Achievement Unlocked: Revival of '80s video game show Starcade

Contributed by
Jan 10, 2017

Start saving your quarters, as a reboot of the short-lived cult favorite TV game show Starcade is on its way. Shout! Factory, best known for its stellar DVD collections of classic TV and films, announced it has acquired all rights to the early '80s series, which first aired on WTBS (now TBS) before going into syndication.

"Starcade is a classic game show from the '80s and pure nostalgic fun. We couldn't be more excited to work with the original show creators to 'retro-boot' Starcade for a new generation of fans," stated Shout! Factory’s founders in a statement. Original series creators James Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur are both involved in the revival.

Details on what the new show's format will be aren't known yet, but it's a safe bet it will be a much different show than the original, as the gaming industry is vastly different today than it was in 1982. Back then, Starcade was the first-ever game show to feature arcade video games that were exploding in popularity.

The show featured players competing against each other to see who could get the highest score in one of five video games. Winners could walk away with bragging rights and a brand-new video game of their own. Some episodes spotlighted a single video game, such as Dragon's Lair and the 1983 Star Wars arcade game.

But more than three decades later, gamers enjoy first-person shooter games and MMORPGs across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory's announcement didn't reveal specifics on the updated format, but one quote was interesting. Jeremy Whitham, Shout! Factory's development director, says in the release, "I can't wait to see today's crop of celebrities, pro gamers and E-sports stars compete head-to-head and find out who is the top player on the planet."

If this new version plans to bring back the celebrity competitors angle, that could prove quite entertaining, given how many entertainers and athletes are avid gamers.

No word on when the new Starcade will debut.

Oh, and the first line of this story referenced the famous Al Michaels call from 1980's "Miracle On Ice" Olympic hockey game. One of the key players on Team USA was Mike Eruzione, who actually hosted the very first pilot of Starcade. Another fun fact: another pilot episode of the series was hosted by a pre-Jeopardy! Alex Trebek.

Alex Trebek hosting a pilot episode of "Starcade" before he moved on to Jeopardy!

Here's an episode tha featured the Tron arcade game. After you go down memory lane, hit the comments and let us know what you think of the idea of a new show about video games!

episode of 80s tv series Starcade