'Talk Show the Game Show' returns to crown the best guest

On Thursday, February 1, television’s most unique game show returns to truTV. “Talk Show the Game Show” hits the air with brand-new episodes, giving audiences a hilarious mashup of two beloved television formats that pits comedians and celebrities against each other for the title of “Best Guest of the Night.”

One of the minds who helps bring this remarkable show to life is Kim Powers. As executive producer, she blends creative thinking with problem solving, ensuring that the team is producing the best version of “Talk Show the Game Show.” Turner spoke with Kim to get her take on what makes this comedic unicorn so addictive and what the new batch of episodes has in store for us.

Turner: Kim, “Talk Show the Game Show” is obviously unique; so for the uninitiated, how would you describe it?

Kim: At its core, it's a game show where celebrity guests compete to be the best talk show guest of the night. They do that by earning points –  leaning into all the clichés of talk shows, such as name-dropping or pandering to the audience. “Talk Show the Game Show” actually started as a live show. It got such a great response that we decided to develop it for television. 

T: You have a lot of really great celebrity guests on the show. Are any of them ever surprised by how outrageous “Talk Show the Game Show” is?

Kim: Absolutely, and those make for the best TV moments. But our producers do a great job of making sure our guests are prepped and understand what they're walking into. We never want to make fun of people, because that’s not part of the truTV brand. We never want to be mean-spirited in our humor, and we always want our guests to be in on the joke. But we also can’t predict the shenanigans that tend to happen.

T: Part of what makes this show so funny is host Guy Branum. We imagine it’s never boring working with him.

Kim: It's never boring at all. His mind is so fascinating. He can pontificate on the intricacies of agrarian law and then switch to Britney Spears, which makes him the perfect talk-show host. He can talk to anyone about anything, and makes our celebrity guests feel comfortable and willing to get weird. Also, he has probably the best laugh in the business.

T: What do you think the success of “Talk Show the Game Show” says about TruTV and the direction the network is going?

Kim: “Talk Show the Game Show” is another layer in the strong foundation of brand that truTV is building. For me, as someone who just joined truTV in the fall, this show is among many others that really piqued my interest as a viewer over the past year. This brand celebrates funny. We're laser-focused on talent, and we're willing to grow and experiment. I think we serve a part of the comedy community that wasn’t being served.

T: What can we expect to see in the new season of the show? Any morsels you can share?

Kim: We have a fantastic batch coming up. We premiere with Melissa Joan Hart and Caroline Rhea for a mini “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” reunion. We have Cheryl Hines from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Billy Eichner from “Billy on the Street.”

I also think sometimes our best guests really are the people you don't expect – for example, Reggie Bush. He has that competitive football spirit, and he really came to win. I also loved Cynthia Bailey from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Oh, and I have three more words. Technically, four: Charles Barkley, Shaq, Meatballs. That's all I will leave you with…


For more information on truTV’s “Talk Show the Game Show,” visit http://www.trutv.com/shows/talk-show-the-game-show/index.html.