Thanks for visiting!

SS Monday SS Tuesday SS Wednesday SS Thursday SS Friday SS Weekend SS Archives Primes Lineup About Us
InSites On the Buzzer Numbers Game State of Play WLTI Block Party Video Wall Replay News Archive Contact
January 8
January 15
January 22
January 29
February 5
February 12
February 19
February 26
March 4
March 11
March 25
April 8
April 15
April 22
June 23

Opinions expressed in InSites do not necessarily reflect those held by Game Show Newsnet as a whole or its parent partner, Stormseeker Digital.

Copyright Statement

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 


Turning Japanese
June 30

It's the oldest form of imitation without imitation. See something from another country that works... that something else from that country.

In 1999, the success of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" led to a run on anything from England (bonus if you were "from the producers of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire... Winning Lines). The whole of Europe was up for grabs when "Survivor" and "Big Brother" proved to be viable properties.

So what's the latest thing? About half-a-decade removed from the days of MXC and Iron Chef... Anything Japanese.

Our friends across the Pacific didn't get some big time game show love until recently, with the hit success of the Japanese-rooted, American born "Wipeout" becoming this summer's must-see show, while its network make "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" still has many a person talking.

Regular folk may see this as the start of something new. Us game show folk... Not so much. Consider the following timeline...

Storm the Castle (CBS): this 1993 entry would be the first major-network game for Michael Burger (who would later go on to match the stars for a year) and Nely Galan (who would later create the Swan Institute for Higher... err, Highlights). Unfortunately, the "Takeshi's Castle" adaptation would only last all of one one-off special.

Iron Chef (Food Network): 1999 would bring about the first import of a show that up until then only enjoyed cult status among fringe groups of Asianophiles (guilty), foodies, and residents of San Francisco. 2001 would bring about the first American adaptation (and thankfully the only one involving William Shatner). 2004 would bring us something a little more true to the original.

And it had Alton Brown in it, so nyah.

MXC (Spike TV): not exactly a game show per se, this "most extreme" rehash of "Takeshi's Castle" (in every sense of the word) that bowed in 2003 built a while enterprise about the notion that people, men in particular, will watch anything that has any combination of the following...

a) BAD (or "bad American dubbing")
b) people falling, faceplanting, or otherwise crashing into things
c) clever writing

And it laid the building blocks for Matt Kunitz to develop shows like "Fear Factor" and "Wipeout".

Hey! Spring of Trivia (Spike TV): launched in 2004, this pseudo-game show indulged in our collective fascination with esoterica... but it didn't last long enough to do something with it. But I did learn a few things from it. For example... 111,111,111 times 111,111,111 equals 12,345,678,987,654,321.

Don't believe me? Do the math. But this bit won the Golden Brain for the episode (and the melon bread inside that looked like a brain).

Master of Champions (ABC): based on the "World Records" program, people from all walks of life competed for a coveted spot on the Wall of Champions by showing off their mastery of a certain skill, like BMX biking, drift driving, or... things that would eventually wind up on "America's Got Talent". At least in one case.

Ninja Warrior (G4): the annual "Sasuke" competitions on Mount Midoryama gave rise to this show, which took the specials, broke them up into 30-minute episodes, and on G4's count... unleashed hell on the competitors and spectators alike. But everyone gobbled it up like gangbusters, giving rise to...

Unbeatable Banzuke (G4): another man-versus-obstacle-course show, only this time, we throw in an additional crutch.... or stilt... or pogo... or bike... or skateboard. You get the idea. Like Ninja Warrior before it, it became a smash with the audience, mostly due to the failure (and there was enough to go around) of the players to complete the "Kinniku Banzuke" tasks (even so much that a UK adaptation was commissioned, "Under Pressure").

Hole in the Wall (Fox... Eventually): thanks to Youtube, this 2007 spinoff of "Tunnels no minnasan no okage deshita", dubbed "Human Tetris" by people who couldn't think of anything else to call it, will soon be on our screens. Once again, our primordial attraction to watching televised humiliation, combined with network's willingness to take a chance on anything that works, is in full display.

Which leads us to the present, and to no surprise that "Wipeout" was going to do well. The only real surprise, other than the extent of its hit status, is that everyone else is beginning to pay attention to it.

It takes all kinds, I suppose.

Game Show Alphabet Redux

It's been a while. I had to check up on myself to find out that we're up to "E", and we head back to 1954 this summer, and "Earn Your Vacation."

This show featured Johnny Carson in his national television debut. The premise... geography equals a holiday. It was a summer game for CBS primetime that began as a radio series in 1949, predating "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" by about 40 years, "The Amazing Race" by about 50, and our current stay-cation craze by about 60.

25 Days That Rocked the Game Show World: Day 18

You want me to talk about the fracas with TPIR. Much as our world was pretty much wrought asunder that day (or something to that effect), that's actually going to be part of next week's column, assessing Drew's first season as TPIR host.

Right now, let's go to the 70s. Much like the high-definition era that we're living in, these times had to adapt to changing technology. In this particular case, it was the switchover from black-and-white to living color (TM, NBC... Heh). And before this particular date, using lights and neon for a television game show was unheard of. Using sports commentator Dick Enberg... ALSO unheard of (Okay, not totally... Sports Challenge WAS two years ago).

March 26, 1973 - "Baffle" Buzzes Like Neon

Before "Baffle", an updated version of "PDQ", aired on NBC, most game show sets were bland and uninspired. The holy trinity of game show historians, Steve Ryan, Fred Wostbrock, and David Schwartz, write...

"Showing color required having color to show. The creative game show set designers began to add bright carpets, multicolored podiums, dazzling lights that chased and flashed, and carefully crafted set pieces that moved and turned to give us that ever changing look. Before the late 1960s and early 70s, set designers had never utilized lights as part of the set design."

Then came "Baffle", a show that lasted one year and gave rise to the use of flashing lights to create a Vegas-like atmosphere, almost suited to the winning attitudes of game shows in general.

Such patterns would continue on from classics like "The Price Is Right" to sets drowned in a sea of strobes and neon like "Deal or No Deal".

を読むことができますこの場合、電子メールでチコアレクサンダー  Thanks, Noriko!