When television first became a practical reality in the 1950s, winning prizes and money quickly became a national pastime because NBC's Concentration was one of the most popular programs. As each year passed, the stakes rose higher, until the piles of cash reached unheard of proportions. Producer Norm Blumenthal worked tirelessly to raise the bar, and audience participation boiled into a nationwide obsession, but the pedestal of success wobbled on shaky ground. Frenzied winners and other unscrupulous producers were caught faking the games, and the scandal erupted in front page headlines that threatened to pull the plug on the euphoria. Although others were brought down by the bombshells, Norm and his show were proved innocent of any wrongdoing, and when the scandal balloon burst, tens of millions of viewers breathed a sigh of relief. The topsy turvy pastimes became trustworthy games, shows burst forth for the first time in full color, and a new era was born.
Norm Blumenthal survived the transition like a modern day Noah in an ark overfilled with amusements. His new book, When Game Shows Ruled Daytime TV, takes readers backstage for an exciting look behind the scenes at every moment in the whirlwind saga. When game shows ruled daytime TV, Norm Blumenthal reigned as the king.