GSN announced today that stand-up comedian Ben Gleib will host at least 40 episodes of a new game show for the cable network based on the popular mobile app game, “Idiot Test.”
The game pits two pairs of contestants with pre-existing fan rivals of one sort or another against each other, answering questions any “idiot” already should know.
“I’m very excited to be hosting this show because it’s a perfect fit for my comedy,” Gleib told The Comic’s Comic following GSN’s Upfront presentation to advertisers in New York City today. “I’ve always done a lot of crowd work in my stand-up, so making fun of people is kind of a specialty of mine. GSN hired me to be myself and make the show funny, so I’m taking that as permission to go a little crazy on our contestants. Also, since the questions are brain puzzles that really test people’s intelligence, I’m looking forward to acting a lot smarter than I am, and hoping no one notices.”
“I really want to thank everyone at GSN for believing in me enough to give me a show,” Gleib said. “If I were a network exec I probably would not have made that mistake. But I’m gonna run with it.”
Gleib already had a working relationship with the network, previously hosting GSN Live. He also has appeared regularly on E!’s Chelsea Lately, and voiced Marshall the Sloth in the big-screen animated sequel, Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Idiot Test is executive produced for GSN by Adam Rosenblatt, Jamie Rosenblatt, and Christian Horner of H2R Productions; Ryan Devlin and Shawn Greenson of He Shoots, He Scores Productions; and Larry Barron and Ryan Curtis. Mark Cronin of Little Wooden Boat Productions will also serve as Executive Producer.
Gleib showed up at the GSN upfronts alongside returning game-show hosts DeRay Davis (Mind of a Man), Rebecca Romijn (Skin Wars), and Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett (The Chase).
The network revealed it’s having its best ever January and February ratings-wise, following a 2013 that saw total viewership rise by 13 percent over the year before.
GSN’s announcements included third seasons for The Chase, as well as The American Bible Challenge (hosted by Jeff Foxworthy), new dating series partnering with ChristianMingle in It Takes a Church (hosted by Natalie Grant), and the following pilots and development slate, with descriptions provided by the network:
APP WARS (pilot ordered): Got the next Flappy Bird? How many times have you seen a hot app and thought, ‘I could have thought of that?” APP WARS gives fledgling app creators their chance at stardom. In each self-contained show, five contestants present their original app ideas to a panel of judges. The top three ideas continue on as contestants are paired with mentors who help develop the look, feel and functionality of the apps. After a final beta-testing showdown between the top two contestants, our panel awards a cash prize. APP WARS is executive produced by Cheri Brownlee of Cheri Sundae Productions.
SAY WHAT? (working title) (pilot ordered): We’ve been playing a version of Telephone since we were kids. SAY WHAT? (working title) brings the childhood favorite into the 21st Century. Based on a format from Nippon Television, SAY WHAT? (working title) is a humorous contest that pits two teams of five against one another in a high stakes test of memory. The teams initially must pass a phrase or expression down their telephone chain before a timed partition drops between them. The tension ratchets up in our next round as contestants utilize everything from art supplies to musical instruments on their way to EXTREME TELEPHONE, the high-paced third round. The winning team goes on to the bonus round for an opportunity to win big money in this fun and frenetic game. SAY WHAT? (working title) is executive produced by Kevin Healey and Jesse Fawcett of Essential 11 Television along with Darryl Trell and Howard Kitrosser of Smoke And Mirrors Creative.
ORIGINAL SERIES IN DEVELOPMENT
THE TUNNEL (working title): The human mind is like a maze. THE TUNNEL (working title) puts contestants there, literally. Combining trivia knowledge with chess-like cunning — all in the dark! The game pits three trivia buffs against one another – each in their own physical tunnel. After answering a question correctly, a contestant gets one step closer to exiting THE TUNNEL and a cash prize. But in addition to moving toward escape, contestants must block their opponents’ moves by memorizing players’ locations. Our winning player takes home the cash of defeated opponents, making strategy as critical as trivia knowledge. THE TUNNEL (working title) is a game of skill, memory, and strategy. Based on a format from Absolutely Independent and executive produced by Scott St. John (“Deal or No Deal”) of Entertain The Brutes.
HEAVY BETTERS (working title): Put your money where your mouth is. Diet bets are popping up everywhere — online, in gyms, at weight-loss classes, and especially as intense wagers among friends, spouses, and coworkers. They’re big because they work. Those who stood to lose money if they didn’t succeed in shedding weight were about five times as likely to reach their goal. HEAVY BETTERS (working title), goes inside the diet betting craze sweeping the nation as two teams of plus-size co-workers compete against each other in the ultimate weight loss wager. For the winning team a cash prize awaits – but will all the co-workers pull their own weight? HEAVY BETTERS (working title) is an original format from GSN & Savannah Media. Eric Evangelista and Shannon Evangelista of Hot Snakes Media serve as Executive Producers along with Richard Drew of Savannah Media.
THE LINE: THE LINE is a traveling game show that sets up shop in different cities across America. Potential contestants will join THE LINE in the hopes of making it to the front of the line to the Tent where contestants enter one at a time to try to win the jackpot. But in this game, getting to the front of the line is part of the challenge. The road to the tent is fraught with chances to move up, move or be eliminated altogether. THE LINE will culminate with a season finale that will air on live television on GSN. THE LINE is from ITV Studios and High Noon Entertainment.
STAR CROSSED LOVERS (working title): You have notoriously bad taste in lovers. Online dating is a bust, and your friend’s setups are even worse. It’s time for a radical new approach to dating. STAR CROSSED LOVERS is a new twist on a dating game designed to help lovelorn singles find their perfect match by crowd-sourcing opinions from the ones we trust the most – celebrities! After a series of getting-to-know-you games with the participation of a panel of fun, opinionated stars — the Bachelorette (or Bachelor) will have to choose a match. If his/her pick matches the panel’s, the new couple will win an extravagant date. STAR CROSSED LOVERS is a World of Wonder Production with Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Tom Campbell Serving as Executive Producers.