Thursday, February 5, 2015

'Chain Reaction' revival: A throwback to a failed GSN development slate?

Have any of these titles appeared on the GSN airwaves yet?: App Wars, Hellevator, Steampunk'd, How to Games, Bingo Bash, Winsanity, Face 2 Face, Say What?, The Tunnel, Heavy Betters or Star Crossed Lovers. No, they have not. There were all "in development" in the 2014-15 upfronts and/or the 2015 development slate. All these shows in the past 6-12 months have gone through some phase of "in development", with App Wars even getting as far as a pilot.

So is Chain Reaction really the GSN execs' response to a failed development slate?

Casey Abell suggested on a Game Show Paradise thread that Chain Reaction is a move by GSN after other projects did not turn out successful. In my head the second I found out Chain Reaction was going to be revived in 2015 (and after I was very happy and actually a little surprised), thought the exact same.

I personally think GSN tried out a few of these project and they did not work. GSN execs here in 2015, unlike pre-2010, desire a growing development slate. For example, there are currently six originals that will make it to air in 2015 (The Chase, Idiotest, Skin Wars, It Takes a Church, Baggage On The Road and Chain Reaction). How many times has that happened before in GSN history?

It is relatively smart for GSN to revive Chain Reaction. It's really not that hard to revive, it's not hard to get the rights to revive Chain Reaction, it's relatively cheap and the rerun numbers in weekday daytime say it all. GSN cannot just fill their primetime lineup with Steve Harvey's Family Feud. Sure, it is their number one show but it's just not going to cover all 7 nights of primetime, all 3 hours each night and all the other late night slots.

Chain Reaction looks to be the second new original of 2015 after Baggage On The Road. It's not like Baggage On The Road or Idiotest are hits (maybe Idiotest is in the 18-49 demo) but the only shows right now on GSN that can be considered hits are Skin Wars and The Chase. GSN is testing Chain Reaction, seeing what happens and hope it can fill holes in the summer primetime schedule since apparently other failed projects (thus far), listed on top, cannot.


  1. I have no idea what's going on with GSN's development slate. There haven't been any public announcements, though there was a vague promise from Amy Davis that the network would have "10 or 12" new shows in the next year.

    We'll see.

    1. I heard word yesterday that an MTV developer had a production meeting with GSN about possibly a "gay/homosexuality" game show. I'll keep you posted.

    2. The production meeting was in NYC.