There are several basic genres of game shows with a great deal of crossover between the different types.
In the US, television game shows fell out of favor in the 1950s after it was revealed that favored contestants on The 64,000 Dollar Question[?] and other shows had been given answers and coached by the producers. They came back into favor in the 1960s by adopting merchandise prizes of far less value and by emphasizing larger numbers of simple questions, or physical contests without an advantage.
In the 1970s Chuck Barris conceived a new genre, in which the competitor's personal life became part of the show, they were the forerunners of todays reality game show. The prize was typically romantic opportunity (The Dating Game[?] - the first dating game show) or fame (The Gong Show) rather than cash. One of his famous shows, The Newlywed Game[?], actually led to some divorces.
This genre disappeared from US screens in the 1980s. Blind Date[?], the British version of the Dating Game, remained popular in the UK. In Japan a number of shows emegerged that defy classification by most standards. For instance, in one infamous show, failing to answer a question correctly led to one's own mother being buried in tons of rotting fish. In another, those who failed to answer questions correctly were dumped off at locales very far from transport or assistance, e.g. in the Arctic, and had to perform such feats as drinking beer while sitting on blocks of ice - first one to run to the outhouse was left behind.
The reality game shows concept really took off in the 1990s with shows like Survivor, Big Brother and their clones. Planet 24[?] television (owned by Bob Geldof) devised the concept of Survivor but were unable to sell it to a British or American broadcaster. It was eventually taken up in 1997 by Sweden as Expedition Robinson[?]. The format was an immediate hit in other Scandinavian countries and it soon caught on around the world. These shows combine elements of reality show and older reality game shows with traditional game-show elements of physical competitions by contestants. Some shows (e.g. The Weakest Link, Greed) exploit a disapproval voting system similar to the reality game show, and play up the realistic confrontation between contestants, but are in fact just conventional game shows, where no bodily torture or emotionally stressful situation is created, other than the failure to answer some question or impress hosts. Dog Eat Dog[?] was even publicised as a reality show despite being basically a revamp of The Krypton Factor with a variant of disapproval voting added.
British game shows
Panel games In these, celebrities compete, usually in two teams.
US game shows
French game shows
See also: List of television programs