Game shows are all rage these days. Sometimes the show is something totally new like ABC’s The Hustler and other times the show is a trip back to nostalgia like FOX’s revival of Name That Tune – both are airing this week.
The original Name That Tune appeared on NBC Radio in 1952 before moving to NBC TV in 1953 and then CBS until 1959. I’m more familiar with the 1974 revival of the series which appeared during the daytime on NBC (and hosted by Dennis James) and a weekly syndicated version (which was hosted by Tom Kennedy). The latter also featured Kathie Lee Gifford (then known as Kathie Lee Johnson) as the “La-La Girl”. This version of the show ran through 1981. It was revived yet again in 1984 with Jim Lange, but that only lasted for one year.
Now, the show has been brought back by Prestige Entertainment and Eureka Productions (who are responsible for the mini golf phenomenon, Holey Moley) and unlike FOX’s The Masked Singer, The Masked Dancer and I Can See Your Voice, it thankfully does not feature Ken Jeong. (A little Jeong can go a long way.) Instead, 30 Rock alum Jane Krakowski is doing the hosting duties alongside Randy Jackson who will be serving at the Band Leader.
“We’re thrilled to bring the iconic musical game show Name That Tune back to television with this updated revival. It’s been beloved the world over for decades and we can’t wait for a new generation of families to get to play along with the classic series at home,” said Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment & Specials, FOX Entertainment. “With the captivating Jane Krakowski as host, alongside band leader Randy Jackson, the Big Dawg himself, this surely will be a harmonious pairing.”
Each one-hour episode of the show is comprised of two stand-alone half-hour contests, each pitting two players against each other as they race against the clock to test their knowledge of songs, performed by the live band. Each contest features a rotating variety of games from the original format, before the iconic Bid-a-Note round. The player with the most money at the end of Bid-a-Note wins the game and takes his or her bank into the Golden Medley bonus round, for a chance to win additional cash and potentially the $100,000 grand prize. No word if the show will feature contestants grabbing dollar bills on a spinning tree or not. (If that doesn’t sound familiar, ask your parents.)
Name That Tune premieres on Wednesday, January 6 at 9 p.m. on FOX.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.