HLN Shelves Ellen DeGeneres-Produced ‘Heads Up’ Game Show (EXCLUSIVE)

Ellen DeGeneres Show
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television

“Heads Up!” is a popular segment on Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running talk show that has the host trying to guess phrases and words that the guest acts out, or vice versa. The concept is so winning that it has spurred its own app.

At HLN, however, a series based on the idea, hosted by Loni Love, is being shelved prior to airing with 65 completed episodes in the can.

The Time Warner-owned cable network, a sister to CNN known best for its coverage of headline news and courtroom drama as well as Nancy Grace’s primetime show, will not air the program, a network spokeswoman, Alison Rudnick, confirmed. HLN had envisioned airing the show Monday through Friday.

The program’s demise is the latest signal that CNN is rethinking what to do with HLN. Former Viacom programming executive Albie Hecht was recruited in the fall of 2013 to transform the network into a place that highlighted the chatter emerging on social media. He departed in late November of last year as CNN worldwide president Jeff Zucker articulated a new direction for the cable outlet — using it as a place to burnish the library of nonfiction programming CNN has amassed for its prime-time hours.


HLN Chief Albie Hecht Exits in Wake of Programming Shift

New programming is also in the offing for HLN. Amy Entelis, CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president for talent and content development, has taken charge of similar duties at HLN, Rudnick said. Entelis’ team is expected to develop new originals for HLN as well. Ken Jautz, a longtime CNN executive who had a prior tenure at HLN, is now overseeing the network.

As that has happened, some HLN executives have left the network. Kari Kim, vice president of program development, and Nicholas Oakley-Tilley, a senior director of program development at HLN, have left, the spokeswoman confirmed.

As for “Heads Up!,” Telepictures, a unit of Time Warner that is the producer of the show with DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production banner, could try to find a home for it elsewhere.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 136

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. BillUSA says:

    Don’t stop there…..get rid of Ellen.

  2. Sud1 says:

    Somebody sobered up

  3. I didn’t know HLN was still broadcasting

  4. BigFan says:

    A parlor-game based show on Headline News? Sounds like this was never meant to air. Networks sometimes fund productions that will never go anywhere as a sort of payoff. A tv production costs millions and all kinds of people can be paid all kinds of fees. The show never gets to air, but the money is spent. It’s like the Clinton Global Initiative, except it’s legal.

  5. biffula says:

    Who cares???? (I stumbled across this, so don’t say that I do)

  6. timefortrump says:

    Bwahahaha – the years of having gayness shoved down our throats has caused gay fatigue – Ellen that is all you got – go away!

  7. Steve says:

    So much Ellen hate; the real issue is that HLN isn’t a game show network and needs to find an info/non-breaking news format in the form of current events, discussion, documentary and even historical content.
    Time Warner should have done the Vice deal years back. Maybe they could partner with Journeyman for low cost global content? ITV could serve as a partner, too.
    The game show is perfect for TBS.

  8. Bob says:

    Ellen has been overrated forever. I have a late 80’s tape of her stand-up routine on something called ‘Beach Boys Endless Summer’ syndicated show. Very lame. Then two terrible sitcoms before a female viewer niche on a talkshow. She must have pictures of somebody….

  9. Suibne Geilt says:

    Burnished? Are you fking kidding me? Burnished…..What? ARe you suing the thesaurus jfor toilet paper now? Burnished….hillaryous.

    • Everyday Girl says:

      You are exactly right. Some writer that was trying to be smarter than he is, took a thesaurus & looked for synonyms for polished. Burnished is a little more specific than his meaning. That’s what a thesaurus will do to you sometimes. And, I get your “suing the thesaurus for toilet paper” joke. I just didn’t think it was hilarious or Hillary-ous.

    • Lynn says:

      Burnish is something done to a clay vessel when glaze isn’t available. Am I missing something?

    • joe3 says:

      Maybe they meant “gornischt” !!!

      And be sure and proof before you next reply/comment; even though I love the association of lawyers and poop, not sure you can “sue” toilet paper!

  10. HeftyJo says:

    Is it just me or does “Heads Up!”, sound an awful look like charades? I wouldn’t know I’ve never watch a minute of Ellen’s show.

  11. Metal70s says:

    Why bother watching either, regardless? Every hour, it’s the same thing. 5 minutes of random ‘programming’ scattered throughout 55 minutes of commercials. Turn it off and read a good book. Your brain will thank you for it.

  12. I have replaced Fox with HLN in the morning with Robin Meade, I have been a loyal FOX News viewer since the late 90’s, I don’t have CNN on Dish net, and they won’t change to CNN without charging extra, so I go to Channel 202 every morning and found that Robin is very good. I’m done with FOX, they have proven they are the bias ones, and have negative toward CNN, MSNBC, CNBC for years, and many of us believed them. Take my word, try the others and give them a chance, they are much more balanced that FOX has been the past few months..At least at the other channels you know what to expect. That Megyn Kelly is using FNC for her own ego..Not enough room to state my disdain for FOX news the channel with Narcissistic Anchors, and it’s so boring it should be a crime to be aired..

  13. Now, it will either end up on GSN or syndication.

  14. Jason Blotsky says:

    What does a game show have to do with Headline News?

  15. bill1942 says:

    HLN (Headline News) has shot itself in the foot so many times that the gangrene must be up to its’ ears by now!

  16. I have an idea. Change CNN into a news network – get rid of all the non-news shows, and do 24 hours of news. For HLN, change it into a headline news channel. Do a full 30 minute newscast, 48 times a day. Perfect for airports, hotels, and anyone on the go!

  17. Bob Billybob says:

    Oh you mean they figured out that sharades is old hat?

  18. Konrad Schepke says:

    I work for the Ellen Show. Sometimes I wish people who trash her name would just do one thing: Do good in the world, and if you do as much or more good as Ellen does, THEN talk smack about her. Pretty sure all you would then only say nice things, or be silent.

    • timefortrump says:

      Typical liberal who cannot TOLERATE those who have a low opinion of something. You people need to remember the old adage – sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Someone else’s opinion of you cannot hurt you unless YOU LET IT HURT YOU. Libs have the thinnest skin yet they throw the most MUD at everyone else… Stories like this show we are sick and tired of the liberal and gay performers on our TV – their time has come and gone – buh bye!

    • Al Anony says:

      Uh, yeah…I’ve seen a lot more trash talking about many others than ED. In that she is highly overrated is a perfectly sound assessment. I see her taking over the cable world, and for what purpose other than she is a L? Accuse the non-LGBT majority of hate all you want, but is this the best you’ve got? Is criticism of her droll and lifeless performances unfair? I turn her off because she is uninteresting, not because of her personal sexual preferences. All we need is one more show with her face on it….

  19. rick o says:

    Jesus, where did all these hate mongers come from? So much for “moderated comments.”

    • Philbert Desenex says:

      “Moderated” if it doesn’t speak the gay/lib bias, eh?

    • beaverdaycare says:

      the wackos (aka trump supporters) are coming from the drudge report link

      • Johnny Rotten says:

        Why do you consider them “wackos” if they have a different opinion than yours? They are Americans too and last I checked, they still have the freedom to express their views. (YOU are the “wacko”.)

  20. did they decide to go with Bruce Jenner instead?

  21. DEEP says:

    Game is boring after 5 minutes, gonna make 76 episodes of it?? Ugh

  22. Michael says:

    Why do I suspect if Ellen was hotter, younger and had long hair the comments wouldn’t be so vicious on here

  23. Isn’t there a Game Show Network that would be salivating for an Ellen show? Seems like a pretty apropos landing spot.

  24. I’ll settle for the big one.

  25. ZurichMike says:

    I love Ellen’s self-deprecating humor and sense of comic timing — she makes her guests feel right at home — a real comic treasure for the nation!

  26. tparish says:

    Lol! True. Sick of the march of the sickos.

  27. Here’s a thought for HLN….go back to basics….Real News, Real Journalism, Real Fast.

  28. Texasbil says:

    Thank you, that is the best news I have heard this year!

  29. CNN and HLN can still be redeemed, but it will require drastic changes in the programming and leadership mentality for that change to be successful. Far left propaganda is a formula for failure, but both channels have had success in the past when the actually covered hard news. Ditch the leftist slant and present centrist news with a variety of unbiased reporters, journalists and presenters. If there is going to be an opinion program, offer both sides in equal measure. Bring in some conservatives if you insist on keeping the liberals onboard…create balance. In my opinion the unbalanced news and views drove off the conservative viewer base and left both CNN and HLN with a self-feeding cycle of liberalism that further alienated the viewership. After a while even liberals can’t stand listening to liberals.

    Ever wonder why FoxNews is so successful? The speak to the audience intelligently, offer both sides to a story and keep the opinion pieces to a minimum. Sure, it has Sean Hannity (whom I like), but also offers liberal opinion through the likes of Alan Colmes (whom I disagree with almost always, but he seems a congenial fellow).

    Balance people. If you want to save the channels, keep the scale in balance and viewers will return.

  30. Dick Sheppard says:

    They could start by dumping Nancy Grace. That alone could double the ratings. There’s just something about her voice and demeanor I can’t tolerate – it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.

  31. ymca2014 says:

    Wow…cancelled before the first show! Ellen truly got spanked. And spanked hard!

  32. JohnF says:

    Since HLN and CNN are no longer news networks, I say shut them down completely. I haven’t watched either in years.

  33. Lisa says:

    Tbh this had “flop” written all over it.

  34. John Galt says:

    Smart move.

  35. dfsaklja says:

    CNN and its “sisters” exist to promote communist propaganda.

    Go on and mock what you don’t understand if you are so inclined. Just make sure you write it down so that when I tell you “I told you so,” you can’t deny it.

  36. mhe says:

    It’s last hope is Game Show Network

    • aubreyfarmer says:

      The majority of the public are so ignorant and misinformed that mocking is all they know how to do. Once a person realizes that the ideals of Judaism and Communism are entirely consonant the programming on network TV can be seen for what it is. Communist indoctrination.

  37. RobC says:

    So the Degererate show was cancelled. Who cares? Nobody watches her.

  38. Melvin says:

    I am very glad to see HLN has dumped Ellen………..I can’t stand her.
    Why not have real honest unbiased news on instead???

    • dfsaklja says:

      On a CNN channel? Start wearing your trousers backwards, because monkeys will fly out of your @ss first.

  39. David says:

    I have an idea!! Why not broadcast objective news 24/7 – no analysis….just the facts. Wait a sec….didn’t this channel used to do just that????

  40. Alan says:

    I’ve blocked HLN from my TWC lineup for years now.

  41. yakyakityyak says:

    That’s unimaginable

  42. George Locke says:

    HLN should stick with hours and hours of “Forensic Files.” It’s a better program than anything CNN’s bubble-heads could come up with.

  43. Henry Kujawa says:

    These comments are “moderated”? I’d hate to see the kind of hate-filled xenophobia you’d post if it wasn’t.

    • whatever says:

      Oh boy, Henry got the Democratic memo and learned a new word this week

    • dfsaklja says:

      Tell it to your government-appointed therapist.

    • Jack kennedy says:

      Thanks for admitting you can’t defend your position… luv when you mooks admit defeat with your race/xeno/homo/lesbo whine

      • Troy G says:

        I have to laugh when I see posts like yours Jack.
        You have such a high opinion of yourself, that everyone else is FUBAR if they feel differently.
        I’d say you have been brainwashed, but that would give you credit for having something to wash.

  44. nobama666 says:

    Never heard of HLN and the less of ellen degenerate the better

  45. jaybix says:

    One of my main problems with HLN, specifically Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew. They’re decent half-hour shows that are unfortunately padded out to an hour each! So-so segments go on and on and on, with repetitious clips and commentary.

  46. Atilla Thehun says:

    Leftie Zucker can’t see past his politics. And stockholders wonder why he fails continually.

  47. anti-antiwhite says:

    “Diversity” never means anything but No-White-Anything-Anywhere.

    When has a “diversity activist” ever campaigned to bring white people to any global place or institution that is non-white? Or even to bringing other non-whites into their own non-white homeland?

    When is anywhere “too black” “too yellow” etc.?

    Isn’t there a term for the targeted cultural and demographic displacement of an ethnic group? Hmm. Sounds like the G word.

    Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, White places for Everybody! Notice that and you’re a racistwhitesupremacistkkknaziprivilege.

  48. cooldude says:

    show is not hosted by ellen. loni love rather

    • aubreyfarmer says:

      Those that own the media have an agenda and it is more hostile to Christianity than even Islam.

      45). “We must realize that our party’s most powerful weapon
      is racial tension. By pounding into the consciousness of the
      dark races, that for centuries they have been oppressed by
      whites, we can mold them into the program of the Communist
      Party. In America, we aim for several victories. While
      inflaming the Negro minorities against the whites, we will
      instill in the whites a guilt complex for their supposed
      exploitation of the Negroes. We will aid the Blacks to rise to
      prominence in every walk of life and in the world of sports and
      entertainment. With this prestige,, the Negro will be able to
      intermarry with the whites and will begin the process which
      will deliver America to our cause.” (Jewish Playwright Israel
      Cohen, A Racial Program For The Twentieth Century. Also
      entered into the Congressional Record on June 7, 1957, by Rep.
      Thomas Abernathy).

    • Issac Clark says:

      White is the new black

  49. Dylan says:

    Who wants to see a game show hosted by Ellen Degenerate?

More TV News from Variety