[05/23/05 - 12:00 AM]
GSN's Summer Programming Features a Record Number of Original Episodes, Including Two New Series and Four Returning Shows

[via press release from GSN]

GSN's Summer Programming Features a Record Number of Original Episodes, Including Two New Series and Four Returning Shows

Over 50 Original Episodes Will Air During Summer - Shows Include Smack-Talking Billiards Show BALLBREAKERS, Original Documentary Series ANYTHING TO WIN and Return of the Popular Word Game LINGO

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 23 -- GSN, the network for games, is getting the summer started with a record number of over 50 original episodes, including two brand new series and four returning shows. Providing viewers with fresh entertainment all season long, the new series joining GSN's programming lineup are BALLBREAKERS, a sleek, contemporary nine-ball billiards show and ANYTHING TO WIN, a weekly documentary series profiling competitors often unbelievable attempts to win at any cost. Continuing successful runs on the network with new episodes are EXTREME DODGEBALL, LINGO, POKER ROYALE and KENNY VS. SPENNY. The announcement was made today by Ian Valentine, Senior Vice President, Programming, GSN.

"GSN's summer slate continues to expand the kinds of games and programming possible on our network," remarked Valentine. "BALLBREAKERS recasts television pool as a sexy game with high stakes. EXTREME DODGEBALL continues its amazing evolution with more action and intensity than ever. Our team makes the best poker on television and COMEDIANS VS. PROS delivers strong entertainment again. Kenny and Spenny continue to be outrageous and funny. LINGO is a classic that we're thrilled to bring back. Finally, ANYTHING TO WIN allows us to take on great personalities and strong conflicts. Since rebranding over one year ago, we have been successful in our efforts to attract younger viewers in all dayparts and these new originals will continue the trend."

GSN's summer sizzles beginning Friday, July 8 with the debut of POKER ROYALE: COMEDIANS VS. PROS. Some of the country's funniest comedians like Paul Rodriguez, Robert Wuhl and Carol Leifer will take on such professional poker tournament winners as Phil Laak "The Unabomber," David Williams and Robert Williamson III in high-stakes Texas Hold'Em poker for the 12 week series. GSN's fourth poker installment airs as part of the network's branded Casino Night franchise Friday nights at 10 PM ET/PT.

The buddy-comedy-competition series, KENNY VS. SPENNY, returns Monday, July 11 (1:00-1:30 AM ET/PT). The late night cult favorite will feature 26 new episodes and will air Monday through Thursday nights. The program, starring long time chums Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice, features challenges of physical endurance, wit, talent, charm and, for the loser, humiliation. Some of the new competitions include who can dance the longest, who is funniest and who is the best salesman.

The exciting new billiards series BALLBREAKERS (formerly titled No Limit 9 Ball) premieres Monday, July 18 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) and features amateur pool sharks battling in winner-take-all episodes for $20,000. Hosted by Sal Masekela ("X Games") and co-hosted by Ewa Mataya Laurance, known as the "Striking Viking" in the billiard industry, the series will also include two celebrity episodes featuring Tia Carrere ("Wayne's World"), Lou Diamond Phillips ("La Bamba"), Camryn Manheim ("The Practice") and Eric Roberts ("Less Than Perfect") in one and Noah Wyle and Goran Visnjic ("ER"), Dorian Harewood ("Roots") and Julie McCullough ("Growing Pains") in another, all competing to earn money for their favorite charity. Adrianne Curry, winner of the first season of "America's Next Top Model," will serve as the series' rack girl.

EXTREME DODGEBALL is back for its third and most competitive season beginning Tuesday, July 19 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT). This season features dramatic changes: new rules, a new arena, new teams and celebrity captain players, as well as the first league commissioner, Rip Torn, star of last summer's hit film "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." EXTREME DODGEBALL's dynamic announcing duo of play-by-play announcer Bil Dwyer and color commentator Zach Selwyn are back to call the action joined by sideline reporter Michele Merkin.

The celebrity captains are both actors and athletes: Jeremiah Trotter (Philadelphia Eagles) anchors the Philadelphia Benjamins; Mario Lopez leads the Los Angeles Armed Response; Hal Sparks captains the Chicago Hitmen; Tara Dakides (Olympic snowboarding medalist) directs the Denver Hurlers; Mia St. John (pro boxer) spars for the New York Bling; and Kerri Walsh (Olympic Beach Volleyball Champion) takes control of the Detroit Spoilers.

Premiering Monday, August 1, is GSN's popular word game show LINGO. LINGO, in its fourth season, will air back-to-back weeknights at 7:00 and 7:30 PM ET/PT respectively. This season promises special "themed" episodes of the high-energy game in which two teams of two compete against one another to guess concealed five letter words for cash prizes.

ANYTHING TO WIN, the network's first documentary series, debuts Sunday, August 14 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT). The one-hour episodes will showcase real-life stories of attempts to win fame, glory and money at all costs. Some stories that the series will unravel with new interviews and never-before-seen footage are Rosie Ruiz's 1980 "win" in the Boston Marathon; the MIT students blackjack card-counting scheme and the computer programmer who tried to ensure his own betting victory in the Breeder's Cup.

As the undisputed leader in interactive television with over 130 hours a week, GSN will continue to produce enhanced programming components for each new and returning series for summer. ITV players who log on to GSN.com will be able to play along with the same poker hands as the pros they are watching on POKER ROYALE: COMEDIANS VS. PROS; guess at the same time what five-letter-word is being featured on LINGO and pick up nine-ball tips from the pros on BALLBREAKERS. GSN interactive users in Hawaii play along with GSN's shows in real time via their remote controls, while all others play along with their computers for a two-screen approach. In addition to the sync-to-broadcast technologies, GSN also transmits complementary series tips, tricks and information via mobile transmissions. Every two screen interactive player on GSN.com earns valuable points which they can redeem toward Sony electronics and other great prizes through GSN's loyalty program, GSN Rewards.

Friday, July 8 -- (10-11 PM ET/PT) -- "Poker Royale: Comedians vs. Pros"
Monday, July 11 -- (1-1:30 AM ET - PT M-Th) -- "Kenny vs. Spenny"
Monday, July 18 -- (10-11 PM ET/PT) -- "Ballbreakers"
Tuesday, July 19 (10-11 PM ET/PT) -- "Extreme Dodgeball"
Monday, August 1 (7-7:30 PM ET/PT, 7:30-8:00 PM ET/PT Daily) -- "Lingo"
Sunday, August 14 (10-11 PM ET/PT) -- "Anything to Win"

GSN, the Network for Games, is the only U.S. television network dedicated to game-related programming and interactive game playing. The network features game shows, reality series, documentaries, alternative sports programs and casino games. As the industry leader in interactivity, GSN features interactive programming for every original broadcast, allowing viewers a chance to win prizes by playing along with GSN's televised games via GSN.com. Reaching 56 million Nielsen homes, GSN is distributed in the U.S. through all major cable systems and satellite providers. The network is jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media Corporation. For further media information, visit GSN's press website at corp.gsn.com.

Web Site: http://www.gsn.com

  [may 2005]  

· ER (NBC)

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