Best of 2016: Top 10 Game Show Moments Countdown

Happy 2017, everyone! Today’s article will take one final look at the game show world in 2016 with TBIR’s annual Best of The Year Top 10 Countdown. The yearly list will highlight the most memorable, enriching, unpredictable and incredible moments from the last 366 days (not counting today and yesterday), including the moments the readers have selected in a special poll throughout the month of December to be placed in the #10 through #5 ranking by majority votes. This was yet another year where it was difficult to compile the list considering it would mean that some great moments would be left out. At any rate, check out the countdown and enjoy the new year!

#10 (Readers’ Choice) – Stan Lee Makes Guest Appearance on Let’s Make A Deal’s Nerds Rule Special – January 22

This edition’s countdown begins with Let’s Make A Deal airing its “Nerds Rule” special in January. During the super-powered show, dealers dressed in cosplay outfits and other geeky attire had a chance to win amazing prizes  and had the rare opportunity to meet famous Marvel Comics writer, editor and publisher Stan Lee. Check out Lee recalling his special guest appearance in the clip below.

#9 (Readers’ Choice) – The Price Is Right/Let’s Make A Deal Air First-Ever Mash Up Week – May 9-May 13

It’s always a treat to see hosts from other game shows temporarily crossover to another series, as game show fans might remember when GSN (Game Show Network back then) hosts Marc Summers, Graham Elwood, Kennedy, Todd Newton and Mark Walberg swapped shows for April Fools Day in 2003. Last year, both CBS daytime game shows aired their first-ever Mash-Up week. Throughout the week, TPIR contestants had a chance to play popular games from LMAD, and vice versa. Take a look at a couple of crossover games in action in the clips below.

#8 (Readers’ Choice) – Double Dare Celebrates 30 Years With Rare Reruns & Reunion Special on TeenNick’s The Splat – July 25-July 31/November 23 

This summer and in late fall, Nickelodeon celebrated the 30th anniversary of its cornerstone game show and the series that truly put the kids’ network on the television map – Double Dare. The network honored the show by airing rarely rebroadcasts of various versions of Double Dare on Teennick’s The Splat, including FOX’s primetime version of Family Double Dare, Double Dare 2000 and the hourlong Family Double Dare Tournament of Champions finals, and a half-hour reunion special. The special featured footage of former cast members All That playing a special game of Double Dare at the San Diego ComicCon and Marc Summers, Harvey and Robin Russo reminisce about the highs and lows of the series, starting back to the show’s humble beginnings in Philadelphia.

#7 (Readers’ Choice) – Three-Way $1.00 Spin Tie In Showcase Showdown on The Price Is Right – October 17

Our seventh memorable moment comes from a rare moment in the lengthy history of The Price Is Right. On the Monday, October 17 edition of the long-running game show, Cathryn Pursel, Manfred Zimmer and Jessica Lammott managed to spin $1.00 on the Big Wheel during the first Showcase Showdown and win $1,000 each in the process. This odd occurrence has happened at least twice before in 1991 and 2003. Check out the most recent three-way tie in the clip below.

#6 (Readers’ Choice) – Craig Ferguson Wins Second Consecutive Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Game Show Host” – May 1 

The (unfortunately) soon-to-be former host of Celebrity Name Game won his well-deserved, second consecutive Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Game Show Host” last spring. Ferguson is in pretty good company as Bob Barker, Ben Bailey, Dick Clark, Peter Marshall, Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek are the only other emcees to accomplish this back-to-back feat. Take a look at a few of Ferguson’s finest (and quirkiest) moments below, including the mini celebration the show threw in honor of his first Emmy win.

#5 – Sojas Wagle Wins $250,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – November 14-15

Heading into the “Whiz Kids” week of shows, Millionaire had seen Father Bill Matheny and Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist’s plot aboard a French train, win  $250,000 earlier in the show’s 15th season. Fourteen-year-old Sojas Wagle from Scottsdale, Arizona became the show’s latest quarter-million dollar winner during his two-day appearance. Check out Wagle tackle the third tier of questions in the clip below.

#4 – Vinny Varadarajan Wins $77,000 and 15 Games on Sports Jeopardy! – October 21, 2015-February 17

Our fourth moment comes from the Crackle web series Sports Jeopardy!. Vinny Varadarajan from Fords, New Jersey became the show’s biggest-winning champion since Sports Jeopardy! switched from a tournament to a returning champion format in the second season. After defeating two-game champ Ron Freshour, Varadarajan went on an incredibly amazing 15-game winning streak while racking up $5,000 per game. Head to Crackle to check out all 16 of Varadarajan’s shows, including his penultimate game where he bumped up his total to $75,000.

#3 – Edwin Daly Becomes First $1 Million Winner on Who Wants To Millionaire Hot Seat– August 29

Coming down the wire, moment number three comes from “The Land Down Under” as Nine Network’s Millionaire Hot Seat finally found its first million-dollar winner since the spinoff show began in 2009. In late August, Edwin Day, a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran from Mount Barker, managed successfully to ascend the money ladder to answer all 15 questions correctly while under the pressure of a constricting 15-45 second time limits. Take a look a Daly taking on his final two questions in the clip below.

#2 – Harry Friedman Breaks Guinness World Record For Most Game Show Episodes Produced (11,128) – May 30

In addition to previously setting two other Guinness World Records for most Emmy Award nominations and most Emmy Award wins by a game show producer, Harry Friedman had set yet another record for the most game show episodes produced. The official episode count as of March 31, 2016 was 11,128, and included episodes of Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, Jep!, Hollywood Squares and NBC’s last daytime game show, Caesar’s Challenge. Check out Guinness World Records officially present Friedman with the prestigious honor.

#1 – ABC Revives To Tell The Truth, The $100,000 Pyramid, Match Game – June 14/June 26

What more could I say about these three revivals that I haven’t stated already in my rave reviews about each series? Not much. Since ABC brought To Tell The Truth, The $100,000 Pyramid and Match Game back to network television, viewers instantly fell in love with these modern remakes of classic game shows. Each FremantleMedia game show were well produced, excellently cast and manufactured big money moments and unforgettable comedic ones as well. Each show has been renewed for a second season. To Tell The Truth returned yesterday evening, Match Game makes a comeback on Wednesday and Pyramid should return this summer.

Honorable Mentions

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