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Author Topic: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right  (Read 2925 times)

Jeremy Nelson

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2019, 03:23:17 PM »
Let's say James does the daytime version up until his death in 1997.

Who takes the show over at that time?
Tom Bergeron does it instead of hosting Hollywood Squares.
But does he? Obviously any alternate timeline is speculation, but Bergeron was still a relative unknown at the time. One of the reasons (from Tom's book) that he got Squares is that Whoopi had been a guest on Breakfast Time and had great chemistry with him. So when she got EP duties on Squares, she recalled him and hired him.

Realistically, in 1997, I'm thinking the job goes to Bob Goen or Pat Finn- possibly Doug Davidson if the 94 syndie revival still happens. Bob's probably the frontrunner since he's got experience and is a familiar face every day on Entertainment Tonight. The old guard of hosts is too old in 1997, and since so few hosts were developed in the 80s and early 90s, there aren't too many call-ups from the farm team.

If James quits earlier in the 90s, they work out a deal with Ray Combs.
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byrd62

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2019, 03:27:30 PM »
In Bob Eubanks' Television Academy interview, he mentions a rumor that Goodson hated Rhyme and Reason so much that its cancellation was one of the caveats for ABC getting Family Feud.

That is plausible, because, as I recall, R&R was somewhat popular for ABC.
Also from the book:

"Later I found out why our show had been cancelled.  Michael Brockman, who was the head of daytime television for ABC, had always taken care of Mark Goodson, the dean of American game show producers. It was well known in the business that if two shows were competing, and one were [sic] produced by Goodson, his company always got preferential treatment.  Less well known was the fact Goodson hated our show because he thought it was just like the Match Game, one of his shows.  Furthermore, what really pissed him off was the fact that Richard Dawson, one of his regular panelists on Match Game, had done our pilot.  When Rhyme and Reason was picked up and did bigger numbers than the slower paced Match Game, Goodson was furious.  About a year later Goodson developed Family Feud, which ABC really wanted.  The way I heard the story was that Goodson told Brockman he could have Feud only if he axed Rhyme.  So he did and Dawson had a new job.  Of course Family Feud has become one of the most successful game shows of all time, a staple of network and syndication for most of the last 28 years."

Would the "Goodson preference" have come into play over at CBS in early 1974, when its daytime programming head, B. Donald (Bud) Grant, in effect, pulled Bob Stewart's $10,000 Pyramid (eventually picked up by ABC a few months after) in favor of Goodson's Now You See It?

BrandonFG

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2019, 03:36:08 PM »
Let's say James does the daytime version up until his death in 1997.

Who takes the show over at that time?
Tom Bergeron does it instead of hosting Hollywood Squares.
I like this. And Marc Summers gets Squares.
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Neumms

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2019, 04:51:10 PM »
Perhaps that's why Jim Lange never hosted a GT game show.

It could also have been that he wasn't a great host. Pat Finn, same reason.

Neumms

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2019, 04:59:01 PM »
I had a feeling that was why Goodson hated R&R.

I imagine that's the reason, but like the Chuck Barris School of Taste, R&R was also more overtly raunchy than Match Game. Their celebrities actually gave the dirty answer and they'd edit it with the horn, which since it rhymed, didn't accomplish much. On Match Game, it remained unsaid.

whewfan

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2019, 10:11:16 PM »
Perhaps that's why Jim Lange never hosted a GT game show.

It could also have been that he wasn't a great host. Pat Finn, same reason.

I disagree with you on that one. I think Pat is a decent host, it's just the shows he was given. TJW 90, for me, didn't really work until they added elements from the original TJW. Okay, they didn't change the "game of definitions" format, but in terms of the game play, I'd rather see categories and Jokers on the slot machine instead of dollar amounts in the main game. Shop Til You Drop was a hokey show, and sometimes reeked of a TPIR wannabe, but it was on the air off and on for a while. The show had three sidekicks/announcers over the years. The first of course was Mark L Walburg, who would later have hits and misses with other game shows, then Jason Grant Smith, who I thought was the best fit for the series, then Dee Bradley Baker... talented voice artist, annoying as the sidekick IMO. I had said a long time ago that both Dee Baker and Jay Stewart dressed up in silly costumes, but the biggest difference was that when Jay did it, the show's dignity remained intact.

Jim Lange was discussed on here many times. I thought he was at least tolerable. Bullseye was a great format, but moved a little slow, and it was no better with the celebs. I thought he was decent on Name That Tune, but the contestant pool tended to have very showy contestants that were overboard on personality as well as lacking in good sportsmanship. With The Dating Game, all he had to do was introduce the contestants and the rest of the game ran itself with Jim on the sidelines, almost never saying a word. Give and Take and Spinoffs were both forgettable, being games of luck with formats that weren't enduring enough for a long running series. Oh My Word and Take my Word for It were also "meh", and likely inspired Wordplay, which was also kinda "meh." I liked Triple Threat, but the game came along when game shows were starting to wane.

I think it's just that sometimes decent hosts were given formats that just didn't work, with no real fault of their own. Art James is a good example. Art was great on Say When! and The Who, What or Where Game, but everything else just came and went. The Magnificent Marble Machine had the world's largest pinball machine, but beyond that the main game was just your average crossword puzzle type clue game, and sometimes, watching people play pinball just isn't exciting, despite the size of the machine. Blank Check (which the crew called "Blank Mind") was a dumb "guess the number I'm holding" game. Pay Cards and Super Pay Cards might be good for a few shows, but it's not a compelling enough format for a long running series. Catch Phrase, IMO was a game that should've had a longer run, and of course overseas, it did have a longer run. I just think that perhaps the game was a little ahead of its time, and also, I think Art's understated style of hosting was perhaps a bit bland for 80s audiences.

TLEberle

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2019, 10:41:25 PM »
Thank you, Matt, you’ve certainly opined about a Joker 90 many a time.
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danderson

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2019, 03:38:14 PM »
Some thoughts I have, involving potential changes:

1) To start with, I do not believe that it would crash and burn- given how quickly it went off the air, I doubt Concentration had that much left in the tank, and the use of Price as late-afternoon soap counter-programming likewise is effective in the short term.

2) The differences I see emerging start doing so during the 1975-1976 season, in two different regards: given James' limitations as a host, I suspect that the effort to expand Price to an hour bombs in the same way that it did for every other show that tried to do so during that period, and, faced with competition from Wheel, the ratings start to slip.

3) In our timeline, Wheel ultimately changed its time slot to get away from Price- in this set of circumstances, I don't think that NBC's program planners feel the need to move it, while Price may very well get shifted to the 10 AM slot to get away from Wheel (moving it back to the late afternoon is probably not an option, given both how well Match Game and Tattletales are doing and CBS's efforts to stay in Norman Lear's good graces).

4) In the short-run, Price is able to survive facing off against a declining Celebrity Sweepstakes and then Sanford and Son reruns.

5) Here is where another important issue hits with the timeline. In our timeline, Dennis James left Price at the end of taping for the 1976-1977 syndicated season. Here, there are two different issues at hand: When does Dennis James leave (presumably, based on my previous calculations, it doesn't really become an issue until late 1975/early 1976), and who replaces him (is it Barker stepping in a few years late, or is someone else entirely approached?)

At this point, it becomes really hard to predict- anything from the show ending its run at the hands of Card Sharks to it lingering into the late 1980s/early 1990s period when daytime television divested itself of game shows is a possibility, and a lot of it is dependent on factors that are now impossible to test (namely, how well various people would have fared as hosts, and how the audience would take to them).

Overall, it seems clear to me that it doesn't become the phenomenon it has in our timeline- but what it does become is an entirely different subject.

Another possibly would be The Jokers Wild moving to 3pm.  However, i don't think it lasts opposite Another World, no? AW was all the rage in 73 with the Alice/Rachel/Steve triangle then, so i doubt that TJW survives that. Maybe P&G relaxes their policy and maybe CBS puts TJW opposite The Doctors?

Jimmy Owen

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2019, 04:47:37 PM »
Nightime Price is Right lasted longer with Dennis than with Bob, and when Bob was ill, Dennis filled in on the daytime show.  It probably would have lasted just as long.
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RMF

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2019, 07:11:33 PM »
Another possibly would be The Jokers Wild moving to 3pm.  However, i don't think it lasts opposite Another World, no? AW was all the rage in 73 with the Alice/Rachel/Steve triangle then, so i doubt that TJW survives that. Maybe P&G relaxes their policy and maybe CBS puts TJW opposite The Doctors?

Except that I'm imagining these issues emerging in late 1975/early 1976- by that point, The Joker's Wild had already left CBS, and there aren't many other options (assuming that the soaps are sacrosanct, that CBS isn't suddenly going to start programming the 1 PM time slot, and that they aren't going to move Match Game and Tattletales for no good reason).

One item I just realized typing this, however: if Gambit and High Rollers continued to be programmed against one another (a logical possibility in a world where Wheel ends up staying at 10:30), does this mean either of these shows get a longer run than in our timeline, where Price knocked out High Rollers and Wheel Gambit?

BrandonFG

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2019, 12:25:09 AM »
The first of course was Mark L Walburg, who would later have hits and misses with other game shows, then Jason Grant Smith, who I thought was the best fit for the series, then Dee Bradley Baker... talented voice artist, annoying as the sidekick IMO. I had said a long time ago that both Dee Baker and Jay Stewart dressed up in silly costumes, but the biggest difference was that when Jay did it, the show's dignity remained intact.
I think you're expecting a lot from a basic cable game show, given the goofy stunts performed. Dee dressing up as a grandma or whatever - bizarre as it may have been - is on the producers. Dee, as the actor, is simply going along with the routine and collecting his paycheck.

Also...much as I love Let's Make a Deal, it wasn't exactly Shakespeare either, nor was it a critical darling.
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whewfan

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2019, 10:10:15 AM »
Dee especially had a lot of exposure and opportunities to do characters in the final season before STYD became "Costco STYD" with JD Roberto. They even had still shots of him modeling the prizes as Grandma or whomever, so obviously the sponsors were very good sports.

Perhaps Dee was following orders, but he did sometimes upstage Pat Finn. It may be a little unfair to compare him to Jay Stewart, because Jay was able to be silly without taking away the attention from Monty or the contestant. By many accounts, Jay relished being in costume and doing the show, and according to Monty would throw a fit if he wasn't required to be in costume for a taping.

danderson

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2019, 11:12:55 AM »
I've always wondered about how the ratings for Price is Right and Another World were at 3:00. AW was the #1 soap, while TPIR was the #1 game show then.

calliaume

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2019, 11:32:59 AM »
I've always wondered about how the ratings for Price is Right and Another World were at 3:00. AW was the #1 soap, while TPIR was the #1 game show then.
Another World was never the #1 soap; As the World Turns was #1 for twenty straight seasons, per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._daytime_soap_opera_ratings (which uses Soap Opera Encyclopedia as it source; apparently those numbers came from the Nielsen ratings).  Another World was a solid #2 or #3 during the early to mid 1970s.

TPIR didn't hit #1 until 1979-1980, per EoTVGS - in fact, it was only in the top three once until 1978-1979.


danderson

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Re: Alternate Timeline: Dennis James Gets the Daytime Price is Right
« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2019, 10:14:07 AM »
I've always wondered about how the ratings for Price is Right and Another World were at 3:00. AW was the #1 soap, while TPIR was the #1 game show then.
Another World was never the #1 soap; As the World Turns was #1 for twenty straight seasons, per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._daytime_soap_opera_ratings (which uses Soap Opera Encyclopedia as it source; apparently those numbers came from the Nielsen ratings).  Another World was a solid #2 or #3 during the early to mid 1970s.

TPIR didn't hit #1 until 1979-1980, per EoTVGS - in fact, it was only in the top three once until 1978-1979.
ATWT was quite popular- in fact it regularly was getting a 13 and that was very high for a daytime show, no?