October 2nd, 2009
10:35 AM ET

Confessions of a game show addict

My name is James, and I'm a game show junkie. I've appeared on three game shows (and counting), and I've auditioned for at least a dozen more.

Wayne Brady

My mother once joked that my first complete sentence was "I'll take George Gobel to block."

I spent many childhood summers watching the daytime network game shows that filled my brain with knowledge, luck and skill.  I thought of emcees like Dick Clark and Peter Tomarken as Santa Clauses for adults - stuffing their stockings with cash and fabulous prizes.

Those days are pretty much long gone.  Outside of "The Price of Right" on CBS, the networks gave up on game shows as a daytime programming strategy years ago.  NBC's last effort was "Caesar's Challenge" in 1994, while  an early 90s revival of "Match Game" was ABC's final attempt at daytime games.

But could CBS be turning the tide when it comes to the genre?

CBS is replacing its long-running soap "Guiding Light" with a revival of the classic game show "Let's Make a Deal."  You may remember that show - host Monty Hall offering trades and making deals to costumed contestants.  Some trades could be successful (cars, trips, cash), while others end in failure (the dreaded "Zonk" - usually gag prizes of little value).

The costumed contestants are back for the revived "Deal", but the new "big dealer" is entertainer Wayne Brady (Hall, now 88, is a consultant for this version).  In addition, the new "Deal" is taping at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, making the show an intriguing attraction for tourists on a budget and looking for a different game of chance.

With daytime soaps on the decline across the board, there's no doubt that CBS and the other networks are looking at "Deal" as a possible sign of things to come.  If "Deal" can match or succeed what "Guiding Light" did in the ratings, the networks could turn to other lower-cost game shows as an alternative to more expensive sudsers.

Will you be watching the new "Let's Make a Deal" when it premieres on October 5?  And what classic game shows would you like to see the networks revive?

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Filed under: television

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Bryan E

    I loved Sale of the Century, it was fast paced and very well produced in the 80's on NBC.

    October 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. edward b

    I'd love to see Word Play again. Word Play was broadcast on NBC from December, 1986-September, 1987. It was funny. Each episode featured nine words. A contestant chose a word and three celebrities gave definitions. One was the right definition. The contestant had to choose the right one. If the contestant guessed wrong, the other contestant got a chance to win the money for that word. If both guessed wrong no money was awarded. The contestant with the most money played the bonus round. Tom Kennedy was the host.

    October 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matt

    Actually, ABC's early '90s take on Match Game was excellent. Ross Shafer made for a good successor to Gene Rayburn, the celebs were funny and the game ran pretty much as the classic '70s series did. When they did the syndicated Match Game (I think it was late '90s or early '00s) with Michael Berger and the "regulars" were Vicki Lawrence and Judy Tenuda...it was horrible to say the least. The whole game sequence had been jacked up, there were only five celebs now, the end game was only for $5,000 - it was shoddy.

    I read about TBS' attempts at making Match Game and I'm glad they never went through with it. Putting it in a late night time slot because they wanted to make it raunchy and wild (with panelists like Sarah Silverman, Norm Macdonald, etc)...BIG MISTAKE. The wackiness and bawdiness of the series from the '70s was because the wild responses were unscripted and accidental, NOT the producers telling Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, etc. to be as crude as possible.

    October 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cathie G.

    I love Wayne Brady, what a wonderful choice. He did a great job with "Don't forget the Lyrics". He is funny and witty. I would love to see "Name that tTune" make a comeback. Wayne would be a great host on that show too.

    October 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Timothy

    From one game show junkie to another, I will be watching the CBS LMaD with bated breath. I recall the brief cruddy version put out by NBC a few years ago hosted by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood fame. I hope the powers that be have learned their lesson from that fiasco.

    Great blog btw, James! 🙂

    October 4, 2009 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. danuff1

    1. Tattle Tales
    2. Match Game
    3. To Tell the Truth
    4. Name That Tune
    5. What's My Line?

    Those would be my top 5 picks.

    October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LaT

    OMG!!! I remember Supermarket Sweep. LOVED IT!! My mom and I used to watch it all the time. It needs to make a comeback. I agree Margie-hopefully they find someone who doesnt always have on a sweater this time. I agree with Scott too Double Dare was Awesome!

    October 2, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. darrensanders

    I hope they bring back "Press you Luck". That show was hilarious, No whammys, No whammys, Stop. The blooper reels from The Newlywed Show alone is reason enough to hope game shows make a comeback!

    October 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Margie

    supermarket sweep – with a host that doesn't always wear a sweater! and concentration.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Allen

    Sorry to read that Pyramid was dropped in favor of Let's Make Deal. Should they try again, I'll make a beeline to LA to audition for it.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RickJamesMemphis

    I forgot about Tattletales!! YES!!

    October 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RickJamesMemphis

    Match Game
    There would have to be a core of at least 3 people that would be on all the time.
    Kathy Griffin
    Steve Harvey
    Mario Cantone
    Not to mention all the "so called" celebrities of today!

    October 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. samantha


    October 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. eni

    wayne brady is great at whatever he does, but I never liked lets make a deal and will probably not watch or DVR..I think match game would have been a better pick or wayne brady hosting the newlywed game.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DD

    Isn't Newlywed Game back with Carnie Wilson??? Just not the same w/o Bob Eubanks!

    October 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Brandon

    Larry, Comedy Central tried an updated "Gong Show" about a year ago with Dave Attell, but it never really caught on...

    I've been watching the second ep. of "The Price is Right", in what will be "Let's Make a Deal"'s timeslot. I'll watch on Monday, and like the idea of a network game show airing in daytime for the first time in 15 years...when "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" came out in the late-90s, a lot of people questioned a network trying a primetime game show succeeding. It's now been 10 years, and the experiment worked pretty well. I'd love to see the same effect happen on daytime, but perhaps a nice blend of game shows and soaps, not a complete takeover the way game and reality shows did to primetime in the early-to-mid-2000s.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Patricia

    What about Concentration?

    October 2, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Craig MD

    By the way, Newlywed Game is still on air (and making new episodes). Season Premier was this week actually.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tom

    How about 'Concentration'! YES! Or even an updated 'Love Connection' that was always fun to watch.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Ryan

    This is a great step for fans of teh genre, to see such a great show back. Brady should do a wonderful job at the helm, I mean, he probably would not be there without Monty's blessing.

    As for other revivials, I would love to see CBS do Pyramid right again. I saw some of the images from the pilot, and it looked to be a wonderful throwback, with a modernized set. My understanding is they kept true to the game most of us know.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. TDinVA

    I want CBS to bring back "Match Game" in the style of the 70s show hosted by Gene Rayburn. I think they should make "Let's Make a Deal" only half an hour and bring back "Match Game" to be the other half hour!

    October 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Larry

    I was thinking Gong Show but I guess they already got that with America's Got Talent. When I was a kid I liked Joker's Wild. Not sure why.

    October 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  23. BarbeeK

    Yes!! Name that Tune was the best!!!!

    October 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  24. mg

    I loved Hollywood Squares, trouble is the actors/actresses these days would want a huge payday for the show...BOO!!

    October 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Chris

    "The NBC television network presents..."

    October 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Laura

    I agree with Jokers Wild, Match Game – how about Make Me Laugh too?

    October 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. PJM

    Actually, TBS is considering reviving Match Game, but it doesn't sound that good with the panelists they chose. Every version of Match Game past the original was a clunker. The GSN version of Press Your Luck isn't that good, IMO. They should bring back Pyramid, but go back to the original stage setup and get somebody more low-key to host it. Donny Osmond was OK, but not great.

    I don't know if Let's Make a Deal will work, but it won't be Wayne's fault if it doesn't. He can host a show.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. vella

    I would love to see Password & Camouflage return. Because of the popularity of the hosts in the past, the networks will have to be very careful in who they choose to emcee returning game shows. Gene Rayburn, Alan Ludden, Art Fleming, Bob Eubanks, to name a few. And they were not "movie stars", they simply have/had great personalities.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Sissy

    Peter Tomarkan died in a plane crash a couple of years ago.

    I loved Press Your Luck. Whammy just isn't the same.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Mike

    Would love to see: Jokers Wild, Match Game, What's My Line, Treasure Hunt, Name That Tune, and maybe Tattletales

    October 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Dan

    I would love to see "Deal" with Wayne Brady. I really liked him with Drew Carey. Today I can DVR it and watch it later. Maybe a new Newlywed Game??

    October 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Chim

    the fan blog

    in case you didn't know Peter Tomarken was killed in a plane crash a few years ago.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Derek

    Would love to see "Press Your Luck" and "Match Game" make a comeback.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Rusty

    "$1,000,000 Pyramid" was under consideration at one point, with Tim Vincent and/or Dean Cain hosting. CBS ordered a couple of pilot episodes (one with each host), but ended up passing in favor of "Let's Make A Deal".

    I'd love to see "Scrabble" come back.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  35. DIANA

    I remember I would be glued to my TV during the summer to watch Match Game and Lets Make a Deal. I'd give it a try though I know Wayne Brady has some big shows to fill. Same with Match Game, I think that's why it failed he second time around – nobody could take Gene Rayburns place.

    They're better than those stupid shows where people are screaming at each other trying to figure out who's their baby's daddy, or the soaps who repeat the same old storyline over and over.

    October 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Scott

    Hmm, I think someone should just realize that Plinko being the favorite thing on Price is Right means they should make a complete show where people play with a giant Plinko-like board. They could put different things in as prizes or make it so people have to compete against one another for points, etc.

    Also, bring back Double Dare!

    October 2, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  37. bob Buehrer

    Press your luck is already back on Game show network....though it is different than the original.

    October 2, 2009 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  38. Travis

    With the new "Press Your Luck" game coming out next month for Wii, PC, and Nintendo DS, it may be time for the Big Board to return.

    Although, a point about what the first poster mentioned, it would be impossible for the late Mr. Tomarken to take over.

    October 2, 2009 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  39. Mark

    If I were home I'd be watching. It's about time for morning game shows to make a comeback, as they'd be a nice break from all the morning talk shows that circulate the same guests plugging the same stuff.

    Personally, I think America is ready for the return of Tic Tac Dough. Heck, Wink could probably still host it.

    October 2, 2009 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  40. thefanblog

    Let's go with Press Your Luck with the afforementioned Peter Tomarken

    October 2, 2009 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |

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