Are we set for the re-emergence of the Game Show?

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While the classic game show remains commonplace on British television, this is mainly due to the proliferation of channels and mediums.

In terms of mainstream and primetime television, however, the days of game shows dominating the schedules has almost disappeared, with many traditional gaming patterns and cult classics now consigned to occasional re-runs on niche channels. This will come as a disappointment to many, especially as this format seems to have been replaced by reality television shows.

This may be about to change, however, especially when you consider the news that the cult game show The Crystal Maze is set to make a long-awaited comeback after a two-decade hiatus. The adventure game show, which saw participants pit their combined wits against the physical and mental challenges of the now iconic maze, was extremely popular during its heyday and has maintained a cult following to this very day. Its proposed return is not only good news for fans of the show, however, as it also hints at a return for classic game shows on a broader scale.

After all, we must remember that television is cyclical in its nature and that different types of programming tend to lose and gain popularity periodically. So while the demand for game shows may have dipped gradually over the course of the last 20 years, we are now at a point where the most popular have earned cult status and forged a position where they can re-enter the mainstream. This process will begin with cult and globally popular shows such as The Crystal Maze, before other formats also make a comeback.

If the return of these so-called cult games is well-received, all types of different formats could make a return on primetime television. This includes once popular bingo and lottery formats, which were at the height of their popularity when the National Lottery became a television phenomenon in 1994. While these games are usually hosted on lottery sites such as, we could soon see these simple games of chance re-emerge on a wider entertainment platform.

Beyond this, more mainstream gameshows may also be reinvented for the modern age, while enduring popular formats such as Deal or No Deal remain immovable. This is certainly something to look for in the future, as the nature and delivery of television content continues to evolve.