TV

Upfronts ’14: GSN orders “Idiot Test” starring Ben Gleib

U.S. cable network GSN's 2014 slate includes the trivia show Idiot Test, body painting competition series Skin Wars and returning series The Chase and The American Bible Challenge.
March 19, 2014

U.S. cable network GSN has greenlit Idiot Test, a series based on the app game of the same name and starring comedian Ben Gleib.

The title was unveiled during the channel’s Upfront presentation at the Sony Building in New York City on Tuesday (March 18), during which execs committed to produce more original content in the wake of the game show-oriented net’s biggest year for ratings to date.

According to the network, ratings grew in 2013 by double digits across key demos of women ages 18 to 49 and men ages 25 to 54, with the majority of growth occurring in primetime. Overall, GSN’s total viewers rose 13% and in primetime total viewers rose 11%.

Idiot Test (40 x 30 minutes) is a trivia show that gives two pairs of rival contestants the chance to square off to find out who is the bigger idiot. It is exec produced by H2R Productions’ Adam Rosenblatt, Jamie Rosenblatt and Christian Horner, along with Ryan Devlin and Shawn Greenson of He Shoots, He Scores Productions, and Larry Barron and Ryan Curtis. Mark Cronin of Little Wooden Boat Productions also serves as an EP.

Other titles on the channel’s 2014 development slate include returning series The Chase, The American Bible Challenge, It Takes a Church, Mind of a Man and Minute to Win It, as well as the previously announced body painting competition series Skin Wars (8 x one hour) hosted by X-Men star Rebecca Romijn.

The series seeks to find the most talented and versatile body painters and also features drag queen personality RuPaul and body painting rock stars Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina. It is produced by Michael Levitt Productions and executive produced by Levitt, Romijn, Jill Goularte and Colleen Sands. A premiere date has not been announced.

GSN also ordered two pilots.

In App Wars, five different app developers are given a chance to pitch their idea to a panel of judges who then select the top three ideas to proceed to beta testing.  The series is produced by Cheri Sundae Productions.

The second pilot, Say What? (working title), is based on the Nippon Television format and pits five contestants against one another in an extreme memory challenge inspired by the childhood game Telephone.

Projects on the network’s development slate are the hybrid trivia-physical challenge game The Tunnel (working title), which is produced by Entertain The Brutes and based on an Absolutely Independent format; Heavy Betters (working title), a show about diet betting based on an original format from GSN and Savannah Media; The Line, a traveling game show from ITV Studios and High Noon Entertainment; and Star Crossed Lovers (working title) a dating show that hinges on celebrity opinions from producer World Of Wonder.

Finally, GSN said its gaming division GSN Games has acquired Bash Gaming, the company behind social bingo game Bingo Bash.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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