New Prime-Time 'Password' Is Longer, Louder, Gaudier

Anyone who has stumbled on the vintage game shows seen on the diginet called Buzzr cannot fail to be amazed at the low-tech feel of those old shows.

Designed for daytime hours, the old game shows of the ’60s and ’70s were quieter (except for “The Price is Right” and “Let’s a Make a Deal,” which are still on).

Studio audiences were smaller, and made no more noise than just clapping. Contestants and celebrities remained calmly in their seats. Spotlights did not sweep the studio at every correct answer.

Huge spotlights were never a part of the old “Password,” “Match Game,” “Supermarket Sweep,” “Hollywood Squares,” “Concentration” or any of the other old game shows on Buzzr.

Most of today’s TV game shows air in prime time. Episodes are an hour, not a half-hour as in days of old. Today’s game shows are gaudier and louder.



A new version of “Password” coming to NBC next week is a case in point. It is like the old “Password” (which has been revived previously about a half-dozen times), but also very different.

In the new one, wild applause and cheers greet the introduction of its civilian and celebrity contestants. In the premiere episode, celebrity contestant Jimmy Fallon received a standing ovation.

Fallon, host of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” is an executive producer of this new “Password.” Fallon (above photo, center) will appear in every one of the eight episodes that will be seen on NBC before the fall season starts in September. The show is hosted by actress Keke Palmer, currently starring in the hit movie "Nope" (above photo, right).

Fallon is one of two celebrities who will appear on each show. The others will not likely be seen in multiple episodes. Heidi Klum, currently a judge on “America’s Got Talent” on NBC, is the other one in the premiere.

Like the original “Password,” the new one has each celebrity teaming with a civilian to guess a secret word before the other team.

At each correct answer, the audience roars, while the winning celebrity and civilian contestants leap triumphantly from their seats to dance, hug and high-five each other as if they had just won the Mega Millions lottery.

Despite all that noise and clamor, the game itself is still fun to watch and play along with.

“Password” premieres over two nights next week -- Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 10 p.m. Eastern and Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m. Eastern on NBC.

6 comments about "New Prime-Time 'Password' Is Longer, Louder, Gaudier".
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  1. Tanim Hussain from Cox Media, August 3, 2022 at 12:03 p.m.

    As a huge fan of the broadcast network daytime game shows from the 70’s and especially 80’s – I find the various remakes to be rather difficult to watch, for the reasons noted in the article. All of the hype makes these productions seem excessively scripted. Even The Price Is Right has morphed into this style, albeit to a lesser degree than the Prime Time offerings. Is this truly what the almighty A18-49 demo is attracted to?

    In that regard, I’m grateful that Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! haven’t gone down this path.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 3, 2022 at 12:54 p.m.

    Tanim, the 18-49 "demo" is not into game shows of almost any kind. Their core strength  aidience-wise --is older adults. A typical adult aged 65 probably watches five or ten times more game show telecasts than a typical 35-year-old.

  3. Tanim Hussain from Cox Media replied, August 3, 2022 at 12:58 p.m.

    Well then I'm shocked the networks are even offering Prime Time game shows to begin with. 

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 3, 2022 at 5:35 p.m.

    Game shows are a perfect fit for the broadcast TV networks as they cost much less to produce than dramas and sitcoms and garner fair amounts of mostly middle aged and older adults. This was always the case. If you go back to TV's earliest days some of the highest rated prime time entries were quiz or game shows like "You Bet Your Life" ( Groucho Marx ), "What's My Line", "$64,000 Question", etc. and even today, Prime Time Access shows such as "Jeopardy" and "Wheel Of Fortune" are still going strong, mostly in 7-9 PM time slots, just before the prime time shows begin. The trick is not to overdoo it by putting on too many "me too" game shows---as happened several times in TV's history. Then, you get into trouble because of over exposure and redundancy.

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 3, 2022 at 5:38 p.m.

    Make that 7-8PM time slots for Prime Access Game shows, not 7-9PM as in my last post.

  6. Michael Giuseffi from American Media Inc, August 5, 2022 at 10:02 a.m.

    Last summer my partner and I (both boomers) hosted my Gen Z niece for a week while her roomates quarantined due to Covid exposure. We were working from home, but we made time to have lunch together every day, and we decided to watch "The Match Game" with Gene Rayburn on GSN.
    It was a hoot! The questions were stupid, and the "celebrities" were even stupider, and by Friday I found an old silk handkerchief and fashioned an ascot to mimic the ones Charles Nelson Reilly wore.  My niece is still talking about how much fun she had with us. 

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