It's official: we're not smarter than a fifth grader, and we've forgotten the lyrics. Both Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and Don't Forget The Lyrics will end in September. Remember when game shows started out as five-day-a-week daytime shows and got bigger-money primetime versions once they were successful? Now, of course, it's the other way around.
Fifth Grader...I remember when it started, I resisted it for a while. I heard the title Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and that the host was going to be Jeff Foxworthy and thought "it's going to be awful." Hearing the theme song online didn't help either (all together now: "Are you smarter than a fifth graderrrrrrr...cause there's gonna be a test laterrrrrrr..."). The show premiered, and everyone told me I needed to see this hilarious new game show. I watched and I liked what I saw - yes, it's a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? clone, but so are half the game shows that premiered since Millionaire. I even grew to like that theme song (hey, at least it isn't a generic post-Millionaire theme). I have pretty much the same story for Don't Forget The Lyrics - I resisted it for a while, eventually watched, and found it a lot better then some of the other Millionaire clones I've seen.
Good shows that they might be, it's no surprise that they're canceled. The ratings for these shows have been minuscule. What is surprising is that nothing has been announced to take their place. Baggage finished its syndication test run on March 4, and beyond a once-a-week kids game show called On The Spot, there's been nothing announced for Fall 2011 syndication.Yes, I've heard the mumblings of a possible syndicated version of Wipeout, but I don't believe it just yet. It seriously looks like we'll be down to seven five-day-a-week shows in the fall, and have nothing new to look forward to in September. There's five months, one week, and five days until Labor Day - but I may be stuck watching the Jerry Lewis telethon.