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October 26, 2014

twenty-one

Charles Van Doren finally opens up about the game show scandal

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 7th 2008 6:03PM
Twenty-OneI've been a nut about game shows ever since I was a kid (the good ones - I don't want to be bothered with something like Deal Or No Deal or Moment of Truth), and I've specifically been intrigued by the game show scandals of the 1950s. Game shows were really hot then - the reality shows of the 50s, really; several of them were on the air, they talked about and written about a lot, etc. - and several got caught in a cheating scandal, including Twenty-One, Dotto, and The $64,000 Question. The Twenty-One scandal was made into the Robert Redford movie Quiz Show, but I've always wanted to hear an in-depth explanation of what happened from Charles Van Doren, the teacher-turned-game show winner at the heart of the scandal (that's him on the right in the pic, with challenger Vivienne Nearing and host Jack Barry). Now Van Doren has opened up to The New Yorker in a piece that's long but well worth reading.

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TV Obits: Sowards, Di Sesso, Nearing, Downing

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 18th 2007 4:01PM

Star Trek IIA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Jack B. Sowards: He was a television and film writer who wrote for Bonanza, Peyton Place, Daniel Boone, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Hagen, The Bold Ones, B.L. Stryker, and Star Trek: TNG. He also wrote the big screen movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He died in Valley Village, CA at age 78.

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Game shows are really stupid nowadays

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 16th 2007 1:01PM

Howie MandelThat's not me saying that, it's The Los Angeles Times. But I have to agree.

As several of us here have pointed out in the past, just look at the shows that pass for game shows nowadays. Deal Or No Deal has the gimmick of hot chicks and shiny suitcases. So far, so good (every show needs something). But then we get the most annoying guests in the history of television. Seriously, these people are so OUTGOING and have big PERSONALITIES, all of them, that the producers must give them a test before the show and won't pick anyone normal. Even their family members are this way. This was never the case on game shows before, and if you got an episode where it was like that, it stood out.

Now all of these contestants are the same, and so are the shows. After all, what is Identity but Deal Or No Deal, only with humans instead of suitcases? More annoying guests, more luck, and more stupid decisions (honestly, quit while you're ahead). And the l.......o......n.....g, drawn out pauses and "suspense" each show tries to build. Ugh.

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