The Return of Game Night: Game Shows’ Resurgence


Source: BBC One

Game shows are hot. The light and family-friendly content in game shows appeal to viewers seeking a respite from the over-saturated drama and reality landscape, as well as the intense news cycle. Broadcasters are drawn by the relatively low cost of production and advertiser-friendly format.

Game Show Reboots

With the return of shows like The Gong Show, The $100,000 Pyramid, and The Love Connection, broadcast TV is turning to nostalgic brands to secure its future. Using E-Score Programs we found a few additional game shows that could benefit from a reboot.


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  • A “case” can be made for a Deal or No Deal reboot. Although the show hasn’t aired a new episode since 2009, it is one of the most popular game shows ever with Awareness of 85%, matched only by Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
  • With a score of 83% for the program element Idea for Program (Excellent/ Very Good), Minute to Win It should see a reboot as one of the most liked game shows ever. It is also one of the most exciting shows; its 66% Exciting score is just behind American Gladiators (68%).
  • Although it suffered from low Awareness (14%), Hole in The Wall from Fox would make a nice reboot. It has the highest score among game shows for the Funny attribute at 84%, and the show is in the top ten of gameshows for being Easy to Join, a measure of ease of play.


A New Wave of Hosts

While nowhere near the levels of the 70’s or 80’s, game shows are making a comeback; and with them come new opportunities for celebrity hosts. We looked at E-Score Celebrity to assess the current game show host landscape.


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  • Hosting duties for many TV game shows are being filled by celebrities of all walks. Whereas in the past game show hosts were traditionally just TV personalities, “non-traditional” hosts have become a trend with ten of today’s top sixteen game show hosts having huge careers before hosting.
  • Based on E-Score Program data Aisha Tyler is the host of the game show with the highest rated Main Characters/ Hosts. She is also an outlier in the group in that only she and Mario Lopez score above 16% for Attractive (31% and 28% respectively.)
  • Funny is a common attribute for game show hosts led by the new host of The Gong Show Tommy Maitland, better known as Mike Myers. The exceptions to this would be Alex Trebek and Chris Harrison who both score below 20% for the attribute.


Views from the Viewers

Ratings and attributes only tell part of the story for a shows success, and game shows are no different. To get to the heart of why people love particular game shows we looked at viewer comments and advanced metrics in E-Score Programs.


  • When asked what they liked about Whose Line Is It Anyway, one viewer said,

    “I love improv comedy and generally do not get to see it live anymore. So, this show is the next best thing to live. I love the characters, the timing and the themes. Brilliant show, all in all.”

    No wonder it scores as the top game show for One of My Favorites and Funny.

  • With the second lowest score among weekday game shows for Program Wear Out of current viewers, The Price is Right is still going strong; as one viewer said,

    “I like how the tradition of the Price is Right is still going and standing.”

  • Although the show has been on for decades, Jeopardy! Continues to be a must watch show with 78% of viewers saying they make an additional effort to watch the show, and 41% of those aware of the show saying it is a show they Would Miss a Lot if it went off air. Even with being on the air for so long viewers still describe it as,

    “It’s one of the only original trivia shows with always new and interesting questions.”


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