Developmental As Anything – Part I

A slight change of pace this week (and next week); I’m relating an anecdote from my behind-the-scenes game show life. It’s not to do with being a game show contestant, or How To Win Game Shows per se, but I do hope that it’ll give you an interesting glimpse behind the curtain. See what you reckon…..


So, a couple of months ago now, I was contacted by a development executive from an established and well-known Australian production company. He had seen, and he was aware of my reputation, and my CV, and was contacting me to see if I’d be interested and available to help them develop a new game show concept. They had the concept already, and had pitched it to an Australian television network, who’d shown some interest… but the production company just needed to flesh it out more and expand the idea, before presenting it to the network again.

Now, I have been involved in this sort of thing many times before.

I helped to change the long form format of Deal Or No Deal for Australian television, into the half-hour format that then was adopted in many, many territories all over the world… but that’s another story, for another blog post. I also helped develop a game show pilot for the ABC (that never saw the light of day) called Pressure’s On*, and I helped create the comedy game show What’s Goin’ On There?**, back in my community television days.

I auditioned to host a game show – that never saw the light of day – called On The Line.*** And I auditioned to host a game show that DID see the light of day, called Letters And Numbers.**** And I also auditioned to host another one that also saw the light of day, called The Chase Australia.***** Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Oh, and I auditioned to host AD/bc too. And Sleuth 101.

I also helped to develop many of the games in Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.****** I’d contributed questions for 1 vs. 100,******* All Star Squares******** and The Rich List,********* and I’d written The ConTest********** and Shafted.***********

Granted, some were hits and some were – yeesh! – misses, but you can see that I do have a lot of runs on the board on this department.

So when this executive approached me, I was quick to accept. And after I’d signed the production company’s ‘Consultant Producer Agreement’, and the deal had been done – thanks to my agent – we were all set to go, for two days of development meetings / brainstorming sessions / workshops. I was looking forward to this – it would be fun! A couple of days of throwing ideas around, bouncing off other creative game show television people, and coming up with – or at least refining – a brand-new game show. All care, no responsibility. I was just a television brain for hire; paid to play. Nice work if you can get it!

So after I’d signed, scanned and sent back the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) they sent me, they were all clear to send me the document outlining the concept.

A Non Disclosure Agreement being signed, yesterday. NOTE: That’s not actually my hand.

The producer also called me and explained the concept a little further over the phone, so I’d be primed with all of the basics we’d need for our brainstorming sessions the following week. They were looking to create a five-nights-a-week stripped game show, in the all-important time-slot of Lead-In To The News. That’s what the network wanted.

After hearing / reading about the general concept of the show, I have to say… I liked it! And I thought it could work really well as a fun, five-night-a-week late afternoon half-hour game show. I was greatly looking forward to the first brainstorming session with their creative team.



Will the brainstorming sessions go as planned?

Will Stephen have any usable ideas?

Will sparks fly with the production company’s creative team?

Will the original format remain intact?

Will the show get commissioned by the network?

For the answers to all of these questions, and many more, tune in NEXT WEEK, for the thrilling conclusion to Developmental As Anything !

* That’s also another story, for another blog post.

** And so is that.

*** And that.

**** That is too.

***** That, too, is also another story, for another different, separate blog post.

****** Look, you know where I’m going with this.

******* 1 Vs. 100? Yep, that’s another one.

******** That is too.

********* All Star Squares? Nope, not gonna do a blog post about this one. No way, man.

********** I’ll do one about this one, though.

*********** And this one. By the way, I was joking about not doing one about All Star Squares; I reckon I will.









One thought on “Developmental As Anything – Part I

  1. Pingback: Developmental As Anything – Part II |

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