Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tonight on GSN: 'Hellevator' premiere; 'Idiotest' new timeslot

Tonight is possibly one of the biggest nights in GSN history for many reasons.

Game Show Network's horror-themed game show premieres tonight at 8pm ET. A horror-themed game show is something basically new and different to the television world as we know it. Hellevator has been anticipated for nearly a year now since put in development by GSN. Mentioned again in their 2015-16 upfronts, GSN filmed a pilot this past spring (which is not part of the eight-episode batch) and was green-lit in June.

How this is important:

Here we are at the end of October and GSN has not had a successful new original in well over a year (since Idiotest and Skin Wars). In the past year, four projects that have made it to air have not been successes in one way or another (The Line, Baggage On The Road, Lie Detectors and Steampunk'd). Meanwhile for GSN, the second season of It Takes a Church bombed, Idiotest and Chain Reaction have under-performed lately, The Chase is a strong performer while skewing old and Skin Wars showed slight declines from 2014. GSN really wants Hellevator to deliver what they want: A strong, young-skewing audience similar to Skin Wars.

Hellevator is make or break for GSN. If Hellevator does skew young like GSN anticipates, you can say goodbye to traditional game shows like The Chase and Chain Reaction as Steampunk'd will also likely be out. From there on out, GSN will keep producing lots of young-skewing, non-traditional shows like Hellevator and Skin Wars. If Hellevator does not succeed, then GSN will very likely bring The Chase back, possibly keep Steampunk'd around and keep producing more traditional shows (since a Hellevator non-success would make GSN 1 for 3 with non-traditional shows in the past two years).

Hellevator is hosted by Jen and Sylvia Soska. They do not exactly stand in front of the camera and tell the audience what is going on. Rather, they pull tricks and root against contestants throughout the game. They are more similar to a Mark Labbett on The Chase rather than an actual host. Hellevator is produced by Jason Blum (Blumhouse productions).

For a full take on tonight's Hellevator premiere episode, check out our review. Many other reviewers have disapproved of the show in one way or another. I personally like Hellevator, but I still question how it will perform on GSN (rather, SyFy would have been better). If you like horror, this is your thing. If you are too scared on blood and gore, then caution yourself. A Hellevator stuntman told us that the show gets more graphic and grosser effects as the weeks go on.

Aside from Hellevator, Idiotest moves to a new timeslot tonight. Back to back new episodes of Idiotest air at 9pm and 9:30pm ET. Tonight's theme episode is "1980's". Check out GSN's YouTube preview. Ben Gleib hosts.

Once again, tonight's schedule (all Times ET):
7:30pm: Family Feud
8:00pm: Hellevator (premiere)
9:00pm: Idiotest (new)
9:30pm: Idiotest (new)
10:00pm: Family Feud
10:30pm: Family Feud
11:00pm: Hellevator (encore)
12:00am: Idiotest (encore)
12:30am: Idiotest (encore)

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