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500 Questions.... Round 2
Dan Harris Moderates Battle of the Geniuses Tonight
From 2paragraphs

For a new season of 500 Questions, there’s a new host of the quiz game. The Mark Burnett-produced game show debut in May 2015 with host Richard Quest of CNN fame. For Season 2, Dan Harris of ABC's Nightline will do the honors of asking super smart people really difficult questions. (They can’t get three wrong in a row.) Harris is also the host of the weekend edition of Good Morning America.

Harris is used to hanging out with highly intelligent people. His father, Jay R. Harris, is the chair of Harvard’s radiation oncology residency program and his mother, Nancy Lee Harris, is a pathologist at Mass General. After experiencing an on-air panic attack in June 2004, Dan Harris wrote the book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Really Works — a True Story, in which he recounts using drugs (cocaine and Ecstasy) and found the benefits of meditation. Season 2 of 500 Questions premieres Thursday, May 26 at 8pm on ABC.

ABC News

posted 5/26/16

Bravo Gets Back in the Game
On Tap: "I'd Kill for That"
From Variety

Bravo is beefing up their development slate with seven new unscripted series, including a new Andy Cohen celebrity-filled project, “Look Who’s Hosting Live.”

The new development slate also includes a show hosted by “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant, a new real estate show and even a game show.

“With this development slate, we are building on Bravo’s robust and successful tradition of buzzy, unique format shows,” said Lara Spotts, Bravo’s SVP of Development.. “It’s a diverse collection of shows which all include the signature Bravo wink and delicious drama that our viewers love to unwind to.”

Bravo is home to mostly unscripted shows, including the popular “Real Housewives” franchise,” which recently expanded with installments in Potomac and Dallas. The NBCUniversal cabler broke into scripted programming with dramedy “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce,” which just landed a mega three-season renewal, then comedy “Odd Mom Out,” and a new scripted series “My So Called Wife” was recently greenlit. The cable net has been picking up ratings steam lately from “Real Housewives of New York City” and another reality series “Southern Charm.” With the slew of development projects announced today, Bravo is placing a continued effort on expanding the unscripted pop culture and lifestyle genre in which they’ve had much success.

“Real Estate Wars”

Two rival real estate agencies in Orange County, California will go head to head in the ultimate competition for pride and prize to see who can sell the most property in six months. Each agency will build an all-star team as they battle for listings and fight for sales of some of the country’s most enviable estates. With egos on the line, this showdown is less about winning and more about proving who runs this city.

Produced by World of Wonder. Exec producers are Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey, Tom Campbell and Elise Duran.

“I’d Kill for That”

“Double Dare” meets Dolce & Gabbana and “Wipeout” meets Wang in this physical game show that tests how far you would go to win a Birkin bag, Louboutins worn by a coveted Bravolebrity or the latest ‘it’ watch. Each week, friends, co-workers and family members will compete against each other in a series of trivia, brain teasers and hilarious physical obstacles in hopes of winning an enviable object of their desire.

Produced by Embassy Row. Exec producers are Michael Davies, plus Realizer Productions’ Matt Berkowitz and Shauna Minoprio.


posted 5/26/16

"Runway" Gets Longer
Lifetime Reups Mothership, "All Stars", "Junior"
From Deadline

Eight years ago, Project Runway made waves in the unscripted world, moving from its original home Bravo to Lifetime to put the female-focused cable network on the reality map. The show’s deal was coming up again this year, and I hear there was interest from other networks, but the reality staple is not going anywhere. In a big, multi-show deal between Lifetime and The Weinstein Company valued at about $50 million, including a TWC movie package, the network has renewed the mothership series Project Runway for three more seasons (Seasons 16 – 18), and its spinoffs Project Runway All Stars for two (6 and 7) and Project Runway: Junior for one (3). Additionally, Lifetime has picked up to series the latest fashion reality project from TWC, Fashion Inc.

Fourteen seasons in, Project Runway continues to be a potent ratings performer. The most recent Season 14 finale last fall drew 2.52 million viewers in Live+same day and delivered some of the show’s best numbers in target demos in two years. In adults 25-54 (0.99) and women 25-54, Project Runway had not fared better since the show’s Season 12 finale in 2013. Additionally, Project Runway has garnered a best reality competition series Emmy nomination every years since its launch, along with multiple noms for hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

“Project Runway is a great franchise,” A+E president and CEO Nancy Dubuc said. “It’s got an incredibly loyal audience, it’s a brand unto itself, and it has all these Emmy nominations. We have a great relationship with Harvey, Heidi and Tim, and I’m glad its home will be here for many years to come.”

TV Line

posted 5/26/16

WEDNESDAY: And That's the Season
NBC Wins the Night, but CBS Wins the Season
From the Futon Critic

NBC (6.053 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #1) was the network to beat on the final night of the May sweeps period with the season finales of "Heartbeat" (4.220 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.7, #12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.085 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) and "Chicago PD" (6.856 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2).

CBS (5.825 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T2) then was the number two draw with its combination of a primetime "The Price Is Right" (6.681 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3), a new "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" (5.610 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5) and the season finale of "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" (5.185 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

Next up was ABC (4.219 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T2) and the feature "Finding Nemo" (4.243 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3) followed by the season finale of "Nashville" (4.172 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.275 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) offered up the season finale of "Rosewood" (3.437 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) and the return of "Wayward Pines" (3.113 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

And finally, the season finales of "Arrow" (2.207 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) and "Supernatural" (1.866 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) on The CW (2.036 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the night.

On cable...
- The Challenge: Rivals III (MTV): 841,000
- The Ultimate Fighter (FS1): 444,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 396,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/26/16

ITV Gets "Trapped"
Possessed to Produce New Series "Cash Trapped"
From World Screen

ITV Daytime has tapped Possessed to produce the new quiz show Cash Trapped, which is due to air later this year.

Cash Trapped is a new ten-episode quiz show based on an original idea from Bradley Walsh, who serves as host. On the show, six contestants face off in a series of faced-paced question rounds as they try to sabotage their opponents. At the end of each episode, the player who has earned the most cash takes on the other five contestants for the right to add more money to their winnings. If the player fails to win all of the money, everyone will remain “cash trapped” and will return to battle it out on another episode.

The show is produced by Possessed, the ITV Studios entertainment production label set up by Glenn Hugill. Cash Trapped was commissioned by ITV’s director of Daytime, Helen Warner, and is executive produced by Hugill and produced by Sarah Timbury. It will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Hugill, the managing director of Possessed, said: “Cash Trapped is addictive play along; fast, tactical and laced with original, tense reality. Best of all, it is based on a game that Bradley came up with himself and has played with his friends and family for years.”

Helen Warner, ITV’s director of Daytime, added: “Glenn Hugill and the team at Possessed have taken Bradley’s brilliant idea and turned it into a really compelling TV game show. We all loved the pilot episode and are delighted to have it in our schedule.”

World Screen
TBI Vision
Digital Spy

posted 5/26/16

Stephen Mulhern Goes For It
ITV Greenlights New Series from Potato
From ITV Press Centre

This Autumn, ITV will showcase the weird and wonderful with the arrival of a brand new skill based game show called Go For It.

Made for the channel by Potato (Ninja Warrior, The Chase), the show will be hosted by Stephen Mulhern.

Go For It aims to discover the weirdest and most unique skills that our nation has to offer and then put them to the test.

For example, only in the UK could someone guess people’s weight just by lifting them, or name 20 breeds of goat just by milking them or even recognise 30 types of wood whilst blindfolded simply by smell alone.

Each show will put these unbelievable and quirky skills to the test, will they make the nation gasp, laugh or just shock them into silence?!

Each of the challengers will get the chance to show off to the nation and get £1000 in cash if they successfully complete their unusual skill on air.

Go For It is a Potato production based on Talpa’s Challenge Me! format, which has already been produced in USA, Netherlands and Ukraine. The Executive Producers are Michael Kelpie, Martin Scott and Rachael Parker. The show has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Comedy Entertainment, Peter Davey and ITV’s Entertainment Commissioner Asif Zubairy.

ITV Press Centre
TV Wise
ATV Today

posted 5/26/16

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "De-Coupled for a Night"

  • Terence J trades in two women for 51, hosting Miss USA (The Futon Critic)

  • Artem Chingvintsev is dating a "Chicago Med" actress.... the doctor will see you now (People)

  • WHY THE (BLEEP!) IS THIS NEWS?!: Honestly, can we go one superchamp without calling him "controversial" or "polarizing"? It's ANNOYING. (JPUpdates)

  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Jane Lynch (OregonLive)

posted 5/26/16

The Wrap
"Dating Naked" Gets A New Host
Rocsi Diaz to Helm the Series June 29
From the Futon Critic

VH1 turns up the heat as the network's provocative reality dating series "Dating Naked" returns for a third season on Wednesday June 29th at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Hosted by Rocsi Diaz, this season once again features two main daters, David and Natalie, as they search for love on a tropical island paradise. Shot on location in Bora Bora, the two explore the art of romance, free of preconceived notions, stereotypes - and clothes. Each week, two new men and women will strip down for a shot at igniting a spark with our primary daters - but in the end, only one can win their hearts. Over the course of 12 one-hour episodes the competition gets HOT as sexy new singles arrive on the island each week, vying for David and Natalie's affections. Produced by Lighthearted Entertainment and VH1, "Dating Naked" season 3 premieres Wednesday, June 29th at 9:00 PM ET/PT on VH1.

The Futon Critic
Entertainment Weekly
The Wrap

posted 5/25/16

Spike's Idea of a Family Game Show
Project from A. Smith & Co. Greenlit
From AV Club

Finally, there’s a game show that prizes skills we all have in ready abundance: awkwardly talking to our families, revealing long-kept, embarrassing secrets, and pissing each other off. Spike has announced that it’s taking a break from its busy work rescuing bars and getting celebrities to pretend to be other, more musical celebrities, in order to make its first foray into the world of game shows. According to Deadline, the network is fast-tracking an untitled series in which parents and their adult children can publicly destroy their relationships in exchange for cash.

Developed by the production company behind Hell’s Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior, the series will force people to navigate an obstacle course even more perilous than the latter show’s collection of giant foam pads, swimming pools, and surplus American Gladiator equipment: talking to their mom or dad. Parent-child teams will compete to see who can identify the real secrets or revelations from their loved ones from a list of fake ones, ensuring that, win or lose, something embarrassing will likely be revealed.

AV Club

posted 5/25/16

Napa Gets Chopped
Grill Masters Tournament Set for July
From the Futon Critic

Chopped is heading outdoors to beautiful Beringer Vineyards, located in Napa Valley, California, as sixteen grilling experts compete in Chopped Grill Masters Napa, premiering Tuesday, July 5th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. Hosted by Ted Allen, this special five-part themed tournament includes sixteen grilling professionals from around the country facing off for a chance at a $50,000 grand prize. Each episode includes four chefs competing over three rounds, with recurring Chopped and special guest judges deciding the fates for each pro. The winner from each heat wins $10,000 and a spot in the grand finale, to see who will walk away with $50,000 more.

"These talented Grill Masters are dropped into the beautiful wine country of Napa Valley, with their grills fired up to face some of the toughest mystery baskets yet," said Didi O'Hearn, Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network & Cooking Channel. "With world-class judges watching their every move in this intense outdoor competition, these pros have to prove they have what it takes for a chance at $50,000."

With access to an outdoor kitchen of ingredients and armed with charcoal and propane grills, as well as a smoker at each cooking station, the sixteen competitors must incorporate mandatory ingredients from the mystery baskets through three rounds - appetizer, entrée and dessert - showcasing their grilling skills to create unique and savory dishes. Over five episodes these grill pros must not only battle each other, but also take on the elements as they face the intensity of the heat from the grills and weather, along with some surprise appearances from bees that make cooking outside that much more challenging.

Get more from the Chopped Grill Masters Napa tournament at, where you'll uncover photo and video highlights and hear from the winners. Join in on all the fun at #Chopped.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/25/16

TUESDAY: Over in a Flash
"The Voice", NBC Dominate the Field
From TV Line

After settling for a tie with ABC’s Bachelorette on Monday, NBC’s The Voice easily topped Dancing With the Stars on Tuesday, in a battle of championship ceremonies.

The Voice led the night in both measures with 10.4 million total viewers and a 2.1 demo rating, though down 18 and 28 percent from its previous coronation ceremony. DWTS meanwhile drew 10.3 mil and a 1.6, hitting and tying season lows and dropping 24 and 33 percent from its previous Mirror Ball Trophy hand-off.

Opening ABC’s night, Fresh Off the Boat‘s season finale (4.9 mil/1.2) saw its best audience since Feb. 2 while rising a tenth in the demo. Real O’Neals (4.2 mil/1.0) also ticked up.

Elsewhere in the ratings….

THE CW | The Flash (3.3 mil/1.2) dipped a tenth week-to-week and was off 15 and 20 percent from its freshman finale. Containment (1.5 mil/0.5) was steady.

CBS | The Price Is Right (6.4 mil/1.1) slipped two tenths from Monday’s primetime edition. A double pump of Person of Interest did 5.3 mil/0.9 and 4.9 mil/0.9, both down from last Tuesday’s NCISes-assisted 7 mil/1.1.

FOX | Hotel Hell (2.5 mil/0.8) dropped hard from its previous, long-ago season premiere (4 mil/1.5). Coupled (1.3 mil/0.5) dropped some eyeballs vs. its debut but was steady in the demo.

On cable...
- The Dunk King (TNT/SF): 2.109 million
- Ink Master (Spike/SF): 1.161 million
- Chopped Junior (Food): 904,000
- Chopped (Food): 850,000
- First Impressions (USA): 454,000
- America's Greatest Makers (TBS/SF): 378,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 337,000
- Idiotest (GSN/10p): 288,000
- Separation Anxiety (TBS): 263,000
- Idiotest (GSN/10:30p): 243,000

TV Line
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/25/16

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "And That's the Season"

  • ICYMI: a comedy legend plays @midnight (Nerdist)

  • VIDEO WALL: Wheel ended somewhat unexpectedly tonight (Entertainment Weekly) (SPOILERS AHEAD!)

  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Ken Jennings (TV Insider)

posted 5/25/16

CBS/Fremantle Media North America
MONDAY: When "Price" Gets Real
CBS Places On the Map, But Night Belonged to Finales
From Zap2it

ABC (8.536 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) pulled into the top spot among adults 18-49 with a new "Dancing with the Stars" (12.139 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T2) and the return of "The Bachelorette" (6.734 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1).

NBC (8.714 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then had to settle for second place with a new "The Voice" (10.056 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T2) and the season finale of "Blindspot" (6.031 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4).

Next up was CBS (5.400 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) and its combination of a primetime "The Price Is Right" (6.188 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4), a new "The Odd Couple" (4.574 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #7), the season finale of "The Odd Couple" (4.564 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8) and a new "Person of Interest" (5.443 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.105 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) offered up the season finale of "Gotham" (3.611 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #6) and an original "Houdini & Doyle" (2.598 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #10).

And finally, a new "Reign" (0.986 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.3, #13) led into the return of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.275 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T11) and a second "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.462 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T11) on The CW (1.177 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5).

On cable...
- Kids BBQ Championship (Food/P): 773,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 315,000

Channel Guide
The Hollywood Reporter
Albany Herald
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/24/16

SYNDIES: Week 35
Results for the Week Ending May 15
From TV News Check

As expected, ratings for Live with Kelly & Michael jumped in co-host Michael Strahan’s bittersweet final week. However, it was not enough to overtake talk show leader Dr. Phil.

In the second full session of the May sweep ending May 15, Phil, which has been the top talker for 18 of the past 19 weeks (with one tie), rolled to a first-place 3.4 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating , up 6% for both the week and the year, and its strongest showing since the February sweep. Phil was also No. 1 in talk among women 25-54, adding 7% to deliver a 1.6 in the key demo.

Family Feud was unchanged at a 7.0, but easily won the game show race for the third straight week.


1. Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 7.0 NC
2. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 6.3 NC
3. Jeopardy (CTD) 6.0 +2%
4. Celebrity Name Game (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 1.4 NC
5. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) 1.3 NC

TV Newscheck

posted 5/24/16

WEEKEND: Superstar Friday
CBS, ABC Split Finale Friday
From The Futon Critic

ABC (4.887 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #1) took home the demo honors on Friday with its mix of "Beyond the Tank" (3.910 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T6), the season finale of "Shark Tank" (5.458 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T1) and "20/20" (5.294 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T1).

NBC (4.173 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #2) then was the number two draw with a new "Grimm" (4.125 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) followed by the season finale of "Grimm" (4.148 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) and "Dateline NBC" (4.247 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3).

Next up was CBS (5.016 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.7, #3) and its combination of "New I Love Lucy Superstar Special" (5.430 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T6), a special "Undercover Boss" (4.030 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8) and a repeat "Blue Bloods" (5.587 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.944 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4) offered up the feature "Easy A" (1.944 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #10).

And finally, the return of "Masters of Illusion" (1.492 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T11), a second "Masters of Illusion" (1.395 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T11) and the season finale of "The Originals" (0.943 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T11) on The CW (1.193 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) rounded out the night.

On cable Friday...
- Binge Thinking (MTV2): 124,000

On cable Sunday...
- The Dunk King (TNT): 1.777 million
- Food Network Star (Food/SP): 1.640 million
- Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen (Food/S): 1.448 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 894,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/24/16

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "The Light at the End of the Tunnel"

  • And for the second time in four years, America's Most Watched Network is... (Deadline)

  • VIDEO WALL: Craig Ferguson wants to be King George (Broadway World)

  • Ashley Hebert, JP Rosenbaum got a blessing coming down (Instagram)

  • Prepare for The Most Dramatic Season of "The Bachelorette" Ever! Chris Harrison means it this time! (Yahoo!)

  • Blake Shelton calls dating Gwen Stefani "odd... but fun." (Reality TV World)

  • Vernon Kay recalls doing "Million Dollar Mindgame" in a London accent. No seriously. (Radio X)

  • Esquire Network to marathon "Ninja Warrior" all weekend (The Futon Critic)

  • IN MEMORIAM: Jeanne Parr (1924-2016) (Fox News) on "What's My Line" from 1966 (YouTube)

posted 5/24/16

Coren Gets "500 Questions".... No, Not That One
Giles Coren to Host UK Edition of ABC Series
From Digital Spy

Giles Coren is fronting ITV's brand new quiz show.

500 Questions is coming to the channel, following its successful launch in the US last year.

Giles Coren is presenting a UK adaptation of the reality competition produced by Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice US and Survivor heavy-hitter Mark Burnett.

The gruelling game tests contestants' trivia knowledge by relentlessly tossing tough questions at them - with no outside lifelines, hints or other helpful twists used on other game shows.

Each contestant is under constant threat of elimination if they ever get three questions in a row incorrect.

"500 Questions is a show that genuinely acknowledges intelligence and tactics," Coren has said.

"To win you have to be resilient and you have to be smart. It feels exciting and original… and the questions really are tough."

ITV will premiere the debut series of 500 Questions later this year.

Digital Spy
ATV Today

posted 5/23/16

"Carpool Karaoke" Is Open
CBS Announces Format Rights
From The Futon Critic

CBS Studios International along with Fulwell 73, today announced that CARPOOL KARAOKE, the global viral video sensation broadcast on CBS's THE LATE LATE SHOW with JAMES CORDEN, is now available as a format to international broadcasters.

The CARPOOL KARAOKE segment is the most social hit ever on U.S. late night television, with almost 600 million views on YouTube since its inception only a year ago. The show has quickly become known for attracting the world's biggest stars including Adele and Justin Bieber, whose CARPOOL KARAOKE segments are currently the #1 and #2 most watched Late Night clips on YouTube*, along with Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, Gwen Stefani, Elton John and One Direction.

In each 30 or 60 minute episode the host of the show picks up a singer or celebrity and drives them in a Carpool Karaoke car, specially fitted with state of the art cameras, ready to capture the fun.

For broadcasters, the CARPOOL KARAOKE format creates a more intimate environment for interviews and at the same time gives an audience their favorite music of all time. A combination of music, comedy and documentary makes CARPOOL KARAOKE one of the world's most talked about shows.

"Ever since CARPOOL KARAOKE has aired as part of THE LATE LATE SHOW with JAMES CORDEN, the requests for the format have been overwhelming," said Paul Gilbert, Senior Vice President of International Formats, CBS Studios International. "International broadcasters can now leverage CARPOOL KARAOKE's huge digital and broadcast success for their own local viewers."

"This is a very exciting format, one which gets the best interviews, and fun, out of every guest that appears, due to its most intimate setting," said Ben Winston, Executive Producer, THE LATE LATE with JAMES CORDEN, co-director of production company Fulwell 73.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/23/16

"Biggest Loser" Is in Big Trouble... Allegedly
Contestants Claim They Were Encouraged to Starve, Take Drugs

Over the weekend, a New York Post report surfaced in which a former "The Biggest Loser" contestant claimed she was forced to use weight-loss drugs in order to shed pounds on the NBC reality show.

The producers of the show, however, have denied any such activity in a statement on Monday.

"The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and has always been, paramount," reads the statement from "The Biggest Loser" producers. "Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight loss drugs. We prohibit the use of any illegal substances, in addition to the many other rules and procedures of the show that are designed to ensure safety."

The Post report, which followed the release of a six-year study that found that most former contestants gain a significant amount of weight back after leaving the show, quotes former contestant Joelle Gwynn, who made explosive claims about the show and trainer Bob Harper in particular.

"Bob Harper was my trainer," she said in the report. "He goes away and his assistant comes in. He's got this brown paper bag that's bundled up. He says, 'Take this drug, it'll really help you.' It was yellow and black. I was like, 'What the f-k is this?'"

Gwynn went on to say that she felt "jittery and hyper." "I went and told the sports medicine guy," she continued. "The next day, Dr. H [the show's resident doctor, Dr. Rob Huizenga] gave us some lame explanation of why they got added to our regimen and that it was up to us to take them."

"People chastise Bill Cosby for allegedly offering meds to women, but it's acceptable to do to fat people to make them lose weight," Gwynn said. "I feel like we got raped, too"

Suzanne Mendonca, a contestant in season two, also said in the report that contestants would go to extremes to lose weight. She said they would utilize "amphetamines, water pills, diuretics, and throw up in the bathroom," and claimed that Harper in particular told people to vomit to lose weight. "I vomited every single day," she said.

Huizenga also denied these claims, telling the Post that contestants "rarely" get to the point of dizziness. "Furthermore, I educate contestants that proper caloric intake is essential to fat loss both over the short and long term," he added.

Several former "Biggest Loser" contestants also jumped to defend the show. Vencent Van-Zant Hickerson of season 12 posted on his Facebook page that "Biggest Loser" never asked him to use any drugs.

posted 5/23/16

Disney-ABC Domestic TV
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Moves to Vegas for Season 15
From The Futon Critic

The long-running, popular game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" is moving its production to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning with the upcoming 2016-2017 season. Hosted by Chris Harrison, "Millionaire" will tape its shows at Bally's Las Vegas in front of a live studio audience. Entering its 15th season in national syndication, "Millionaire" will premiere on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016.

Las Vegas is one of the premier entertainment capitals of the world. Millions have been entertained over the years at Bally's Las Vegas, which now will become the new home of "Millionaire."

"Millionaire" features contestants from all over the country and from all walks of life, and remains a game in which anyone can walk in and win big. In the show's classic format, contestants must answer 14 trivia questions correctly with the aid of three lifelines - Ask the Audience, Plus One and 50/50 - in order to win $1 million. Contestants also can win big as they navigate their way up the ladder, as the tension and difficulty build with each question, along with the prize money. Since the show debuted in syndication in 2002, contestants have won nearly $95 million.

For the last two seasons, "Millionaire" has taped at the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford. Before that, and since its US premiere in 1999, the show has originated from New York City, first at ABC Television Center and then at Metropolis Studios at 106 & Park.

The Futon Critic
Stamford Advocate
KTNV Las Vegas
TV Newscheck
Broadway World
TBI Vision

posted 5/23/16

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posted 5/23/16

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