Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ratings: syndies bounce back from Fourth of July

The holiday week passed and syndie game shows jumped. Okay, there was one exception and you should be able to guess it. TV News Check has the household ratings for July 8-14...

Family Feud 5.9 - up a couple ticks
Jeopardy 5.6 - up five ticks in a nice snap back
Wheel of Fortune 5.2 - also up five ticks
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire 1.5 - up a tick but sadly it doesn't matter much any more
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat, you weren't expecting anything else?

GSN skipped upwards in the latest week. 430K/308K viewers prime time/total day for July 15-21. New eps of Common Knowledge may have helped. The network ranked 31st and 21st in the windows. Could GSN soon become a top twenty network in total day? I dunno, but our little game show network got the new week off to a nice start with audiences around a half-million for all of their originals on July 22. 541K for Common Knowledge, 491K for America Says and 430K for Best Ever Trivia Show.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Other people's loot

Frequent stories on the Internet feed our prurient interest in other people's money.

The latest is a review of some TV talk show hosts and their cash stashes. Of course, these are just crude estimates. Nobody but the hosts and their accountants know the true financial picture. But what the hey, it's prurient interest, remember?

A couple of people on the list also host game shows. Family Feud's Steve Harvey clocks in at $180 million. This is twenty million more bucks than the same site estimated a couple months ago. Guess the extra money just appeared somehow. (I'll offer one more reminder that only the accountants know for sure.)

Ellen DeGeneres of the eponymous Ellen's Game of Games easily surpasses Steve with $450 million. In fact, she's number two on the list to only Oprah Winfrey, who blows the doors off with $3.5 billion. Oprah's pile is bigger than everybody else's on the list combined. And she's not even on TV much any more.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Performance art

Cynical moi has made a few jokes over the years about fake pro wrestling.

The relationship of staged wrestling to our little genre is all too obvious, after the rigging scandals of the 1950s. Even the sometimes accurate Quiz Show, Hollywood's try at recounting the scandals, offered a glimpse of pro wrestling as an ironic comment on the entire hoo-hah.

But the 1950s are starting to fade from living memory. So game shows have gotten bolder about inviting members of the wrestling fraternity as celeb players. This story notes a bunch of appearances by pro wrestlers on all sorts of game shows, from Weakest Link to Dating Game.

By the way, Chris Jericho wasn't just a Dating Game contestant. He actually hosted a game show, ABC's long-forgotten Downfall. That effort sent merchandise crashing off a tall building, which sadly didn't make for the most thrilling drama.

The story does mention John Cena's hosting duties on Nick's 5th Grader reboot. Cena is pretty good at this game show thing, believe it or not.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Revising a list

A couple months ago I made a list of GSN's top ten original shows. The list was based solely on my own likes and dislikes, because this is my blog and I can do what I want. So there.

Anyhoo, I happened to be up late last night and ran across one of the well-worn eps of Dylan Lane's Chain Reaction on GSN. I suddenly realized that I had somehow left the show off my top ten originals list. And I purely love GSN's versions of the format. (Chain Reaction dates back through various editions to Bill Cullen's NBC version in 1980.)

In fact, Mike Catherwood's reboot on GSN in 2015-16 is my top favorite, but Dylan's episodes from 2006-07 will do. Anyway, the top ten list should now read...

The Chase, Lingo, America Says, Russian Roulette, High Stakes Poker, Inquizition, Baggage, That's the Question, Chain Reaction, Celebrity Blackjack

The show I dropped from the list to make room for Chain Reaction is Idiotest. Nothing against Ben Gleib's effort, but Chain Reaction makes me feel less like, well, an idiot.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Spinning at Netflix?

Hadn't dropped into Buy a Vowel for a while, so I decided to see what the Wheel-ies were up to.

There's an interesting thread on whether Wheel of Fortune will ever end up on Netflix, like its Sony soulmate Jeopardy. The consensus seems to be NO (all caps) because of Harry Friedman and an inferiority complex that Wheel has toward Jeopardy.

I'm not sure I understand why Harry would be so all-fired opposed to the big spinning thing on Netflix, after he sent a bunch of Jeopardy eps to the service. Not to mention that relatively recent episodes of Wheel have been going round and round for quite a while now on GSN.

Maybe Sony wants to see how Alex's quizzer does on Netflix before putting Pat and Vanna on the Internet giant. But if the show is okay for a cable network, it's hard to see why Netflix would be permanently shunned.

By the way, the thread detours into a discussion of BuzzerBlog. Various opinions are heard, pro and con. I've settled on "neutral" myself, after a few episodes with one of my competitors.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Buzzr-ish Christmas

Got an e-mail about this, and Buzzr has been running promos. It's Christmas in July at our little oldies diginet.

I'd like to report that Buzzr is trying something really daring - like a game show with less than twenty years of dust on it - but the upcoming stunt is just a few Christmas eps of the diginet's usual stuff. If they trotted out, say, a holiday episode of Drew Carey's The Price is Right, their audience might faint, then revive and start screaming about "modern junk" on Buzzr's Facebook page.

At least the linked promo is kind of cute, with Santa at the beach in the good old summertime. The episodes run Sunday, July 28th if you want to enjoy a little yuletide cheer during the dog days.

There hasn't been a peep about any "new" shows debuting on Buzzr from Fremantle's endless library (or any other libraries). Classic Concentration was the last addition to a schedule that continues to be Match Game and some other old stuff now and then.

Fremantle seems loathe to alienate their good customer GSN by building Buzzr into anything like a real competitor. There's little evidence from GSN's recent ratings that Buzzr is cutting into the cable network's audience much, if at all.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ratings: holiday week no fun for syndies

The Fourth of July is fine for fireworks and cookouts, but not so great for TV shows. That's because people are too busy watching fireworks and eating at cookouts to bother with TV. Syndie game shows suffered along with the rest of their television brethren during the week of July 1-7, with many season lows. TV News Check has the household ratings...

Family Feud 5.7 - down four ticks but at least it avoided a season low
Jeopardy 5.1 - down five ticks and it didn't avoid a season low
Wheel of Fortune 4.7 - down five ticks to, you guessed it, a season low
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire 1.4 - down a tick to a season low in its last season
Funny You Should Ask 0.5 - flat, no worries about a season high or low

GSN had an okay but not great week for July 8-14. 403K/292K viewers prime time/total day. The network ranked 34th and 25th in the windows.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Wall of repeats

A few people here and elsewhere on the game show Interwebs have wondered what happened to the new season of NBC's The Wall.

The short answer is that nobody knows. Or at least there's been nothing public from the network. The long answer is that NBC is currently running repeats of the show, and it looks like they plan to keep on running them for the rest of the summer. The repeats are drawing respectable audiences (by summer broadcast standards nowadays) of over three million. In fact, they're performing better for the network than new episodes of Hollywood Game Night.

Pure speculation on my part is that NBC is holding back new eps of The Wall for midseason replacement duty in December or January. We'll see if that's true when the network announces their plans for the upcoming fall season. The Wall has run in the winter months before and produced okay numbers for NBC.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Grump, grump, grump

Monday morning is the best time to be grumpy, right? So a dyspeptic critic took to the Interwebs to denounce every game show in sight, with one telling exception.

Well, maybe two exceptions, if you consider Holey Moley a game show. I think it's trash sport, but why quibble? For some reason the sour critic likes the show. My guess is that he's a Stephan Curry fan and that rose-colors his spectacles.

But then he goes on a grump rampage, savaging Spin the Wheel, Card Sharks, Press Your Luck, and Awake. He even repeats the charge that Spin the Wheel rips off The Wall, apparently without realizing that The Wall rips off Plinko, and game shows from time immemorial have ripped off other game shows.

But then comes the Great Exception. Jeopardy is the crowning glory of the genre. After all, the grouchy critic was a three-time Jeopardy winner himself, as he's quick to inform us in his bio. Of course, that doesn't affect his opinion of the show at all (chuckle, chuckle).

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Plugging the competition

If you google for game show blogs, this blog comes in second. BuzzerBlog comes in first.

You might think I'd be bitter about this, and you'd be right. (Just kidding, don't send me e-mails.) But what the hey, I can still use a story about a BuzzerBlog writer for an entry. The gentleman in question is Christian Carrion, one of the quartet at the buzzer-ish blog.

Christian will soon appear on Match Game, and that will mark his sixth turn on a game show. Previously he had played on The Price is Right, Millionaire, Hip Hop Squares, The Chase and Let's Ask America. He's won sixteen grand and a sofa for his efforts, not counting any loot he might have collected from his upcoming Match Game appearance.

So the guy's been all over the genre. I've personally had my ins and outs and ups and downs with BuzzerBlog over the years, but I still have to admire Christian for his perseverance as a contestant. And if you're wondering, Game Show Newsnet comes in third on Google for game show blogs. Go figure.