National Bingo Night: ABC

“ABC calls its concoction “high action” bingo. Actually it’s a high-concept attempt to low-ball the viewer.”(NY Times) “To paraphrase ABC latenight host Jimmy Kimmel, "National Bingo Night" really does make "Deal or No Deal" appear smart and demanding by comparison. This strange compliment is based on an unfinished preview, but as with the game itself, it's not difficult to fill in the blanks. Completely skill-free except for a rudimentary grasp of probability, the program meets the two major criteria of modern gameshows — cheap and simple minded — while dressing up a pastime enjoyed by old ladies in Nebraska with graphics recalling "The Running Man."(Variety)  “The ability to play along aside, there's nothing about "National Bingo Night" that viewers haven't seen before. But that interactive element may be a draw for people who love bingo — if they can get to on a computer.”(post-gazette) “The simple way to decide on whether or not to watch National Bingo Night comes down to if you want to play along. If you want to play along National Bingo Night is a pretty good show. If you don’t want to print out the cards you might as well not even bother watching.”(mytvisonfire) “Full of energy, suspense, and thrilling victories (plus some agonizing defeats, of course), Bingo Night might just have you clamoring for your own ink dabber come show time. But if you're tempted to let your younger kids join in the fun, it's worth noting that the contestants and audience members are presented as adversaries — one's success means the other's failure.”(ivillage) “The show to which he refers is "National Bingo Night," which bows on ABC Friday - at 9 on Ch. 7 - and, if anything, is further proof that the game show is, was and quite possibly always will be, prime time's most durable format.”(newsday) "The thrills and high stakes are enjoyed not only by the contestants, but also with the viewing public. Each episode is three games, and viewers have the opportunity to log in and win with the game cards they print out from at home."( "It drags things out FOREVER! You could fit a whole other game show in the wasted time spent as the smarmy host, Ed Sanders, recaps and vamps and dawdles in numerous other ways to stretch out the alleged suspense of the game. And really, when it comes right down to it, what is this show about? Bingo, the game your grandmother plays at church every week."(star mag.) "National Bingo Night" achieves the near-unprecedented feat of jumping the shark during its opening minute, a high-tech, "Rollerball"-esque, Orwellian nightmare melange of giant numbered and colored balls rolling down metal tracks, hyperactive camera movement and frenzied studio audience members caught in the throes of quasi-seizure."(hollywoodreporter)

Compiled by Bryon Rudd