Random Thoughts Of
Randomness: Buzzr Edition
Text by: Cyndi Seidelman
To launch their 3rd anniversary, Buzzr decided to stream their channel over the internet, just as other diginets do such as Charge and Comet. Because the Seattle/Tacoma area doesn't get Buzzr over the air and DirecTV doesn't carry the channel, this is the only way for me to watch the throwback game show channel. So, after watching the channel for a few weeks and not having the distinction of seeing the channel's tough early days. These are a few random thoughts that I have on the channel currently and addressing a theory that's being posed by the community at large because of GSN's latest Cover Story on The Price Is Right.
I honestly love the balance that the primetime lineup has. You have pair of great word games in Password Plus and Celebrity Name Game, the classic that is Supermarket Sweep, a really hard quizzer in Sale of the Century, a great play along show in Card Sharks and Press Your Luck. I can't find a bum show in this lot. These are all great shows that I would gladly spend 3 hours to watch. Sure, some do go back to the beginning at times, as Password Plus and Supermarket Sweep just did, but it just helps bring newer Buzzr viewers up to speed, especially with Password Plus. With all of these shows having at least 100 episodes ready for digitized air, it's fine if the cycle resets. I remember when GSN leased 50 episode blocks of Press Your Luck and Card Sharks and people cringed at that aspect. 100 is the right amount to get everyone set.
I absolutely enjoy the Black and White block that they have. There seems to be a great balance with it, thanks to the shakeup i.e. the addition of Beat The Clock, Password and The Name's The Same. The six shows were pretty much the cornerstones of what Goodson/Todman were all about in the 50s and 60s: high entertainment, low budget, all fun. I will always enjoy The Name's The Same more than any normal human being should because of its unpredictability as for where the questions were going to go and especially the bevy of weird names that we'd get to make the audiences howl with laughter when Meredith Wilson or Joan Alexander make an innocent question and it turns out to be extremely raunchy...well, raunchy for the early 50s. Another bonus that we get is the added in-studio commercials for all of these shows, which makes it even more enjoyable. I would say it puts it into another level that turns a good experience into a must-watch experience for those wanting to know about TV history. These parts were made to be an integral part of the show and keep the show flowing at a smooth pace.
While I love Buzzr right now in these two blocks, I could see a good partnership being formed with another production company. With Fremantle killing it with the kids game shows in Beat The Clock and the Noise on Universal Kids, not to mention the upcoming Double Dare revival on Nickelodeon with glowing praise from everyone who's attended a taping, noting that the fears that they had about Marc Summers not hosting it have heavily subsided. This production company: Stone-Stanley Productions. It's a bit of a longshot, I know, but they have two classics they could put on the channel to bring in the 80s and 90s crowd in Fun House and Shop 'til You Drop. Fun House was the main rival of Double Dare, but had IMO, the better end game in the Fun House. Not only that, it would go well with the Double Dare revival as a reminder on how kids game shows were like back then: Messy and fun at the same time. Shop being on Buzzr makes more sense now thanks to the addition of Supermarket Sweep. Having that pairing together in the Primetime block is like peanut butter and jelly. It's the best combination both ever had and played off of each other well. Not only that, Scott Stone, helped out with the current Deal revival a few years ago, so it makes more sense for them to do this.
So let's talk about the speculation and theory being posed by the community. With GSN airing Cover Story: Price Is Right Behind The Scenes, the going theory is that Buzzr landed two "name-brand" shows from their rival GSN in exchange for that footage and possibly getting a years worth of Let's Make A Deal and The Price Is Right. I'd have to assume they'd both be HD, meaning 2014-2015 season the most likely candidate for the network. It could be a great boon for both if the trade does go through. The big question though is what two "name-brand" shows do Buzzr get in return? The three main combinations they could get are either Wheel and Jeopardy, Tic Tac Dough and The Joker's Wild and The Newlywed & Dating Games. With Wheel having a solid place on the GSN schedule, I doubt that will be the play. To me, the play I can see happen is Newlywed and Dating because it fills a niche that Buzzr doesn't have and that's a relationship show. Both are Name shows and would work well with what Buzzr has going for it. Even if it's the 90s reboots from 1997 with Bob Eubanks and Chuck Woolery, it would work just fine and add more modern-esque shows to their classic lineups.
Well, those are my random thoughts. Hope to see all of you watching more Buzzr. If you want to see the livestream, go on over to http://www.buzzrplay.com/watch and enjoy!
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