Well, these guys say it's "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?"
According to Television Business International magazine (TBI),which is part of Informa Telecoms & Media, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is the most popular gameshow in the world. Analysis of ratings data in the world’s key TV territories revealed that it was the most popular TV contest in 2009, twelve years since its launch on ITV in the UK.
TBI compiled the top-ten list of the world’s most popular gameshows (see table below) and other entries include Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune and Hole in the Wall.
However, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was the runaway winner in terms of audiences across the world. Sony Pictures Television, through its format distribution arm 2waytraffic, sells the show to international broadcasters and has licensed it to over 120 territories. Having launched on ITV in the UK in 1998, the show was sold to 2waytraffic in 2006 and it was in turn acquired by Sony in 2008.
“In tough economic times broadcasters want cost-effective shows that reach a broad section of viewers and gameshow tick those boxes - the results clearly show the enduring appeal of a well thought out gameshow format,” says Stewart Clarke, TBI Magazine Editor. “The fact a show like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? has gone off air in several countries only to return later proves it has achieved ‘classic’ status. The appearance of veteran formats including Jeopardy and Family Feud/Family Fortunes also illustrate the kind of lifespan a successful gameshow can have.”
Rank Show Debut channel Debut year Distributor
1 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? ITV (UK) 1998 Sony Pictures Television
2 Deal or No Deal Nederland 2 (Netherlands) 2002 Endemol
3 Wipeout ABC (US) 2008 Endemol
4 Wheel of Fortune NBC (US) 1975 CBS Studios International
5 Family Feud ABC (US) 1976 FremantleMedia
6 Don't Forget The Lyrics Fox (US) 2007 RDF Rights
7 Hole in the Wall Fox (US) 2008 FremantleMedia
8 Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? Fox (US) 2007 Shine International/Mark Burnett Productions
9 Jeopardy NBC (US) 1964 CBS Studios International
10 I Love My Country RTL4 (Netherlands) 2008 Talpa Media