The Fall Breakdown 2010
Originally posted: September 24, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

Ahhh, the fall is here. That only means 1 thing: New shows, new episodes, and most of all, new firepower for me to blast at. In the game show field we have 6 in syndication, 2 on CBS and 2 on GSN that I neglected when they debuted in August while I was on Vacation. So, without further ado, let's get started.

The Price Is Right: Not much has changed really in this show, except for one major thing: Rich Fields is no longer on the show. They are doing announcer tryouts and the first one to get a shot is JD Roberto. Yes, the same JD Roberto that helped kill Shop 'til You Drop among other projects. He's a horrible host, and he's proven so far that he's a horrible announcer. He's a future first ballot Hall of Shamer for sure, but for the entire show of Price. It's still the same old price that you've come to know and love. I also enjoyed the Pay The Rent game. It's so deceptively simple that I doubt that most people will walk away with even $10,000, let alone the $100,000 grand prize. Bonus points go to recycling the super-cool $1,000,000 sign from the $1,000,000 Spectaculars for the game. It's still the same game, and that's the best result of all.

Grade: A-

Let's Make A Deal: Like price, not much needs to be said for this show as well. Everything's pretty much stayed the same. The chemistry between Wayne, Jonathan and Tiffany is just as strong, if not stronger than ever. None of the other gimmicks or details have changed, plus the costumes are getting better and better, since they relocated to Los Angeles. I still don't like that only 1 person goes for The Big Deal, but it's a minor gripe.

Grade: B+

Wheel of Fortune: How can you not like Wheel Of Fortune? They haven't made any major changes to the game this season, except for adding a couple of new categories like Same Letter & others that have yet to debut. What is also new is that the set now features the weeks Car on stage on a nice looking Turntable. Aside from that, the wheel keeps on turning and turning and shows no signs of hitting Bankrupt anytime soon.

Grade: A

Jeopardy!: If you wanted to debut Jeopardy this season in a big way, you couldn't have done it any bigger. Having a contestant break Ken Jennings 1 day record & then continuing to win throughout the week is impressive. What's also impressive is that the show is probably the best pure quiz show out right now, without having to make any stupid changes. Alex is as sharp as ever & it's still requisite viewing for me.

Grade: A

Family Feud: Major changes happened in the off-season with the move to Orlando, John O'Hurley leaving the show under his own accord & Burton Richardson being let go. Replacing John O'Hurley is Steve Harvey. Now, people were worried about his hosting being more like his hosting on Millionaire, which was nominated for this years Patrick Wayne Award. But seeing him here, he wasn't as bad as he was back then. This show was kinda made for Harvey's style. What doesn't make me all warm and fuzzy is Joey Fatone's announcing. It seems forced and borderlines on the fake. The Set looks amazing and I hope this lasts for a couple more seasons. Just ditch Joey Fatone and we'll be peachy.

Grade: B

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Change has also happened on 5th Grader. Not only are there new classmates, but the payouts have changed. Instead of 10 questions in the first season, there are only 8 this time. Also, the contestants must start with a 1st grade question and work their way up to the 4th grade questions, this is probably the producer's solution of saving the lower categories to at least ensure they'll have some good money to take home. To be honest, it works and adds a little more variety to the mix. What also is favorable to me is that the Save cheat is now gone. Which actually means the contestants actually have to answer the questions correctly and not rely on their classmates as much. The 5th grade questions are replaced by 1 5th Grade question, which is the bonus question. The new money ladder is as follows: 1st grade = $500, 2nd grade = $1,000, 3rd grade = $3,500 and 4th grade = $7,500. I like the changes & they seem to help out the game more.

Grade: B+

Millionaire: Change has also happened on Millionaire...and it sucks. I will go into further detail next week, because it'll require a full commentary on it.

Don't Forget the Lyrics!: It pretty much plays like the primetime version, and that's both a good and a bad thing in some cases. The good is that it's familiar to people who enjoyed the show when it was on in Primetime, the bad news is that it's slow. In the entire show, only 5 songs gets played. That could easily be fixed, so there could be maybe 6 or seven songs played, to make it more exciting. Aside from that, Mark McGrath does a really good job in hosting this show. He has the charisma and the personality to pull it off, without sounding lame. I honestly don't think it'll last more than this one season, but I hope I'm wrong.

Grade: B-

Now to the GSN shows that debuted while I was away.

Catch 21: This is getting too redundant. I'll just say this. Blah Blah Blah, points format still stinks. Blah Blah Blah, Killer set. Blah Blah Blah, Alfonso still is a very craptacular host. Blah Blah Blah, Contestants can be way too annoying at times. Blah Blah Blah, it's ok.

Grade: C

Baggage: They didn't change a thing, except for adding a quick-fire question segment where Jerry gives them various questions about the potential mates, in order to let the dater get to know the potential mate a little bit more. I like that it adds more meat to an already juicy show. Plus, Jerry Springer has great banter between the singles and he's fantastic at it. It's still a great GSN original and I hope it lasts long.

Grade: B+

I'll be back in a week in this segment with a full commentary on all the crappy Millionaire changes.

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