Celebrity Name Game
|Celebrity Name Game|
|Based on||Identity Crisis|
|Presented by||Craig Ferguson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||87|
|Executive producer(s)||Scott St. John|
|Production company(s)||Coquette Productions
Entertain The Brutes
Green Mountain West Inc.
CBS Television Studios
|Original run||September 22, 2014– present|
Celebrity Name Game is an American syndicated game show which premiered September 22, 2014. Based on the board game Identity Crisis, the series is produced by Courteney Cox and David Arquette's Coquette Productions, and was originally pitched as a primetime series for CBS with Craig Ferguson as host. The series was later picked up by FremantleMedia and Debmar-Mercury as a syndicated series for 2014 with Ferguson, who planned to leave his current role at CBS as host of The Late Late Show on December 19, 2014, remaining as host. The series marks Coquette's first foray into game shows.
The game involves two teams, each consisting of two contestants, attempting to identify celebrities and fictional characters. They are joined by two guest celebrities who assist the teams for all but one segment of the show. Each team is presented with two categories, each containing ten names. One partner will give clues, trying to get the other partners to guess the names. Successful guesses earn money. An illegal clue (saying the name or part of the name, spelling the name) voids that name. Each turn lasts for 45 seconds. In the first two rounds, the team that plays first gets to choose one of two categories. The second team must play the remaining category.
In Round 1, the celebrity gives the clues while turning back and forth to alternately face each contestant, and each correct answer is worth $100, up to $1,000 total. In Round 2, the team that went second in Round 1 plays first, the celebrities switch teams, a contestant gives clues while alternately facing each contestant, and each answer is worth $200, up to $2,000 total.
In the third round, the contestants go head to head while Ferguson gives the clues to names under one more category. Unlike the first two rounds, Ferguson is allowed to use illegal clues if it becomes necessary, all the way up to simply saying the name. The contestants buzz in to make a guess. A right answer earns money for the team that answered, but a wrong answer grants the money to the opponent. The first answer is worth $100 and each successive answer increase in value by $100. Whoever scores $3,000 first (including their winnings from the first two rounds) is the champion, keeps the cash, and goes on to the bonus round to play for the prize of $20,000.
In the bonus round, there is no particular category. The names are hidden behind ten numbered squares. Some of them hide pictures of the person, character, or thing. The contestants take turns giving the clues to both celebrities. One contestant is placed in a soundproof booth while the other gives clues. The current giver starts describing when a name or picture is exposed. If the celebrity receivers get it right, the name stays revealed. Passing on a name re-conceals it. This round lasts for a total of 75 seconds; the first contestant has 45 seconds, and the second has 30 seconds. If the first clue giver provides an illegal clue to a name, that name is replaced by a different one for the second clue giver. Any illegal clue by the second clue giver, however, ends the round immediately. Getting all ten increases the team's total winnings to $20,000. Otherwise, the team takes home only the amount they had earned by the end of Round 3.
In June 2011, it was reported that Courteney Cox and David Arquette's Coquette Productions were preparing to pilot a new, hour-long game show for CBS's primetime lineup known as Identity Crisis, based on a board game of the same name produced by Out and About Productions. Scott St. John, known for his work on Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100, was brought on as a showrunner. CBS selected Craig Ferguson, host of the network's late night talk show The Late Late Show, to be host and producer for the pilot.
The series resurfaced in October 2013 under the title Celebrity Name Game, with the announcement that FremantleMedia and Debmar-Mercury would syndicate the new series for the 2014–15 television season. Fremantle's CEO Thom Beers described Celebrity Name Game as a "hilarious and innovative rapid-fire game show that combines the best of pop culture with the best of comedy." Ferguson remained with the project through its transition to syndication, considering it to be "a wonderful concept with such great potential, from two of my favorite people". Ferguson later announced in April 2014 that he would step down as host of The Late Late Show in December 2014. Debmar-Mercury and Fremantle planned to market the new series to station owners as a complement to Family Feud—whose current incarnation, hosted by fellow comedian Steve Harvey, has been a ratings success for the two companies.
In November 2013, Tribune Broadcasting picked up Celebrity Name Game for its stations, giving it clearance across 40% of U.S. households and seven of the top ten media markets. In December 2013, it reached 80% of households through additional deals with CBS Television Stations and Sinclair Broadcast Group. In Canada, Celebrity Name Game airs on City and GameTV.
- "Ferguson to leave CBS' 'Late Late Show'". USA Today. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Craig Ferguson to Host Syndicated Game Show 'Celebrity Name Game'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
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- "Craig Ferguson to Host Game Show from Courteney Cox, David Arquette". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "'Celebrity Name Game' Clears in 80 Percent of U.S.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Celebrity Name Game show comes to FOX 2 this Fall". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "Craig Ferguson Talks Latenight Moves, New Game Show at NATPE". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Tribune Stations Grab ‘Celebrity Name Game’ from Debmar-Mercury". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "Toronto Fall 2014 - Master Planner Report". Rogers Media. Retrieved 5 September 2014.