Friday, December 15, 2017

Buzzr shuffles

As mentioned before, Supermarket Sweep comes to Buzzr on January 15. The diginet has released the entire schedule for the week, and there are some other comings and goings.

Supermarket Sweep slots into prime time at 8:30 PM, with the usual repeat at 11:30 PM (all eastern times). The schedule lists the year of the show as "2". I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean 2 A.D., though on the oldies diginet you can never be certain. Maybe they mean '02 (or 2002), which would make the show practically a young'un by Buzzr standards.

The network will do an interesting refresh of their B&W offerings. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the original Password, The Name's the Same, and the original Beat the Clock will get an afternoon run. It'll be nice to see something else in black and white besides the holy trinity of What's My Line, I've Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth. (The trinity will still get plenty of airtime on Buzzr.)

Exiting the schedule are Body Language, Blockbusters and Child's Play. None of them are big losses, as far as I'm concerned. And Louie Anderson's Family Feud resurfaces in the new year. Gotta admit, even the guy's voice irritates me, but somebody at Buzzr must like him.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Over-under

I rag on Game Show Paradise for the wall-to-wall oldies bias, but the board does come up with interesting threads. Now they're chatting about "Most Overrated and Underrated Game Shows."

You can probably guess the overrated shows are all modern-day efforts, while the underrated shows are all oldies. What a surprise! The one odd exception is a poster who dumps on What's My Line.

Maybe a few years ago I might have partially agreed. WML's Victorian formality got on my nerves a bit, and I preferred the helter-skelter, down-to-earth I've Got a Secret among the B&W panel shows. But old age has turned my tastes around a little, and now I can appreciate the crystalline clarity of What's My Line's timeless format. Even the tuxedos contribute to the effect, though I also like the more informal syndie.

The most ridiculous assertion on the thread is that Cash Cab is overrated. This is a common problem on the oldies boards, and I really don't understand the dislike for Ben and friends except as crude bias against newer shows. You've got a great host, a tough quizzer, a brisk pace, enthusiastic and entertaining contestants, and the best set ever (thanks, NYC). What's not to like?

Oh yeah, it's a recent show. New eps are running right now! It can't be any good.

Sincerest flattery

With HQ pulling sizeable audiences every day, imitators would never be far behind.

The first with the sincerest form of flattery is The Q. As imitations go, well, it's a really, really close imitation. Practically a clone, in fact. The Q features the same elimination skein of trivia questions. The assembled multitudes (much less multitudinous than for HQ) try their luck on the increasingly difficult quizzer, hosted by the charmingly amateurish Joseph Monahan.

YouTube offers a few sample eps, if you want to see what the show is all about. The Q is not terrible, though the linked ep peters out when everybody gets eliminated. (And I got the final, fatal question right! But I goofed a lot of the others.) The show also offers oddball graphics, like a clumsy clip from Family Guy. But maybe that's more amateurish charm, depending on your point of view.

Right now HQ doesn't have to worry much about the competition, because The Q's audience is tiny compared to the hundreds of thousands for the established show. We'll see what becomes of this goofy sub-genre of interactive online game shows.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Product cycle

Things have sped up in lots of ways. Once upon a time, a product could enjoy a life cycle of centuries. Champagne's been around for a while, and it's still going strong, no?

Nowadays we go from a hot new product to a dull old has-been a lot quicker. Case in point: HQ, the live app game show. The app's been around for all of a few weeks now, and already a pundit (desperately seeking to be ahead of the curve) is whining that HQ isn't fun anymore. That's literally the title of the moan-and-groan blast. The article wanders on for 853 words - Microsoft helpfully counted them for me - but only a few are necessary...

This past Sunday night, HQ offered its biggest prize yet: $10,000. Around 400,000 people joined the game.

Yep, that's what really bugs the picky pundit. HQ was a lot of fun when only super-cool geeks like me knew about it. But now that the icky-poo masses are joining in, and there's a little more money at stake, the show has become so yucky.

All right, I'm being slightly unfair. The article does make a couple of semi-good points about scaling up the game and the possibility of Google cheating. But let's be honest, the pundit's real complaint is about those hundreds of thousands of uncool users logging in. Why, most of them have probably never even heard of The Verge, the site which published the elitist whine.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ratings: syndies gobble some good news

Syndie game shows bounced back from the Thanksgiving week blahs. All those big dinners cut into TV watching. TV News Check posts the household ratings for the November 27-December 3 week after the turkey was digested...

Family Feud 6.7 - up a whopping ten ticks
Jeopardy 6.4 - up seven ticks but falls out of the tie for first
Wheel of Fortune 6.3 - up seven ticks for its solitary daily run
Millionaire 1.7 - flat
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat

This has nothing to do with ratings, but I happened to see a bit of obstetrics game show history on Buzzr. Everything went fine with the birth.

GSN keeps pushing its viewer numbers higher as we head into the cold winter months. 388K/276K viewers prime time/total day for the week of December 4-10. The network ranked 38th and 31st in the windows. That's the best total day rank in a while. A bit of extra info this week: GSN got 94K/63K 25-54 viewers prime time/total day for the week. The network ranked 49th and 48th in the windows. GSN still skews old, folks. Though prime time skews a little less old than the rest of the schedule.

Monday, December 11, 2017

More holiday stunts from GSN

Maybe that death slot run of Deal or No Deal on GSN (opposite The Price is Right) is doing better than expected.

Or maybe the network just needs something for Christmas Day. At any rate, GSN has released the schedule for December 25-31, and Howie and the models get a six-hour marathon 8:00 AM-2:00 PM on Christmas. The following day Match Game also gets the six-hour treatment in the same time period. In a move that will thrill the oldies boards, Steve Harvey's Family Feud runs 2:00 PM-11:00 PM both days.

Meanwhile, the oldies fest continues on weekdays 1:00 AM-4:00 AM. It's all Daly What's My Line for the week, and mostly Moore I've Got a Secret. By the way, this scheduling means Match Game gets seven hours on December 26. What is this, a Buzzr clone? Cash Cab rolls for a five-hour marathon 11:00 AM-4:00 PM on December 30. Not to be left behind, Chris Harrison's Millionaire climbs the money tree for a four-hour stint 7:00 PM-11:00 PM on New Year's Eve.

GSN just has all sorts of fun and frivolity for the holidays.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Twitching with oldies

A commenter noted that Buzzr has put a stream on Twitch.

It's nothing special, just a loop of eps from the same old shows on the actual diginet. There are no stored videos available, and the Twitch channel is not a copy of the current feed on the network itself. But if you need oldies at all costs, you can dip into the stream. You do have to sit through some repetitive ads, but Twitch needs to make money somehow.

A massive audience of eleven viewers had tuned into the stream when I stopped by, but game show oldies have always been a niche within a niche. Match Game '75 was running as I watched, and it provided the screenshot. Charles Nelson Reilly was off doing his play, so Gary Burghoff was filling in. Richard Dawson hadn't yet entered his grump period. He was still the life of the party.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Contestant two-fer

Game Show Paradise has started a thread about civvies who turned up on more than one game show. As you might expect from GSP, almost all the entries are about contestants from decades ago. But the thread reminds me of a guy who played on a couple more recent game shows: Barry Lander.

Mr. Lander had a moment of fame when he copped $343,000 on 1 vs. 100 in 2007. That was a record until Jason Luna came along and won a million. Six years later Barry Lander was one of the first contestants on another NBC effort, Million Second Quiz. Sadly, he didn't last long on the 2013 quizzer. He still had his previous NBC winnings as a consolation prize, though.

Million Second Quiz demonstrates how broadcast ratings have tanked. The show debuted with 6.5 million total viewers and a 1.7 18-49 rating. These numbers would have have broadcast execs exulting today. Even in 2013 they were pretty good. The ratings for later eps went south a bit, but they would likely have gotten the show a renewal in today's TV world.

I liked the quizzer despite an 800-pound rule book. But NBC decided that the numbers didn't justify the expense of the ritzy set (among other items).

UPDATE: Speaking of contestants who bounce around a lot of game shows, a faux tweet noted Lisa Little. According to her Facebook page, she's been on Millionaire, Power of 10, 5th Grader, Wheel of Fortune and Celebrity Name Game. She gets around the genre.

Friday, December 8, 2017

People magazine is on the case

Readers of this blog may know that ID is one of my cable TV guilty pleasures.

Believe it or not, there's a show on the network called People Magazine Investigates. Yep, the celeb magazine does a true crime show with their crack staff of reporter sleuths. And I thought that the only thing People could investigate was which English prince was dating which model.

This is a long way around to a People story about a computer crime, which happens to involve our little genre. A faux tweet noted that Stephanie Jass has been charged with hacking into other people's computer files at Adrian College, where she once worked as a history prof. Stephanie was a seven-time winner on Jeopardy in 2012.

The story behind the charges is a little weird. Adrian College did a reset on their computer systems, which for a few days allowed anybody to hack into anybody else's files. Uh, really? The whole college was more or less on the honor system?

This sounds like an open invite to computer hacking. No matter, Stephanie Jass is back in court December 12 for a preliminary hearing on the charges against her.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

End of it all

We've still got a ways to go until December 31, but already the game show Interwebs are considering the highlights of the year.

Well, at least one poster on Game Show Forum is considering them. I don't take his suggested list of highlights too seriously, because he somehow overlooks the return of Cash Cab. Meanwhile, he celebrates the return of non-game-show trash sport format Battle of the Network Stars. Not to mention the future returns of non-game-shows Celebrity Big Brother and American Idol.

His game show "lowlight" is Candy Crush. Nielsen sure didn't like the show but I thought it was far from awful. Candy Crush was a lot more entertaining than Funny You Should Ask, anyway. In fact, for my own stinker of the year I would suggest the replacement of the superb Celebrity Name Game by the unfunny Funny among game show syndies.

My highlight of the year? Oh, maybe it was Austin Rogers' run on Jeopardy, which is also suggested by the GSF poster. Mr. Rogers certainly helped move Jeopardy into a better ratings neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ratings: November sweeps with the syndies

TV News Check does their November sweeps review this week. They list the changes for syndie game shows from the year-ago sweeps period. Alex had plenty to be happy about. Otherwise, there wasn't much to discuss. The household ratings for November sweeps...

Family Feud 6.5 - down a couple ticks from last November
Jeopardy 6.4 - up five ticks from last year, with an assist from the T of C
Wheel of Fortune 6.2 - flat
Millionaire 1.6 - flat
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - its first (and possibly last) November sweeps

A commenter notes that TV by the Numbers has the syndie ratings for the week of November 20-26. Family Feud and Jeopardy tied at 5.7. Wheel of Fortune trailed by a tad at 5.6 and Millionaire tagged far behind at 1.6. Turkey day took a toll on the numbers.

GSN continued to show some better ratings. The network got 352K/258K viewers prime time/total day for the November 27-December 3 week. GSN ranked 37th and 35th in the windows.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Google, bots, dating

Lots of news about HQ, the live app game show, keeps turning up in my web searches.

The show draws plenty of viewers for each day's trivia fest, but some are worried about bots infesting the competition. A smart (and no doubt nerdy) 19-year-old claims to have built a bot that can consistently google the right answer within the few seconds allowed for each response. He hasn't used the gadget in real time, but he says that it works on YouTube videos of past games. HQ warns that bots are verboten, so don't try this at home, kids.

Some players seem to be trying old-fashioned human googling on the tough questions. That's hardly surprising, and it's why HQ forces contestants to respond in a hurry. You gotta be really really quick, and there's no guarantee that you'll google the right way. (You can suffer serious bodily injury when you google the wrong way, in case you didn't know.)

Meanwhile, host Scott Rogosky has more immediate concerns. Like getting a date. The showtimes are messing up his love life.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Riding again

Let's get the one bad thing about the Cash Cab reboot out of the way. There are only two games per ep now, as opposed to the classic three. Discovery feels compelled to stuff every half-hour (or 31 minutes, to be exact) with ninety-nine commercials and promos.

Otherwise, everything is just fine. Ben is as masterful and acerbic as ever, the street scenery in New York still looks great, and the quizzer remains a genuine test of knowledge. Even the celeb guests - Gilbert Gottfried on the episode I watched - inflict no real damage and sometimes can actually help. The social media stuff is a little trendy, but you have to update something.

So welcome back to the only cab that pays you. I hope the numbers are good for the return, because I loved every minute. Well, I loved every minute of the show. The Gold Rush promos...not so much.

In other news, GSN has released the December 18-24 schedule. As a commenter noted, Chris Harrison's Millionaire gets a double run on weekdays at 3:00 PM. The show also gets a special Christmas Eve five-hour marathon. Welcome to our little game show network, Chris.

Oldies fans will like the 1:00 AM-4:00 AM weekday schedule for December 18-22. It's Match Game, Card Sharks, What's My Line and I've Got a Secret. That means seven hours of oldies each weekday. It's only for two weeks, but maybe GSN really is keeping an eye on Buzzr. At least a little.

UPDATE: Cash Cab draws okay but hardly spectacular numbers by Discovery standards. The two eps get 884K and 731K total viewers, with 0.33 and 0.25 18-49 ratings.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Heap of Feud

As I wrote in yesterday's entry, Buzzr and GSN are in an arms race to see who can splatter the most Family Feud on my TV screen.

Which got me thinking - dangerous habit, I know - just how much Feud is available per week, on cable and broadcast, in my hometown DFW area? The quick and dirty answer is, a lot. A more accurate answer takes a little digging at ScreenerTV. Buzzr runs the show 76 times a week, twelve each weekday and sixteen on the weekend. Not to be outdone, GSN runs Feud fourteen times each weekday and twenty times on the weekend, for 90 showings in all. And to top it off, the Fox duopoly station KDFI broadcasts Feud four times each weekday and another four times on the weekend, for a total of 24 runs.

If you're scoring at home, that's 190 episodes of Family Feud bombarding my humble household each week, or ninety-five hours of the stuff. Hey, there are only 168 hours in a week. That's a whole lotta feudin' goin' on.

The next most common game show is Match Game, mostly thanks to Buzzr. The oldies diginet runs Gene and friends twelve times each weekday and another eighteen times on the weekend, for a total of 78 showings. GSN tosses in four runs each weekday for a total of 20 per week, which makes 98 weekly runs between the two networks. That's 49 hours of the stuff, which is a lot but pales beside Feud.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sweeping up at Buzzr

It's not The Price is Right, but a shopping game will soon make its Buzzr debut. David Ruprecht's Supermarket Sweep comes to our little oldies network January 15.

By Buzzr standards this is modern-day stuff. In fact, it will be the most recent show on Buzzr, assuming that Louie Anderson's Family Feud goes away once and for all, which seems to be happening. Buzzr's parent Fremantle has already announced plans to reboot Supermarket Sweep, so maybe this is a test run to see how much viewer interest really exists.

Truth be told, Supermarket Sweep is one of the very few shopping games that I honestly enjoy. And that's only because of the mad dash final round. We'd all like to careen around a store and shoplift legally, wouldn't we? Buzzr will also make the show available on their Amazon Prime service.

One more funny note. The comments on the Buzzr Facebook site about the Supermarket Sweep announcement quickly run off into a trash-Steve-Harvey barrage. He really is the Antichrist on the oldies boards. Not so incidentally, Buzzr uses Family Feud almost as much as GSN. As I point out in a comment, each weekday it's six hours on Buzzr and seven on GSN. The difference for the oldies boards is the hated Steve.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Match Game is an Alexa skill?

All sorts of odd game show press releases land in my inbox. But this one also surfaced on a website.

A software outfit will release a Match Game "skill" for Alexa. I'm not sure exactly what a "skill" is in the Alexa world, but I think it's a game you play with the voice-activated gadget. This particular "skill" mimics the Super Match on the venerable game show. You try to match one of the top three choices in an audience poll.

I don't believe the "skill" allows you to ask Richard, Brett and Charles for their recommendations, unless it includes a link to the hereafter. Readers of this blog know that I think the 1973-82 version of Match Game is the greatest game show ever. So I don't mind the legendary format finding a place on Alexa (not to mention a place on ABC).

I still doubt that playing the Alexa game can match (sorry) playing along with the original on GSN or Buzzr. But that's a tough standard.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ratings: Steve and Alex tie again

It was another deadlock at the top for syndie game shows. Lifted by the final week of the T of C, Jeopardy tied Family Feud (of the many daily runs) for the top slot. Pat and Vanna were not far behind. TV News Check has the household ratings for the week of November 13-19...

Family Feud 6.8 - up a tick to a season high
Jeopardy 6.8 - up a tick to its own season high as Buzzy Cohen wins the T of C
Wheel of Fortune 6.4 - flat but not far behind the leaders
Millionaire 1.7 - flat
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat and still forlorn

Couple more numbers. Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune had 2.9 and 1.9 household ratings for their weekend versions.

A note about TBS's reboot of Joker's Wild. Snoop and friends broke the million barrier in total viewers for the latest run. I sense a renewal but you never know.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rumors

Originally posted this as an update on an earlier entry. But it deserves its own place, along with some sage comments on game show Interweb rumors.

GSN has released new schedules for the December 4-10 and 11-17 weeks. The oldies boards will be thrilled that the Antichrist Steve Harvey gets all of prime time on weekdays. One note may actually please oldies fans a little. It seems that GSN will run the usual late night black-and-white stunt for the weeks of December 18-24 and 25-31. I'm not sure about it, and I don't have any details yet.

I've also seen some rumors around the game show Interwebs that GSN's Snap Decision might get a second season. Anything's possible, but the show is nowhere in sight on the upcoming GSN schedules.

Stuff gets around the Internet a little slowly sometimes, as I pointed out with the "news" that Winsanity is not coming back to GSN any time soon (if ever). On the famous other hand, crazy ideas can often bounce around the web at the speed of phosphors. I still remember the prank about a supposed GSN show involving a giant pile of rock, which had the web in an uproar until cooler heads (mine included) nailed the obvious hoax.

More recently, one of the oldies boards got its knickers in a twist about GSN running Toddlers & Tiaras, based on a goofy misread of an Emogenius promo. Anyhoo, I try not to run with any news until I see some actual confirmation. And when I'm not sure - as with the GSN black-and-white holiday stunt - I say so.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

No respect, I tell ya (cont.)

I grumped in a faux tweet that I'm really tired of former Deal or No Deal model Meghan Markle and her prince boyfriend. So why am I typing a blog entry about her?

Because she has joined a long list of semi-celebs who feel compelled to dump on our little genre. Now that she's into royalty and alt that other silliness (I'm a small "r" republican when it comes to monarchy) she looks down her nose at DOND...

I would put that in the category of things I was doing while I was auditioning to try to make ends meet. I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. It's run the gamut. Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing. So if that’s a way for me to gloss over that subject, then I will happily shift gears into something else.

The something else turned out to be prince bopping, which I understand pays well for minimal effort. But she does sound snooty about the game show. Too bad she had to hang around with those other 25 commoners, not to mention Howie.

Monday, November 27, 2017

News gets around, eventually

Posted this on my November 19 entry, but not everybody reads my blog. (What's wrong with you?)

Anyway, BuzzerBlog and Game Show Newsnet have finally realized that Winsanity is not coming back to GSN. Just to let you in on the secret, the show isn't in the lineup for this week or next week or the week after that. I don't have the schedules for any more distant weeks, but I don't expect to see Donald Faison back in the near or far future.

The reason is obvious. GSN decided not to scrap an airing of their best ratings getter, Steve Harvey's Family Feud, at 5:00 PM weekdays. Especially when Winsanity's ratings history is so-so at best. The show's numbers slid downhill as the weeks went by.

Funny thing, Winsanity's second season was a definite step up, in my opinion. On the famous other hand, BuzzerBlog dumps on season number two. They managed to fix some of the format, make other parts unbelievably dumb, and completely remove any fun or energy or excitement.

Oh well, opinions are like noses - we've all got 'em. But Nielsen, as always, has the only opinion that literally counts. And Winsanity didn't wow the sample.

A schedule note on our other little game show network. This week Buzzr will run an ep of Press Your Luck that hasn't seen the light since the show's original run. If I thought PYL was all that good, I might get excited.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ellen arrives on NBC

The game show Interwebs have noticed the first ads on NBC for Ellen's Game of Games.

Apparently the Peacock Net (warning, Variety speak) will run a preview of the show in December. Deadline Hollywood thinks that Game of Games might get its regular bow in January, maybe along with Genius Junior, the kids quizzer.

The show's official page on the NBC site doesn't give any dates, just a "coming soon" tag. Game of Games looks like a souped-up version of Ellen DeGeneres' daytime game segments, something of a quizzer-stunt combo. The NBC blurb promises Ellen's "mischievous and hilarious antics" and her "witty and comedic sensibility."

I've never been a big fan but Ellen does bring a built-in fanbase, which should at least help the show get decent sampling whenever it arrives. Game on.

UPDATE: NBC has announced that Game of Games will run a preview on December 18 and its regular debut will arrive on January 2. The new season of The Wall begins New Year's Day.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Comfort and joy

Sampling the various GSN Thanksgiving marathons, I couldn't help noticing the "comfort and joy" promos for the holiday season. Our little game show network is getting into a traditional mood this time of year...in more ways than one.

The oldies boards are loath to admit it, but GSN has become wall-to-wall traditional game shows. In fact, they now use the "Game Show Network" moniker on their promos. Long gone are the demo-chasing experiments in reality TV, poker and trash sport. Now the network is so traditional, somewhere Mark Goodson may be smiling.

Sure, these are only early returns from the new team of Mark Feldman and Fran Shea at GSN. If the median viewer age ascends too rapidly toward triple digits, they might pull a hard left turn back to Skin Wars and similar fare. But for now GSN seems content to provide TV comfort food to game show fans, as the holiday promos literally point out. They're also not shy about running and promoting those famous oldies the game show Interwebs pine for relentlessly.

So far the total viewer numbers have shown an uptick in November. I don't know if the turn toward traditional fare results from GSN looking anxiously at the new competition from Buzzr. I doubt that the diginet is an enormous concern at this point, but Buzzr is GSN's first direct 24/7 network competitor. Or maybe the new execs have just decided that the whole country is getting older, so why bother with the unrewarding demo chase?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sweet stuff

It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I've decided not to be my usual cynical self. So this item about a seven-year-old superfan of The Price is Right is just the ticket.

Jackson Woodworth of Bangor, ME is the ultimate TPiR fanatic. He's built decent replicas of a lot of pricing games at his home, and he knows his stuff when it comes to valuing merchandise. "I've been to The Price is Right Live twice and once I got the showcase exactly right."

Jackson, I couldn't get the price of a postage stamp exactly right, so kudos to you. Jackson's personal Plinko board is particularly impressive, almost as good as the real thing. (It doesn't have all the electronic whizbangery of The Wall's knockoff, though.)

Our seven-year-old aficionado is also a Drew Carey partisan. He even commits the heresy - weep, Golden Road! - of preferring the incumbent host to the legendary Bob Barker. But Jackson admits he's not overly familiar with Mr. Barker. After all, Bob left the show three years before Jackson was born.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Griffin and Woolery all over again?

HQ is just getting hot as a mobile-app game show, and already the creator and host are tangling in a Griffin-Woolery spat.

It started with a Daily Beast article on the viral sensation, which is drawing live audiences of over 100K for each day's trivia fest. One of the show's creators, Rus Yusupov, went nuts over Daily Beast's chat with HQ host Scott Rogowsky.

It's not like Scott said anything revealing or even very interesting. But Rus got bonkers and even talked about firing the popular host. Which produced a yellfest on social media, where Scott happens to be very well liked as Quiz Daddy, among other terms of endearment.

Yusopov started backing down in a hurry, and everything seems smoothed over for now. At the moment it doesn't look like "Rogowsky left HQ" will replace "Woolery left Wheel" as a game show Interwebs catch phrase. But stay tuned for more drama.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

No respect, I tell ya (cont.)

Former teen idol David Cassidy has died at age 67. Which makes me reluctant to write this entry, because I'm about to criticize him.

Don't worry, I'll keep the criticism mild. When a well-known celeb dies, I usually check IMDb to see if there are any game show entries on the resume. Sure enough, there was a week on Hollywood Squares for David Cassidy in 2003. And there are photos (see screenshot) to prove it.

I might have made a faux tweet about the appearance and let it go at that. But then I ran across this interview with Mr. Cassidy in 2006. He had less than flattering things to say about Donny Osmond hosting Pyramid.

Cassidy points out that even Donny Osmond, who was perhaps the biggest challenger to Cassidy's teen idol throne in the 1970s and who also went on to Broadway with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," is now a game show host. "Donny is a very talented guy, but ..." Cassidy says. "I've been offered to do things like that. It's not about TV and making money for me. It's about doing what I love to do, and I just haven't had any interest in doing things like that.

So it's okay for David Cassidy to do Hollywood Squares but not okay for Donny Osmond to do Pyramid. Our little genre will never get much respect, and we might as well live with it. R.I.P. David Cassidy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ratings: syndies get happy, especially Alex

The week of November 6-12 was a great one for syndie game shows. Jeopardy pulled into a tie at the top with the first week of the T of C. But Steve and Pat and Vanna were hardly disappointed with the numbers. TV News Check has the household ratings...

Family Feud 6.7 - up four ticks
Jeopardy 6.7 - up a whopping seven ticks to a season high and a tie with Feud
Wheel of Fortune 6.4 - up five ticks to its own season high
Millionaire 1.7 - up a tick
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat in the basement

Paradise Run is down some in its third season, but still lands comfortably above the million mark. A fourth season doesn't look out of the question.

GSN continues to show better numbers for November. Maybe the consistent prime time lineup is paying off. The network got 356K/255K viewers prime time/total day for the week of November 13-19. GSN ranked 36th and 33rd in the windows.

Game of older life

Normally I try not to pay attention to legal disputes involving our little genre. But this case is something out of the ordinary.

Cable channel The Hub (now Discovery Family) briefly ran a kids game show in 2011-12 called Game of Life. Hosted by Frank Nicotero, far better known for the late lamented Street Smarts, the show originated from the familiar board game.

Since lawsuits never cease, there's now a legal case over who created the board game that spawned the TV show. But here's the kicker. The disputants are all very elderly. In fact, the judge in the case "ordered a bench trial due to the advanced ages of the witnesses."

On one side is Robert Klaman, 95, usually credited for inventing the board game in 1959. On the other side is Lorraine Markham, widow of Bill Markham, who she alleges should share in the credit (and his estate should share in the royalties) for the game. The linked story doesn't give Mrs. Markham's age, but I assume it's not much less than Mr. Klaman's.

The current owner of the board game, Hasbro, is siding with Mr. Klaman. But it's nice to know that lawsuits can go on right into your nineties. That's something for us all to look forward to.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Kindly dentist

Usually I put contestant stories in the faux tweets, unless it's somebody who wins the T of C or just misses a million bucks. But this story about Ruben and Sandy Mora on The Wall caught my eye. Because Ruben is that contradiction in terms, a kindhearted dentist.

Yes, I'm only joking...sort of. I just got finished with a dentist appointment last week, which fortunately involved nothing worse than a cleaning. But we've all endured those wonderful life-changing moments in the chair of pain.

To be fair, Dr. Mora does a lot of charity work, and that's why The Wall picked him for minor fame and possible fortune. The charitable dentist allows: "My goal is to get people out of pain." Maybe he selected the wrong profession.

Of course, the Moras can't say how they did on the show, which runs this Wednesday. Sandy says their children's dream vacation is a holiday at a Nickelodeon resort in the Dominican Republic. Hope they copped enough money to give the kids their wish.

By the way, the linked story says The Wall will be back "officially" in January, after a couple eps over the next few weeks. NBC wanted to get the Moras on the air for Thanksgiving, because they couldn't resist the saga of a sweet-natured dentist.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Death to GSN

The oldies boards have long specialized in fantasy schedules for GSN. You can probably guess what the schedules look like. There are always lots of obscure moldies from three or five decades ago, along with permanent banishment of Satan incarnate, Steve Harvey. (By the way, was Steve the daddy of Rosemary's baby? Sometimes the game show Interwebs seem to think so.)

It's futile to point out that these lineups would remove most of GSN's audience, revenue and executives. The oldies boards wouldn't mind all three getting the heave-ho, especially the last one. But I still have to smile over the latest effort at a GSN death schedule. The poster announces at the start that reality shows are verboten, which means no more Amazing Race or Skin Wars. The first has been gone for a decade and the second vanished many months ago, so that part of the dream has already come true.

Funny thing, the poster includes the U.S. and Brit versions of Gladiators on the dream lineup, though their place in our little genre is at least disputable. (I regard them as more of what Sports Illustrated used to call trash sport.) In fact, the current GSN schedule is wall-to-wall traditional game shows. No Gladiators or other questionable stuff in sight.

Of course, Steve Harvey is gone from the dream, although Gene Rayburn and friends on Match Game also get the pink slip. But Match Game '90 earns a slot on the schedule, so go figure. And there's the usual collection of aged obscurities, like Wordplay and Go and Debt. Woolery Wheel of Fortune also gets a weekday slot, which would grind the twenty or so eps into rerun dust in a hurry.

All in all, it's a great schedule to reduce GSN to somewhere around 90th place among cable networks. Just above the Tennis Channel, maybe.

UPDATE: The real GSN schedule seems to have scrapped the return of Winsanity on November 27. The network posted the news a while back, but Donald Faison and friends are nowhere in sight on the now released schedule for that week. Who knows when, or if, the show will actually resurface? The numbers fell off a lot in the second season.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Glad it's a two-day final

Buzzy Cohen has a quarter-million reasons to be grateful that the final of Jeopardy's tournament of champions is a two-day event. Because the first day was a bust.

Buzzy scored exactly zero (0) dollars in the first day of the T of C finale. Okay, he was up against tough competition, but that was little consolation. He recalls that the wait between tapings of the two episodes was not a happy one for him.

Going backstage after Game 1 there was definitely a little pit in my stomach at first. I was consoling myself saying, "Alright, well you won $50K, that's nothing to slouch at." A few folks on the crew were trying to help me not get too down, but after a little moment I just said "Well, you can't have a Cinderella story if you're already in first." I was kind of joking, but I think it helped me reframe the situation to my advantage.

Also helping was a crusher Daily Double win in the second ep, along with a brutal Daily Double loss for second-place finisher Alan Lin. Those pesky doubles do tend to play a big part in the outcome. Pre-tournament favorite Austin Rogers went away with the fifty grand third-place prize. Which is okay for third place on a game show.

"We were all champions already, so any outcome was just gravy," reflected Austin philosophically. Sometimes it pays to be philosophical about our little genre.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I can't stand zucchini, either

By now the game show Interwebs have moped and moaned over the near-miss on Wednesday's Wheel of Fortune.

Grandpa and granddaughter Frank Harary and Laurel Haim narrowly missed out on the million bucks. BAKED ZUCCHINI nailed them in the bonus round. Since Frank was such an appealing grandfatherly sort, the sympathy has really flowed.

I'm not completely heartless - some rumors on the Internet notwithstanding - so I can condole with the unlucky duo, too. Not to mention that zucchini really sucks and baking the stuff doesn't help. But some of the web commentary has gone blotto.

For instance, this entry on SB Nation - isn't that a sports site? - soars way over the top. The writer tries to pin the blame for the sad loss on...Pat Sajak? The host's alleged misdeed was pronouncing the given letters R S T L N E too quickly.

Oh, please. Everybody knows that WoF spots you those letters in the bonus round. So when Laurel got stuck on "fried" as the first word in the puzzle, it was hardly Pat Sajak's fault. She happened on "fried zucchini" after time expired, but by then of course it was too late. And she was still wrong, anyway.

Yes, it was depressing when Pat opened the folder and revealed that the duo had missed out on the million. What can you say? Sometimes the rules work against likeable contestants.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Depths of YouTube depravity

Sometimes you just gotta suck it up when you're a full-service game show blogger.

It ain't always Jeopardy and What's My Line and Pyramid and other high-class stuff from Griffin and Goodson and Stewart. Sometimes you gotta go to the depths, the abyss, the circles of hell, the metaphysical abomination that is...the cheap Internet game show.

All right, once in a while the shows are sort of fun. You Posted That is from a YouTube channel called Smosh, which I had never heard of but then I don't spend most of my life on YouTube. I tried the first episode and lived to tell the tale, or at least write the blog entry.

Three online "celebs" I had also never heard of conspired with a host, announcer and musical team - all of whom, wait for it, I had never heard of, either - to play games with their old social media posts. For instance, they tried to fill in blanks in various tweets that they wrote four or five years ago. This sounds like a laugh riot, no?

Well, sometimes it was a bit humorous. Like when one of the contestants decided to play Goodson and critiqued the scoring system. He got docked five million points when he goofed a question. The eventual winners wound up dancing with their future ghosts. The spirits seemed to enjoy the party.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

HQ the review

A faux tweet noted that live mobile-app game show HQ is piling up impressive audience figures. Since I'm a full-service game show blogger, I figured a review of the show was in order.

Fortunately, lots of players have uploaded episodes to YouTube, so I could sample here and there. What I saw was an entertaining interactive quizzer that gets the job done in thirteen minutes or so. The money isn't big - on one ep sixteen lucky winners went away with $78.13 each - but I don't care about that. The idea is to spend a little time with trivia.

Scott Rogowsky hosts in a thumpingly emphatic manner, which might get wearying for a half-hour and unendurable for an hour. But it works for a few minutes, though some of his material sounds scripted and corny.

The 12-question quizzer starts easy and gets tough fast, as the assembled multitudes are winnowed down to a select few. (Don't worry, there are second chances for the vast majority who goof a question or four.) To avoid mass googling, there are only a few seconds to respond to each query. On the eps I watched, I knew some of the more classical stuff but flunked badly on recent pop culture. I'm an old fart, after all.

If HQ's success continues, you can expect more live game show apps to invade the field. I don't know how such a format would work on TV, where interactivity has been an elusive goal for the genre. But I wouldn't be surprised to see somebody try, sooner or later.

UPDATE: Maybe HQ really has arrived. The show has spawned its first laughable deep-think piece, on a site called The Outline. A writer named Molly Sauter offers a mostly sour take on the quizzer, along with profound thoughts...

Everything about HQ, from its push notification demands for attention to the flat plasticky graphics to the well-groomed holoman at the center feels like a gloss on complicated questions about how we want to interact with technology and how we want technology to interact with us.

Good golly, Miss Molly. That's like, heavy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ratings: syndies slide

It was a drab week for syndie game shows. You'd think the numbers would start to pick up as we head into the peak viewing months. TV News Check has the dreary household ratings for the week of October 30-November 5...

Family Feud 6.3 - down a couple ticks
Jeopardy 6.0 - down a couple ticks before the T of C starts
Wheel of Fortune 5.9 - down only a tick, which is okay this week
Millionaire 1.6 - down a tick
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat, which is good because this show doesn't have many ticks to lose

A couple of cable notes: last Wednesday (November 8) BET's Face Value tumbled to 196K total viewers. I'm not sure if that's a new low, but it ain't good. Meanwhile, GSN's Divided scored 300K viewers at midnight. That's okay for a show that its own network seems to dislike.

Overall, GSN perked up a bit for the week of November 6-12. 351K/261K viewers prime time/total day. The network ranked 38th and 36th in the windows. Best prime time numbers in a while.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Other people's money

We all have prurient interest in the loot that other people take home. So Forbes feeds our prying instincts with a list of the top earning TV hosts for the year ending June 30, 2017.

A couple of game show people make the money roll. Michael Strahan of 100K Pyramid clocks in with $21.5 million. (You sure it's not 21.6? Or maybe 21.4?) My guess is that he makes more from the Good Morning America and NFL gigs than he earns from Pyramid. But what do I know? I'm not his agent. Too bad for me.

Media conglomerate and Family Feud host Steve Harvey checks in at $42.5 million. He's got 99 shows and movies and books, so who knows how much of the loot comes from Feud? At least he's got plenty enough to ignore the brickbats from the oldies boards...if he even knows those boards exist.

Both these guys look like food-stamp candidates compared to top earning host Dr. Phil at $79 million. Maybe it's the Southern accent.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Garbage truck

Now that I hit a lick on BuzzerBlog, I'll take a glimpse at Game Show Garbage, another site I hadn't visited lately.

At least there aren't any phallic Feud images on GSG's top page. There is the screenshot of Vanna, with a link to a trashing of her ancient TV-movie turkey Goddess of Love. I'll leave the flick alone, though I've heard it's one of those so-bad-it's-good projects.

There's also a review of three recent game show debuts: BET's Face Value, GSN's Snap Decision, and syndication's Funny You Should Ask. Maybe I'm mellowing in my dotage, but I don't disagree all that much with the site's verdicts on the trio. Funny is pretty much of a dog, and the other two are okay offshoots of Street Smarts.

I do disagree with the site ranking Face Value above Snap Decision. I honestly don't see much difference in quality between the shows. None of the three efforts has wowed the Nielsen Company, by the way. Snap Decision has vanished from GSN, and the other two shows are limping badly.

Game Show Garbage has always hated GSN's Divided, and the site offers another casual dump on the show in the linked review. GSN itself apparently shares the dislike, as Mike Richards and friends have gotten exiled to midnight. Maybe I'm missing something, but I think the show is an entertaining blend of quizzer and argument.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Buzzing along

It's been a while since I checked BuzzerBlog's Facebook page. On a slow news weekend I figured I'd take a look.

First thing that greeted me was the, er, odd image of Steve Harvey on Family Feud in the screenshot. At first I thought it was some kind of penis reference, much like the usual slams on Harvey's show that you see on the oldies boards. (Shows you how my mind operates.) But then I remembered that BuzzerBlog generally likes Steve. So I'm not sure what the intention is, other than to attract notice. Well, it caught my eye.

The recent entries on the page are mostly the usual snippets of game show news. There's a lot of overlap with my own faux tweets, in fact. One obvious exception is the heavy emphasis on Brit game shows, which has characterized BuzzerBlog from the beginning. The site gives a middling review to Joker's Wild, and there's an on-site report from Baltimore about the Marc Summers documentary.

There is also a bit of predictable politics. An entry slams "many old white guys" for being "stupid and sleazy." (Guess this doesn't include Marc Summers.) As an old white guy myself, I'm familiar with such politically correct - and routine - drubbings. Funny thing, though. Old white guys tend to watch a lot of game shows. Let's hope our little genre doesn't make us any more stupid and sleazy.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Alexander's horse

Readers of this blog - and anybody else who ran across my top 50 list - know of my high regard for Cash Cab. In fact, the failure of Game Show Forum to include the show in their top 50 is enough, on its own, to disqualify that board as a serious judge of game show quality. So there's lots of good news lately, including the Cash Cab Thanksgiving weekend marathon on GSN and the long awaited return of new eps to Discovery on December 4.

Ben Bailey is making the media rounds to plug the reboot. "I was excited when they first announced it...One game into filming I was like, 'did we ever stop?'" Ben's showing a little discretion here. When Discovery first announced the reboot, he complained loudly that he was left out of their plans. Give the network credit, they quickly corrected the mistake and hired the only cabbie you need for the one cab that pays you money.

The showrunners will tart up the new series with celeb guests, which purists (like me) will grump about. But what the hey, the cab rolls again. That's enough to keep us diehards happy. And by the way, Ben, I happen to know the name of Alexander the Great's horse. Yes, I need help.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

More number theory

First posted about this on the weekly ratings report. But an ancient actuary can never pass up a numbers chat. So I'll expand a little.

As a faux tweet noted, Buzzr chief Ron Garfield says the diginet has grown its viewership 40% since spring. He also says the average viewer household watches over two hours a day. The only source mentioned is "internal numbers." No idea what that means, but these are the first figures I've seen anywhere on Buzzr's actual viewership.

Pure speculation on my part, but the "internal numbers" might include some local market Nielsen and/or comScore data from stations that carry the diginet on a subchannel. There might also be some local comScore set-top box data for cable and satellite viewership. I don't think that Buzzr buys a full set of Nielsen national ratings. Few diginets buy those numbers, at least in these early stages of the networks.

There's always feedback on how Buzzr makes the phones ring for its direct response ads. The main takeaway is that Garfield is claiming significant percentage growth, though (no doubt) from a small base.

One thing is certain. The diginet skews very old. It seems like every Medicare supplement insurer pitches their products on Buzzr. Not to mention drug companies hawking old-age meds and lawyers chasing hip replacement and hernia mesh cases.

There's no way to quantify the impact on Buzzr's most direct competitor, GSN. After two big years GSN has seen a downdraft in their 2017 numbers. This may be cord-cutting, a lack of strong new shows, or maybe even some slight effect from the upstart diginet.

Of course, GSN depends on Buzzr parent Fremantle for much of its programming, most notably Steve Harvey's Family Feud. And Fremantle enjoys the licensing fees from GSN. It's an odd blend of competition and cooperation.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Don't blink

Just watched the debut ep of Fuse's Trivial Takedown on YouTube.

As I type the video has pulled 369 views. Which should tell you something about the popularity of Fuse, a cable net that "accommodates a wide range of music tastes, while targeting a demographic of young adults between 18 and 34 years old." I can just barely remember being 34 years old. That's when I got married.

Long story short, the quizzer is an okay rewind of Channel 4's Blink, with pop-culture clues flashing on and off while sort-of celeb contestants try to figure out who or what the clues are. The players on the first show were Chico and Glozell. One wore a wig and weird lipstick, and the other didn't. The wig got tossed around a lot. Glozell tried to bust some moves, too, with no luck.

I knew maybe two or three of the clues, but the target demo ain't me by more than three decades. So sue me for being old. Also, don't blink. The show goes by fast, as the disembodied host voice (Matt Richards) keeps reminding you.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Ratings: syndies inch ahead

The week of October 23-29 was okay for syndie game shows. There were no big moves but a lot of little pluses. In a world where people have a zillion and one TV choices, little pluses are better than no pluses at all.  TV News Check has the household ratings...

Family Feud 6.5 - up a tick
Jeopardy 6.2 - up a tick
Wheel of Fortune 6.0 - up a tick, you might see the pattern and this was a season high for Pat and Vanna
Millionaire 1.7 - flat, every party has a pooper
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - up a tick for the poor cousin of the syndies

GSN started November with blah but not terrible numbers. 312K/246K viewers prime time/total day. The network ranked 44th and 35th in the windows. Those old numbers for first-run eps of The Chase are looking better and better.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Number theory

Breathes there the actuary with soul so dead that he can't enjoy numbers and graphs?

Well, this retired actuary isn't going to try to resist the enjoyment. As an entry noted a few days ago, GSN will run a Thanksgiving day marathon of The Chase. So I dug up my old graph (click to enlarge) of the show's viewer numbers for all its new eps from August 2013 to December 2015.

The first question from the graph is obvious. Why in hades did GSN ever cancel this show? Even the last batch of new eps in November and December of 2015 averaged over 600K viewers. For a network that's currently wandering in the low 300K range for prime time and the mid-200K range for total day, those numbers look great. Not to mention that the show garnered two of GSN's very few Emmy noms. It's even got a featured article on Wikipedia (okay, no big deal).

The Chase peaked at over 700K viewers three times, which I've marked on the graph. After a relatively slow start in August 2013, The Chase brought in viewers like few shows before or since on our little game show network.

I've seen several explanations for the show's demise. 1) An outsized prize budget. Mark Labbett didn't often lose but when he did, it cost a bundle. 2) The dreaded old skew. This wasn't Baggage, a sex romp that skewed very young by GSN standards. This was a serious quizzer that skewed like Jeopardy...old, older, oldest. 3) Exec stupidity. Not much to say here, I'm afraid.

Are there any chances for a revival of the show? GSN seems recommitted to traditional game shows, and they don't get much more traditional than The Chase. But I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Influencing socially

Fuse's Trivial Takedown debuts this week, and the favorite gig of their "celeb" players seems to be social influencer.

Which sounds like a job for everybody on the planet except hermits. We're all influencing a society of some kind, aren't we? The real hope of the tiny cable net is that the celebs will become Nielsen influencers. Though with October averages of 52K/30K viewers prime time/total day, Trivial Takedown doesn't have to attract massive throngs to look like a hit on Fuse.

The show is a U.S. version of Channel 4's Blink, a rapid fire pop culture quizzer. Sorry to sound snobbish, but pop culture may be the only kind of culture these celebs can handle. I don't see them acing 19th century European lit, or other Jeopardy-ish categories.

Oh, I'm so snooty. Who knows, maybe some of these social influencers have read Tolstoy in the original. Stranger things have happened, no?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The huger, the better

A game show casting call has popped up on Reality Wanted.

I have no idea what new show they're casting for. It sounds like a promotional effort for a retailer, and the call wants the usual "huge personalities." A twist is that there will be no losers, because everybody will win at least one prize. Is this a participation award game show?

There's also a chance to appear on a New York talk show to play a demo version of the game, whatever it is. The actual tapings will run in Los Angeles. If you're 18 or older and a legal resident of the U.S., they're interested in you. As long as your personality is huge enough.

The linked casting form says the showrunners also want "ridiculously awesome Americans." So if your personality is awesome as well as huge, you've got it made. Maybe.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Marian the librarian

This entry isn't really about a librarian named Marian. Instead it's about a librarian named Julie.

I never knew there was a web site called American Librarian, but it actually exists. They just posted a long story about various librarians who have appeared on Jeopardy over the years. It's the natural game show for bookworms, after all. In an attempt to make the profession sound more intriguing, they title the story: "The Badass Librarians of Jeopardy." Honest, that's what they call the story.

One of the badasses is a lady named Julie Hornick. She appeared on the show March 12, 2014, which just happened to be the ep when Arthur Chu met his comeuppance. (Oh, happy day.)

YouTube records the joyous occasion, though Julie had little to smile about. She did win the second place prize when Arthur zeroed out. But she named the wrong British king, and that doomed her.

For some reason the American Librarian story omits the Arthur connection. But they do offer a final comment from Julie about her experience. It was exciting to be there, but I felt like I’d let myself down, as unreasonable as that is. I'd dreamed of it for so long, I thought, “This'll be so exciting,” and all of a sudden, it was over.

Yep, it ain't over until it's over, but it was over.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Program notes

I first commented on this subject in an update to an unrelated post, but it deserves an entry  of its own.

GSN has released the advance schedule for the November 20 week. There are lots of marathons for the Thanksgiving weekend: 25K Pyramid, Harvey Family Feud, The Chase, Match Game and Cash Cab. I have no idea if these long runs of traditional game shows signal anything about the plans of new programming veep Fran Shea. They were probably in the works before she came aboard.

The oldies boards will, of course, be most interested in Pyramid and Match Game. Pyramid runs 8:00 AM-12:00 PM Thanksgiving day. Format stalwarts like Charles Siebert, Vicki Lawrence, Earl Holliman and Betty White put in appearances. Match Game runs for the same four hours on Black Friday. One of the eps features the famous walk-on by the regulars of the Carol Burnett show.

Cash Cab gets a five-hour roll on Saturday, and The Chase runs for seven hours on Thanksgiving day. If nothing else, the skeins may give us some idea of which five shows GSN execs regard as their most important right now.

An odd note from Buzzr. Louie Anderson's Family Feud departs after only a two-week trial. Maybe Buzzr execs (like almost everybody else) think it's a dog. Combs Feud takes back the slots in the week of November 13.

Okay, you won it, now how do you spend it?

Writer Michael Kaplan at the New York Post started wondering how winning contestants on game shows spend the loot.

So he did a little research, starting with recent Jeopardy champ Austin Rogers. Turns out that Austin's story is pretty mundane. He's keeping his day job and will sock away most of the money. He does hope to parlay his Jeopardy fame into a show biz job sooner or later, but he hasn't taken any rash plunges. He did pay someone to clean his apartment.

The oddest story comes from Caitlyn Burke, who wowed the game show world with a one-letter solve on Wheel of Fortune. She hauled in more than fifty grand in cash and prizes, and she got the idea of giving it all away. Seriously. She was going to start a blog and ask people why they needed money. Then she would bestow the loot on the most deserving supplicant.

Her boyfriend at the time talked her out of it. Caitlyn, I think that the boyfriend gave you some good advice. Instead, she paid off a lot of student loans and indulged in a few creature comforts. She still regrets not going through with the blog giveaway idea, though. Um, okay.

By the way, Caitlyn once left a comment on this blog about something or another. Or maybe it was an e-mail. After all these years of game show blogging, the memories get hazy.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mashed up

I really shouldn't do this, because it seems slightly sacrilegious on a game show blog.

But on their Halloween ep Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest mashed up the greatest game show ever in Match Game of Thrones. YouTube presents the awful spectacle.

Which isn't all that terrible. There's a Charles Nelson Reilly shout-out and a few funny lines here and there. They also manage to splice Alec Baldwin into the skit though the magic of TV editing. Kelly gets the front center seat, naturally, because she's the star. But it's still a little jarring to see the male-female seating order messed up. The universe just isn't right if that order changes.

I didn't see any comments on the YouTube video. Maybe it's better that way. YouTubers may not be ready for this epic combination.