Game Shows on DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MattPeriolat, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Here's a thought: has anyone looking into the possiblity of releasing classic game shows on DVD? I know episodes of You Bet Your Life are out, but that seems about it. Is something like that even possible and if it were, would there be any issues with rights clearances?

    Just curious, kind of like to see some of the vintage game shows for the 60s and 70s out on DVD.
     
  2. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    The only game show I'd really love to see on DVD is press your luck, and only if a release included the time where the guy came on and had memorized the pattern of the board, and scored huge money.

    I don't know about rights issues if there are any, but and correct me if I'm wrong but game shows usually had a heck of a lot of episodes per season which might make a DVD release very difficult unless they went the best of route and I don't know how willing/ready the market is for such a thing.
     
  3. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    Consider this. A daily game show that runs for one full year has a minimum of some 260 episodes. If it airs in syndication, that's a run of some 150 episodes roughly per season.

    "What's My Line?" which ran 18 years in prime time, had 876 episodes of which 750 still exist.

    Now I think that says it all as to how viable it is to think of releasing these shows on DVD.

    The game show fan's best hope for years was Game Show Network, which for the first years of its life was heaven in terms of bringing old game shows that still exist (many shows of the 60s through even the early 80s have been wiped out of existence!) out of the vaults and letting old fans rediscover them and turning a new generation on to them. My collection boasts over 5000 individual episodes of many of these classic shows thanks to GSN.

    But alas, those glory days are now over and GSN has become a pathetic shell of its former self, ditching classic programming for boring, lame original programming or too recent fare in an effort to be trendy and edgy (why do they sound just like the nuts who dreamed up the "Battlestar Galactica" reimagining?") with a narrow demographic, while the one that fondly remembers how important game shows were as a TV staple is screwed and has to make due with what he was able to tape during the salad days.

    Sure, I'd like to see DVD become an outlet for game shows but it's never going to happen just as you'll never see the Tonight Show episodes released on DVD either. Daily programming in the game show/talk show mode just does not lend itself well to that kind of release and that's why those who love them have to content themselves with what they can do in the video trading circuit (which is quite active and a good place to find these things).
     
  4. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    I don't think season sets would work but best-ofs would be great. Maybe a Ken Jennings tribute (featuring the classic "ho" question, and a few other highlights).


    PYL is definitely my all-time favorite game show. GSN did a special all about Michael Larson called Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal. It would really be nice to have on DVD.

    I'd also love classic Match Game, Kenny vs. Spenny, and a few others.
     
  5. Sean.S

    Sean.S Stunt Coordinator

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    Just as I would love to see offical releases of the Olympic Games on DVD, I would also like to see gameshows. Why not pick the best episodes of each season or perhaps the ones with the biggest winners, funniest moments, most memorable contesants--etc. Every thing ever made lends itself to home video--it just takes a little creativity to find it the right way.

    Although I'm making my own Olympic DVDs--slowly but surely--from VHS tapes of the Athens Olympics on the networks of NBC. But, alas, the gameshows I truly want, Press Your Luck , Scrabble, 80s TPiR, 80s Wheel of Fortune, Password Plus and so on are no longer shown by GSN, which is a station that has truly gone to the dogs (and quite literally, with the case of Dog Eat Dog)
     
  6. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    Just give me complete season sets of the Pyramid game shows from 1973-81 (the ones taped in New York City), and I'll be happy. Failing that, I'll also be happy to trade for any of these, as I didn't get GSN until they had pretty much stopped running them. All I've got are the blocs of Letterman $20K shows and the Los Angeles-taped $10K ones GSN ran, plus 5-6 strays.

    This is another one of those shows that supposedly has some "lost"/erased/destroyed episodes, although at least a sizeable portion of them exists. That's depressing, as I (now 38) remember being glued to the set as a kid watching every Pyramid I could when I was not in school. As much as I love classic (c. 1955-1980) prime-time dramas and comedies that ran or were rerun when I was a kid, I could make a case that the NYC Pyramids are my all-time favorite show, period. I also remember being a tyke of 6-7 sitting in front of the set when the last original Concentration ran, and that's another show that's apparently gone (save my Shokus Video tape of one). Sigh.
     
  7. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, season sets would never work due to the huge amount of episodes. Most game shows aired 5 days or nights each week and some aired both; a network edition during the morning and a syndicated edition in the afternoon, evening, or night. They could do best-of releases though. I'd love to see....
    • Family Feud (1988-1994 CBS and syndicated episodes ('88-'93 CBS daytime & '88-'94 syndie nighttime) with Ray Combs) I'd also like to see the 1994-1995 syndicated episodes with Richard Dawson, but not before the much superior Combs episodes. To me, Ray Combs was Family Feud and Family Feud was all about Ray Combs.
    • Match Game (1973-1982 CBS and syndicated episodes ('73-'79 CBS daytime, '79-'82 syndie daytime, & '75-'81 syndie nighttime) with Gene Rayburn and 1990-1991 ABC episodes with Ross Shafer)
    • Card Sharks (1986-1989 CBS episodes with Bob Eubanks and 1986-1987 syndicated episodes with Bill Rafferty)
    • The Price Is Right (any and all CBS and syndicated episodes from 1972-present with Bob Barker ('72-present CBS daytime) and ('76-'79 syndie nighttime), Dennis James ('72-'76 syndie nighttime), Tom Kennedy ('85-'86 syndie nighttime), and Doug Davidson ('94-'95 syndie nighttime))
     
  8. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    "Just give me complete season sets of the Pyramid game shows from 1973-81 (the ones taped in New York City), and I'll be happy. This is another one of those shows that supposedly has some "lost"/erased/destroyed episodes, although at least a sizeable portion of them exists."

    This is what's known regarding the NYC era of Pyramid. The CBS shows of 73-74 are gone except for the LA ones GSN showed from late 73. For the ABC run of 74-80, the shows up to June 78 are gone (going through the title change to $20,000 Pyramid) since GSN when it had NY Pyramid on the daily schedule started with June 1978. There are a few random episodes prior to that that survive as a result of off-air tapings at the time and other tapes salvaged from the dumpster. The pre-78 episodes that survive consist of:

    March 1, 1976 (Anne Meara-Nipsey Russell) (Taped off-air by one of the contestants)

    July 6, 1976 (Loretta Swit-Clifton Davis) (Salvaged from trash dumpster)

    August 10, 1976 (Jo Anne Worley-Tony Randall) (Ditto)

    Entire week of September 12-16, 1977 featuring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy and featuring an infamous "Shatner throws the chair out of the Winner's Circle after he fouls up the bonus round" moment! Rough quality also taped off-air by home viewer

    April 28, 1978 (Adrienne Barbeau-Soupy Sales) (Taped off-air)

    And then from June 12, 1978 to the end of the run, June 27, 1980 the entire run is intact but GSN only aired shows to November 1978 when the show was on the regular schedule so I have most of those shows.

    The Bill Cullen hosted $25,000 Pyramid which aired in once a week syndication from 1974-79 is also intact, but has never aired on GSN because the episodes are controlled by Viacom which syndicated the show. A dozen episodes circulate, the result of reruns on a Long Island UHF station in the mid-80s.
     
  9. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    The Dennis James hosted Price Is Right episodes remain largely suppressed from view. Even when GSN had the rights to air TPIR reruns (They don't anymore) no James episodes aired because Bob Barker (who controls such matters) refused to let them because too many fur coats were given away on the James' shows (Barker also specifically nixed the reairing of any show he hosted where a fur coat was a prize and that included the very first show where the first prize that went up for bids was a fur coat).
     
  10. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    I just finished reading Gil Fates behind the scenes of What's My Line? (as juicy as the book was there was zilch on Dorothy Kilgallen), so I'm curious to what happened to the kinescope recordings of the other 126 episodes. Is this why GSN is missing certain weeks in the current run (right now, the rotation is in June, 1954)?

    As you can imagine, I'd love to see certain episodes of this show on DVD. Too bad everyone connected with the show is gone now (of course there is always the What's My Line at 25 special).
     
  11. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    The ones that are gone are most of the show's from the first two and a half years from 1950-52. Although a few random shows survive like the first show, most of the Goodson-Todman shows of that period were destroyed, but around mid-1952, kinescopes for their primetime shows are for the most part intact. Even after that though, some random shows turn up missing like Steve Allen's last show as a regular panelist just before the debut of "The Tonight Show" from 9/19/54. Also lost is the last episode of "I've Got A Secret" hosted by Garry Moore from 1964 when he shared the hosting duties that night with Steve and then turned things over to him.

    Regarding Dorothy Kilgallen, take everything salacious you have ever heard about the circumstances of her death, especially in regard to JFK Assassination conspiracy theories, with a proverbial grain of salt.

    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/kilgallen.txt
     
  12. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    It's a shame what GSN has become. There are still some shows I can watch, but I can no longer just leave it on that channel for hours on end. I can't personally get into watching other people play poker or blackjack, and dodgeball? Pah. Not for me.
     
  13. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    I can remember when GSN lost rights to the Goodson-Todman library in Fall 1997 and how abruptly 80% of their programming vanished in one night from the schedule. We called the next six months the "Dark Period" (even though with hindsight it wasn't so bad since that gave us are only look at shows like $20,000 Pyramid, Break The Bank, Chain Reaction and Pass The Buck) and the complaints were so great that GSN shut down it's e-mail address for viewers to contact them.

    Six months later, the Goodson library returned, but even then GSN was never the same again in that they were suddenly more selective in terms of what they would schedule. And the downward spiral has now reached its total rock bottom, punctuated by only a few occasional bright moments like the all too brief period when the Peter Marshall Hollywood Squares were brought out for the first time in decades.
     
  14. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    I'm just upset that PYL shows up once a week, while recent shows like Millionaire, Dog Eat Dog, Greed, and Weakest Link are on every night.

    I don't mind most of their other programs (I liked Extreme Dodgeball, Kenny vs. Spenny, and reruns of The Mole--can't wait for the DVD) but I'd love to see more of the 70s/80s shows.
     
  15. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    I could really give a flip about conspiracy theories [​IMG], but I was just very intrigued when I heard she had killed herself, either accidentally or suicidally. I had been watching the show for years on GSN and it, quite frankly, shocked me. She so did not seem the type to be addicted to drugs... she seemed so serious and straight-laced on the show. [​IMG] Arlene was a good balance, and they really worked well as a whole group: Steve, Arlene, Dorothy & Bennett. May they rest in peace.

    BTW Eric, the paper you linked to (and wrote) was very interesting and detailed look at Dorothy's 'part' in what went on. I, too, wonder what John Daly thought of the whole thing.
     
  16. RichardLoomis

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    I honestly can't see the point of old games shows on DVD (mind you I can't see the point of current reality shows on DVD either, so maybe I'm not the right market).

    There would be some kitsch value in older game shows, especially the variety ones, or talent shows. Anything that involvd people making utter gits of themselves.

    Something like 'Whose Line is It Anyway?' (UK or US versions) would be great, though, as the aim was comedy BY comedians, not for prizes.
     
  17. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I, for one, would love to see a DVD collection of "Password" (B&W shows).
     
  18. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    See, and most of the reason why I posed this question to begin with, was that I missed the good days of GSN and was hoping there was some way to even get a taste of what I missed. Family Feud hosted by Dawson and The Newlywed Game seem to be about it in terms of what would interest me on GSN now. Really sorry I missed stuff like Let's Make a Deal et al.

    Anyway, season sets are CLEARLY completely and utterly unrealistic. But whatsay best-ofs? I know that was suggested by others and the idea appeals to me. As I said, all I want is a bite of the apple, not the whole orchard.
     
  19. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    THIS SITE might be the best route for gathering some old-time game shows on DVD (DVD-R however). A few goodies in there.

    Some more HERE .
     
  20. Alan_H

    Alan_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Agree with you on this one too! Probably the only game show I would consider owning on DVD. Gene Rayburn is 'Da Man!
     

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