GSN's 2015 Slate: Why I am Weary
Originally posted: November 20th, 2014

By Cyndi Seidelman

Yesterday, Game Show Network unveiled their 2015 slate of potential programming.  The programming is a vast array of game shows, reality competitions and the like to go along with new episodes of Skin Wars, The Chase, It Takes A Church, Baggage: On The Road and Idiotest, which just wrapped its first season on Tuesday.  So, here are my feelings on all of the potential shows to be featured on the network.  Now, some of these won't make it to GSN, but we already have a firm go on a couple of them.  So, let's take a look at them:

Hellevator: This is the one that seems like a sure-fire shot at making the schedule, more than likely for 10 episodes in October.  The premise is that contestants will enter this warehouse and enter through this elevator and compete in various scary/psychologically intense challenges.  If you survive it all, you win cash and prizes.  I'll be honest, this is giving me Total Blackout/Panic Button flashbacks.  I hope it's more Total Blackout and less of Panic Button because that one is good.  It's also giving me Devil flashbacks, which is one of the worst horror movies in the past 10 years.  I will give this a shot, seeing as how you have a guy in Jason Blum, who can get the scary atmosphere right.  I just hope the game is equally engaging as the surroundings, otherwise you'll wind up with yet another failed horror game show.

Steampunk'd: With the runaway success of Skin Wars, GSN is looking into getting more shows that can appeal to that demographic and hope that lightning does strike twice for this format.  The gist of this show is that contestants will create Steampunk works of art to impress the judges in order to make it to the grand finale and win a big cash prize.  I'm not into the steampunk scene, so much like Skin Wars, I'll watch the premiere, try to enjoy it and not watch another episode.  Can it work?  Hopefully.  Will it though?  I have reservations.

How-To Games: This one seems straight-forward enough.  Contestants are shown a how-to video and have to replicate the end results.  It could wind up being a good show, but the problem is getting entertaining videos and situations for the contestants and audience to see.  It's done by the same people as Hollywood Game Night, so it's in great hands.  If it makes air, I think we will be entertained, but for how long is the question.

Bingo Bash:  It's a game show based off of the game of the same name.  The only bingo show that has done ok was Bingo America.  How the show didn't get Season 3 after good ratings, great website traffic, and all that is beyond me.  I have not played Bingo Bash, but if it can be properly translated to a game show and get the same charm as Bingo America, it might work.

Winsanity: I'm going to say No on this one.  The premise doesn't even sound appealing, and neither does the production group involving Barry Poznick, who's only good show was Fifth Grader.  The format has the tendency to bore people and I just don't see this working at all.  If it makes air, this will be the biggest failure of 2015 for GSN.

Face2Face:  Shows based off of apps tend to fare about as well as guppies in a tank full of sharks.  This doesn't seem to have the legs, nor does it even have a place on the network as they already have a solid dating show on the schedule right now in Baggage and another dating show in It Takes A Church.  Not only that, the premise doesn't even sound good.  I don't see this even making the schedule after Baggage gets newfound life in January and It Takes A Church continues to do passably in the summer.

And that's your slate.  GSN's returning stable is super-strong and maybe there is room for one or two more in there, but I just don't see them here.  Bingo Bash might work, along with How-To Games, but the rest are either very limited or variants on other popular GSN shows.  Then we also have App Wars in the air, The Line coming in December and could become a hit, along with American Bible Challenge still to be announced for Season 4.  I wish GSN success, but the shows slated here do little or nothing for me. 

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