Game Shows Wiki
Ricki Lake
Prize Delivery Host
Todd Newton
Rich Fields
Game$how Marathon.png
CBS Primetime: 5/31/2006 – 6/29/2006
FremantleMedia North America
Granada America

Gameshow Marathon (stylized as Game$how Marathon) was a series of seven episodes each modeled after classic American game shows with celebrities playing to earn money for their charity as well as prizes for players at home. This series was based on the British format called Ant & Dec's/Vernon Kay's Game Show Marathon.


The players competed in four preliminary rounds, the winners of those rounds sat in what was called "Finalist's Row" and moved on to the semifinals. The four winners played semifinal rounds to determine finalists, who competed for a possible $100,000 for the charity of their choice.

In addition, those who entered at were eligible to win all cash & prizes earned during each game. A total of $329,352 was awarded to home viewers, out of total offerings of $987,165.48.


The celebrities who competed were:
PAIGE DAVIS, playing for Donate Life
KATHY NAJIMY, playing for Girls Best Friend
TIM MEADOWS, playing for The Chris Farley Foundation
LANCE BASS, playing for Habitat For Humanity's Katrina Relief
BRANDE RODERICK, playing for City of Hope
LESLIE NIELSEN, playing for "a society in Phoenix for blind children"


Here are the game shows used, with more info located at the pages of the main games.

The Price is Right[]

While the basic structure of the game remained intact (including Rich announcing at the time), only three pricing games were played: Hole in One (or Two), Plinko (for $100,000), and Race Game. In addition, the top two scorers at the Big Wheel went to the Showcase.

While not needed, the Double Showcase rule was in play, and in the event of a Double Overbid, the players were instructed to bid again, until there was a winner. Only the Showcase winner's grand total was awarded to a home viewer.

In addition, Hole in One's second putt was edited out for time, and due to a correct guess, every non-celebrity audience member earned Plinko's fourth small prize, an MP3 player.

Brande Roderick was the winner of this round, earning $54,336 in prizes for a home viewer.

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

Let's Make a Deal[]

There were no major alterations to the format, except with one deal featuring two civilian contestants competing.

Gilbert Gottfried guest starred as a Zonk, but his charity was never revealed.

No one claimed the Big Deal, worth $87,044.99, so Lance Bass was the winner of this round, earning for a home viewer a $50,990 Lincoln Navigator 4X2.

The format was based on the original Monty Hall version. 

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

Beat the Clock[]

This was based on the 1950's version. Each player brought along a teammate to assist. Also, all the contestants were kept sequestered backstage so they didn't know what stunt they would play until they played it.

Two teams would face the same stunt which was used in the original, those doing it in the fastest times won a prize package and faced off in a Head-To-Head stunt to determine a winner. That person won another prize package (that winner's prizes went to a home viewer), and they then played a Bonus Stunt for a car.

Paige Davis won this round, and a total of $67,603 in prizes for a home viewer, including a Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 Roadster.

Note: Kathy tried to take the seat in Finalist's Row away from Paige.

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

Press Your Luck[]

This was an elimination round; the two losers of this game would be eliminated.

Again, other than an increased budget, the game remained the same save for the lack of Peter Tomarken and Rod Roddy (whom Rich Fields replaced on Price as well). The cash prizes increased to as much as $10,000, and though not won, the highest prize offered was a Chevy HHR worth $16,990. This episode was in memoriam of Peter, who died in a plane crash with his wife at that point. The Big Board from the original show was reconstructed with new electronics.

Kathy Najimy eliminated Tim Meadows & Leslie Nielsen to win $46,267 in cash & prizes (Meade LX-90 GPS Telescope, Carsons of High Point Dinette Set, Trips to Paris and Juneau, Alaska, plus $25,750 cash) for a home viewer.

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

Card Sharks[]

This was the first semifinal round, pitting Brande Roderick against Paige Davis.

While the game was visually based on the 1978-1981 version, elements from the 1986-1989 version were also used, such as the look of the board (main game & Money Cards), an audience poll question, & "Change Cards" in the Money Cards. In addition, the face-card turntables from the original version were altered to feature the backs of the card decks themselves (and had the boards attached to them so the boards could be revealed and concealed by rotation of the turntables), as well as the podiums. In addition, eggcrate fonts were used for the main game and Money Cards.

Also, for time purposes, The first game was worth $1,000, increasing by $1,000 per game with the high score winning.

In the Money Cards, the winner earned $1,000 for each row, for a maximum of $144,000.

The winner also played a car game, in which they had to guess if the actual number of people in the audience poll group who answered a question was higher or lower than 5; the correct answer was revealed by use of a card from the blue deck (coin tosses were used to determine who played red and who played blue).

Brande Roderick won this round, $10,000 & a $40,445 BMW Z4 Roadster, a total of $50,455 in cash & car for a home viewer.

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

Match Game[]

This was the other semifinal round, pitting Kathy Najimy against Lance Bass.


These are the six other celebrities that were featured:
George Foreman
Kathy Griffin
Bruce Vilanch
Adrianne Curry
Adam Carolla
Betty White (the only celebrity from the original)

The game used the Match Game PM format (three rounds, two Audience Matches), with the Head-To-Head Match played for 50 times the winnings, ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Kathy Najimy won this round and $50,000 for a home viewer.

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

Family Feud[]

This was based on the original Dawson version (1976-1985). This was the final round, pitting Brande Roderick against Kathy Najimy in a standard 300-point game (Single-Single-Single-Double-Triple rules) for $100,000 for their charity, and a shot at $50,000 for a home viewer.

Both players were on Feud previously (Najimy in 1981, Roderick in 2001), and relevant clips were shown.

Kathy Najimy became GSM champion, winning $100,000 for her charity & $50,000 for a home viewer.

While it used a duplicate of the 1976-1985 set (with the trilon board's rotation shown as an animation on a CGI screen), 20/25 seconds were offered in the Fast Money game like it did at the time, and the "blip" sound effect used to reveal Fast Money answers was not used, like in the original series itself.

To view the full footage, watch the video seen below.

International Versions[]

The following is a list of countries that have previously aired their versions of Gameshow Marathon including:

  • France – "Le Marathon des Jeux TV"
  • Germany – "Der Gameshow-Marathon"
  • Hungary – "szuletesnapi kvizmaratont tart"
  • Israel – "Play It Big"
  • Mexico – "TBA"
  • Portugal – "Superconcurso - Jogo de Sempre"
  • Turkey – "Yarisma Maratonu"
  • United Kingdom – "Ant & Dec's/Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon" (country that originated the program)

Set Pics[]

Model Pics[]


  • This series was considered a run of mini-pilots to test formats to see if they could still work today although two of them were/are still on the air respectively (i.e. The Price is Right & Family Feud); this was also shown in both the UK and Germany in order to pitch ideas for game shows.
  • In episode four, announcer Rich Fields "mistakenly" said that Press Your Luck originally premiered in 1981, when it was in fact 1983. Additionally, this was also dedicated to the memory of Peter Tomarken who died in a plane crash along with his wife Kathleen Abigail on March 13 of that year.
  • In episode seven, although the set was supposed to emulate the original 1976-85 Dawson era, the colored buzzers for the face-off podium were red instead of yellow like in the actual show as they weren't red until the Combs revival in 1988 along with other versions since then. Plus, the lights wiped-in rather than flash repeatedly. In Fast Money, the time limits 20/25 we're given instead of 15/20 from the original. In addition, the last and final Viewer Giveaway question from a 1976 episode of Feud was "Give a word polite people use instead of cursing" and the choices were…
    1. Dang
    2. Darn
    3. Shoot

Although it was never answered in the next episode, the correct one out of the three was #2.

  • Out of all shows, LMAD was never aired on CBS in the past until October 2009 when Fremantle bought the rights, relaunching Let's Make a Deal with Wayne Brady.
  • Gameshow Marathon aired on CTV in Canada despite the fact that it aired in the U.S.


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Main (Series) – Unknown

Other show cues by Edd Kalehoff, Sheila Cole, Walt Levinsky, Robert Israel, Ken Bichel and Score Productions.

The theme from Press Your Luck was a re-recording and not the original by Lee Ringuette, possibly due to tape deterioration despite many copies of the theme online; the Whammy foghorn was rerecorded as well. Beat the Clock and Let's Make a Deal also had remastered music. The other shows used their original respective music.


Based on a format from the United Kingdom entitled Ant & Dec's/Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon but with American shows and formats by Mark Goodson, Bill Todman, Bob Stewart, Stefan Hatos, Monty Hall, and Bill Carruthers.


CBS Television City, Hollywood, CA


Official Site
Gameshow Marathon description @
Gameshow Marathon set pics @ John Janavs' website

YouTube Videos[]

Night #1 - The Price is Right
Night #2 - Let's Make a Deal
Night #3 - Beat the Clock
Night #4 - Press Your Luck
Night #5 - Card Sharks
Night #6 - Match Game
Night #7 - Family Feud