Comedy Stops Giving Away Money


Come January, Ben Stein stops putting $5,000 of his money on the line
weekdays on Comedy Central.

Win Ben Stein's Money, cable's first Emmy Award-winning game show, will
depart Comedy at the end of the year. The last batch of first-run episodes will
premiere Oct. 28 and run through Dec. 31, a network spokesperson said.

The daily game premiered in 1996.

Declining ratings were the show's undoing, the spokesperson added. Earlier
this year, Win Ben Stein's Money was moved from its 7:30 p.m. and 11:30
p.m. slots on Comedy to a late-afternoon play.

In an unusual approach to both game shows and the host's role in them, Win
Ben Stein's Money
featured three contestants out to win $5,000 from the
erudite, but deadpan, actor/author/former speechwriter for President Richard

When one contestant is eliminated midway through the game, Stein becomes a
contestant and later faces the day's winner mano-a-mano in an isolation-booth
quiz for the money.

Los Angeles radio jockey Jimmy Kimmel rocketed to national fame playing
Stein's co-host and foil. Kimmel was later succeeded by Nancy Pimentel and, most
recently, cousin Sal Iacono.

The show copped the 'Best Game' Daytime Emmy two years into its run, also
seeing Stein and Kimmel win 'Best Game Host' honors. Director Dennis Rosenblatt
picked up an Emmy award and several nominations for his work, as did Stein's
writing staff.

Some critics called the questions just as tough, or harder, than the material
on Jeopardy!.

Turn Ben Stein On -- a talk show produced by Win Ben Stein's
's team -- had a separate two-year run on Comedy.

The channel is discussing new projects with Stein, and he's also being
considered for a syndicated daytime hour for fall 2003.