Game Shows Making a Comeback to TV and Game Platforms
As we begin to reach peak levels of reality TV, it would seem that the television trends have finally come full circle. Following the natural cycle of pop culture, it looks as though TV has gone back to the well of one of its most beloved and time-tested formats: the game show. That’s right, the game show seems to be making a valiant go at a comeback. The networks are putting a serious push behind bringing back old classics while also introducing new shows—and it’s happening on more places than just the tube.
Of course, game shows never really left, but they’ve definitely had their ups and downs in popularity. Since their first appearances in the 1930s, there have always been game shows in some form or another. Two of the most popular shows, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, have been around since 1964 and 1975, respectively. It seems like these shows have been in the same time slot (and hosted by the same people) forever. It also seems like interest in these programs hits a fever pitch every 10 years or so before ultimately bottoming out, only to be revived by some new program or fad.
In the mid-’90s the popularity of game shows was at an all-time low until the format was saved by the success of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. And after yet another slump near the end of the 2000s, people want to play again. There’s a slew of new games and old favorites that are now dominating the digital age. Just last year, Family Feud reached the top of the syndication ratings for the first time. It bested giants such as the aforementioned Jeopardy! and Wheel, and there’s a new edition of the celebrity version coming this summer.
Piggybacking on the success and renewed interest in shows like Feud, ABC is bringing back the classic $100,00 Pyramid with former NFL player and current Good Morning America member Michael Strahan taking over hosting duties. ABC is also looking at reviving Match Game and To Tell the Truth, neither or which have graced screens in more than 15 years.
The network has already seen a fair degree of success with its latest quiz show, 500 Questions, which is already in its second season. And it would seem as though game shows are drawing close to peak popularity once again. New iterations of classics are coming not only to television, but to video games and mobile devices as well. Combining the two is a web-based version of the popular syndicated game show Deal or No Deal, which available for both browsers and mobile devices. The game faithfully recreates the look and feel of the show while offering players an opportunity to earn real cash winnings. This is a change from the digital stakes of similar, app-based games based on Wheel of Fortune. Video game adaptations of popular TV game shows are nothing new, though, as Wheel, Jeopardy! and Family Feud all have popular mobile and console versions for fans to play at home. With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised to see app versions of the latest shows this summer.
There’s no telling how long the current craze is set to last, but you can be sure that the major networks will wring every last drop they can out of it before it ends. If one thing is for certain, it’s that people love their game shows. And as we inch closer to a century of having them around, you can probably expect many more years of trivia and puzzles. And who doesn’t love that?