TV News Check interview with Fremantle exec Jennifer Mullin.
She talks about game shows coming back on the broadcast networks, especially ABC where senior veep Rob Mills is "a very big fan of the genre." But the interview really gets interesting when she chats about our two little game show networks. She admits that an all-oldies game show format wouldn't work in today's cable market. But "the revenue, the financial threshold, is a little bit lower" for a diginet like Buzzr [it better be lower - ed.]
Jennifer puts the actual household penetration for Buzzr at 33 million homes, with an eventual goal of 50 or 55 million [out of a total U.S. TV market of 116 million - ed. again.] The diginet has gotten onto some cable systems, but it probably needs more to become truly viable. Buzzr wants to lure some general advertisers instead of just the low-rent direct response guys. "We have to have more distribution. When we get to a certain point where we actually get rated, then we can get a crack at that."
She also responds to criticism of the all Match Game all Family Feud all the time Buzzr schedule. "We have shows that have [stood] the test of time and so we are really building the brand around those tent pole shows. Certainly, in success, you can branch out and then play around with some of the more obscure titles." Translation: the direct response advertisers want shows that people have actually heard of.
Finally, there will be no overlap in the GSN licenses and the eps on Buzzr. "You will see the same titles, but you won't see the same episodes." Hm, that might get a little tricky down the road.
SLIGHTLY RELATED UPDATE: Speaking of GSN, the new ep of Hellevator last Friday (October 7) scored very bad numbers. 173K total viewers and a 0.05 18-49 rating. Almost as poor as the rerun numbers the previous Friday. The real "Friday Night Frights" on GSN are the ratings.