Midtown’s Paley Center for Media was the site of Game Show Network’s Upfront presentation on Tuesday, a low-key but upbeat affair for a network boasting its fourth consecutive year of growth in all key demos, and its most-watched year ever in 2015. “Our little niche television network is now a top 30 television network,” said David Goldhill, president and CEO. “Last year 80 million Americans watched GSN. On purpose.” Talent on hand included Skin Wars host Rebecca Romijn, Idiotest’s Ben Gleib, Hellevator’s Jen and Sylvia Soska, Skin Wars judge RuPaul Charles and Donald Faison.
Getting the green light are spin-off Skin Wars: Fresh Paint, hosted by RuPaul Charles and featuring three former Skin Wars contestants mentoring new artists each week; merchandising competition series Window Warriors, from Skin Wars producer Michael Levitt Productions, and game show Winsanity, from Barracuda Television Productions and Chris Grant of Electus, hosted by Scrubs alum Donald “this is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done” Faison. Election special Political Idiotest, hosted by Gleib, aims to “determine once and for all which political party has the best ‘idiots.’”
Pilot projects include Breaking App (wt), a competition to find the next great app, executive produced by Brien Meagher and Rhett Bachner of B17 Entertainment and Cheri Brownlee of Cheri Sundae Productions and crime-solving game The Investigation, exec produced by Stephen Land and Allison Wallach of Jupiter Entertainment. In development is one-hour game show Divided, tasking strangers with coming to a consensus, game show Run & Buzz and Glass Wars, a competition for glassblowers.
Also of note: 60 percent of the net’s new viewers last year were under 50, and median age has fallen to 59. “We’re going to continue to make shows that are really defined by being fun, funny and even a bit uplifting and inspiring, because that’s what GSN is about,” said Goldhill. “So I am proud to announce that we are going to be doing more of the same.”