GSN Looks To Hit Big With 'Catch 21'

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GSN will bow its original 40-episode Catch 21 on July 21.

Created by executive producer Merrill Heatter (Hollywood Squares, The High Rollers), Catch 21 melds pop trivia with the excitement of the classic card game, 21. Built from GSN.com’s online game “Catch 21, the show, hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), will showcase three contestants competing to win larger-than-life playing cards and trying to build the closest hand to 21. With every card they are dealt, contestants gain the power to make their opponents hand worse by passing their card.

GSN believes Catch 21 will facilely cross platforms. One of the top games on GSN.com, the online version challenges players to speed through a deck of cards to make as many 21s as possible within the time limit. The online game players now have the opportunity to enjoy the game as a TV show, while TV viewers can become contestants by logging on and competing against other players for cash and prizes. “Catch 21” will also be available as a free Flash game on GSN.com and AOL’s Games.com, and as a free, advertising-supported mobile game, developed in collaboration with mobile publisher Cellufun.

“Merrill Heatter is a legend and he and Scott Sternberg Productions have done an amazing job bringing this classic card game to life in a fun way that engages the audience,” said GSN senior vice president of programming Jamie Roberts in a statement. “Alfonso really embraced his first role as a game show host and his enthusiasm and personality shine through to the contestants, audience and viewers alike.”

GSN officials said the show is part knowledge, part nerve and part strategy, as every correct answer provides a chance to add a card and build a better hand or pass the card and “bust” the competition. Putting a familiar twist on a classic game, players match wits and put victory on the line in every round with the turn of a card and the next correct answer After three elimination rounds, the last player standing takes on the house for a shot at up to $25,000 cash in the final prize round.

Leading up to the premiere of Catch 21, GSN will air The Making of a Game Show: Catch 21, a 30-minute behind-the-scenes special that will provide viewers with inside access to the show with interviews and exclusive footage featuring Ribeiro. The behind-the-scenes special will premiere July 19 at 4 p.m.(ET)/ 3 p.m..(CT) and encore July 20 at 2 p.m (ET)/1 p.m.(CT) and 10 p.m. (ET)/9 p.m.(CT).

Following original runs of Catch 21, weeknights at 7:30 p.m.(ET)/6:30 p.m. (CT),  repeat episodes will air Tuesdays through Saturdays at 10 p.m. (ET)/9 p.m.(CT) and Sundays at 10 p.m.(ET)/9 p.m. (CT) and 10:30 p.m. (ET)/9:30 p.m. (CT).

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