Game Shows


Recently I have found myself drawn back to game shows that could be considered to be on the older side. Some of these shows, such as Crystal Maze and Catchphrase have since been reworked and repopularised and have come back into the public eye. But it is a wonder what the first sort of shows of this kind was and where the idea that this originated sprouted. 

The first game show came about in the 1930s with a television game show called Spelling Bee and a radio show called Information Please in 1938. A year later, a radio show called Dr IQ was a big success. This developed later into more television and radio game shows and over the course of the 1950s, as television became more and more popular, game shows quickly became a common element in people’s lives. Daytime game shows would be played for lower stakes to target stay-at-home housewives. Higher-stakes programs would air in prime time when there would be a larger viewing audience.

Game shows remained a fixture of US daytime television through the 1960s. Lower-stakes games made a slight comeback in daytime in the early 1960s; examples include Jeopardy! which began in 1964 and the original version of The Match Game first aired in 1962. Let’s Make a Deal began in 1963 and the 1960s also marked the debut of Hollywood Squares, Password, The Dating Game, and The Newlywed Game. It was towards the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s with the introduction of color television that a large number of game shows came into existence, such as The New Price is Right and Family Feud shows that still continue on in some fashion today.

Shows like this provide entertainment but the ideas are basically just recycled over and adapted to fit and work and provide for more modern audiences. Questions and games are changed to fit the audience that they are designed to accommodate for and so they must adapt and change over time. 


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