LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB is set to kick off one of its fall series early as the network announced today it plans to launch "Studio 7" next month as part of its Thursday summer lineup.
The news was annouced via press release this afternoon:
PAT KIERNAN NAMED HOST OF THE WB'S NEW REALITY/GAME SHOW "STUDIO 7" FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER MICHAEL DAVIES
SERIES SET TO DEBUT THURSDAY, JULY 22 9:00-10:00 P.M. ET
Pat Kiernan, who has built a cult following as an anchor on "NY1 News" in New York, has signed on to be the host of The WB's STUDIO 7, which will debut on the network Thursday, July 22 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET), it was announced today by Keith Cox, The WB's Senior Vice President, Alternative Programming. Encore presentations of the show will air on Sunday nights beginning Sunday, July 25 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET), until the start of the new season in September, when the show will only air on Thursday nights.
Game show guru Michael Davies ("Who Wants To Be A Millionaire") chose Kiernan after an extensive search because STUDIO 7 is unlike anything else on television, combining elements of a reality show and a quiz show. The series needed a host with Kiernan's unique abilities. Kiernan has been described as a New York "essential" by Time Out New York and a "media junkie's morning addiction" by New York magazine. For the past three years, he has also hosted "The Money Gang" for CNN Financial News.
"We needed someone smart, quick and authoritative to legitimize such a fresh concept," Mr. Cox said. "Pat embodied all of the necessary qualities to make him the perfect voice for STUDIO 7."
"I have watched Pat Kiernan on 'NY1 News' almost every morning since I moved to New York in 1999," Mr. Davies said. "He is an utterly unique news anchor who is able to play it completely straight and simultaneously convey his startlingly dry sense of humor. I have had great success working with the broadcasters who I, as a viewer, love to watch on television: Regis Philbin, Meredith Vieira and Kenny Mayne. Pat's the next great one. His run-throughs have been flawless, and I couldn't be more thrilled."
With STUDIO 7, Davies is taking his acclaimed showmanship into new territory for The WB by asking the question: what happens when you mix the best parts of the reality and game show genres to produce a high stakes quiz show presented in flashback from the point of view of the people who experienced it?
This radical new one-hour series pits seven articulate, intelligent young people against each other in a game that tests the depth of their contemporary knowledge in the areas of news, politics, sports and popular culture, and their powers of memorization and recall. Each week, seven new contestants move into the "Studio 7" suite in the center of midtown Manhattan, where they will spend four days sequestered together, getting to know one another and forming friendships and rivalries, all while cameras are rolling. In addition to keeping up with the minutiae of current affairs, they are also given two very detailed study assignments that they must memorize in the few days leading up to the game. Only the last one standing in each episode will be exceptional enough to take home the $77,000 prize and a coveted spot in the final eighth episode, where the best of the brightest will take home an additional $777,000.
STUDIO 7 is from Diplomatic and executive producer Michael Davies and co-executive producer Jen Kelly. The show is directed by Mark Gentile ("Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and "Super Millionaire"), who also serves as a producer.