The Game Show Forum

The Game Show Forum => GSN® and BUZZR TV® => Topic started by: aaron sica on July 14, 2004, 09:27:57 PM

Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: aaron sica on July 14, 2004, 09:27:57 PM
Here's a question that entered my mind recently.

GSN's schedule was wonderful up to midnight on October 11, 1997. This was the start of the dark period, in which, as most of us know, they lost the rights to the G-T library, save for FF94 and TPiR. When the G-T library returned on April 18, 1998, the channel was never the same again.

If GSN had never lost the rights to the G-T library for that period of time, would the channel still have taken the course that it did, up to right now?
Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: tyshaun1 on July 14, 2004, 09:33:37 PM
[quote name=\'aaron sica\' date=\'Jul 14 2004, 08:27 PM\'] Here's a question that entered my mind recently.

GSN's schedule was wonderful up to midnight on October 11, 1997. This was the start of the dark period, in which, as most of us know, they lost the rights to the G-T library, save for FF94 and TPiR. When the G-T library returned on April 18, 1998, the channel was never the same again.

If GSN had never lost the rights to the G-T library for that period of time, would the channel still have taken the course that it did, up to right now? [/quote]
 Well, you've got to remember that GSN was probably in 10-15 million homes at the time, so the majority of the viewers who can see it now probably had never heard of it then. IOW, no.

Tyshaun
Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: inturnaround on July 15, 2004, 12:47:05 AM
If anything, it taught them not to put all their programming eggs in one basket. It taught them that they should do more things in-house and that they should diversify their programming portfolio.
Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: Ian Wallis on July 15, 2004, 09:31:20 AM
I, for one, am glad that it happened.  Like inturnaround stated, I also thought they were putting too many eggs in one basket in relying on the Goodson-Todman library too much.  I was excited to see some of the shows that aired then, because it gave us our only chance in GSN's history to see most of them.  If they had never lost the G-T shows, some of those other shows might never have been seen.

Don't get me wrong...in April 1998 I was happy to see G-T back, but at the same time I thought they could have kept some of those other shows on the schedule during the weekends, or at least rotate them in and out once in a while.  The only shows that ever got regular play after that were "Gong Show" (only for a short time), "Three's A Crowd" and the various "Pyramids".  Most of the other stuff was never seen on GSN again, except for maybe a couple of times during "Game of the Week".

I think they could have made it work and given the fans more variety by coming up with a mixture of the two.  Instead, GSN's philosophy seemed to be either G-T, or the "other stuff" - they could never come up with a happy mix.
Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: jbrocato on July 15, 2004, 10:18:13 AM
I would also think that comparing GSN ratings through the years is not really practical, given the increase in the number of homes with the channel.  Perhaps now Play the Percentages could get a decent rating since the network is in 60 million homes.

I did not get the channel until May 2003, so I missed most of the glory days.  The only must-see TV for me is "Match Game".

John Brocato
Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: inturnaround on July 15, 2004, 12:48:45 PM
[quote name=\'jbrocato\' date=\'Jul 15 2004, 10:18 AM\'] I would also think that comparing GSN ratings through the years is not really practical, given the increase in the number of homes with the channel.  Perhaps now Play the Percentages could get a decent rating since the network is in 60 million homes.
 [/quote]
 Well, cable ratings are based upon the total percentage of the cable universe that a particular channel can reach. So, a small channel that gets 10% of its potential universe watching its shows will have a higher rating that a much larger channel that gets 7%. It's not based on total numbers period.

It's the main reason why Fox News Channel had higher ratings than CNN when they first became popular. (Now, though, they also outstrip CNN in sheer number of viewers)

So, it's no surprise that GSN would want to appeal to as many people as possible.
Title: October 1997 - April 1998
Post by: uncamark on July 15, 2004, 01:06:07 PM
GSN's programming path is still in my mind almost inevitable, whether or not they had lost G-T.  I personally think that they started doing more ambitious original programming before they had the money to do it right (or at least better)--I would have waited a couple of years the fall of 1998, but I guess they wanted to hop on the fact that they were on TCI/AT&T's digital tiers just as they were established nationally.

Game shows are still a hard sell in today's advertising climate.  I admire Rich Cronin for trying to do an almost-pure game show channel for 2 1/2 years after he took over, but I still had the feeling that it just wouldn't last.