The Game Show Forum > GSN® and BUZZR TV®

When did you first hear about GSN?

<< < (2/7) > >>

Matt Ottinger:
Certainly those of us who were the earliest Usenet users were keeping up with plans for the launch of TGSC (That's right, \"The Game Show Channel\") about a year before it debuted.  Anyone who's interested could go back through the Google Group archives for late 1993 all the way through the December, 1994 launch and see many of us (including the Mackeys and Chris Lambert) quoting every trade magazine article and press release we could get our hands on.  There are also many (and quite lengthy) posts where we gave our first impressions of what was then pretty much an all-classic lineup.

Remember the time as well.  Before GSN, and in the very earleist days of the internet, nobody had the huge tape libraries that so many of you have today.  Personally, I was lucky to have hooked up with David Hammett, who had five grainy tapes with about 20 different episodes of shows from the 70s I thought I would never see again.  Today, of course, not only do we have the riches of the GSN archive but what used to be \"rare\" tapes pass through collectors' hands much more quickly via internet trades.

Younger fans (or those late to the game) who are clammoring for a \"GSN2\" might be interested in knowning that originally, there were two rival companies jockeying for position.  The interactive shows Wink Martindale hosted on the old Family Channel were going to be the flagship originals for the rival effort, which was trying to be much heavier on original programming right out of the box (they didn't have nearly the archive that GSN could boast).  

Also, pre-Fremantle and pre-Pearson, Mark Goodson Productions was originally going to be a partner in what became GSN, but they pulled out more or less at the last minute and instead leased their archive to the network.  The end of that original lease is what led to The Dark Period, and the fact that GSN doesn't own those episodes outright is one of many reasons that you seem them concentrating on developing their own programming.

OK, history lesson is over.  Take a fifteen minute recess.

The first time I heard about the network was when my mom brought it up one morning over breakfast (that was when they did an article in the Sun-Times on Wink's Game Show Channel).  Obviously, since nothing materialized from that, I thought that that was it for game show channels.

Then, one day while my dad was on vacation (we got a satellite dish up at our cottage), he was scrolling through the channels to see what was being offered, and one of the channels was indeed \"Game Show Network.\"  Naturally excited, I clamored with my parents to get it, and they eventually caved.

So, that was mainly my vacation:  watching GSN in the good ol' days full of classics (1997-2001).  In 2001, though, we got digital cable, which included GSN, so the vacation-time for GSN was no longer necessary.

In terms of my viewing times, oh, boy, have they decreased!  Initially, I watched the network for about eight to ten hours a day; one day, I watched it for eight straight hours and actually complained when my parents changed the channel!  Nowadays, I watch maybe a couple hours of it (mainly Card Sharks and PYL).  I haven't changed how much I watch TV, but I've just found different shows and channels to replace what used to be completely filled by GSN.

Maybe I'm just a fan of the classics, but I really liked to watch GSN better in the '90s:  no speed-ups, much less reruns, more variety, and much rarer shows.  I didn't mind when the focus shifted to originals, but I hated how they gave the classics the heave-ho, for the most part.

All I can say is this:  If they brought back the 1997 schedule, I'd probably still watch it for eight hours a day and say that wasn't enough!


aaron sica:
[quote name=\'Ian Wallis\' date=\'Jul 4 2003, 07:52 AM\'] I first heard about it in a TVGuide Fall Preview edition.  A couple of editions from the early '90s mentioned it as a new network, but it didn't hit the air until a couple of years later.

 You read about it in the 1993 Fall Preview Edition, when it, as Matt O. pointed out, was known as \"The Game Show Channel\"...

At the risk of sliding a bit off topic, it's always interesting to look back at the Fall Preview Editions when they're touting future cable channels to see which ones made it to launch and which ones didn't....

[quote name=\'edholland83\' date=\'Jul 4 2003, 01:15 AM\']I wanted to find out when you first had found about GSN and what your first impression of it was. I remembered the first time I
had heard about Game Show Network was sometime in '92 or '93 when Entertainment Tonight did a brief story on the plans to start the network, I thinnl the video clip had Wink Martindale in it, anyway, That was just my story of how I first found out about it, I finally got the channel when my family got primestar in 1997 and didn't start watching it often until 2000.

I guess some people have more interestng stories about how they found out about it.[/quote]
Interesting subject.  My answer--probably nowhere near as interesting.

I recall the Family Channel block and heard somewhere around that time about the potential plans for what became GSN.  I'm not exactly sure when I heard about the official launch but do recall visting GSN's old website to take a looksee at the schedule, at which point I immediately called my cable system and lobbied for them for them to add the channel.  After they stopped laughing. . .

At any rate, my service was upgraded to the digital tier in June 1998 and that was my official first exposure to GSN.  Among the things happening at GSN around the first few weeks:

Crazy contestant Eva (older lady who invoked religion but wasn't afraid to flirt with Jim Perry) on CS
Bill Cullen and Mary Tyler Moore were guests on P+
A pretty good Jimmy Durante impressionist as the opening act on GONG
My reexposure to \"the Banana section\" on TT (took me back about 25 years), not to mention watching MG7x for the first time in ages
An episode of FF which featured NBA referee Hue Hollins (soon to be a thorn in the side of Chicago Bulls fans everywhere)
The few originals were really hokey (TRIVIA TRACK wasn't worth any of the effort, and obviously there wasn't much effort put into it to begin with)

--- Quote ---Maybe I'm just a fan of the classics, but I really liked to watch GSN better in the '90s: no speed-ups, much less reruns, more variety, and much rarer shows. I didn't mind when the focus shifted to originals, but I hated how they gave the classics the heave-ho, for the most part.
--- End quote ---
Well said.  That first year and change was probably the ultimate for me--and although I didn't realize it at the time, looking back on it I really wish my cable system had acted quicker in adding the channel (seems like there were great things that I missed over the first 3 years of GSN's existence that have not been reaired since and most likely never will again).


[quote name=\'edholland83\' date=\'Jul 3 2003, 11:15 PM\'] I wanted to find out when you first had found about GSN and what your first impression of it was. [/quote]
 Mine's not at all Matt said, those of us who were longtime ATGS-ers knew about the network when it was merely a rumor.

I can tell you the first day I actually SAW it, though: Sunday morning, September 20th, 1998. Somewhere in the 10:00am hour. My first apartment here in the Seattle area, I knew I'd be getting it, since it was available on the digital cable. Guy hooked us up, and was testing it, and I immediately told him to try Channel 161. And there was Jim Perry and Card Sharks, in all its glory. It was followed by a Jack Barry Joker's Wild. Just wonderful. :)


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version