GSN GETS ITS GAME ON WITH SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT IN ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING AND BOLD DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
Cable Network Greenlights New Series "Idiot Test"; Readies New Seasons of
Current Hits, "The Chase" and "The American Bible Challenge"
2013 Most Watched Year In Network History with Double Digit
Growth Across All Demos and Primetime Ratings Hitting Ten Year Highs
2014 On Record-Breaking Track With Strong January/February Performance
GSN Games Now Boasts Monthly Active User Base of Nearly 10 Million Players
March 18, 2014 (New York, NY) - At an upfront presentation held today at the Sony Building in New York, GSN executives unveiled their programming and development slate. The network announced a greenlight for IDIOT TEST, a new original series hosted by comedian Ben Gleib; re-upped two hit series, THE CHASE and THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE; and revealed a vigorous 2014 development slate. In the coming year, GSN plans to ramp up its commitment to original content, a strategy which helped re-write the network's ratings record book this past year. The details were announced by GSN's President and CEO, David Goldhill; GSN's Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, Amy Introcaso-Davis and John Zaccario, GSN's Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales. GSN talent Rebecca Romijn, host of SKIN WARS, Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett from THE CHASE, and DeRay Davis, host of MIND OF A MAN as well as Ben Gleib were all on hand for the presentation.
In addition to the news surrounding new content, the network also pointed to strong first quarter performance with January being the most watched month ever followed by its best February ever. GSN also delivered on the demo front hitting new ratings records with W18-49, P25-54 and W25-54. In January, GSN's year-over-year delivery increased double digits in both total day, where P25-54 rose +34% and W25-54 rose +38% and primetime where P25-54 rose +46% and W25-54 rose +47%. In February, P25-54 rose +22% and W25-54 +26% in total day. In primetime, P25-54 rose +16% and W25-54 +6%."
GSN also had a stellar 2013, the network's most-watched year ever, with double-digit audience growth across all key demos and total viewers. The network delivered its largest total day audience to date among target demos including total viewers, W18-49 and W25-54 with a majority of that growth came from its primetime line-up, which hit ten-year highs. In total day, total viewers rose 13% and in primetime, total viewers rose 11%.
In digital news, GSN Games recently acquired Bash Gaming, the creator of breakout hit Bingo Bash, which is the #1 social bingo game in the world with more than 4.8 million monthly active users (MAUs) playing across Facebook, iOS, Android and Kindle devices. GSN Games, with a monthly active user base of nearly 10 million players in its social casino product offerings, operates two of 2013's top 10 overall grossing iPad apps, GSN Casino and Bingo Bash. GSN Games also operates the #2 skill gaming platform, in which players pay an entry fee to compete in a skill game tournament that awards winners with cash prizes. "GSN has always offered advertisers an engaged audience on multiple platforms. With the breakout success of our original programming, we are now delivering that same fan-base in record numbers, making GSN an extraordinary value in the market today," said David Goldhill, GSN's President and CEO. "We are committed to continuing to deliver stand-out original programming that will only build on the success we have seen so far in 2014 and give advertisers a multitude of opportunities to reach their target demos."
"In 2013 our original programming began hitting on all cylinders and our ratings reached record highs. And that's because our viewers are active, engaged and asking for more--and we are giving it to them," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN's Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. "We see limitless possibilities in the game show category and we feel confident that we can grow our audience with outside the box thinking around this genre."
GSN's Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales, John Zaccario, added: "We had an amazing 2013 and fortunately, last year was not an anomaly. We started 2014 right where we left off, with growth fueled by our distinctive originals - all of which contributed to building our momentum and sustaining our audience growth. Our performance has been a great benefit for our advertising partners who understand the value of aligning their brands with our engaged and incredibly passionate audience."
GREENLIT ORIGINAL SERIES
IDIOT TEST, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib and based on the highly popular app game, gives two pairs of contestants with a preexisting rivalry in anything from colleges (i.e. UCLA vs USC) to sci fi (i.e. "Star Trek" fans vs. "Star Wars" fans), the opportunity to face off to determine once and for all, which teams of two are the true "Idiots." The rival pairs will go head to head in several rounds of rapid-fire questions whose answers any "idiot" should know: the questions, taken from the game, test observation and attention to detail as much as they test general knowledge. The contestant pairs will really need to be on their toes to come out on top. IDIOT TEST is executive produced by Adam Rosenblatt, Jamie Rosenblatt, and Christian Horner of H2R Productions; Ryan Devlin and Shawn Greenson of He Shoots, He Scores Productions; and Larry Barron and Ryan Curtis. Mark Cronin of Little Wooden Boat Productions will also serve as Executive Producer.
(40 X :30)
Got the next Flappy Bird? How many times have you seen a hot app and thought, 'I could have thought of that?" APP WARS gives fledgling app creators their chance at stardom. In each self-contained show, five contestants present their original app ideas to a panel of judges. The top three ideas continue on as contestants are paired with mentors who help develop the look, feel and functionality of the apps. After a final beta-testing showdown between the top two contestants, our panel awards a cash prize. APP WARS is executive produced by Cheri Brownlee of Cheri Sundae Productions.
SAY WHAT? (working title)
We've been playing a version of Telephone since we were kids. SAY WHAT? (working title) brings the childhood favorite into the 21st Century. Based on a format from Nippon Television, SAY WHAT? (working title) is a humorous contest that pits two teams of five against one another in a high stakes test of memory. The teams initially must pass a phrase or expression down their telephone chain before a timed partition drops between them. The tension ratchets up in our next round as contestants utilize everything from art supplies to musical instruments on their way to EXTREME TELEPHONE, the high-paced third round. The winning team goes on to the bonus round for an opportunity to win big money in this fun and frenetic game. SAY WHAT? (working title) is executive produced by Kevin Healey and Jesse Fawcett of Essential 11 Television along with Darryl Trell and Howard Kitrosser of Smoke And Mirrors Creative.
ORIGINAL SERIES IN DEVELOPMENT
THE TUNNEL (working title)
The human mind is like a maze. THE TUNNEL (working title) puts contestants there, literally. Combining trivia knowledge with chess-like cunning - all in the dark! The game pits three trivia buffs against one another - each in their own physical tunnel. After answering a question correctly, a contestant gets one step closer to exiting THE TUNNEL and a cash prize. But in addition to moving toward escape, contestants must block their opponents' moves by memorizing players' locations. Our winning player takes home the cash of defeated opponents, making strategy as critical as trivia knowledge. THE TUNNEL (working title) is a game of skill, memory, and strategy. Based on a format from Absolutely Independent and executive produced by Scott St. John ("Deal or No Deal") of Entertain The Brutes.
HEAVY BETTERS (working title)
Put your money where your mouth is. Diet bets are popping up everywhere - online, in gyms, at weight-loss classes, and especially as intense wagers among friends, spouses, and coworkers. They're big because they work. Those who stood to lose money if they didn't succeed in shedding weight were about five times as likely to reach their goal. HEAVY BETTERS (working title), goes inside the diet betting craze sweeping the nation as two teams of plus-size co-workers compete against each other in the ultimate weight loss wager. For the winning team a cash prize awaits - but will all the co-workers pull their own weight? HEAVY BETTERS (working title) is an original format from GSN & Savannah Media. Eric Evangelista and Shannon Evangelista of Hot Snakes Media serve as Executive Producers along with Richard Drew of Savannah Media.
THE LINE is a traveling game show that sets up shop in different cities across America. Potential contestants will join THE LINE in the hopes of making it to the front of the line to the Tent where contestants enter one at a time to try to win the jackpot. But in this game, getting to the front of the line is part of the challenge. The road to the tent is fraught with chances to move up, move or be eliminated altogether. THE LINE will culminate with a season finale that will air on live television on GSN. THE LINE is from ITV Studios and High Noon Entertainment.
STAR CROSSED LOVERS (working title)
You have notoriously bad taste in lovers. Online dating is a bust, and your friend's setups are even worse. It's time for a radical new approach to dating. STAR CROSSED LOVERS is a new twist on a dating game designed to help lovelorn singles find their perfect match by crowd-sourcing opinions from the ones we trust the most - celebrities! After a series of getting-to-know-you games with the participation of a panel of fun, opinionated stars -- the Bachelorette (or Bachelor) will have to choose a match. If his/her pick matches the panel's, the new couple will win an extravagant date. STAR CROSSED LOVERS is a World of Wonder Production with Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Tom Campbell Serving as Executive Producers.
THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE
Comedian and author Jeff Foxworthy hosts THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE, a one-hour game show in which contestants compete based on their knowledge of the Bible. Utilizing current as well as historical references, questions are drawn from the rich, dense narrative found in the world's best-selling book. The contestants share their compelling back-stories and each team plays for a charitable organization. Multiple Grammy Award(R) winner Kirk Franklin joined season two as musical co-host.
THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE is produced by Relativity Television for GSN, with Relativity Television's Tom Forman ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") serving as Executive Producer. Barry Poznick ("Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader," "Lingo) also serves as Executive Producer. Nick Stuart and Maura Dunbar of Odyssey Networks are Consulting Producers. Odyssey Networks is the country's largest multi-faith coalition dedicated to producing and distributing media that creates understanding among people of different beliefs and perspectives. Jeff Foxworthy also serves as Producer. Embassy Row's Michael Davies as well as Parallel Entertainment's J.P. Williams and Jennifer Novak serve as Executive Producers.
Based on the hit U.K. show of the same name, THE CHASE is hosted by Brooke Burns and features Mark Labbett as "The Beast." The one-hour show pits three contestants in a fast-paced quiz competition against "The Beast," an all-knowing, opponent whose job is to "chase" the contestants out of their money. THE CHASE has garnered critical acclaim, fervent fans and stellar ratings growth throughout its second season, which kicked off in November. Since launching its first season in August, THE CHASE has established itself as one of GSN's most popular original series and has been seen by more than 15 million total viewers and 3 million in the key demo of W25-54. THE CHASE, based on the highly successful UK format, is produced by ITV Studios America with Bob Boden, Michael Kelpie and Martin Scott serving as Executive Producers.
IT TAKES A CHURCH
In each one-hour episode of IT TAKES A CHURCH, members of a Christian congregation play matchmaker in a competition to help an unattached fellow parishioner find their match. Hosted by 2014 Grammy(R) Nominee and multi Dove Award winner Natalie Grant, the show visits a congregation from across the country each week to surprise one unsuspecting single with the news that they're about to be saved from the dating world. The church's Pastor will task their congregation of aspiring matchmakers, to find the best possible catch for our dater, but in the end, our single will decide which suitor to put their faith in. The congregant who brought the chosen suitor will make a difference to their church by winning a donation on its behalf.
IT TAKES A CHURCH is produced by Authentic Entertainment for GSN, with Tom Rogan and Lauren Lexton ("Flipping Out," "The Best Thing I Ever Ate") serving as Executive Producers along with Richard Hall ("The Amazing Race") of Great Blue Productions. Sean Kelly ("Minute to Win It") is Consulting Producer.
MIND OF A MAN
What are men really thinking? Hosted by comedian DeRay Davis, MIND OF A MAN features two female contestants who try to figure out what men really think about dating, marriage, working and all manner of manly pursuits. The questions on the show have all been previously asked and answered by a survey of 100 men. Over three rounds, the contestants try to determine the correct answers with the help of a celebrity panel. A mix of famous and funny male and female celebrities offer their opinions about what men are really thinking. And for successfully getting inside the MIND OF A MAN, one of the contestants could walk away with the grand prize. MIND OF A MAN is produced by 51 Minds Entertainment with Mark Cronin serving as Executive Producer.
MINUTE TO WIN IT
Hosted by Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno, each one-hour episode of MINUTE TO WIN IT features competitors facing up to 10 challenges that escalate in level of difficulty using everyday household items. Each game has a one-minute time limit and failure to finish the task on time may ultimately eliminate the contestant. At various points throughout the game, the competitor can walk away with the money earned up to that point - but it'll take nerves of steel to complete all 10 tasks to win the grand prize of $250,000. MINUTE TO WIN IT is produced by Shine America - based on the format owned by Shine's sister company Friday TV. Michael Binkow ("Baggage," "1 vs. 100") serves as Executive Producer.
Actress Rebecca Romijn ("X-Men," "Ugly Betty") hosts SKIN WARS, the 8 episode, hour-long competition show that seeks to find the most talented and versatile body painters in the country. Romijn- the first model to ever be body-painted for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue the year before she made her unforgettable big-screen debut as the blue body painted "Mystique" in X-Men -will be joined by legendary entertainer RuPaul and body painting rock stars Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina as judges on SKIN WARS. The contestants will test their creativity, talent and techniques as they participate in a series of challenges that all promise amazing reveals. Over the course of this arced series, 10 contestants will be reduced down to three finalists who will compete in the finale. The winner will receive a cash prize and a career launching opportunity.
SKIN WARS is executive produced by Michael Levitt of Michael Levitt Productions ("Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," "Ask Oprah's All Stars," "Billboard Music Awards"), Jill Goularte, Colleen Sands and Rebecca Romijn. Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina serve as producers.
GSN is a multimedia entertainment company that offers original and classic game programming and competitive entertainment via its 80-million subscriber television network and digital game sites. GSN's cross-platform content gives game lovers the opportunity to win cash and prizes, through GSN's popular TV game shows and GSN Games' free casual games, mobile and social games, and skill-game tournaments. GSN's television network is distributed throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Canada by all major cable operators, satellite providers and telcos. GSN is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and DIRECTV. For further information, please visit GSNTV.com.