12 longest-running game shows on TV


The enduring appeal of the longest-running game shows lies in their ability to entertain and engage audiences over many years. These shows offer contestants exciting opportunities to win prizes while captivating viewers who live vicariously through them. Whether it’s the unique format of the show or the charismatic hosts who lead them, there’s something special that keeps fans coming back for more.

Jeopardy! is a prime example of a game show that combines challenging questions with the charm of its former host, Alex Trebek. This winning formula has kept viewers glued to their screens for over 50 years.

The best game shows are those that remain enjoyable to watch even with new hosts. Despite initial doubts, replacements for iconic hosts like Bob Barker on The Price is Right and Richard Dawson on The Family Feud have proven successful, maintaining the shows’ popularity. As Wheel of Fortune faces a similar challenge, it joins the ranks of game shows that have stood the test of time, with many enduring for over 20 years and some even reaching the impressive milestone of half a century on the air.

Match Game

From 1962 to 1969 and then again from 1973 to 1982, followed by brief revivals in 1990 to 1991 and 2016 to 2021, totaling 22 years.

Match Game

Match Game is a long-standing TV game show with 22 seasons, making it one of the most enduring in television history. It premiered in 1962 with Gene Rayburn as host and two celebrity panelists. The show gained popularity over its initial seven-year run, leading to a revival in 1973 with more celebrities and increased prize money. The panel included notable personalities like Richard Dawson, Jack Klugman, Vicki Lawrence, and Michael Landon. Contestants aimed to match fill-in-the-blank queries with panelists’ responses. Although there was a brief return in the 1990s, the show experienced a genuine resurgence in 2016 with Alec Baldwin as host, bringing back its trademark energy and excitement.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Over a span of 22 years, from 1999 to 2021, the journey continued.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire burst onto the American television scene in 1999, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon. Originating from the United Kingdom, it has spawned numerous international versions, with the Indian adaptation famously inspiring the acclaimed film Slumdog Millionaire, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 2009.

Despite its thrilling potential for big wins, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is equally known for its nail-biting moments of failure, driven by the high stakes involved. Over the years, the show has seen various hosts, including Regis Philbin, Terry Crews, and Jimmy Kimmel, each adding their unique flair to the iconic program.

After airing consistently for over two decades, the show concluded its latest season in March 2021, leaving fans wondering about its future. ABC has yet to announce whether Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will return for another season, leaving its fate uncertain.

Hollywood Squares

For a total of 24 years, from 1966 to 1981, then again from 1983 to 1984, followed by 1986 to 1989, and finally from 1998 to 2004, the show continued its run, captivating audiences across multiple decades.

Hollywood Squares

Hollywood Squares, a game show with remarkable longevity, featured a grid of nine celebrities in a tic-tac-toe formation. Contestants competed for prizes while the host presented questions to the celebrities. The unique twist? Contestants had to determine whether the celebrity’s response was accurate or not, adding an element of unpredictability to the game.

The show’s allure was enhanced by the presence of comedians among the celebrity panelists, who often delivered delightfully absurd answers before revealing their genuine responses to the questions.

The roster of celebrities on Hollywood Squares was truly star-studded, including luminaries such as Rich Little, Roddy McDowall, Buddy Hackett, Florence Henderson, Vincent Price, Weird Al Yankovic, Charo, Sandy Duncan, Jonathan Winters, and Joan Rivers.

Despite facing cancellation twice in the 1980s, Hollywood Squares experienced a triumphant comeback in 1998, with Tom Bergeron, later renowned for his role as the host of Dancing with the Stars, taking the helm.

Password

Over the span of 24 years, from 1961 to 1975, and a recent revival in 2022.

Password

Password, one of the longest-standing game shows, has undergone numerous revivals and adaptations. Running from 1961 to 1982, it paired contestants with celebrities in a word association game. Hosted primarily by Allen Ludden, the show also featured appearances by his wife, the beloved actress Betty White.

The original Password had two separate runs, from 1961 to 1967 and again from 1971 to 1975. It then underwent revamps, including Password Plus (1979-1982) and Super Password (1984-1989). A short-lived revival titled Million Dollar Password aired from 2008 to 2009. In total, Password amassed 2,855 episodes over 23 years. Its legacy continued with an additional season in 2022.

What’s My Line?

Throughout a remarkable 24-year period, spanning from 1950 to 1975.

What's My Line?

What’s My Line? stands as one of America’s earliest televised game shows, boasting a remarkable run despite being off the air for nearly half a century. With its unique premise of celebrities guessing contestants’ job occupations, it laid the groundwork for future hits like To Tell The Truth and Figure It Out.

The show aired a total of 196 episodes over 24 years, with two distinct iterations: one from 1950 to 1967 and another from 1968 to 1975. The original version earned prestigious accolades including Emmy and Golden Globe awards, solidifying its status as a trailblazer in the game show genre.

Pyramid

Over a span of 27 years and counting, from 1973 to the present day.

Pyramid

Pyramid is a timeless word association game where contestants partner with celebrities to tackle a variety of categories arranged in a pyramid formation. Since its inception, the show has seen numerous iterations, each offering different grand prize amounts that have steadily increased over time.

Originally titled The $10,000 Pyramid, the show aired from 1973 to 1988, with Dick Clark frequently assuming the hosting duties. Throughout its 15-year run, multiple versions of the show ran concurrently, featuring prize amounts ranging from $20,000 to $100,000. Following revivals in 1991, 2002, and 2012, the most recent iteration began airing in 2016 and continues to captivate audiences today. With a vast repertoire of over 1,000 episodes, Pyramid is currently led by the dynamic Michael Strahan.

Let’s Make A Deal

For 37 years and counting, from 1963 to the present day.

Let's Make A Deal

Let’s Make a Deal holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running game shows in television history. Audience members flock to the set adorned in extravagant costumes, hoping for the chance to strike deals and win an array of prizes. Over its remarkable 35-year run, Let’s Make a Deal has amassed a staggering total of over 6,000 episodes.

The original iteration of Let’s Make a Deal enjoyed immense popularity from 1963 to 1977. Following its initial run, the show experienced several brief revivals spanning from 1981 to 2003, until finally finding its footing once more in 2009. Today, the show is helmed by the charismatic Wayne Brady, known for his comedic prowess on Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

Family Feud

For over 38 years, spanning from 1976 to the present day.

Family Feud

Family Feud stands out as one of the most enduring and beloved game shows in television history. Since its inception in 1976, the show has maintained a strong and consistent following among audiences, despite brief hiatuses from the airwaves. The original run of Family Feud lasted until 1985, underwent a revival in 1988, and continued until 1995, before being resurrected once more in 1999, where it has remained on air ever since.

Richard Dawson, the charming and affable host, played a pivotal role in the show’s early success. However, in recent years, the show has reached new heights of popularity under the helm of Steve Harvey. With Harvey’s comedic flair and engaging personality, Family Feud has experienced a resurgence in ratings and viewership.

In addition to its traditional format featuring everyday American families, Family Feud has also introduced a celebrity version of the show. This special edition pits various stars against each other in a battle of wits and trivia, adding an extra layer of excitement and entertainment for fans of the show.

Wheel Of Fortune

For nearly half a century, from 1975 to the present day.

Wheel Of Fortune

While Wheel Of Fortune may not clinch the title for the lengthiest-running game show, its iconic hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White, boast an extraordinary feat as the longest-serving television show hosts, spanning an impressive 39 years. As Wheel Of Fortune continues its enduring journey, Sajak and White are primed to further solidify their record-setting legacy in the years to come.

With a staggering tally of over 7,000 episodes and still counting, Wheel Of Fortune holds the prestigious distinction of being the game show with the highest number of episodes ever aired. Although its debut dates back to 1975, the show’s meteoric rise to fame ensued in 1982 upon the introduction of Sajak and White to the hosting lineup. Renowned for its straightforward yet captivating format, Wheel Of Fortune has stood the test of time as a beloved favorite among audiences, offering accessible and enjoyable entertainment that resonates across generations.

Pat Sajak’s retirement in 2024 marks the end of an era, but the show will continue its legacy with Ryan Seacrest taking over hosting duties thereafter.

Jeopardy!

Over the span of more than five decades, from 1964 to the present.

Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! endures as a cherished and timeless gem in the realm of game shows. Renowned for its brain-teasing trivia, it boasts the esteemed distinction of having one of the longest-serving hosts in television history, the beloved Alex Trebek, who guided the show until his passing in 2020.

Initially airing from 1964 to 1979, Jeopardy! experienced a renaissance in 1984, propelling it to newfound acclaim, largely thanks to Trebek’s stewardship of the revamped iteration. Following Trebek’s untimely demise, the show has seen a succession of new hosts, including Mayim Bialik, renowned for her role in Blossom, and former champion Ken Jennings, who have taken up the mantle to honor Trebek’s illustrious legacy.

Des Chiffres Et Des Lettres

For over 56 years, from 1965 to the present day.

Des Chiffres Et Des Lettres

Des Chiffres et des Lettres, meaning “Numbers and Letters,” stands as a longstanding titan among game shows worldwide, gracing French screens since 1965. With its array of challenges spanning mathematics and spelling, the show puts contestants’ intellect to the test through a series of engaging rounds.

While Des Chiffres et des Lettres may fly under the radar for American audiences, it holds a revered status in France, captivating viewers with its unique blend of brain-teasing challenges. Despite its lack of traction in the US, the show has sparked interest globally, albeit with a failed attempt at an American adaptation in 1990, which failed to secure a spot on airwaves.

The Price Is Right

For more than six decades, spanning from 1956 to the present day.

The Price Is Right

Having graced television screens for over six decades, The Price Is Right proudly claims the title of the longest-running game show in history. Its initial nine-year run from 1956 to 1965, coupled with the ongoing iteration that commenced in 1972, surpasses the endurance of most television programs, regardless of genre.

The Price Is Right showcases vibrant contestants partaking in a plethora of mini-games revolving around modern consumer culture. Bob Barker epitomized the show’s essence from its revival in 1972 until his retirement in 2007, leaving behind an indelible legacy. Drew Carey stepped into the role of host and continues to steer the show with finesse. Among the pantheon of long-running game shows, The Price Is Right stands as an epitome of resilience and entertainment.

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