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Gameshow Marathon (U.S. TV series)

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Title: Gameshow Marathon (U.S. TV series)  
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Subject: Match Game, Jay Wolpert, Todd Newton, Family Feud, Frank Wayne
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Gameshow Marathon (U.S. TV series)

Gameshow Marathon
Presented by Ricki Lake
Rich Fields
Starring Lance Bass
Paige Davis
Tim Meadows
Kathy Najimy
Leslie Nielsen
Brande Roderick
Adam Carolla
Adrianne Curry
George Foreman
Kathy Griffin
Bruce Vilanch
Betty White
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Location(s) CBS Television City
Hollywood, California
Running time 40-44 minutes
Original channel CBS
Original run May 31, 2006 (2006-05-31) – June 29, 2006 (2006-06-29)

Game$how Marathon is an American television program which aired on CBS from May 31, 2006 to June 29, 2006. It is based on the UK series Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon which aired on ITV in 2005. It also aired in Canada on CTV.

The show features contestants competing in some of television's most historically popular game shows, in a single-elimination format until an ultimate winner is found. Both the UK and US versions featured celebrity contestants.

The US version was produced by FremantleMedia North America and Granada America and was hosted by Ricki Lake and announced by Rich Fields. In the US, the series only aired for a single season, while in the UK a second season aired in 2007, this time entitled Gameshow Marathon and hosted by Vernon Kay. This program was recorded at Stage 46, CBS Television City in Los Angeles, CA, USA.[1]


The seven-part game show tournament featured celebrity contestants Lance Bass, Paige Davis, Tim Meadows, Kathy Najimy, Leslie Nielsen, and Brande Roderick. The six played The Price Is Right, Let's Make a Deal (the only show which had not previously aired on CBS at that time), Beat the Clock, Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Match Game, and Family Feud to progress in the tournament. The series used replicas of each show's original set, or in the case of The Price Is Right, actual props from the series currently airing. Each installment began with a narration of the format of the particular show featured on that episode coupled with montages of clips from each program's history.

Tournament format

The format of each individual show was largely unchanged. All six celebrity contestants participated in the first game, The Price Is Right. The Showcase winner from this episode claimed the first of four seats in "Finalists' Row". The remaining contestants after each game was played then participated in the next game (five for Let's Make a Deal, four for Beat the Clock, three for Press Your Luck) to win one of the remaining seats. After the fourth game, the remaining two contestants were eliminated.

The four contestants in "Finalists' Row" were then paired in a competition to play the fifth and sixth games (Card Sharks and Match Game). The winners of those two games then proceeded to the "championship game", Family Feud.

For the finals, each celebrity assembled a five-person team of family and friends to play Family Feud, with the charity of the winning "family" receiving $100,000.

Brande Roderick was the showcase winner on the episode featuring The Price Is Right Lance Bass became the next semifinalist from Let's Make a Deal, and Paige Davis won the Beat the Clock installment. Kathy Najimy won the last semifinal slot on Press Your Luck, and Tim Meadows and Leslie Nielsen were eliminated at the end of that episode. Roderick defeated Davis in Card Sharks, and Najimy defeated Bass in Match Game. Najimy and her family then beat Roderick and her family on Family Feud to capture the top prize.

The Match Game installment also featured Kathy Griffin, Bruce Vilanch, and Betty White (in her traditional seat) as the panel. The six also appeared as audience members during the Price is Right episode.

The "Barker's Beauties" from The Price Is Right also played a role in some of the installments. Gilbert Gottfried appeared on the Let's Make a Deal alongside each of the Zonks.

Rule changes

For The Price Is Right, the top prize for Plinko was $100,000 and featured the same layout as seen in prime time episodes with a $20,000 slot in the center. Three games were played on the episode, and the two highest-scoring contestants in the Showcase Showdown advanced to the Showcase. The winning showcase went to a viewer watching at home.

Let's Make a Deal was played exactly as it was during the Monty Hall era in which the celebrities and some actual audience members taking part in the deals and they were wearing costumes, and it ended with the Big Deal, worth over $87,000. The celebrity who won the most advanced to Finalists' Row and their prizes were awarded to a home viewer. (Most memorable was Gilbert Gottfried making cameo appearances during the show; once in a Zonk as a baby in a huge high chair, then in the prize for the Big Deal, a Dodge Viper, which wasn't won.)

Beat the Clock was played in a tournament format. Two of the celebrities played a stunt as a team with a time limit of 60 seconds. The other two celebrities played the same stunt, trying to beat the first team's time. The two celebrities on the winning team then faced off in another stunt. The winner of the second stunt played one final stunt alone and if it was completed successfully within the 60 second time limit, a home viewer wins a car in addition to the other prizes earned by the winning celebrity.

The game board for Press Your Luck had top amounts of $3,000, $4,000 and $5,000 + One Spin in round one, and those values doubled in round two. The winning celebrity's cash and prizes went to a home viewer.

Contestants playing Card Sharks received $1,000 for winning round one and $2,000 for round two. Instead of using the tiebreaker round featured on the NBC and CBS/1986 syndicated versions, a complete round with five cards and four questions was played as round three for $3,000. The first contestant to win two rounds won the game. The Money Cards offered a top prize of $144,000. $1,000 was given at the start of that round, and another $1,000 was given on the second level. Minimum bets were $50 on each card until the Big Bet, where a bet equal to at least half the current score must be wagered. Like the 1986 veresion of the show, the contestant could change one card per line by choosing one of three spare cards. Like the 1986–1989 version of the show, a car game was added; however, it did not resemble either version used during that period. In this car game, the contestant had to correctly determine whether the number of cheerleaders that answered "yes" to a question was higher or lower than five, and a card taken from the blue deck was used for the actual answer.

In Match Game, two contestants each tried to match the celebrities as on the original series. The winner after Round 3 moved on to the Super Match for a chance to win up to $50,000 for a home viewer. Two audience matches were played with $500, $250, and $100 as the possible payouts, and the contestant had a chance to multiply the total won from the audience matches by 50 by matching one celebrity in the Head-to-Head match.

The finale featured Family Feud, with teams competing to score 300 points first. The points doubled in round four and tripled in round five and beyond. In Fast Money, the first contestant had 20 seconds to answer the questions and the other received 25 seconds. A home viewer won $50,000 if the two contestants in Fast Money were able to reach or exceed 200 points.


  1. ^ "Shows–CBS Television City". Retrieved 25 July 2011. 

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