Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ben Lyons tackles third show

Just in case this "movie review" stuff doesn't work out . . .

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By CRISTINA KINON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Tuesday, August 12th 2008, 4:00 AM
Ben Lyons

Ben Lyons

Ben Lyons, film critic and entertainment correspondent on the E! Network and new co-host of the syndicated program "At the Movies," is adding one more line to his résumé: host of Nickelodeon's "My Family's Got GUTS."

But the busiest man in Hollywood says he's having too much fun to realize it's all work.

"I work hard, but it doesn't feel like a job," Lyons, 26, told the Daily News yesterday from Orlando, Fla., where "GUTS" is in production. "I take it seriously, it's a responsibility, but I get to watch movies and talk to celebrities for a living. I'm the luckiest guy in the world."

"My Family's Got GUTS" is an updated version of the network's hit extreme sports competition series from the '90s. In its latest incarnation, "GUTS" will feature families instead of individual competitors, and the season will be organized into two 11-episode tournaments.

"'My Family's Got GUTS' celebrates sports and fun, healthy competition and lifestyle, while building on Nickelodeon's history of creating topnotch game shows for kids and their families," said the network's executive vice president of original programming development, Marjorie Cohn. "The series that asks, 'Do You Have It?' will challenge families to get active and use teamwork to prove they have what it takes to win."

Australian TV personality Asha Kuerten will be Lyons' co-host.

Lyons says he was a huge fan of the original series and couldn't wait to try out some of the new-and-improved challenges, including something called the Air Slalom.

"I got to test that out this morning," Lyons said. "Basically, you're hooked up to a snowboard and you go through a giant slalom course while you're 25 feet in the air. It's snowboarding without the snow. For a kid from New York who never got on a mountain until he went to Sundance, to snowboard and actually be good at it was a real thrill."

Though Lyons' day job at E! still gives him a thrill - he says he still gets "starstruck" - he's having the time of his life running around the "GUTS" set, interviewing kids who are just as excited to be there as he is.

"The kids aren't trained to talk in sound bites, and sometimes they freeze up on the cameras a little bit, but they don't mind if you ask them personal questions," said Lyons on how the "GUTS" contestants compare to the Hollywood fare he normally deals with.

"But I'd love to see someone like Charlize Theron come on the show and make her way through Avalanche Peak and deal with the frozen stalagmites."

ckinon@nydailynews.com

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