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October 8, 2015

Game Show

Can Primetime Game Shows Stop With the 'Millionaire' Look Already?

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 15th 2010 4:23PM
Episode one of 'Minute to Win It'
I've been a game show fan for as long as I can remember. I can recall obscure games from the '70s like 'The Better Sex' and I revel in the classics, from 'Match Game' all the way up to 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire.' So I'll watch any new game show at least once.

All of this is how I explain to myself how I blew two hours watching the first two episodes of NBC's 'Minute to Win It' last night. It's a pretty straightforward game: complete ten physical games, win a million bucks. The games themselves use everyday household items, and variations of them could be found at carnivals, state fairs and church festivals around the country. In fact, there was a game show on for years called 'Beat the Clock' that had a very similar premise.

But 'Minute to Win It' was important. Why? Because of the dark, space-station set and swirling lights. Because of the female British voice that felt vaguely futuristic. In fact, the show felt a lot more like 'Millionaire' than a carnival game. And it was so not necessary.

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Jackie Gleason Apologizes For Bad Show (Why Don't More People Do This?)

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 14th 2010 3:30PM
'You're in the Picture' was one of those rare TV shows that only last one episode. It was a CBS game show hosted by Jackie Gleason where celebrities would stick their heads through carnival cardboard cutouts and panelists had guess what the scene was. The following week, instead of the next episode, Gleason came out in a chair and just talked to the audience, apologizing for the show. The following week he turned it into a talk show.

More people on TV should apologize like this. And I think more people should smoke on TV again too.

[via Ken Levine]

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'Instant Recall' Won't Go Down In History As One of the Great Game Shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 5th 2010 11:30AM
Wink Martindale
I'm a traditionalist when it comes to game shows. I don't really like anything that's too bizarre or wanders too far from the studio audience/stage/host with a mic/play a game format. So I didn't really like the new GSN show 'Instant Recall,' even if there were a few things that I found amusing.

The concept: host Wink Martindale and his crew stage a phony set-up to con someone into playing a game. This first episode featured two people who thought they were at a "love seminar" and a guy who found himself at a party that turned into an intervention for a woman he'd never met before (Wink and the sexy model are in another room as the con unfolds). So yeah, this is 'Candid Camera' with a twist. When it's time to let the victims off the hook, Wink comes in, introduces himself, and they play the game, which is to see if the contestants can remember what just happened to them.

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Sneak Peek: NBC's New Game Show 'Minute To Win It'

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 3rd 2010 3:29PM
Because I love game shows, I'll give 'Minute To Win It' a shot when it premieres March 14, but I can already see something I hate about it: the damn lighting and music! It's the same suspenseful lighting used on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,' 'The Weakest Link,' and 'Deal Or No Deal,' and the same kind of set too. This show also seems to have over-the-top, bigger-than-life contestants (where did they come from, anyway?) and throws in smoke for good measure.

This clip is from a game called "Bite Me." Other games on the show have names like "This Blows," "The Nutstacker," "Hanky Panky," and "Don't Blow The Joker." Make of that what you will.

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FCC Gets Involved in 'Our Little Genius' Investigation

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 22nd 2010 2:29PM
Mark BurnettWho says that quiz show scandals don't happen anymore? In the 1950s, shows and sponsors got in trouble for supplying game show contestants with answers to questions. Now it looks like it might be happening again, and the FCC is getting involved.

Questions arose several months ago about FOX's new game show 'Our Little Genius.' At first it seemed like the show was just going to reshoot the first episodes because there might have been a problem with contestants hearing the answers to the questions (or at least in the way the young kids were coached). Then the show was put on the shelf completely.

Now the FCC is investigating the matter. According to The Los Angeles Times, the father of one of the contestants tipped off the FCC about how producer Mark Burnett and his staff were running the show. One of the aspects of the show was that, at the very least, the kids knew what topics the questions would cover.

This would be dumb on so many levels. One, we don't need game shows/reality shows to be rigged or even slightly tampered with (for obvious reasons), and two, it involved kids aged six to twelve. Gah. I wonder if this could lead to investigations of other reality and/or game shows?

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3D Game Shows? 'Wheel of Fortune' Could Be First

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 8th 2010 8:35AM
Wheel of FortuneI can think of about 75 changes to television I'd like to see before this, but apparently they're thinking of bringing 3D technology to game shows. Last Friday, the producers of 'Wheel of Fortune' showed a 3D clip of the show at Sony's 3D Technology Center. Executive producer Harry Friedman says he's "interested in keeping [the show] fresh...without changing the game." One of the ways to do that is to change the way the show is filmed, the set, and the technology used. It's a tricky thing though. Even if you don't change the game at all, 'Wheel of Fortune' has been around for a very long time and dedicated fans like things the way they are.

Is 3D television something you'd actually watch on a regular basis, or is it something you'd want to use rarely, maybe for movies or playing video games? While there are now 3D television sets being sold, I'm still not sold on the technology. I certainly don't want to wear any special glasses or change the way I watch TV in any way just to see someone buy a vowel.

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Wink Martindale to Host 'Instant Recall' on GSN Starting March 4

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 4th 2010 8:02PM
Instant RecallFirst, to all of you younger people out there, yes there is someone with the awesome name "Wink Martindale" in the world (he also has a site with the equally awesome name Wink's World). He's hosted a bunch of game shows over the years and now he's going to host another one. The new GSN show 'Instant Recall' starts on March 4.

'Instant Recall' is a hidden camera game show. The contestant has to go through a series of tasks (which we'll see via that hidden camera) and when they are done they have to answer a bunch of questions about what they did to see how good their memories are. I just hope it doesn't have all of that so-called suspenseful lighting and lame commercial breaks like a lot of game shows seem to have now.

Martindale hasn't hosted a game show in over twelve years, so it's going to be good to see him back. If you're not familiar with his work, check out the videos after the jump.

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The real reason why some Price is Right games are retired

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 31st 2010 1:01PM
Do you watch The Price is Right, either because you're sick, unemployed or both, and wonder why what happens to games like "On the Nose," "Poker Game" and "The Phone Home Game"? Ever wonder why some of The Price is Right's pricing games go to that big "Showcase Showdown" in the sky?

Do not question the mighty awesomeness of daytime game show gods! Their reasoning for taking some games before their time are sound and righteous in ways not meant for us mere mortals to understand. Also, some of them had the potential to critically injure or even kill someone on the show. Check out this dangerous attempt to play a game of "Super Ball!".

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Next up for Neil Patrick Harris is a game show

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 28th 2010 11:01PM
neil_patrick_harris_headshot_CBSIs there anything Neil Patrick Harris can't do? The other night he was positively stellar on American Idol as a guest judge, stealing the spotlight from Simon by being a fair but stern discerner of the talented and the talentless. You could really see him as a permanent replacement for Simon Cowell and doing a damn, good job. Then there was Dr. Horrible, Emmy host, Tony host and, naturally, Barney on How I Met Your Mother. Neil is a jack of all trade and a master of most!

Now we can add game show host to the list of accomplishments. The British competition show The Cube is coming to CBS and Neil Patrick Harris will be the host. You may recall that Fox attempted to get The Cube to America. After spending a few months developing it, the network dropped it in December.

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Woman faints on The Price is Right

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 26th 2010 8:07AM
It seems like there's something wild happening on The Price is Right every day. Last week we had the guy who just missed out on winning a new Porsche, and yesterday a woman fainted during the showcase. Why did she faint? Take a look. (By the way, she won the showcase.)

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Price is Right contestant loses a Porsche in heartbreaking fashion

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 21st 2010 5:23PM
When you go on The Price is Right and make it all the way to the Showcase, you don't expect to be bidding on a Porsche Boxster. So, when Jeffery, a contestant on yesterday's episode, got a chance to make his bid, he went for it, giving an amazingly knowledgeable-sounding bid of $58,500.

As you can see in the clip below, the results didn't exactly go in his favor. But it's not like he lost the Porsche by wildly over- or under-bidding; he was right about the price. He just wasn't right enough:

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Family Feud gets a new host

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 21st 2010 3:02PM
Steve HarveySo, are you in the "love John O'Hurley as Family Feud host" camp or "hate John O'Hurley as Family Feud host" camp? I guess it doesn't really matter now. The show has hired a new host.

Steve Harvey will replace O'Hurley as host of the long-running syndicated game show. Officially, O'Hurley says that he is leaving the show to focus on the musical Chicago and other things.

Not sure how I feel about this. Actually, that's not true. I know how I feel about: ambivalent. I don't really watch Family Feud. I think the only time I watch it anymore is if I'm surfing around and happen to land on it and there's nothing else on.

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Fox pulls Our Little Genius because of possible contestant tampering

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 8th 2010 11:30AM
Our Little GeniusFox has pulled one of its reality game shows from its lineup. Is it because they felt the show was exploiting families and their gifted children by publicly humiliating them in front of a national audience for profit? Hell no, this is Fox, a network that would pit a bear against a roided bald eagle in international waters and call it "educational programming."

Producer Mark Burnett has temporarily pulled the plug on his newest venture called Our Little Genius because of the possibility that some of the contestants were coached before competing.

Burnett said he learned that some of the producers told the contestants the topics on which they would be quizzed and even some of the questions they would be asked. This doesn't mean the show is gone forever, just for the moment. Again, hello, it's Fox.

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Meet Lolita McAuley, the Wheel of Fortune "self-potato" lady

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 7th 2010 7:02PM
Remember that "self-potato" contestant in the Wheel of Fortune clip we posted the other day? Remember how we all laughed and laughed at her unfortunate brain fart on national syndicated television?

Well, who's laughing now? Technically, still some of us since it's pretty funny.

Nevertheless, the contestant, Lolita McAuley, has become an Internet meme of her own thanks to that memorable clip. She talked to the New York Times about how she scored a spot on the show, her reaction to the momentary loss of her cognitive abilities and the wave of funny it has created on the Internet.

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Or is THIS the weirdest moment in Wheel of Fortune history?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 5th 2010 7:30PM
Mr. Sassone, I'll see your "Kelly Ripa" and raise you a "self-potato."

That's how one contestant responded to a toss-up puzzle. Then again, at least she pronounced "self-potato" correctly on her first try.

[via Buzzfeed]

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