Friday, June 10, 2016

Order of one-and-done recent GSN revivals that should have been renewed

Winsanity premiered last night, which is hopefully not another one-and-done for GSN. Ratings will come in later today which will be an extremely early judgement of the future of the series but still something.

Winsanity is a completely fresh format, which is not a revival or take-off of anything. The past six years, however, GSN has produced six separate revivals that all have one conclusion in common: They were all cancelled after one season and all easily had a shot at renewal.

Reasons for cancellation included production freezes (1 vs. 100, Lingo), bad production plus focus on American Bible Challenge (The Pyramid), focus on The Chase (Minute to Win It) and an obsession with originals that brought in a younger-skewing audience (Baggage On The Road, The Pyramid).

In order from renewable to more renewable, which should have been renewed:

6) The Pyramid: Despite poor celebrity-contestant pairings, low scoring, too much of an exact replica of the Clark version and two episodes that did not even make it to air, The Pyramid was slightly renewable. Premiere week of The Pyramid started out hot with all five episodes well above 400,000 total viewers, but no new runs that did not have the primetime American Bible Challenge lead-in cracked 400,000 total viewers after week one.

By the time The Pyramid ended its forty episodes, American Bible Challenge brought in ratings that had more than three times what The Pyramid had. GSN decided to move on.

5) Minute to Win It: GSN over-produced Minute to Win It, which led to its downfall. 40 hour-long episodes was a lot. GSN should have handled Minute to Win It how they handle Skin Wars currently with 8 to 10 hour-long episodes per season, not per month.

All episodes, stretched out in summer/early fall of 2013 and again in late winter/early spring 2014, averaged 360,000 total viewers. Even at the end of its low-advertised, forgotten-about, after-the-fact last ten episodes in early 2014, multiple episodes cracked the 400,000 total viewer mark while none bombed. Definitely renewable material.

4) 1 vs. 100: I do not have any ratings for GSN's remake of 1 vs. 100, hosted by Carrie Ann Inaba, but I remember they were generally positive. 1 vs. 100 had a shot at renewal, where GSN for months around the schedule and even in primetime tested the waters for a second season. Again, like Lingo1 vs. 100 got caught up in that production freeze.

3) Chain Reaction: While Chain Reaction skewed old, the forty episodes averaged a strong 442,000 total viewers and a not-to-awful 98,000 18-49 viewers. The truth is with Chain Reaction's 18-49's, it had its moments several times where new runs skewed under 60 years of age.

But, GSN decided to renew Hellevator and Idiotest, with weaker total viewers, but they skewed younger.

2) Baggage On The Road: In the first place, this was filler for The Line. The only reason Baggage On The Road would have been renewed is if it really blew the Nielsen doors away. The twenty episodes of Baggage On The Road averaged 370,000 total viewers, with several ups and downs.

Baggage On The Road should have been renewed (with changes to format) at a time where GSN's development slate was weak. In early 2015, we did not know if Steampunk'd or Hellevator would work out while Winsanity was questioned to even make it to air.

1) Lingo: This 2011 revival performed well in ratings for 2011 standards. In fact, the forty episodes of Lingo, which averaged 359,000 total viewers, were very comparable to Idiotest, now renewed twice. The first season of Idiotest (same 40 half-hour episodes) averaged 373,000 total viewers. The second season of Idiotest (65 half-hour episodes) averaged 340,000 total viewers. Idiotest and Lingo figures are very, very similar.

At the end of the day, Lingo was caught up in a production freeze between Kelly Goode's departure from GSN and the entrance of Amy Introcaso-Davis, the current GSN EVP of Programming and Development. Lingo definitely would have been good to keep going into 2012, which was a GSN favorite. Changes, including axing most of the humor, needed to be adjusted.


  1. If Lingo did get a second season, who knows if the humor would have been axed. I would say they should have lowered the grand prize to at least $25,000. $100,000 was too much even for a GSN original. I wasn't really a fan of the 1 vs 100 remake. I liked the Saget version better. Baggage On The Road was flat and sucked unlike the original. The Pyramid was okay, but I do agree there was terrible gameplay. It's a good thing that ABC maybe gets $100,000 Pyramid right. I didn't watch the GSN Minute To Win It, but I did notice that the pace was sort of slow. They kept stopping after each stunt to hear the contestant's backstory.

    There was an episode of 2011 Lingo I watched on YouTube yesterday and the set was really similar to Baggage. Maybe when Baggage wasn't taping episodes, they used that set just to save money on building a new one.

  2. Let's not forget that this annoying catch phrase is what killed the 2013 GSN revival...

    You have a Minute to Win It...EVERY...SECOND...COUNTS!!!!!

    IMO, energy wise Fieri was more "amped up" than Ohno.

    1. Are you kidding? Fieri is a fat, annoying douche. It was refreshing to see someone, you know, actually ATHLETIC to host a show with somewhat athletic challenges. If you think a catch phrase is what killed the show, you are in need of some rethinking time.

    2. I have to agree. I don't think the catch phrase "Every Second Counts" ruined GSN's Minute to Win It. In fact, it's likely it had no effect on ratings and success.

      Ohno did appeal to me more than Fieri. Agreed there.