Follow TV Tropes

Following

Old Shame / Game Show

Go To


    open/close all folders 

    In general... 
  • The Quiz Show Scandals of the 1950s were this for some time. When Dan Enright was exposed as having rigged several game shows (most notably 21), many networks scrubbed clean of most, if not all, of their game shows at that point. When they eventually regained confidence in the genre, they took great steps to make sure an incident like what happened on Twenty-One never happened again. Some networks placed a soft cap on how much accumulated winnings a champion could win before they were retired note . It was finally in 1999 that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? seemed to bring back the huge prize purses.

    Shows 
  • Art James hosted a show called Blank Check from January to July 1975, which he and the staff called "Blank Mind" because they thought it was an overly simple number-guessing game with no skill, designed to cash in on the ESP craze at the time. (One wonders what he would've thought of Deal or No Deal, since at least Blank Check had on-the-buzzer questions...)
    • The only exception was its co-creator Dan Enright. When The Price Is Right had a pricing game called "Blank Check", Enright threatened to sue Mark Goodson Productions over trademark infringement. That game was eventually renamed "Check Game".
  • Ever since Steve Harvey gained popularity on Family Feud, Fremantle Media has been pushing aside the versions with prior hosts:
    • Dawson's original run is the only version to air on Buzzr, although as of September 2021 it airs in the most dead of hours. They did put a little-known blooper on their offical YouTube channel the day after he died, likely out of pity. Dawson's 1994 return was pulled from GSN before 2000 and only aired once since in the wake of Dawson's death.
    • The Combs edition ran on GSN for many years as a companion piece to Dawson's version before being dropped in the mid-2000s. That network and Buzzr have reran it sporadically since, though its only current availability is YouTube.
      • Particularly, episodes featuring the Bullseye round were rare even while the Combs era was running regularly. Family Feud Challenge hasn't been seen on GSN since before the Dark Period; New Family Feud (Combs' last two syndicated seasons, with the Bullseye game) was last seen on the network in 2008.
    • In the case of Louie Anderson and Richard Karn, their runs are divisive among fans. Anderson's version was rerun on PAX from 2002-04 and was last seen as part of a GSN Feud marathon during Thanksgiving 2013. The Karn and O'Hurley runs disappeared on GSN as Harvey's reruns were racking in the ratings for the network.
  • Jeopardy!:
    • The March 1986 five-day champion reign of Barbara Lowe is basically forgotten now, as she was considered by many fans to be a Jerkass, and she lied on her application as to her frequent past game show appearances under aliases, which violated her eligibility requirements. Her episodes have never rerun, either, despite her first win coming over Lionel Goldbart, a four-day champion and eventual Tournament of Champions competitor (they discovered the lies after her 5th and final game, and they barred her from the tournament. They also refused to give her the winnings until she threatened to sue the studio).
    • The same treatment has been given to Season 30 5-time champion Jerry Slowik, who did meet eligibility requirements, but got arrested for an unlawful sex act, prompting Jeopardy! to drop him from the 2014 Tournament Of Champions and replace him with Mark Japinga, the 4-time champion who had the most money in that cycle. (That said, his episodes haven't been barred from reruns; at least one aired during the 2014-2015 weekend rerun cycle.)
    • The Kids' Weeks, which were done from 1999-2014, became this thanks to a couple of sportsmanship issues. The first in 2013 had media outlets and angry Facebook posts ignoring a $66,600 win in favor of a judgment call that didn't affect the game. The following year, the Sony hacks uncovered Alex Trebek's feud with a Stage Mom who demanded that an act be re-shot. The show hasn't done Kids' Weeks since, and the series has all but distanced itself from them.
    • Jep!, a kids' oriented spinoff from the late 1990s which incorporated Double Dare (1986)-esque stunt rounds, was quickly forgotten.
  • The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour:
    • According to the show's announcer, Gene Wood, Gene Rayburn was "dragged kicking and screaming" into the Hour and disliked working with co-host Jon Bauman. Contrary to popular belief, Rayburn did not place an embargo on reruns, even though he would've had plenty of reason to complain note .
    • Hour was also this for longtime Goodson-Todman producer Ira Skutch who called it "misbegotten". Skutch was so displeased that he severed ties with Goodson after it was cancelled.
  • The Price Is Right:
    • Fur coats (and, in at least five instances, live dogs) used to be offered as prizes. Obviously, this was long before Bob Barker became an animal-rights activist, and per his wishes none of the fur coat episodes were ever rerun. note 
      • Among the fur-containing episodes are the first three episodes ever taped, the last of which went unaired (and got replaced six days later) due to an ineligible contestant. BCI, which wanted to put the whole first week on the DVD set, offered to donate to Barker's favorite charities and/or put a disclaimer before the offending shows. Barker declined.
    • Dennis James' five years (1972-77) as host of the nighttime version, which frequently offered fur coats. That would be fine, if the remainder that could be legally aired hadn't been shunned by GSN at the same time they were doing "Game of the Week" during the Sunday Night In Black And White block. Only one James episode was aired by the network, and then only twice — a daytime show (December 25, 1974) where he filled-in for Barker, which pretty much amounts to a "pity airing" since it followed James' death in 1997. Further compounding matters is that his involvement with Price predates that of CBS, which in turn predates that of Barker (who initially wanted nothing to do with it).
      • Notably, Price itself finally acknowledged Dennis James by posting clips of a nighttime episode (specifically, a lady winning a Showcase with an airplane in early 1976) to its official YouTube page in September 2012.
    • Drew Carey, who took over for original host Bob Barker in Season 36, attempted in Season 37 to change the Showcases at the end of the show into little skits that were often demeaning to then-announcer Rich Fields. Such skits, dubbed "Drewcases" by the fans, were mostly poorly received and deemed unfunny by the fanbase (particularly the infamous "fried chicken" one). Carey got the message and stopped doing them, and later admitted that they didn't work.
    • The original Price Is Right with Bill Cullen averted any shame and ensured it. A viewer from New York City was arrested for attempting to bribe the producers into selecting his home sweepstakes entry. Then, as the Quiz Show Scandals broke, there was an accusation that producers were instructing certain contestants to not exceed a certain price ceiling. The accusations were never proven.
    • Retired pricing games are often this to the staff, most notably the short-lived Telephone Game which was "lame" according to Roger Dobkowitz. Buy or Sell, Give or Keep and Joker were also disliked by many of the production staff, although all three games lasted at least thirteen years each in the rotation.
  • Wheel of Fortune:
    • The show has pretty much refused to acknowledge two of the three pilots. The first (Shopper's Bazaar, taped in September 1973 with Chuck Woolery as host) had little in common with the final product other than the overall mechanic of "hangman meets roulette". The two pilots shot under the title Wheel of Fortune on August 28, 1974, more closely resembled what made it to air, albeit with a drunken Edd "Kookie" Byrnes hosting. In the E! True Hollywood Story, showrunner Merv Griffin and NBC boss Lin Bolen pretty much disowned all three. Outside two brief clips from the first Byrnes pilot on the ceremonial 3,000th show in 1998 and about five publicity shots of Bazaar, no trace of them was made public until all three note  surfaced on YouTube during 2012. To say the fandom rejoiced would be a big understatement.
    • While the show started on NBC's daytime schedule in 1975, the version more familiar to viewers is the nighttime syndicated version, which began in 1983. Acknowledgments of daytime overall are rare, although they may be somewhat justified as a large part of the first 10 years was erased thanks to idiocy at not only NBC, but also Merv's company. This means little acknowledgment of original daytime host-hostess tandem Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford (who were replaced in 1981 and 1982, respectively, by Pat Sajak and Vanna White — the same pair that has helmed nighttime since day one). Likewise, there is little to no acknowledgment of the two men who took Pat's place after he stepped down from daytime in 1989 to do a talk show: Rolf Benirschke note  and (after a Channel Hop to CBS) Bob Goen. In short, the show has sort of undergone an Adaptation Displacement of itself, as the nighttime version outshone daytime and continues to this day with Pat and Vanna.
    • David Sidoni and Tanika Ray co-hosted the short-lived Wheel 2000, a No Budget children's version that aired on CBS in 1997-98. Much like its kiddie companion Jep!, it is largely forgotten and has rarely aired since.
    • The lack of acknowledging Rolf Benirschke, who enjoyed hosting his six-month stint on the daytime version, is particularly sore. His stint was indirectly acknowledged on February 20, 2013, when footage of the bonus puzzle from Rolf's premiere (THE HIMALAYAS) aired after Round 2. Wheel has done quite a few things with his team, the then San Diego Chargers, over the years.
    • Most of the staff, especially Pat, hated the Megaword category from the 1994-95 season—that category took an often obscure, long word and turned it into a puzzle. He mocked it several times during the season, and even Vanna White and Charlie O'Donnell got in on the mocking a few times. Also, when special-needs contestant Trent Girone (a huge fan of the show) brought it up in 2014, Pat was not too pleased to hear that.
    • The staff seems very reluctant to dig deep into the vault for vintage Wheel episodes. While classic episodes of Jeopardy! have made their way to streaming sites and summer reruns, it's a different story for Wheel. The furthest they went back in syndication during the coronavirus pandemic was 2016, and the oldest episodes that GSN has most recently aired were from 2013. The last time any episode prior to the 21st century aired on television was when GSN aired the 1994-95 season from 2008-10. The last time anything from the 1980's (or 70's) was seen was during GSN's Merv Griffin tribute marathon in 2007. In addition, the vintage clips that occasionally get replayed on the show are usually the same selection of clips, the most frequent of which are Pat and Vanna having a pie fight (1991), Pat and Vanna in a hot tub (early 90's), Pat cutting Vanna's hair (1995), a college contestant solving GOPHER with only the last two letters (2001), and a shocked Vanna revealing a bald Pat (April Fools' Day 2008).
Advertisement:

    Creators 
  • The two Press Your Luck episodes featuring Michael Larson (who memorized the big board's patterns to win $110,237 in cash and prizes) were banned by CBS and producer Bill Carruthers from being rerun for 19 years, as they saw the Larson episodes as an embarrassment. Outside tape trading, they weren't officially broadcast until GSN's documentary Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal aired in March 2003.
  • The eighth syndicated season of The Joker's Wild was to begin in Fall 1984 with Jack Barry announcing his retirement and passing the mic to Jim Peck on the premiere. Barry died shortly after wrapping up the previous season, and his partner Dan Enright had doubts on whether or not Peck could regularly carry the show. Enright instead called on Bill Cullen to host, a move that angered key staffers to the point of resignations. With Cullen in his mid-sixties at this point and not quite as sharp as he had been even earlier in the decade, The Joker's Wild lasted two more seasons before getting the axe. Enright later regretted his decision to snub Peck.
  • Mark Goodson, the man behind many famous game show formats, once called his 1954 game What's Going On? his worst. The show involved celebrities doing an activity from the live remote while the panel tried to guess the activity. It lasted only five episodes and was greatly hampered by the still-developing TV broadcasting technology of the 1950s.

    Hosts 
  • Although he isn't known to have said it in-show and hosted it with the same avuncular nature he gave all of his other work, Bill Cullen thought his short-lived game Winning Streak "just didn't work".
  • Bob Eubanks:
    • The Diamond Head Game, a dull quiz with a tacked-on Hawaiian theme, is "the worst piece of boop-boop that anybody has ever witnessed", if his quote from Card Sharks is to be believed.
    • It had long since reached Urban Legend status that a lady on The Newlywed Game gave "in the ass" as an answer to "Where is the weirdest place you've ever gotten the urge to make whoopie?" For years, Eubanks denied that it ever happened, although this could be due to mis-remembered details. Many people thought it was a black lady who gave the answer assertively; when the clip finally surfaced (on GSN), it turned out to be a white lady named Olga who said it questioningly. The clip appeared on several blooper shows that Eubanks hosted or co-hosted (always censored, except for its appearances in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Alex Trebek's Game Changers documentary), and on one such special Eubanks remarked, "I hope we bury it!"
    • He never liked Trivia Trap because he didn't think its format made sense (players worked to eliminate the wrong answers instead of just providing the right one), so the format was overhauled partway through the run...into a rather lackluster Q&A with an Artifact Title.
    • He also didn't care much for Dream House, calling it "Dream Furniture".
  • The one episode of You're in the Picture that aired on January 20, 1961, was so horrible that a week later, its timeslot was filled by host Jackie Gleason on an empty stage apologizing for how horrible it was. Ironically, the apology was far more well received than the original show was, and led to Gleason doing a one-on-one talk show format called The Jackie Gleason Show. This show reached the #4 spot in the book What Were They Thinking? The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History.
  • Monty Hall never looked back at his hosting tenure on Beat the Clock with fondness, later saying: "The people were asked to do stupid stunts and so on. I just didn't care for it." The only reason he was even picked was because CBS had him under contract at the time, and up to that point hadn't found anything for him to do, and hence was forced to host.
  • Tom Kennedy's first game show was Big Game, which aired for about 20 episodes in 1958. It was a bit like a mini-version of Battleship, but with questions and a hunting theme. Oh, and Kennedy wore a pith helmet. Decades later, after watching the one existing episode, Kennedy said he was "absolutely pitiful".
  • One of Regis Philbin's first TV shows was The Neighbors, a lame knockoff of The Newlywed Game which asked gossip questions of five (always female) neighbors. The A&E Biography on Philbin failed to mention it, and he was none too thrilled when Alex Trebek brought it up on an episode of Live With Regis and Kelly.
  • Gene Rayburn:
    • Gene didn't have fond memories of The Amateur's Guide to Love which aired for 13 weeks on CBS because the hidden camera atmosphere reduced his ability to be spontaneous in-studio.
    • He also declared an embargo on his version of Break the Bank, as he wasn't happy with his performance and the behind-the-scenes issues.
  • Peter Tomarken reportedly called the 1987 game show / home shopping hybrid Bargain Hunters "a piece of shit".
  • Alex Trebek:
    • During a 2002 episode of Jeopardy!, Alex accidentally referred to his first American game show The Wizard of Odds as The Wizard of Oz. He later admitted that it was "easily forgotten", and jokingly asked "Was it me or was it the show?" before confirming it was the latter.
    • He considered Pitfall! one of the low points of his career, largely because his paycheck from the show bounced (he had it framed in his office). The production company, Catalena Productions, filed for bankruptcy at the midpoint of the show's lifespan which also resulted in many of Pitfall's contestants not receiving prizes they'd won. Trebek wasn't exactly pleased when a contestant brought it up as "the best thing ever" when he was young on an episode of Jeopardy! some years later, and he jabbed the contestant by saying that program was the one time he was "stiffed for his salary".


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report