You really don’t see many quiz shows, more commonly known as game shows, on TV anymore. There are a lot of reasons for that: networks are cheap and it costs less to produce a show like The View (even at the inflated salaries of the panelists) and Judge Judy than a show like The $20,000 Pyramid; they were in their day mostly targeted to housewives who were home all day and who watched the game shows as a break between waxing the floor and cleaning the oven, who are also a dying breed; it’s hard finding sponsors for the show, who would often donate prizes in exchange for the free advertising; and people have other options to watching network TV. A kid home sick or on a school holiday isn’t interested in watching women trying to figure out the price of a box of Rice-A-Roni (“The San Francisco Treat!”), not when there are cable channels of every sort and streaming options like Netflix and Hulu as well as video games and friends to text.
There are still a few game shows that are hanging in there, of course. (I’m talking about the US here; I’m sure you could share information from your country if you live elsewhere in the world). The two big ones in the US are Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, which both started as network game shows and are now syndicated by Sony. They’re in their 35th and 34th years, respectively, in syndication, but had their roots in network TV in the Sixties and Seventies. CBS is still running The Price Is Right, which started its run on NBC with Bill Cullen as its host, ran for many years hosted by Bob Barker, who was then replaced by Drew Carey about ten years ago; and Let’s Make A Deal, a game show developed by Monty Hall, who hosted it on ABC for years and which CBS rebooted starring Wayne Brady. Family Feud is syndicated from its days on ABC, when Richard Dawson then Ray Combs hosted; Steve Harvey now hosts the syndicated version after stints by Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, and John O’Hurley. There had been syndicated versions of Hollywood Squares and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, both of which started as network shows. Now, I’m not sure if they’re still around.
I get my game show fix from Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! now. If I want to see more, I turn on Buzzr, which shows many of the game shows produced originally by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. There is the Game Show Network on cable, but we don’t have cable anymore.
Did you (or do you still) watch game shows? what are some of your favorites?