The Newlywed Game
Game shows used to flood the dial of my TV back in the 1980s and '90s. And that was when my TV could only pick up eight channels, three depending on the weather.
Back then, almost everything from daytime fare to the occasional prime time bit of airtime starred game show hosts. Their purpose on television was solely to wear smart suits, make sure their teeth reached the optimum level of whiteness and keep the game moving but entertaining.
Now that game shows are making a slow but steady return to television, it seems the traditional role of "host" has turned away from the traditional "game" emcee like Chuck Woolery, Wink Martindale, Bob Barker and Art Fleming and more towards lively hosting personalities from other walks of entertainment life like Drew Carey, Wayne Brady, Howie Mandel and Guy Fieri. Does this mean that the role of the traditional TV game show has gone to that great big "Curtain No. 2" in the sky?
GSN has fallen in love with Carnie Wilson. Kelly Goode, GSN senior vice president for original programming and development, gushed about CW, saying, "Carnie is incredibly funny and earthy. ... She's a personality the viewers have fallen in love with. And she's a hit on The Newlywed Game.
In case nobody remembers the rules to game: each partner is given a question about the relationship without the other partner present. If each member of the couple give the same answer, they win points. Considering that they've been together for 20 years, somebody is going to be pretty pissed off if one or the other gives a different answer to the same question. Hopefully it won't lead to a divorce. The most interesting answers in the game will come from any question about "making whoopee".
The long-running game show, now on the GSN cable network, said Wednesday it will feature its first gay couple this season on a celebrity edition. George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on 'Star Trek,' will appear with his partner, Brad Altman.
They just celebrated their first anniversary after being married in Los Angeles last September, but they're nothing like the giggly young couples the game is known for. Takei and Altman have been together for 22 years.
So it's interesting that there are so many new genre award shows popping up. TV Land has had their own awards (The TV Land Awards) for a number of years now (the latest airs next week with Neil Patrick Harris hosting), and Bravo has The A-List Awards, whatever they are (it aired earlier this week). Now GSN is getting into the game (no pun intended) with The Game Show Awards, a show dedicated to giving awards to game shows, game show hosts, even game show sponsors!
If you haven't heard, the show is brought to you by eHarmony, the web site where people find love and happiness. If for some reason you tuned into the show and forgot that it was brought to you by the dating web site, then the many commercials for it would have reminded you.
If you still weren't quite sure who sponsored the show, the eHarmony question that host Carnie Wilson reads during the game would remind you. Still not sure? Then the eHarmony.com logo that is on every single card that the contestants hold up several times during the game are a dead giveaway.
(10PM, MTV) 5th season premiere
Spencer's still a tool, Speidi's still together, Lauren and Heidi are still not reconciled and Lauren is still employed at People's Revolution.
Now, about what's different for what is rumored to be the show's finale season: With Whitney in NYC, L.C. needs a new co-worker, and the surprising candidate is Spencer's sneaky sis Stephanie. And while Speidi is still cohabitating, buzz is that it may not be so happily.
Previews have shown Heidi getting all up in her boy's grill about some alleged extracurricular flirtations, while it also appears that Heidi and her ex-pal Lauren – one of Spencer's many sworn enemies – may be on their way to a reunion.
One of the biggest changes is that they're going to go ahead and build their set right next to the set for Divorce Court. Since so many marriages end up that way anyway, and The Newlywed Game is about testing how well the contestants know one another, it would make sense that some of the couples might want to head right over there. Hell, they could air the episodes back-to-back for a one-two punch of entertainment. Nothing like watching people's lives fall apart on national television.
The show itself is supposed to "put a twist" on classic game shows like Jeopardy and ... The Newlywed Game. I'm sorry, but The Newlywed Game? What in the hell are we dealing with here? The person who dreamed this up must have been chasing the dragon when they thought it was a good idea to compare their cat show to a program in which seemingly every question involved the phrase, "making whoopie."
A history of reality television (part five): I take this millionaire bachelor to be my geeky newlywed date - VIDEOS
For some, watching relationship-based reality programming is not their idea of a pleasant night in. Why should they watch shows about finding and keeping love when it takes so long to find that right person in real life? Yet, since the mid-'60s, viewers have turned-in to watch others search for their soul mate. Or, at least their soul mate of the hour.
Of course, in the time of the Reality Revolution, the way love was found on television changed a bit. Rather than asking a simple set of questions to a set of bachelors or bachelorettes sitting behind a wall, men and women would compete for the love of a well-to-do bachelor or bachelorette, or a rapper/model, or a washed up 80s hair band star. They would even compete to see if their love could withstand an onslaught of temptation.
Sometimes they would find their one true love on these reality show. Other times they would be tossed away, their hearts broken, like a piece of paper. Along the way they would be love, sex, fights, sex, heartfelt moments, and sex. With reality programming being what it is, the viewers ate it all up.
This marks the first time The Newlywed Game will have a female host. Hosts of previous incarnations have included Bob Eubanks (who hosted most of the show's incarnations), Jim Lange, Paul Rodriguez and Gary Kroeger. The Dating Game has had a previous female host in Elaine Joyce. Other hosts for that show have included Jim Lange, Jeff MacGregor, Brad Sherwood and Chuck Woolery.
A day hasn't gone by where we haven't received some sort of tip or email asking us, the TV Squad, how to get on [insert reality show here]. Unfortunately no, Simon Cowell does not work for us, and Donald Trump isn't my BFF, so we really can't help all that much.
The folks at RealityWanted.com often send us a list of new and existing reality shows that are looking for new, er, talent, and they've given us permission to make mention of them here. We'll try to make this a regular feature as often as we get a new list.
This time we have Trading Spaces, The Newlywed Game and other new shows.
For whatever reason, the name Chuck has turned out to be very popular this year. On TV, Pushing Daisies has a major character named Chuck and, of course, there's the new series Chuck. in the theaters, Chuck and Larry were happily married and Dane Cook was a Chuck with extraordinary luck. All these Chuck's got me thinking (not to mention craving a hamburger) some of the greatest people on television have been named Chuck. Here are a few.
Chuck Cunningham (Happy Days)
When the Cunningham family first made their appearance, Chuck was clearly the funniest part of the family. Unfortunately as the show progressed, it became clear that there simply wasn't enough room for Chuck in the house or on the series. Chuck Cunningham lives on, however, as the most famous forgotten character of all time.
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