Thursday, December 24, 2015

Syndicated game show happenings: Sony's big two same old, same old; 'Family Feud' hitting its peak; 'Celebrity Name Game' on the bubble; 'Millionaire' a goner?

Summing up the first three months of syndicated game shows this television year, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy! and Family Feud are far separated from Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? and Celebrity Name Game.

From my September predictions, I was wrong about a lot of things, particularly over-predicting ratings. I guess that's why I do a GSN blog and not all game shows.

Family Feud does not seem to be as hot as other years and seems to have capped out in ratings. This year each week, Family Feud is up just a tenth or two from 2014. It seems like the dramatic rise has stopped and Family Feud is likely hitting its peak. In the past, from 2014 to 2013, 2013 to 2012, 2012 to 2011 and 2011 to 2010, Family Feud has been up several tenths of a ratings point, if not a whole ratings point or more year to year. I overshot where Family Feud would be at this point of the year, where Family Feud has averaged around a 5.5-6.5 and not between a 6.0-7.5. It does not look like Family Feud will hit that 8.0 HH rating or top Wheel of Fortune either the way it's going. Family Feud will be lucky to match last year's 7.2 HH rating high.

Celebrity Name Game is a relatively safe bet for renewal. It has not hit the 1.4/1.5 HH rating I predicted it would, but Celebrity Name Game has not declined nor risen year to year.

Meanwhile, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? has shown the biggest declines from last year, down seven-tenths of a ratings point on average from last Fall. The good news is that Millionaire fans have acknowledged the new, downgraded timeslots and since earlier in the Fall. Millionaire rose from a 1.1 to 1.3 HH rating from early Fall to late Fall. Lately, Millionaire has hung in around a 1.2 and now, the bad news, the lowest rated syndicated game show.

No word on additional seasons for Millionaire or Celebrity Name Game, but keep watching if you want to see more of those two next Fall!

Last, it is literally the same usual business with Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Overall, both shows are down a little year to year in the household number with Family Feud continuing to creep up (and rivaling both in many markets). Neither is going anywhere and neither is dropping out of the Top 5 (regularly) syndicated shows anytime soon.


  1. Wheel and Jeopardy are fine. Won't see them go for a long while. I think Millionaire is gone after this year. And it's a shame because Harrison is a superb host and looks like it won't save it now. If it does get canned, we might as well blame Crews for the low ratings. At least when Cedric hosted, ratings were steady. Feud will do fine, but I think will stay mostly in the 5 and 6 digits. Who knows, it could hit the 7s again, but it will be in the low. As for CNG, if it stays where it is at now, a third season is possible. Looks like those newer timeslots the show got mid last season seem to be helping.

  2. "If it does get canned, we might as well blame Crews for the low ratings"

    Of course. He lowered the ratings the most and got the worst reviews as host. I wish we went straight from Meredith to Chris Harrison in 2013. I think ratings would have stayed steady, if not improved the past few years (would still be well into the 2's).

  3. CNG is a keeper especially with cable exposure from POP. Plus, the timeslots aren't that bad as opposed to WWTBAM.
    WWTBAM timeslots stink. Nothing but late, late nights. No double runs. That syndicated talker took WWTBAM's slot along with previous seasons Jeopardy.

  4. this maybe off topic but why do game shows based on board games become epic failures of television?

    granted you have some respectable hits like Scrabble (1984-90 version) and Family Game Night but others like Taboo and Yahtzee become disastrous results, do people prefer to play the actual board game with their friends and family instead of watching someone else play it on TV for cash or something here?

    1. Add Trivial Pursuit: America Plays to that list.
      The idea of trivia is good but the way it was carried out was bad.
      People with headsets from their computers. Boring and awful execution. I felt like you were watching a lowly public access show.

    2. I Believe that was hosted by Christopher Knight (a.k.a Peter Brady) at the time in 2008 correct?

      also don't forget about the Family Channel version with Wink Martindale (both Interactive and original versions) and the ESPN version with Roger Lodge as those were piss poor results as well anon.

    3. Family Game Night ranks among one of my top favorite game shows of all time. I hope Discovery Family renews it for a 6th season, but it seems like Hasbro is more interested in Monopoly Millionaires' Club now -- not that there's anything wrong with that. MMC is also a favorite of mine, though I still think cutting it down to 30 minutes and making it harder to win the games was a huge mistake.

      Would be nice if both of these shows kept getting renewed. Reminds me of the time GSN used to air "Family-based" game shows, instead of the R-rated ones that they air today.

    4. MMC is pretty successful right now. I think the new half hour format sucks, but it's still a fun show. Starting this Saturday night in my area, WTAE, my local ABC affiliate is airing the show at 7:30 pm. At first, it aired on Sunday afternoons due to college football and my local news getting pushed to 7 pm, but now I can watch it with no worries. It has a bright future considered how the show was picked up for another season a couple of episodes in.

    5. Hey Scott T., Should I mention that The Hub/Discovery Family also had a share of stinkers of its own in Pictureka, The Game of Life and Scrabble Showdown?