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Author Topic: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions  (Read 1959 times)

bulldog_06

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2020, 02:08:16 PM »
Jim Perry was definitely one of (IF NOT) the most underrated hosts in game show history. The delivery he gave on Sale of The Century was tremendous when it came down to Instant Bargains. The excitement he had for contestants on Card Sharks, especially the Money Cards. He doesn't get enough credit for the two big hits he hosted.

carlisle96

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2020, 02:25:56 PM »
I asked him what issues he had with Trebek. He said he had a hard time taking someone whose previous shows were "High Rollers," "Pitfall" and "Battlestars" seriously.

I love this point because if you showed an episode of "High Rollers" or "Battlestars" to a Gen-Z'er, their jaw would be on the ground because they've only ever known the professorial Trebek.

Speaking of Battlestars, why did NBC bring it back if it wasn't terribly successful the first time?

Bryce L.

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2020, 02:39:12 PM »
I asked him what issues he had with Trebek. He said he had a hard time taking someone whose previous shows were "High Rollers," "Pitfall" and "Battlestars" seriously.

I love this point because if you showed an episode of "High Rollers" or "Battlestars" to a Gen-Z'er, their jaw would be on the ground because they've only ever known the professorial Trebek.

Speaking of Battlestars, why did NBC bring it back if it wasn't terribly successful the first time?
I'm guessing because 1983 was a "throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks" kind of year for NBC.

carlisle96

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2020, 02:54:46 PM »
They must have been desperate if they start picking through the garbage pile

tomobrien

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2020, 03:23:35 PM »
There always seemed to be at least one moment in each episode where at least one person (be it Alex or someone at the production table) momentarily loses track of the game and they have to get it back on the rails while the tape is still rolling.

So it's just one first-season contestant's experience, but I can attest that the board was breaking down two or three times per episode during our taping sessions.  It made it really hard for both the contestants and Alex to keep the "flow" going.
And Alex's attempts at humor early on sometimes came off a tad snarky, as when the FJ category "20th Century" came up: "Not too broad, is it, players?" Heh heh.

Mr. Armadillo

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2020, 03:32:33 PM »
As someone who was born in 1985, I intellectually knew that the word "boners" meant something different back in the day than it does now, but I didn't realize that fact until seeing in print in this article without a hint of the snickering that always follows it today.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 08:58:00 AM by Mr. Armadillo »

calliaume

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2020, 04:15:05 PM »
Speaking of Battlestars, why did NBC bring it back if it wasn't terribly successful the first time?
I don't have Betty White's book Here We Go Again in front of me, but as memory serves, Grant Tinker, who was chairman and CEO of NBC in 1983, tuned into White's Just Men! one day when he was otherwise unoccupied--and hated it (and remember the Tinkers and Luddens were very close friends).

I would guess Battlestars was revived quickly because it could be revived quickly to replace Just Men! (Dream House, which replaced Hit Man at the same time, probably had been tested a bit more), with the knowledge it wouldn't be around long.

Scrabbleship

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2020, 07:01:56 PM »
Speaking of Battlestars, why did NBC bring it back if it wasn't terribly successful the first time?
I don't have Betty White's book Here We Go Again in front of me, but as memory serves, Grant Tinker, who was chairman and CEO of NBC in 1983, tuned into White's Just Men! one day when he was otherwise unoccupied--and hated it (and remember the Tinkers and Luddens were very close friends).

I brought up my Kindle copy of this book and you're right on the money. Betty's own words.

Quote
The viewers were enthusiastic, but we lasted only thirteen weeks. The reason we were canceled is funnier, I think, than the show ever dreamed of being. Grounded at home for a couple of days with a bad cold, the chairman of NBC had a chance to watch the show—and absolutely hated it. That chairman, you will remember, was one Grant Tinker. The thing that really turned him off was what made it so much fun for me—my not being anchored, but able to move around.

That last line makes me wonder about how static hosts on NBC were during this time, or period even.

calliaume

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2020, 08:16:54 PM »
Quote
The thing that really turned him off was what made it so much fun for me—my not being anchored, but able to move around.

That last line makes me wonder about how static hosts on NBC were during this time, or period even.
Other than the first half of MG/HS Hour and the first few weeks of Time Machine, it seems like all the NBC hosts during the Tinker era were behind a podium.

Just Men! was up against Family Feud, so it may not have mattered much.

tyshaun1

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2020, 08:00:38 AM »
Out of curiosity, I'm wondering how Tyshaun came across this.
Simply started looking up various game show articles from back in the 80's.

tyshaun1

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2020, 08:07:30 AM »
I'm guessing because 1983 was a "throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks" kind of year for NBC.
NBC canceled almost all their moderately successful games in 1982 to save their much higher budget soaps, which proceeded to backfire on them. Each of the shows they canceled at the time were revived by the network over the following 5 years; my guess is because Battlestars was the newest, they decided to give it another shot first.

Ian Wallis

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2020, 12:00:24 PM »
I remember reading that Battlestars ratings were decent at the time it was cancelled, and the show that moved into that time slot never achieved what Battlestars achieved.  That's probably why it was revived.
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bulldog_06

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2020, 04:10:32 PM »
Speaking of Battlestars, why did NBC bring it back if it wasn't terribly successful the first time?
I don't have Betty White's book Here We Go Again in front of me, but as memory serves, Grant Tinker, who was chairman and CEO of NBC in 1983, tuned into White's Just Men! one day when he was otherwise unoccupied--and hated it (and remember the Tinkers and Luddens were very close friends).

I brought up my Kindle copy of this book and you're right on the money. Betty's own words.

Quote
The viewers were enthusiastic, but we lasted only thirteen weeks. The reason we were canceled is funnier, I think, than the show ever dreamed of being. Grounded at home for a couple of days with a bad cold, the chairman of NBC had a chance to watch the show—and absolutely hated it. That chairman, you will remember, was one Grant Tinker. The thing that really turned him off was what made it so much fun for me—my not being anchored, but able to move around.

That last line makes me wonder about how static hosts on NBC were during this time, or period even.

OR was it because a woman was "man-ing" the show. OR Tinker maybe wanted to see BW on a panel instead of hosting a game show? Despite them being close friends. Ludden is gone at this point. Speculation at this point. We'll never know. However it's interesting nonetheless.

JasonA1

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2020, 07:31:07 PM »
I remember reading that Battlestars ratings were decent at the time it was cancelled, and the show that moved into that time slot never achieved what Battlestars achieved.  That's probably why it was revived.

We're talking about 11:30 AM on NBC. Quick(ish) backgrounder: In April of '78, Wheel of Fortune moves there and plays second fiddle to Family Feud on ABC. Meanwhile, Wheel either outperforms, or stays neck-and-neck, with Love of Life on CBS.

The arrival of Whew! pushes up The Price is Right from 10:30 to 11, making the last half of Price into Wheel's new competition. Price eventually outperforms the combo of Laverne & Shirley reruns and Feud on ABC, making High Rollers & Wheel fall into a distinct third on NBC.

The David Letterman Show makes Wheel's stock fall further. The 11 o'clock hour eventually goes back to all-game with Wheel first and Password Plus now at 11:30. Still, Password Plus can't outperform primetime reruns on ABC, with Password's last weeks in the slot averaging an 18 share against Love Boat's 28 and Price's 32.

Enter Battlestars in October of '81. Frankly, there's not much to report over its run. Price and Love Boat stay largely steady at 33 and 27 respectively, while Battlestars ticks up and up to a 20 share for 2 weeks in April '82 before another slight dip, increases for its competition, and a cancellation. The hour-long soap Texas wipes out both games in its move from afternoons, and doesn't go above a 12-share average during its 36 weeks in the timeslot.

Meanwhile, at Noon, Doctors is earning single-digit share numbers for NBC. Just Men! enters and betters Doctor's 6-or-7 average with a 9 share. But alas, enter New Battlestars, which outperforms them both with a 10 average over its 13 weeks. However, it's still not good enough against Family Feud's 18-to-21 point averages, and time given to the affiliates on CBS.

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SRIV94

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Re: From 1985: Matt Ottinger's game show opinions
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2020, 07:46:35 PM »
Meanwhile, at Noon, Doctors is earning single-digit share numbers for NBC.
Was that worse, equal to or better than CS' numbers (noting that CS had the longest shelf life in the noon slot of any NBC show between J!'s cancellation and SP's premiere)?
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)