Beat the Clock
I don't like the headline at this L.A. Times obituary for Narz, "Jack Narz Dies At 85; Host Of One Of First Programs Involved In Quiz Show Scandals." It makes the casual reader think that Narz actually had something to do with rigging the game show Dotto (found to have given some contestants the answers, along with Twenty-One and The $64,000 Question) in the 50s when in actuality he knew nothing about it. Sure, he's part of the story, but keep that info for the body of the article and not the headline.
(S01E03) Much better! After the awkwardness of The Price is Right and the emotionally robotic Let's Make a Deal, CBS's Game Show Marathon finally came up with a game that was fairly enjoyable: Beat the Clock. There were two reasons for that. First, it's always good to watch celebrities knowingly make fools of themselves in front of an audience. Second, they didn't have to guess the friggin price of Aspercreme to win a prize!
Add to that the fact that Beat the Clock is one of those quietly classic game shows that has endured since it first premiered on television in the 1950's. In this game there's no getting close to the actual dollar amount, no pressure to choose what was in the box or what was behind door number three. It's basically a game of teamwork. And, if the team works really well then riches abound. The concept has been used other shows such as Double Dare and, Lord help us, Fear Factor.
There also one more reason why I could tolerate this episode a bit more than the last two: Paige Davis is just so spunky!
Back in the 1980s, two classic game shows, Match Game and Hollywood Squares, were combined into a one-hour show. The result was extremely underwhelming to audiences back then. Now, over 20 years later, they're trying this concept again... with seven game shows combined into one. Don't network executives ever learn?
Actually, this one looks to be a bit more interesting than The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour (catchy, ain't it?). It's called Game Show Marathon and it's premiering on CBS tonight. Hosted by veteran talk show maven Rikki Lake, Marathon combines seven classic game shows into one program: The Price Is Right, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, Let's Make a Deal, Press Your Luck, Family Feud, and Match Game. Other than Deal, all of the other game shows have aired or are currently airing on CBS at one time or another.
Starting with The Price is Right, the show will pit six celebrity players against each other, who will attempt to win cash and prizes for home viewers. Game Show Marathon will continue to run twice-weekly until July, when it will settle into its Thursday night slot. TVgameshows.net profiles the game show and interviews Rikki Lake about the challenges of hosting seven different game shows at one time in a three-week period.
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