Sunday, February 28, 2016

Can we rerun this stuff?

A thread on the board formerly known as Matt Ottinger's asks the intriguing question: Game show reruns on cable peculiar?

Really, I've never wondered about this much. With GSN rolling through its 22nd year and Buzzr spreading its diginet reach onto some cable systems, it just seems natural for game show reruns to pop up on cable. But now that I think about it, repeats in our little genre do seem a bit odd. Why do people sit through the same games played by the same contestants over and over?

Well, GSN's still modest (if growing) ratings suggest that there's a limit to the attractiveness of retread game shows. On the famous other hand, syndie game shows repeat episodes constantly, and they must find some kind of audience or they would disappear. The linked thread discusses the rerun blocks on CBN and USA back in the early days of cable and how they eventually spawned GSN.

The secret may be the genre's famously low production costs. Game show producers can churn out plenty of episodes without much of a financial sweat. Nobody can remember all the contestants and results, so game show eps can seem fairly fresh even to viewers who might have seen them before.

Of course, game shows - new or rerun - have always been a niche TV genre compared to dramas or sitcoms. But fans of the niche seem to tolerate retreads pretty well.


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  2. Buzzr's rerun abuse sounds annoying, and only adds no more than 20 episodes at a time. GSN got frowned upon for its rerun abuse a few years back, but since GSN acquires three to six months worth of episodes of shows, GSN's rerun abuse is nothing compared to Buzzr's.