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The Game Show Forum => The Big Board => Topic started by: aaron sica on May 15, 2019, 12:16:08 PM

Title: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: aaron sica on May 15, 2019, 12:16:08 PM
If this happened, and it only sidelined him for a short time, how much longer would "The Joker's Wild" have lasted?

Before you reply with "He was going to retire that September and Jim Peck was going to take over", is that true? I couldn't find any sources on it.

Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 15, 2019, 12:30:58 PM
"Divorce Court" was a go before Jack Barry died, so Jim Peck would have been unavailable.  Ronnie Greenberg could probably confirm (if he still checks the forum).  As far as the show with Barry, our local station moved it from prime access to 4pm in the 83 season, to make room for WOF.  Maybe a couple more years; same as it did with Bill.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: TLEberle on May 15, 2019, 12:44:39 PM
If this happened, and it only sidelined him for a short time, how much longer would "The Joker's Wild" have lasted?
I don't think it makes a lick of difference who hosted--Jeopardy returning in 1984 and getting stronger time periods in 1985 absolutely eats their lunch. Contestant...defeated.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: RMF on May 15, 2019, 01:28:33 PM
I don't think it makes a lick of difference who hosted--Jeopardy returning in 1984 and getting stronger time periods in 1985 absolutely eats their lunch. Contestant...defeated.

I'm also having trouble imagining any other substantial change that occurs with a living Jack Barry- the general trends that were taking place involving television game shows, combined with Barry's age, almost certain means that Barry and Enright Productions is still shut down sometime in the early 1990s. The one lingering question is if Kline and Friends still emerges as an independent company if Jack Barry was still alive- and, given how that company fared, their productions being Barry-Enright programs doesn't seem likely to result in substantial changes.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: TLEberle on May 15, 2019, 01:41:37 PM
Given that Tic Tac Dough is basically toast at that point and Jack isn't feeling great, just not dead in this scenario I think that since everyone and their dog are flooding the zone with syndicated fare in 1985 and a good chunk don't survive past 1986 my advice would have been to pull Joker's Wild at the end of 1984, play it cool for a few years and then bring it back with harder material and a faster pace in 1987.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: chrisholland03 on May 15, 2019, 01:48:32 PM
"Divorce Court" was a go before Jack Barry died, so Jim Peck would have been unavailable.  Ronnie Greenberg could probably confirm (if he still checks the forum).  As far as the show with Barry, our local station moved it from prime access to 4pm in the 83 season, to make room for WOF.  Maybe a couple more years; same as it did with Bill.

I wouldn't make the assumption that because Jim was one show he would be unavailable for another.  It didn't stop him from substitute hosting during that same timeframe.

I'm not sure that Peck would have extended Joker's run much beyond what it was with Cullen.  I do think there's a chance Kline would have taken over the functional side of B/E, rather than going out on his own - those nearer to the B/E staff would have a better feel on that.



Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: BrandonFG on May 15, 2019, 04:53:07 PM
Given TTD went with a relative unknown and still only stuck around another year, Iím not sure Jim Peck keeps Joker running longer than two seasons. I think the formats simply ran their course by then, but losing Jack in Ď84 then people leaving for Kline and Friends hurt more.

Iíd have to look it up, but I have some images of syndicated ratings, courtesy of the World Almanacs of the early-80s. If I can find those pics, Iíll show comparisons of just how bad Wheel impacted game shows in 1983-84. I know it pummeled Feud.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: BillCullen1 on May 15, 2019, 06:15:31 PM
When Jack Barry died. Joker had been on seven seasons, plus three years on CBS. I'm not sure if anyone could have kept it going longer than the two years it lasted. As for Barry himself, I always considered him to be a competent, but not spectacular emcee. I would not put him in the same class with Cullen, Kennedy, Barker or Martindale. IMO, he often looked uptight on camera.

Wiki seems to agree with the story about Barry planning to retire, FWIW.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: aaron sica on May 16, 2019, 07:02:42 AM
Wiki seems to agree with the story about Barry planning to retire, FWIW.

Which is one of the reasons I don't take it as word. Wikipedia can sometimes not be the most reliable source - not to mention there's no external sources cited for it as well.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 16, 2019, 09:10:36 AM
Jim Peck was attached to a Liar's Club revival titled "Deception" in 84 that didn't sell as well.  If Jack Barry intended for Jim to take over, wouldn't it have been announced at NATPE 84?
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: snowpeck on May 16, 2019, 10:37:08 AM
TJW was on a slow decline anyway. The writing was on the wall even before Barry's death.

Some numbers from May 1984 in Variety shows it was only being seen in 62 markets, compared to 110 for Wheel, 139 for Feud and even 90 for TTD. As far as ratings, TJW was pulling in a 4.8 compared to Wheel's massive 12.3, Feud's 9.6 and TTD's 5.7.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Adam Nedeff on May 16, 2019, 03:13:02 PM
Late to the party but rather than use Wiki as a definitive source, I wanted to step in and say I interviewed two Joker staffers, Allen Koss and Mark Maxwell-Smith, for Quizmaster and both of them backed up the story that Jack was planning on retiring and passing the torch to Jim Peck to start the new season.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: TLEberle on May 16, 2019, 04:07:58 PM
(I was going to mention that I'm on friendly terms with someone who wrote a book about it, but Adam's here.)

The fact that Jack retires from hosting doesn't mean that the company closes down or that they stop pumping out new formats, I still think that they probably wait out the glut in 1985 and '86 and come back with other ideas later on.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: BrandonFG on May 16, 2019, 05:46:02 PM
While we're on the subject, something I've wondered for a while was why TJW and TTD 90 were produced/distributed by different companies. Joker reverted to being a Jack Barry Production, in association with Kline and Friends, dist. by Orbis. Meanwhile Tic Tac remained a B&E Production, but dist. by ITC. Was it a rights issue, or was Dan Enright simply not interested in taking on both shows?
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: aaron sica on May 16, 2019, 10:24:07 PM
Thank you, Adam, for turning legend into fact which also, in turn, makes this thread null and void. :) Extra thanks to the BF-G for taking it in a new, interesting direction.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: BrandonFG on May 16, 2019, 11:39:40 PM
TJW was on a slow decline anyway. The writing was on the wall even before Barry's death.

Some numbers from May 1984 in Variety shows it was only being seen in 62 markets, compared to 110 for Wheel, 139 for Feud and even 90 for TTD. As far as ratings, TJW was pulling in a 4.8 compared to Wheel's massive 12.3, Feud's 9.6 and TTD's 5.7.
I found the thread in question that included what I found in the World Almanacs. By the November 1984 sweeps (http://www.gameshowforum.org/index.php/topic,28518.msg349877.html#msg349877), both Joker and Tic Tac fell out of the Top 20. Interestingly enough, Feud remained a Top 5 show.

Also in that thread, you linked to another Variety article (http://www.gameshowforum.org/index.php/topic,28518.msg349835.html#msg349835) from April 1985. By that point, TJW plummeted to the bottom of the pack, and lost nearly another two dozen markets. I'm genuinely surprised that and TTD (62 markets at that point) made it to the next season.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: chrisholland03 on May 17, 2019, 12:05:40 PM
While we're on the subject, something I've wondered for a while was why TJW and TTD 90 were produced/distributed by different companies. Joker reverted to being a Jack Barry Production, in association with Kline and Friends, dist. by Orbis. Meanwhile Tic Tac remained a B&E Production, but dist. by ITC. Was it a rights issue, or was Dan Enright simply not interested in taking on both shows?

Semi-factual speculation:  Wasn't Joker wholly owned by Jack Barry?
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Jamey Greek on May 17, 2019, 02:17:43 PM
"Divorce Court" was a go before Jack Barry died, so Jim Peck would have been unavailable.  Ronnie Greenberg could probably confirm (if he still checks the forum).  As far as the show with Barry, our local station moved it from prime access to 4pm in the 83 season, to make room for WOF.  Maybe a couple more years; same as it did with Bill.

Jim would not join Divorce Court until September 1986 so TJW would have still been canned in 1986 making him available to do Divorce Court.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Ian Wallis on May 17, 2019, 07:07:26 PM

Also in that thread, you linked to another Variety article (http://www.gameshowforum.org/index.php/topic,28518.msg349835.html#msg349835) from April 1985. By that point, TJW plummeted to the bottom of the pack, and lost nearly another two dozen markets. I'm genuinely surprised that and TTD (62 markets at that point) made it to the next season.

Personally, I always liked Joker's Wild better than Tic Tac Dough, but it appears I'm in the minority.  Pretty well all the ratings reports I've seen rank TTD over JW.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Winkfan on May 17, 2019, 10:51:33 PM
Jim would not join Divorce Court until September 1986 so TJW would have still been canned in 1986 making him available to do Divorce Court.

Wrong! The 1980s version of Divorce Court actually got re-launched in 1984; same season that Cullen took over TJW.

Cordially,
Tammy
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Jimmy Owen on May 18, 2019, 07:55:53 AM
Jim would not join Divorce Court until September 1986 so TJW would have still been canned in 1986 making him available to do Divorce Court.

Wrong! The 1980s version of Divorce Court actually got re-launched in 1984; same season that Cullen took over TJW.

Cordially,
Tammy
I agree with Tammy.  Another thing to remember is that if your local market didnt clear TJW, you could stll see it on USA or WOR on cable.
Title: Re: Alternate Timeline: Jack Barry's heart attack is not fatal
Post by: Kniwt on May 18, 2019, 10:29:36 AM
If this happened, and it only sidelined him for a short time, how much longer would "The Joker's Wild" have lasted?

Aware that TJW's ratings were in possibly-fatal decline, he opened the 1984-1985 season with a blockbuster: A one-week, million-dollar, winner-take-all tournament between ... Van Doren and Stempel. Ratings skyrocketed, syndicated Wheel was decimated. To this day, TJW remains must-see daily viewing with its host since 2008, Maury Povich.

I'll show myself out.