Documentaries on Tap for GSN

Hollywood, Calif. -- Game shows based on syndicated series Access
and classic board game Scrabble are two of several original shows
and documentaries Game Show Network is currently developing, network executives
said here Monday.

President and CEO Rich Cronin would not reveal specific details about either
show, but he said they are part of an aggressive original-programming plan for
the 51 million-subscriber service that will add several non-game-show programs
by 2004.

"We don't know if they will go to series yet, but they are two series that
we're high on," Cronin said during a presentation at the Television Critics
Association summer press tour.

Another program in development is a documentary on the video-game industry --
the first of several documentaries the network will roll out in 2004.

"We want to do documentaries on a more regular basis," he said, adding that
the network will offer at least one documentary per month by next June.

"There are so many different kinds of games, and for us to be the network
that's all things game-related -- from casino and lottery games to video games
to board games -- we have to go beyond game shows," Cronin added.

The game-show documentary comes on the heels of the network's recently
announced video-game-programming block Thursday evenings beginning in

In other GSN news, the network said it has renewed original game show
Lingo for a third season.

The network in November will also launch a series of short-form programs on
Saturday nights under the umbrella moniker GSN's Games Across America.The programs will highlight different game events from different parts of
the country, such as New York's famous annual Nathan's hot-dog-eating

"As we broaden out programming scope beyond studio game shows, our high-rated
Saturdays provide the perfect opportunity to showcase amazing contests from
around the country," Cronin said.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.