[07/07/08 - 11:36 AM]
GSN Premieres 'Catch 21' on July 21, 2008
Alfonso Ribeiro hosts the series, which will air weeknights at 7:30/6:30c.

[via press release from GSN]

GSN Premieres 'CATCH 21' on July 21, 2008

Alfonso Ribeiro Makes His Game Show Host Debut, Weeknights at 7:30PM E/6:30PM C

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 7 -- GSN announced today the premiere of CATCH 21(TM) an original, 40-episode-series, beginning on Monday July 21st at 7:30PM E/6:30PM C. The new television series, created by executive producer Merrill Heatter and executive produced by Scott Sternberg, comes to GSN with fast-action entertainment that blends pop trivia with the tension-filled excitement of the classic card game, 21. Alfonso Ribeiro makes his game show host debut quizzing contestants three at a time, as they compete to win larger-than-life playing cards and try to build the closest hand to 21. With every card they are dealt, contestants gain the power to make their opponent's hand worse by passing their card. The popular online casual game, CATCH 21, was created by WorldWinner and is available on GSN.com.

Harnessing the popularity of the CATCH 21 online game, the new CATCH 21 is the latest example of a true cross-platform collaboration for GSN. One of the top games on GSN.com, the online game challenges players to speed through a deck of cards to make as many 21s as possible within the time limit. Hundreds of thousands of online game players now have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite casual game as a TV show, while TV viewers can become contestants by logging on and competing against other players for cash and prizes. CATCH 21 will also be available as a free Flash game on GSN.com and AOL's Games.com, and as a free, advertising-supported mobile game, developed in collaboration with mobile publisher Cellufun.

"Merrill Heatter is a legend and he and Scott Sternberg Productions have done an amazing job bringing this classic card game to life in a fun way that engages the audience," said Jamie Roberts, Senior Vice President of Programming, GSN. "Alfonso really embraced his first role as a game show host and his enthusiasm and personality shine through to the contestants, audience and viewers alike."

Veteran game show producer and four-time Emmy(R) Award winner, Heatter said, "The anticipation element that viewers will experience with every turn of a card will keep the viewer at the edge of their seats and invite them to play-along with every decision the contestants make."

Ribeiro, who's well-known for his role on the hit 90's show "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and his $100,000 win on "Celebrity Duets" (donated to charity), makes his game show host debut and said of his experience, "Working with GSN and Merrill Heatter has been a great first opportunity. Tune in and check it out for yourself. It's definitely a catch!"

This show is part knowledge, part nerve and part strategy, every correct answer is a chance to add a card and build a better hand or pass the card and "bust" the competition. Putting a twist on a classic and very familiar game, players match wits and put victory on the line in every round with the turn of a card and the next correct answer. In addition, every correct answer gives a player control of the deck and the option of "freezing" their hand to protect themselves from being "busted" later in the round.

After three elimination rounds of exhilarating game-play, the last player standing takes on the house for a shot at up to $25,000 cash in the final prize round. The day's winner draws from a larger-than-life deck and gets three concurrent chances to build 21, and the use of up to three "power chips" (collected for each round won) to discard unwanted cards. With the potential cash prize increasing with every hand successfully built to 21, the jackpot is theirs if the player is able to build all three hands to 21.

This new television series was created by executive producer Merrill Heatter, whose credits include creating and producing "The Hollywood Squares," "High Rollers," "Gambit" and more than 30 other television series. Sternberg's game show credits include "Rock and Roll Jeopardy," two seasons of "That's The Question" for GSN, and "The Gong Show." GSN's latest franchise endeavor deals a full deck of fun and entertainment.

Leading up to the premiere of CATCH 21, GSN will broadcast THE MAKING OF A GAME SHOW: CATCH 21, a 30-minute behind-the-scenes special that will provide viewers with inside access to the show with interviews and exclusive footage featuring Ribeiro. The behind-the-scenes special will air on Saturday July 19th at 4:00PM E/3:00PM C and Sunday July 20th at 2:00PM E/1:00PM C and 10:00PM E/9:00PM C.

Following original runs of CATCH 21, weeknights at 7:30PM E/6:30PM C, repeat episodes will air Tuesdays through Saturdays at 10:00PM E/9:00PM C and Sundays at 10:00PM E/9:00PM C and 10:30PM E /9:30PM C.

GSN is an industry-leading, game content provider distributing competition programming through its 66-million subscriber cable television network and its casual and online competition games site, GSN.com. As the premier television network for games, GSN produces some of the most popular original game tournaments and free games. GSN is distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada by all major cable operators, satellite providers and telcos. The company is jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media Corporation.

  [july 2008]  


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