GSN Announces Speed Skating Champion Apolo Anton Ohno as Host of 'Minute to Win It'

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

March 14th, 2013


via press release:


Produced by Shine America,
New Original Episodes of Hit Game Show
Slated to Premiere in Summer 2013

March 14, 2013 (Santa Monica, CA) GSN announced today that Apolo Anton Ohno, one of the most decorated American athletes of all time and DANCING WITH THE STARS champion, will be the host of GSN’s new series MINUTE TO WIN IT.  GSN’s production of 40 new original episodes marks the first time the series has been developed by a U.S. cable network.  The episodes are to be produced by Shine America - based on the format owned by Shine’s sister company Friday TV.  MINUTE TO WIN IT begins production in March and is slated to premiere in summer 2013.

"All my life I have welcomed unique challenges and now, for the first time, I have the opportunity to tackle a new one by hosting MINUTE TO WIN IT,” said Ohno.  “From speed skating to dancing, it’s only fitting that I selected a show with wild and creative challenges for my inaugural hosting role.  Bring it!”

Short-track speed skater Ohno holds eight Olympic medals—two gold, two silver and four bronze—from the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter games, more than any other American Winter Olympian in history. In addition, he earned eight gold, seven silver and six bronze medals in seven World Championship competitions. Ohno’s speed skates from the 2002 Winter Olympics are housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

In 2007, Ohno brought his winning style to DANCING WITH THE STARS, first partnering with Julianne Hough in Season Four. The pair received the first perfect score of 30 in the show’s history for their samba routine—and went on to become the season champions. He returned to the show in the fall of 2012 as a member of the first DANCING WITH THE STARS All-Star cast. Recently the athlete, actor, bestselling author and philanthropist has been bringing light to the subject of exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), a breathing disorder that handicapped Ohno before it was successfully diagnosed and treated in 2000.

In each one-hour episode of MINUTE TO WIN IT, competitors face 10 challenges that escalate in level of difficulty using everyday household items. Each game has a one-minute time limit and failure to finish the task on time will eliminate the contestant. At various points throughout the game, the competitor can walk away with the money earned up to that point - but it'll take nerves of steel to complete all 10 tasks to win $250,000.

About GSN
GSN is a multimedia entertainment company that offers original and classic game programming and competitive entertainment via its 75-million subscriber television network and online game sites. GSN’s cross-platform content gives game lovers the opportunity to win cash and prizes, whether through GSN’s popular TV game shows or through GSN Digital’s free casual games, mobile and social games, and cash competitions. GSN is distributed throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Canada by all major cable operators, satellite providers and telcos.  GSN and its subsidiary,, Inc., are owned by DIRECTV and Sony Pictures Entertainment.  For further information, please visit

  • TV Addict

    I’m glad they’re bringing this back. It was a fun TV show.

  • Networkman

    I’m glad they are bringing it back also. I would love to see it on NBC though. They could use it on Friday night. Still, I really love that Apolo is the host. It works well with him being an athlete himself. With this new opportunity, I’m not certain if he will be participating in the 2014 Olympics. Anyways, he seems like a good guy and I hope he is successful at this new gig.

  • David Howell

    Good hosting choice.

    I still think GSN would have done much better picking up The Cube, the UK format that Minute to Win It was effectively a spoiler for (NBC rushed it to air shortly after CBS taped a Cube pilot on the London set where most versions are recorded). It’d have looked immensely impressive with the Matrix-esque camera effects, and many of the network’s traditional genre fans know and love the UK show through YouTube so it’s sold on a key part of the GSN audience already.

  • Oliver

    @David Howell

    The Cube is expensive by game show standards thanks to its elaborate sets and camera effects, which probably precludes GSN from picking it up.

    That said, I am also surprised that none of the US networks have aired an adaptation of The Cube. It’s a great format that would fit on any of the big 4 networks (although it probably fits CBS the least).

  • Nick

    Glad that this is coming back. I have a weakness for niche game shows that no one else watches.

    Next, GSN, pick up Who’s Still Standing please!!

  • Joseph

    The story I heard is that Guy Fieri was offered the chance to return, but he didn’t want to.

    If Apolo Anton Ono decides to resume his speed-skating career, remember that he’s in the “short-track” kind of the sport: The races are held inside the dimensions of a standard-size (200 feet long by 85 feet wide) ice hockey rink, so he could practice at any standard-size ice rink, regardless of where the show is taped.

    And the taping schedule could give him time off for the competition season, including the Olympic trials and the Winter Olympics themselves.

    But my guess is that if Anton Ono is in Sochi, it will be as one of the coaches for the U.S. short-track speed-skating team.

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