Welcome back to “What Went Wrong?” Today, I’m interviewing Annie Wood, host of the popular game show Bzzzz! You remember that show, don’t you? If you don’t, don’t worry. You’ve probably seen her before somewhere, I guarantee it.
I had the opportunity to interview her via Facebook. What you’re about to see here are her answers, I just added capitalization, punctuation, etc.
Greg Palmer: Hi, Annie. First off, did you watch a lot of game shows as a kid? If so, what were some of your favorites?
Annie Wood: I loved The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. Love Connection too. Mmmmm, I see a theme here.
GP: How did you first get involved in show business?
AW: When I was three years old, I placed my hand on the TV, Carol Burnett’s face to be exact, and declared, “I’m going to be on the television.” It’s all I’ve ever wanted. I was in class and actively pursuing it since I was about 10 or so.
GP: Now, the only game show you’ve ever hosted is Bzzz! First off, how did you get involved with that?
GP: I was an actress, working part time as a contestant coordinator for the MTV show, Singled Out. After that gig, Stu Billett and Ralph Edwards/Stu Billett productions hired me to be a contestant coordinator. Stu started to pick my brain as to what I thought of the show. I told him. He hired me as a producer. I then helped develop the show with him.
GP: According to the Bzzz! fan site, you were originally hired as a contestant coordinator. That meant there was someone before you who got pulled just before the premiere…… Who’d you replace, Annie?
AW: I actually didn’t replace anyone. The show was not fully developed. We were doing run thrus in the office where various unknown comedians would come in to help us run thru it. One day, I convinced Stu to let me do a run thru. Afterwords, we took the tape from that run thru and added graphics (like Blind Date did later) and we pitched it around town, as me as the host.
GP: One of the unique aspects about the show is the lack of announcer. You decided to do both. Why?
AW: I’m not sure. I think Stu just said, “Why don’t you do it?” I’ve been a voice over artist for a long time as well, so I guess they figured two for the price of one.
GP: What was it like working on the show? Do you have any experiences you’d like to share?
AW: I loved it. We did 5 shows in one day. I was sent around the country to do PR for the show, was a guest on The Tonight Show and I hired my best friend at the time to be my personal assistant – so, we traveled everywhere and had a blast.
GP: Annie, your show lasted 2 years, a pretty long time. Normally, that would be considered a success. However, many of Ralph Edwards’ other shows lasted much much much longer. Why do you think the show got cancelled? In your opinion, what went wrong?
AW: Good question. We had good ratings and reviews, people were watching. No one was able to explain it very well except to say that Tribune’s president stepped down and a new guy replaced him. Stu said that often times people want to have more control as to what is on the air and so they come in and change things. Creative control was entirely with Edwards/Billett with our show. Maybe Tribune didn’t like that.
GP: So, what are you doing now?
AW: Acting, writing, voice overing. Latest movies – Good Luck Chuck with Dane Cook, My Sister’s Keeper with Cameron Diaz. I also tried my hand at directing. My short film, Numbers and my web series, Karma’s A Bitch, can be found on my website – www.anniewood.com. I also wrote a book of comedic scenes called Snapshots and I’m currently the “Chevron cartoon lady” on those talking car Chevron ads.
GP: Annie, I’m sure you’ve seen some of the new dating shows out there. There’s Baggage, Hell Date, Dating in the Dark, and so on. What do you think of these shows?
AW: I don’t watch them. but I do watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
GP: With technology such as eHarmony being developed, do you think we may eventually see the death of the dating game show?
AW: Probably not. Dating, romance, love and all that jazz – it’s all been around a long time and interest never seems to vanish when matters of the heart are concerned.
GP: Finally Annie, what advice do you have for people who want to enter your field of work?
AW: I tell people to follow their bliss and never falter in being your own biggest fan. But to also have other interests, live a full, balanced life with plenty of things in it that make you happy. It makes for a much more interesting actor, and person, if you do more than just act.
GP: Thanks a lot.
AW: My pleasure. Best of luck to you!
Good news, guys. I have Rossi Morreale’s e-mail and I sent him the questions for our interview. I’m still waiting for Pat Bullard, but I’m meeting new people all the time. Keep watching.