Game Show Network Plans Five New Series


Riding the wave of game-show mania, Game Show Network has five new daily-strip shows in the works for the 2000-2001 season.

GSN unveiled its new program slate at its recent upfront for advertisers-its first one ever-in New York. Three or four of the new half-hour series will be scheduled in primetime, with one, Mind Body Workout, slated to air during the day.

No premiere dates have been set for the shows, but they will start rolling out in early summer to midsummer.

GSN executive vice president Jake Tauber described Mind Body Workout as "exercise show meets game show." During the program, contestants who are exercising and doing aerobics will be asked questions, mainly on topics related to health and fitness.

In GSN's Aliens Ate My Game Show, players will be quizzed on wacky stories that have appeared in the supermarket tabloids, ranging from items about celebrities to tidbits about supernatural occurrences, according to Tauber.

In an effort to drum up more publicity and demand for the network, GSN has also developed DJ Games. In that series, the network will visit radio stations across the country to tape disc jockeys playing games with, and quizzing, their listeners. "It's a staple of radio," Tauber said.

In the fourth new show, Mall Madness, GSN will travel to shopping centers across the country and pick out "real people" to answer questions, according to Tauber. On most game shows, the contestants go through "a very intensive screening process" to make sure they're poised, polished and intelligent, he said. This will not be the case with Mall Madness, Tauber added.

The fifth GSN series, Man vs. Machine, will have contestants competing with a computer to answer questions.

GSN is looking for two attributes in its games, according to Tauber. Like Who Wants to be a Millionaire, the shows must permit viewers to play along. The network also wants game shows that allow for interactivity, letting the audience participate either through the Internet or other means, he added.

GSN aims to have 50 percent of its schedule made up of first-run programming by 2003.