Soap actor to host gameshow

Soap star Ty Treadway has been tapped to host the upcoming syndie gameshow “Let’s Play Crosswords” by the strip’s producers, Merv Griffin Entertainment and Program Partners.

Treadway is best known for his role as Dr. Colin MacIver on “One Life to Live” as well as his stint as co-host with Lisa Rinna of SoapNet’s lifestyle talk show, “Soap Talk.” The three-time Emmy nominee joins a seasoned team of gameshow production talent largely hand-picked by Griffin to kick off the series in September.

Griffin also had a direct hand in selecting hosts of his other gameshow stalwarts, including Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak and Ryan Seacrest.

“Ty exudes the kind of energy that will keep audiences engaged and excited. We are looking toward a long and successful association,” Griffin said.

A number of longtime Griffin team associates are involved in the new production. Raymond Brune and Andrew Yani, co-heads of TV for Merv Griffin Entertainment, will oversee the half-hour strip along with Griffin. Brennan Huntington will be the showrunner, and Robert Rang will design the set. Tony Garofalo, who has worked on everything from “The Merv Griffin Show” to “Dance Fever,” is consulting producer.

Cleared so far by Program Partners in 30 of the top 40 U.S. markets, “Let’s Play Crosswords” is being pitched to stations as “a fast-paced, new-generation Q&A gameshow in the vein of other Griffin-backed classics.”

Brune and Yani launched Kimo Jagger Prods. in 2004 and entered into an exclusive producing partnership with Merv Griffin Entertainment in 2005.

Indie distributor Program Partners was founded two years ago by syndie vets Ritch Colbert and Josh Raphaelson.

In addition to “Let’s Play Crosswords,” Griffin Entertainment is in production on the second season of “Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead” for Lifetime.

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