Canceled Game Shows We Wish Would Make a Comeback


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The game shows of today are clouded by special effects, colossal grand prizes that are often unattainable, and other unnecessary bells and whistles. Aside from the ones that have been around for decades like “Jeopardy,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Family Feud,” and “The Price is Right,” most of the new game shows are hardly worth watching. Instead, they leave us yearning for a time when we could actually play along — like these eight shows we wish would make a comeback. 

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1. ‘The Newlywed Game’

This game show is so iconic that it’s been both replicated and reincarnated several times over; it debuted in 1966 and its latest version ended in 2013. The premise? Newly married spouses competed against one another to see who knew each other best. It was captivating and often hilarious, especially when it caused inadvertent tension between couples.

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2. ‘Double Dare’

Nickelodeon had us in a chokehold with this one. “Double Dare” was quintessential early ’90s Nick with messy challenges, stunts, and trivia questions all rolled into one zany game show. 

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3. ‘American Gladiators’

Amateur athletes pitted against buff, brawny “gladiators” was the premise of this show, which aired between 1989 and 1996. Contestants participated in different events in each episode and viewers stayed on the edge of their seats watching glistening muscles and star-spangled spandex.

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4. ‘Hollywood Squares’

“Hollywood Squares” premiered in 1966 and quickly became one of the most iconic game shows of all time. Hosted by Peter Marshall, the show featured a tic-tac-toe board of nine squares, each filled by a celebrity guest. Contestants would choose a square, and the celebrity in that square would pose a trivia question. The contestant would then decide whether to agree or disagree with the celebrity’s answer. The humor and banter between the contestants, host, and celebrities were integral to the show’s charm, and although there have been some adaptations over time, none proved to have staying power.

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5. ‘Match Game’

It’s really hard to beat “Match Game.” Nothing is ever going to do it for us like Betty White on this show, who was featured among the rotating panel of celebrity regulars, along with the likes of Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard Dawson, and Fannie Flagg. These celebrities brought their unique personalities and comedic flair to the show, contributing to its vibrant and entertaining atmosphere and adding an extra layer to your average game show.

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6. ‘Supermarket Sweep’

There was something seriously satisfying about “Supermarket Sweep,” and we think it’s the fact that the format made viewers feel like they could actually go on the show themselves and do well. While it originally aired during the 1960s, the game show experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1990s. Hosted by David Ruprecht, the show featured contestants competing in a series of fast-paced supermarket-themed challenges. 

The main event involved a timed race through a mock supermarket, where contestants had to fill their carts with high-value items while navigating obstacles and strategically planning their route. Along the way, they could also answer trivia questions or complete mini-games to earn additional time for their shopping spree. The contestant with the highest total value of items in their cart at the end of the sweep won the chance to take home their groceries for free. Let’s face it: These days, that would be a welcomed prize.

Image Credit: IMDB.

7. ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’

Remember when this show, led by Jeff Foxworthy, came out in 2007 and we all got excited, thinking, “Finally! A show we’ll be able to answer all the questions to as we watch!” Our bubbles quickly burst because those little fifth graders were tiny geniuses, and the only people who won the show’s grand prize were the Yale graduate, Nobel Prize-decorated type.

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8. ‘Love Connection’

Today’s dating shows are reserved for reality shows, which have been vastly tainted by folks who are looking for fame rather than their romantic match. The ’80s dating game show hosted by Chuck Woolery, on the other hand, provided a platform for singles to find love through a series of blind dates. The format involved a contestant being presented with three potential romantic partners, each described by a video profile. After going on dates with each of them, the contestant would return to the studio to discuss their experiences with Chuck and the audience. 

Image Credit: IMDB.

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