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  • Game shows existed long before TV and were popular on radio. Producer Mark Goodson created a national sensation with Stop the Music which offered a huge prize to a randomly selected contestant. Ralph Edwards created Truth or Consequences and later on TV passed it on to Bob Barker to act as host. Early TV needed programming to fill the schedule and game shows were easy to produce. Edwards later created the popular This Is Your Life (1952) and Groucho Marx had You Bet Your Life (1950). It all came crashing down with the now infamous game show scandals where contestants were given the answers to questions to add to the drama. The first was Dotto (1958), then Twenty-One (1956) where its most successful contestant Charles Van Doren, had become nationally known. Password (1961) from Mark Goodson was the first post-scandal hit show followed by Let's Make a Deal (1963). Merv Griffin, a game show emcee early on, had been trying to develop his own concept for a show and a suggestion from his wife - that he provide the answer and have the contestants provide the question - lead to the creation of Jeopardy! (1964) which is still on the air today. His fond memories of playing hangman with his sister on long family car trips lead to the creation of the most popular game show ever, Wheel of Fortune (1983). Chuck Barris, described as one of the most unusual people in America, had the idea that the funniest people would be just ordinary folks and developed The Dating Game (1965) and the The Newlywed Game (1966).


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