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2014-15 Upfront

GSN Greenlights 4 New Series as Advertiser List Grows

Network hints at online originals at its Upfront

Rebecca Rominjn's new show on GSN, Skin Wars.

Game Show Network (GSN) is evidently crushing it with advertisers, so it has greenlit four new series for this year with the goal of further increasing female viewership.

For instance, there's Idiot Test, a brainteaser game show revealed by the company today that's hosted by comedian Ben Gleib. It joins It Takes a Church, a matchmaking series the network dubbed the “anti-Bachelor," and a show called Skin Wars that's hosted by Rebecca Rominjn—a competition-style show that will pit 10 bodypainters against each other for a cash prize. And Mind of a Man recently debuted as a game show where female contestants probe the male psyche.

John Zaccario, GSN's evp of sales, said that his company added roughly 70 advertisers in 2013 but didn't name brands. Last year, he said the cable channel grew its key demo, women aged 25 to 54, by 38 percent during the day and 47 percent at primetime. The network, which is a partnership between DirecTV and Sony Pictures Television, is now available in 80 million homes.

"We’ve added new formats to some of the categories that matter most to contemporary audiences—comedy, relationships, technology and faith," Zaccario said, appearing at GSN's Upfront 2014 in New York on Tuesday. "We’ve evolved the notion of game to involve new users, and I’m very happy to say it’s working.”

In addition, the network has ordered pilots for shows called App Wars and Say What? (Interestingly, the latter is based off the childhood game Telephone.) Four other series are in development as well, including one called The Line that's about—what else?—waiting in line. And popular series The American Bible Challenge and The Chase will return.

GSN also shared that it has been experimenting with online video over the past few months. David Goldhill, chief exec of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, remained mum on the details, but told Adweek that the digital format was a way to unearth talent and concepts.

“I’d like to think we have a pretty good understanding of game entertainment—how that translates into video is the next stage of evolution,” he said.

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