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October 7, 2015

'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel' Extended Through 2014 -- It Should Be Longer

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 9th 2010 7:31PM
Earlier this week, both 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' stay on the air through 2014 thanks to a new contract agreement between ABC and CBS Television Distribution. It also keeps hosts Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak in their respective chairs through the same time period.

Ho-hum, I know. Most test patterns have had shorter runs on TV than 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel.' How is that news?

It just got me thinking: what would the world of TV and really the world itself be like without daily doses of America's favorite quiz show and America's favorite wheel spinning and letter guessing show?

I'm a bigger 'Jeopardy!' junkie than a 'Wheel' wino, but even I know the impact both have had on the annuals of television history. To call them iconic doesn't do them justice. They are ingrained into the history of the medium. Even though they aren't the first game shows produced for television, they have laid a solid foundation for the genre that would never have given shows like 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' and 'Deal or No Deal' the chance to make it past the development stage.

They also are two of the few long-running shows that have remained relatively unrefined over time. Long-running shows often try to revamp the format and introduce more shocking twists or riskier methods to maintain interest. With the exception of the dollar amounts and the prizes, both 'Wheel' and 'Jeopardy!' are mostly the same when they first took to the airwaves. Their simplicity keeps people watching.

Plus, they aren't shows you just sit and watch. They are very interactive and engaging. When I sit down to get my daily fix of "Daily Doubles," I play along with a 'Jeopardy!' calculator or map out the board to figure out what subjects I need to study more, a technique I picked up during my failed contestant audition attempt. Even 'Wheel' offers a way for viewers to yell at their televisions by letting them try to figure out puzzles, an experience that becomes all the more fun when the answer couldn't be more obvious if it was tattooed on Sajak's face.

If either of these shows stopped running, it would scar the face of television. Television would lose the dwindling educational edge that 'Jeopardy!' has helped it hang on to since the medium slowly morphed from a teacher into a pleasure delivery device. The alphabet might cease to exist some day without 'Wheel's' constant use of it. Hell, the sales of Viagra would take a huge hit if so many elderly people weren't watching Vanna White stretch and reach for that "r" just out of her delicate grasp.

Game shows will always be around as long as people have televisions and eyes, but these two are so iconic that their mere absence would forever morph the landscape into a bizarre wasteland that my feeble mind cannot fathom . Maybe it just doesn't want to.

So if one day, you turn on your TV and your TiVo didn't record your daily episode of 'Jeopardy!' or 'Wheel,' don't check your TV Guide. Check the skies because Armageddon is a'coming.

[via TVTattle]

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who wants to be a millionare and wheel of fortune are the best shows ever on tv

July 18 2011 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If those enduring game shows weren't on, I'd be watching Entertainment Tonight or Extra. That's what's I was watching for 9 years between 1995 and 2004 ( I took a break from watching Jeopardy and Wheel) until Ken Jennings multiple wins during the summer of 2004 brought me back to seeking Jeopardy again. Now you see it a lot more with consecutive wins by contestants these days. I like that they've updated Wheel and showing extravagant prizes. To the point that even The Price Is Right has been copying their style the past 3 years.

April 27 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alex Trebek needs to go. He is a woman hater and his voice and antics have gotten too annoying to watch any more.

April 10 2010 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Those hosts have it made. They only work about 40 days a year, and make millions from it. Plus they have time to do other work.

I wonder if any of them died mid-season if they'd stop production or immediately replace the host. There's so much money invested in those shows.

April 10 2010 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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