->''... but for once, let's put our heads down, and have an informative, popular, music-based quiz, without resorting to'' jokes--''the coward's way out.''
-->-- Creator/RichardAyoade very sincerely introduces ''Series/NeverMindTheBuzzcocks''

A Panel Game or Panel Show is a variation on the GameShow in which celebrities and comedians compete in teams to win points. Panel games are a mainstay of British television, perhaps due to the continued UK popularity of radio entertainment, from which the format was adapted; or to accommodate [[NoBudget lower UK production budgets]]. The games are a useful way for up-and-coming -- or fast-descending -- comedians to pay the bills.

The celebrity contestants are usually paid an appearance fee, but there is rarely a prize as an incentive to win, although the contestants may still be highly competitive. [[PlayedForLaughs The focus is on comedy]]; ThePointsMeanNothing, and some shows feature a joke prize that is mundane (''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou''), bizarre (''Series/ShootingStars''), or non-existent (''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'').

Panel games feature a host who asks the questions and adjudicates, and often some of the panelists are regulars who appear every week. The host makes jokes between the rounds, of which there are up to six, some more gimmicky than others, including video clips and minigames.

Not to be confused with [[CelebrityEdition Celebrity Specials]] of a GameShow, where the celeb accrues prize money and donates it to a charity of their choosing.



[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The one that is most familiar to American viewers is ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'', which had four comedians who would perform improv comedy to win points from host Clive Anderson (later replaced by Drew Carey for the somewhat-louder American version).
* A long-running British panel show is ''Series/NeverMindTheBuzzcocks'', which is based around music and generally features pop and rock stars as well as comedians. After most of the original cast started having other commitments, the show bounced back with a very successful format of rotating guest hosts and temporary team captains. Phill Jupitus has appeared in every episode but one, making him pretty much the face of the show. The show is currently hosted by Rhod Gilbert, and the other team captain is [[Series/TheMightyBoosh Noel Fielding]].
* Another mainstay of British panel games is ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'', a political and satirical panel game that generally attracts politicians, journalists, and businessmen as its panelists, as well as more politically-minded comedians.
* A similar show is ''Series/MockTheWeek'', basically ''Have I Got News For You'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Whose Line''.
* One of the oldest British panel games is ''Series/AQuestionOfSport'', which -- since it typically features sportsmen -- is generally regarded as more niche and less funny than its competitors (there were a lot of restrictions on how funny they could be when Princess Anne turned up). It's headed a bit more towards the comedic in recent years (ever since Sue Barker took over the chair), which meant that...
** ''Series/TheyThinkItsAllOver'', also a sporting panel game but with more emphasis on the funny (each side had a regular sportsman, a regular comedian and one other random, usually a sportsman), was rendered slightly redundant. A change of panelists didn't kill the show; a change of hosts did. Rampantly most famous for the Feel The Sportsman round, where contestants were blindfolded and had to identify a sportsperson (or, in several cases, a ''team'' of sportspersons) by touch alone.
* The format was taken to its logical conclusion in ''Series/ShootingStars'' which dispensed with rules, order and sense, and featured questions such as "True or False: Creator/BillCosby was the first-ever black man" (the answer was false; it was actually Creator/SidneyPoitier). It also featured dream sequences, sketches, and other distractions from the boring business of actually hosting a show. The guests are more of an afterthought than anything.
* Subverted in ''Series/AnnuallyRetentive'', a TwoForOneShow which shows both a traditional panel game and the (fictional) behind-the-scenes backstabbing that happens behind it. As far as the celebrities are concerned, it's a 'proper' panel show, and only the host and captains act in the behind-the-scenes bits.
* ''WildNOut'' is an urban-themed improv comedy show. The players, who seem to be regulars with a single exception (the special celebrity guest), are divided into the Red Squad (led by host Nick Cannon) and the Black Squad (led by the special guest). They compete mostly for pride, as well as the opportunity to hold the [[ProfessionalWrestling pro wrestling]]-style "improv champion" belt.
* This format was once common on North American prime time; the tone was more serious, although there was still some joking going on. The best known of these were CBS's ''Series/ToTellTheTruth'', ''Series/IveGotASecret'', and ''Series/WhatsMyLine'' (all of which later went into syndication) and CBC's ''Front Page Challenge'', which ran for 37 years (1958-95).
* You could argue shows like ''Series/MatchGame'' and ''Series/TheHollywoodSquares'' (and their various [[FollowTheLeader knockoffs]] and DerivativeWorks, such as ''Series/BreakTheBank1976'', the 70s revivals of ''Series/YouDontSay'', and ''Series/{{Battlestars}}'') are the result of the panel game and the game show getting drunk and doing it.
* Australia also has its fair share of these, many differing from their British counterparts only so much as is necessary to avoid paying the BBC for the rights.
** There have been two ''Never Mind the Buzzcocks''-alikes. Creator/{{SBS}}'s ''Series/{{Rockwiz}}'' is considered the more musically credible; it has the feel of a stage show that just happens to be on TV, being filmed in an actual pub and with the scores displayed on cardboard placards. It is trumped in popularity by [[Creator/TheABC ABC]]'s ''Series/SpicksAndSpecks'', which is closer to ''Buzzcocks'' in format but (being hosted by Adam Hills) with a more positive attitude and less likely to go OffTheRails.
** ''Series/GoodNewsWeek'' was originally a carbon copy of ''Have I Got News For You'', but its political satire didn't survive the move to commercial television. After a ten year hiatus, the rebooted show focuses more on oddball stories, celebrity news and musical guests.
* Also Australian is ''Series/TalkinBoutYourGeneration'', hosted by [[CloudCuckooLander Shaun Micallef]] and featuring comedians Baby Boomer [[DeadpanSnarker Amanda Keller]], Generation X [[TallDarkAndSnarky Charlie Pickering]], Generation Y [[ButtMonkey Josh Thomas]], and their celebrity guests, in an attempt to determine the superior generation.
* ''Series/{{QI}}'', themed around general [[strike:knowledge]] ignorance, has become one of the biggest. (And funniest.) Notable for having no captains but a regular panelist in Alan Davies, who acts as a foil to host Stephen Fry and keeps things from getting too serious.
* ''Series/YouHaveBeenWatching'', themed around television shows, hosted by Creator/CharlieBrooker.
* ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'', about statistics, hosted by Creator/JimmyCarr, regular team captain Sean Lock (either of whom tend to be CMOF-worthy ''separately''), relatively new team captain Jon Richardson, and the occasional ''somewhat'' thematic celebrity (such as Chris Hoy, after he won Olympic gold).
* ''Dave Gorman's Genius'', which is also a radio show, involves more audience participation than usual: the general public mails suggestions which could improve the world (or are just funny), and the best ones get invited onto the show to defend their idea to a guest, who is in charge of deciding whether or not the idea is genius. Ideas that have been declared genius before include breeding an elephant that is small enough to be a house pet, helium filled bubble wrap to make parcels lighter and postage cheaper, and to make parliament discuss things under the rules of ''Radio/JustAMinute''.
* ''Series/WouldILieToYou'', hosted in the first two seasons by Angus Deayton, currently hosted by Rob Brydon, with team captains Creator/LeeMack and Creator/{{David Mitchell|Actor}}. Slightly more emphasis on the ''game'' part of panel game, the contestants read out a card that either contains an unlikely truth about themselves or a lie made up by the researchers of the show, and they have to defend it as true, while the other team prods them for additional facts and then says whether it's the truth, or a lie. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6JH-3o17qI A video link]] explains it better than that description.) There are also various other rounds, such as each member of one team claiming to know a mystery guest. It's one of the best panel shows on today, with very little scripted material, lots of funny stories and plenty of good-natured ribbing.
* ''The Bubble'', hosted by Creator/{{David Mitchell|Actor}} isolates 3 celebrities in a country house for a week and shows them a variety of News Stories from the week, some real, some faked and the celebrities have to guess which is which. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y529crbY4DU It's better seen than read about.]] Notable for the fact that while it's a BBC show they are banned from faking news from the BBC. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTvVd8tr_n4 Here's an interview about the program.]]
* Ireland has ''The Panel'' which dispenses with the quiz format altogether, while still attempting to feel like a panel game show. It used to work, [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks until Dara Ó Briain left]].
* The format is quite popular in the Netherlands, although not quite as mainstream as it is in the UK. Popular Dutch panel shows include:
** ''Waku Waku'', a classic charity show with a focus on wildlife trivia. Although it was extremely popular for quite a number of seasons, it was cancelled well over a decade ago. It's the one panel show that all others take their cues from.
** ''Dit Was Het Nieuws'' (This Was The News), a carbon copy of ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou''.
** ''The Mike And Thomas Show'', a rapid, very musical show not unlike ''Shooting Stars''. It consists of the two titular hosts basically just messing about in the guise of a gameshow. And two grand pianos.
** ''Wie Ben Ik?'' (Who Am I?), a panel show based around celebrities trying to guess the object, character or concept they've been labeled as. The show made great use of its simplistic rules, letting the comedians run loose and never pretending to be more than it was, resulting in one of the most celebrated light entertainment shows in Dutch TV history.
* New Zealand's local programme ''Seven Days'' follows this format, focusing on news stories that happened in the last week. The amount of points awarded per round tends to reference recent news stories, often at impressively different scales (Team one, you can have the number of women that claim to have slept with Tiger Woods; Team Two, you can have the cost of repairing Qantas' air fleet. Team Two wins!).
* ''Series/FigureItOut'' has four panelists try to figure out what a contestant's secret talent is before all three rounds are up. Being a Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} show, lots of slime is expected.
* ''Series/{{Bunk}}'', an IFC mock-gameshow with a panel of 3 comedians competing at strange tasks to win strange prizes.
* ''Series/ComedyWorldCup'', hosted by Creator/DavidTennant, which ran for only 7 episodes. In a twist of the normal formal, there were no regulars but four different teams that consisted of the same comedians. The teams were pitted against each other to answer questions regarding comedy history and trivia, and the winner would advance to the next level.
* Creator/ComedyCentral's ''Series/AtMidnight'' is a U.S., four-nights-a-week take on the concept themed around internet and pop culture. It still carries all of the hallmarks of a panel game, although its overall format is designed to have elements of traditional game shows.
* ''Series/VirtuallyFamous'' is another British panel show with the same format as the traditional ones, with the additional theme of things that are internet famous.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' is a parody of the panel show genre (featuring many intentionally surreal rounds where scoring points would be completely impossible even if they tried) and has been broadcast with most of the original panelists since 1972.
* ''The 99p Challenge'' is a radio panel show that offers up a prize of 99 pence [[RidiculousExchangeRates (currently equivalent to US$50,000)]] to its winners.
* American example: Creator/{{NPR}}'s ''Radio/WaitWaitDontTellMe''. Not a pure panel game, as it also features segments in which listeners play to win an actual prize, but as the prize is an answering machine greeting from newscaster Carl Kasell, these are played for laughs as much as the ones with only the panelists.
* More panelly American example: NPR's ''Radio/SaysYou'' where a regular cast, consisting mostly of media writers and producers, plays a series of games dealing with trivia and English vocabulary.
* ''Radio/JustAMinute'', which, over the years, has placed more and more emphasis on joke-telling than on trying to speak for a minute without repetition, hesitation, or deviation, with the panel now generally composed of stand-up comedians (the original regulars included columnist Clement Freud and comic actors (but not stand-up comedians) Peter Jones, Derek Nimmo, and Kenneth Williams). Host Nicholas Parsons does insist that it is the contributions and not the point-scoring that is most important, but this has not stopped many panelists over the years from taking the "game" aspect very seriously.
* ''Radio/TheUnbelievableTruth'', hosted by Creator/{{David Mitchell|Actor}}. The four guests give a lecture on a particular subject that is full of lies, except for five truths scattered throughout, and the others have to pick out the truths as they go.
* ''Radio/TheNewsQuiz'', something of a radio counterpart to ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' (which it predates by thirteen years). In its early years, it was a relatively straight panel game about the week's news, with the panel largely comprising journalists and politicians, but since around the mid-1990s there has been more emphasis on comedy.
* ''The Museum of Curiosity'', which has been described as a sister show to ''Series/{{QI}}''.
* A very early example would be ''Information Please'', first broadcast in 1938. Particularly interesting in that the listening public was responsible for sending in the questions asked of the panel members, and they were the ones paid if the panelists got the answer wrong.
* ''Fighting Talk'', which airs every Saturday morning during the football season on BBC Five Live. More competitive than most examples, it features four panelists; usually sportspeople, comedians or journalists, discussing topical sporting news with points awarded for good punditry and passion as well as comedy.
* ''So Wrong It's Right'', another panel show hosted by Creator/CharlieBrooker. Comedians (including several regulars such as Creator/{{David Mitchell|Actor}}, Rob Brydon, Holly Walsh, and Creator/LeeMack) compete to tell the "worst" stories, such as the worst thing that happened to them at a party or the worst idea for a restaurant.
* ''Radio/BecauseNews'', a Creator/{{CBC}} radio panel game that first aired in 2015.


[[folder: New Media ]]

* David Firth of Fat-Pie.com doesn't appear to much like panel shows, as displayed in a cartoon he made for Charlie Brooker's show ''Screenwipe'' that mocks the pre-written jokes many of them use. It also makes a few jabs at [[Website/YouTube internet videos]]. [[http://www.fat-pie.com/tv2.htm See the cartoon here.]]
** Ironic, considering that Charlie Brooker is credited as a joke writer on some episodes of ''8 Out Of 10 Cats'', and has been a panelist on ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' and ''Series/WouldILieToYou'' twice...
*** In fact, you might say... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCvbFRoDBCg Charlie Brooker is right about everything.]]
* [[Creator/PhilthonJones Caught Chatting]] is presented in this format.
* Podcast/PappysFlatshareSlamdown is a panel show released in {{Podcast}} format.
* WebVideo/CitationNeeded is Creator/TomScott's take on the format: He has a Wikipedia article pulled up, and three panelists (Chris Joel, Gary Brannan, and Matt Gray) who can't see the article and have to guess the details. Because all four of them are quite geeky and still intelligent, a lot of educational joking ensues.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Guest starring on a Panel Quiz Show is a way for your up-and-coming star/starlet to earn money (and fame) in StarDream.