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April 16, 2014

game shows

'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?

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Six Game Shows that Used Actual Torture

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 8th 2010 4:00PM
An act of torture during the InquisitionIf you were shocked to hear about ABC's 'Downfall,' a game show that drops people off of buildings for our amusement, you clearly don't watch enough TV and lead a rich, fulfilling life.

Television's long and storied history is filled with game and competition shows that pit their contestants in a physical, psychological and gastrointestinal showdown, most of which were lost to the ravages of obscurity. Well, it's "filled" if you only look at the last few years or so when the economy tanked and people turned to humiliating themselves in the national media to keep from having to hunt small rodents for sustenance. That's how 'The View' got started.

These are the shows that not only tortured contestants, but also their viewing audience unless Dick Cheney happened to be watching any of them.

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Is Game Show Hostdom Dead?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 26th 2010 3:10PM
Game show hosts Drew Carey, Wayne Brady and Guy Fieri
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?

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Japan Still Has The Craziest Game Shows

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 25th 2010 2:00PM
I think we can all agree that Japan still controls the market in WTF game shows. Sure, we can laugh about how "crazy" 'Wipeout' is, but Japanese game shows make that show and 'Minute To Win It' seem like 'Jeopardy.'

PopCrunch has the ten most insane moments from Japanese TV, and most of them are from game shows. Here are two of my favorite choices (probably NSFW).

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'Wipeout' Getting Down and Dirty with Nintendo

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 19th 2010 8:05PM
ABC's Do you want to experience the awesome majesty of the 'Wipeout' obstacle course but without having to endure the painful humiliation of having to sacrifice your dignity on national television? Nintendo has the answer.

A video game version of the popular ABC game show is headed to the Nintendo Wii and the DS. An official release date has not yet been set.

David Oxford of Activision Publishing said in a released statement, "Watching ABC's 'Wipeout' on TV is outrageous fun, and viewers can't help but dream of trying the obstacles themselves. We designed the video game with this in mind. 'Wipeout: The Game' brings all of the challenge and laugh-out-loud hilarity without the pain."

I assume he means the emotional pain and not the physical, unless of course someone catches you playing it in public.

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The Most Epic 'Press Your Luck' Moment You'll See Today

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 17th 2010 6:30PM
The cult hit CBS game show 'Press Your Luck' has long been a hotbed of television legends from the pre-celebrity appearances by the likes of talk shot hostess Jenny Jones and Myke Horton aka 'American Gladiator's' Gemini to the unstoppable force that was ice cream truck driver Michael Larson.

One that seems to have fallen under the radar is this epic "spin battle" between two contestants in the final throes of the episode. Both of these mighty Whammy warriors bring their scores to an astronomical amount that could rival the majesty of Mount Olympus, only to come crashing down to game show doom.

Check out this bit of "Game Show Thunderdome" where two women enter, but only one leaves ... and then, technically, the other but without any money or sense of personal dignity.

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Convicted Serial Killer Appeared on 'The Dating Game'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 15th 2010 8:02PM
This just in from our "Department of Stories That Will Keep You Up at Night By Reminding You that the World Can Be an Awful, Horrible, Rotten Place." We probably need to rework the title.

Rodney Alcala, a serial killer convicted for the deaths of four women and a child, appeared as "Bachelor No. 1" on a 1978 episode of 'The Dating Game' hosted by Jim Lange. And here's the most f-ed up part, he won!

Buzzerblog found the actual episode on YouTube, that never-ending fountain of "Keyboard Cat" entertainment, of Alcala competing for the heart of one Cheryl Bradshaw. CNN also talked to one of his fellow bachelors who described him as "obnoxious" and "creepy," which incidentally is how most people describe what it feels like to watch a full episode of 'The Dating Game.'

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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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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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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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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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Why do some TV shows lie to their viewers about the holidays?

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 29th 2009 9:04AM
Vanna and PatSo I'm watching Wheel of Fortune last night, the first new episode after Christmas. I was actually surprised that there was a new episode of the show (and Jeopardy). I thought they'd go into repeats like other game shows like The Price is Right and Let's Make A Deal this week.

Anyway, the show opens and Pat Sajak and Vanna White come out and greet the audience and the game is played. Then the duo come back for their banter before the show ends and they talk about Christmas and Pat asks Vanna how her Christmas went. She says it was good. And I sigh heavily and want to bash my head against my coffee table.

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Cash Cab becomes iPhone game app

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 17th 2009 4:02PM
Cash CabAre you the kind of person who watches Cash Cab (and you do because admit it, you can't not watch it when it's on) and thinks you could do ten times better than the dunderheads that Ben Bailey just picked up?

Do you know the answer to every question before they fly out of the host's mouth faster than a New York cabbie hurling a curse word out of his window during bumper-to-bumper gridlock?

Then prove it. Put your iPhone where your mouth is because Discovery and Capcom have released a new Cash Cab game app for the device.

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ABC taking another spin on game shows

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 10th 2009 4:03PM
ABC's last attempts to revive the game show dynasty failed harder than Crystal New Coke. How bad were they? Not even the magic and majesty of William Shatner could bring them back from the dead.

Now ABC is taking another chance on giving people a chance to win fabulous cash and/or prizes by picking up a game show from Russia called What? Where? When?.

Game show powerhouse Merv Griffin Entertainment is behind the move and will most likely rename the show The Six. It's also fully interactive with the audience since it gives viewers the chance to win a prize. If ABC manages to produce a decent game show for a change, that would be enough of a prize for me.

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Comic Soupy Sales passes away at 83

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 23rd 2009 11:35AM
soupy_sales_2When I was a kid, I remember watching Soupy Sales. He had a children's show, The Soupy Sales Show, on channel five in the New York area and he was a wacky, funny guy. He had bizarre creatures around him, puppets named Pookie and White Fang and Black Tooth. Soupy did outrageous things and often ended up with a pie in the face. In a lot of ways, there might have been no PeeWee Herman if there hadn't been a Soupy Sales. In my memory, I always liked Soup and liked his show. On Thursday, Soupy Sales died at the age of 83.

In addition to The Soupy Sales Show, Soupy was a comedian. He played clubs and did shtick, and all through the 1960s and 1970s he was a regular on game shows, including What's My Line, To Tell the Truth, Match Game and Hollywood Squares.

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