Thursday, July 14, 2011

Game Time: Rock & Roll Jeopardy! (1998)

Toward the end of the 90's, someone at Sony decided that Jeopardy! had become enough of a franchise such that it warranted a spin-off or two. Yes, I said, two.

One was Jep!, geared for children and broadcast on the Game Show Network (now known simply as GSN), a Sony-owned cable network. The other was Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, which aired on Viacom-owned VH1, rather than the more obvious MTV, which at that time didn't know a good thing when they saw it.

Rock & Roll Jeopardy! enjoyed a 3 year run on VH1 from 1998-2001, and the show's format was exactly the same as the regular Jeopardy!, but aimed at the teen/young adult demographic. Jeff Probst, formerly of the rival FX cable network at that time, was hired as host. PopArgot uploaded the opening portion to this episode from September 1998:

As with most programming on the MTV Networks family of stations, Rock & Roll Jeopardy! aired at various times during the week in addition to its Saturday morning berth. Alas, the ratings inevitably began to drop with the constant schedule shuffling that has become commonplace, and the series was cancelled. Of course, Jeff Probst has fared pretty well since then, what with a nice little show on CBS you may have heard of. Survivor. Next year, Probst will add a daytime talk show to his workload, according to the latest rumors. As for Rock & Roll Jeopardy!? I assume Sony owns the rights to the show, but they're in no hurry to give it a slot on GSN.

Rating: A.


Scoobyfan1 said...

Actually this show did air on GSN for a brief period in 1999 and again in 2000.

We got GSN(then Game Show Network) on Digital Cable around that time and I watched a couple episodes(back when GSN was really good, but that's another thing altogether).

Rock and Roll Jeopardy was a pretty creative show and a great spinoff of the classic Jeopardy; unfortuntely because of the reasons you mentioned, it didn't last very long.

Speaking of Jeopardy, I had a sports Jeopardy SNES game back in the mid 90s and I always thought that would have made a great spinoff of Alex Trebek's version as well.

Also, one note about Jeff Probst: before Rock and Roll Jeopardy, he actually worked in my neck of the woods(Seattle-Tacoma, WA); he hosted a travel show for the local CBS affiliate KIRO TV 7 for a period in the mid 90s.

Sort off off topic, but he wasn't the only nationally recognizable figure to work at that station and in Seattle.

Keith Jackson, more known for his work at ABC sports started his career at KOMO 4, the local ABC affiliate; Kenny Mayne, more known for ESPN worked at KSTW 11, a long time independent TV station here; and Linda Cohn, known for her work at ESPN, worked at KIRO 7 as well for a period of time.

hobbyfan said...

Scoobyfan1: Thanks for the info. I added digital cable at home 4 years ago, well after GSN had stopped running Rock & Roll Jeopardy!.

I should note that Probst isn't the only FX alumnus still active, what with Tom Bergeron, who hosted the last incarnation of Hollywood Squares, now at ABC (Dancing With The Stars, America's Funniest Home Videos).

Scoobyfan1 said...

Hobbyfan: No problem, and glad to help as always.

hobbyfan said...

You're always welcome here.