Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear ABC, We Don't Need Another Talk Show...

...let alone two. But ABC's daytime topper decided to kill off classic soaps All My Children and One Life To Life, replacing them with a cooking show and a makeover show.

My question is, why not a game show? I'd love to see two half hour games somewhere in the mix. ABC has been out of the daytime game show business since 1990, when it axed a revival of Match Game. However, I can think of several titles that are screaming for revivals.

Split Second. This is the show that made Tom Kennedy's career. It's a smart, lightning-fast hard quiz, but it needs to be done exactly the way Kennedy did it in 1974, when ABC hosted its first incarnation. Split has the challenge of multiple-part questions where you don't just want to be right, you want to be first, as demonstrated in these clips from an exciting 1974 episode. Watch and see if defending champ Marvin Shinkman can pull off a come-from-behind win:

Press Your Luck. This show was the highest-rated rerun on GSN, and it still has life in it, especially among Gen-X'ers like me who watched this show when were home from school. CBS let it die. ABC can bring it back.

The $100,000 Pyramid. It started on ABC, albeit for a lot less money. Bring it back with a lot more.

Password. Another ABC standard during the 70's. Allen Ludden may be long gone, but the original format is still strong, despite misfires with Password All-Stars and Million Dollar Password. And hey, you can almost count on getting Betty White -- Ludden's widow -- to play it again.

Tic Tac Dough. The Patrick Wayne 1990 version (and for that matter, the 1986 Jim Caldwell run) left a bad taste in a lot of mouths, but I think it's time to give this quizzer another go, if you can find the right host. This is another show with a lot of Gen-X love.

Now You See It. CBS ran two versions of this word-search game in the 1970's and late 1980's. It can be revived with some decent pacing and a return to the original 1970's format. The theme, "Chump Change" by Quincy Jones, is also one of the best game show themes ever, if not the funkiest.

Tattletales. It ran as a celebrity-gossip show, but it could easily be retooled as a game where dating couples see how much they really know about each other's personalities. Don't make it into another Newlywed Game clone with "whoopee" questions, and you'll have a game.

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