Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza Update

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If you haven't already heard, the new improv show on GSN is going to be called 'Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza'! It is set to premiere on Monday, March 28th, 2011, and it will be shown during a primetime slot (the exact airtime and how frequently it will be shown is not yet known).

There has also been a slight change in the cast list. We have since learned that Allison Bosma will not but a part of the cast, but that Sean Masterson will! Wayne Brady, however, is not going to be involved in the show in any way.

For those that didn't know, I am in the works of creating a new fansite just for Improv-A-Ganza called Improv-A-Ganza Online. It will be located at http://www.improv-a-ganza.com. The new site will include news, sneak peeks, clips, social interactives, show reviews, and more! There is also now an unofficial YouTube channel for the show located at http://www.youtube.com/improvaganza". There is also a new Facebook Fan Page. On top of that, there's a Twitter account and a Livejournal community. All of these things are still in the works, but you can go ahead and join them now if you so wish! I will be adding more to them very soon.

I will be attending the first seven tapings of Improv-A-Ganza, and will be relaying a lot of information on the show's structure, games played, the set, who was involved, and so forth. So keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming reviews!

In other news, I am hard at work on RSN Version 6.0. It is coming along nicely, and I hope to have it open very soon! Along with it, I will be posting a host of updates and new videos. So please stay tuned!

A little over two weeks ago, I made an announcement that the new Whose Line-esque improv pilot that had been filmed in Las Vegas last February had been picked up by The Game Show Network, and was set to begin airing episodes in spring of next year. If you missed this post or want to re-read it, simply scroll down a bit.

I am writing you all now with a bit of an update! I have found out the official cast list for the show. Yes, I sent some emails, made some phone calls, and was able to get my hands on it. (I found it out about a week ago, and announced it elsewhere, but procrastinated announcing it on my own sites. If you have already heard about the cast list from elsewhere, just know that they got it from me.) It includes a vast majority of the U.S. Whose Line old guard, a few folks from Drew Carey Show / Green Screen Show, and a couple of new faces as well:

Ryan Stiles 

Greg Proops
Drew Carey
Chip Esten
Jeff B. Davis
Sean Masterson
Kathy Kinney
Heather Anne Campbell (new - was in promo footage)
Allison Bosma (see January 10th post) 
Jonathan Magnum 
Colin Mochrie 
Brad Sherwood


The show will also occasionally include surprise guest stars.

However, how the cast will work is still unknown. Greg Proops is telling me that the details are still yet to be hashed out completely; no one knows who all is filming on what days (or if it's going to be the entire cast). Colin and Brad tour with their two man show, and a few of their tour show dates conflict with the filming schedule (specifically January 15th, 20th, and 22nd). So either they will not be filming those days, or they will have to reschedule those tour dates. We shall have to see!

The new show is also going to be filmed in Las Vegas, at the MGM Grand. It will be shot over the course of three weekends - January 13th - 16th 2011 (4 nights, 7 tapings), January 20th - 22nd 2011 (3 nights, 6 tapings), and February 3rd - 6th 2011 (4 nights, 4 tapings).

The show still currently remains nameless, too - though I am speculating that there's a good chance it's just going to be called 'Drew Carey And The Improv Allstars'. But I could easily be wrong in that department.

Hope everyone is getting excited for the new series!

A Very Special And Enthralling Announcement

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Some of you might recall that earlier this year, back in February, I made a very tantalizing announcement... that there was a possibility that "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" would be returning to television, but in the form of the live show "Improv Allstars". I had been fortunate enough to be a part of and witness the pilot for the new show, and since then, I have been keeping very close tabs on any and all news I could obtain concerning it.

It seemed like such a long shot. No one thought it would actually get picked up and become reality. We all had our doubts, and yet, we sat patiently with fingers crossed.

Well, the waiting is over, and it is time to celebrate and spread the cheer...

The pilot for the new improv show, featuring Drew Carey and the stars from Whose Line, has officially been picked up by The Game Show Network (GSN), and will air in the spring of 2011!

Yes, you heard me right! The new show is happening!! It is momentous indeed, for it is the closest thing to a Whose Line revival that we will ever get. The new series (which has yet to be named) will include forty episodes (yes, forty!), half hour in length, all of which will be filmed at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning January 13th 2011.

Though it is unclear at this point in time who all will be involved and featured on the new show, we can assuredly assume that Ryan Stiles will be a part of it. The other individuals who were a part of the original pilot were Greg Proops, Kathy Kinney, Chip Esten, Jeff B. Davis, Jonathan Magnum, and new face Heather Anne Campbell. (But just because these performers were a part of the pilot, doesn't necessarily mean that they will be a part of the new show - though we think that it is fairly safe to say that they will be.) All we can tell you is this: articles are claiming that the new show will feature a rotating cast of 'Drew Carey's improv friends' and some special 'guest stars'.

The format of the pilot was Improv Allstars. A host of the games played included Freeze Tag, Sentences, Fairytale, Change, Film And Theatre Styles, Forward Reverse, Moving People, Sound Effects, and Greatest Hits (just to name a few). Improv Allstars - like the other touring live shows featuring the men from Whose Line - does not have a points system. There is no person behind a desk with a buzzer. The games are short form, but they aren't rapid fire (such as Hats or Props were). However, this being said, we still cannot determine if the actual show is going to be based off of how the pilot was, or if changes are going to be implemented. It has been said, however, that there will be no pre-determined suggestions - everything will come straight from the audience (as how it is with the live shows).

If you don't have GSN on your cable or satellite, and you would love to see the show, never fear - we will do our best to host the episodes on the site for you to be able to download and watch. However, because the show is brand new, ratings will likely be important, and we highly encourage each and every fan of Ryan and Whose Line and comedy and improv in general to support the new show. It will need all of the love it can get so that it survives for more than just a single season (let's not see it go south the way Green Screen Show did). Please help us spread the word about the new show. Tell it to your family, friends, neighbors, strangers in a cafe, wherever, whenever. We went this news to spread like wildfire, both on the internet, and by word of mouth. This is an important and exciting opportunity for both the fans and the performers. Let's make certain it becomes something special and well-loved.

We will be sure to keep everyone posted with updates on the show as it develops! Until then!

As you, dear reader, may or may not remember, back in July of last year, Greg Proops had let it slip that there was a possibility of Whose Line returning, with Drew at the reigns of structuring the new/returning show. However, Greg later stated in August that it looked like those plans had come to a screeching halt. (Go to Greg Proops Net and scroll down to read the quotes.) Just when we were getting hopeful that Whose Line might live again, it seemed that that hope was shot down.

I am here to tell you that hope is taking wing and soaring once more. And this time, a solid step has been taken in the right direction. Please read on...

I attended Improv Allstars on February 6th, 7th, and 8th of this year (just a few weeks ago), which was held, per usual, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino at the Hollywood Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada. And when I entered those golden doors, there was one thing I instantly noticed: film cameras.

Sure enough, the shows on both Friday night and Saturday night (though not Sunday night) were filmed. There was a full camera crew there, with professional lighting. The stage was also done up in a manner that was far different from usual, featuring a ladder in the corner, a pile of rope by the piano, an odd brick wall of sorts slanted sideways upstage, a hoarde of spotlights and key lights with barn doors, and the stools were much closer to the edge of the stage.

One could assume that they were filming another television special, like they did back in 2001 for HBO. And this was originally what I thought.

That is, until Drew Carey said, during the course of his opening stand-up act, the magical words, "We're filming a pilot tonight."

During both nights, the show was filmed from beginning to end, including Drew's stand-up and concluding on the game 'Fairytale'. The performers included Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles, Drew Carey, Chip Esten, Jeff B. Davis, Kathy Kinney, Jonathan Mangum, and a brand new woman named Heather Anne Campbell (check out some basic information on her here). The music was composed by Bob Derkach (of Second City fame; he tours with Whose Live Anyway?).

I thus made it my mission to learn more about this mysterious "pilot". After the second taping, I brought it up in my conversation with the delightful Chip Esten. It went as follows:

Diane: Do you know anything about this pilot? 

Chip: Well, it's not quite a pilot.
Diane: Ah, because Drew said 'pilot'.
Chip: It is a pilot, as much as usually a pilot means that you know who is looking at it to buy it. This is kind of a pilot where they are going to shoot it, produce it, and then see who wants to buy it, see if anybody's interested.
Diane: Oh nice!
Chip: Yeah. So they can do whatever they want. We've shot over two nights and then take best 20 or 30 minutes you can out of that. So think good thoughts.

I was too engrossed in my other conversations with Greg after the shows to ask him about the pilot, so I sent him an email inquiry later instead. He replied and told me that he had yet to hear of any news concerning the status of the pilot. However, he did say that he'd (in his words) 'hip me when something goes down'.

Thus, we are back to waiting, and wondering, and wondering, and waiting. I will let you all know the status of things the moment I learn anything new. I will be keeping in touch with Greg to try and find out more about Drew's plans, and just what this new show would consist of.

Based on what was filmed for the 'pilot', we can assume that the new 'Whose Line' would be simply Improv Allstars, which is obviously a different format than the original game-genre show. There is no person behind the desk or buzzers in Improv Allstars. There are a lot more players on stage at a time. There are new games in Improv Allstars that were never played on Whose Line (or even on Green Screen Show, for that matter). There is a lot more suggestive humor (the pilot was obviously not censored). Some questions I might have is whether or not, if the show was to be picked up, if it would continue to be filmed in Vegas, or if it would move to Hollywood. I also wonder about the casting. I'm sure a lot of Whose Line fans would be eager to know if Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood would again be joining the ranks, or if perhaps more totally new faces - like that of Heather Anne Campbell - would fill their shoes instead. At this point, we can only guess and speculate and, as Chip said, have good thoughts!

But overall, I find the news very exciting! Please stay tuned for further updates as more information presents itself. Keep your fingers crossed, folks.

Happy 50th Birthday To Ryan Stiles!

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Today, April 22nd, 2009, marks a huge milestone in Mr. Stiles' life - his 50th birthday! Yes, today Ryan turns the big 5-0, and everyone at Ryan Stiles Net would like to wish him the happiest of birthdays. Ryan, we sincerely hope that you have a lovely, relaxing, most wonderful day! We thank you for everything and all that you do. May there be many more years of laughter still to come!

Word has it that Ryan is set to star in a new family sitcom along with female comedian Anita Renfroe.  The sitcom currently sounds like it has a fairly typical storyline - a couple trying to raise their children.  The pilot is currently in the works, and is catered towards ABC.  There is no word yet on when or if the pilot will be picked up, or if filming has even commensed.  We will provide you with more news as it unfolds!  Here is a bit of a further synopsis:

Anita Renfroe and Ryan Stiles ("The Drew Carey Show") star in a new family sitcom centered around the thought that family comes first, by any means necessary. Anita has a unique brand of estrogen flavored comedy and blend of sass, edge and slightly offbeat take on all things female.

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The last time a Whose Line DVD was released, it was fall of 2007 with the second DVD of season 1.  Since then, we have eagerly been anticipating the next DVD release, believing that season 2 would follow.  However, that doesn't seem to be the case, as it was recently announced that the next DVD would instead be "The Best Of Whose Line Is It Anyway?".

"The Best Of Whose Line" will be a two disc DVD set consisting of ten episodes that are supposed to represent the absolute best of Whose Line.  The region one (US & Canada only) DVD will be released on June 9th of this year.

Below is text from a statement released on tvshowsondvd.com that describes the DVD release in more detail:

Drew Carey hosts this American version of the British improvisational comedy series as an ensemble performs unrehearsed "games" before a live audience. No one gets voted off the show. That would be too easy. Instead contestants face crueler fates: be a fish on a TV dating show, Adam and Eve when they first converse, a doo-wop group singing about a girl (and a tragic taxidermy accident). We're not making this up. They are.

Host Drew Carey, a clever crew of comedy regulars and special guests (David Hasselhoff, Florence Henderson, Jerry Springer, Richard Simmons, bodybuilder Jane Tricker and more) come up with funny-on-the-fly in the hit series that crosses a game show with mad improvisation. Discover 10 of the show's best episodes with all of the censor bars and bleeps removed, so you can enjoy every bit of the delicious and daring funny business in all its glory. Uncensored means that the potential for laughter is unlimited!

Warner Home Video has announced that a DVD release titled Whose Line Is It Anyway? - The Best Of will come to stores on June 9th. This 2-disc, 300-minute release contains 10 favorite episodes of the classic, kooky series, at a cost of $24.98 SRP. Below is a list of those episodes:

Show No. 308 "Ryan smashing head" (First Aired: Thursday June 14, 2001)
Show No. 401 "good show with Wayne as Singing Bass and kissing Colin" (First Aired: Thursday September 6, 2001)
Show No. 413 Too Hot For Whose Line (First Aired: Wednesday October 3, 2001)
Show No. 512 "with Florence Henderson" (First Aired: Monday September 30, 2002)
Show No. 521 "with Richard Simmons" (First Aired: Friday June 20, 2003)
Show No. 610 "with Kathy Griffin & David Hasselhoff" (First Aired: Friday June 27, 2003)
Show No. 611 "with bodybuilder Jane Tricker" (First Aired: Friday July 11, 2003)
Show No. 505 Valentine's Day Show "with Loyola Marymount Cheerleaders" (First Aired: Saturday August 7, 2004)
Show No. 419 "Fluff your Garfield" show
Show No. 612 Jerry Springer in "Dubbing" game / Colin dancing in "Greatest Hits" game

Memory Lanes Sitcom A Possibility

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Memory Lanes is a sitcom written by Ryan Stiles and Sean Masterson that has been in the works for years.  Slowly, yet surely, the program has been making process, and now it looks like it just actually might become a reality.  The pilot has already been filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and three more scripts have been ordered.  If the show goes on air, it will be airing on Canadian television (with hopes that US stations will eventually pick it up).  Current prospects are looking at a possible fall premiere of the show, though nothing is set in stone yet.  Stay tuned for more Memory Lanes updates!