GSN ANNOUNCES TWO NEW ORIGINAL SERIES AT ITS 2015 UPFRONT: "STEAMPUNK'D" AND "LIE DETECTORS"
Hit Competition Series "Skin Wars" Spawns Spin-Off Pilot; Horror-Themed Game Show "Hellevator" and Brain-Twisting Game Show "Winsanity" also Greenlit to Pilot
Network Acquires 50 Episodes of Interstitial Series "Man vs. Fly"
GSN Touts Three Consecutive Years of Growth, Culminating in 30 Million New Viewers, Increased Social Engagement and Most-Watched Year Ever in 2014
NEW YORK - (March 10, 2015) - Following three consecutive years of growth, driven by an aggressive, original programming slate, GSN is introducing at its upfront presentation today in New York City its strongest, most innovative and creative original series to date.
The announcement of new programming follows GSN's most-watched year ever (2014), a year in which the network also added more than 30 million new viewers to its air*. Additionally, the popularity of the network's skill-based, competitive entertainment shows provided the perfect, organic platform to bolster its social media strategy, with premieres of GSN originals enjoying a social engagement rate of more than 6%. The network also delivered in February 2015 its highest month ever in the W25-54 demographic.**
Over the last two seasons, GSN has more than doubled its original programming output, and is introducing an even larger slate of originals in 2015.
Announcing GSN's growth, as well as new original programming, to press and advertisers at the company's annual upfront today, were GSN's President and CEO, David Goldhill; Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales, John Zaccario; and Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, Amy Introcaso-Davis.
The executives were joined by popular GSN talent including Rebecca Romijn, host of hit series SKIN WARS; Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett from the Emmy(R)-nominated THE CHASE; TV icon and host of GSN's series BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD, Jerry Springer; comedian and nationally syndicated radio host Mike Catherwood; and Oscar(R)-nominated and Emmy(R)-winning producer Jason Blum, who will partner with GSN on an upcoming project. Comedian Ben Gleib, host and producer of GSN's hit series IDIOTEST, emceed the event.
Two New Greenlit Series
GSN has greenlit two original series, the visual design competition series STEAMPUNK'D, and comedy game show LIE DETECTORS, to be hosted by Australian media personality and comedian Rove McManus.
STEAMPUNK'D is a skill-based competition series celebrating the talented artists and designers who create in the genre called Steampunk, a popular vein of science fiction and fantasy that fuses modern technology with the romance of Victorian Age aesthetics, turning everyday objects into works of art.
Contestants will be challenged to marry objects from the past and present in order to create grandiose futuristic designs. Dramatic reveals each week will build to a grand finale of a fully realized Steampunk'd world. Steampunk'd is executive produced by Kimberly Belcher Ehrhard, John Ehrhard ("Hogan Knows Best," "Miami Social") and Lauren Stevens of Pink Sneakers Productions.
LIE DETECTORS,hosted by McManus, is a sharp, quick-witted game show series that invites the entire studio audience to play along. In each round, a panel of three comedians presents to a studio audience outrageous "facts," but only one of them is telling the truth. The audience member who guesses which comic is telling the truth correctly the most, and in the fastest time, earns a chance to play for the cash prize. Produced by Jim Co. (executive producers Jim Biederman, Marla Ratner and Tim Fornara).
Joining new series STEAMPUNK'D and LIE DETECTORS is the previously announcedcontemporary game series CHAIN REACTION, which GSN also announced today will be hosted by Mike Catherwood (co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Loveline" on KROQ). The half-hour game show, which originally debuted in the 1980s, features teams of two competing against one another to complete chains of words after the first and last words of the chain are revealed. Each word in the chain is related in some way to the word directly above and/or below it. Produced by Sony Pictures Television and executive produced by Vincent Rubino.
In addition, the network will begin production on three pilots: THE UNTITLED SKIN WARS SPIN-OFF, HELLEVATOR and WINSANITY (the latter two were previously announced as development).
From the producers of hit body painting competition SKIN WARS, THE UNTITLED SKIN WARS SPIN-OFF invites brilliant artists who primarily work in other mediums to learn to use the human body as a canvas for the very first time. In this one-hour, stand-alone competition format, four talented artists will be trained and mentored by our favorite SKIN WARS pros, and challenged to apply their skills in unfamiliar ways. Eventually eliminating three of the artists, judges ultimately crown one winner who will walk away with a cash prize and a unique new way to monetize his or her talents. Produced by Michael Levitt Productions (executive producers Michael Levitt and Jill Goularte).
His genius brought the world the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, among others; now, award-winning producer Jason Blum is bringing to GSN the brilliantly twisted HELLEVATOR, a terrifying, genre-mashing game show that dares three friends to ride a haunted elevator into the depths of an abandoned warehouse. One player must get out on each floor and conquer a frightening challenge in order to earn money for the team; but should players not make it back in time, the Hellevator moves on without them. Pulling the strings throughout the game are two comedic masterminds who delight in the horror they inflict on the hapless, helpless contestants. HELLEVATOR is produced by Matador and Blumhouse Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. Executive Producers are Jason Blum ("Paranormal Activity," "The Purge," "Sinister" and "Insidious"), who won a 2014 Emmy(R) Award for "The Normal Heart," and was nominated for an Academy Award(R) for "Whiplash," and Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin of Matador.
Which is greater: the number of times a man thinks about sex in a day, or the number of words a woman speaks in a day? In WINSANITY, one person will attempt to organize seven compelling and surprising facts in numerical order, from lowest to highest. Each successful ranking wins prizes for the contestant and the audience, making this show "total insanity," because when the contestant wins a prize, a random lucky section of the audience is awarded that same prize; but... if the contestant strikes out, then the audience members lose everything. From executive producers Barry Poznick ("Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?") of Barracuda Television Productions, Chris Grant of Electus, and Corie Henson.
New Interstitial Series and Development
In addition to its new original and returning shows, GSN has acquired 50 three-minute episodes of the interstitial series MAN VS. FLY, which will run on air; GSN also will put the show into half-hour series development. In the history of television, a higher stakes battle for dominance has never been waged! In MAN VS. FLY, Brave human warriors are placed into a sealed white box with a cunning, dastardly housefly. Every contestant is allowed one weapon of choice to aid in battle: a cleaning lady wields her vacuum, a knight in armor swings his broadsword, a scuba diver brandishes a fish. Each has only 60 seconds to bring down the fly, or leave in disgrace. Two will enter... but only one will leave. Off-camera sports commentators announce the play-by-play with hysterically deadpan wit. Cheering for the fly is encouraged. Produced by UK-based Gogglebox Entertainment ("Release the Hounds," "Plain Jane"), a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television, with executive producers Mat Steiner, Adam Wood and Sam Pollard.
Also in development is WINDOW WARRIORS (working title). Anyone who's ever walked by the windows on Fifth or Madison Avenue, Rodeo Drive or the Champs Elysées knows window design can be museum-worthy art. This new skill-based competition lifts the curtain on the intensely competitive and theatrical world of visual merchandising. From the festive, to the luxurious, to the fantastical, these artists will push their creativity to the limits in the hopes of winning a career-changing contract to design the annual holiday display at a major department store. From the producers of SKIN WARS, Michael Levitt Productions (Executive Producers Michael Levitt and Jill Goularte).
Among the hit series returning to GSN with new seasons in 2015 are body painting competition series SKIN WARS, hosted by Rebecca Romijn, with entertainer RuPaul Charles and body painting icons Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina serving as judges; fast-paced game shows THE CHASE, featuring Brooke Burns and Mark "The Beast" Labbett, and IDIOTEST,hosted by comedian Ben Gleib,recently picked up for a 65-episode second season; hit dating show IT TAKES A CHURCH, which launches its second season on March 26;and previously announced BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD, a traveling version of the network's hit series, BAGGAGE, hosted by Jerry Springer.
The leader in game show entertainment across multimedia, GSN presents original and classic game shows, competitive skill-based programming, as well as games via its 80-million subscriber television network, a dedicated GSN.TV website and through 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.
*Source: Nielsen, 12/30/13-12/28/14 vs. prior years since 12/31/2001, New Viewers defined as those who did not watch GSN during last quarter of prior year but watched GSN original programming the following year, 6 min qual, AA Reach Proj(000), L+3
** Source: Nielsen