Game shows are a proud tradition in television. Generations of viewers have watched contestants duke it out for fabulous prizes. Which show has been on the longest? Let’s find out.
Two Decade Wonders
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Many of the most iconic gameshows had relatively brief continuous runs. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was like a supernova. With Regis Philbin at the helm, ABC began broadcasting it multiple nights a week. The series grew overexposed, but its daytime version continued for 22 years. ABC just announced there are no plans to continue making new episodes, but the IP may not be gone forever. As it stands, it’s the tenth longest-running game show of all time.
Coming in at 23 years is Password. Allen Ludden, Betty White’s beloved husband, hosted the series well into the 1980s. Philbin hosted Million Dollar Password in 2008. Its simple premise has even become the occasional Tonight Show segment. Every few years another network brings the series back, so maybe a new reboot is on the horizon.
What’s My Line
What’s My Line was one of the very first hit television shows. Its run began in 1950 and ended, after a brief layoff in 1967, in 1975. It spaned from Harry Truman to Gerald Ford. The structure is still popular, and Nickelodeon gave its own spin on it with Figure It Out. The seventh longest-running program is Pyramid, with Dick Clark looming large over the franchise. Michael Strahan currently hosts.
Let’s Make A Deal
Monty Hall and Wayne Brady present the sixth longest-running game show ever: Let’s Make A Deal. The show made an impact in mathematics as well, with the Monty Hall Problem confounding students on a daily basis.
The Top 5
At number five is the pseudo-Match Game spin-off Family Feud. Louie Anderson, Richard Dawson, and Steve Harvey are just some of the iconic faces to host the show. Harvey’s really helped turn the show from an afterthought into a critical force, and the series has never been more popular.
Wheel Of Fortune
Newsflash: we’re coming up on 50 years of Wheel of Fortune. For 46 years, and with over 7,000 episodes, Pat Sajak and Vanna White still preside over the beloved show. It’s translated seamlessly into video game after video game
Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik currently represent the third longest-running game show ever: Jeopardy!. If last year’s hosting drama taught us anything, it’s that folks still care deeply about the show where contestants have all the answers and need to ask the questions.
Bit Of A Swerve
If you’re French or even British, the second longest-running game show won’t be a surprise. Americans may be shocked though. Des Chiffres et des Lettres, or “Numbers and Letters” had run on French television for over 54 years. It was the inspiration for Countdown and, naturally, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. It’s an addictive show to watch along with at home, yet it never took off in the states.
The Price Is Right
So what’s the longest-running game show ever? The Price Is Right of course. The daytime staple ran in its original incarnation from 1956-1965, then got rebooted with Bob Barker in 1972 before Drew Carey took over almost 15 years ago. It’s been a hit ever since. The show’s retro flair and excitement have been the love of sick kids and doctors’ offices everywhere. Dozens of countries boast their own versions as well.