Quiz Bowl Scandal (1956)

vandoren_lIn 1956 Herb Stempel, a contestant on the game show Twenty One lost his long-standing winning streak to Charles Van Doren. Following the loss Stempel spoke out, saying that Dan Enright, a producer on the show, had ordered him to throw the game. Following this revelation, other game show contestants began to come forward testifying that they had been forced to lose their games. Ratings for the three major networks dropped quickly, and the shows were all quickly cancelled. This became a public relations disaster for televisions networks.  They found themselves facing criticism and accusations of being a “vast wasteland.”  This led networks to turn their attention to news programs and the production of documentaries in an attempt to prove their worth and relevance in society.


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