Two things are crystal clear from yesterday's GSN upfronts. For one, the network is seriously trying to skew younger.
GSN's median viewer age is down to 59, according to David Goldhill yesterday (President and CEO of GSN). If I recall correctly, just a few years ago GSN's median viewer age was over 65. You can largely thank Family Feud, Idiotest, Skin Wars and to a lesser extent, Steampunk'd and Hellevator for lowering GSN's median viewer age the past 1 to 4 years.
Total viewers are also rising, where GSN has ranked in the top 30 cable nets regularly, up from being in mid-40's regularly just a few years ago, Goldhill also said. If my memory serves correctly, no matter what GSN showed from around 2008-10 up until the fourth quarter of 2014, our network always ranked around 35th to 45th in the weekly averages. Since the end of 2014 with more Harvey Feud on the schedule, GSN has ranked 25th to 35th regularly.
With this angle, GSN is focused on young-skewing originals, such as Idiotest and Skin Wars, which have now both produced spin-offs and replica series. Besides original programming, GSN's main focus remains pouring lots of Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud on to the schedule.
The second part of yesterday's upfronts that is very clear is that the current versions The Chase and Chain Reaction have been put into GSN's history archive. The writing has been on the wall the past six months that GSN is done with the older-skewing, traditional game shows and looking forward to younger-skewing programming.
You can definitely see GSN's attempt to skew younger when Hellevator is renewed, but The Chase or Chain Reaction are not. Hellevator has little rerun value. The Chase and (especially) Chain Reaction have great rerun value. For Chain Reaction, just look at the 2006-07 version still going strong in a weekday double run. Hellevator skews young but stunk it total viewers for three-quarters of its season, while Chain Reaction and (especially) The Chase had very strong total viewer showings and part of the reason why GSN is a Top 30 cable net. Last, Hellevator had a median viewer age in the 40's, while Chain Reaction and The Chase had a median viewer age in the 60's.
The Chase and Chain Reaction are clearly gone for the versions we have known them in this decade. Both shows are clearly off GSN's mind and had no mention at yesterday's upfronts (or in this January press release discussing 2015 GSN ratings). I cannot understand why anybody thinks The Chase and Chain Reaction are still currently active with GSN. Of course, GSN can bring back The Chase or Chain Reaction, but it would not be until well down the road. In other words, for now, The Chase and Chain Reaction as we know them are unfortunately cancelled.