Saturday, September 17, 2016

Remember that show?

The Emmys are tomorrow night.

Normally this would cue one of my rants about show biz self-love. But if you read this blog at all, you've already heard that rant. So I'll skip to the host of the Emmys, Jimmy Kimmel. In particular, I'll link to this Telegraph story about the late-night host and one-time participant in our little genre. In fact, he's supposedly returning to the genre with Big Fan, based on his talk show segment about, you guessed it, big fans of show biz celebs.

Even after all these years the Telegraph feels compelled to recount Jimmy's days on Win Ben Stein's Money. This show has developed something of a legend, though (or because) it's been out of production for almost a decade and a half. It's even one of the very few game shows from the last quarter-century to make Game Show Forum's list of the best 50.

One of the oddities about the show is how it flopped on GSN when the network tried reruns in 2004. GSN acquired a nice selection of episodes and gave the show a good timeslot and plenty of promotion. There was just one problem: the audience couldn't stand the loony quizzer. Ben and Jimmy quickly vanished from the erring game show network, never to be seen again.

I dunno, maybe GSN's viewers thought Messrs. Stein and Kimmel were jerks. Or they didn't appreciate the goofball humor. Or they saw the show as a parody instead of a real game show (which was true to some extent). Sometimes things don't work out, even for a future late-night star.

UPDATE: It breaks my heart to report that this year's Emmys were the least watched ever. Sure, broadcast ratings of all kinds continue to plummet, but it's extra nice to see show biz self-congratulation hit the skids.

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