The game show is another of the oldest genres of television programming. The TV game show is descended from the radio quiz show, a popular genre that featured contestants answering questions or solving puzzles in an attempt to win money or prizes. The TV version of the quiz show was popular throughout the 1950s, and game shows held prominent positions in both day-time and night-time programming.
In the late 1950s, a series of scandals in which a number of quiz shows were discovered to be rigged led to a significant decline in the popularity of game shows on television. A few popular programs held on, but overall, the 1960s were a quiet time for TV game shows. The 1970s saw a major revival of the genre, however, with the success of shows like Family Fued, The $10,000 Pyramid, The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and many others. The celebrity panel show, in which a group of celebrities rather than ordinary contestants answered the questions, had remained popular through the 1960s, and the panel show also saw an explosion of popularity in the 70s.
Another lull in the popularity of TV game shows occurred in the 1980s, but there was a resurgence of the genre late in the 1990s, led by the success of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Day-time game shows were essentially gone, but the game show returned to prime time, and game shows were widespread on cable networks.
The 90s also saw a fusion of the game show genre with the new reality-TV genre, as shows such as Survivor combined elements of competition with the unscripted, unpredictable nature of reality TV. The content of competitive shows expanded as well, as contestants began to compete not just in quiz- or knowledge-based areas, but also in performance contests such as dance or singing competitions.