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Author Topic: Bland Ambition  (Read 4252 times)

CaseyAbell

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2004, 01:40:42 PM »
GSN's prime time household ratings aren't looking too depressed. They were up 22% year-to-year in January:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...aced_by__monk_1

Cable in general had a great month, and GSN didn't get left out. The steady diet of Millionaire, Lingo and MG seems to have worked. The buzz over Super Millionaire will only help February's numbers.

Sure, the demos may not be the greatest, though GSN bragged that Millionaire has done well in 25-54. Major question: will the "pitch the niche" folks use the ratings upturn to argue against non-trad stuff? Probably, and I gotta think that any non-traditional shows which hurt GSN's household count will be quickly down for the count.

With four solid performers in syndication - WoF, Jeopardy, Millionaire and Feud - and ABC dabbling in prime time gamers again, the rumors of game show depression seem greatly exaggerated.

ilb4ever2000

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2004, 03:42:19 PM »
Quote
It's funny, I was thinking about that about a week or two ago, that we may be heading into a "Great Game Show Depression".

Game shows are still a lot better off now than they were in, say, 1996.

BrandonFG

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2004, 03:51:10 PM »
[quote name=\'ilb4ever2000\' date=\'Jan 30 2004, 03:42 PM\']
Quote
It's funny, I was thinking about that about a week or two ago, that we may be heading into a "Great Game Show Depression".

Game shows are still a lot better off now than they were in, say, 1996. [/quote]
Nah...I think 96 was when things started to pick back up, at least in syndication. I'd say the period between 1993-95, when every supporting actor from a TV show had their own talk show...remember Tempestt Bledsoe? Gabrielle Carteris? We still have four or five names in syndication (five if "Street Smarts" returns), so there's honestly no real depression to worry about. And I think that in the next 2 or 3 years, people will tire of reality shows, just like they tired of million dollar game shows, "Friends" clones, and trash talk.
"Eleanor Roosevelt? She's on Card Sharks, isn't she?"

Now celebrating his 20th season on GSF!

Don Howard

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2004, 03:53:15 PM »
[quote name=\'fostergray82\' date=\'Jan 30 2004, 03:51 PM\'] [quote name=\'ilb4ever2000\' date=\'Jan 30 2004, 03:42 PM\']
Quote
It's funny, I was thinking about that about a week or two ago, that we may be heading into a "Great Game Show Depression".

Game shows are still a lot better off now than they were in, say, 1996. [/quote]
Nah...I think 96 was when things started to pick back up, at least in syndication. I'd say the period between 1993-95, when every supporting actor from a TV show had their own talk show...remember Tempestt Bledsoe? Gabrielle Carteris? We still have four or five names in syndication (five if "Street Smarts" returns), so there's honestly no real depression to worry about. And I think that in the next 2 or 3 years, people will tire of reality shows, just like they tired of million dollar game shows, "Friends" clones, and trash talk. [/quote]
 And 1996 saw the inaugural appearance of Debt, heralded by Wink Martindale as "the return of the game show".

Tony

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2004, 06:00:23 PM »
Okay, so I was perhaps overstating the "Game Show Great Depression."  Perhaps I should explain my reasoning:

The Big Three are no longer at the top of their game quality-wise (well, maybe TPIR still is) and are slowly dropping ratings-wise as well.  I remember reading from somewhere that the ABC station group had struggled with the decision to renew WOF and J! to 2008 because of their low demographic ratings (and I'm no happier than any of you about how the advertising community - and thus the TV industry - is a slave to demographics).  And, of course, there is the question of whether or not TPIR will survive if/when Barker retires/passes away.

GSN, while still airing some of their existing game shows in daytime, seems to be no longer interested in acquiring any new ones, either library product or originals.  I'm almost afraid that the 2-hour game show block dreamed up by "1978-Jeopardy" may actually be the future of GSN, just as the almost non-existence of music videos is the present of MTV.

As for the other syndicated shows produced in recent years, only few seem to be "getting it right" as far as quality goes, and even fewer are doing so while not pandering to "hipness."

All of which is to say, I don't feel as excited about watching the current crop of game shows as I did watching previous crops (and I'm only 27).

GS Warehouse

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2004, 06:18:07 PM »
[quote name=\'CaseyAbell\' date=\'Jan 30 2004, 01:40 PM\'] Sure, the demos may not be the greatest, though GSN bragged that Millionaire has done well in 25-54. Major question: will the "pitch the niche" folks use the ratings upturn to argue against non-trad stuff? Probably, and I gotta think that any non-traditional shows which hurt GSN's household count will be quickly down for the count. [/quote]
I'd like to know how MG and FF do in demos.  In today's Programming Insider column on Mediaweek.com, Marc Berman published an e-mail comment which says if GSN discovers that no one under 35 knows who Gene Rayburn and Richard Dawson are, then it's good-bye to the classics.  Considering Feud with that other Richard (he'll always be Al to me) will be around at least one more season, GSN should at least hold on to classic Feud for a while.

ObClassics: I'd also like to see math teachers using Pat and Liz's run on Blockbusters to teach counting by 6's.  Six, 12, 18, 24... :-)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2004, 06:21:07 PM by GS Warehouse »

irismason42

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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2004, 08:37:32 PM »
Well, I'm only 17 right now but I do know who Richard Dawson is besides hosting Family Feud, and Richard Dawson became a star of another game show called Masqurade Party '74 and he also did a 1984 TV Game Show Bloopers Special as well.

CaseyAbell

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2004, 12:13:32 AM »
Adlink's demos from the Los Angeles market show pretty much what you would expect: GSN skews old, female and lower-income. You could probably figure that out from the ads on the network.

But let's say the upturn in household numbers continues with the super-traditional game show lineup GSN currently runs. You gotta think the "pitch the niche" folks at GSN are saying that, even if the demos aren't fantastic, the network is at least growing its audience.

The non-traditional stuff hasn't proved that it can attract any audience. I like some new ideas in programming instead of the same old, same old GSN has featured over the past few months. But if the household ratings start to tank, GSN could do a 180 back to old game shows and more old game shows.

Matt Ottinger

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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2004, 10:54:53 AM »
[quote name=\'CaseyAbell\' date=\'Jan 31 2004, 01:13 AM\'] The non-traditional stuff hasn't proved that it can attract any audience. [/quote]
 But they now have years of data on *exactly* what the traditional shows attract.  And now that GSN is about as big as it's going to get, they know those demographics aren't going to change much.  At some point even WE will get sick of the same reruns over and over, and adding obscure shows that only we know about isn't going to help the big picture.

So if they're not satisfied with the numbers that the classic shows bring in, and they know that those numbers aren't going to improve, they really have no other choice but to expand the brand.
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

1978-Jeopardy

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2004, 12:45:20 PM »
Question: Do any of you think it is possible to have a successful network of entirely classic game shows? TV land seems to work entirely on sitcom reruns, so why can't it work for gameshows? If there was a more decent game show rotation (example, one timeslot swapping GO with chain reaction, another swapping treasure hunt and 78 jeopardy, etc...), a stationary afternoon or evening timeslot for longer-lasting, fun to watch shows (family feud and match game), and a two-hour sunday afternoon block of obscure or themed favorites, as on TV land (ex: the pyramids, panel shows) I promise a successful network.

SRIV94

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2004, 05:55:15 PM »
[quote name=\'1978-Jeopardy\' date=\'Jan 31 2004, 11:45 AM\'] Question: Do any of you think it is possible to have a successful network of entirely classic game shows? TV land seems to work entirely on sitcom reruns, so why can't it work for gameshows? If there was a more decent game show rotation (example, one timeslot swapping GO with chain reaction, another swapping treasure hunt and 78 jeopardy, etc...), a stationary afternoon or evening timeslot for longer-lasting, fun to watch shows (family feud and match game), and a two-hour sunday afternoon block of obscure or themed favorites, as on TV land (ex: the pyramids, panel shows) I promise a successful network. [/quote]
 Many of us in this community would love it, but realistically it's a tough sell.  The password is--demographics (ding!).

Don't forget--GSN once did what you're proposing on their startup (none of which I really got to see, much to my own chagrin).  If it made enough bucks for them (and attracted a full cross-section of viewers), they'd still be doing it instead of a combo of library material and newer shows (and occasionally getting away from the genre).  Sitcom reruns have the advantage of having been in prime-time (and full national broadcasts--game shows had occasional problems with clearances), and having been syndicated before (meaning they're now proven commodities).  Game shows don't have that luxury.

Don't get me wrong--not having had the first four years of GSN has made me long for having a "Classic GSN" channel.  But it ain't gonna happen, at least anytime in the foreseeable future.

Doug
Doug
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"When you see the crawl at the end of the show you will see a group of talented people who will all be moving over to other shows...the cameramen aren't are on that list, but they're not talented people."  John Davidson, TIME MACHINE (4/26/85)

Don Howard

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Bland Ambition
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2004, 06:00:48 PM »
[quote name=\'irismason42\' date=\'Jan 30 2004, 08:37 PM\'] Well, I'm only 17 right now but I do know who Richard Dawson is besides hosting Family Feud, and Richard Dawson became a star of another game show called Masqurade Party '74 and he also did a 1984 TV Game Show Bloopers Special as well. [/quote]
He did? I saw a special hosted by William Shatner in 1984 featuring moments from Goodson-Todman shows over the years. Richard was shown via clips but that's it. Carl Reiner hosted one in 1984, too.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2004, 06:02:11 PM by Don Howard »