The Game Show Network has ordered 25 more episodes of rookie series “National Lampoon’s Funny Money” before the first 40 half-hours have even premiered.
“The show has tested so well that it was an easy decision,” GSN prexy-CEO Rich Cronin said.
“Funny Money” will make its debut June 15 at 10 p.m. as part of GSN’s most ambitious programming initiative ever, a two-hour block of four original shows under the umbrella title Sunday Night Buzz.
Block kicks off with new episodes of the returning “Lingo” at 9 followed by the premiere of “Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned” at 9:30, GSN’s first reality series. For “Naturally Stoned,” Woolery invited GSN’s cameras to tag along as he prepared for his hosting chores on “Lingo,” also following him home to Park City, Utah. Commitment is for six half-hours, with more to come if the show finds an audience.
“Funny Money” at 10 leads into fresh episodes of the returning series “Cram,” featuring celebrities as contestants.
Cronin calls “Funny Money” a hybrid comedy gameshow, the first of its kind produced by National Lampoon. Show begins with two contestants answering questions about comedy. The contestant who gets the first right answer chooses a comedian from among three on deck for each show. The comedian does some jokes, and the contestant gets points for each laugh.
“Funny Money,” hosted by comic Jimmy Pardo, will run every weeknight at 10, but the Sunday episodes will consist of special celebrity-studded half-hours taped at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. Regular “Funny Money” episodes come out of Universal City.
Cronin said GSN is bookending the block with the network’s highest-visibility off-net shows: “The Weakest Link,” hosted by Anne Robinson, at 8 and “Greed,” hosted by Woolery, at 11.