Hit that Buzzr

Clockwise from left: Host Gene Rayburn, Allen Ludden, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Dolly Martin, Richard Dawson and Betty White on “Match Game ’73.” Image from tvseriesfinale.com.

I was stumbling around channels on the one over-the-air TV we have in the house when I saw some familiar faces and loud suits from my childhood: the gang from “Match Game.”

It was “Match Game ’73,” to be precise, which made me wonder: Who the hell was showing “Match Game ’73,” especially since a) it was on one of those extra channels that air alongside the major local stations’ HD feeds, and b) it wasn’t GSN?

Turns out it’s a (relatively) new channel called Buzzr (or BUZZR, as they prefer to be printed).

Judging from its lineup, Buzzr has picked up a lot of the GSN cast-offs and other sorta classics, such as “Blockbusters” (with Bill Cullen), “Child’s Play” (with Bill Cullen) and “What’s My Line” (not with Bill Cullen). It’s a mixed bag, to be sure, and it’s light on the “quiz” portion of “quiz shows.” (Does anybody besides YouTube fourth-generation-quality samizdat collectors have the recordings of Art Fleming’s “Jeopardy,” “Split Second,” “The $64,000 Question,” “G.E. College Bowl” and others in which actual knowledge was required — or did they all end up in the same degaussed landfill that claimed so many old “Tonight Shows”?) But there’s entertainment to be had if you look in the right place.

Moreover, the channel’s heart is in the right place. All year long Buzzr is celebrating 75 years of the TV game show. Though I don’t expect they’ll bring back the hardcore quizzes — even ABC, which is creating a “Sunday Fun and Games” evening, is only putting on new celebrity versions of the lightweight “Family Feud,” “Pyramid” and “Match Game” — at least it’s a tip of the hat to the variety the genre presents.

It’s certainly worth a little “Concentration.”


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