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Author Topic: 40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day  (Read 1495 times)

JMFabiano

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40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day
« on: June 20, 2020, 10:23:31 AM »
We all know the story.  Three game shows were canceled to make way for the David Letterman show: the Daytime version of Hollywood Squares, (The New) High Rollers and Chain Reaction. 

(I want to say around this time was when NBC flirted with cancelling Wheel too?  Sooner?  Later?) 
Post over.  You may enter your smarmy comebacks here.

Bryce L.

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Re: 40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 10:48:08 AM »
(I want to say around this time was when NBC flirted with cancelling Wheel too?  Sooner?  Later?)
Wheel was originally the third show, but got a reprieve in favor of giving Chain Reaction the ax.

whewfan

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Re: 40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 03:09:30 PM »
And then Letterman would later be replaced by game shows... Las Vegas Gambit and Blockbusters. On Letterman's final show, there was a musical number about them being replaced by Las Vegas Gambit, with a "living deck" of cards. (Originally in the bonus game, members of the audience wearing cards like sandwich boards were in the audience, with the same premise of getting 21 without going over. This was likely the pilot only and the idea was scrapped when it became a series)

Let's say that Wheel DID get the axe... do you think Merv would've tried to syndicate the show with Chuck hosting? Chain Reaction, honestly, while an entertaining enough game to watch, doesn't quite have the same appeal as Wheel does, so I think Chain Reaction would've been cancelled maybe a year or so later.

BrandonFG

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Re: 40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 04:39:59 PM »
I believe Merv tried to do a weekly syndicated version right around 1980. But the genre went into a bit of a downturn between 1980-82, and considering none of the syndicated shows that premiered during that time made it past two seasons, I don’t think nighttime “Wheel” becomes the sensation it did in ‘83.
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Ian Wallis

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Re: 40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2020, 03:27:16 PM »
The thing I remember most about this is how disappointing that summer was.  Just out of school at the end of June and hoping to catch my favorite game shows all summer, but we lose Whew! at the end of May, then a week after the three NBC shows were cancelled, $20,000 Pyramid was gone too.  Five good shows cancelled within a month.  (Little did we know, four of them would eventually return).

My viewing patterns that summer definitely were different that usual.

September wasn't much better - we lost several of the "checkerboard" series because shows like Family Feud were expanding to five nights a week.

It seems at the beginning of every decade, game shows were on the downturn - with the exception of the 2000s.
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DjohnsonCB

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Re: 40 years ago today: NBC Game Show Death Day
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 06:33:06 PM »
I usually declined to watch the morning Letterman show just because he and the critics were having a field day with the fact that three NBC games were axed to make room for it.  I think I only saw the debut, an occasional misc. ep., the on-location show in Cresco, Iowa, and the last show.  I was much more into him in late night.
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