Question: I just finished watching Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? There's a half hour of my life that I will never get back! It's not that the premise of the show was all that bad, it's just that there were too many commercials. In fact, there were so many commercials that they only got through five questions in the entire half hour. The same thing drives me nuts with Deal or No Deal (a game that literally could be played in less than five minutes). Why don't networks realize that they are killing their own shows with all of these commercials? I understand that shows are getting costlier to produce and that networks have lost a lot of their audience to cable networks, but I thought game shows were traditionally cheaper to produce. So why all the commercials? Is it simply corporate greed?
Answer: And this somehow surprises you? I agree. I find this new wave of prime-time game/quiz shows excruciating. Not because they're silly, which they mostly are (they're ultimately harmless). But the way they're drawn out, especially Deal or No Deal, I can't see how people can sit still and watch them in real time. Even without the excessive commercial load, these shows drive me nuts. To each their own. As for 5th Grader, I guess they were going for laughs, but I found it sad that a history major couldn't remember Andrew Johnson's impeachment. Give me Jeopardy! any day.