Syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game will not continue beyond its current third season. The program, hosted by Craig Ferguson, is co-produced by Debmar-Mercury, which distributes it domestically, and FremantleMedia North America, which distributes internationally. Tribune Broadcasting and the Sinclair Broadcast Group are the core station groups for the show, executive produced by Courteney Cox and David Arquette of Coquette Prods.
“We’ve had a wonderful time producing Celebrity Name Game and we are exceptionally proud of its three seasons in syndication,” said Jennifer Mullin, Co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “While we are not renewing in syndication at this time, it is a format we believe in. We are thankful to our loyal audience, our celebrity guests, the incredibly talented Craig Ferguson, our partners at Debmar–Mercury and Coquette, and our crew — whose passion for this series has been unparalleled.”
Celebrity Name Game, which will complete its third season, is not doing too bad in the ratings; it is in the middle of the first-run syndication pack, most recently posting a weekly 1.4 household rating, up 8% and 0.7 in the key women 25-54 demographic. But the numbers were not strong enough to justify another year, which is the case for high-end strips. The first two seasons earned Ferguson two consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards for best game show host.
“We’re incredibly proud of Celebrity Name Game and grateful to the terrific fan base that has supported the show for three seasons,” said Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of Debmar-Mercury. “We thank everyone who has contributed to its run, including Craig Ferguson, the show’s extraordinary host who received two Daytime Emmy Awards in recognition of his talent, our amazing partners at FremantleMedia North America, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, their creative collaborators and the outstanding production team.”
It has been a tough environment for new syndicated shows as fewer and fewer high-profile new strips join the fray and most of those who do don’t last. This fall’s lone freshman, talk show Harry, most recently drew a 1.1 HH rating and 0.6 in women 25-54.
Celebrity Name Game pairs celebrities with contestants as they improvise clues to identify as many correct answers as possible in a given time period. The answers aren’t just celebrity names but range from actors, singers, athletes and pop culture figures to places, brands, books, TV shows, movies, foods and cartoon characters. Consisting of two competitive speed rounds followed by a third round where Ferguson provides the clues, teams must then face a broad mix of clues and categories ranging from a single letter to a real-life tweet from a celebrity as they enter into the final $20,000 round.
Celebrity Name Game was developed by Coquette Prods. based on the popular board game Identity Crisis created by Laura Robinson and Richard Gerrits of North 44 Productions. In addition to Cox and Arquette, executive producers include FMNA’s Mullin and veteran showrunner Scott St. John.