Game Show block on tap for Saturday

Shows, shorts to pack three-hour slot

The Game Show Network this fall will launch a Saturday night block of programs, “GSN’s Games Across America,” branded with interstitials covering unconventional games countrywide.

Block is the second destination night planned by the net, after Sunday Night Buzz, which premieres June 15. Buzz includes “Lingo”; GSN’s first reality skein, “Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned”; “National Lampoon’s Funny Money”; and a celebrity edition of “Cram.”

“America,” a series of shortform programs ranging from three to 30 minutes, will be spliced into the net’s 9 p.m.-midnight sked beginning in October. Net plans to use the interstitials to cover a slew of offbeat competitions and games from a variety of locales, with the possibility for longform development.

“There’s jumping frogs and turtle races, the scrabble finals … cherry-seed-spitting contests. You’d be surprised how far someone can spit a cherry seed and how much fun it is to watch,” GSN prexy-CEO Rich Cronin said.

Programming for the three-hour block has not yet been set.

GSN is scouting for a studio host and field correspondent for the spots. Production will commence this summer. “Think of it as the ’60 Minutes’ of bizarre games,” Cronin said.

Cabler currently reaches 51 million homes.