Elizabeth Banks invites players to ‘Press Your Luck’ anew

ABC game-show revival starts fourth season

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks knows that more than mere luck has gotten “Press Your Luck” to a fourth season.

The actress and filmmaker is the host and executive producer of the ABC game-show revival that not only starts airing new episodes Thursday, July 7, but repeats of its earlier hours are running on Wednesdays. Players still accrue cash and prizes while trying to avoid hitting a “Whammy,” which causes them to lose everything they’ve won, but a new element excites Banks.

“We have a new (game-board) square in the bonus game called Prize-A-Palooza, which I take credit for naming,” she says. “Basically, if you hit it, you win every prize visible on the board at the time you hit the ‘Stop’ button. And if you hit it and you’ve hit $500,000, you’re going home a millionaire.”

Banks believes that entices people to stay in the game, rather than walk away with what they’ve already won. “We have a lot of people who have to make very hard decisions,” Banks maintains of the already taped Season 4. “There are people who are there to gamble, but it’s also great TV when somebody says, ‘This amount of money or this prize is going to change my life. Too much is on the line for me. I’m taking it.'”

More celebrities are involved in the new “Press Your Luck” episodes, since in customizing prizes for players, soccer veteran Mia Hamm and someone Banks only identifies as “a really great singer” are among those providing introductions. “We want to create an experience” for the players, Banks explains, “so that even if the Whammy comes, they’ll still love being on the show.”

Elizabeth Banks

Birthdate: Feb. 10, 1974

Birthplace: Pittsfield, Mass.

Current residence: Los Angeles

Marital status: Married, has two sons

Other television credits include: “Mrs. America,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Wet Hot American Summer, Ten Years Later,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Muppets,” “Moonbeam City” (voice only), “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” “Phineas and Ferb” (voice only), “Robot Chicken” (voice only), “Family Guy” (voice only), “30 Rock,” “Modern Family,” “Comanche Moon,” “American Dad!” (voice only), “Scrubs,” “Without a Trace,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Sex and the City,” “Third Watch,” “All My Children”

Movie credits include: “Charlie’s Angels” (also director and screenwriter), “Brightburn,” “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” “The Lego Movie,” “The Happytime Murders,” “Pitch Perfect 3” (also a producer), “Pitch Perfect 2” (also a producer), “Pitch Perfect”  (also a producer), “Power Rangers,” “The Hunger Games — Mockingjay: Part 1” (and “Part 2”), “Magic Mike XXL,” “Love & Mercy,” “Every Secret Thing,” “ Walk of Shame,” “Little Accidents,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “People Like Us,” “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “The Hunger Games,” “Man on a Ledge,” “Our Idiot Brother,” “The Next Three Days,” “The Uninvited,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” “W,” “Definitely, Maybe,” “Fred Claus,” “Spider-Man 3,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Spider-Man,” “Invincible,” “Slither,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Seabiscuit,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Swept Away,” “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Shaft”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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