Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'The Line': Fantastic holiday special by GSN

The Line did not have too much press attention or reviews of any sort prior to its debut last night. In my personal opinion, The Line did not need any of that.

The Line was two great hours filled with trivia-based questions, similar to those on The Chase, only the questions on The Line were true and false. The Line was actually quite addictive, fast-paced and made me stay tuned to the entire two hours.

Originally, I thought the two-hour special would put less focus on the questions and more focus on those standing in the line and playing stunts. Turned out for the entire two hours, two stunts were seen, and unlike some on Minute to Win It, both these stunts were interesting and nail-biting. The first stunt featured ten people, randomly selected from the middle of the line working together to loop a hula-hoop through all ten of them in a straight line and back in 90 seconds. The second stunt in the last hour saw two groups of five having to balance an over-sized ball to fit on top of a trash can. The catch in both of these stunts: whoever succeeded moved to the front of the line, whoever failed got pushed to the back.

In the end, about 80% of the airtime for The Line focused on questions, 10% spent on stunts, 5% spent on background stories and the last 5% spent on people in line (including a lucky envelope which got one contestant up to the front of the line).

Jeff Davis did a fine job hosting and interviewing those in the very long line while Candace Bailey stayed positive and cheerful for those who were about to enter "The Vault." Each maintained their positions the whole two hours: Davis interviewed those in line and Bailey remained at the front of the line and greeted those who exited The Vault either with losses or big wins.

I personally loved "The Vault" segment of The Line, where eight true or false questions can win you "The Jackpot", with each correct answer worth $250 and accumulated to the next person to enter the vault.

We did get to see two big wins--one of $13,000 and the final at $18,000. Davis and Bailey claimed at the end of the special that during the time they spent in Nashville, The Line gave out over $150,000 in cash and prizes.

Overall, 4.5 out of 5 stars. I do think ratings for this special will be lower than GSN would want. The day before Christmas Eve is one of the two biggest traveling days of the year. Lots of people were traveling or already away. But in the end, I LOVED The Line.

Interesting enough, at the very end of the show the two hosts said The Line will continue to travel to "cities near you." I'll hold GSN to that.


  1. You must have watched a different show than I did. There was a ton of padding between the questions, which weren't anything special to begin with, just a string of simple true-false thingies that were mostly easy. Oh well, no disputing tastes.

    I do agree with you on one thing. GSN dumped this on a low-viewership night. Obviously, they had little confidence in the show. And right now there don't seem to be any follow-up eps in sight, no mater what the hosts said. At least not through January 25.

  2. I thought it was boring as poop! I can't believe someone actually liked it.

  3. Media reaction to the show appears to be virtually nil. All I could find in Google News was a couple of very brief reviews and a few news stories about the show's taping. (One of the stories was a nice human-interest item about a autistic contestant. I used it for a faux tweet on Game Show Follies.)

    One of the very brief reviews had this line on The Line: "They need to install this contest at the Department of Motor Vehicles." Wish I had thought of that. The trivia and stunts would make a nice distraction while waiting at the DMV. It's just not such a great game show to watch.

  4. I bet The Line did poorly in ratings. Because this aired the night before Christmas Eve. Not a lot of people watch TV at this time because they are traveling, or spending time with loved ones. I watched a snippet of it, and it was not extremely horrible. If you wanna see horrible from GSN, ask them about Mind Of A Man.

    1. That's not the only reason it would do poorly in the ratings. How about "it just stunk?"

  5. "There was a ton of padding between the questions"

    Do you mean waiting to hear if the contestant got the question correct or incorrect? If so, there was absolutely no padding at all there. If not, and you're talking about one of the hosts talking to the contestants, those were background stories and interviews I thought were kept very short.

    "GSN dumped this on a low-viewership night."

    The Line must not have worked out like GSN wanted it too. Originally, The Line was suppose to air for 5 episodes as a series, but that turned into a 2 hour special. Then, The Line was suppose to have a season finale to air "Live on GSN". Also, The Line was suppose to go to several different cities. This is all from a press release from March 2014.

    Looking at the entire two hours, it looks like all the footage we saw on TV was all from one day of shooting. (The Line shot for four days in Nashville).

    "If you wanna see horrible from GSN, ask them about Mind Of A Man. "

    Hahahaha. You don't see that coming back for a holiday marathon.

  6. "If not, and you're talking about one of the hosts talking to the contestants, those were background stories and interviews I thought were kept very short."

    That's exactly what I was talking about, and I didn't think the background stories were kept short at all. In fact, all the stories - and all the associated footage of people waiting in line - seemed to go on forever compared the simplistic true-false questions. Anyway, I asked Douglas for the ratings on the show. With holiday delays we probably won't get them for a while.

    1. We have two very different opinions here. I really think GSN did a fine job with this but it will under-perform in ratings looking at where it aired.

    2. Ohhhhh no, blaming this clunker solely on the night that it're not going to get away with that! This show was terrible, and it needs to be called out for the pile of crap that it was.