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August 31, 2015


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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The Jeopardy Award: Call for considerations

by Isabelle Carreau, posted May 22nd 2008 3:20PM
TV Squad AwardsGame shows have been an important part of television since the late 1930s. In 1938, the BBC aired Spelling Bee, a show that is believed to be the world's first game show. In July 1941, CBS Television Quiz made history by becoming the first television game show to broadcast regularly. Since then, U.S. viewers were treated with all sorts of game shows such as To Tell the Truth, Beat the Clock, Concentration, Name that Tune, The Price is Right, Jeopardy, etc.

Jeopardy!, which premiered in 1964, is one of the most successful and popular game show in U.S. TV history. Its challenging questions and format helped make it a household name. This is why we named our "Primetime game show requiring the most skill" category after it.

In this category, we include 2007-2008 season game shows that air/aired in primetime (Jeopardy! is out of the running since it doesn't air in that block) and that are not reality-type game shows such as Survivor and Big Brother. Shows that come to mind are Duel, 1 vs 100, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and the primetime edition of The Price Is Right. Personally, I don't think Deal or No Deal or The Moment of Truth qualify since they don't require much skill.

Which shows do you think should be nominated for The Jeopardy Award? List your suggestions below!

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NBC's winter schedule

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Dec 7th 2007 7:03AM
Lipstick JungleIt was NBC's turn today to announce what its winter schedule would look like. The press release states that "NBC's first-quarter primetime schedule is slated to deliver significantly more hours of original programming than was ever the case in the first quarter of 2007." Besides the expected crop of reality and game shows, NBC's winter schedule will be filled with new episodes of series like ER, Friday Night Lights, Las Vegas, Medium, Scrubs and all three versions of Law & Order. Also added to the lineup will be Lipstick Jungle, a new dramedy starring Lindsay Price, Kim Raver and Brooke Shields.

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What to Watch Feb. 19 - 25

by Kelly Woo, posted Feb 19th 2007 9:32AM

Star Trek on History and The O.C.on FoxStar Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier (Mon., 9PM ET, History)
Space ... it's still the final frontier. Watching this special celebrating 40 years of Star Trek, I'm struck by how forward-looking the show was. Sure, the uniforms were totally '60s and the plots were super cheesy, but the concepts were light years ahead of their time. Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, narrates, with stars William Shatner, Patrick Stewart and Kate Mulgrew sharing insights into their various incarnations of Trek. Plus, see footage from last October's auction of Trek memorabilia.

American Idol (Tue., 8PM ET, Fox)
Is it just me or are this year's top 24 contestants almost completely unmemorable? Looking over their photos, I strained to recall each one. Actually, one did stand out -- the beatboxing guy, Blake. But can he sing? I think the judges were right in saying this season is more up for grabs than any since season one. This week, experience six hours of Idol overload, with the top 12 boys performing tonight, the girls taking their turn tomorrow and a two-hour results show Thursday. Phew!

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Identity: Premiere

by Brett Love, posted Dec 19th 2006 11:34AM
Penn Jillette(S01E01) The latest in the ever increasing line of game shows is upon us. With Penn Jillette hosting, NBC unveiled Identity last night. After one episode, the show has a lot going for it. To start, Jillette was a great choice for the host. He's good with the guests, manages to keep the show moving along, and a pretty funny guy. The line of the night came when he said of the shark attack victim, "If she didn't have that top on our ratings would be a lot better."

The game itself is rather simple. The contestant is presented with 12 strangers and a list of twelve identities. For each correct guess they move up the money ladder. Correctly identifying all twelve strangers is a $500,000 payoff. They have one mistaken identity in their pocket, so the first miss is a freebie. But a second miss sends them home with no cash.

To aid them in their quest there are two helper options. With "tridentity" they can pick one of the identities and the field will be narrowed down to three potential correct answers. There is also a panel of experts that includes a body language expert, a psychologist, and an fbi agent.

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Fox pulls Rich List off the schedule?

by Brett Love, posted Nov 4th 2006 2:05PM
Eamonn HolmesDid you watch the premiere of The Rich List, hosted by Eamonn Holmes (pictured), on Fox this week? If you did, you may now be able to tell people that you saw every single episode of the show. I read over on Digital Spy that Fox had pulled the show from the schedule. There hasn't been any official word from the network as to what their plans are for the future of the show. However, given the fact that it no longer appears in the list of shows on the official Fox site, and the page for the show has now disappeared, the chances of a return don't look very good.

The quick cancellation, if that's what it turns out to be, surprises me. Did anyone think the numbers were going to be huge when stepping into the middle of the Criminal Minds vs. Lost battle? I did see the show, and while it wasn't anything great, it was in the same ballpark as Deal Or No Deal and 1 vs. 100. I actually preferred the listing aspect to the random guessing of Deal, or the multiple choice questions of 1 vs. 100.

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ABC's big Wednesday plan

by Brett Love, posted Oct 27th 2006 12:31PM
william shatnerABC has a bit of a problem. Dancing with the Stars is going to end soon, they are down to the final four now, and with that it will lose two of the top five shows on TV. They've announced their plan for Wednesday. Beginning November 22, the results show will be replaced with a new game show from Endemol USA called Show Me The Money. Contestants will be presented with 13 dancers on stage and each of the dancers will have a scroll. As they answer trivia questions, dollar amounts from the scrolls will be added to or subtracted from their total. The press release also says that the 13 dancers will be ready to break into any style of dance at any time, "while audacious master of ceremonies William Shatner spontaneously boogies with the beauties on stage." Shatner... boogies with the beauties.

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Ken Jennings says 1 Vs. 100 could use some improvement

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 23rd 2006 7:03PM

ken jenningsKen Jennings recently conducted an interview with himself on his blog about his appearances on the first episodes of NBC's new game show, 1 Vs. 100, and offered a gentle critique of the show and how it could be made better. Apparently, being a member of the studio "Mob" isn't the most pleasant experience in the world. Folks aren't even allowed to sit down, though they do have a nice piece of plywood they can sorta lean against. By the end of a long day of shooting, many people actually got up and left. Jennings also said it's too easy for a contestant to build up a lot of money with the early, easy questions and just take off, which doesn't exactly make for compelling television. Jennings doesn't completely write the show off, but he does see a lot of room for improvement.

Given his penchant for trivia and his personable style, I wonder if we'll ever see a game show in the future hosted by Ken Jennings. I don't know what it would consist of, but I do know it should end with a boxing match against a kangaroo. That's the essential element missing from game shows these days.

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1 Vs. 100: Pilot (series premiere)

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 13th 2006 4:41PM
1 Vs. 100(S01E01) If you're a fan of the risk-takers on Deal or No Deal, you may be a fan of NBC's new game show, 1 Vs. 100, which airs tonight at 9. Like DoND, 1 Vs. 100 is a worldwide hit produced by game-show conglomerate Endemol. Also like its game show cousin, it has a well-known stand-up comedian, Bob Saget, as the host. But unlike DoND, this show requires a little more skill from the contestant than just picking numbers at random. The problem: despite the lights, the imposing "mob" and the catchphrase -- "The money? Or... the mob?" -- 1 Vs. 100 moves too slowly, and the questions are too easy, to keep a person's interest for an entire hour.

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