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Television cable network founded in 1994, dedicated to the Game Show genre. In particular, Game Show Network was founded to air reruns of classic TV game shows from the 1950s onward. Starting in the late 1990s, the network began creating its own, starting with live, call-in programs and eventually branching out into original formats and revivals of obscure formats.

At first, the network's rerun lineup ran the gamut from Goodson-Todman stalwarts such as The Price Is Right, Password, Family Feud, and Match Game to other familiar programs owned by Sony (such as Pyramid, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Tic-Tac-Dough, The Newlywed Game, and The Jokers Wild). Over time, the lineup has undergone countless changes, thanks in no small part to some degree of Network Decay.

The current schedule is sometimes criticized by fans for relying too much on fairly recent material (One Versus a Hundred, Deal or No Deal, the Richard Karn / John O'Hurley / Steve Harvey seasons of Family Feud) and material that doesn't quite qualify as game shows (High Stakes Poker, Dancing With the Stars).


Original GSN programming, counting revivals of existing formats:

Tropes used in GSN include:
  • April Fools' Day: In 2003, all of the hosts of the network's original shows at the time traded places, except for Chuck Woolery who stayed with Lingo. That day's Lingo featured four of the hosts playing a charity game against each other, with remaining host Todd Newton serving as announcer/comic relief.
    • Funny Aneurysm Moment: It was also the last first-run episodes of Russian Roulette, Friend or Foe?, and WinTuition.
  • Credits Pushback: Done annoyingly, to the point of illegibility and even cutting off the Vanity Plates on most shows. Most of the time, this also nullifies the fee plugs read by The Announcer (though those, strangely, are still closed-captioned). They at least have the decency not to crunch Let's Make a Deal (since Monty Hall made mini-deals with the audience throughout the credits) or the Black and White Overnite shows.
    • They've even done this to super-rare stuff they pull out of the archive for a special reason — two big examples being that 1971 episode of Password and those three daytime episodes of Wheel of Fortune. If you're going to pull out something rare, at least have the decency and respect to air it unedited.
  • Epic Fail: Name It/Claim It on the Game Show Awards. Two contestants answer questions about game shows, with the first letter of each answer going into a puzzle. The first contestant to solve the puzzle wins the solution, which is a prize. Simple, but dumb contestants and technical problems plagued this segment. Howie Mandel is 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.
    • #2: What Bob was the original host of The Newlywed Game? No response.

 Howie Mandel: 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 "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! [1]

 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 hasn't been on the air in 15 years! (Causing, as you may expect, a stunned reply from the audience and Howie.)
    • With only Os not showing, she gets the answer of "Motor Scooter" and puts this game out of its misery.
  • Missing Episode: Some episodes of Match Game and The Hollywood Squares have been taken out of rerun packages because they contained racial slurs. At least one Match Game episode was pulled because it had tape errors.
  • The Remake: Done often to obscurities. The Chuck Woolery-hosted revival of Lingo was by far the best received, and Catch 21 is considered a worthy Gambit revamp with minimal changes to what had been a winning format. Chain Reaction, Extreme Gong, and Bill Engvall's Lingo, on the other hand...

Notes

  1. (Rich Fields.)
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