When the world essentially came to a screeching halt due to the surprising rapidity and potency of the coronavirus in March, it seemed like we were in an undefined state of limbo and there was no end in sight in when quarantines and lockdowns would end in various countries, states, cities, etc. Although the pandemic is still running amok, many are devising plans to safely resume their daily routines and activities, including television production companies creating new episodes from their respective studios.
There has been a lot of game show news that has surfaced lately regarding new casting calls and shows resuming tapings under new social distancing guidelines established by Los Angeles County, classic episodes of Jeopardy! returning to television and casting calls including a revival of Weakest Link searching for contestants. Although you may have seen most of this news already, this is simply a quick reminder of what game show fans can look forward to within the next few months.
They’re Baaaaaack… (Sort of…)
Although most non-news productions have placed a moratorium on creating new in-studio episodes for the remainder of the year, some have decided to proceed and have adopted the adage “The show must go on”, like NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Card Sharks joins the 15-year-old talent show in filming new shows for its season.
Returning for its second year on ABC with host Joel McHale, this season of Card Sharks started its tapings at CBS Studios Radford in Studio City with no audience, a minimized crew and strict health and safely protocols set by Fremantle.
According to On Camera Audiences, Family Feud is also resuming production in Atlanta and filming new episodes without an audience.
As of right now, there is no official word on whether or not other veteran game shows including The Price Is Right, Let’s Make A Deal, Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy! will film new shows for the remainder of 2020 since production shut down in March. For what it’s worth, at least Alex Trebek has expressed how much he is ready to resume taping and Jeopardy! fans will be in for quite a throwback treat during this COVID-caused hiatus.
Jeopardy! To Air Classic Episodes From Its Vault Starting July 20
Despite the pandemic, the syndicated quiz show has had quite a year so far from kicking off 2020 with the legendary “GOAT” tournament to cleaning up at this year’s (virtual) Daytime Emmy Awards by winning six Emmys (including Outstanding Game Show and Outstanding Game Show Host) in Harry Friedman’s final season as executive producer before passing the torch to former EP of TPIR and LMAD Mike Richards. Since the show’s library of new episodes depleted in June,
Jeopardy! has been airing some of its more memorable episodes for the past month filled with big wins and rerun of the 2019 Tournament of Champions. For the next four weeks, the show is cracking open its archives and airing several classic episodes for the first time in decades. Some of the show’s you won’t want to miss include the very first syndicated episode which premiered in 1984, Celebrity Jeopardy! episodes featuring Regis Philbin, Charles Barkley and Wayne Brady; and the 2002 Million Dollar Masters with future superchamp Brad Rutter.
Here is the schedule of shows slated to run starting next week:
Monday, July 20: First Jeopardy! Episode (1984)
Tuesday, July 21: First Jeopardy! Surprise Ending (1984; I’m not going to spoil it!)
Wednesday, July 22: First “Superchampion”: Chuck Forrest (1985)
Thursday, July 23: First $100,000 Champion: Frank Spangenberg (1990)
Friday, July 24: 10th Anniversary Tournament Final (1993)
Monday, July 27: Celebrity Jeopardy! – Carol Burnett, Regis Philbin, Donna Mills (1992)
Tuesday, July 28: Celebrity Jeopardy! – Jodie Foster, Nathan Lane, Harry Connick Jr. (2001)
Wednesday, July 29: Celebrity Jeopardy! – Jeff Probst, Charles Barkley, Martha Stewart (2001)
Thursday, July 30: Celebrity Jeopardy! – Wayne Brady, Dana Delany, Eric Idle (2001)
Friday, July 31: Celebrity Jeopardy! – Michael McKean, Cheech Marin, Jane Curtin (2010)
August 3-7: Million Dollar Masters Quarterfinals (2002)
August 10-12: Million Dollar Masters Semifinals (2002)
August 13-14: Million Dollar Masters Finals (2002)
This is a wonderful treat for Jeopardy! fans of all ages and classic game show fans to watch some of these retro episodes for the very first time (unless they’ve seen them multiple times already, like myself).
Casting Call Updates: “The British Are Coming!” Edition
Speaking of wonderful treats, two of the bigger news updates to emerge are the revival of Weakest Link on NBC and the physically challenge game show and U.K. import The Cube finally getting the green light to produce a U.S. adaptation of the incredible ITV series.
First, let’s focus on Weakest Link. NBC ordered 13 episodes of the Survivor-like primetime quiz show formerly hosted by Anne Robinson in 2001 and current TPIR announcer George Gray when it moved to syndication in 2002. Hollywood Game Night host and former Glee star Jane Lynch will host the revival produced by BBC Studios in Los Angeles and Universal Television Alternative Studio. The show originated on BBC Two in the U.K., had a very successful run from 2000-2012 and was brought back briefly in 2017 for a celebrity special.
Go to Weakest Link‘s contestant application site for more information on how to apply. The application deadline is August 14, 2020.
Moving on to another U.K. gem, The Cube is finally getting its chance to shine in the States. All3Media is searching for pairs of contestants to compete on The Cube. If you have never seen the series before, The Cube is essentially a more intense, suspenseful, riskier and more claustrophobic version of Minute To Win It.
Head to All3Media’s casting site for The Cube to register and apply to be on the series. Here are a few games from the U.K. series – which is receiving a reboot of its own on ITV with its top prize raised from £250,000 to £1 million:
Last (but not least), Game Show Network’s word association game show Get A Clue was renewed for second season. The series hosted by Rob Belushi is looking for teams of four to compete for a chance to win $10,000. Go to Get A Clue’s casting site for more information and to apply. Barring any COVID-19 cancellations, the show will be filming in August and September in Las Vegas.