Recent Deaths Mark End of Game Show Dynasty

in Entertainment, Featured

Late Alex Trebek, Ken Jennings (UL), Price is Right show (UR), Jeopardy (BL), Late Bob Barker (BR)

Credit: ABC / Inside the Magic

First, it was Jeopardy. Then it was Wheel of Fortune. Now, after the shocking loss of Bob Barker of The Price is Right, it appears that the age of classic game shows is unraveling.

Classic photo of Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and Alex Trebek on set of Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune
Credit: Vanna White Twitter

Game Show Network Losses: Trebek, Barker, and More

Bob Barker (remember to spay and neuter your animals) died at the age of 99. He was best known as the face of The Price is Right. While he was no longer the game show host, Barker was forever associated with the television show itself.

This comes after the recent loss of Alex Trebek from Jeopardy, a host who has proven almost impossible to replace. Finally, the Wheel of Fortune debacle marks the triad of trouble. As Vanna White and Pat Sajak deal with contract issues, game shows continue to suffer.

It impacts any contestant on these TV show icons. While Drew Carey had replaced Barker for the Price is Right game show, it was never the same. Neither was Jeopardy after the Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings came to the stand.

Mayim Bialik holding Final Jeopardy card
Credit: ABC

Shoes Too Big to Fill, Even for the Game Show Greats

When Mayim Bialik took to the podium after the loss of Jeopardy icon Alex Trebek, fans wanted to “keep her off the air.” More recently, Vanna White and Pat Sajak encountered issues with the popular game show Wheel of Fortune.

These represent the two evening television pop culture icons, changing game show history with death, then retirement/payment concerns. Even though Drew Carey was carrying the torch for the morning-time price-guessing game show, the loss shows something larger for pop culture: change.

Celebrity Wheel, Trivial Pursuit, and Hollywood Squares each represent an iconic quiz show. And while these games are meant to star the ever-changing contestant, the host is the unchanging tether, the consistency that came with cable TV.

A person watching a man jump around on The Price is Right.

Game Shows Continue Despite Tragedies, Show Must Go On

Steve Harvey is still the host of Family Feud, and there are still many Match Game episodes to binge. But game shows offered something streaming can’t: regularity and scheduling. The game show network would set the schedule, and groups would gather.

Families and friends grouped to watch Alex Trebek read out a clue flawlessly, guess wildly at Wheel of Fortune games, and wake up to catch Price is Right for the morning spins.

A fun industry has been steeped in tragedy for some time, and according to recent news about Vanna White, the trend continues. There are still great TV shows to watch, game shows even, but the era of the classic game program appears to be coming to an end.

How do you feel about these game show legends? Share in the comments below!

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