Upfronts 2017: GSN Doubles Down on Core Game Shows

Renews 'Divided,' 'Winsanity' and greenlights 'Emogenius'

GSN said its 2017 upfront plans include adding a new original primetime game show Emogenius, renewing freshmen gamers Divided and Winsanity for second seasons and tacking Hollywood Game Night and Cash Cab to the schedule via licensing. Winsanity, hosted by Donald Faison, will get a format tweak before returning this summer, adding more players to the mix, the network said. GSN also plans to add interactive quiz game features employing Megaphone TV tech.

The network, owned by AT&T Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, said it is building on viewer growth, saying it added almost 15 million new viewers in 2016 (via Nielsen) and that GSN originals got more than 33 million social engagements, up 83% increase over 2015. Its GSN Now app, offering selected programming for mobile viewing, is now on the App Store and on Google Play.

“The continued success of our game shows proves there is an audience that is craving fun, feel-good entertainment,” Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN’s executive vice president of programming and development, said in a release. “We are sure-fire escape for everyone in the family.”

RELATED: Upfronts 2016: GSN Sets 'Skin Wars' Spin-Off

Divided, which forces teams to reach consensus answers, hosted and executive produced by Mike Richards, launched Jan. 19 and will return this summer. Emogenius, starting in June, puts contestants' emoji-solving skills to the test. Returning series include brain teaser game Idiotest (pictured), hosted by comedian Ben Gleib and in a fourth season that launched on Jan. 19.

Shows in development include: D.I. Why? (working title), makes contestants compete to follow instructions and win challenges based on DIY videos; The Tower, a new game show "combining trivia with classic tile-matching puzzle games and with an exciting video game feel;' Blast Your Past, (working title), executive produced by Andy Cohen and featuring celebrities poking fun at images of themselves before they were famous; and Pointless, a successful U.K. game show in which contestants seek answers to general knowledge questions that stump public surveys. 

Cash Cab
 comes via Discovery Communications and Hollywood Game Night is via Universal City Studios Productions.

GSN said it is not holding a live upfront event for media and buyers unlike past years, opting for more focused meetings with buyers instead.