Three of America’s most beloved game shows, “Jeopardy!,” “Wheel of Fortune,” and “The Price is Right,” have been appearing on our screens for decades, but which show has been on the air longer? The classic game shows have defined primetime network television for years, and when it comes to views, the shows dominate. Each week the shows garner millions of views, proving the classic game show formula has and will continue to work.
Even if you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that game shows have commanded television throughout the decades and appear not to be slowing down any time soon.
‘Jeopardy!,’ ‘Wheel,’ Or ‘Price Is Right’: Who’s Been Around The Longest?
The beloved game show, “Wheel of Fortune,” debuted on Jan. 6 in 1975— the same time “Jeopardy!” took a brief hiatus. While “Jeopardy!” existed slightly over a decade before the “Wheel” began, the idea for “Wheel of Fortune” was spawned by Merv Griffin, who was the same brain behind “Jeopardy!” The original version of the show was a daytime series that lasted from Jan. 6, 1975, to Jun. 30, 1989, and then from July 17, 1989, to Jan. 11, 1991, and again from Jan. 14, 1991, when the network canceled the original version the show on Sept. 20, 1991. Since then, the nighttime “Wheel of Fortune” has remained on the air.
Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford initially hosted the network version of the show. In 1981, Woolery left and was replaced by today’s host, Pat Sajak. Later Stafford left in 1982, and Vanna White took her spot and has remained on the show until this day.
“The Price is Right” initially aired on network TV from 1956 to 1965 and was hosted by Bill Cullen. Later, in 1972, a syndicated version of the show premiered in 1972 with Bob Barker as the host. As for “The Price is Right,” it premiered on Sept. 4, 1972, on CBS and was hosted by Bob Barker until he ended his run on Jun. 15, 2007.
Following Barker’s exit, Drew Carey took the hosting gig on Oct. 15, 2007, for its 36th season. While it’s technically not the oldest game show on the air, it took the title of the longest-running game show on network television.
When it comes to longevity, “Jeopardy!” takes the win. The classic quiz show debuted on Mar. 30 in 1964, yet it has not aired continuously since then. The show went off the air in 1975 but returned briefly from 1978 to 1979. Later in 1984, “Jeopardy!” got its revival when the late Alex Trebek became the host of the nighttime syndicated edition.