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NBC Game Show Is a Dumb, Campy Joke

English: Halle Berry in Beverly Hills, Califor...

Halle Berry

If I had Mitt Romney’s money, I’d bet $10,000 that half of the viewers to NBC’s new game show, “Who’s Still Standing?” wouldn’t last past the second commercial.

It took me 15 minutes to bail out of the series, which will have a pre-Christmas run of four straight nights starting at 8 tonight. If I had a nickel for every promo that NBC has run about the series in the last few weeks, I’d probably have $10,000.

I did get a laugh from the headline in the TV Topics cover in Sunday’s Buffalo News that proclaimed the series as “Floor-Dropping Fun” and added in the sub-head that it “offers thrills for the whole family.”

Fun. Wow. The headline was more entertaining than anything in the series, which arrives after a successful run in Europe.Of course, Europe already is driving this country crazy with
economic problems that have made our stock market schizophrenic. Now this?

But back to “Standing,” a campy, cheesey game show hosted by bald Ben Bailey, who is the answer to his own trivia question. Who is the host of “Cash Cab”?

“Standing” basically borrows from every game show on TV. “Wheel of Fortune,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “Jeopardy” immediately come to mind, with the more recent ones escaping my memory because they didn’t last very long.

The rules are simple. One overly-enthusiastic contestant tries to eliminate 10 equally enthusiastic contestants in a trivia contest full of elementary questions such as what is the hottest hand in five-card poker and what movie role did actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry play at different times. (I’ll answer in a few paragraphs below).

When one of the contestants can’t answer, he or she is dropped 20 feet through a trap door to a floor to no-man’s land to the thrills of the overly enthusiastic audience.

The rules favor the main competitor, coed volleyball coach Jared Young tonight, over his 10 challengers. He can pass on a question and a challenger will be eliminated if he or she can’t answer it. If he defeats five competitors (I didn’t stay past one), Jared can walk away with his winnings to that point. To get the $1 million grand prize, he has to carry on..

Answers: “Catwoman” and a royal flush.

I ’m never one to underestimate the intelligence level of the American audience. I mean “Deal or No Deal” lasted far longer than I would have guessed. But I think I’d have a better chance of getting a royal flush in a card game tonight than “Who’s Still Standing”? has of becoming the next “Millionaire.”

Sports Beat: New York Giants and the New York Jets fans downstate had to suffer Sunday afternoon in two blowouts losses. But why did Buffalo viewers have to suffer along on an afternoon the Bills were blacked out when better games were available?

The Giants were being pounded by Washington on Fox’s Channel 29 at the same time that Kansas City was upsetting the previously unbeaten Green Bay Packers. The Jets were being pounded by Philadelphia on Channel 4 when New England was in a closer contest with Denver and Tim Tebow. (The Pats eventually won by a big margin).

Someone answering the phone in Channel 4’s newsroom told me that the station asked to carry the New England- Denver game but was forced by CBS to carry the Jet game. You can’t blame Fox for sending Channel 29 the Giant game because nobody could have expected K.C. to beat the Packers. However, Denver is the Bills’ next opponent so there was extra interest in the Tebow game here Sunday and more reason to carry it over the Jets game.

It would have been nice if the networks switched our area to the more competitive games, but that doesn’t happen much anymore and it is less likely to happen when New York teams are involved. I’d guess one reason for the minimal switches is to protect DirecTV, which carries all the games on the NFL Sunday Ticket.

Got to hand it to Time Warner Cable, which “announced” late Sunday night that it wouldn’t take off Buffalo Sabres games during the season despite its ongoing battle with rights-holder MSG. It is a smart public relations move, which basically puts the puck in MSG’s court. TWC is telling fans that MSG will be the blame if the games are dropped after the current contract expires on Jan. 1. Of course, that’s not exactly accurate. After all, the best card that MSG has is pulling the games off in the hope that disgruntled fans would force TWC to make a deal. If MSG allows the games to continue to air, TWC won’t have as strong an incentive to make a deal.


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8 responses to "NBC Game Show Is a Dumb, Campy Joke"

  1. Gman says:

    Nice picture of Halle Berry. I didn’t know she played the part of a nun????

  2. Mark Scott says:

    MSG is the villain here, Alan. A 53 percent rights fee increase? Granted, that’s what Time Warner is claiming. But if true, that’s extortion. NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE, cares about the lame Fusion music channel, which MSG is demanding more money for as part of the new rights agreement for MSG properties. My Time Warner bill is already inflated. If TWC gives into this extortion, we ratepayers will end up footing the bill. And to me, the rest of the MSG programming line-up is worthless. I’m not a Rangers fan. I’m not a Knicks fan. I only watch MSG for the Sabres. I would hope Terry Pegula would have a legal remedy if the primary cable company in Western New York is not allowed to carry the Sabres. I would argue the Sabres are not getting what they’re supposed to from MSG if Sabres games aren’t available to the majority of the fan basse. This whole system stinks. Believe me, I’m not an apologist for Time Warner Cable. But greedy program providers like MSG need to be realistic and stop holding up cable companies for what really is one highly prized program — Sabres games — while 90 percent of the rest of the programming is pure crap!

  3. Bob says:

    When Adelphia had their problems, and the Empire Sports Network died, the Sabres were left without an outlet. MSG was the white knight and they locked up the Sabres in a long term contract, so we’re stuck with them through the ’16-’17 season. I guess the fans are still paying for the sins of Adeplia. When the contract is up, or if they can somehow be bought out, I’m hopeful that TWC will contract to carry the Sabres games. They already have the local sports channel so they could easily carry the games, along with pre-game, post-game, and other special Sabres features. TWC would re-coup some of it’s cost by re-selling the games to FIOS, DISH, and DirectTV. Maybe at that time, or before, the Sabres will consider a dedicated radio broadcast. The current simulcast situation leaves the radio listener clueless to what’s happening. They have extended times without giving the score, or even worse going to a break without giving the score. Then there’s commentary of a replay, that’s useless on the radio. There only a few other NHL teams that do not have a separate radio broadcast.

    • Mark Scott says:

      I don’t necessarily disagree with you Bob. But when you have a personality like Rick Jeanneret, it works. I, too, get frustrated by not getting a timely score update when listening to Sabres games while in the car. But it’s Rick! So, I’m willling to make the trade-off. But when he retires for good, I do think splitting the TV and radio play-by-play would be appropriate.

      • Gman says:

        Please listen to other NHL broadcasts. Rick J. Is far from the best. Just because he does our local games is not a reason to believe he’s the “greatest” He and Harry have seen their better days. It’s time for a change in the broadcast dept. also.

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