Ellen DeGeneres has a super successful TV talk show, but it looks like the popular comedian won’t be able to fulfill her goal of having a successful game show any time soon. HLN has shelved her game show Heads Up before the show even had a chance to premiere.
The news was first reported by The Wrap that the Ellen DeGeneres produced game show was put on the sidelines with 65 completed episodes already filmed. The show is hosted by comedian Loni Love, and was scheduled to air Monday through Friday.
Heads Up started as a popular segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which was a game that DeGeneres would play with guests on her show. In the game, one person picks a category and then their teammate holds the answer, without looking, above their head. The player who’s not holding the card with the answer then lobs clues to the person holding that answer. The team has one minute to use the clues and guess the correct answer. In 2013 the segment was turned into a smart phone app that allowed fans of the game to easily play with friends.
HLN picked up the show last year, but, when another executive took over running the network, he decided to shift the focus of programming to live shows and the talk shows of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Nancy Grace. And, this means that even though Heads Up had plenty of episodes ready to air, it simply didn’t fit with the new direction that the network was planning to take.
Ellen DeGeneres’ syndicated daytime talk show has had a number of recurring segments during the 13 seasons it’s been on the air. The show has entertained audiences with dozens of interesting games and practical jokes throughout the years. Know or Go is a game where three contestants have to answer questions based on certain topics, and if they guess wrong they get dropped through a trap door. A Little Yelp from My Friends has DeGeneres read off funny reviews from Yelp. ApPARENTly Confused involves the reading of texts that were sent by parents who don’t understand how texting and technology actually work. One segment that’s extremely popular, though untitled, features DeGeneres dancing into the audience, borrows personal items from people’s chairs and then walks off with them. She also has a segment that features her teaching audience members her new dance moves.
Despite the obvious letdown of having the show lose its home, Telepictures (which is a subsidiary of Warner Bros.) isn’t completely devastated by the decision. For one thing, since the show no longer fit within the programming objectives of the network, the owner of the game show wasn’t interested in trying to force it upon HLN. Also, the show isn’t immediately dead just because it was booted from the network. Telepictures can still shop the show around to other networks and see who else might be interested in airing it. The process of pitching the show to other networks has yet to begin, though.
Heads Up sounds like a perfect idea for a game show. Let’s hope that the Ellen DeGeneres project gets to see the light of day sometime soon.