Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lane versus Catherwood (and a suggestion for the Catherwood version)

http://www.gsn.com/dynamic/images/shows/chainreaction_320x240.jpgJust recently, I got around to watching a mid-afternoon episode of GSN's first Chain Reaction revival with Dylan Lane.

Looking back, Dylan Lane really was not that spectacular of a host now looking at Mike Catherwood. Lane was slightly boring and slightly dull, not showing too much enthusiasm. Lane was also more robotic and less interactive with the contestants. I would feel, by today's episode and many prior that I have watched with Lane, that the contestants egged on the conversations after that first commercial break and Lane did not know what to do or what to ask.

All in all for Dylan Lane, he really was not a bad Chain Reaction host. The game itself is not that exciting and fun so you don't necessarily need a very energetic host. It's just that now with Catherwood, we have improvements.

Catherwood is definitely the opposite of Lane when it comes to excitement. Catherwood has a better interaction with the contestants and the game itself. Lane, I feel like, when the chains were weird or promoted something TV-14, always had the same remarks over 130 episodes. Meanwhile, Catherwood has come up with fresh jokes in the episodes we have seen thus far.

Now, I cannot agree with anyone who thinks Mike Catherwood is the best GSN host right now (I think Brooke Burns is), but Catherwood is an improvement over Lane.

Interestingly enough, now that the new version is out on GSN, all of a sudden the Lane version shows its age. For years after the 2006-07 version ended, the Lane version of Chain Reaction still looked modern in rerun after rerun after rerun. That is no longer the case, as the new Chain Reaction in High Definition has a much brighter and appealing set.

A suggestion for Catherwood Chain Reaction in the future (if it has a future after its current 40-episode run): Returning champions. Air the episodes in order and do what Family Feud does: The remaining duo (or family on Family Feud) keeps returning until they lose the main game. This would also help eliminate bad contestants by making the returning champions more comfortable with the gameplay episode after episode. Only on Chain Reaction, let the champions keep going until someone knocks them out like on modern Jeopardy! The one exception for Chain Reaction: There's no reason to give a car away after a certain amount of main game wins.

Who is the best 21st century Chain Reaction host? Host only. Dylan Lane or Mike Catherwood?


  1. I like Catherwood much better. He interacts well with the contestants and I like how he makes cracks when a contestant gives a really dumb response. The set is a definite improvement over the Lane version, where as that set looked like an interrogation room from a crime show. I think the show has a shot at a second season and maybe it can be the curse where revivals of previous shows were canceled after one season on GSN. And if it does get renewed, GSN might look into reviving other shows from the past, like Lingo for instance. But I'm getting ahead of myself because the show has a long way to go.

    Non related, but if the two new episodes of Idiotest tomorrow are its last for now, I say it needs a much needed rest. Because while the 18-49 numbers have been decent, the viewer numbers have been a little disappointing. Here's what I would do, give the show a month or two break, return in October with a new time slot, and go from there.

  2. "And if it does get renewed, GSN might look into reviving other shows from the past, like Lingo for instance. But I'm getting ahead of myself because the show has a long way to go. "

    Lingo just got revived and that didn't work out well enough for a second season. I think a Press Your Luck revival or a Card Sharks/Catch 21 revival would come around first, if any revival. Those former versions produce solid numbers in weekdays now.

    Of course, if Chain Reaction isn't renewable, then GSN should just throw away renewals for a long time.

    As for Idiotest, a hiatus until September is promised right now. The August 17-23 schedule has been released with no new Idiotest and August 26th has the Skin Wars special plus Steampunk'd. So I do think it's a smart idea to rest Idiotest, keep the reruns on weekends only and pair it up with Hellevator or Chain Reaction come October.

  3. I never did think of those shows. And if Catch 21 say was revived, they would probably find a new host since Alfonso Ribeiro got the AFV hosting job this fall. Card Sharks would be terrific as well, just don't bring back Pat Bullard as host. His version was beyond awful. That version made Lie Detectors the greatest thing ever aired. For Idiotest when it returns from its hiatus, who knows where it would be. I could see the show paired with CR. If it sticks on Wednesday, I would put it at 8 pm. 9 pm would not have worked seeing how Empire on Fox airs there and it would do sub par at best if it aired there. And 10 pm, seeing how the viewer numbers were the last couple of weeks, it would be smart to move it out of there. But we'll have to see.

  4. Remember: Lane got into a car accident as passenger before one of his taping days.
    Lane's CR had the dumb guys vs. gals gameplay.

  5. If the ratings for Chain Reaction aren't doing that well, then I have a suggestion. Move the 2006-07 version to 11:30am. If the 2006-07 version is still getting good numbers in the 3pm hour, then it might be hurting the ratings for the new version.