Five Simple Steps: How To Fix GSN
Originally posted: March 26, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

Let's face it. GSN is completely in the toilet right now. Their last 3 original shows were nothing short of unmitigated disasters & with the upcoming dating show, Baggage, it looks like that number will reach 4. So, I will launch a new segment in the commentaries called Five Simple Steps. Here, I'll give 5 simple steps & reasons why I would do these steps. So, without further ado, let's list the steps.

1. Add Classics that viewers want to see: It really isn't that hard. There are classics out there that can draw a good amount of eyeballs that are sitting in archives or vaults or whathaveyou. Some of the classics have aired in the past 20 years. GSN could pick up the great 90s cable tandem of Supermarket Sweep & Shop 'til You Drop. Both would be dirt cheap to pick up & wouldn't be affected by the Freemantle prices. Not only that, it isn't affected by Sony's 1 season package rule. They could have years worth of reruns and nobody would mind it. If you need to go to Freemantle, then the fans have been begging GSN for years to get Scrabble & Sale of the Century. Even if they might charge quite a bit, viewers will enjoy seeing these shows again.

2. Make some original Studio Game Shows: If I remember correctly, the biggest original that GSN had was Lingo, and that show is being reran like crazy. Another success that seems to have been forgotten recently was Bingo America. Sure it wasn't a great show, but it brought tons of people to the website, to get the bingo cards & had great ad revenue come to the network because of it. There was a casting for Season 3, but it wasn't picked up. If these two shows could be paired up for a 65 episode run to be placed after Newlywed Game & Catch 21 get done with their seasons, then you'd have 4 originals that people would love to see, for various reasons. Therefore, you'd be making more money.

3. Trim the Fat. The schedule itself is very dependent on one show; Deal or no Deal. Sure, it's one of the highest rated, but there's only X amount of episodes and it's being ran 4 times a day. To me, this isn't a good business model. By trimming 1 or 2 airings of the show a day, then you open up the schedule for other shows, like the Meredith Viera version of Millionaire or Ray Combs Family Feud, well you get the general idea. This brings more variety to the schedule, without the rapid replaying of a show that has very limited episodes.

4. Get people that know what they're doing: It's obvious right now that the current heads of GSN have no clue what they are doing. Everything that they have tried has been massive failures, such as Big Saturday Night, The 2009 Game Show Awards, Carnie: Unwatchable...I mean Unstapled, Hidden Agenda & Instant Recall. None of these shows were hits & they aren't going to get better anytime soon with the upcoming Baggage. I would like to imploy the Gordon Ramsay approach to this, "If he can't do his job, then get rid of him." David Schiff and the other guy that's running this network needs to go, and people who actually care about game shows or good programming at least should be in those positions.

5. Acquire the rights to Solitary: If you wanted to get the rights to a popular reality/game show that people want to see, then this is the one to get. Not only that, the fanbase that felt jilted when Fox Reality went under, will flock to your network to watch Solitary. This would mean more money to your network & you'd have the reality show that could easily propel you out of Digital Tier Hell. Oh, and BTW...Save Solitary...Save Val.

Those are the Five Simple Steps to fix GSN and all of its woes right now. Hopefully in the future, GSN will listen to its audience and stop producing crap programming...but I doubt it.


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