screenrant.com 10 Longest Running Game Shows In Television History
The game show genre has been among the most prominent on television for well over 50 years. As most avid game show viewers watch for the ability to play along at home, game shows provide some of the most engaging yet easy-going forms of entertainment for everyday audiences.
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Over time, many game shows have been canceled then revived multiple times, and a handful has stayed on air since their initial debut. Whether they've been consistently airing or revamped from time to time, some game shows have been gracing the small screen far longer than any others.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
10 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - 22 years
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is a game show that has made quite a ripple on pop culture since its American debut in 1999. There have been many international versions of the show, such as the Indian version that is the subject of the 2009 Best Picture Winner Slumdog Millionaire. The show is originally from The United Kingdom, but no version has found as much success as the American iteration of Millionaire.
Though sometimes there can be an exciting win, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire often sees big failures due to the major stakes involved, making for some intense entertainment. The show has been on the air fairly consistently since its 1999 debut and has gone through a series of hosts including Regis Philbin, Terry Crews, and Jimmy Kimmel. The last episode aired in March of 2021, and it is still unclear if ABC will continue the show after the most recent season.
9 Password - 23 years
Password is one of the many game shows that has seen a plethora of revivals and remakes. A word association game in which contestants are paired with celebrities, Password's heyday was between 1961 to 1982. The face of the show was host Allen Ludden, who was active on Password for the majority of its most successful run. Ludden's wife, the beloved comedian and still active actress Betty White, was often a featured player on the show as well.
Two separate installments of the original Password ran from 1961 to 1967 and again from 1971 to 1975. After that, Password began getting revamps, the first being Password Plus from 1979 to 1982. Super Password aired from 1984 to 1989, and the most recent edition called Million Dollar Password had a short stint from 2008 to 2009. All together, Password ran for a total of 23 years with 2,855 episodes.
8 What's My Line? - 24 years
One of the earliest televised American game shows, What's My Line? is also one of the longest-running despite being off the air for close to 50 years now. The game involved a panel of celebrities who had to guess the job occupations of contestants through a series of questions, clearly a predecessor to other popular game shows such as To Tell The Truth and Figure It Out.
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What's My Line? has 2,196 episodes total spanning over 24 years. It had a nearly consecutive run, but two separate iterations; one from 1950 to 1967, and another from 1968 to 1975. The original iteration is an Emmy and Golden Globe winner and a pioneer in incorporating celebrities into the game show format.
7 Pyramid - 25 years
Two contestants are paired with celebrities in Pyramid, a word association game based on various categories that are shown in the shape of a pyramid. There have been many versions of Pyramid since its debut, each one with a different amount of grand prize money that has increased over time.
The show originally ran from 1973 until 1988 and was initially called The $10,000 Pyramid, which was usually hosted by the iconic Dick Clark. Over the course of its initial 15-year run, the show ran many versions all at once, with prizes varying from $20,000, to $25,000, to $50,000, all the way up to $100,000. Other installments came in 1991, 2002, 2012, and the most recent in 2016 is still airing today. Pyramid has aired over 1,000 episodes and is currently hosted by the funny and multi-talented Michael Strahan.
6 Let's Make A Deal - 35 years
One of the kookiest game shows of all time is Let's Make A Deal. Audience members come dressed in crazy costumes in hopes to be called onto the stage where they can make deals to win a variety of prizes. The show has been canceled and revived many times over the years, but in total has collected over 6,000 episodes throughout its 35-year life span.
The original Let's Make A Deal was wildly popular from 1963 to 1977. After that, the show saw many short-lived revivals between 1981 to 2003 until 2009, when it got its footing on air once again. Today, one of the funniest Whose Line Is It Anyway? cast members Wayne Brady is the host of the upbeat game show.
5 Family Feud - 38 years
Family Feud is one of the most well-known game shows of all time. Since its debut in 1976, the show has managed to stay consistently popular with audiences despite it being off-air for a handful of years. The original run went until 1985, was revived again in 1988 and lasted until 1995, then was finally revived again in 1999 and has been airing ever since.
Richard Dawson was the first beloved host of Family Feud and his presence was surely a major contributor to the show's initial success. Today though, ratings have been higher than ever with Steve Harvey as the host. The show even has an acclaimed celebrity version that sees various stars go head to head in the trivia game rather than the everyday American families.
4 Wheel Of Fortune - 46 years
While Wheel Of Fortune isn't quite the longest-running game show of all time, its co-hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White hold the record for longest-running television show hosts of all time, game show or not, at 39 years. With Wheel Of Fortune still being on the air, these two will likely continue to increase their record in the near future.
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Wheel Of Fortune currently sits at over 7,000 episodes and counting which is the most episodes any game show has ever seen. The show debuted in 1975, but it really took off in 1982 when Sajak and White joined the team. Wheel Of Fortune is one of the easiest game shows to play along with at home, likely contributing to its continual success.
3 Jeopardy! - 52 years
Jeopardy! is still one of the most adored game shows of all time. A trivia game for the smartest of people, it too has seen one of the longest-running hosts in television history with the beloved Alex Trebek, who was the star of the show until his death in 2020.
Jeopardy! originally ran from 1964 to 1979, but it wasn't until the 1984 revival did the show start making an impact on audiences, likely thanks to Trebek's debut with the revamp. The show has seen a slew of hosts since Trebek's passing including Blossom star Mayim Bialik and LeVar Burton, whose Geordie LaForge was one of the most awesome Star Trek: The Next Generation characters, but has yet to name an official, long-term replacement.
2 Des Chiffres Et Des Lettres - 54 years
What is almost the longest-running game show of all time, French show Des Chiffres et des Lettres has been on the air consistently since 1965. Translating to "Numbers and Letters," Des Chiffres et des Lettres puts contestants' knowledge of both subjects to the test. The show consists of multiple rounds that involve various challenges in mathematics and spelling.
Most likely unknown to American audiences, Des Chiffres et des Lettres is a smash hit in France. It has seen multiple international versions since its creation, including a failed US iteration from 1990 that never aired.
1 The Price Is Right - 58 years
At 58 years on air and counting, The Price Is Right currently holds the record for the longest-running game show of all time. It had an original 9 year run from 1956 to 1965. Add that to the current version of the show that has been airing since 1972, The Price Is Right has been on the air far longer than most television shows regardless of genre.
The Price Is Right is always full of overly-enthusiastic contestants who play a wide variety of mini-games revolving around modern-day commerce. The most notable host of the show was Bob Barker, the face of The Price Is Right since the 1972 revival until his retirement in 2007. He was replaced by Drew Carey, who still hosts the show today.
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Moon is a List Writer for Screen Rant with a focus in Movies & TV. They are also an award winning screenwriter, filmmaker, and playwright currently based in Chicago, IL. They have a Bachelor's Degree in Film with a Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. In addition to Screen Rant, Moon has also written about Minecraft for Sportskeeda.More From Moon Abbott