Game Show Builds Sunday 'Buzz'

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Game Show Network this month will back one of its most aggressive forays into original programming with significant marketing resources.

Looking to build awareness and drive tune-in for its "Sunday Night Buzz" franchise, GSN will deploy a variety of media in the New York DMA, as well as promotional stunts in Chicago and Los Angeles.

The efforts will support the June 15 debut of Sunday Night Buzz, which broadens the network's game-show genre fare on its highest-rated night.

The two-hour block (from 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT) tips with Lingo, the network's most popular original game show. Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned, the reality series that tracked the game show host at home and as he taped Lingo's second season, follows at 9:30 p.m.

The hybrid comedy/game show National Lampoon's Funny Money, hosted by stand-up comic Jimmy Pardo, is next, while the second season of sleep-deprived game show Cram closes the block at 10:30 p.m.

Other new episodes of Funny Money, which represents National Lampoon's first venture into game-show production, will air weekdays at 10 p.m., beginning June 16.

The campaign will have a heavy Big Apple component, GSN senior vice president of marketing Dena Kaplan said, as the network is carried by Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Comcast Corp. systems in the New York DMA.

GSN has secured a host of out-of-home vehicles, with ads running on phone kiosks, taxi tops and commuter-rail cards. The network has also bought a schedule on the New York Interconnect. Ads in The New York Times
will also appear in the week leading up to the programming bow.

National cross-channel spots will air on cable and EchoStar Communications Corp.'s Dish Network.

There will be promotional stunts in Chicago during the National Show, Kaplan added, as well as in Los Angeles and other key markets.

"We're being pretty aggressive with this campaign, spending just short of $1 million dollars," she said. "It's also very targeted, as we're looking to tie into the upfront [advertising] season."

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