Gameshow Marathon



Squeaky-clean contest recalls TV's simpler times.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A few of the game shows in this "marathon" are greed-driven. But since contestants are playing for charity, greed is used for a good cause.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Since it's a game show, the hostess hawks everything from Salad Shooters to sedans. At-home viewers are also invited to "play along" for a chance to win a big-name prize, using a text message number that's 99 cents per transmission.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, for the most part, this classic game show revival is pretty clean. But since it's a game show, be forewarned: Product placement runs rampant, and greed is usually encouraged. The celebrity contestants were obviously selected for their mainstream likeability rather than for the outrageous things they might or might not do on camera, which means their antics are tame enough for family viewing. The fact that contestants are playing for charity also makes them good role models for kids (and adults) of all ages.

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What's the story?

Borrowing its premise from a popular British television show by the same name, GAMESHOW MARATHON runs six celebrity contestants through a weeklong, elimination-style tournament of classic American game shows: The Price Is Right, Let's Make a Deal, Beat the Clock, Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Match Game, and Family Feud. The celebrity who lasts the longest wins the title of Gameshow Marathon champion and delivers a big check to the charity of his or her choice. As part of the process, an all-star roster of contestants -- including Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live), Leslie Nielsen (Airplane, The Naked Gun), Kathy Najimy (Sister Act), Lance Bass (*NSYNC), Paige Davis (Trading Spaces) and a busty-but-covered up Brande Roderick (Baywatch) -- are refereed by actress and former talk show hostess Ricki Lake.

Is it any good?


Parents will appreciate the rare chance to enjoy a prime-time television show with their kids that doesn't include excessive violence or sexual innuendo. In fact, Gameshow Marathon is so tame that it's possible kids might be bored. Nevertheless, it's a perfectly pleasant -- and, yes, even exciting -- way to spend a few evenings, a show that reminds us how far we've come since the days of Truth or Consequences.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the differences between the quirky game shows of yesteryear and the high-tech spectacles of today. Are intense lighting and dramatic music (think Who Wants to Be a Millionaire) really necessary to have a good time on TV? Have million-dollar game show prizes become so commonplace that we no longer appreciate winning the simpler things, like grandfather clocks? If all game show contestants had to give their winnings to charity (as this show's celebs do), would we still want to play -- or is the money all that matters?

TV details

Cast:Lance Bass, Leslie Nielsen, Ricki Lake, Tim Meadows
Genre:Game Shows
TV rating:TV-PG

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Adult Written bygamergurl84PI April 9, 2008

Nostaglia runs rampant

From what I saw so far of the tv show, it's good fun and sends out a mesage of charity giving when the celebrities win. Appropiate for those in gradeschool and for those who can understand the nature of gameshows.


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