game show network
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?
According to the AP, Springer will host the dating game series 'Baggage,' set to kick off in April on the Game Show Network.
The show will reportedly feature three contestants in search of a suitor, all of whom carry faults of their own. The contestants will reveal and defend their baggage on stage until a winner is ultimately chosen. At the end of the show, the suitor will reveal that -- surprise! -- he or she isn't perfect, either.
I'm happy that this show doesn't involve people throwing chairs each other or women sleeping with their grandfathers, but couldn't Springer have just done a normal, regular, traditional game show? Why does it have to have this dating/reality show vibe, this..."ick" factor? (Hey, there's a title for a game show.)
The best part of the BuzzerBlog story above is that it says that GSN is bringing back both 'Card Sharks' and 'Million Dollar Password' to the network next month.
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.
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.
'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.
In fact, there have been more egregious and blatant attempts to guarantee a win in a pricing game by skewing the odds in their favor, sometimes right in front of the host's eyes.
For instance, here's a "Shell Game" contestant who does something so outrageous, so ballsy, so completely devious that Bob Barker can't help but rip her to verbal shreds in front of the entire nation. And not only does she get away with it, but she actually wins the game!
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.
I don't know about you, but I've had it up to here (hand planted right around nose height) with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The network airs the show way, way too much. I'm sure it's popular and there are probably promotional considerations involved, considering it's actually a show that's still on the air (GSN airs both the older Regis Philbin episodes and the newer Meredith Vieira ones), but we really don't need the show on as much as it is.
What would I put on instead? More classic game shows!
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.
Father's Day has always been a weird holiday for me. I never knew my father, as he died when I was only a year old in the '60s, so to me Father's Day has never been anything more than just another day to me. I sometimes wonder how I would be if I had known my father growing up.
(Wait, did I just get serious there for a moment? Quick, say something snarky! Moment of Truth sucks! OK, back to the post.)
This Sunday, June 15, GSN will celebrate Father's Day with a poker-filled marathon. Actually, the celebrating starts tomorrow, Friday, at noon. World Poker Tour host Vince Van Patten will join his father Dick on an episode of GSN Live, which will be followed by episodes of game shows that the elder Van Patten appeared in. Then on Sunday at 3pm, the network will have a six hour marathon of classic World Poker Tour matches, followed by the two hour premiere of the 5th Annual Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure tournament, hosted by A.J. Benza and Daniel Negreanu.
On Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19, GSN will run two different Griffin marathons, from 10am to 3pm. The shows included in the marathons will include a Chuck Woolery-hosted episode of Wheel Of Fortune and the first episode that featured Vanna White. We'll also see the first NYC-based episode of Wheel (not sure why this is so special, but I guess I'll wait and see) and a Jeopardy Masters Tournament of Champions. On Sunday night we'll see a 1960 episode of Play Your Hunch, a game show Griffin hosted, and then at 3:30am we'll see a To Tell The Truth episode that Griffin guest hosted.
That's a lot better than their tribute to Kitty Carlisle earlier this year, when they ran her game show appearances in the wee hours of the morning and that was it.
GSN has bought the rights to the (very) short-lived ABC game show Show Me The Money, hosted by William Shatner. That's a total of seven episodes, including two that never aired.
Wow, what a get! Seven episodes of a lame TV show that lasted for five episodes. Did GSN get some sort of great deal on this? Are they that hard up for shows? It will run Tuesday night, but maybe it should be a daily show, so they can go through the entire run of the show is a week. Maybe they'll have a week long marathon and show the same seven episodes over and over and over again.
A network buys a short-lived game show but no one is currently running Kate and Allie or The Odd Couple, both of which lasted years. Crazy.
We told you the other day that longtime To Tell The Truth panelist and patron of the arts Kitty Carlisle Hart had died at 96, and one of us here mentioned that GSN will probably air a tribute to her. And in fact, they are going to give her a tribute this weekend.
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