The Craig Ferguson-hosted Celebrity Name Game is set to launch on 58 Sinclair stations, four CBS O&Os and others, pushing clearances for the fall 2014 syndicated pop culture game show past 80% of the U.S — up from 40% in less than a month. Tribune Broadcasting previously came aboard, acquiring Celebrity Name Game for all 25 of its stations. The half-hour strip, based on the board game Identity Crisis, was developed by Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s Coquette Prods with Scott St. John (Deal Or No Deal), who will serve as showrunner. The show teams celebrities with contestants to identify famous names, including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters. Celebrity Name Game is co-produced and co-financed by FremantleMedia North America and Debmar-Mercury, and is distributed domestically by Debmar-Mercury and internationally by FremantleMedia.
Syndicated Pop Culture Game Show With Craig Ferguson Set For Fall 2014 Launch Via FremantleMedia, Debmar-Mercury & Coquette
FremantleMedia North America has teamed with Debmar-Mercury for Celebrity Name Game, a fast-paced game show slated for a fall 2014 nationally syndicated launch with The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson hosting. The half-hour strip, based on the board game Identity Crisis, was developed by Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s Coquette Prods with Scott St. John (Deal Or No Deal), who will serve as showrunner. Ferguson’s involvement stems from the project’s first incarnation at CBS where Coquette sold it as a pilot two years ago under the title Identity Crisis with Ferguson hosting. In Celebrity Name Game, celebrities team with contestants to identify famous names including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters. “Celebrity Name Game is a hilarious and innovative rapid-fire game show that combines the best of pop culture with the best of comedy,” said FMNA CEO Thom Beers, noting the company’s success with game shows hosted by comedians like Drew Carey (The Price Is Right), Steve Harvey (Family Feud) and Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal). This marks the second syndicated collaboration between FMNA and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, along with Family Feud, which is produced by FMNA and distributed by Deb-Mer.
2ND UPDATE: Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jimmy Fallon are in repeats tonight. But Conan O’Brien‘s show is original and Boston is his hometown so he comments on today’s bombings (below). So does Jimmy Kimmel (below). Also Craig Ferguson (video below) who notes during his cold open that, when he became an American citizen in 2008, he spoke at Faneuil Hall on July 4th at the invitation of Boston Mayor Tommy Menino:
CONAN O’BRIEN: We have a great show for you tonight. But first, I have to mention what an upsetting and sad day it’s been. Boston is my hometown – it’s where I grew up, and it’s where my family lives. So I just wanted to take a moment to say that – like everyone here – my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston and everyone who has been affected by this senseless act. That said — it is our job to do a show. We’re going to try and entertain you the best we can. Which, given our track record, gives you people a 20% chance of having a good time tonight.
JIMMY KIMMEL: Well – it was a terrible day. Very bad things happened today for no good reason – and our thoughts are with the people of Boston and everyone who is suffering as a result of the bombings at the marathon. It’s a disgusting thing. I don’t understand it. But my job is to make you laugh and so I will try to do that. And – I will probably fail. I’m failing already.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS’ late-night host Craig Ferguson has sold two comedy projects to the eye network through his Green Mountain West production company, which has been under an overall deal at CBS TV Studios since 2006. Both are with well known comedy writers: Friends alum Adam Chase and Everybody Loves Raymond veteran Aaron Shure. Ferguson will serve as an executive producer on the two multi-camera projects, with his producing partner Rebecca Tucker also expected to have a producing role. CBS TV Studios is the studio.
The untitled Ferguson/Chase project, written and executive produced by Chase, revolves around a group of male friends in their early 30s who decide to defy convention and try to stay single as long as possible even though everyone they know is getting married and having kids. WME-repped Chase recently worked with CBS and CBS Studios on last season’s How To Be A Gentleman.
The untitled Ferguson/Shure comedy is written/executive produced by Shure, who spent the last four years on NBC’s The Office. It centers on a charming reformed party animal who tries to deal with his new family while living next door to his ex-wife. In addition to Raymond, Shure previously worked on another CBS comedy series, The New Adventures Of Old Christine.
CBS has locked in its late night hosts for two more years. David Letterman and Craig Ferguson have signed contract extensions with the network to continue to host their late night talk shows, Late Show and The Late Late Show, respectively, through 2014. Both shows have been solely produced by Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner under the talk show host’s original 1993 agreement with CBS. As part of the new pact, CBS will take on some ownership of The Late Late Show, co-producing it with Worldwide Pants. Also as part of the deal, The Late Late Show will move to a larger stage at CBS Television City in Los Angeles.
For Letterman, the contract extension provides a shot at making late night history. During his new deal, the comedian, who made his debut in late night in 1982, would become the longest-running late night talk show host in TV history, surpassing the current record of 30 years held by Letterman’s idol Johnny Carson. “David Letterman is a late night legend with an iconic show and Craig Ferguson continues to evolve the genre in exciting and innovative ways,” said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.
David Letterman and CBS are “very close” to a deal that would extend Letterman’s contract through 2014, according to the New York Times. The network also has been authorized to negotiate with staff members of Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production …
EXCLUSIVE: Cheryl Maisel will be leaving Rogers and Cowan and coming back to PMK*BNC as an EVP in talent. She will be bringing long-standing clients like Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Craig Ferguson, and others.
The new U.S. citizen went way tougher on the press than on Dubya…