These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
In October 1997, the network lost the rights to every show from the Mark Goodson-Bill Todman library except The Price Is Right and the 1994-95 season of Family Feud (where Richard Dawson returned). This time was called the Dark Period, and to be fair it resulted in several lesser-known games being aired (The Diamond Head Game, Juvenile Jury, Pass The Buck, etc.) that the network didn't really show otherwise. The Goodson-Todman shows returned in April 1998, but there was less variety for a while on the daily schedule and some programs remained MIA.
Faux Pause, an original series during the Dark Period, attempted to be "Mystery Science Theater 3000doesbadGame Shows" and fell on its face. Two Jerkass "hosts" who clearly didn't know or care about game shows mocked either classics or cult favorites by way of "jokes" that were usually corny and sometimes went into Dude, Not Funny! (the Hot Potato episode being a particularly egregious example). Had they not shown a few genuine rarities (the 1975 Hollywood Connection pilot, an episode of the 1980 Camouflage, two episodes of Bullseye, and a still-shot of the slate from the only surviving episode of Winning Streak), this travesty would've been long since forgotten.
Then came an onslaught of lame original programming (Extreme Gong, Throut and Neck, D.J. Games) plus the beginning of credit crunches and editing out fee plugs, which would go on to continue to plague the network for classic game show fans. The rights to Price would be lost for good in April 2000, and vintage black-and-white shows of the 1950-69 era became rarer still. The quality of the network has been fluctuating ever since.
The March 15, 2004 switch from Game Show Network to GSN, which led to reality, casino, and other "games" quickly debuting on the schedule.
The 2009 Game Show Awards, hosted by Howie Mandel with Rich Fields as announcer, invited a metric ton of game show celebs and attempted to play up the cheese factor (walking the shag carpet!). Unfortunately, several factors made sure it didn't improve most game show fans' opinion of GSN:
Before the special was taped, Bob Barker said he wouldn't show up to receive his Legend Award if Betty White was there (they had gotten into an animal-rights argument over where a particular elephant should be living). While GSN pandered to him, Betty appeared in a pretaped message paying tribute to Mark Goodson.
The results were very obviously rigged, with awards typically going to whomever GSN could get to show up. While it was mentioned on the voting page that the producers had final say on the winners (itself idiotic), fans cried major foul when Mandel/Fields got Best Host/Announcer and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? beat out the veterans for Best Game Show.
Minigames were interspersed throughout, but had the dumbest people as contestants, particularly the mess that was "Name It/Claim It"
A 2010 poll on GSN's website asked viewers whether they wanted to see A) Wish-Fulfillment Reality Shows or B) Decades-Old Reruns of Game Shows. Clearly, no bias was present.
The debacle that was Big Saturday Night, consisting of 20Q, The Money List, and a bunch of wraparound segments hosted by people who had no idea how to host a game show. Including some painfully unfunny skits that seemed to insult the genre's fans. Not even condensing the wraparounds into its own half-hour slot worked.
There are constant debates on what should and shouldn't be on the schedules (search for "GSN Dream Schedule").
The aforementioned "Name It/Claim It": two contestants answer questions about game shows, with the first letter of each answer going into a puzzle. The first player to solve the puzzle wins the solution, which is a prize. Simple, but not only were the players dumb but technical problems plagued this segment. Howie's arguably at his best here.
#1: Who was the first host of the classic game show Let's Make A Deal? The female got this one easily: Monty Hall.
Howie: You came to the Game Show Awards and you know nothing about them. [...] Do either of you know what letter would go up there with the answer "Eubanks"? Male Contestant: (after trying to buzz-in) U. Howie: "U" know nothing!
Howie then asked the players if either knew the puzzle solution, forgetting that a correct answer had to be given first.
Howie: Voices from the back going (deep voice) "NO!"
#3: What reality competition TV show is hosted by Jeff Probst? No response, despite the fact that the previous (unaired) question was apparently "Who is the host of Survivor?"
Howie: Do either of you have a television?
And then the "S" refused to appear on the board.
Howie: This is a well-oiled machine. [...] You don't think Vanna does much, it's so tough without her. [...] I feel very alone. With all this talent sitting here they chose the one guy who goes "Open your case." [...] Does [the "S"] go up there? Do I wait for it? Do I move on? I'm smiling on the outside, but inside I'm shitting myself.
#4: Who is the announcer on tonight's show? No response!note (Rich Fields.)
Howie: I think I'm gonna win!
#5: In the primetime version of my show, how many cases are there at the beginning of the game? Female contestant buzzes-in, says..."22."
#6: What classic game show had players trying to remember where matching prizes were located on a board? Female contestant buzzes-in, says......"Concentration", a show that at the time hadn't been on the air in 15 years! (Causing, as you may expect, a stunned reply from the audience and Howie.)
With only O's not showing, she gets the answer of "Motor Scooter" and puts this game out of its misery.
The network uses a time-compression machine, which should be no big deal since 1) most time-compression machines make imperceptible changes and 2) the compression is a necessary evil, given that most of the lineup comes from an era when commercial breaks were much shorter in proportion to program length than they are now. However, the operators clearly have no idea how to run the compressor, leading to frequent video glitches and brief moments where it seems as if everyone is suddenly talking like the Micro Machines man — and the Dawson-era Family Feud intro particularly tends to get butchered. Less commonly, the compressor will "choke" and repeat a short segment multiple times at a progressively faster speed, almost giving the impression of a YouTube Poop.
Their "50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time" countdown included You Bet Your Life and The Price Is Right, while not airing an episode of either. Although not too bad on the surface, the same marathon proved that GSN did pay for a 2000 episode of Shop 'Til You Drop — a series they never aired before, and didn't add to their regular schedule until 2013— while not airing either Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy!, both of which were already on the schedule!