Exclusive: GSN Casts 'Cash Cab' Star In 'Games Across America' Pilot
GSN has greenlit the pilot for a potential new show, Games Across America, with Cash Cab star Ben Bailey (fresh off his third Daytime Emmy win) as host and Sally Ann Salsanno and her 495 Productions team as producers.
The game-focused network also has made progress with previously announced shows in development, including adding Saturday Night Live alumnus Finesse Mitchell as host of The Imposter, a reality show that puts contestants who have an existing relationship with each other into another family's home to see if they can figure out which member of that family is not like the others (because that person is an embedded fake).
And GSN's previously announced in-development church dating show It Takes A Church has added producer Authentic Entertainment (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) to the project, with Tom Rogan and Lauren Lexton as executive producers. Shows in development have not yet been ordered as new series; some make it onto the air, others don't.
Per GSN's description, Games Across America (working title) will take a humorous look at the myriad of bizarre regional competitions that take place across the country every year. From extreme poodle grooming, to the Redneck Games, to the Rock Paper Scissors World Championship, these competitions are a hallmark of American culture from Maine to California. Comedian Bailey (pictured above) will take viewers to these around the country and introduce viewers to a quirky but passionate cast of characters.
In The Imposter, for which GSN ordered a pilot, Mitchell (pictured right, currently on Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm), will bring his comedic flair to the situational show in which the houseguests, if they correctly identify the imposter, can win $25,000. But if the family has deceived the houseguests into choosing incorrectly, the family wins the cash. The Imposter is produced by Leopard Films USA with Hayma “Screech” Washington as executive producer.
The premise of It Takes A Church is that a church will go on a mission to find love for one lucky, single parishioner, without that person knowing. The congregation, pastor, friends, and family will all contribute, GSN said, but in the end the single will decide which suitor to put his or her faith in. The parishioner (and his or her charity) who suggested the chosen suitor will win money.
Other shows in development at GSN, owned by DirecTV and Sony Pictures Television, include As Seen On TV (Al Roker Productions), in which hopeful inventors submit wacky new ideas to be pitched via infomercial; Swarm (Zoo Productions), a fast-paced, physical game show in which a pool of 100 contestants must make split-second decisions in response to multiple questions; Skin Wars (Michael Levitt Productions), featuring camouflage challenges involving body painting; Penny Pinchers, where tightwads compete for a cash prize, and Say What? (11 television), a twist on the parlor game of "Telephone."
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Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.