Building on the momentum of the most-watched year in the cabler’s history, GSN execs told advertisers at Tuesday’s upfront that they are focused on transforming its audience with non-traditional game and competition series such as “Skin Wars” hosted by Rebecca Romijn.
Romijn was on hand to tout the eight-episode series that seeks to find the most talented and versatile body painters in the country.
John Zaccario, GSN exec veep of advertising sales, said that he is counting on the show to broaden net’s appeal. GSN has long had an older-skewing aud by virtue of its focus on traditional gameshows, which tend to draw the 50-plus crowd. GSN has yet to set a premiere date for the show.
“ ‘Skin Wars’ is probably the biggest swing we are going to take to transform the audience,” Zaccario said. “That show, probably more than any other (we have) has the potential to transform the audience and bring new audience in.”
Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN’s exec VP of programming, admitted that in order to “take the leap” and add a skilled-based show to cabler’s lineup, she needed to be convinced.
“It took a really unique area of art for us to take this on,” Introcaso-Davis said. “We wouldn’t have done it unless we found something really special and I think this show is it.”
While she said she hopes “Skin Wars” appeals to net’s key demo of women 25-54, Introcaso-Davis believes it will appeal to younger audiences.
GSN has also greenlit half-hour original series, “Idiot Test” and brought in new host Ben Glieb to give the audience a taste of the show that pits two pairs of contestants with a preexisting rivalry against each other in a competition to determine who the true “idiot” is.
Net has reupped Brooke Burns-hosted “The Chase” for a third season as well as quizshow “The American Bible Challenge.”
GSN cited four other projects in development, including a traveling game show called “The Line” which will culminate with a season finale that will air live.
In addition, GSN ordered two new pilots, “App Wars,” which gives fledgling app creators their chance at stardom and Telephone game-themed “Say What?”
With regard to their current series, Introcaso-Davis said that she is “praying” for a wedding to take place on “It Takes a Church,” the matchmaking show that involves churchgoers trying to fix up a single member of their congregation. Introcaso-Davis noted that internally the show is referred to as “ ‘The Anti-Bachelor.’ ”