CNBC game for a 'Challenge'

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CNBC will depart from its strict diet of financial news next month with the introduction of a new primetime game show.

The network announced Thursday the launch of "Fast Money MBA Challenge" on Aug. 1 at 9 p.m. It will run Wednesdays through Aug. 22, concluding with a championship round that will award $200,000.

"MBA" will be hosted by one of the network's anchors, Dylan Ratigan of "Fast Money."

"Based on the success of 'Fast Money's' 'Grade the Trade' segment, we saw an opportunity to create a new type of program not traditionally found on CNBC," said Susan Krakower, vp strategic programming and development.

The contestants will be business-school students from such universities as Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UCLA. The prize money must be used for tuition and other school-related expenses.

CNBC has dabbled with entertainment programming in the past, and not with particularly positive results. The network gave short-lived talk shows to comedian Dennis Miller and tennis great John McEnroe in recent years.

CNBC also announced Thursday that it would expand its weekday morning program "Squawk on the Street" an extra hour effective immediately, from 9-11 a.m. The move comes in response to the exit of anchor Liz Claman from the two-hour program "Morning Call," which now shrinks to one hour beginning at 11 a.m. The new "Call" anchor is still to be determined.
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