Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A game show obscurity for the holidays

Rambling through Game Show Paradise, I came across some links for YouTube videos of Blackout.

In case you don't remember this 1988 CBS puzzle-solving effort, don't feel bad. It only lasted thirteen weeks before the Nielsen monster devoured it. Bob Goen hosted with a porno mustache that has since vanished into the ash heap of history. The front game plodded along with each puzzle taking a long time. Two civvie/celeb teams took turns trying to fill in four blanks in the puzzle sentence. Each team had a "blackout button" to wipe out parts of the clues that the other team would give each other.

If it sounds too complicated, it was. The bonus round had nothing to do with the front game, as they ditched the blackout button and the civvie just had to identify something from a few clues. All in all, it's not hard to see why the tedious, intricate game died a quick death. Wikipedia (usual caveats) also blames fan discontent over the show replacing Pyramid. But YouTube never forgets, so several eps are available for your holiday enjoyment.

COMPLETELY UNRELATED UPDATE: As I have been noting for a while, GSN kicked out the jams in 2015. By almost any measure it was the little game show network's best year ever. TV Newser reports the final 2015 viewer averages. 413K/322K/444K viewers prime time/total day/extended prime time. The network ranked 38th, 29th and 34th in the windows. Congrats to the folks in Santa Monica.

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