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A fresh look at GSN daytime

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chargeradiocom:
One of my duties at work is overseeing what plays on the lobby TVs. The boss wants to run news most of the time (which makes it a more complicated task than it should be, for reasons I won’t get into here). But on Fridays, we try to run something lighter, typically HGTV or Food Network. I have run BUZZR a few times, though, with generally positive feedback.

GSN was recently added to our work cable package, so I thought that would probably be another option. Now, since BUZZR started streaming, I probably hadn’t watched more than 10 minutes in total of GSN, save for one night when Harvey Feud got turned on for a couple hours at home. So I decided to check out a sample day of programming before running it at work—I didn’t expect there would be anything too problematic, but I thought it would be better to cover my bases than to let something slip through that might get me in trouble.

I was mainly concerned with 10AM-6PM ET, since that’s when it would be running. Some of these shows were completely new to me, and others I hadn’t seen in several years. A few thoughts:

Common Knowledge - Honestly I thought it was kinda dull. It wasn’t actively bad, just that Jeopardy, $otC, & even some of GSN’s other afternoon originals do trivia so much better.

Catch 21 (‘09) - First, I must have forgotten just how gorgeous Mikki Padilla was. (Still is, based on her Facebook page.) It was enjoyable watch, though if I had a nitpick, some of the questions felt dated. (One was about having a “Facebook or MySpace page.”) Even though the Q&A shows on BUZZR are much older, they generally don’t feel that stale, President Reagan questions notwithstanding. But maybe in 25 years, questions about MySpace will feel retro.

FTR, I haven’t yet watched an episode of the 2019 revival. I’d probably be more interested if Mikki had come back. ;)

America Says - Not a bad show. Part of me wants to criticize it as a Family Feud knockoff, but I can see why it’s GSN’s longest-running current original.

Deal or No Deal - Say what you will about NBC scheduling & gimmicking it to death. But when it stuck to the basic game and didn’t overplay the gimmickry & emotionalism, it was a good show. I enjoyed seeing an isolated episode again.

Match Game - Of course I’ve still been seeing this show plenty on BUZZR. But in this lineup, my thought is, “Show ‘em how a real game show is done, Gene!”

(BTW, what happened to the midday Wheel reruns GSN was playing?)

The Chase - Hadn’t watched this show in a while. I wasn’t as big a fan as some in the GS online community, but it was a solid trivia show that probably deserved a longer run.

Master Minds - I’m left wondering, did GSN see their error in canceling The Chase, but it was too late to relicense it? In any case, it was a decent trivia show, & an appropriate companion to The Chase.

Get a Clue - An alright show, but it felt a little too close to Pyramid.

One thing that struck me about the GSN originals (& thus half the daytime lineup) though... Most of them just really don’t feel like they have the gravitas, for lack of a better term, of BUZZR’s lineup. That’s not necessarily an “older is better” comment: Deal or No Deal and Harvey Feud, for all their warts, have gravitas. Maybe it’s unfair to stack relatively low-budget cable game shows up against big network or top-tier syndicated shows. And even with the budget restrictions, GSN has had some originals that were quite good. I just thought the current stack of originals, while not blatantly bad, lacked something.

And now that they’ve got some competition in the (generally speaking) game show network sphere—competition that’s rapidly growing its audience—it’s probably not the time for GSN to ease up on the quality of their programming. I don’t expect BUZZR to start beating GSN in the overall ratings anytime soon, but it would be interesting to see just how close in the rearview mirror BUZZR is at this point when you include streaming. Of course, until we have access to BUZZR’s ratings, that will remain a mystery.

As far as playing GSN at my job... I don’t see why not. Although I half expect some of my staff will complain that they’d rather watch the old game shows. My staff seems like they’ve always gotta be complaining about something.

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