Most Influential Current Game Shows
Bob Boden (Vice President of Production, Fox Reality Channel) gives expert video advice on: What are the most influential current game shows?; Why do hit game shows stay on the air so long?; What new game shows are poised to become hits or classics? and more...
What are the most influential current game shows?
There are three powerhouses of the game show world that are still going after numerous decades. The Price is Right, which is about to start its 36th season with Drew Carey as the host. The others are Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, both of which have come in at over 25 seasons, and close behind is Family Feud, which was on for a couple of decades on network and in syndication and is now going into it's 9th season in syndication again in the new version. Many of the other game shows that are influential today are the prime time shows. Most notably Deal or No Deal, which has had tremendous success on NBC, and several of the other shows that are not quite as successful just yet but have tremendous potential. These game shows include 1 Versus 100, The Singing Bee, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader, Don't Forget The Lyrics, and possibly even Power of 10.
Why do hit game shows stay on the air so long?
A good game show can last for many, many, many decades. Price is Right is a perfect example. Price is Right's core skill and core play along value is about what things cost. And everybody, everybody relates to that. That's a show that can go on forever. They've created a variety of game formats within the show; over seventy to date and each one of them is, in and of itself, compelling and engaging. Wheel of Fortune is a very simple game, a childhood game that everybody remembers, hangman, combined with a tremendous spectacle of shopping, winning money. In it's current incarnation; big, big prizes for solving puzzles. It's a show that will be on for quite a long time. Jeopardy is a show that very simply portrays human intelligence and everybody either wants to be smart or thinks they are smart or is enamored by people who are smart. And no matter how you watch Jeopardy, whatever of those three ways you watch it, or in a given episode, it could be all three; you're going to watch Jeopardy. Family Feud is a show that you cannot help watching without yelling at the TV. You just can't. It's a show that is tremendously involving. Every time a question is asked you have an answer for it and you can't believe that the people on the show didn't give your answer.
What new game shows are poised to become hits or classics?
I think that the closest thing to a modern classic is Who Wants to be a Millionaire. It's a show that really highlights the new era of prime-time, big money quiz shows. And it has had tremendous endurance, not only as a prime-time hit, but as a syndicated hit, and continues to garner fairly good ratings on a consistent basis. I think that show can endure for quite a while. I think that Deal or No Deal is a show that, if it's not overexposed, could stay on for a few more years. It's got a very simple, engaging format. It's got a great host, and it's something that I think is a thing that people will enjoy watching for a long time to come. I happen to think that the musical game shows that are on now, both Singing Bee and Don't Forget the Lyrics, are shows that are just so much fun to watch and play along, and they could have a healthy run, too. And 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader' is such a cute, funny, engaging show and everybody relates to it. It makes everybody think about their childhood and their education, and it's just such a charming, wonderful show and I think it's going to be around for a while.
What was the impact of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The best example of a modern game show that has its roots in an earlier game show is Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In many ways, it is a descendant of the $64,000 Question. The $64,000 Question, in its time, had tremendously advanced production values. However, when Who Wants To Be A Millionaire came on, it completely transformed the way that game shows look and sell, at the time. It was all about the drama, the very dark stage, the very brilliant lighting, the music, and the tension. That is what differentiated Who Wants To Be A Millionaire from all the previous question and answer game shows that had ever come. That's why it hit so big for so long.