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ABC Picks Up Russian Game Show

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ABC Picks Up Russian Game Show

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin could return to the Kremlin as early as 2009 after lawmakers promised to amend Russia's constitution by year's end to extend the presidential term to six years.

Fresh off of altering the broadcasting universe by placing a game show on top of a very tall building, ABC has picked up yet another new game show idea. This one comes from Russia, and it’s called “The Six,” which is not to be confused with “The Nine” which starred Tim Daly and was just as puzzling as “Lost,” only no one cared. The Hollywood Reporter has all the details:

ABC has given a series order to a classic Russian game show in which teams work together to solve puzzles.

In "The Six" (originally titled "What? Where? When?"), six players must collaborate to solve nontrivia logic games within 60 seconds. ABC has ordered six episodes from Merv Griffin Entertainment.

"When was the last time you saw a group dynamic that wasn't about backstabbing?" Merv Griffin Entertainment TV president Roy Bank said. "Here, there's no voting, no eliminations. You make money only as a team."

The top-rated Russian version of "Six" has been on the air since 1975, the same year Griffin's "Wheel of Fortune" debuted in daytime. The ABC version has tapped U.K. personality Vernon Kay to host. The show seeks to distinguish itself from other quiz shows by its logic-based questions.

The show will also diverge from the original Russian version in many ways. This version will offer cash prizes. On the Russian version, your prize is an empty promise from the government that they won’t poison you. Quite a prize. Also, this version probably won’t have an owl with a crown in its opening credits.

I swear those are the original opening credits. And that’s really an owl wearing an Imperial Margarine crown. I really wish ABC would retain those elements. As for Vernon Kay, here’s the British host (WARNING!) swearing on live radio. I like him already. I do believe he has what Hollywood suits would call a Fergusonish persona.

Production on “The Six” will begin in the summer, and that’s likely when it will air as well. The 60-second element recalls current NBC show “Minute to Win It,” but perhaps the puzzles and the lack of backstabbing will make for compelling television. So long as the owl stays.

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