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Author Topic: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses  (Read 1183 times)

SamJ93

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Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« on: November 24, 2019, 10:10:09 AM »
Suppose that about 6-7 weeks into the run, Mark Goodson realizes that the HS portion of the show is dreadfully dull and starts to allow scripted one-liners from the stars. Would it have improved the show's ratings enough for a second season or even beyond? Would Bauman stick around for more seasons, or would he quickly depart to re-focus on his music career? Even if it only gave the show enough momentum for a few more months (due to other issues like a lack of regular panelists, hokey theme weeks forced on them by NBC, etc.), would it have any impact on the future HS'86 and MG'90 revivals?
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SuperMatch93

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 10:44:10 AM »
It might have improved the show's ratings slightly, but I don't know if it would have been enough for a second season. Most of the celebrities didn't seem to gel with the format very much, from what I've seen.
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Jeremy Nelson

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 11:15:04 AM »
I know that saying this is futile at this point, but every game show inquiry doesn't have to be an "Alternate Timeline" thread.

That being said, it's hard to say that anything would have helped the show at that point. It's a real challenge to recover after youve tripped off the starting line.
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BrandonFG

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 11:17:36 AM »
I don’t think it helps much. The show just dragged and had no flow, scripted one-liners or not. Jon wasn’t a bad host, but was definitely out of his element. In his defense, not too many people would’ve pulled off that job very well, considering Peter hosted for 15 years and that version had just gone off the air.

The star power wasn’t what made the 70s versions of either show work so well, and NBC missed that memo.

Overall, it was an interesting idea with bad execution, and not much was saving the final product, esp. against the then-number one soap opera in daytime.
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Chelsea Thrasher

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 02:27:09 PM »
Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour always dies when NBC decides to pick up Santa Barbara. 

Neither Days nor Another World are getting cancelled for Santa Barbara in 1984. Both had been steadily improving their lot in the ratings relative to other soaps after freefalling in the late 70s and the network still had tremendous faith in both shows.

A lot of affiliates tended to run news at either 12p or 12:30p, with the station either moving or just plain not airing the other series. They aren't putting a 60 minute program there. And NBC wasn't quite ready to give up on Search for Tomorrow just yet. 

Santa Barbara is *not* going into the mornings.  Texas was just two years in the rearview mirror by this point and every single part of the network's experience with that show had left a sour taste (including starting a chain of events at 3pm that got MG-HSH on the air in the first place)

Daytime Wheel certainly isn't going anywhere - the nighttime run's ratings are growing by the week and the daytime version is benefitting. $ale isn't a juggernaut but works well where it is and doesn't cost the network that much except for  the extremely uncommon large payout and whatever cost the show is on the hook for on prizes.  Scrabble was *just launched* and is on it's way to five and a half generally solid years. Scrabble, like $ale, also usually didn't cost that much.

Super Password was literally greenlighting an extremely popular daytime franchise with multiple successful runs, with a known and likable commodity as host, only having to pay for two celebrities over a five show taping, with each completed game costing between $6,600 and $7,000 in prize money (since the cashword and bonus game rolled over, you knew it would always ultimately pay out, with the only variable being the $400 round). Need to cut the budget? You can lose almost 20% by dropping Cashword.   The uncommon $30K win or rare $50K win was always paid for in the long run by all of the times before that it *wasn't* won. Predictable and relatively economical, with a proven track record. 

MGHSH?  You're booking eight celebrities of varying stature plus two talents as emcee and the announcer, and each show can pay out anywhere from a couple of grand to well north of $30,000 depending on dumb luck, the whims of the celebrities, and the actual skill of the player. *And* there's already a year of ratings and audience data saying this isn't working that well, a promising new soap that fits the slot perfectly, and a Password reboot ready to go that's as close to a sure bet as you will get (that also will mean still getting to work with Goodson even if you drop Match Game.

Handing Arsenio Hall or Nedra Volz some scripted zingers isn't saving that show. 

Like I said: Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour always dies when NBC decides to pick up Santa Barbara. 
Chelsea

JasonA1

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 04:36:57 PM »
In talking with one of MGHSH's producers earlier this year about the show, they absolutely knew it was something to fill time for the yet-to-premiere Santa Barbara. Naturally, had MGHSH been successful enough to warrant another year, NBC would have made a decision on where to keep it, while still giving the green light to the soap, but ultimately, it didn't perform.

To the question at hand, if shows like Match Game '73, Tattle Tales and Scrabble could rebound after retooling, I think MGHSH had a shot. It really would have depended on how well they executed the change, and/or if the bookings improved. I think Jon could have been produced into cracking the whip on Squares, particularly if the stars had defined material to deliver. My gut tells me, though, that it would have taken just as long to find the magic again, and ultimately, even if would have showed significant promise by the end, it still goes away.

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TLEberle

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2019, 04:58:15 PM »
One thing we're forgetting, though Jason brought it up sort of--Mark Goodson basically had a Golden Ticket for a year. He (and by extension the business) will be paid whether the show is a hit or a flop as long as they fill that hour slot for as long as is needed. Given Mark's disdain for HS and the fact that he was rolling in cash from everything else going on I am not confident at all in the idea that he would let his ego take the hit that comes with saying "Well, actually, Hollywood Squares works when you have people delivering funny material." For the money he was paying his people my guess is that they bloody well dealt with the fact that the show was a dog and danced to the bank to cash their checks.

So many things had to change that they would almost have to take a year off to rest rather than just start up on Monday and it's a completely new situation.
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whewfan

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2019, 08:31:15 PM »
One thing I noticed with Leave it to Beaver week is that they did fit in more questions for HS. On the last episode of that week, they got to 15 questions, which isn't too bad.

Then again, that week only had Gallagher as the comedy relief, and the rest of the Beaver cast weren't exactly "scene stealers" that were eating up time like Fred Travelena, Arsenio, and Edie McClurg tended to do.

This week wasn't too long before Still the Beaver would premiere on the Disney Channel. After one season, TBS picked it up where it ran for 3 more seasons, re-titling it The New Leave it to Beaver. Kaleena Kiff played Beaver's daughter, and she was previously on Love, Sidney and Ken Osmond's real life sons played the sons of Eddie Haskell.

Leave it to Beaver would resurface as a 1997 movie, with a few alums returning in different roles, with the exception of Ken Osmond, the film's only highlight, as Eddie Haskell. The movie otherwise had vague connections with the original series... Beaver in the movie was more like Dennis the Menace. Jerry Mathers was offered a role, but upon reading the script, he said "This isn't the Leave it to Beaver I remember." and declined the role. Christopher McDonald, who was great as Jack Barry, didn't do justice as Ward Cleaver. 

Sodboy13

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2019, 10:59:37 PM »
Hire an editor and kill your last two paragraphs.
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calliaume

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 10:54:32 AM »
This week wasn't too long before Still the Beaver would premiere on the Disney Channel.
These episodes aired over New Year's week; Still the Beaver the series didn't debut until November 1984.

I've always wondered about this.  Was MG-HS so desperate for celebrity weeks that they would promote shows like this (which probably was months from being a firm go) and Too Close for Comfort (which ran in syndication) instead of actual NBC shows? Or were they unable to get any NBC show to do a full-cast promo other than St. Elsewhere?

JMFabiano

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 11:58:43 AM »
This week wasn't too long before Still the Beaver would premiere on the Disney Channel.
These episodes aired over New Year's week; Still the Beaver the series didn't debut until November 1984.

I've always wondered about this.  Was MG-HS so desperate for celebrity weeks that they would promote shows like this (which probably was months from being a firm go) and Too Close for Comfort (which ran in syndication) instead of actual NBC shows? Or were they unable to get any NBC show to do a full-cast promo other than St. Elsewhere?

I thought so too....until the above-mentioned time discrepancy.  Perhaps it was a convenient idea for a theme week, as Goodson had the Beaver cast on Family Feud so they were right there, more or less.  Now, did the TCFC week coincide with the show premiering syndicated episodes? 

Sidenote: 8 years later, Jerry Mathers would appear on an episode of Married with Children where he bemoaned the fact that not even Match Game would book him. 

Back to MG/HS...the only other "NBC" theme week I can name so far would be when they had stars from the network's soaps together. 

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Mike Tennant

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 01:02:50 PM »
This week wasn't too long before Still the Beaver would premiere on the Disney Channel.
These episodes aired over New Year's week; Still the Beaver the series didn't debut until November 1984.
But the Beav was riding the crest of nostalgia at that point. The Still the Beaver reunion movie had aired on CBS in March 1983, and the ratings were so good that the series resulted (and may have been under discussion around the end of '83). Having the cast on MGHS wasn't as random as it might seem.

cmjb13

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2019, 02:13:53 PM »
Sidenote: 8 years later, Jerry Mathers would appear on an episode of Married with Children where he bemoaned the fact that not even Match Game would book him. 
I always wondered the time frame here. The Married with Children episode aired 4/21/91. Match Game 90 ended (according to wiki) on 7/12/91

Though Mathers refers the show as Match Game PM in the episode.
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aaron sica

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 02:33:56 PM »
Now, did the TCFC week coincide with the show premiering syndicated episodes? 

Looks like TCFC week aired February 27-March 2; the show's syndicated episode premiere was April 7.

Stackertosh

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Re: Alternate timeline: MGHSH--Goodson comes to his senses
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2019, 04:31:17 PM »
The show probably would of worked if they had two two hosts who clicked well. Gene always looked bored and angry, he looked like he wasn't having too much fun hosting the MG segment. Jon tried but he wasn't the best host. They also needed a panel that clicked well and giving the stars scripted zingers and using similar questions to the original version of squares.

I still think both shows work better as stand alone shows rather then being married together.