TV Crush

GSN Spends Big to Promote New Shows

7/16/2007 10:28 AM

Television Critics Association/Los Angeles

On Saturday, GSN spared no expense promoting their latest game show fare to the television critics.  The network sponsored a full lunch and organized a lavish evning bash in their push to boost two new series.

The first was a game show of game shows, Grand Slam. Superstar champions from Jeopardy, Tic Tac Dough, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and other shows face off for $100,000 in grand prize monies.

One reporter noted that $100,000 "seemed like a lot of work" when compared with the winnings on other shows. Jeopardy’s greatest champion, Ken Jennings, a guest on the luncheon panel, said he was a "bit of a game-show freak … I would have played for Arby’s coupons, frankly, because I love game shows."

The series premieres Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.  Dennis Miller, the SNL alum-turned cantankerous conservative pundit, hosts.  But Miller did not attend due to a "scheduling conflict," the press was informed.

The second game show featured by GSN is a format license of the British series Without Prejudice in which a panel decides who wins $25,000 after examining their own, often controversial prejudices.  Some members of the press cornered GSN about the racism spouted by one panelist in the clip that was screened during lunch. 

But executive producer David Young praised GSN.  "All the other networks ran away from it, " said Young. "We had deals with NBC and Bravo.  Even Mike Darnell said to me, ‘this is too strong for Fox.’  Jamie [Roberts, GSN VP programming] and Rich [Cronin, GSN president/CEO] went ahead with the show, believing  in it."

Without Prejudice airs starting tomorrow night, July 17, at 9 p.m.

The network followed up lunch with an outdoor dinner bash arranged around the Hilton Oasis patio. Helium balloons plastered with the familiar blue-block GSN letters drifted above the crowd while bubble-encased women floated in the pool and rolled around the decks. A band played ‘70s covers and acrobats swung over the pool. The card tables were popular and a dealer kept the press busy.

Click here to view photos of the GSN evening event.

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