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Today is

Today I Declare Independence From... - July 4

…having any more birthdays!  Just kidding.  Tomorrow (July 5th) is the big day.  Birthdays have never been a huge deal to me…no massive parties or anything…the only goal has ever been to get out and do something, not spend it at home or at work.

That will be accomplished.

Until then, though, I thought we should look back at the year that was.  No, not for me…my year was BORING.  In games.

This time last year, we saw the most blatant rip-off of a reality show ever:  Tommy Hilfiger’s “The Cut.”  Can you believe we had just seen the beginning of the phenomenon that is now “Dancing with the Stars” too? 

The buzz about “Deal or No Deal” was also starting.  By late in the year, I was concerned that Howie Mandel’s comedic side would overpower the game.  Boy, was I wrong!! 

Then came the announcement that Steve Beverly, proprietor of the long-running “Game Show Convention Center,” was changing his site to a weekly site versus a daily one.  GSNN paid tribute to Beverly across our platforms, as his site was part of the reason this one was created and able to grow.

The best one of these columns I did last year was on January 3rd…when we began discussing hosts for the upcoming syndicated “Deal or No Deal.”  Assuming the project still goes forward next fall…it will be interesting to see what happens there.

Now that it’s over…

Let’s fully look back on “Gameshow Marathon.”  And will it be back?  I’m not sure.  Moreover, I’m concerned that “Marathon” might have hurt the chances of primetime “Price is Right” episodes coming back.  I think a slightly scaled-down version of “Marathon” with non-celeb contestants…stripped five days a week…would be a hit!  Or you could use the “programming wheel” theory being employed by new network MyNetworkTV and run a different show each quarter…or even each month.   That would work even in primetime.

I just don’t think the public appetite is there to watch celebrities play game shows, hosted by Ricki Lake…at least not on a regular basis.  I hate to say that, but I do believe it.  Folks like us – die-hard game show fans – will watch that…but the bulk of the public?  Probably not.

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed “Marathon,” especially after the first week.  But I must say, CBS spoiled the finale with their POOR attempt to blur out the Feud family names.  If you looked closely, you could easily see one family name, and possibly even both names, in the promos a couple weeks before the finale.  So I knew who was going to win each semifinal before it was ever played.

Me at GSC?

Barring some last-minute changes (which are possible the way my life is going!), I won’t be able to attend this year’s GSC.  Maybe it’s better that way…and I’ll tell you why.  I have never been to America’s left coast.  Going this year means rushing in and rushing right back out.  It sure would be nice to take a week or so…see a few tapings…and explore the area a little bit.  This year, that wasn’t an option.  So, eh.

Game Show Alphabet

I promised you the trifecta…M, N, and O.  Here we go:

At M, we take on a recent show, “Moolah Beach.”  The series, hosted by J.D. Roth, was a direct predecessor to the Discovery Kids’ series “Endurance,” also hosted by J.D. Roth.  “Moolah Beach” aired on FOX in the fall of 2001, and replayed on what was then FOX Family Channel.  The show also replayed on ABC Family when FOX sold its channel to Disney and the channel was renamed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moolah_Beach

For N, I would be crazy not to highlight “The Newlywed Game.”  The series first launched on ABC Daytime in July 1966, and ran for more than eight years.  A concurrent primetime version was broadcast for four of those years.  Versions also aired from 1977-1980, 1984, 1985-1989, and 1997-2000. 

Bob Eubanks has been synonymous with this franchise from the beginning…hosting all but two years and one week of the program.  Jim Lange hosted in 1984, Paul Rodriguez in 1989, and Gary Kroeger in 1997.

More info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newlywed_Game

For O, we go way back in the past…to the 1950’s.  The show was called “On Your Account.”  In it, contestants had to answer questions to win money either for charity or for someone else.  One player was later chosen by the audience to win a bonus.  The series aired from June 1953 to March 1956…moving from NBC to CBS 52 years ago today.  The primary host was Dennis James, though there were other hosts in the early part of the series.

Thanks for another great year!

Wish Jason Elliott a happy birthday at jason@stormseeker.com

 

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