YOUR Top 5 Goodson-Todman Game Shows


Recently on our Facebook page, we asked our audience to give their top five US TV game shows produced by Goodson-Todman and Mark Goodson Productions. Using the 58 replies that we received, we compiled a top-five based on data, using a points system to determine the result.

1 = 5 points
2 = 4 points
3 = 3 points
4 = 2 points
5 = 1 point

In a situation where there are several versions and revivals of the show, all of the separate points have been combined to create an overall total for the format. We will hope to find the most popular versions of separate formats in a future poll. Pictures and videos have been used where available.

5) Card Sharks (89 Points)

The first in our list is a game of chance that first hit US screens in 1979. Based on the card game Acey Deucey, contest, it saw contestants battle with the help of oversized playing cards, and probability.

The show was first hosted by Jim Perry and ran on NBC from 1978 until 1981. It was revived in 1986 for CBS and syndication, with Bob Eubanks and Bill Rafferty serving as hosts. The format, which also had international versions in Australia and the UK, has recently been revived for ABC.

Episodes of the Jim Perry and Bob Eubanks version can be seen on Buzzr and Amazon Prime.

4) Family Feud (92 Points)
Richard Dawson on Family Feud
Richard Dawson on Family Feud

Sadly, we did not get to ask 100 people (58), but Family Feud comes into our list at the summit of number four.

Family Feud began its original run in 1976, featuring Richard Dawson as host, who would eventually serve for a total of 10 years, from ’76-’85 and reprising his role from 1994-95, with Ray Combs hosting between ’88 and ’94.

Family Feud 1982 and 1988 can currently be seen on game show channel Buzzr, and the current incarnation hosted by Steve Harvey on Game Show Network.

3) Password (95 Points)

Sadly, we need more than one word to describe this timeless classic, which makes the list at number three.

The simple game of words was first broadcast in 1961 on CBS, with Alan Ludden. Featuring a wide range of celebrity guests, a member of the public would have to work together with their famous playing partner to find a ‘password’ using a clue of only one word. This deceptively simple game would become a mainstay in the schedules on CBS and ABC until the mid-70s.

The show was revived in 1979 as Password Plus on NBC, with Alan Ludden hosting. He would continue until his death in 1981, with Tom Kennedy taking over for a year. In 1984, Tattletales host Bert Convy would host a similar version of the show called Super Password.

All versions of Password can currently be seen on game show channel Buzzr.

2) Match Game (168 Points)
Gene Rayburn (center) hosting a prime-time special of The Match Game, 1964

We’re not at all surprised that this blanking legend of a game show is at number two!

The revamped game of ‘blanks’ is a fan favourite among game show fans, and it has reached number two in our list. The original show, The Match Game, received just four points, so we have added it onto this total. The low number for the original format is justified, considering that nearly all of the run is lost; meaning a lack of exposure through reruns. The Match Game ran from 1962 to 1969 on NBC, hosted by Gene Rayburn.

The show gained an altered format and a new lease of life in 1973, when Rayburn hosted a revamped version that would run for nearly a decade. Aided by regular panellists Bret Somers, Charles Nelson Riley and Richard Dawson, Match Game would reach a whole new level with questions filled with double entendre and innuendos; leading to an addictive cocktail party atmosphere.

Upon the cancellation of 79 and PM, the format was spun into The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour in the early 80s; the last time Rayburn would host. The show was revived a couple of times in the 1990s, but only for brief periods. As well as the current ABC version hosted by Alec Baldwin, the original 1970s series can be seen on Buzzr.

1 The Price Is Right (178 points)
Bob Barker in 1975

Unsurprisingly, the longest-running game show hits the top spot. Debuting in 1956, hosted by Bill Cullen, this show would be one of the few surviving shows from the ‘rigging scandal’ of the 1950s. This game of bids, prices and prizes ran until 1965 through day and night time runs.

In the context of this poll, it is the revived 1972 version that most would have meant when they cast their vote. The well-known Bob Barker version revamped the format and made the show what it is today. With a varied selection of memorable games, electric atmosphere and the famous ‘COME ON DOWN’ catchphrase, this show has passed into American culture as an institution.

The nighttime version, as well as Barker, also saw Dennis James and Tom Kennedy take charge of hosting duties in the 1970s and 1980s. Barker would host the show until 2007 when Drew Carey took over the role.

Editions from all eras of the show have been seen on various game show and vintage related networks over the years. Most notably, Buzzr played an early edition of The Price Is Right with Arlene Francis as host.

Do you agree with the results of this poll? What is YOUR top 5?

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

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