Television Quiz Show Scandals of the 1950s Essay example

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An Examination of Television Quiz Show Scandals of the 1950s

One of the greatest captivators of public interest in the 1950s was the emerging quiz game show on television. The public, naively trustful, fell in love with television game shows. People found them to be new, exciting, and similar to the captivating radio quiz shows so popular before television's advent. Some game shows were developed primarily for laughs, while others were played for prizes or large sums of money. These game shows were so popular that at their peak, twenty-two of them were concurrently on the air. They varied in format from the basic question and answer type to the naming of popular musical tunes. Public familiarity with the general structure of the
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Even though there were no laws prohibiting the fixing of game shows, both the networks and their sponsors acknowledged the public's scorn and kept the shows off of the air to allow these turbulent waters to settle.

One of the most prominent themes of the 1950s was the notion of attaining and living the American dream. All Americans wanted to live a better life than had their parents, who had suffered through the depression. With the surge in the number of Americans returning from war, and as a result of their readiness to quickly get on with their lives, Americans were seeking opportunities which would enable them to pursue their dreams of holding a well-paying job, getting married, buying homes and other material goods, and having children. With this movement came the emergence of an affluent middle class racing to accumulate material things. The introduction of quiz game shows on television reflected the promise of hope, excitement, and potential sought by middle class America. With the answer to one question, an ordinary American could become wealthy beyond his or her wildest dreams (Halberstam, 643).

In addition, Americans were easily influenced by television because it offered them many new things. By watching advertisements and television programs, they were led to form various impressions of products and programs themselves, and were presented with a picture of the

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