Wednesday, November 11, 2015

News from Tbilisi

Usually I stick to U.S. game shows only. You might call this purblind nationalism, but it's really just laziness. If I tried to cover every game show development on the planet, I'd never get away from the keyboard. Besides, except for snippets on YouTube, I can't watch most foreign shows. And the coverage would tend to be Anglosphere-centric, given my lack of language skills. As any reader of this blog knows, I can barely talk English any good.

But I did notice this item from Georgia (the former Soviet nation, not the Jimmy Carter state). Georgia's capital city Tbilisi will host the 13th world championship of What? Where? When? November 12-15. If this game sounds ever so slightly familiar, it's because ABC tried a version a few years ago called Million Dollar Mind Game. ABC execs quickly saw that the game was too freakin' arcane for us short attention span Yanks, so they burned off the eps in a throwaway Sunday afternoon slot.

The original Russian game show, Что? Где? Когда? for Cyrillic alphabet fans, is still going strong after 39 seasons, according to Wikipedia. The show has inspired lots of club players around the globe, who will be meeting in Tbilisi this month for the world championship. One funny note from the linked story: when the players aren't competing in What? Where? When?, they can try their luck at Jeopardy.


  1. And an NBA lockout at the time(Fall 2011) was part of the reason ABC ever even showed MIllion DOllar Mind Game. Send thank you e-mails to David Stern if you want.

  2. The NBA lockout had nothing to do with the airing of MDMG. MDMG premiered in October of 2011 - ABC does not regularly air NBA games each season until after January.

    For years, the ABC network has controlled a national Sunday afternoon slot for various programming. They often fill it up with sports (figure skating is next Sunday) or reruns of reality shows like "Dancing With the Stars". That's why ABC had the slot for the MDMG burn-off, not the NBA lock-out.