Here’s a wild guess: Battleship will be much more popular on Family Game Night than it was on movie screens.
The classic search-and-destroy game is part of the revamped Family Game Night, which begins its third season on The Hub Sunday. Battleship is something viewers have been wanting to see since “Episode 1, Season 1,” says host Todd Newton, and now they’ll get their chance. Between that, more families competing and the addition of a Community Chest round where a chance to win a new car is at stake, the show that brings beloved Hasbro games to life can legitimately claim to be bigger and better.
One part that hasn’t changed, though, is Newton, who has been with the show since the beginning. Never one to lack enthusiasm, he calls this “the season of all seasons for Family Game Night.”
“We’ve learned over the course of the past few years that watching Family Game Night has become a regular thing on Friday nights or on Sunday nights for families, so we feel like we owe it to them to constantly be reinventing and changing and upping our game a little bit,” he says. “I thought we did a great job of that in Season 2, and this season I think we’ve just exceeded even our own expectations. It’s just a thrill. I can’t wait for people to see what we’ve done here.”
He plays down any fears that the changes amount to messing with a good thing. “Regardless of what changes we make or what additions we may throw out there, the familiarity of all the games that we play never changes,” he says. “Twister will always be Twister, Sorry! will always be Sorry! and Bop It will always be Bop It. As long as you give viewers what they expect and what they know, what you add on top of that is only gravy.”
As the show has gotten bigger, its audience has diversified, and Newton says that will also be reflected this season.
“In my opinion, a family consists of people who are related that love each other and want to experience things together,” he says. “Whether that family consists of two moms or two dads, or a stepmom or a stepdad or children being raised by grandparents … that doesn’t matter. This season we’ve got a family I believe that consists of two mothers. We have a family where the parents are deaf and the children help them communicate. We highlight military families, because we’re all big believers in the United States Armed Forces. So whatever your definition of a family is, we try and touch on that at Family Game Night. Like we used to say a lot in Season 2, we like creating moments that matter. I know, personally, as a father of two children, it’s all about creating memories together, and I think this show does a fabulous job of that.”