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The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: Winkfan on September 08, 2008, 05:06:40 PM

Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Winkfan on September 08, 2008, 05:06:40 PM
Many of us have heard about the "Silver Age" of comic books. That period of the late '50s though most of the '60s when DC updated some of the superheroes (Flash, Green Lantern, etc.) and Marvel came into its own.

But do you think there is a "Silver Age" of game shows? To me, the "Golden Age" was the '50s through the mid-60s; and their "Silver Age" was the mid-60s through most of the '70s.

Agree or disagree on this one?

Cordially,
Tammy
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Don Howard on September 08, 2008, 05:16:32 PM
Looking at What's My Line? and Beat The Clock, et. al. as innovators of the genre for television, I'm thinking the Golden Age began when they became the talk of the town and the newspapers and the water cooler discussion. Unfortunately, just about all those shows were fixed, but until it was known that they were, quiz shows were the coolest thing around, hence my thinking that's when the Golden Age was.
During the late 1950s and through the 1960s the games were more in a rediscovery period.
To me, it seems like the Silver Age began in 1972 (Labor Day to be exact) and ended in 1989 (when we lost $ale of the Century and Super Password with one show replaced by nothing and another by a soap opera). From 1989-91, they began their phase-out.
There was a bit of tease in 1990, but all of those new shows got canned.
This is a good topic, though, and I'm curious to read what our peerage thinks on this.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: BrandonFG on September 08, 2008, 05:30:13 PM
Agreed on Golden Age being the 50s, and Silver being the era Don mentioned.

Bronze Age could be from c. 1996 to now. Although many of them were dating-based games, I consider that to be the start of an era where we saw more and more game shows taking the place of talk shows. Things only got better in '99 with "Millionaire". Also like the Silver Age, there were some down periods (mid-2000s compared to the early-80s with the Golden Age).
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Matt Ottinger on September 08, 2008, 06:13:17 PM
[quote name=\'Don Howard\' post=\'196550\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 05:16 PM\']
To me, it seems like the Silver Age began in 1972 (Labor Day to be exact) and ended in 1989 (when we lost $ale of the Century and Super Password [/quote]
September 4, 1972 is definitely a red-letter day in our genre and would be for TPIR alone.  To my [young] mind, though, game shows were already flourishing in daytime, and that date just happened to introduce three great ones.  As good as it was, TPIR didn't change anything.

I'd start the Silver Age four years earlier, when Goodson-Todman discovered how to recover from the elimination of their franchise shows from the prime time schedules.  Syndication was the new frontier.  Remember, the TPIR franchise was going to be driven by the Dennis James nighttime version, and Bob Barker's version was just going to help draw attention to the syndicated show.  What's My Line? certainly wasn't the first syndicated game show, but it was pretty much the first successful daily one.  That and To Tell The Truth a year later (and some helpful FCC decisions) changed the playing field in a meaningful way.

Also, moving back to 1968 puts us closer to the debut of an independent Bob Stewart, the ascendance of Heatter-Quigley, and --God help us all -- the arrival of Chuck Barris, all of which could be pointed to as game-changers.

Spot-on about the end of the era, though.  After 1989, there wasn't a meaningful new game until Millionaire.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Vahan_Nisanian on September 08, 2008, 06:27:16 PM
For me, the 70's was the golden age, and the 80's was the silver age for game shows.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: tvrandywest on September 08, 2008, 06:53:22 PM
You're too smart to be hanging around these parts, Matt! I wholeheartedly concur with both your premise and argument. First thought provoking thread in a while. Thanks!

Randy
tvrandywest.com

[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' post=\'196572\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 03:13 PM\']
[quote name=\'Don Howard\' post=\'196550\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 05:16 PM\']
To me, it seems like the Silver Age began in 1972 (Labor Day to be exact) and ended in 1989 (when we lost $ale of the Century and Super Password [/quote]
September 4, 1972 is definitely a red-letter day in our genre and would be for TPIR alone.  To my [young] mind, though, game shows were already flourishing in daytime, and that date just happened to introduce three great ones.  As good as it was, TPIR didn't change anything.

I'd start the Silver Age four years earlier, when Goodson-Todman discovered how to recover from the elimination of their franchise shows from the prime time schedules.  Syndication was the new frontier.  Remember, the TPIR franchise was going to be driven by the Dennis James nighttime version, and Bob Barker's version was just going to help draw attention to the syndicated show.  What's My Line? certainly wasn't the first syndicated game show, but it was pretty much the first successful daily one.  That and To Tell The Truth a year later (and some helpful FCC decisions) changed the playing field in a meaningful way.

Also, moving back to 1968 puts us closer to the debut of an independent Bob Stewart, the ascendance of Heatter-Quigley, and --God help us all -- the arrival of Chuck Barris, all of which could be pointed to as game-changers.

Spot-on about the end of the era, though.  After 1989, there wasn't a meaningful new game until Millionaire.
[/quote]
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: aaron sica on September 08, 2008, 07:02:09 PM
Good question, Tammy. I am curious to hear others' opinions as well, but here's my own.

At a very young age (5), I realized that one era of game shows ended, and it's a belief that I stick to today. In my opinion, 1980 is when one era ended and another began.

Here's my take on it......Up to 1980, game shows were quite plentiful and there were a good many on the air. Up to that point,  in syndication, there were still some once-a-week game shows on the air (Price is Right, Name That Tune), some twice-a-week game shows (Hollywood Squares, Family Feud).

Network-wise, CBS axed "Beat the Clock" and "Whew!" that year, ABC did the same to "The $20,000 Pyramid", and of course, NBC killed off "Hollywood Squares" and "High Rollers".

Beginning in the fall of 1980, once-a-week game shows were far and few - at least where I lived, MG PM and Name That Tune were nowhere to be found. Both Family Feud and Hollywood Squares went from twice-a-week to strip. HS even packed up and went to Vegas. The games that premiered that fall (You Bet Your Life, To Tell The Truth) were short lived.

That's why, at least to me, 1980 was and always has been a turning point in game shows. I'm not crafty enough to come up with names for the eras, but that's my personal take.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Ian Wallis on September 08, 2008, 08:14:34 PM
On a wider scale, I agree with pretty well everything Michi-Matt said (but I'd probably start the "silver era" in 1972).  On a personal scale, here's my take:

My first memories were from the early '70s time frame, so the decade that followed was MY golden era.  The '80s probably the silver era, and Aug 16, 1999 was probably the start of the "bronze" era.

I didn't know much about '50s and '60s game shows for many years, but thanks mainly to GSN I was able to see the beginnings of the genre, and agree totally that it was the real "golden era".
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: tvrandywest on September 08, 2008, 08:19:23 PM
And this is the zinc age.

Randy
tvrandywest.com
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Joe Mello on September 08, 2008, 08:54:05 PM
[quote name=\'tvrandywest\' post=\'196604\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 08:19 PM\']
And this is the zinc age.

Randy
tvrandywest.com
[/quote]
I'd have called it Iron Pyrite Age, but it's not as funny to say.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: joker316 on September 08, 2008, 09:15:51 PM
This is a great thread just for recalling all the great memories. I agree with Matt and everyone who says the "silver age" began on 9-4-72, but for a slightly different reason.

To me , it wasn't just that those three game shows debuted on the same day, it was that they debuted on CBS! Now we fans had a new player/outlet for game show variety. When I was growing up we didn't have many stations to choose from (and no cable or satellite, of course). To have a new choice was just great!

When I first saw TJW that day I was awed by the "larger than life slot machine" and "the Savers" theme. TPIR was on a stage that seemed HUGE by comparison to its New York based counterparts. And Gambit was just a little bit different (playing cards as part of the game, BTW I had never seen Pay Cards). And the other networks took notice, as formats were altered or longtime shows were cancelled outright in favor of high polished productions just like CBS. Unlike CBS, in the beginning at least, many of these moves did not pan out due to the games being weak or repetitive. But the creativity would burst forth in waves until it all ended in January 1989 (with a brief lull in the early 80's)
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Don Howard on September 08, 2008, 09:47:10 PM
[quote name=\'joker316\' post=\'196622\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 09:15 PM\']
I agree with Matt and everyone who says the "silver age" began on 9-4-72[/quote]
To right the record, Matt stated that in his belief the Silver Age began four years before 1972,
for which he was hailed by Randy West.
Twas your Don who opined that Labor Day 1972 began said age.
I don't pretend to hold the high regard that our man from Quizbusters has, but let us be accurate.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: calliaume on September 08, 2008, 10:11:56 PM
I'll throw in a different date -- April 5, 1971, when Password came back to ABC, replacing Dark Shadows.  This was significant in that (1) it was the first time in five years a game show had displaced a soap on the daytime schedules, indicating the pendulum was moving, and (2) Password had been off the air for four years (although in reruns for two in syndication).  The G-T 1968 and 1969 shows like What's My Line? and To Tell the Truth had been off the air for a year or less.

Let's put it this way -- Password was the beginning of a change in daytime schedules, and an opportunity to both introduce good new shows (which had begun with Who, What or Where and Sale of The Century in 1969) and bring back the classics.  In 1971, the three networks ran 9 games, 18 soaps, 6 sitcoms, and Dinah's Place.  Two years later, the count was 16 games, 15 soaps, 2 sitcoms, and Dinah.

Good thread.  And this is very subjective; I'm just enjoying a good argument.  (Note to Matt:  I'd say the first five-a-week syndie success was Truth or Consequences, but that's debatable.)
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: JackSpader on September 08, 2008, 10:31:52 PM
As a journalism major I learned a lot on TV history.  A golden age is hard to figure out, considering the beginning of television saw old radio shows being converted to the visual medium and I think for most people, the golden age ended in the late 60's.  

That being said, I think that the 1960's up until about the mid 1970's was the silver age for game shows.  My reason for this is that the very early 60's were not too far off from the quiz show scandals and by that point the networks had begun implementing their Standards and Practices departments into overseeing game show production.  Prime time game shows were also being dissolved by the late 1960's since the big money was no longer there and therefore games became more appropriate on daytime TV.  Game shows were also becoming more colorful in their sets as color TV was in full force by the late 1960's.  Also game shows began to have more groundbreaking formats with larger sets and more humor.  But one thing that remained through it all was the noticeable conservative hosting styles and the fact that such shows were produced very much conservative in their own right.

The changes that occurred around 1975 was the rise of more laid back formats, and a more noticeable use of technology in the operation of game boards and scoreboards.  Game show hosts were also less conservative with their hosting and seemed far more upbeat, a lot of that inspired by the popularity of Match Game at the time.  Older formats were also being turned around and updated to have more colorful sets and more interesting game rules (which at the time was appropriate considering you knew what you were doing).  Also, it's notable that during the mid 70's soap operas were extending to a full hour and syndicated TV was on the rise which led to a decline in the early 80's, although it's safe to say that it wasn't quite the end considering in 1982 each of the big three had at least one game show during the summer months not counting syndication (TTD, TJW, FF).  With that said, daytime game shows also reached their peak of existence.

I think the better way to look at it was that the game show genre was in a state of transition for about 15 years as they tried new things to stay in tune with the audiences, but eventually the producers came to realize what worked and what didn't.  Silver Era does make sense to that extent.  The mid 70's up until 1991 would decidedly be what I would call the Post-Peak era when game shows were still standard on daytime TV but were faced with heavier competition with syndication and cable channels as the 1980's went on, and eventually 1991 was the end when ABC and NBC both decided that it wasn't worth airing something that only ends up getting pre-emptied for something else.  Then, 1991-1999 is most decidedly what I call the Basement era as daytime game shows were reduced to the three popular shows that we still have, while a new generation of producers favored casual low budget formats which were tailor made for cable channels (you know, the game shows you love to hate).  Right now, I think game show era we are in would called the Million Dollar era, coinciding with the typical prize budget for the show and also unifying in regards to the fact that game shows are seen as synonymous with reality competition shows.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: davidhammett on September 08, 2008, 10:50:08 PM
Not to dodge the original question, but Aaron's comment about 1980 reminds me that, regardless of where you mark the various "ages," the turn of each decade starting from 1960 marked a relative nadir in the game show genre.  In 1960, we were still reeling from the scandals; in 1970, CBS offered no games in daytime; in 1980, we lost all but five network shows that summer; and just after 1990, there wasn't much left except TPIR, WoF, and J!  The same could've almost been said of 2000, but the drought of the 1990's was broken just in time with the introduction of WWTBAM in August, 1999 and the subsequent rebirth of the prime-time game show.

/am I the only one who wants to model this with a sinusoidal function?
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Matt Ottinger on September 08, 2008, 11:00:07 PM
[quote name=\'davidhammett\' post=\'196653\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 10:50 PM\']
/am I the only one who wants to model this with a sinusoidal function?[/quote]
Actually, some Benadryl will clear that right up.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Joe Mello on September 08, 2008, 11:02:07 PM
[quote name=\'davidhammett\' post=\'196653\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 10:50 PM\']/am I the only one who wants to model this with a sinusoidal function?[/quote]
I wouldn't call it sinusoidal, but the graph would have a mountainous look, with spikes maybe at 1972, 75, 83, 99, and perhaps 2005 (DoND)

/Wanted to make a Benadryl joke (but Matt beat me to it, apparently.  Curse me and my cautious editing)
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Fedya on September 08, 2008, 11:02:37 PM
[quote name=\'Joe Mello\' post=\'196617\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 08:54 PM\']
[quote name=\'tvrandywest\' post=\'196604\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 08:19 PM\']
And this is the zinc age.

Randy
tvrandywest.com
[/quote]
I'd have called it Iron Pyrite Age, but it's not as funny to say.
[/quote]
And here I was going to make a joke about it being the brushed aluminum age....
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: geno57 on September 09, 2008, 03:16:21 AM
[quote name=\'tvrandywest\' post=\'196604\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 07:19 PM\']
And this is the zinc age.[/quote]

Neehhhhh ... Chintz.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Craig Karlberg on September 09, 2008, 05:14:37 AM
My "personal" golden age started in 1968 with TTTT.  It peaked in 1975 where you couldn't escape from the TV without seeing a game show on any given channel at any given time during daylight hours.  Then it fizzled out in 1980.  By 1982, my "Silver Age" started to kick in with a peak somewhere bwtween 1985-1987.  Another drop-off occured in aboiut 1991 to the point I started to wonder if we ever saw game shows ever again the way we use to.  On August 16, 1999, I found a new age.  It was called the "Platinum" age.  This one only lasted a short 5 years.  Then, after a short lull in 2004, the "Diamond" age kicked in for me with DoND.  It's still going on today.  Who knows how long that'll last(maybe untill the day I die.)?
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Jay Temple on September 09, 2008, 01:32:45 PM
I would agree generally with the early 1970's as the beginning of the Silver Age. I'm tempted to move it up to 1973, though, because of the premieres of The $10,000 Pyramid and Match Game '73.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: BrandonFG on September 09, 2008, 03:50:27 PM
Would I be the only one who thinks the current era of popularity actually began in fall-1996, if not a few months earlier? When "Debt" premiered in June of that year, Wink welcomed viewers to the "return of the game show". From there, you saw revivals of DG/NG (and "Bzzz!" that season), the former lasting three seasons. In late-September 1996, The Family Channel premiered their new afternoon block of shows, complete with a "preview" special.

Compared to the previous season, where daytime talk shows dominated and there were only two syndie games, TPiR, and reruns of Supermarket Sweep and Shop Til You Drop, I'd put my money on the current game "renaissance" dating back to 1996, with "Millionaire" being the fuel that completely got things rolling.

/I feel like I'm writing a history paper
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: uncamark on September 09, 2008, 04:34:12 PM
[quote name=\'fostergray82\' post=\'196734\' date=\'Sep 9 2008, 02:50 PM\']
Would I be the only one who thinks the current era of popularity actually began in fall-1996, if not a few months earlier? When "Debt" premiered in June of that year, Wink welcomed viewers to the "return of the game show". From there, you saw revivals of DG/NG (and "Bzzz!" that season), the former lasting three seasons. In late-September 1996, The Family Channel premiered their new afternoon block of shows, complete with a "preview" special.

Compared to the previous season, where daytime talk shows dominated and there were only two syndie games, TPiR, and reruns of Supermarket Sweep and Shop Til You Drop, I'd put my money on the current game "renaissance" dating back to 1996, with "Millionaire" being the fuel that completely got things rolling.[/quote]

A good argument, Brandon, but for many people those shows could still be dismissed as simply cheap cable, perhaps better than the USA originals or "STYD," but not much.  For me, the genre had to prove itself on broadcast TV again, which it did in August 1999.

As for the rest of TV history, I would agree that the 50s was the "Golden Age," with the 60s and 70s the "Silver Age," as new format concepts came to fruition and we had the first revivals (and I would consider "T or C" the first successful syndicated series, even if it was more successful in small markets than big markets).  In the 80s, we were getting more retreads than new concepts and then everything fell apart in 1991--until August 1999, when game shows (or a game show) came roaring back.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: joker316 on September 09, 2008, 08:37:20 PM
[quote name=\'Don Howard\' post=\'196634\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 09:47 PM\']
[quote name=\'joker316\' post=\'196622\' date=\'Sep 8 2008, 09:15 PM\']
I agree with Matt and everyone who says the "silver age" began on 9-4-72[/quote]
To right the record, Matt stated that in his belief the Silver Age began four years before 1972,
for which he was hailed by Randy West.
Twas your Don who opined that Labor Day 1972 began said age.
[/quote]
Sorry about that Don. My apologies, sir!
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: chris319 on September 09, 2008, 11:02:56 PM
Ironically, the Silver Age preceded the Golden Age IMO.

The Silver Age of game shows started with the dawn of television circa 1948 and ended with the quiz scandals in the late '50s. During that era game shows were prevalent both in daytime and prime time and production was New York-centric. After the scandals there was a lull of eight or nine years during which syndicated game shows were buoyed by local stations' demand for color programming. The Golden Age started some time around 1968 when (until the Prime Access Rule*), game shows were most prevalent in daytime. By the late '60s, production was becoming Hollywood-centric, G-T's panel shows were gone from prime time and the company started reviving old formats, Chuck Barris arrived on the scene, Jack Barry started to resurface on network TV as both producer and emcee, later to be joined by Dan Enright. Around 1972, syndicated game shows started filling the 7:30 time slot made available by the prime access rule, and CBS lifted its game show embargo by putting on TJW, Gambit and TPIR in daytime. Throughout the '70s and '80s game shows were everywhere, culminating in a mania in the mid to late '80s thanks to the success of nighttime Jeopardy! and WOF. Then in 1986 all three networks changed hands: NBC/RCA to GE, ABC to Capitol Cities, and CBS to Laurence Tisch. The game show business continued as usual for a few more years then started to decline in the '90s due to the networks abandoning the genre and giving time slots in daytime back to affiliates. Around the same time, the entrepreneurs who had been the major packagers since the '50s started to retire (or die) and sell their libraries and formats.

We are now in the Styrofoam Era when, except for a very few cases, game shows are mired in formulaic, derivative question-and-answer formats. Innovation is almost completely absent from the genre. If Michael Davies hadn't revived The $64,000 Question in the late '90s I don't know where we would be today.

*Jerry (Giraud) Chester, executive vice president of Goodson-Todman Productions, was instrumental in the passage of the Prime Access Rule in 1970 which paved the way for a bevvy of syndicated nighttime game shows.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Joe Mello on September 10, 2008, 12:39:45 AM
[quote name=\'chris319\' post=\'196765\' date=\'Sep 9 2008, 11:02 PM\']Innovation is almost completely absent from the genre. If Michael Davies hadn't revived The $64,000 Question in the late '90s I don't know where we would be today.[/quote]
It's not just game shows.  It seems like innovation is gone from movies, TV, games, basically everything has become a two-step process: Find a great act, then steal it.  Of course, we all clamor for Split Second and Concentration, so it's not like it's just the fault of the production end, but there does need to be some sort of change in the way things are done.

As for the rest of the comment, I have to think we'd be at least a little worse off without Millionaire.  There'd probably be some other show, probably another revival, but I don't know if it would have the polish and spectacle.

/Remembers where he was during Millionaire's 1st set of shows.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: GameShowGuru on September 10, 2008, 12:53:57 AM
I have to concur with the Golden Age being in the 50s and ending in 1969, September 26, 1969 to be exact, when NBC canceled The Match Game, Eye Guess, You Don't Say, and Split Personality.

I definately also agree with the Silver Age starting in 1972 with the premiere of The Price is Right.  My reasoning is that TPiR was only one of three shows from the Golden Age that was given a complete makeover which made it better than the original (the other two being Match Game and Password).

Where I disagree is that 1980 (6/20/80) marked the end of the Silver Age.  Rather, it ended Phase I of the Silver Age, with Phase II beginning September 20, 1982 with the premiere of The $25,000 Pyramid (Match Game ended its 9 year run over a week prior).  This also more or less kicked off the era of daily (as opposed to weekly) prime time game shows.  

Phase II almost died off in 1989-90 with the ending of Super Password and Scrabble, but the 1990-91 season gave Phase II a final brief burst of life with a series of revivals (TTTT, $100K Pyramid, The Joker's Wild, Tic Tac Dough, Supermarket Sweep, and the Challengers) and a few original shows (Trump Card).  Once that season ended, Phase II ended with it.

Considering the game show choices you had (Caesar's Challenge, Born Lucky, Quicksilver, Free 4 All, Debt, Shop Til You Drop, FF '94 with Richard Dawson), the 1990s were pretty much The Dark Period of game show history.

In 1999, the bronze age came about when WWTBAM aired on ABC in prime time, with Twenty-One following suit on NBC.

So as far as the 2000s being the styrofoam era, well I wouldn't say that we're in the styrofoam era, but I do remember Dennis Miller saying in one of his rants that we have gone from the GE College Bowl to contestants on Wheel of Fortune saying, "I'd like an F as in pharoah."
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: TLEberle on September 11, 2008, 01:20:01 AM
[quote name=\'GameShowGuru\' post=\'196776\' date=\'Sep 9 2008, 09:53 PM\']Considering the game show choices you had (Caesar's Challenge, Born Lucky, Quicksilver, Free 4 All, Debt, Shop Til You Drop, FF '94 with Richard Dawson), the 1990s were pretty much The Dark Period of game show history. [/quote]Hey, don't lump Debt in with the rest of that dreck. That show was decent, and could have made it.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: chris319 on September 11, 2008, 01:38:47 AM
Quote
Hey, don't lump Debt in with the rest of that dreck. That show was decent, and could have made it.
You mean Sideways Jeopardy!?
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: clemon79 on September 11, 2008, 03:44:20 AM
[quote name=\'chris319\' post=\'196892\' date=\'Sep 10 2008, 10:38 PM\']
You mean Sideways Jeopardy!?[/quote]
I'm sorry, you didn't follow the "I am...You are" format, and so we're going to have to add $50 to your Debt...
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: chris319 on September 11, 2008, 03:09:57 PM
I am the guy who said innovation is almost completely absent from television today, and  Debt is a prime example.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: tpirfan28 on September 11, 2008, 03:12:48 PM
[quote name=\'TLEberle\' post=\'196890\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 01:20 AM\']
[quote name=\'GameShowGuru\' post=\'196776\' date=\'Sep 9 2008, 09:53 PM\']Considering the game show choices you had (Caesar's Challenge, Born Lucky, Quicksilver, Free 4 All, Debt, Shop Til You Drop, FF '94 with Richard Dawson), the 1990s were pretty much The Dark Period of game show history. [/quote]Hey, don't lump Debt in with the rest of that dreck. That show was decent, and could have made it.
[/quote]
Amen.  It and Supermarket Sweep were two games I grew up on.  And give them credit for a gimmick...going home with your bills paid off.  Or as they said, "go home with NOTHING!"

And I seem to remember the content wasn't Jeopardy! extreme, either...more like second-tier J! material.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: JackSpader on September 11, 2008, 03:37:53 PM
[quote name=\'clemon79\' post=\'196893\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 01:44 AM\']
[quote name=\'chris319\' post=\'196892\' date=\'Sep 10 2008, 10:38 PM\']
You mean Sideways Jeopardy!?[/quote]
I'm sorry, you didn't follow the "I am...You are" format, and so we're going to have to add $50 to your Debt...
[/quote]

Debt was not anywhere close to creative, it was just a knock off of other game shows such as Jeopardy and Name That Tune, and the bonus round was just your average "Get X number of questions right before time's up" followed by a betting question.  Nothing original except for the contestants trying to get out of debt, but that in itself is subject to how much in taxes a contestant has to pay back on winnings. As far as I'm concerned, Debt only contributed to Wink's career going out with a wimper.

While I do consider 1991-1999 as the genre's low point, I would go as far to say that at least Caesar's Challenge was a bright spot as I liked the concept of combining trivia with a word game.  Though it obviously had no chance to survive given the time period, it was great while it lasted.  The worst shows from this time were Free 4 All (snore), Supermarket Sweep (I always thought this show was lame), and all the Interactive Games on the Family Channel (not counting the legitimate Trivial Pursuit show that followed the interactive qualifying round).
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Matt Ottinger on September 11, 2008, 03:56:58 PM
[quote name=\'JackSpader\' post=\'196919\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 03:37 PM\']Debt was not anywhere close to creative, it was just a knock off of other game shows such as Jeopardy and Name That Tune, and the bonus round was just your average "Get X number of questions right before time's up" followed by a betting question.  Nothing original except for the contestants trying to get out of debt, but that in itself is subject to how much in taxes a contestant has to pay back on winnings. As far as I'm concerned, Debt only contributed to Wink's career going out with a wimper.[/quote]
Debt was hopelessly derivative and certainly doesn't deserve consideration for having "revived" anything.  Still, the reason we remember it fondly at all was because at the time, it was a new, traditional show, and those were very hard to come by.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: ChrisLambert! on September 11, 2008, 04:03:22 PM
Just my 2 cents:

Golden Age: 1956 (TPIR and TTTT debut) - 9/26/1969 (panel shows are gone and so is NBC daytime)
Silver Age: 9/4/72 (you know) - 3/1989 (you know)

Since 1989, it's been intermittently feast or famine (or feast of crap, which may be worse than famine).
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: PYLdude on September 11, 2008, 04:07:39 PM
[quote name=\'ChrisLambert!\' post=\'196925\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 03:03 PM\']
(or feast of crap, which may be worse than famine).
[/quote]

The song says "bring in your poo-poo, bring in your doo-doo, I say yoo-hoo, the shorteez say thank you..."

(sorry...)
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: TLEberle on September 11, 2008, 10:21:48 PM
[quote name=\'Matt Ottinger\' post=\'196923\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 12:56 PM\']Debt was hopelessly derivative and certainly doesn't deserve consideration for having "revived" anything.  Still, the reason we remember it fondly at all was because at the time, it was a new, traditional show, and those were very hard to come by.[/quote]But I thought they were going for parody anyway. After all, you have the "phrasing" issue, as well as the "big money" question in round one, the security guard toting the jackpot at the end. And Wink Martindale, perhaps the most apt caricature in the business. As a parody of the genre, it works. (If that's what they were indeed going for in the first place)

But back to the derivative note. What else can you do with questions and answers? You're bound to hit a retread here and there. It's not as if Jeopardy! owns the categories and difficulty levels mechanic, do they? Or the auction bit.
Title: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Matt Ottinger on September 11, 2008, 10:34:30 PM
[quote name=\'TLEberle\' post=\'196950\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 10:21 PM\']
But I thought they were going for parody anyway. After all, you have the "phrasing" issue, as well as the "big money" question in round one, the security guard toting the jackpot at the end. And Wink Martindale, perhaps the most apt caricature in the business. As a parody of the genre, it works. (If that's what they were indeed going for in the first place)[/quote]
The Gong Show and The Cheap Show were parody.  It Pays to be Ignorant and $1.98 Beauty Show are even better examples of parody, because they were completely fictional.

Much like Win Ben Stein's Money did (better), Debt was trying to have their cake and eat it too.  Serious Q&A competition with deliberately comic elements is a tricky thing to pull off.  Debt had a tendency to drift a little too far to the corny and, yeah OK, parody end of things, but the victory still went to the best player, and the payoff for winning was not insubstantial, especially by 90s cable standards.

[quote name=\'TLEberle\' post=\'196950\' date=\'Sep 11 2008, 10:21 PM\'] It's not as if Jeopardy! owns the categories and difficulty levels mechanic, do they? [/quote]
Legally?  No, or else Debt would never have seen the light of day.  But hearts and minds?  Absolutely, Jeopardy owns that mechanic.  It's possible to have a three-person Q&A game that doesn't reek of being a ripoff of Jeopardy. $ale, WWW, Big Showdown, Split Second just to name a few.  Debt does not belong in that class.
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: GameShowGuru on September 25, 2019, 11:58:23 PM
I am only reviving this thread in light of the fact that since the last post, it appears that we are in a new age of game shows, thanks in a large part to ABC.

So....
 - If 1956-'69 was the Golden Age:
 - And 1972-91 was the Silver Age:
 - And 1999-200? was the Bronze Age:

What age would we be in now and when would it have started (and the Bronze Age ended)?
Or would this simply be a Golden/Silver Age renaissance of sorts?
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: BrandonFG on September 26, 2019, 12:45:16 AM
Platinum?

Although Id make the Bronze Age continuous from 1999-present. The first decade was Millionaire, Weakest Link, Deal or No Deal, and a bunch of derivatives. Then the current crop. Like the other two eras, you had some lulls for a few years. That said, off the top of my head, we have about two dozen shows in daytime, prime time, and cable/streaming. Then a few apps.
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Clay Zambo on September 26, 2019, 09:19:41 AM
I'll throw in a different date -- April 5, 1971, when Password came back to ABC, replacing Dark Shadows

That makes sense, since although ABC Password was essentially the same game it had always been this version's production values began the lean-in toward the WOW we'd get not much later with TPiR et al.
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: tyshaun1 on September 26, 2019, 02:51:45 PM
Platinum?

Although Id make the Bronze Age continuous from 1999-present. The first decade was Millionaire, Weakest Link, Deal or No Deal, and a bunch of derivatives. Then the current crop. Like the other two eras, you had some lulls for a few years. That said, off the top of my head, we have about two dozen shows in daytime, prime time, and cable/streaming. Then a few apps.
I know it's not an actual metal but, The Chrome Age?
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Mr. Armadillo on September 26, 2019, 03:48:21 PM
I like it, but I think there's a break in the middle here - the Bronze Age being defined as the "Every Show Must Give Away A Million Bucks" era between Millionaire and Deal or No Deal, and the Chrome Age picking up with the slate of ABC revivals.
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: BrandonFG on September 26, 2019, 04:46:39 PM
I like it, but I think there's a break in the middle here - the Bronze Age being defined as the "Every Show Must Give Away A Million Bucks" era between Millionaire and Deal or No Deal, and the Chrome Age picking up with the slate of ABC revivals.
Okay, that's fair.

Gold: 50s/60s
Silver: 1972-1991 (give or take)
Bronze: 1999-2010
Chrome/Platinum: 2015-Present?

Each era had about a four or five year gap where we still had a few games, but definitely not as many as in years past. For example, things dried up around 1993 or '94, but we saw a few here and there on cable or in syndication. Then came Millionaire...

With daytime Millionaire canceled, and the ABC shows offering lower stakes*, I wonder how many more new game shows we'll see offering such inflated amounts?

*Not that I'd turn down the $25K on Match Game
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: Fedya on September 26, 2019, 07:30:21 PM
Shouldn't the "Bronze Age" be better called the "[Brushed] Aluminum Age"?

/ducking
Title: Re: "Silver Age" of game shows
Post by: trainman on September 26, 2019, 11:50:29 PM
Based on the lighting and set design on a number of 21st-century shows, I'd call this the Dark Age.