With Hiatt hosting, each night of original programming will feature an intimate look at one table as it develops over the week, culminating with a winner on Friday night. Saturday night's show - the "director's cut" - will recap the week's events with Hiatt and that week's winner offering commentary and insight into their winning strategy (airing from 1-2 a.m. ET/PT following "Saturday Night Live" check local listings).
NBC Universal West Coast President Marc Graboff said "There's a vibrant late night audience looking for original programming. We felt this inside look at the professional poker scene is perfect for late night television and those viewers seeking a unique and original broadcast." Poker After Dark will feature the world's top pros, all miked during the weekly battles for the $120,000 pot - including Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Erick Lindgren, Jennifer Harman and Gus Hansen - fighting it out for poker supremacy, not to mention cash.
In less litigious poker television news, the Ultimate Poker Challenge returns for a third season and is swinging for the bleachers with a plan for 156 episodes of new poker content this year. Of those episodes, 130 will feature amateur players in small buy-in tournaments, giving rise to spokesman Jeff Todd's hopes that they can "...get 1,092 new players on TV."
The Ultimate Poker Challenge will sponsor $340 buy in tournaments each Saturday and Sunday and a $660 tournament each Monday at Binion's through Dec. 11, with more to be announced. The final tables will air four to six weeks later on the syndicated show, Todd said.
Not to be focused completely on the amateur player, the UPC will culminate the season in a $10,000 buy-in event, which should attract a wealth of top professionals. Previous tournaments have featured well-known pros such as Andy Bloch, Allen Cunningham, Chris Ferguson, Ted Forrest and Gavin Smith.
Also filming at Binion's, with shooting scheduled to begin December 16th, will be "Cash Poker: The Big Game," a scaled-down version of GSN's hit High Stakes Poker, which depicts a no-limit cash game. Cash Poker will portray a no-limit holdem game with a $25,000 minimum buy-in and a cast of amateur players mixed in with the big-name pros.
Also on tap for viewers is Poker Parlor, a strategy show that has 26 episodes in the can already, including episodes with Kenna James and Daniel Negreanu. "These pros remember, hand after hand after hand, exactly what was going on," Todd said. "It's amazing. What we're trying to do is explain exactly what was going on in their minds, why they made the moves they made."
*And while you're waitng late at night, for your favorite show to air, pick up a few extra $$ by downloading and playing poker online. PokerWorks has fabulous bonus and reload deals for you arranged with all of the sites featured on the left. Pick one, or two, or more and jump into the action.*