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Top 5 TV Game Shows (1970s)

Updated on June 7, 2015
Pictured: Host Dick Clark
Pictured: Host Dick Clark | Source

Game shows have evolved over many decades and played a huge part in entertaining a wide array of television audiences. Growing up in the 1970s, I've been able to see the transformation of many of these shows and I still enjoy seeing clips of the original airings of them. There have been a number of game shows that I've viewed over the years; however, five of my favorite growing up were the following: $10,000 Pyramid, Family Feud, Name That Tune, The Gong Show and Wheel of Fortune.

$10,000 Pyramid

The $10,000 Pyramid first aired on March 26, 1973 with legendary host Dick Clark. The name of this game show has changed over the years - $20,000 Pyramid, $25,000 Pyramid, $100,000 Pyramid and The Pyramid - which have included daily, weekly and nighttime versions. Additionally, there have been a four other show hosts besides Dick Clark that have included Bill Cullen (1974-79, syndicated version), John Davidson (1991), Donny Osmond (2000-04) and Mike Richards (2012-present).

Family Feud

The Family Feud first aired on July 12, 1976 with trailblazer host Richard Dawson. This show continues to be a fan favorite and sustained cancellation, syndication and rebirth. There have been a total of five other hosts besides Dawson which have included Ray Combs (1988-1994), Louie Anderson (1999-2002), Richard Karn (2002-04), John O'Hurley (2006-10) and comedian/philanthropist Steve Harvey (2010-present).

Name That Tune

Although this show originally aired in 1952, it became one of my favorites during the '70s because I loved music and it was fun watching the contestants trying to guess the tune that was played on the piano. There were a total of seven different hosts for this show and they were as follows: Red Benson (1952-54), Bill Cullen (1954-55), George DeWitt (1955-59), Richard Hayes (1970-71), Dennis James (1974-75, daytime version), Tom Kennedy (1974-81, nighttime version & 1977, daytime version) and Jim Lange (1984-85).

The Gong Show

This amateur talent show caught my attention because it was always entertaining (sometimes good or sometimes bad). It first premiered on June 14, 1976 and ran through July 21, 1978 for 501 episodes. There were a total of four different hosts which included Chuck Barris (1976-80), John Barbour (1976), Gary Owens (1976-77, nighttime) and Don Bleu (1988-89, syndication).

Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune developed a household name and this all-time favorite game show has been on television for 30 seasons. It was created by actor Merv Griffin and made its debut on January 6, 1975. There have been daytime, nighttime and syndicated versions of this show televised over the years.

The four daytime hosts have included Chuck Woolery (1975-81), Pat Sajak (1981-89), Rolf Benirschke (1989) and Bob Goen (1989-91). There have been a total of two different daytime hostess that included Susan Staffor (1975-82) and Vanna White (1982-91). Currently, the nighttime host and hostess are Pat Sajak and Vanna White who seem to be the all-time fan favorites.

The game shows listed above were truly interesting, unique and entertaining during the '70s. Many of these shows can either been viewed in syndication or an updated version is currently being broadcast today. I hope that you've enjoyed my list above and I would love to hear about some your all-time favorite game shows during this era.

Until next time ...


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    • UMHiram profile image

      Unique Hiram 5 years ago from Midwest

      Jan, I am glad that you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Also, you took me down memory lane - I forgot all about "Password." Thanks for sharing that one and commenting on the Hub. Have a great one!

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Unique. Thanks for the trot down memory lane. Most of these were my favorites, too. I would add Password.