One of TV’s Oldest Game Shows Might Be Coming Back

Mar 8, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A game show whose TV roots go back to the early 1950s may be resurrected, Joe Adalian reports in New York Magazine’s Vulture blog.

Reality powerhouse FremantleMedia (“American Idol,” “X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent”) has secured the rights to "Name That Tune," the story reports. The original run of the show was in the 1950s, first on NBC and later on CBS. Various incarnations also appeared in the 1970s and the 1980s.

MTV tried to relaunch the show across three networks about five years ago, but the plans didn’t materialize, the story points out. CBS also tried to reboot the program in 2006, but those plans didn’t get off the ground, the piece adds.

It’s not clear what format Fremantle will use with a new version of "Name That Tune," and the company is still deciding whether to pitch a reboot for broadcast, cable or syndication, the article notes.

"One reason to think Fremantle might get lucky where others didn’t, however, is the company’s long track record of success in both the music and game formats," Adalian points out. "Its syndicated revival of classic quizzer ‘Family Feud’ has done very well in recent years, last month earning its best ratings in seven years."

Previous versions of "Name That Tune" pitted contestants against each other as they heard snippets of songs and tried to identify the tune. The show ran first on radio, debuting in 1952, before it moved to TV in 1953.


  1. Sure, Fremantle is successful. Look at Temptation (2007), Million Dollar Password (2008), or the ghastly Card Sharks (2001). They do their best work when they abstain from tweaking formats.

  2. I have to wonder how this is gonna play out. With so many more music formats being populated and aired. Back in the earlier days, even CHR (we all know it as “Pop” or even “Top 40”) had changed allot since then. With “Pop” music’s format, it’s really narrowed. This means contestants may have to listen to many formats, compared to yester-years? Remember CHR meant:
    Country (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton)
    Jazz (Sade and Basia)
    Rap (Ton Loc and Nena Cherry)
    Adult Instrumental (Kenny G and Jan Hammer)
    Active Rock (Bon Jovi and Poison)
    Dance (Bananrama and Pet Shop Boys)
    Soul (Aretha Franklin and Michael McDonald).
    Point being, “TOP 40” is allot narrower than it ever was. Someone who may know Rap, will not know Active Rock. Although a certain HUGE radio company (named for strong AM radio frequencies at night) had attempted to add rap to country (without success). With this in mind, those Country Music Lovers may not know rap at all. Top 40, is nowhere near as broad. If I hear Jazz on a “Top 40” station, I know it’s changed formats. Radio programmers are not that open to many formats, like they were at one point.
    Does the contestant pick from categories, like Jeopardy? Or are the categories mixed up together?
    I also see this as a format to promote new music, if record companies get their stuff together now.

  3. 2 other music formats I forgot…
    Bubblegum Pop (Paula Abdul and later Bee Gees)
    Mainstream Adult Contemporary (Air Supply and Phil Collins or Gloria Estephan)
    All of the styles/genres listed above were “Top 40.” Compare to now… you really notice a difference. Kiss FM’s today were not the same thing as Kiis FM back in the early 90’s and before. They don’t even compare.

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