Author Topic: Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used  (Read 601 times)

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Online pannoni1

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Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used
« on: May 11, 2020, 01:17:04 PM »
On Saturday, for the first time in its nearly 60 year history, It's Academic (the WJZ Baltimore version, with WRC in Washington, D.C. any week now) for the first time not only taped away from a traditional studio at the various hosts and contestants homes, but also changed the format where that there wouldn't be any buzzing in. I found that not only the format eliminated the opening category round, but also changed the two remaining rounds where each team had a set number of questions each (3 for the "Picture Perfect" visual round, and four for the closing Grab Bag round). It can feel very anticlimatic knowing that after the all-important Pick a Packet round, having one team before its their turn in the Grab Bag being down by 100 points or more makes that final round irrelevant.

With that said, certain game shows find that a buzzer system isn't necessary. Some may say TPIR counts, but the handle and buttons on certain games like Range Game, Race Game, Bonkers, Time Is Money, and even the retired Split Second still functionally act as a buzzer system. Of course, there's an entire classic game show channel named for this very system, but you'll see that mostly on the non-quiz shows like the various versions of Password, Card Sharks, and of course all of the panel shows, you won't find a buzzer system used. With that said, in terms of shows that we think of as "quiz" shows, the classic Joker's Wild (pre-1990), Tic Tac Dough (1950s and early Wink), Wipeout (Tomarken), Hollywood Squares, Match Game (more comedy than quiz show, but close enough), Double Dare (Nickelodeon), WWTBAM (non-Fastest Finger episodes) and Jackpot all make do without a buzzer system. With that said, such pandemic-proof shows that don't require a buzzer system nor an audience may be instrumental in the next wave of game shows, since there is usually a brief but important delay if a remote buzzer system is used that wouldn't go well with S&P. In addition to what I've described, what are some other game shows (in particular of the quiz variety) that don't allow a buzzer system?
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Offline Ccook

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Re: Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2020, 02:05:21 PM »
The original Concentration used no buzzer system. Games that went to the very end (the last two numbers on the board which usually didn't match due to the Wild Cards) required the person making the last match to solve the puzzle. If he/she couldn't, the opponent was allowed to guess. If neither solved the puzzle, the game ended in a draw. Straddled games was also subjected to this.
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Offline GR_Man_9009

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Re: Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2020, 02:14:15 PM »
I'm not sure if Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader qualifies because the contestant had to hit a button to lock in their answer.
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Offline gamesurf

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Re: Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2020, 03:23:37 PM »
For starters, pretty much any quiz that got its start in radio. Most single-player, big-money quizzes also qualify.

But just because a format isn't 100% buzzer-free doesn't mean it can't be played. Unless the buzzer is baked into the core of the format like Jeopardy or Sale or other examples that are so obvious they aren't worth mentioning, a lot of those games can still work with minimal retooling.

You can still play Tic-Tac-Dough without using any of the buzzer categories, or Wheel of Fortune without tossups, or a Family Feud face-off with a coin toss to see who gives the first answer, without completely ruining the game. Yes, there's good reasons why those shows chose to use a buzzer when they didn't have to, but it doesn't break the game to take it out.

With that said, such pandemic-proof shows that don't require a buzzer system nor an audience may be instrumental in the next wave of game shows

I don't think this is going to permanently change network TV. Some shows will be temporarily impacted, yes, but I don't predict that adjustments like no audience or no in-person contestants will last longer than a year, tops. If I'm wrong, we all will have much bigger problems to deal with than our favorite TV shows changing their formats.

The application I find more interesting is developing quiz formats for things BESIDES traditional broadcast TV--internet shows, YouTube channels, social media networks, etc. I think there's an appetite for that sort of content, especially if all you need are willing participants and Skype. Being able to develop or modify formats so they can be played online (whether for funsies or as a tie-in to a bigger product) is intriguing.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 03:25:44 PM by gamesurf »
Quote from: Bill Todman
"The sign of a good game, is when you don't have to explain it every day. The key is not simplicity, but apparent simplicity. Password looks like any idiot could have made it up, but we have 14 of our people working on that show. There is a great complexity behind the screen. It requires great work to keep it simple."

Offline Ivoryman86

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Re: Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2020, 01:28:19 PM »
How about the Leading Off and The Big Deal/The Schwab Showdown parts of Stump the Schwab and the first round of Child's Play, also, The Money List, one of the last, if not, the last GSN Original to use the GSN credit crunch.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 01:30:33 PM by Ivoryman86 »

Offline Ccook

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Re: Quiz shows where a buzzer system isn't used
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020, 04:27:08 AM »
Tattletales started with a buzzer system, then jettisoned it four months later.
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