MGM Jumps Into Off-Cable Syndie Fray

MGM Domestic Television is offering Discovery’s Cash Cab to broadcasters for fall 2010, the syndicator said Monday (Oct. 26).

"Cash Cab is an addictive game show with a built-in fan base and a proven track record, making it an ideal choice for broadcasters,” said John Bryan, MGM’s executive vice president of broadcast strategy. “We’re very excited to be bringing Cash Cab to U.S. syndication.”

In Cash Cab, three-time Daytime Emmy Nominee for Best Game Show Host Ben Bailey turns his taxi into a game show, quizzing consenting passengers all the way to their destination. Get the questions right, and they arrive at their destination a little bit richer. Get three wrong, and they find themselves standing on the curb.

This year has been the toughest in TV stations’ history, so syndicators are bringing out economical alternatives to help stations provide fresh programming without breaking their banks.

Besides Cash Cab, NBC Universal has its off-Bravo Real Housewives franchise. Twentieth is offering Dog Whisperer off News Corp. joint venture NatGeo, and Debmar-Mercury has E!’s True Hollywood Stories. All the shows are being offered on an all-barter basis.

A two-time Daytime Emmy winner for Outstanding Game Show, Cash Cab is produced for Discovery Channel by Lion Television.

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.