Who doesn’t love the thrill of a good game show? The flashy sets, the obligatory host-and-contestant chit-chat, the nail-biting tension waiting to find out if an answer is correct, the riveting competition… The genre is as old as television itself and has been an entertainment staple since the early 1940s. While new shows debut year after year, there are a few old standbys that have stood the test of time. For example, The Price Is Right premiered back in 1956, and its syndicated revival has been running since 1972.
But not all game shows have been so lucky. Many programs have seen cancellations despite popularity and cult status. Thankfully, GSN and the recent reboot craze have resurrected many fallen shows of the past. To Tell the Truth, Love Connection and The Gong Show are all among the list of series that saw new life last year. The latest former favorite to return to television was Deal or No Deal. Howie Mandel’s suitcase spectacular comes back on Dec. 5, this time airing on CNBC.
There are still plenty of beloved game shows that have not gotten the reboot treatment of late. It’s about time these forgotten gems got some credit. Here, we put the spotlight on eight game shows that are overdue for a revival.
Press Your Luck
Ah, I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about nervous contestants uttering “no Whammies” to themselves before spinning for “big bucks” on this early ’80s CBS show. Trivia-based Press Your Luck got a short-lived revival courtesy of GSN in 2002 with Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck, although I think it’s about time to bring this pressure-packed concept to primetime. Perhaps celebrities could get in on the fun and the Whammies could be updated for 2018 — think of the emoji possibilities!
The Newlywed Game
Some of the most awkward and laugh-inducing answers heard in games show history are thanks in part to this long-running show that pitted couples against each other by testing how well the spouses know one another. Bob Eubanks played MC in its initial iteration back in the ’60s and ’70s, and subsequent hosts like Carnie Wilson followed in his footsteps for later revivals. Comedian Sherri Shepherd’s version aired new episodes from 2010 – 2013, but we’re scratching our heads as to why they stopped there. This is the kind of show that will never get old. As long as there are loved-up duos willing to put themselves out there on national TV, The Newlywed Game should be on.
A show set in an actual supermarket? That’s half the fun right there. Watching eager participants race through the aisles to find big-ticket items in order to rack up the highest grocery bill is a timeless joy that demands to get screen time in this day and age. I guess we’re not alone in our thinking — news of a potential revival circulated last year.
The Weakest Link
“You are the weakest link. Goodbye.” Those six no-nonsense words were quite the harsh parting sentiment from host Anne Robinson, who became a household name in America when British import The Weakest Link crossed the pond in 2002. If Robinson’s not available now, a new host might do an update of this quiz show good. Ricky Gervais? Helen Mirren? Patrick Stewart? Theresa May? Are any of you guys open to this gig?
What Would You Do?
Double Dare might be Nickelodeon’s more memorable game show of the past, and that iconic series was blessed with a reboot in summer of 2018, but I hold a special place in my ’90s kid heart for the lesser-known What Would You Do? Audience members engaged in stunts and oddball challenges, and pies in the face (yes, pies) were a central theme. There was a pie coaster. A pie slide. A pie wash. An adult format of this messy free-for-all of a program would be a sweet delight, am I right?
Looking back, the premise of MTV’s Singled Out seems ridiculous, dated and juvenile. Singles vied for the heart of one blindfolded lady or gentleman and were narrowed down based on compatibility. But dating shows have only gotten more outrageous over the years, and it preceded a franchise like The Bachelor, which is still going strong, so why wouldn’t it work 25 years later with a more modern twist?
Beat the Geeks
You may recall Comedy Central’s Beat the Geeks, which premiered in 2001 and only ran for two seasons. “Geeks” with incredible knowledge of pop culture went head-to-head with folks trying to outsmart them in a variety of subjects, ranging from KISS to Friends. It’s been nearly two decades since the show was born — there are so many fresh categories to explore and so many trivia savants to discover now.