TLC therapist tapped to host U.K. import
GSN is moving forward on “Without Prejudice?,” setting a host and premiere date for the Blighty import in which contestants are awarded money based on how they come across to strangers.Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist who hosts TLC’s “One Week to Save Your Marriage,” will host the hourlong GSN series. It will air Tuesdays at 9, starting July 17. GSN and the producers also are offering up more details about the show’s U.S. format. As in the U.K., “Prejudice” will feature a panel of five average people judging which of five other people gets a sum of money ($25,000). Contestants are eliminated over the course of several rounds, with the first cut made after the panel has seen just 15 seconds worth of pre-taped material about each player. Each subsequent round gives the judges more information about the players, including a chance for the judges to grill players about their views on controversial issues — abortion, immigration, gay marriage, etc. Panelists can ask any question they want, except how the contestants will spend the coin. David Young, managing director of “Prejudice” producer 12 Yard, said the biggest different between the U.S. and Blighty versions of the show will be the contestants. “Americans aren’t afraid of saying what they think,” Young said. “People in the U.K. are slightly more reserved. We’d rather dance around the issues than discuss them.” The “Prejudice” format has been around for a couple of years, with the original skein airing on BBC America. U.S. broadcasters seemed reluctant to pick up the format, in part because of concerns that audiences wouldn’t like the idea of players being eliminated because of how they looked or acted. “All credit to GSN for being brave enough to run this show,” Young said, noting the cabler ordered the skein before the Don Imus brouhaha put the spotlight on stereotypes. In addition to the TLC skein, Ludwig has had plenty of media experience, serving as a regular contributor to NBC’s “Today,” Fox News and Court TV. She recently served as a guest host for CNN’s “Larry King Live.” While most quizzers are hosted by entertainers, Young said “Prejudice” required someone “with a psychological background.” “We always felt it was a job for someone who understood people (and) the way they behaved,” he said. GSN has ordered eight hourlong episodes of “Prejudice,” which is being exec produced by Young and Andrew Culpin. Other 12 Yard series adapted for the U.S. include “The Weakest Link” and “Dog Eat Dog,” both of which aired on NBC.