|December 1, 1994|
|Big Brains, Big Games, Big Wins!|
|Game Show Network, LLC (DirecTV - 42%, Sony Pictures Television - 58%)|
|Santa Monica, California|
Game Show Network or (GSN) is an American cable and satellite television channel that is a joint venture between DirecTV (which holds a 42% ownership stake) and Sony Pictures Television (which owns a controlling 58% interest). The channel's programming is mostly dedicated to game shows. In addition, the network also devotes itself to a few reality shows and documentary specials as well.
On May 7, 1992, Sony Pictures Entertainment joined forces with the United Video Satellite Group to launch The Game Show Channel, which was set to launch in 1993. The announcement of the channel was made by SPE president Mel Harris. Sony Pictures' holdings included those by Merv Griffin Enterprises and Barris Industries, Inc. SPE was in competition with The Family Channel in launching a game show-oriented channel when The Family Channel announced the launch of its own service called The Game Channel (which failed to launch later on June 1, 1994).
On December 2, 1992, Sony Pictures Entertainment made a deal to acquire the Barry & Enright game show library, and in a separate deal, struck a 10-year licensing agreement for the rights to the Mark Goodson game show library of more than 20,000 episodes including among others, What's My Line?, Family Feud and To Tell the Truth. Upon the deal, Sony said it would sell an equity stake in the network to Mark Goodson Productions, including the production of new original series by Jonathan Goodson Productions. Both deals were completed on December 7, 1992, eleven days before Mark Goodson's death. On June 6, 1994, Mark Goodson Productions pulled out of the venture.
Game Show Network launched at 7:00 p.m. ET on December 1, 1994. The first aired game show was Match Game '73. From 1994 until about 1997, the network aired classic pre-1972 game shows as well as game shows made after 1972, most of which came from the Mark Goodson–Bill Todman library. The network aired game shows in a 24-hour cycle, and also used live interstitials as wraparound programming. In its first few months, GSN's commercials consisted of public service announcements (PSAs), promotions for its programming and commercials related to network parent company Sony. By 1995, when the network began to expand, the network began accepting conventional advertising as it gained new sponsorships.
On October 11, 1997, the network's rights to the Goodson-Todman library expired, with the exceptions of The Price is Right and the 1994–95 season of Family Feud, which were both allowed to continue airing on the channel on a separate contract. As a result, this period, which lasted until April 18, 1998, came to be known as the "dark period" by game show fans.
With the other Goodson-Todman shows gone, lesser-known Sony properties such as Juvenile Jury, The Diamond Head Game, the 1976–77 version of Break the Bank, and the Bill Cullen-hosted games Chain Reaction and Pass the Buck all found their way onto the schedule. Shows from Chuck Barris also aired during the "dark period" such as The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, The Gong Show, Treasure Hunt and 3's a Crowd.
Game Show Network also aired a children's game show block at this time, highlighted by Joker! Joker! Joker!, Jep!, and Wheel 2000 – the respective adaptations of The Joker's Wild, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
On April 18, 1998, Game Show Network bought back the rights to the Goodson-Todman library. In late 1998, GSN eliminated all of its live programming, replacing them with in-show advertisements like Win TV. In 1999, the network began a slate of original programming, including Inquizition, All New 3's a Crowd (a remake of 3's a Crowd) and Hollywood Showdown. The channel also launched original shows such as Extreme Gong (a remake of The Gong Show) and Burt Luddin's Love Buffet, starring John Cervenka. In 2000, the network faced another setback when GSN lost the rights to broadcast The Price Is Right, with the last episode airing on April 3 of that year.
In 2001, a massive change in both leadership and programming at the network took place. Liberty Media acquired a 50% stake in the network and changed its leadership. President Michael Fleming and vice president Jake Tauber were both fired and former Fox Family Channel president Rich Cronin were hired to head the network. He and incoming vice president Bob Boden began the biggest original programming venture since the network's inception, launching Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck (a remake of Press Your Luck), Friend or Foe?, Russian Roulette, Lingo, WinTuition and Cram. In addition, in the fall of 2001, the network acquired the rights to air the classic Press Your Luck (excluding the Michael Larson episodes, due to pressure from CBS; this angered many fans, resulting in CBS eventually giving Game Show Network the rights to the Larson episodes, airing them in a separate package, as well as in conjunction with the documentary Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal).
In the fall of 2003, Game Show Network picked up the rights to the ABC version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with Regis Philbin, and in December, began airing GSN Video Games, the first program to air on the network that had nothing to do with traditional game shows. Although the show – a repackaging of somewhat dated British video game review shows (mostly Gamer.tv) – was short-lived, it was a sign of the network's change of format from Game Show Network's "all game shows, all the time" to what eventually became "GSN: The Network for Games".
On March 15, 2004 at 10:00 p.m. ET, Game Show Network began using the abbreviation "GSN" and introduced the tagline "The Network for Games", a move in line with the network expanding its programming to include the genre of reality television and various other competitions. GSN also introduced the original series World Series of Blackjack, Celebrity Blackjack, Extreme Dodgeball, Poker Royale, and the short-lived Fake-a-Date, Vegas Weddings Unveiled and Ballbreakers.
GSN also added reruns of The Mole, Average Joe, Arsenio Hall's Star Search, Kenny vs. Spenny and Spy TV, all of which were eventually removed from the schedule (though Kenny vs. Spenny was picked up for new episodes by Comedy Central in 2007). Traditional game shows Win Ben Stein's Money and Street Smarts were also acquired around this time and aired in various time slots, though neither aired regularly by mid-March 2008.
Blackjack and Poker Royale signified the beginnings of GSN's attempts to cash in on the TV poker craze at the time. In 2006, GSN introduced High Stakes Poker, a poker show with a private game format among professional players, and also aired additional series World Series of Blackjack and a spinoff, Celebrity Blackjack. One of the most popular shows from the initial TV poker boom, The World Poker Tour, was slated to move from the Travel Channel to GSN on March 24, 2008. Within a year of GSN's revamp, it began returning its focus primarily to studio-based game shows.
On February 25, 2008, GSN returned to live television games and debuted GSN Live, a live interactive call-in show, hosted by Heidi Bohay and Fred Roggin. The show was similar in format to a former Game Show Network program, Club A.M., and aired weekdays from 12 to 3 p.m. ET during breaks between the programming line-up at the time. The show featured calls from viewers, interviews with classic game show hosts and behind-the-scenes features of game shows. At three separate points in each day, interactive games were played with at-home contestants. Contestants could win anything from jewelry to GSN merchandise, or during month-long contests, a new car or a hot tub.
Coupled with some of these changes in an aggressive marketing campaign. GSN sent Alfonso Ribeiro on a promotional tour to local television stations to promote the new game show Catch 21 (which combines answering questions with the casino game of blackjack, and debuted in July 2008; the original producer of Gambit, Merrill Heatter, returned in the same capacity), while it partnered with ABC to create Play It Again! Game Show Reunion Week, a series of one-off episodes of classic game shows for the network's morning news and lifestyle program Good Morning America, in exchange for promotion of the September 2008 "Play It Back" programming blocks, which featured marathons of game shows from the 1970s through the 1990s.
In October of that year, a second season of Bingo America premiered with former Family Feud host Richard Karn as the new host, replacing Patrick Duffy. Also in 2008, GSN aired Think Like a Cat, sponsored by Meow Mix cat food, hosted by Chuck Woolery.
On June 1, 2009, GSN began airing the NBC version of Deal or No Deal.
On February 26, 2011, Norm Macdonald became the new host of GSN's High Stakes Poker. The series was quickly dropped a few days later, due to the ramifications resulting from United States v. Scheinberg, the court case that shut down several of the show's sponsors.
In March 2011, DirecTV (which by this point had taken over Liberty Media's stake in the network, which had increased to 65%) sold a 5% stake in the network back to Sony Pictures Entertainment; although DirecTV nominally remained the majority owner, it had ceded control of the network to Sony, and has the right to force Sony to increase its stake in GSN to 58%. On November 6, 2011, GSN began airing the Fox version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.
On March 14, 2012, GSN announced that it acquired the rights to the Steve Harvey version of Family Feud, and began airing these episodes on March 28. The show is currently the most popular program on the network, airing multiple times a day.
On August 23, 2012, GSN debuted The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, which became the channel's most popular program of all time, with the series premiere being watched by two million viewers. On July 14, 2012, GSN announced it acquired the rights to reruns of Minute to Win It, which began airing on July 24, 2012. Four days later, GSN announced it had re-acquired Dog Eat Dog, which debuted on July 28, 2012. On September 3, 2012, GSN debuted a revival of The $10,000 Pyramid, called The Pyramid hosted by Mike Richards. On October 8, 2012, it was announced that GSN reacquired the classic show Press Your Luck. On November 8, 2012, DirecTV sold an 18% interest in GSN to Sony.
On March 20, 2013, GSN announced that it had acquired 65 episodes of the 1980s version of the NBC game show Sale of the Century, as well as additional episodes of Press Your Luck and the 1975-77 episodes of Match Game. It was also announced that the Richard Dawson version of Family Feud would be leaving the schedule for the first time in network history.
On June 25, 2013, GSN debuted a revival of Minute to Win It hosted by Apolo Ohno. The series was put on a brief hiatus in late-2013 due to low ratings. The second season premiered on February 25, 2014.
On August 6, 2013, GSN debuted The Chase hosted by Brooke Burns and featuring Mark Labbett as "The Beast". On October 30, 2013, GSN announced it had re-acquired the Bob Saget version of 1 vs. 100, which returned to the schedule on November 5, 2013, immediately following the Season 2 premiere of The Chase.
On November 13, 2013, GSN announced it had acquired the Pat Finn-hosted game show Shop 'til You Drop, as well as the 1980-82 version of Blockbusters and the 1985-86 syndicated version of Sale of the Century, which began December 2.
In a 2014 upfront slate, GSN announced new seasons of The American Bible Challenge and The Chase, new original programming such as It Takes a Church and Skin Wars, and the possibility of tripling the network's amount of original programming throughout the next year.
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- Beat the Clock (All except 2002 version)
- The Better Sex
- Blockbusters (Cullen and Rafferty)
- Body Language
- Card Sharks (All except 2001 version)
- Child's Play
- Choose Up Sides
- Double Dare (Trebek)
- Family Feud (All including two "Battle of the Beach" Anderson episodes from 2000)
- Family Feud Challenge (1992-1993)
- Get the Message
- He Said, She Said
- I've Got a Secret (All except 1976 and 2000 versions)
- It's News to Me
- Judge For Yourself
- The Match Game
- Match Game (All except 2016 version)
- Make the Connection
- The Name's the Same
- Now You See It (Narz only, Chuck Henry does not want his 1989 eps aired)
- Number Please
- Password Plus (Ludden, Cullen & Kennedy)
- Play Your Hunch
- The Price is Right (All except Davidson version and post 2000 eps)
- Super Password (Convy)
- To Tell the Truth (All except 2016 version)
- Trivia Trap
- TV's Funniest Game Show Moments (1984 Special)
- Two for the Money
- What's Going On?
- What's My Line?
- What's My Line? at 25 (1975 Special)
- Winner Take All (Barry Gray/Bill Cullen eps)
Goodson-Todman Related ProgramsEdit
- Celebrity Family Feud (Kardashian/Sanders/Barber/McMahon 2008 ep)
- I've Got a Secret (Dwyer)
- Million Dollar Password (Philbin)
- The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank (2006 Documentary special)
Non Goodson-Todman Classic ProgramsEdit
- 1 vs 100 (Saget)
- The $1.98 Beauty Show
- The $10,000 Pyramid
- The $20,000 Pyramid
- The $25,000 Pyramid (Clark)
- The New $25,000 Pyramid
- The $100,000 Pyramid (Clark)
- The $10,000 Sweep (1972 Unsold Pilot)
- 3's A Crowd (Peck)
- All About Faces
- All About the Opposite Sex
- All Star Secrets
- The Amazing Race
- Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (FOX version)
- Average Joe
- Babble (1984 Unsold Pilot)
- Bet Your Life (2004 Next Action Star Movie)
- Break the Bank (1976-1977 version)
- Bumper Stumpers
- Camouflage (1980s version)
- Cash Cab
- Celebrity Charades
- Celebrity Mole (Hawaii version)
- Chain Reaction (All except $40,000 eps)
- Cop-Out! (1972 Unsold Pilot)
- Crosswits (Sparks)
- Dancing With the Stars (Seasons 4-11)
- The Dating Game
- Deal or No Deal (NBC & Syn.)
- The Diamond Head Game
- Dog Eat Dog
- Dollar a Second (1981 Unsold Pilot)
- Double Talk
- Eye Guess
- Family Challenge
- The Face is Familiar
- The Fun Factory
- The Game Game
- Game Show Moments Gone Bananas (five episode VH1 series hosted by Ben Stein)
- Get Rich Quick! (1977 Unsold Pilot)
- The Gong Show ('70s version)
- Headline Chasers
- Hold Everything!
- The Hollywood Connection
- Hollywood Game Night
- Hollywood Squares (All except the '86-'89 Davidson version)
- Hot Potato
- Jackpot! (80s-90s versions)
- The Joker's Wild (All except 1990 Pat Finn version)
- Joker! Joker! Joker!
- The Junior Pyramid
- Juvenile Jury
- Let's Ask America
- Let's Make a Deal (1963 pilot, 70's & 1984 versions)
- Love Connection (Woolery)
- Minute to Win It (Original NBC version hosted by Guy Fieri)
- The Mole
- Monday Night Quarterback (1971 Unsold Pilot)
- Monopoly Millionaires' Club (Never Aired)
- The Newlywed Game (All except Rodriguez and Kroger versions)
- The Next Action Star
- The Parent Game
- Pass the Buck
- Perfect Match (Enberg)
- Play the Percentages
- Power of 10
- Press Your Luck (All except the late 1985 to 1986 episodes)
- Pyramid (2002-04 Osmond version)
- The Quiz Kids Challenge
- The Riddlers (1977 Unsold Pilot)
- Rock & Roll Jeopardy!
- Sale of the Century (1985 Syn. & 1988-1989 NBC Daytime eps)
- Says Who? (1971 Unsold Pilot)
- Scare Tactics (Reality prank show/Morgan only)
- Second Guessers (1969 Unsold Pilot)
- Shoot For the Stars (Pilot entitled "Shoot the Works")
- Shop 'Til You Drop (Finn)
- Show Me the Money
- Spy TV (Reality prank show)
- Star Search (2003-2004 CBS Hall version)
- Storybook Squares (an ep from 1977)
- Street Smarts
- Super Jeopardy!
- Tic Tac Dough (Syndicated Martindale/Caldwell eps only)
- Treasure Hunt (New and 80's versions)
- Twenty One (2000s Version)
- Twisters (1982 Unsold Pilot)
- The Weakest Link (NBC/Syn. versions)
- Wheel of Fortune (Woolery '76 and NBC/Syn. Sajak eps)
- Wheel 2000
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Philbin/Vieira versions)
- Who Wants to Be a Super Millionaire (Philbin version)
- Wild Animal Games
- Win Ben Stein's Money (Kimmel eps.)
- Win, Lose or Draw (Convy)
- Winning Streak
Non Goodson-Todman Original ProgramsEdit
Note: This list includes some revivals of game shows made for GSN.
- 1 vs 100 (Inaba)
- 100 Winners
- 2009 Game Show Awards
- 50 Greatest Game Shows of All Time
- Ace In The House
- All-New 3's A Crowd (Thicke)
- The American Bible Challenge
- American Dream Derby
- Annie Duke Takes on the World
- Anything To Win
- As Seen On...
- Baggage First Dates (Special)
- Baggage: Most Outrageous Moments (Special)
- Baggage on the Road
- Beat The Chefs
- Bet Your Life
- Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal
- Big Saturday Night
- Bingo America
- Bingo Blitz
- Burt Luddin's Love Buffet
- Camouflage (2007 version)
- Carnie Wilson: Unstapled
- Catch 21
- Celebrities and Game Shows
- Chain Reaction (Lane & Catherwood)
- The Chase
- The Chuck Barris Story: My Life On The Edge
- Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned
- Celebrity Blackjack
- Celebrities & Game Shows
- Club A.M.
- Decades (5 min. "wraparound" game)
- Divided (sneak peak episode on November 25, 2016/series premieres in January 2017)
- DJ Games
- Dog Park Superstars
- Doubles Poker Championship
- Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza
- Extreme Dodgeball
- Extreme Gong
- Family Trade
- Faux Pause
- Foul Play (a one hour hidden camera special)
- Friend or Foe?
- Games Across America
- Game Show Countdown: Top 10 Hosts
- Game Show Flashback
- Game Show Greatest Moments
- Game Show Hall of Fame: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
- Game TV
- Get Schooled Games Tournament
- Grand Slam
- GSN Live
- GSN Radio (only available online at GSN.COM/Radio)
- GSN Video Games (a short-lived hour block between Gamer.tv & Game Sauce)
- Hidden Agenda
- High Stakes Poker
- Hollywood Showdown (originally PAX/I/ION Television, then moved to TV Guide Channel/Network)
- How Much is Enough?
- Insiders Guide To Winning Game Show Millions
- Instant Recall
- It Takes a Church
- Late Night Liars
- Lie Detectors
- The Line (2014 Special)
- Lingo (Woolery and Engvall)
- Lover's Lounge
- Love Triangle
- The Making of a Game Show: Catch 21
- The Making of The American Bible Challenge
- Mall Masters
- Man V Fly
- Million Dollar Poker Challenge
- Mind of a Man
- Minute to Win It (Ohno)
- The Money List (Roggin)
- National Lampoon's Funny Money
- National Lampoon's Greek Games
- National Vocabulary Championship
- The Newlywed Game
- Play It Back: (70's/80's/90's) Game Shows
- PlayMania "Block" (a block between 100 Winners & quiznation)
- Poker Royale
- Pokerstars.net Carribean Adventure/Pokerstars Carribean Adventure
- Political Idiotest (2016 spinoff special)
- Prime Games
- The Pyramid
- Race For The Numbers (5 min. "wraparound" game)
- Russian Roulette
- Skin Wars
- Skin Wars: Fresh Paint (2015 spinoff special; later as a regular series in 2016)
- Snap Decision (also airs in syndication on Sinclair own stations)
- Super Decades
- That's the Question
- Think Like a Cat
- Three Card Poker National Tournament Championship
- Throut and Neck
- Trivia Track
- Ultimatebet.net Aruba Classic
- Vegas Wedding's Unveiled
- Video Game Invasion: The History of a Global Obsession
- Whammy!: The All-New Press Your Luck (Newton)
- When Did That Happen?
- Who Wants to Be Governor of California?: The Debating Game
- Wide World of Games
- Window Warriors
- Win TV
- Without Prejudice?
- The Women Who Changed Game Shows
- Word Slam!
- World Blackjack Tour
- World Poker Tour
- World Series of Blackjack
- Worldwide Web Games
- You Win Live
International Non-Goodson-Todman ProgramsEdit
- Aussie Millions
- Kenny vs. Spenny
- Who Dares Wins