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GSN cable network acquires rights to NBC's 'Average Joe' and 'Dog Eat Dog' series

By Reality TV World staff, 03/10/2004 

As part of their previously announced rebranding strategy that includes the addition of more reality-focused programming, GSN, the cable channel formerly known as Game Show Network, has announced that it has acquired the rebroadcast rights to NBC's Average Joe and Dog Eat Dog series.

The deal covers all 26 episodes of the first two seasons of Dog Eat Dog, both of the Average Joe editions that have aired to date, and an option on Average Joe: Adam Returns, the program's upcoming third edition that premieres March 15 on NBC.

In a separate deal, Melana Scantlin, the 26-year-old former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader and wannabe actress who starred in the first Average Joe, will also be appearing on the network as the co-host of its The World Series of Blackjack From the Mohegan Sun broadcast coverage which begins March 15.

"We are pleased that we were able to partner with NBC Enterprises to acquire these two hot network properties for our newly re-branded network," said GSN president Rich Cronin. "The Average Joe franchise has had a solid ratings and demographic performance on NBC and we are thrilled that TV viewers will be able to view this series again on our air. We have always been interested in Dog Eat Dog due to its smart game play and strategy. These two acquisitions are perfectly suited for the expanded programming direction of GSN."

Average Joe and Dog Eat Dog are expected to begin airing on the network by late spring, joining a GSN prime-time broadcast schedule that will include weekly airings of the first third seasons of ABC's The Mole (beginning March 16) and NBC's Spy TV (beginning March 19.)

Average Joe burst upon the American TV scene in November '03 with host Kathy Griffin and star Melana Scantlin, a former cheerleader and beauty queen. Scantlin, to her surprise, was first surrounded solely by "average joe's" and was charged with finding one prince charming out of 16 great guys with heart, but more mundane appearances. In a later twist, some handsome hunks were added to the mix to complicate Scantlin's choice. The first season produced six hour editions and includes an additional 90 minute finale. The series finale garnered 17.4 million viewers overall and delivered NBC's highest Adults 18-49 rating with series programming in the Monday 9-11 PM time slot in more than ten years.

GSN also obtained the second installment of the series, Average Joe: Hawaii. Average Joe: Hawaii featured Larissa Meek, an artist and former Miss USA, who traveled to the big island to find romance among 18 "average joe's." Since this season was filmed prior to the original airing of Average Joe, the participants had no idea of what surprises were awaiting them. Average Joe: Hawaii consists of eight hour episodes and one 90-minute finale which aired Monday, March 1. Both shows are a production of NBC Studios and Krasnow Productions. Stuart Krasnow (Dog Eat Dog , The Weakest Link) and Andrew Glassman (Average Joe) are executive producers, Jason Raff is supervising producer.

Dog Eat Dog combines extreme stunts and outrageous dares with smarts and strategy. Hosted by Brooke Burns, the weekly one-hour show features six players who undergo various tests of intellect and brawn. GSN has acquired the two 13-episode seasons of the series which includes special editions with Playboy Playmates, reality stars and NFL cheerleaders among other civilian shows. Dog Eat Dog was a solid ratings and demographic performer while on NBC, earning consistently high marks among Adults 18-49. Dog Eat Dog is a production of NBC Studios in association with BBC-Worldwide, and Matt Kunitz (Fear Factor) and Stuart Krasnow (The Weakest Link, Average Joe) are executive producers.

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