Thursday, March 24, 2016

Classic TV: Card Sharks (1978)

Ever hear of the card game, Acey-Deucey? Well, that was the basis that Mark Goodson & Bill Todman used for Card Sharks, which has had three different runs over the course of nearly 30 years as a stand-alone series.

Card Sharks utilized the audience survey format favored by G-T stablemate Family Feud over on ABC, mixed with standard quiz questions, leading to a bonus "Money Cards" game where the winners could conceivably win up to $5,000, a little higher in subsequent revivals. Jim Perry was tapped to host the series when it aired on NBC. G-T recycled the theme from their failed 1976-7 CBS series, Double Dare (not to be confused with the Nickelodeon series of the same name) for Card Sharks, and even today, it still rocks.

After nearly 3 full years, NBC pulled the plug on Card Sharks in 1981. Five years later, Goodson, now a solo act as a producer, revived the series, which moved to CBS, with Bob Eubanks (ex-The Newlywed Game) taking over as host, as Perry had moved on to a revival of Sale of the Century. Concurrently, a syndicated version, emceed by Bill Rafferty (ex-Real People) was run in an attempt to unseat Merv Griffin's top-rated duo of Jeopardy! (w/Alex Trebek) and Wheel of Fortune, which are still running today. This revival also lasted just shy of 3 full years. The show was brought back in syndication again in 2001, with Pat Bullard as host, but it bombed, lasting 1 season. The final configuration revived the original stage set from 1978 for CBS' Game Show Marathon in 2006, with talk show host-actress Ricki Lake hosting.

Would Fremantle Media, which now owns the rights, bring back Card Sharks again? I doubt it, considering the poor response to the last series.

Rating: A.


SaturdayMorningFan said...

I wish Freemantle would release the original Card Sharks series on DVD. I loved that show and used to watch it whenever I could. I loved that theme song too!

hobbyfan said...

I'm with you there, brother. Fremantle doesn't think it'll sell, but I'd say any fan nostalgic for Goodson-Todman programming other than Price Is Right, Password, etc., would love to see such shows as Card Sharks all over again.