The Greatest Game Shows of All Time
By all accounts, it seems like the age of the game show is coming to a close. These days, game shows are disappearing from network television at an unprecedented rate, with some of the titles that once made household names of the hosts vanishing into obscurity as ratings collapse.
This is a far cry from the situation a decade ago when any roundup of the top-viewed shows on any network would usually include several game shows.
The decline of the TV game show is doubly emotional when one considers the fact that such shows have been with us since the very first days of television, and have had a monumental impact on mass media and popular culture. While the golden age of game shows might be long gone, we thought we’d look back at some of the best ones ever made.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Ever since its first release in 1998, WWTBAM was instantly hailed as a gamechanger. It was the first gameshow to bring the dark, intense, interrogation-style format to the genre, one that has been adopted by countless successors.
Most importantly, the show completely raised the stakes for what is possible, being one of the first shows ever to dish out seven-figure prizes to winners. The show has gone on to spawn adaptations in 160 countries worldwide, as well as a multimedia empire spanning books, board games, console games, and even real money online casino games.
In fact, fans of the original show can even play live casino WWTBAM at William Hill, using a live video uplink to compete for real cash prizes in a mockup of the original game studio. The TV show might have been canceled, but it’s clear that fans still have a strong appetite for this trailblazer.
The Price is Right
Such a simple concept executed flawlessly, The Price is Right has enjoyed one of the longest runs of any TV show in history, with a staggering 9000 episodes aired since the 1972 launch of the original. Instead of random trivia and nonsensical physical challenges, this show challenges competitors to simply guess the sticker price for a variety of household items, appliances, and luxury goods.
If you guess it right, you might even get to keep the item. This show has proven a hit among fans today partly because it is a fascinating window into how consumer trends have changed over time.
Meanwhile, the show continues to be observed as a barometer for the cost of living since the broad basket of goods used on the show tends to be representative of what families want and need. It is this representative, relatable aspect of the show that the legions of fans continue to love, even if the ratings are not what they once were.
Family Feud is probably one of the most culturally influential TV shows ever released, it has spawned countless parodies and transformed its various hosts into A-list celebrities in their own right.
The show also has the distinction of being one of the few that has truly stood the test of time, with the Steve Harvey iteration released in 2010 continuing to be one of the top 10 most-viewed TV shows in North America. The format of the show is what makes it so endlessly watchable.
The host will ask the contestants to guess the most popular answers to sets of questions put to 100 random members of the public. On top of the hilarious responses this causes, it also helps the audience feel like they can truly get involved, making it an interactive viewing experience for the ages.
The age of the game show might be coming to a close, but these legendary shows will not be forgotten anytime soon.