“We need a familiar face to make us laugh and we are incredibly proud and excited to reinvent this renowned franchise with the enormously talented Jay,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO, Fox Television Stations, in a statement.
You Bet Your Life was first made famous by Groucho Marx, when it aired on both radio and television at different times between 1947 and 1960. In this reboot, two strangers will be paired for the opportunity to win money by correctly answering questions. Two pairs of contestants will compete in each episode.
“I’m thrilled to be hosting the latest version of You Bet Your Life. One of my favorite things to do is talk to regular people and draw humor out of them. This is a comedy show wrapped in a game show that allows me to do just that,” said Leno in a statement.
The half-hour syndicated game will air on the 29 Fox owned-and-operated stations and 180 episodes will be sold into national syndication by Fox First Run, led by Ken Lawson and Bob Cook. The Fox TV Stations also air half-hour game strip 25 Words or Less starring Meredith Vieira, which is going into its second season this fall and would likely pair well with You Bet Your Life. Tom Werner is executive producing along with David Hurwitz, who will also showrun.
“David Hurwitz and I are thrilled to be working with Jay Leno and Fox on this classic Groucho Marx comedy. In these challenging times, we know America will be comforted to welcome Jay back every evening,” said Werner, who has been behind such other classic American TV shows as The Cosby Show, Roseanne, Third Rock from the Sun and The Conners, in a statement.
“Jay Leno’s sense of humor is perfect for this legacy brand and I couldn’t be more excited to be partnered with him and Tom Werner to bring this iconic game that is full of laughs, back to television,” added Hurwitz, also in a statement.
Leno is best known for his more than 20-year run as host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He currently hosts Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC and jaylenosgarage.com on YouTube. Leno still performs more than 100 stand-up shows each year across the U.S. and internationally, besides guest-starring on such series as Disney’s Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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