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Rating Improv-A-Ganza games; the ratings May 25, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Commentary, Game Shows, Media, Personal, Radio, Theatre, TV.
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I have been a fan of improv comedy since I discovered reruns of the British version of Whose Line is it Anyway? on Comedy Central 14 years ago.  The American version with Drew Carey and much of the American performers from the British version brought the Whose Line franchise and improv to the stratosphere.  My love for Whose Line carried over to Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show, which unfortunately didn’t last long.  But I had the good fortune to conduct phone interviews with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood while I was at WCWP.  Here’s how those interviews went:

Brad Sherwood Interview (May 25, 2005)
Colin Mochrie Interview (September 14, 2005)
Brad Sherwood Interview II (November 10, 2006)

(More interviews can be heard here and here.)

Four years into Drew Carey’s run as host of The Price is Right, along came Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza on GSN.  With a month and a half of the show under viewers’ belts, I’ve decided to choose my favorite, least favorite, and so-so games from the show:
(NOTE: Ratings are subject to change and vary by the episode in which the games are performed.)

FAVORITE

  • Fairy Tale
  • First Date
  • Forward/Reverse
  • Freeze Tag
  • Kick It!
  • Options
  • Playbook
  • Question This!
  • Sentences
  • Two-Headed [Expert]

LEAST FAVORITE

  • Sound Effects – I’m a perfectionist.  With the exception of Rich Fields and Steve Kamer, audiences members’ attempts at sound effects are tough to watch.
  • Moving People/Bodies – This is also tough to watch.
  • Mousetraps – All I can say is ouch!  I feel for whatever two performers have to participate.

SO-SO

  • Bob’s Call – When Bob Derkach hears a line that songs like a song, he’ll improvise a song and the two performers in the scene have to do the same.
  • Compilation Album
  • New Choice
  • Song for a Lady

I’m hoping there will be more Improv-A-Ganza in the weeks, months, and perhaps years ahead.  But unfortunately, it may not be around much longer, either, as it is suffering from low ratings.  I got so caught up in watching each episode and savoring every moment, I didn’t consider looking up the ratings.  Since the show’s competition includes cable news opinion shows, I’m not surprised.  The ratings would probably be higher if DVRs were factored in.  I’m one of those DVRers, if that is a word.  I watch my Improv-A-Ganza recording later while watching Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor as it airs.

I convert each episode to my MiniDV camcorder then capture those episodes to my computer as AVI video files.  The final step is normalizing audio and inserting fades or crossfades then rendering as MPG files and deleting the AVIs to save hard drive space.  Unfortunately, the recordings are in SD (standard definition) because Cablevision hasn’t added GSN’s HD feed.  Improv-A-Ganza airs in HD.

If Improv-A-Ganza is in its last days, then there is an upside: there will be more episodes of this show than the Green Screen Show.

5/25 UPDATE: Last night’s episode featured those so-so rated games Bob’s Call and Compilation Album.  I liked them both.  Moving Bodies was all right.

5/26 UPDATE: I have a theory about some of the Improv-A-Ganza ratings analysis.  The show is not a traditional game show, yet it’s on GSN.  Therefore, if its ratings can be negatively spun, perhaps that will hasten its cancellation.  It’s similar to the Fox Business Network (FBN): highlight the channel’s low ratings and root for its demise.

I’m probably wrong.  It is, after all, just a theory from a fan of Drew Carey’s improv franchise, from the American Whose Line to Improv-A-Ganza.

5/27 UPDATE: Look at this post on the MGM Grand Las Vegas Facebook page (h/t Improv-A-Ganza Facebook fan page):

Stand-up comic, producer, writer and host of “The Price is Right,” Drew Carey, will return to the Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand with his Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza. Audience members may appear in an original, primetime GSN (Game Show Network) television series being shot during these special live performances!

Improv-A-Ganza is alive!

6/3 UPDATE: Or is it?  Tonight’s show was the season finale.  Let’s hope it wasn’t the series finale.

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Comments»

1. Trust Us With Your Life « MikeChimeri.com - July 12, 2012

[…] Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza ran five nights a week for eight weeks, but did poorly on GSN.  It was not renewed.  But thanks to the five-night-a-week run, it is the longest-running post-Whose Line series. […]


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