Saturday, April 21, 2018

Making plans

Rambling around the game show Interwebs on a slow news weekend, I came across this commentary on Game Show Garbage.

The title is "The Plan For The Rest Of Season 9 At Game Show Garbage". An evil confession: the title reminds me of the classic groaner Plan 9 from Outer Space. The GSG article is less fun, though. It's just a prediction of what should happen at the site over the next several months.

There's a lot of verbiage about copyright problems at YouTube and how the site will deal with them. Most of what GSG posts isn't worth arguing about, so I won't get too concerned. It's not like they're operating the YouTube What's My Line channel, after all.

The site also promises new inductions for May, July and August. I shouldn't prejudge, but these will probably be, as usual, mediocre shows that hardly deserve GSG's overheated rhetoric. Though as I wrote a few weeks ago, Game Show Garbage may be mellowing a little. The site got all gushy about some kid shows.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The kids are all right

I've been such a grumpy old fart about Jeopardy's various stunts that I made sure to watch the finals of the college tournament.

Wish I could report that the finale was a barnburner, but Dhruv Gaur of Brown University made a shambles of the contest. He was clearly the class of the tournament, and he put away the hundred grand top prize with ease. He didn't need to wager anything on the last clue, but he still bet nineteen bucks. He's nineteen years old, you see.

As it happened, he got the final clue wrong. He wrote: That's all folks. With a smiley face. A bit of a cheeky sort, to use a Brit expression. William Scott of Tufts University took second and Hannah Sage of the University of Central Florida finished third. They still went back to campus with nice money.

It's not the worst thing in the world to give air time to smart college kids. Lord knows that jock collegians get plenty of media exposure. Jeopardy's college tournament has a pleasant revenge-of-the-nerds quality.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rhyme time

The funniest game show items turn up in Google searches. Like this article from a Maine site about game show creator William T. Naud.

With all due respect to Mr. Naud, his name does sound a little...odd, maybe? Anyway, his main claim to game show fame is creating the short-lived Rhyme and Reason. This was sort of Match Game with every celeb playing Nipsey Russell. In other words they tried to fill in the blanks with excruciating and (they hoped) humorous doggerel.

Of course, YouTube has some remains of the show for your viewing pleasure. Mr. Naud is apparently trying to revive the game or some similar format, and good luck to him. He's also known for a few low-budget flicks from the '70s and '80s that fall into the so-bad-they're-good category. Like Ricky 1.

His wife is trying to do something with a Davy Crockett story. Maybe they could combine the projects into Davy Gravy, the Rhyming Game Show.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Didn't know nothing

We all need more Kardashian news, right? The world is starved for information on the reclusive, rarely seen family.

So Steve Harvey of Celebrity Family Feud has answered the crying need. Appearing on Ellen DeGeneres' chatfest, Steve talked about the Kardashians' appearance on Feud. He was downright bubbly about Kanye West. He says Kanye did the show a great favor by smiling a lot. Gee, I'll smile for just about anybody any time. I smile on this blog (see my picture).

The family was competitive as all get out, according to Harvey. At least they wanted to win, which is a good quality for game shows. Kim Kardashian was somehow clueless. Kim didn't know nothing. Nothing. That's surprising. I always thought she was nuclear physicist material.

Steve is hopeful on one point. It's the best episode. We're going to get the highest ratings we ever had. I don't know about that. Celebrity Family Feud's numbers are still okay, but they've wilted some since the first season.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ratings: Pat and Vanna creep back to number two

Wheel of Fortune took back the second slot among syndie game shows. Of course, with another daily run Pat and Vanna would put away the number one rank every week. Maybe one of these seasons Sony will try it. It was tight at the top for the big three, as TV News Check tells us for the week of April 2-8...

Family Feud 6.5 - up a tick
Wheel of Fortune 6.3 - up a couple ticks to take second
Jeopardy 6.2 - flat
Millionaire 1.6 - flat
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat, a lot of flatness going around

GSN keeps rocking down the highway. 479K/309K viewers prime time/total day for the week of April 9-15. The network ranked 29th and 24th in the windows. Another week in the top thirty for both prime time and total day. GSN got 132K/70K viewers in the 25-54 demo.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lightening up

For the last few weeks on this blog, it seems like I've been beating up on Buzzr a lot. Don't really mean to sound so grumpy, because I honestly want the diginet to succeed. The more outlets for our little genre, the better.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the Buzzr Twitch channel and found 320 viewers watching a Blockbusters ep. Okay, that's hardly an enormous throng, but it beats the 70 or 80 that have usually shown up in the past. Maybe it was just a group of lonely insomniacs at the witching hour (including me). But viewers are viewers are viewers.

I still think that Buzzr has to modernize its lineup with, say, reruns of the current versions of The Price is Right and Let's Make a Deal. Otherwise the diginet will always be a tiny sub-niche oldies outlet in the already small niche of game shows.

Speaking of which, I found an old Q&A column from a Washington Post TV critic that reflects most pundits' view of game show classics. Somebody complained to WashPo critic Hank Steuver about too many reruns on Buzzr. Steuver groused in reply: May I ever-so-respectfully suggest that if you're encountering the same 40-year-old game-show reruns over and over on Buzzr that you either join us in the television present or find something else to do.

Not an oldies kind of guy.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Green room flicks

On they're mulling over an Important Question (or answer, depending on the rules of the game).

Which movies do college students watch in Jeopardy's green room? The show put out a time-lapse video of all the activity in the room during a long day of college tournament tapings. The video squeezes down hours and hours to about a minute and a half of highly sped-up activity.

From the fleeting images on the movie screen in the room, the board guesses Easy A, Princess Bride and the first Iron Man. I'm not a movie buff, so I'll take their word. There's also some hurry-up lunch footage, for people who like to watch other people eat (speedily).

With all the college kids milling around, albeit in extreme quick-time, the Jeopardy green room looks like a lounge at the student union. The scenes vaguely remind me of my ancient days at Ohio State. Except we didn't have flat-screen TVs back then. Those were the Dark Ages of college life.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


As readers of this blog probably know, I'm not the world's biggest fan of The Price is Right.

This indifference stems from my dislike of shopping in general. If I could have everything magically delivered to my house with zero effort on my part, I'd jump at the chance. Sadly, even online shopping entails a lot of clicking and typing that I'd rather avoid. Real-life shopping is worse, with all the walking and lifting.

But when I glanced at Golden Road today, I found a thread that even interested me: "Best pricing game design." A couple posters had a kind word for my own TPiR favorite in game design: Rat Race. This goes back to my childhood love for toy race car tracks. Plus the little rats are so adorable. As opposed to their biological equivalents, who are ugly critters.

Rat Race is actually one of the least played among the active pricing games on the show. I guess that rodent pests, even of the cute artificial variety, aren't so popular. Sorry, Rattus rattus.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Making amends

Lots of Wheel of Fortune news is turning up lately.

First there was flamenco and flamingo. Now there's the Chicago White Sox. In case you don't know - and judging from their recent attendance, there's a good chance you're not aware - the Chicago White Sox are a baseball team. Their greatest claim to historical fame is throwing the World Series in 1919.

A few months ago Wheel ran a puzzle with the Chicago sports teams, and they left out the White Sox. The team got even by photoshopping a "corrected" version of the puzzle (see screenshot). For whatever reason, last night Wheel ran a puzzle that read: "Chicago White Sox fans".

There's some Internet speculation that the puzzle was a make-up for the omission of the team a few months ago. Which may or may not be true, but the White Sox will take all the help they can get. The team has traded away most of its best players for prospects, and they're in a painful rebuild right now. As I type, the team is 4-8 on the young season with a -15 run differential.

So White Sox fans might be one of the nation's smallest minority groups. But Wheel of Fortune feels their pain.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

More brilliant advice for GSN

The new team at GSN has done a fine job so far, with the network drawing some of its best numbers ever. Even cord-cutting and OTT streaming haven't stopped the momentum.

Naturally, the game show Interwebs get  p.o.ed about this because of, well, general principles. As the only game show network with an audience, GSN draws all sorts of sticks and stones from Internet posters who are sure they could run the channel better. Game Show Paradise is a fun source of such complaints, especially because several frequent posters like to brag about how they don't have GSN any more or hardly ever watch it. That's a badge of honor on the oldies boards.

When I stopped by GSP today, one frequent naysayer was complaining that GSN runs 1985 eps of 25K Pyramid instead of 1983/84 eps. Real big stuff, but it's important to him (even though he doesn't get GSN any more). Then there was the latest "dream schedule" for the network. As you might guess, much of the daily lineup was a Buzzr clone, though the poster did slip in a few shows with a little less dust.

Of course, devil incarnate Steve Harvey's prime time exposure got cut to one hour per week. Nice of the poster to let GSN get some prime time ratings for one entire hour. A funny note was that Regis' Millionaire popped up here and there on the schedule, though Chris Harrison was ejected completely. You're just too recent, Chris.

I wonder if GSN execs ever glance at this stuff for a few smiles. Naw, they've got real work to do.