Why Do So Many Game Shows Have Blue Backgrounds?
Fox recently dropped a teaser for Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, the third iteration of the same game show to hit American television in the last 15 years. And like the first Fox version, the subsequent syndicated version, and so many other game shows, this Niecy Nash-fronted edition of Don’t Forget has a set illuminated in blue hues.
So, why do game shows stick to the ceruleans, cyans, and cobalts? Perhaps it’s because blue is “calming and neutral enough to not overpower other imagery” and “complementary to human skin tones,” NewscastStudio observes.
Whatever the reason, game shows have been singing the blues for more than two decades now. “The color of mental effort is electric blue — at least if we’re to believe the designers of television quiz shows,” The Independent columnist Thomas Sutcliffe wrote back in 2000. “Turn on Fifteen to One, The Weakest Link, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and you’ll see virtually the same color scheme and lighting setup — a raking, icy blue light that glares at the contestants and ricochets off the chrome and metal fittings.”
At least these sets have gotten less severe as of late — Sutcliffe also said game shows at the time had an ambiance that was “two parts gulag perimeter fence to one part police interrogation room.” But the blues have remained. See photographic proof with these images from recent game shows.
Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, Premieres, Monday, May 23, 8/7c, Fox