Game Show Network Launches 18 Years Ago This Weekend
As we like to acknowledge each year, the only American TV outlet dedicated strictly to serving the needs of game show fans has turned another year older. As early as May, 1992, the press was reporting that Sony Pictures Entertainment would produce a new cable network, then called The Game Show Channel. On December 1st, 1994, at 7PM Eastern Time, Game Show Network (now, for the most part, known simply as GSN) launched on cable and satellite services across the country. Kicking it off with, in this author’s opinion, the coolest launch to a network ever, a 6-minute montage of almost everything the network had in their library at the time. Since then, the network has evolved from purely a network showing reruns of game shows, to trying many different things in its existence, including interactive break games, comedy game-related programming, original concepts, overnight phone-in programs, casino-based shows, documentaries and even reality shows with their hosts. Probably the most traditionally-loved thing the network has done is reviving game show concepts. Some have been good, some have been bad, but the list includes remakes of 3′s a Crowd, 1 vs. 100, Chain Reaction, The Gong Show, I’ve Got a Secret, Lingo, The Newlywed Game, Press Your Luck and The Pyramid series.
The look of the network has evolved too, from using the mascot “Winnie” (pictured above) from launch until 1997, followed by the Wheel of Fortune-inspired tile logo for another six years. In 2004 came the network’s rebranding to GSN, The Network for Games, ushering in a colder, dark green and black scheme. Since 2008, the current logo has been in use, a more fun and inviting rounded rectangle logo. However, no matter what changes have been experimented with, the core of the network has stayed solid: a place to tune in and catch a game – new, old or somewhere in the middle. Some of us may not always agree with what the network does, but the fact that it is still around and is in fine shape is enough to be thankful for. Below are some of the more defining aspects of the branding of the network over its last 18 years. Feel free to share with us some of your favorite GSN memories and moments, too. Happy birthday, GSN!