By Adam Nedeff, Researcher for the National Archives of Game Show History
Stay up to date with the world of game shows and The Strong’s National Archives of Game Show History with this recurring blog. This month, learn about May’s lineup of music game shows and the history of this playful subgenre.
In the month of May, Fox is hoping game show fans will tune in for tunes. Starting May 23, the network’s Monday prime time schedule will be wall-to-wall musical game shows; the first is an oldie-but-goldie, the second is a current game show chart-topper.
At 8 p.m., Niecy Nash hosts a revival of Don’t Forget the Lyrics! The show originally launched on Fox in 2007 with host Wayne Brady and enjoyed a two-year run before moving to syndication with Mark McGrath at the helm. The karaoke quizzer has contestants belting out popular tunes as the lyrics flash before their eyes, but when the lyrics disappear, the contestants have to fill in the blanks and finish the song on their own. Although the show left U.S. television in 2011, it didn’t disappear. Globally, it’s been a nearly-constant presence on the airwaves. Including the U.S.A., 32 countries have produced their own versions since 2007.
At 9 p.m., it’s a new season of Beat Shazam! Oscar winner Jamie Foxx is back as host of the game in which contestants are pitted against the song-identifying app and must identify a piece of music before Shazam does it.
Both games were created by Jeff Apploff, a prolific producer whose credits include another Fox game, Mental Samurai.
DO YOU REMEMBER…THESE OTHER MUSICAL GAME SHOWS?
DOUGH RE MI (NBC, 1958-60) – Gene Rayburn hosted this one. Contestants were staked a bankroll of money at the start of the game and heard the first three notes of a song. There was an auction to buy the right to guess after hearing the fourth note, and then another auction for the fifth note, and so on, until a player named the song. Ron Greenberg, who was involved in the production of the show, recently gave an interview for NAGSH, which will be available for viewing in the near future.
NAME THAT TUNE (Syndication, 1974-81) – This is one of the true phoenixes of the game show world, coming and going in numerous incarnations since the 1950s, on NBC, CBS, VH-1, and currently Fox with host Jane Krakowski. The most successful incarnation was a weekly prime time version hosted by Tom Kennedy. This version featured the iconic Bid-a-Note round (“I can name that tune in one note!”) and for one season, Kennedy was joined by “La La Lady” Kathie Lee Johnson (Gifford), who sang clues for the contestants.
FANDANGO (The Nashville Network, 1983-89) – Musician “Whispering” Bill Anderson was the host of this long-running trivia game, which taped in Nashville. Fittingly, all of the questions were about country songs and country singers. Bill’s smart-alecky assistant was Edgar the Talking Jukebox.