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What's your favorite TV game show?

Updated on May 28, 2016

Background of TV game shows.

I have, always, liked games shows. To me, they provide entertainment and an opportunity to learn something new. I was doing some reading on game shows. From their start in radio to their first broadcast on TV in 1938, game shows have been with us for a long time. It is hard to believe that TV was with us since the late 20's going on to the 40's. Spelling Bee was the first TV game show aired in 1938. TV was around but, only, a select few enjoyed that privilege.

Then came Truth or Consequences, which aired as an experimental broadcast in 1941.World War II came and TV was put on hold. In 1948, TV started to expand on a larger scale and started to have commercials to support its programming. As the '50's approached, we saw game shows like 21 and the $64,000 Question. It did not start off on the right foot at first, because it seemed that no one could answer the questions to win. This was a major concern with some sponsors because it feared the public would lose interest.

Then, the producers came up with an idea. They would select and train the contestants on how to answer the questions. Pretty soon, the ratings went up but it wasn't long until they were found out and TV game shows suffered a black eye with the term "Rigging". Alas, years would pass and the public was forgiving. Soon, this popular medium found its way into the 60's and 70's with greater and bigger challenges. More money was being poured in and the suspense, as well as the drama increased.

A blast from the past.

My favorite TV game shows?

What's your favorite TV game shows? I have several. I will start with Allen Ludden and the game show Password. It fascinated me to see how the contestants would do funny and crazy things to define a word. There was a episode in which you could see celebrities participarting. Allen Ludden went on to host other game shows and, even, have a bit part in the Batman series featuring the Penguin. Also, he made a short-lived comeback for another Password show--Password plus!

He was married to Betty White for 18 years. I will, always remember Allen Ludden as the friendly and helpful host of Password. Sadly, Cancer took his life back in 1981. A couple of years ago, we saw a revived version of Password on CBS (2008-2009), so we see that his legacy is ongoing. When you think of Password, you think of Allen Ludden, because he was the pioneer of that TV game show.

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

My other pick is---Who want to be a millionaire? With all due respect to Meredith Viera, who does a great job on TV, Regis Philbin is the man! A great TV host who makes the contestant relax and even laugh a little. I like it because it creates suspense. The potential to make money is there and once you reached the $1,000 mark, you could leave or risk it all. For me, when they risk it all is when I am at the edge of my seat.

This game show was so popular that it found its way thru video and computer games. I remember playing it on my computer and I didn't do too bad. I never had the privilege of being in a game show, but many times, I entertained the thought. Who wants to be a millionaire is second in my book of favorites.

Cash Cab.

The Cash Cab!

The Cash Cab is another in my list of favorites. As a former cab driver, I can identify with Ben Bailey. His face is funny to look at and it makes for good entertainment. The show starts with a routine day in which Ben Bailey pick up his unsuspecting passengers in the big city.

As they board the cab, he adopts various voice inflections and accents. When he gets their address to their final destination, lights of different colors flare up and the passengers are surprised. The game consist of answering trivia questions and the stakes are higher. The $25 dollars are, suppose, to be easy. As the prize go up, the questions gets to be harder.

I like this program because the majority of the people win something---Like a free cab ride. Do you know how expensive a cab ride can be in New York City? Plus, if they do win, they get to double their money by seeing a video and answering a trivia question. Suspense to the max and a well-done game show!

My closing thougths!

As the years pass by, Game shows are going to get more and more creative. Reality game shows are creating new drama and suspense. My favorite reality show is the Fear Factor. This show gives the contestants the opportunity to win $50,000! They are asked to perform crazy and risky stunts. If you have a weak stomach, this show is not for you.

Game shows will evolve with the years to come. The cash prizes will get bigger and there will be more crazy ideas. This popular mode of media will not die, but will grow. As it grows, it will create a new and bigger audience in time to come.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My favorite game shows are jeopardy, wheel of fortune, 25,000 pyramid and Family Feud, which I have been playing for years. Great hub!

    • kj force profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      montecristo ..My G-children and I love" Family Feud"...the look on Steve Harvey's face when a " glitch" is answered is priceless.. they howl...the other is " deal or no deal", my G-son watches only for the pretty girls..( he's 9 ).Thanks for the trip down memory lane...nice hub..

    • montecristo profile imageAUTHOR

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      6 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      Thanks for your input, Jim. Appreciate it.

    • Jim and Beyond profile image

      Jim and Beyond 

      6 years ago from The desert Southwest...for now.

      Shameless plug: My wife and I were on "Wheel of Fortune," and I wrote a 2-part Hub about my experience.

      OK, that aside, I am a lover of game shows as well, but I hate when celebrities get involved. I don't mean shows that include celebrities, like "Password," "$25,000 Pyramid" or "Match Game" (three of my faves). I mean "Celebrity Jeopardy" and "Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" (the latter sets up a strange conundrum, Millionaires asking if they want to be Millionaires!) They dumb down the questions to make the famous people appear smart, and any tension built up by a "real" person winning a ton of money is totally gone.

      On another note, if I were a network executive I would love game shows! Look at the production costs of Millionaire for example, the prime time Regis Philbin version, in comparison to the ratings generated. Even if a contestant wins $1,000,000, the production costs are a still a fraction of a show such as Friends, a half-hour show in which all 6 stars were paid $1,000,000 per episode!! And Millionaire, at it's peak, produced incredible ratings.

      Yes, game shows are the original "reality" TV, and I love 'em!


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