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16 Game Shows That Need To Return To TV

Because when it comes to these game shows, everyone's a winner.

1. Supermarket Sweep

Al Howard Productions

Anyone who claims to have never experienced a desire to sprint down the aisles of their supermarket and frantically toss all the goods they could reach into their shopping cart is a liar, plain and simple. Supermarket Sweep brought such a level of exhilaration to the mundane task of grocery shopping that viewers couldn't help but be swept away themselves in the action. How many people have stood in their supermarket checkout lines, heard the beep, and wished they could compete on the show? It's time to make that possibility into a reality again.

2. Match Game

Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions

There were many iterations of this show, but the ones that matter all share a few characteristics. First, they were hosted by the inimitable Gene Rayburn. Second, the panelists included Charles Nelson Reilly and Brett Somers, who spent the entire show basically gossiping amongst themselves. And third, they were filled with incredible amounts of sexual innuendo that everyone had to try to tiptoe around so as not to take the show from a theoretical PG rating to an R.

The personalities were what made Match Game so entertaining and so hilarious β€” and with the right cast, a modern reboot could be incredible.

3. Press Your Luck

The Carruthers Company

Briefly brought back in the early '00s as Whammy, the original Press Your Luck aired in the mid-'80s. The format involved contestants answering trivia questions in order to earn spins on the board, which could win them cash and prizes if they were able to avoid hitting a Whammy. Listening to contestants repeat the same mantra over and over as they take their turns β€” "Big money, big money, no Whammies, aaaand STOP!" β€” becomes almost soothing in its constancy.

And if you're a fan of game show scandals, learn about the contestant who figured out how to game the system and won over $100,000 in the process.

4. Legends of the Hidden Temple


One of the most popular game shows among true ~'90s kids~, Legends of the Hidden Temple is itself an absolute legend. Watching young children run through a faux-temple futilely trying to complete basic tasks like putting three pieces of a sculpture together is one of the best TV experiences you can have. And even if it was all a bit ridiculous, there was actually a little bit of interesting history in every episode.


5. Beat the Clock

Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions

Although the recent Minute to Win It was basically the same concept, Beat the Clock is clearly the better incarnation of the show. One of the best parts of the game was that most of the stunts contestants were tasked with performing utilized simple household goods, meaning that they could often be recreated, for the most part, by viewers who wanted to challenge themselves. Why is it so entertaining watching regular people make fools of themselves in the name of money? Who knows. But it is.

6. Password


You might know this show because of SNL's "Secret Word" parody, but if you've never seen the original, it's time for that to change. One of the best things to do while watching the show was to cover the bottom of the screen, where the password would be displayed before each round, and try to play along with the contestants. Celebrity players have included Betty White β€” so why not get a reboot going now and bring her back to the show?

7. Hollywood Squares

King World

Originating in the '60s with Paul Lynde as the center square and a cast that included Joan Rivers and Florence Henderson, and then revived in the late '90s with Whoopi Goldberg taking over the center, Hollywood Squares is due for yet another comeback. The interaction between the host and celebrities, as with Match Game, is what really makes the show so successful. Tom Bergeron, who hosted the '90s version, is still in the hosting business β€” maybe a reboot could lure him away from Dancing With the Stars. Probably not, but maybe.

8. Cash Cab

Discovery Channel

Who hasn't dreamed of hopping in a cab, expecting a boring ride to their destination, only to be suddenly thrust into the brightly-colored world of the Cash Cab? Even the losers on this show win β€” you get a free cab ride to your destination, or, provided you don't totally screw it up, at least somewhere close to your destination. So what if the contestants are actually chosen ahead of time, and it's not all as ~fun~ and ~spontaneous~ as it seems? KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE.

9. What's My Line?


Looks can be deceiving, and that's exactly what made What's My Line? such a success. As four celebrity panelists attempted to guess what each contestant did for a living, the audience got to see how every occupation under the sun was filled with people who both did, and didn't, fit the mold. Plus, the panelists always looked so fancy, which is a quality severely lacking in modern game shows.

10. Tic-Tac-Dough

Barry & Enright Productions

Everyone loves Tic-Tac-Toe. And when money is involved? It only gets better.

Really, nothing else needs to be said.

11. The Newlywed Game

Chuck Barris Productions

Yes, there was a reboot of this show on the air not that long ago. But that doesn't mean it's undeserving of yet another comeback. The show that introduced us all to the euphemism "making whoopie" is a hilarious, occasionally insightful, often inappropriate window into the world of marriage. Sure, there were some episodes where you figured at least one of the couples should be heading straight from the studio to the courthouse for a divorce, but that unpredictability is what makes the show so exciting.

12. Double Dare


Yeah, there was trivia involved, but the real fun of Double Dare were the challenges (or "dares," if you will). The family version was perhaps the best of all because you had slightly reluctant parents being forced through slippery and slimy obstacle courses as the true nature of what they agreed to do dawned on them. In many ways, this is a spiritual descendent of Beat the Clock, just aimed at a younger audience. And, also like Beat the Clock, it needs to come back to TV.

13. Baggage

Game Show Network

Was this show one of the trashiest dating shows to ever air? Possibly. But that doesn't negate the voyeuristic hilarity that comes from watching people expose some of the weirdest secrets about their personal lives. This show was one of those train wrecks you can't look away from, no matter how hard you tried.

14. Lingo

Game Show Network

The game show of choice for word nerds, Lingo was like regular bingo times 10. Whereas bingo is thought of as a game only elderly, retirement home-dwellers play, Lingo added an extra layer to the process that made it entertaining for people of all ages. And despite how much fun it was to guess along with contestants, there was nothing quite as entertaining as a contestant realizing that time is running out and only being able to think of a highly inappropriate word to blurt out in order to try to salvage the round.

15. Pyramid

Bob Stewart Productions

Hosted for much of its run by the one-and-only Dick Clark, the various iterations of Pyramid (based on the maximum prize value available) made for some of the best game show viewing ever. The show was basically Password with themes, but the brightly colored set and "pyramid" conceit, even if they didn't affect the gameplay too much, made the show stand out from its predecessor. Plus, this show brought us the tension and intrigue of the Winner's Circle, the grand prize round that often led to home audiences screaming at their televisions in frustration as clues went unguessed. A reboot of the series would be a fine way to honor the legacy of the late Mr. Clark.

16. The Weakest Link


"You are the weakest link. Goodbye!" Six words that hang over game show history as a pristine example of the type of ruthless simplicity that can elevate a trivia program from merely interesting into becoming a cultural phenomenon. Host Anne Robinson was a master of her craft, dropping the guillotine with poise and precision as she eliminated contestant after contestant. And though The Weakest Link aired in the United Kingdom up until a few years ago, it's been over a decade since American audiences were treated to its charms. We want more!

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