Celebrity Name Game Review

Celebrity Name Game is everything a game show should be nowadays. The show is hardly original, but all the good game show ideas are taken. All we can really expect from new game show concepts is that they don’t execute old concepts badly. Based on that criteria, Celebrity Name Game and it’s host, Craig Ferguson, excel.

Like most game shows, Celebrity Name Game combines elements from classic game shows and adds two, likable, but B-list celebrities. In this case, the show is a mix of Pyramid and Family Feud with teams of three people: one celebrity and two civilians.

The first two rounds and the bonus game are ripped straight from Pyramid. The first round has one team pick from semi-cleverly named categories, such as “Kicked to the ‘Curb,'”which features celebrities who had appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm. The other team is left with the remaining category. In this round, the celebrity team member provides clues to the two civilians, who take turns guessing the answer. Each correct answer is worth $100. The celebrities swap teams. The last team to go chooses the category for another round like the first. Now, correct answers are worth $200 each.

The final round of the main game takes the Family Feud face-off and replaces the survey questions with Ferguson giving clues on people who fit a broad category. In the episode I saw, the category was “People I Wouldn’t Want to Wake Up in Bed With.” The answers ranged from Peewee Herman to Satan. Not all of the “celebrities” made sense and quite a few were fictional characters. Funny? Yes. Should the show change it’s name so that it can run wild with category types? Absolutely.

For the final round, scoring changes. Questions start at $100 and increase by $100 each time. If a team rings in and is wrong, the opposing team receives that cash amount. The game can get lopsided fast, but a team can come from behind if they answer the last two questions correctly.

Celebrity Name Game‘s bonus round is a variation on Pyramid‘s Winners Circle. One at a time, the civilians provide clues to both celebrities. There are 10 names that have to be guess in order for the team to win $25,000. The first civilian has 45 seconds to give clues for as many of the celebrities as possible. Their teammate gets 30 seconds to get the rest. Again, the producers play fast and loose with what counts as a celebrity. Bizarrely, the Hoover Dam qualifies. If the team doesn’t get all 10 correct, the civilians walk home with the amount of money they won in the main game. Currently, the bonus round seems like a waste, since it’s hard to win. I’m hoping that they change the bonus game, so that the contestants get $100 per correct answer. (I would say $1,000, but this is a cheap syndicated game show.)

As a game show junkie, I love the Celebrity Name Game. The issues I have with it are minor and they may work themselves out in time. Craig Ferguson is a great host. He’s a modern Scottish Gene Rayburn. Not everyone would be comfortable humorously calling a contestant out for referring to Connie Chung as “the Asian one” in a category about anchors and the celebrity for guessing correctly based off of that clue, but Ferguson did it in style. The only thing working against Celebrity Name Game is that it only has 40 percent clearance, which means that it will get canceled fast if it doesn’t meet the networks expectations.

About Allison Lips

I am the editor and founder of "Wait! What's a Dial?". I graduated from Rowan University with degrees in both Radio/TV/Film and Journalism.

Posted on September 30, 2014, in Game Shows, Network Television, Syndication and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: