The show is produced by Fox First Run and Bill’s Market and Television Production and distributed nationwide by CBS Media Ventures (CMV). It’s cleared on stations from the Fox, CBS, Sinclair, Nexstar, Tegna and Gray broadcast groups. Fox, which tested the show last summer, has picked up the program for all of its stations, including WNYW New York City and KTTV Los Angeles.
“Game shows have been a consistent performer for stations, so they really embraced the opportunity to add a well-known brand like Pictionary to their lineups,” Jonathan Bingaman, executive VP of sales for CMV, said in a statement. “We’re excited to launch this franchise nationally this fall.”
On Fox-owned stations, Pictionary will likely join programming blocks that include Fox First Run’s You Bet Your Life, starring Jay Leno, and 25 Words or Less, starring Meredith Vieira.
“Pictionary is the capstone to a powerful game show block on our affiliate stations,” Stephen Brown, executive VP of programming and development, Fox Television Stations and Fox First Run, also said in a statement. “It's family-friendly, fun, and driven by the energetic and hysterical Jerry O'Connell. We think audiences will love the hours of play we have in store for them.”
Pictionary is based on the game of quick sketches and hilarious guesses from Mattel. The broadcast version of the game will follow the rules of at-home play. Two teams of three will consist of two players led by a celebrity captain. One player from the team will draw images that depict a word or phrase found on a card chosen at random, in an effort to have their fellow teammates guess the correct word or phrase on the card. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to an exotic destination.
The program will be executive produced by David Hurwitz and Noah Bonnett. Fred Soulie, senior VP and general manager of Mattel Television, and Phil Breman, VP, live-action, serve as co-executive producers for Mattel. ■
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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.