Even if you don't count Battlebots as a real game show - I think of it as Popular Mechanics gone wild - the alphabet net (Variety speak!) is betting big on our little genre for the summer months.

500 Questions with new host Dan Harris debuts on May 26. Harris may well soften the format's jagged edges, in contrast to the first season's host, abrasive Brit Richard Quest. The Anthony Anderson version of To Tell the Truth follows on June 14. I didn't even know if this show was still around. The chatter about the TTTT reboot had gone so quiet. But Anthony will bring along game show doyenne Betty White and game show newbies NeNe Leakes and Jalen Rose.

The inevitable second season of last summer's big hit Celebrity Family Feud debuts June 26. In a critical decision, the Pyramid rewind with Michael Strahan will then get the plum leadout slot from Steve and the dueling celebs. ABC is giving its new take on Pyramid every chance to succeed. I love the format, so I'm happy happy joy joy with this call.

As always, game shows' famously attractive production costs make the genre a natural for the low-rent summer months on a broadcast network. Good luck to ABC with their summer quartet.

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