Ten begins promotional push for Grant Denyer’s Celebrity Name Game

Ten has begun beating the drum for Celebrity Name Game, its latest push for success in the 6pm primetime evening slot.

Fronted by network stalwart Grant Denyer, the show was announced earlier this year as Ten axed UK-import Pointless, helmed Australian hosts by Mark Humphries and Andrew Rochford.

Celebrity Name Game is a US concept created by Courtney Cox and David Arquette which sees teams of two paired with a guest celebrity and quizzed on popular culture subjects including politicians, sports stars, movies and fictional characters.

Ten’s struggles with the 6pm slot have played out since the Family Feud got the axe in early 2018.

The gameshow, hosted by Denyer, was criticised when it launched as a tired format, but for the first two years of its four-year run it consistently hit over 500,000 viewers a night for Ten.

However, leading in to 2017 that number had dropped significantly, delivering an average of just over 300,000 viewers a night. By the time it was cancelled in 2018, the show was averaging 281,483 a night. The show bowed out with 213,000 metro viewers on its final night. 

Denyer was outspoken at the time about overplay leading to the show’s demise.

“It did good things but we are probably guilty of driving it into the ground a bit too early, we gave it a bit too much. It’s six days a week, twice a day, plus All Star episodes,” he said on his 2Day FM Sydney breakfast radio show.

Pointless was put into the 6pm slot, giving viewers a break from Denyer and introducing ex-SBS talent Mark Humphries and ex-The Block contestant and regular The Project panellist Andrew Rochford as hosts.

Based on a UK format, the show premiered with 493,000 metro viewers and the numbers steadily declined from there. It was revealed the show would be axed in February after just over six months on air.

Meanwhile, Ten put Denyer into the role of host on the short-lived Game of Games. The format, based on a US version created by talk show host Ellen Degeneres, saw contestants compete in a series of challenges. It was placed in the 7.30pm slot on Sundays and premiered to 536,000 viewers. That number swiftly dropped week after week and season one concluded after 11 episodes with no confirmation of another season.

Denyer’s next stint as a game show host will be on Celebrity Name Game

Denyer next went to Dancing With The Stars, which he hosts alongside Amanda Keller. Ten revived the format, which previously aired on Seven, and it premiered to 621,000 viewers. But the viewers slowly dropped off and the show now pulls between 400,000 and 500,000 viewers per episode. Its most recent episode had 393,000 metro viewers.

Ten hasn’t confirmed an air date for Celebrity Name Game and Pointless is still currently airing in the 6pm spot. Last night’s episode had 193,000 metro viewers.


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