0. My (relative) was on (show) in (year), do you know how I could get a copy?
I cannot help you. Most likely, you are out of luck.
Most TV game shows aired prior to 1982 are no longer around, as the videotape of the day was too bulky for the networks/production houses to save them. This includes all but scattered episodes of every non-Goodson/Todman daytime game.
The shows that were saved are now owned by various multimedia conglomerates who have zero interest in going through their library to find your desired episode. (Even twenty years ago, they were so uninterested that they would try to dissuade requests with a $500 fee. Now, there's no amount of cash they'll take).
So, in short: I am unable to assist you in your search in any way. Good luck; you are truly going to need it.
1. Can you send me these episodes of X show?
The shows in my catalog are for TRADE only, with the sole exception being that I will gladly send episodes to the host of the show in question. Further, I am currently only looking for shows found on my request list on this page. Trading is an extremely LOW priority for me right now (practically zero prioirty!), as it seems rarities are getting harder to discover. Plus, I'm busy converting my videotapes into DVD.
I am gauging interest in passing off my entire video library to one collector once my DVD conversion is done. Stay tuned to see how this develops.
2. Can't you make an exception? Just for me? I won't tell anybody.
The fact that this is on the "Frequently" asked questions list should tip you off as to my answer here. I really don't even have time to trade anymore, so fulfilling everyone's request list is out of the question (and I really do get a lot more requests than you might think - even after writing this message). Good luck in finding the episodes you desire.
3. Can I buy episodes from you?
Absolutely not. Copyright violation. Yes, other people do it, but I'm a little too high-profile to risk prosecution. Sorry.
4. Even though you don't have an episode I want, can you tell me how to get a copy of it?
You can try your request at my colleague Mike Klauss's Game Show Trading Post, but a word of warning: prepare to be disappointed. If your show was an obscure title of the '50s through early-'80s, there's a chance that the series has been erased, trashed, or simply misplaced. One "lost shows" (Spin-Off) has turned up in the past decade, but there are many others waiting to be found.
If it's a more common title, be aware that most every classic game show format is now owned by a multinational conglomerate who has no interest in selling individual episodes. But you're free to try - Goodson/Todman shows are now owned by FremantleMedia; Heatter/Quigley formats are owned by MGM; and most other major packagers (Barris, Stewart, Barry/Enright) are now controlled by Sony Pictures Television. Monty Hall still owns his shows.
If you're searching for a GSN classic title like Match Game, Family Feud, I've Got a Secret and others, then you have the best odds of all.
Please also note that I have absolutely no connection with any game show production companies or television networks, nor can I forward messages intended for those parties.
5. I have an idea for a new game show. Can you help me get it on the air?
No, I have no influence, inside connections, or anything good like that. If I did, I wouldn't be a working stiff in Indianapolis! (As a side note, do not send me your original ideas. I do not read them to protect myself from potential legal action.)
More questions to be added as time permits.
If I haven't answered your question already, then feel free to drop me a line at chris (at) chris-lambert.com - I'd love to hear from you!
Make sure your subject line clearly identifies you as a reader or I may assume your message is spam and delete it unread. E-mails with attachments are deleted before I even know they've arrived.
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