A quiz show is an entertainment program that’s always broadcasted on TV or radio. This program involves people competing in a quiz and people get prizes. The history of quiz shows dated back to the 1930s with the BBC. BBC started the first high-definition and regular TV service to the world in 1937. Two years later, the first quiz show ever was transmitted from BBC studios that resided in Alexandra Palace. Spelling Bee that was hosted by Freddie Grisewood happened to be the first quiz show ever. Save the story of the spelling bee. Let’s talk about the reasons why the quiz shows were famous. 


Before the Second World War

Spelling Bee opened the gate to other quiz shows. An idea of having a spelling bee competition on screen was a strange one. That increased the curiosity of the viewers. Everybody wanted to feel the sensation of watching their first quiz show. You can link their feeling to that of a teen that wants to watch Spiderman.

The show was also popular because of the impact. The spelling bee show was about guests spelling some series of words. This gave little kids who were not opportune to be at the show to learn. They learned new words, how to spell them and how to pronounce them. So, it was a household duty for kids to watch the show. This contributed to the popularity of the show. 

The fascinating way in which the show was organized also contributed to its popularity. The host, Freddie Grisewood was always decorated in a schoolmaster garb. This made it funny to participants and viewers. This mode of publicity was employed by most quiz shows that came after the Spelling Bee. 

Everything about Spelling Bee went down the drain during the Second World War. During this period, television was closed down.

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After the Second World War

After the war, many television shows were introduced. One of them happened to be What’s my line? What’s my line was a panel game show that manifested from the US and ran for 17 years of production. For a show to run for a good seventeen years, there must be a secret recipe behind that. The show involved a panel of four stars who questioned the guests. This show had brought different celebrities on various occasions. The questions asked by the celebrities will be used to determine the kind of work a guest does. This was fun.

The reasons why people were stuck to watching the show were due to its manner, fun, and class. When the show just began, the hosts and panellists were seen in business suits and street dresses. Yes, they wore street dresses for the fun of the show. By 1953, the show switched to another dressing code which was men should wear black suits with bow ties and women should don formal gowns and gloves, sometimes. This showed one thing, class.

Another point that made the show to be popular was the formality that was observed on the show. The first host of the show, John Croghan Daly ensured when he was talking to a panellist, he addressed using surnames. This gave the panellists, a sense of relationship with the host. He also made use of pun sometimes, just to make everything to be funny. 

Daly made sure whenever he was answering a question, he did it in a confused manner. His answers were to mislead the panellists. As he was putting the panellists in confusion, viewers at home were enjoying his tricks. Most quick-witted comedians also increased the rating of the quiz shows. This increased the growth of the quiz shows in most countries.

Apart from the mastery of John Daly, the way the show was broadcasted added to the popularity of the show. At the time of the Spelling Bee, the show was displayed on black-and-white television. Sixteen years after the start of What’s my line? The broadcasting was changed to the coloured version. This colour version was more pleasing to the eyes than the black-and-white. 

Remember, all fingers are not equal. Not everybody had a TV then, some were using the radio. In 1952, NBC Radio produced its version of What’s my line? This increased the fan base of the show. The show was also broadcasted live on CBS Radio.

The most important thing that makes things work is money. During the runtime of the show, the mystery guests that appear on the show would get $500 which is equivalent to $5000 in 2019. This was tagged as an appearance fee. The fee was paid even if the guest lost. 

This show was backed by big sponsors. Dr. Jules Montenier paid so that his product Stopette, a spray deodorant featured on the show. This increased the sales of the product. On the other hand, it boosted the viewers of the show. More sponsors like Kellogg’s, Allstate Insurance and many more came in. 

CBS stopped the production of the show in 1967. After that, some people still tried to revive the program. The revived show ran from 1968-1975. This showed that the viewers and the organizers enjoyed the show. In 2013, the show was ranked the 10th greatest quiz show ever.

BBC was founded in 1922. The first American television station began in 1928. Their major operations revolved around broadcasting, reporting live feeds and mostly dramas. The world of TV viewers revolved around this: early morning news, afternoon news, and late-night drama. With the introduction of quiz shows, viewers had a new item to enjoy their day. There was no Olympics, World Cup or Super bowl. The first Olympics was televised in 1936, Berlin Germany. The first world cup was televised in 1954. This boils down to the fact that early quiz shows like Spelling Bee, Truth or Consequences and others rose to popularity because they were the alternatives or getaways from the normal boring schedule of TV stations. Wrestling shows? John Cena? There was no avenue for that in those days. It was an avenue to gain more experience. Most people wanted to experience what it is to be on TV. 

Scandal is among the things that made some early quiz shows to be popular. Some quiz shows were scandalous. Most quiz shows that involved panellists were involved in scandals. The organizers limited the style of quiz that a guest can participate in and the amount of money that could be won. This development, though, it tarnished the image of the quiz shows. It also increased the popularity of the quiz shows involved. They were tagged scam. 

In 1980, the newly introduced tech boosted the views of the shows. They used hi-tech elements for their shows. Quiz shows made for kids were digitalized with the technology that was introduced then. This made people love the show more. This boosted long-range transmissions. Long-range transmissions in the sense that people could watch the show in other parts of the world. 

Lastly, the shows were influenced by governments. They influenced it with their appearances on the show and some policies they made. 

Old quiz shows that ran for a long time and was popular include US import Blockbusters, A Question of Sports, What’s my line, Blankety Blank and others. 

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