Author Topic: your favorite USA afternoon lineup  (Read 661 times)

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Offline Superballer

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your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« on: September 04, 2019, 10:21:29 AM »
Of the many different iterations of the legendary afternoon block, which lineup did you personally like the best?  It's challenging for me given that several lineups were especially good, but I'd have to pick the 1989-90 lineup, when the block was arguably at its absolute peak.  And what a schedule that was:  $25,000 Pyramid, Press Your Luck, classic Tic-Tac-Dough, Lange's Name That Tune, Wink's High Rollers, Wipeout, Hot Potato, Davidson's Hollywood Squares, and probably one or two others I'm forgetting.   

Online jude_este

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 10:45:31 AM »
Press Your Luck, The $25,000 Pyramid, and Scrabble towards the end of the block circa 1993-95.

Offline blozier2006

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 10:52:51 AM »
Shouldn't this go in the "Out in Left Field" board?

Offline Superballer

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 11:15:55 AM »
Indeed, I accidentally posted it in this forum by mistake, intending to put it there, so if the moderators wish to move this there, they can. 

Offline Teddy

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 06:09:18 PM »
Press Your Luck, The $25,000 Pyramid, and Scrabble towards the end of the block circa 1993-95.
I remember seeing those shows on the old USA Network, plus Classic Concentration with Alex Trebek. Before GSN came along, USA was certainly the cable destination for game shows.

Offline styleguy

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 07:10:58 PM »
Any of the lineups that had Sale of the Century.  I remember very fondly the USA game show marathons from when I was a kid.  Ah those were wonderful memories.     

Offline PatrickRox80

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 07:16:28 PM »
Along with The $25,000 Pyramid and Scrabble, I miss when USA had the Cartoon Express. Haven't had a reason to watch USA since they got rid of both blocks.

Offline dagdoggnh

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2019, 09:49:58 PM »
Bumper Stumpers and Chain Reaction with Bill Cullen(sometimes Geoff Edwards filling in) were also good shows on USA,IMHO.

Offline pannoni1

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2019, 09:04:08 AM »
Press Your Luck, The $25,000 Pyramid, and Scrabble towards the end of the block circa 1993-95.

Those were good shows, but especially in the case of 1994-95, you had the lousy originals Quicksilver and Free 4 All, as well as a shortened lineup. GSN launched in December of '94, but most people continued to watch USA until their game show block was purged, before moving onto the Family Channel (FAM).

When the block first started in 1984, the only shows were Candid Camera and the Gong Show, the former not really a game show to many. Make Me Laugh also was around, but aired late in the evening. CBN (pre-FAM) was the place to be in those early days, with Blockbusters, Face The Music, Tic Tac Dough, Card Sharks, and Hot Potato forming their lineup around the fall of '84. Then in the spring of 1985, the Joker's Wild and Bullseye were added to USA's afternoon game show block, effectively beginning a decade of secondhand game show fare that would allow many fans to catch them after school that they missed the first time around depending on when the original shows were scheduled in their market, or if they were even carried at all. It aired around the same time as CBN's block, and likely due to this, a fair number of VCR recordings from this era, especially by a recorder who lived in the Bay Area, survive today.

On September 30, 1985, the USA block expanded to three hours, with their first original, the all-new Jackpot, along with Kennedy Chain Reaction reruns, which soon became relaunched the following summer as an original, while Candid Camera got the boot. By then, CBN's block had shortened to 90 minutes, including what would later resurface after a stint on USA: Jim Lange's Name That Tune. A year later in the fall of 1986, the block had shifted an hour earlier (2-5 PM ET instead of 3-6 PM ET), with the Gong Show being moved to the morning and All-Star Blitz and Liar's Club joining the lineup, the later replacing Make Me Laugh. By then, CBN had jettisoned its game shows with the exception of Tic Tac Dough around midday (which would be dropped by the end of the year), and wouldn't return with a block until 1993 when Trivial Pursuit launched, by this time as FAM. Anything But Money would then join the Gong Show in its mini-morning block around this time. Let's Make A Deal (1984-86) would expand the afternoon block even more to 3 1/2 hours when it was added late in 1986. But around this time, the Joker's Wild was dropped for Love Me, Love Me Not, a rather bizarre relationship show.

The summer of 1987 added Play The Percentages and Hot Potato, along with the premiere of another Canadian-produced original: Bumper Stumpers. Liar's Club and Love Me, Love Me Not would be replaced by Press Your Luck that fall, by which time the block had taken nearly the entire afternoon at 4 1/2 hours, starting with Anything For Money at 12:30 ET, followed by the Gong Show, LMAD, Hot Potato, PYL, PT%, Jackpot!, Bumper Stumpers, and Chain Reaction. A few months later, TTD would replace The Gong Show.

The fall of 1988 would add High Rollers (Wink) and the long-forgotten Check It Out! replacing Anything For Money, making the block a full five hours. By the end of the year, the $25,000 Pyramid would replace the short-lived Check It Out. The block finally seemed to reach its full potential, and combined with NBC/CBS's morning game shows, early evening syndies like Wheel and Jeopardy!, and a few graveyard/late night ones like The Gong Show '88 and Love Connection, most of the day had the ability to watch a game show at some point, unmatched until GSN's launch six years later.

Over the next several years, we'd see Face The Music, Scrabble, Couch Potatoes, Davidson Hollywood Squares, Wipeout, Win, Lose or Draw, the $100,000 Pyramid, the 1990 versions of TTD and TJW, Talkabout, Sale of the Century, and finally, Casesar's Challenge join their schedule. The block would gradually dwindle in terms of time, being cut to a still large 4 1/2 hours in the fall of 1990, four in the spring of 1991, three in the fall of '91, back up to four in spring 1993, and then back down to 3 1/2 in early 1994. But it was still a great place to go for the game show fan. Unfortunately, on November 14, 1994, the block was once again shortened two just two hours: $100K Pyramid, Quicksilver, PYL, and Scrabble, surrounded by reruns of drama/action shows that the network was increasingly embracing. February 4, 1995 would see another purge with Scrabble and PYL dropped, leaving just $100K Pyramid and Quicksilver. Game shows on USA were truly on life support after $100K was siphoned off a month later, and although the block made a mini-comeback with $100K Pyramid and Scrabble/PYL rejoining shortly afterwards, little did we know that October 13, 1995 would be the last time that we would be seeing the later two on the schedule, with $100K Pyramid being replaced with a second Scrabble episode shortly beforehand. USA replaced those with Love Connection reruns the following Monday. Those eventually became part of the USA Live block the following spring, but it was clear that the channel was not known as a place for games, and around the same time, the Cartoon Express block was dropped, and USA became just a drama/wrestling channel that I wouldn't watch again. I temporarily moved to FAM for the next couple years until my cable provider got GSN in 1997.

I'd still say that the period from when PYL was launched in 1987 until $ale was dropped in 1994 was the best time for watching USA, and I watched the second half of or so of that period growing up.

Another thing about classic USA is Dance Party USA, which in away was a lot like what the old American Bandstand was, and that followed the game show block for several years.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 09:10:35 AM by pannoni1 »
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Offline Superballer

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2019, 10:28:07 AM »
Along with The $25,000 Pyramid and Scrabble, I miss when USA had the Cartoon Express. Haven't had a reason to watch USA since they got rid of both blocks.
 


Indeed, for the early members of Generation Y, classic USA could be considered to have been an all-day viewing party in their younger years--especially around the various holidays, when they'd also have a pretty good collection of specials (the various Chucklewood entries with Buttons and Rusty, Santa and the Three Bears, numerous Hanna-Barbera specials, etc.) 

1987-1994 does seem indeed a good time frame from the block at its best.  Before, it wasn't quite an event, and they were still feeling around to figure out what worked; after (although I'd go slightly past Sale's removal to the end of Caesars' Challenge as the final cutoff point), it was clearly dying out 

Online pricefan18

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2019, 07:27:45 PM »
I remember seeing those shows on the old USA Network, plus Classic Concentration with Alex Trebek. Before GSN came along, USA was certainly the cable destination for game shows.


USA reran Classic Concentration? I thought nobody did after NBC cancelled it.

Offline blozier2006

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 07:46:06 PM »

USA reran Classic Concentration? I thought nobody did after NBC cancelled it.
Well, NBC themselves reran it (the last first-run show was in September 1991, the final rerun was December 1993 or January 1994 depending on who you believe), and now Buzzr has it (since October 2018).

Either way, USA never had it in any way, shape or form. Nor did they have Wheel of Fortune (I'd heard a BS rumor that they'd allegedly had the rights to CC and the Goen era of Wheel, but never exercised them before scrapping the block in October 1995).

Online pricefan18

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2019, 10:05:52 PM »
Well, NBC themselves reran it (the last first-run show was in September 1991, the final rerun was December 1993 or January 1994 depending on who you believe), and now Buzzr has it (since October 2018).

Either way, USA never had it in any way, shape or form. Nor did they have Wheel of Fortune (I'd heard a BS rumor that they'd allegedly had the rights to CC and the Goen era of Wheel, but never exercised them before scrapping the block in October 1995).

Yeah I'm aware of NBC running it for those 2 years and Buzzr obviously now (crazy it's been a full year actually since they started to now, time flies), but I figured it never was reaired otherwise. I wonder if USA was ever interested in the Concentration II that was pitched a couple years after CC stopped airing new shows, assuming they had the rights then and maybe they didn't. Interesting about Goen Wheel also being in their possession, didn't know/wouldn't have thought of that.

Offline blozier2006

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2019, 11:07:39 PM »
Interesting about Goen Wheel also being in their possession, didn't know/wouldn't have thought of that.
You wouldn't have known about it because it wasn't true, thus the "BS rumor" tag in my original post.

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Re: your favorite USA afternoon lineup
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2019, 11:33:45 PM »
You wouldn't have known about it because it wasn't true, thus the "BS rumor" tag in my original post.

Oh, mea culpa, somehow missed that.....