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Game on: Game shows prove that simple television works

The premise of the traditional game show hasn't changed much in the last fifty years or so, but that simple formula of contestant meets game with prizes of some sort on the line has withstood not only the test of time but an influx of other choices on television.
Talking about game shows shouldn't be confused with a multitude of so called reality television shows like "Survivor" or the now canceled "Fear Factor," which carried unrealistic premises like surviving time in the jungle or eating dead animals for money, respectively.
Game shows, to most of us, means timeless classics like "The Price is Right," "Let's Make a Deal," and the still wildly popular "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune." These shows still have a demographic that watches them on a consistent basis in syndication, and newer game shows like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and "Game Night," prove that the game show template still has some legs when it comes to drawing ratings and finding a place on the network schedules.
It's rather refreshing that game shows still have a place as part of entertainment and pop culture, especially in the midst of television programming that often is unwatchable based on ideas and reality shows that struggle to be passable, much less worth your time.
Shows like "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" are fun, educational and don't stray much from their original formats. And that's obviously been just fine for viewers. Watching regular people vie for money and prizes translates and appeals to generations no matter what year it might be. The concept is universally appealing, exciting to watch and doesn't do to much within the span of a 30 minute show.

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Today's television options seem content on showcasing the ridiculous or unrealistic to the point that it becomes hard to relate to it for the masses. Those shows might be entertaining to a degree but eventually lose their appeal once the sight gag of sorts runs its course.
To the credit of shows like "Family Feud" and the other aforementioned ones, they haven't totally turned their back on changing with the time, either. That includes marketing the shows to a younger crowd by offering apps for cell phones and tablet so that a younger crowd can enjoy the games, too. In addition, they'll throw in a few shows such as college kids week or infuse a few celebrities into the mix just for a change of pace.
NBC's "Game Night" is a tremendous example of how celebrities in entertaining and modest roles serve to enhance a simple show that is essentially a higher end version of charades.
The game show and the original creators deserve plenty of adulation and pats on the back for not only devising shows that are all encompassing and beloved but also proves that longevity in television certainly is plausible.

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