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Author Topic: GSN wasn't the first to "pitch the niche"  (Read 15198 times)

Jimmy Owen

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GSN wasn't the first to "pitch the niche"
« Reply #105 on: August 29, 2004, 10:29:19 PM »
It's a floor wax...it's a dessert topping...it's both a floor wax and a dessert topping.  I'll just resign myself to the fact that Blackjack and Dodgeball are not game shows and end the discussion with that certainty.  The debate has been fun and interesting.
Let's Make a Deal was the first show to air on Buzzr. 6/1/15 8PM.


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GSN wasn't the first to "pitch the niche"
« Reply #106 on: August 30, 2004, 08:02:40 AM »
I wonder what GSN's definition of "game show" is.
In fact, that's why the game-show-or-not discussion has gotten even more, uh, intense than before. Folks like me, who think GSN's "transition" has been much exaggerated, look at the schedule and see game shows and more game shows, with a few non-GS offerings sprinkled in. This is particularly true of the new and admittedly temporary schedule starting September 27.

Folks who think the network is changing into something else (and something worse) want to exclude as much of GSN's schedule from gameshow-dom as possible. So they tend to use much more restrictive definitions of "game show." Trouble is, those definitions wind up erasing some of what most game show fans would consider timeless classics of the genre, like You Bet Your Life. I don't think too many fans, no matter what they think of GSN nowadays, would want to toss a great talent like Groucho and his signature TV show out of the game show tent.

But in all honesty, a supposed non-game-show like Blackjack puts far more emphasis and spends far more time on (much more interesting and complex) gameplay than Groucho ever did. Groucho treated the simplistic and brief gameplay on his show with barely disguised contempt. He treated announcer George Fenneman with undisguised contempt.

That's why the definitions start getting more and more complicated and, frankly, arbitrary. The role of the host, the details of the staging, the mysteriously divined "intent" of the producers, the number of sunspots observed during the taping - all these are hauled in to get Groucho inside the tent but leave Blackjack outside the tent. When all else fails to convince skeptics like moi, an I-know-it-when-I-see-it definition (gleaned from Potter Stewart's gravestone) is used...which may be the only possible definition, after all.

So you can see why the debates get a little heated, despite Matt's request that we keep things light.

My final note on this subject: while the EOTVGS may go a little too far in its inclusiveness (no, Home Run Derby was NOT a game show) I prefer to be too inclusive rather than too exclusive. Like many game show fans, I don't like the ridicule that the genre has often been subjected to. So it helps to have somebody like the critically acclaimed Groucho inside the game show kingdom, even if we have to stretch the definition a little. In other words, I want as rich a selection as possible included in gameshow-dom. When we start throwing shows out of the genre, we're conceding too much to unfriendly critics.

P.S. That's a joke about Potter Stewart. He used to kid people that his famous definition of obscenity would be carved on his tombstone. It wasn't.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2004, 10:22:18 AM by CaseyAbell »