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And The Winner Is … Game Shows: Inside The Latest Trend In Prime Time

And The Winner Is … Game Shows: Inside The Latest Trend In Prime Time

Earlier this year, Megyn Kelly announced her Sunday night newsmagazine to much media attention, and since it debuted, nearly each episode has been followed up by a think piece or hot take. Meanwhile, on the same night, one hour later and a few channels away on ABC, Emmy-winner Steve Harvey hosts Celebrity Family Feud, another show that prides itself on its big-name (though often less political) guests. The show hasn’t gotten nearly the fanfare of Kelly’s program, but, currently in its third season, Feud is pulling in nearly double the number of viewers of the newsmagazine.

Celebrity Family Feud, which was just renewed for its fourth season, is one of many revivals of classic formulas that together constitute a game show resurgence. Over the past couple of years, these shows, which have traditionally filled syndicated or daytime hours, have begun airing more and more often in prime time.

In a television landscape riddled with not-so-family-friendly dramas and stressful breaking news, these series—which include The Gong Show, Love Connection, The $100,000 Pyramid, Match Game, Beat Shazam and more—provide the comfort and levity most other programs lack.

“The news cycle has been very dark and very heavy…and there is an over-saturation of dramas and an over-saturation of reality,” says Dan Wilch, a senior vice president at Magid. “That provides a vacuum effect for under-served audiences who are looking for something lighter, more family-friendly and that doesn’t take too much of a commitment.”


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