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[05/29/03 - 12:00 AM]
FOX Sets Date with 'Banzai'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX is set to premiere its new half-hour game show spoof "Banzai" Sunday, July 13 at 8:30/7:30c. The project, which was announced at the network's upfront presentation earlier this month, is expected to run for eight weeks before returning at midseason.

Here's how FOX describes the show (via press release):

The series, which became a cult TV classic when it originally aired on Channel 4 in Britain, is the ultimate comedic interactive betting show. BANZAI challenges the audience with a series of practical jokes, unpredictable stunts and hilarious gags and encourages viewers to bet each other on the final outcome. Some of the outrageous scenarios include: "The Michael Jackson Reverse Race Rendezvous," in which Michael Jackson impersonators are placed on an ice rink and viewers must predict which one can moonwalk the fastest; and "The Man Dog Stick Question," in which a stick is thrown into a swimming pool and viewers must choose who retrieves it first: Todd Bridges of "Diff'rent Strokes" or a dog?

The show is hosted by MR. BANZAI, a mysterious figure who is like an enigma wrapped within a conundrum. He oversees most of the bets on the show and is considered to be somewhat of a judge in all matters BANZAI. The show also features a wild cast of BANZAI characters who host the bizarre scenarios. These include: CHEEKY CHAPPY, the lovable rogue who dreams of one day creating the perfect Naked Lady Gamble; LADY ONE QUESTION, the intrepid interviewer who simply asks celebrities a question, then does absolutely nothing; and MR. SHAKE HANDS MAN, who has perfected the science of handshaking as he tries to see how long he can shake hands with celebrities before they pull away.

BANZAI is a wild and irreverent romp that cuts through the wide sea of traditional television. Viewers at home can wager with friends and family to discover who can best predict the very unpredictable outcomes. And as Mr. Banzai put it best, "What's the point of breathing if you're not betting?" Tim Breadin and Gary Monaghan are creators/executive producers of BANZAI, which is produced by Radar Productions Ltd.





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· BANZAI (FOX)









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