GSN’s official description no longer uses “Game Show Network” -- and for good reason. The network is moving aggressively to offer its twists on reality TV genres that have helped networks from truTV to Spike to Food Network.
In the crazy-family-business genre, GSN is developing “The Family Trade,” about a family GMC/Ford dealership in Vermont, where founder Gardner Stone is happy to trade a customer a new vehicle for something he thinks he can sell, from pigs to coffins.
His son and daughter aren’t always in agreement with him about what marks a good deal, and they are left to sell what Dad has acquired.
In the auction-gems category, the network is prepping “War of the Rose Sisters,” about a family of female auctioneers who sell big bucks worth of jewelry, cars, antiques, etc. Story lines come from the auction battles and competition among the sisters and one daughter.
In the window-into-wacky genre comes “Crowning Glory,” which focuses on an assortment of pageants across the country that “celebrate virtually every type of subculture,” such as Miss Rodeo America and the Zombie Pin-Up. The show will follow a trio of contestants getting ready to compete all the way through the results.
That’s not to say GSN isn’t looking to continue resuscitating old game-show formats or offer up new ones. Its version of “The Newlywed Game” will return for a sixth season and a new take on the “$100,000 Pyramid” is set, while comedian Jeff Foxworthy will host “The American Bible Challenge,” a trivia competition in the pilot stage where victors will donate winnings to faith-based organizations.
It’s also hard for networks to avoid food -- and GSN has given the green light to “Beat the Chefs,” where regular folks put prized family recipes to the test in competition against professional chefs with expert food critics as judges.
GSN, which is in 75 million homes, made its announcements Wednesday to stir up interest in another sort of auction: its upfront market. The programming is the first slate developed under new programming chief Amy Introcaso-Davis, who stated that GSN sees “an opportunity to expand our brand promise by broadening the definition of television games to include a variety of programming that stays true to our core attributes: the excitement and fun of winning, entertainment for the whole family and viewer engagement.”